The ancient genealogy of the Milesians and Geoghegans according to O'Hart's Irish Pedigrees
"Irish Pedigrees or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation", by John O'Hart is one of the best known Irish genealogical publications in the world. The first edition appeared in 1876, but was followed by several subsequent editions that added greatly to the overall size of the work. The most quoted edition was published in New York in 1923, twenty years after the author's death. It is worth mentioning here that the original work did not include any heraldic (coat of arms) information and that this was added to posthumous publications by unscrupulous publishers, presumably to increase sales. In general, O'Hart is a dubious source, at best, for such information.
John O'Hart was born in Crossmolina, Co. Mayo, in 1824. He received an excellent education with the intention of joining the priesthood. However, he instead spent two years in the constabulary (the police), after which he was employed by the Commissioners of National Education in Ireland from 1845, the first year of the Famine. He became an Associate in Arts at the Queen's University, and thereafter he was an active member of several scholarly societies. He was an avid genealogist and took a keen interest in Irish history, despite never receiving formal training as an historian. Politically he was an Irish nationalist, and in religious matters, a committed Catholic. Both of these factors permeated his work. He died in 1902 in Clontarf, Co. Dublin , at the age of 78.
O'Hart used many sources to compile the information that appears in his major work. His principal sources were Gaelic genealogies, like those of O'Clery, MacFirbis and O'Farrell. Along with the Gaelic annals, especially the Annals of the Four Masters, O'Hart was able to 'reconstruct' the medieval and ancient pedigree that appears here. He also used later sources, like the works of Burke, Collins, Harris, Lodge and Ware to extend these lineages into the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But arguably the most important information contained in these genealogies came where O'Hart gathered the details directly from the families concerned, often from private papers or family tradition.
Irish mythology records that every family was descended from a certain Milesius of Spain who in about 500 BC led his followers to invade and conquer Ireland . The Christian monks who wrote these genealogies down in the 9th century, 2,500 years after Milesius, also added their own beliefs. So they recorded that Milesius was the 36th in descent from Adam! O'Hart, being both an ardent believer in the Gaelic myths and Christianity, followed their example.
In his Gaelic genealogies a number representing the generation of descent from Adam precedes every generation. O'Hart showed, probably incorrectly, that every Gaelic family was descended from four of Milesius's family. These were his three sons, Heber, Ir and Heremon, and his uncle Ithe. These four were considered the 'stem' lines of the genealogies that followed. The latest scientiific evidence suggests that while the Celts had an overwhelming cultural influence on Ireland, the numbers of them that invaded Ireland were not all that huge and from the genetic point of view they are just a part of the mix that made up the Irish population.
While he undertook a great deal of research, using the majority of available published sources, many Gaelic scholars have superseded his work over the last 100 years. He was not familiar with the abundant unpublished Gaelic manuscript sources available. These have shown that many of his genealogies are incorrect for the years prior to 1600 AD. Furthermore, O'Hart was not a professional historian or genealogist, and had little training in using the esoteric sources he consulted. As a consequence he misunderstood a great deal about Gaelic society and culture, a world which had largely disappeared from Ireland long before he put pen to paper. He was also credulous in using the sources he did consult, believing that the myths were fact.
In short, while the pedigree below is interesting, it should be be read with a sceptical eye, and the further back you go, the more sceptical your eye should become.
||Noah divided the world amongst his three sons, begotten of his wife Titea: viz., to Shem he gave Asia, within the Euphrates, to the Indian Ocean; to Ham he gave Syria, Arabia, and Africa; and to Japhet, the rest of Asia beyond the Euphrates, together with Europe to Gadea (or Cadiz).
||Japhet was the eldest son of Noah. He had fifteen sons, amongst whom he divided Europe and the part of Asia which his father had allotted to him.
||Magog: From whom descended the Parthians, Bactrians, Amazons, etc.; Parthalon, the first planter of Ireland, about three hundred years after the Flood; and also the rest of the colonies that planted there, viz., the Nemedians, who planted Ireland, Anno Mundi three thousand and forty-six, or three hundred and eighteen years after the birth of Abraham, and two thousand one hundred and fifty-three years before Christ.
The Nemedians continued in Ireland for two hundred and seventeen years; within which time a colony of theirs went into the northern parts of Scotland, under the conduct of their leader Briottan Maol, from whom Britain takes its name, and not from "Brutus," as some persons believed. From Magog were also descended the Belgarian, Belgian, Firbolgian or Firvolgian colony that succeeded the Nemedians, Anno Mundi, three thousand two hundred and sixty-six, and who first erected Ireland into a Monarchy. [According to some writers, the Fomorians invaded Ireland next after the Nemedians.]
This Belgarian of Firvolgian colony continued in Ireland for thirty-six years, under nine of their Kings; when they were supplanted by the Tuatha-de-Danann (which means, according to some authorities, "the people of the god Dan," whom they adored), who possessed Ireland for one hundred and ninety-seven years, during the reigns of nine of their kings; and who were then conquered by the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scotic Nation (the three names by which the Irish people were known), Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred.
This Milesian or Scotic Irish Nation possessed and enjoyed the Kingdom of Ireland for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years, under one hundred and eighty-three Monarchs; until their submission to King Henry the Second of England, Anno Domini one thousand one hundred and eighty-six.
||Boath, one of the sons of Magog; to whom Scythia came as his lot, upon the division of the Earth by Noah amongst his sons, and by Japhet of his part thereof amongst his sons.
||Phniusa Farsaidh (or Fenius Farsa) was King of Scythia, at the time when Ninus ruled the Assyrian Empire; and, being a wise man and desirous to learn the languages that not long before confounded the builders of the Tower of Babel, employed able and learned men to go among the dispersed multitude to learn their several languages; who sometime after returning well skilled in what they went for, Phniusa Farsaidh erected a school in the valley of Senaar, near the city of Æothena, in the forty-second year of the reign of Ninus; whereupon, having continued there with his younger son Niul for twenty years, he returned home to his kingdom, which, at his death, he left to the oldest son Nenuall; leaving to Niul no other patrimony than his learning and the benefit of the said school.
||Niul, after his father returned to Scythia, continued some time at othena, teaching the languages and other laudable sciences, until upon report of his great learning he was invited into Egypt by Pharaoh, the King; who gave him the land of Campus Cyrunt, near the Red Sea to inhabit, and his daughter Scota in marriage; from whom their posterity are ever since called Scots; but, according to some annalists, the name "Scots" is derived from the word Scythia.
It was this Niul that employed Gaodhal [Gael], son of Ethor, a learned and skilful man, to compose or rather refine and adorn the language, called Bearla Tobbai, which was common to all Niul's posterity, and afterwards called Gaodhilg (or Gaelic), from the said Gaodhal who composed or refined it; and for his sake also Niul called his own eldest son "Gaodhal."
||Gaodhal (or Gathelus), the son of Niul, and ancestor of Clan-na-Gael, that is, "the children or descendants of Gaodhal". In his youth this Gaodhal was stung in the neck by a serpent, and was immediately brought to Moses, who, laying his rod upon the wounded place, instantly cured him; whence followed the word "Glas" to be added to his named, as Gaodhal Glas (glas: Irish, green; Lat. glaucus; Gr. glaukos), on account of the green scar which the word signifies, and which, during his life, remained on his neck after the wound was healed.
And Gaodhal obtained a further blessing, namely-that no venomous beast can live any time where his posterity should inhabit; which is verified in Creta or Candia , Gothia or Getulia , Ireland , etc. The Irish chroniclers affirm that from this time Gaodhal and his posterity did paint the figures of Beasts, Birds, etc., on their banners and shields, to distinguish their tribes and septs, in imitation of the Israelites; and that a "Thunderbolt" was the cognisance in their chief standard for many generations after this Gaodhal.
||Asruth, after his father's death, continued in Egypt and governed his colony in peace during his life.
||Sruth, soon after his father's death, was set upon by the Egyptians, on account of their former animosities towards their predecessors for having taken part with the Israelites against them; which animosities until then lay raked up in the embers, and now broke out in a flame to that degree, that after many battles and conflicts wherein most of his colony lost their live, Sruth was forced with the few remaining to depart the country; and, after many traverses at sea, arrived at the Island of Creta (now called Candia), where he paid his last tribute to nature.
||Heber Scut (scut: Irish, a Scot), after his father's death and a year's stay in Creta, departed thence, leaving some of his people to inhabit the Island , where some of their posterity likely still remain; "because the Island breeds no venomous serpent ever since."
He and his people soon after arrived in Scythia; where his cousins, the posterity of Nenuall (eldest son of Fenius Farsa, above mentioned), refusing to allot a place of habitation form him and his colony, they fought many battles wherein Heber (with the assistance of some of the natives who were ill-affected towards their king), being always victor, he at length forced the sovereignty from the other, and settled himself and his colony in Scythia, who continued there for four generations. (Hence the epithet Scut, "a Scot" or "a Scythian," was applied to this Heber, who was accordingly called Heber Scot.) Heber Scot was afterwards slain in battle by Noemus the former king's son.
||Tait, were each kings of Scythia, but in constant war with the natives; so that after Tait's death his son,
||Agnon and his followers betook themselves to sea, wandering and coasting upon the Caspian Sean for several (some say seven) years in which time he died.
||Lamhfionn and his fleet remained at sea for some time, after his father's death, resting and refreshing themselves upon such islands as they met with. It was then the Cachear, their magician or Druid, foretold that there would be no end of their peregrinations and travel until they should arrive at the Western Island of Europe, now called Ireland, which was the place destined for their future and lasting abode and settlement; and that not they but their posterity after three hundred years should arrive there.
After many traverses of fortune at sea, this little fleet with their leader arrived at last and landed at Gothia or Geulia-more recently called Lybia, where Carthage was afterwards built; and, soon after, Lamhfionn died there.
||Heber Glunfionn was born in Gothia, where he died. His posterity continued there to the eighth generation; and were kings or chief rulers there for one hundred and fifty years-some say three hundred years.
||Deag: of these nothing remarkable is mentioned, but that they lived and died kings in Gothia or Getulia.
||Brath was born in Gothia. Remembering the Druid's prediction, and his people having considerably multiplied during their abode in Geulia, he departed thence with a numerous fleet to seek out the country destined for their final settlement, by the prophecy of Cachear, the Druid above mentioned; and, after some time, he landed upon the coast of Spain, and by strong hand settled himself and his colony in Galicia, in the north of that country.
||Breoghan (or Brigus) was king of Galicia , Andalusia , Murcia , Castile , and Portugal-all of which he conquered. He built Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia in Galicia , and the city of Brigantia or Braganza in Portugal-called after him; and the kingdom of Castile was then also called after him Brigia.
It is considered that " Castile " itself was so called from the figure of a castle which Brigus bore for his Arms on his banner. Brigus sent a colony into Britain, who settled in that territory now known as the counties of York, Lancaster, Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland, and, after him were called Brigantes; whose posterity gave formidable opposition to the Romans, at the time of the Roman invasion of Britain.
||Bilé; was king of those countries after his father's death; and his son Galamh [galav] or Milesius succeeded him. This Bilé had a brother named Ithe.
||Milesius, in his youth and in his father's life-time, went into Scythia , where he was kindly received by the king of that country, who gave him his daughter in marriage, and appointed him General of his forces. In this capacity Milesius defeated the king's enemies, gained much fame, and the love of all the king's subjects. His growing greatness and popularity excited against him the jealousy of the king; who, fearing the worst, resolved on privately dispatching Milesius our of the way, for, openly, he dare not attempt it. Admonished of the king's intentions in his regard, Milesius slew him; and thereupon quitted Scythia and retired into Egypt with a fleet of sixty sail.
Pharaoh Nectonibus, then king of Egypt , being informed of his arrival and of his great valour, wisdom, and conduct in arms, made him General of all his forces against the king of Ethiopia then invading his country. Here, as in Scythia , Milesius was victorious; he forced the enemy to submit to the conqueror's own terms of peace. By these exploits Milesius found great favour with Pharaoh, who gave him, being then a widower, his daughter Scota in marriage; and kept him eight years afterwards in Egypt. During the sojourn of Milesius in Egypt, he employed the most ingenious and able persons among his people to be instructed in the several trades, arts, and sciences used in Egypt; in order to have them taught to the rest of his people on his return to Spain.
[The original name of Milesius of Spain was "Galamh" (gall: Irish, a stranger; amh, a negative affix), which means, no stranger: meaning that he was no stranger in Egypt, where he was called "Milethea Spaine," which was afterwards contracted to "Miló Spaine" (meaning the Spanish Hero), and finally to "Milesiius" (mileadh: Irish, a hero; Lat. miles, a soldier).] At length Milesius took leave of his father-in-law, and steered towards Spain ; where he arrived to the great joy and comfort of his people; who were much harassed by the rebellion of the natives and by the intrusion of other foreign nations that forced in after his father's death, and during his own long absence from Spain.
With these and those he often met; and, in fifty-four battles, victoriously fought, he routed, destroyed, and totally extirpated them out of the country, which he settled in peace and quietness. In his reign a great dearth and famine occurred in Spain, of twenty-six years' continuance, occasioned, as well by reason of the former troubles which hindered the people from cultivating, and manuring the ground, as for want of rain to moisten the earth - but Milesius superstitiously believed the famine to have fallen upon him and his people as a judgment and punishment from their gods, for their negligence in seeking out the country destined for their final abode, so long before foretold by Cachear their Druid or magician, as already mentioned - the time limited by the prophecy for the accomplishment thereof being now nearly, if not fully, expired.
To expiate his fault and to comply with the will of his gods, Milesius, with the general approbation of his people, sent his uncle Ithe, with his son Lughaidh [Luy], and one hundred and fifty stout men to bring them an account of those western islands; who, accordingly, arriving at the island since then called Ireland, and landing in that part of it now called Munster, left his son with fifty of his men to guard the ship, and with the rest travelled about the island.
Informed, among other things, that the three sons of Cearmad, called Mac-Cuill, MacCeacht, and MacGreine, did then and for thirty years before rule and govern the island, each for one year, in his turn; and that the country was called after the names of their three queens - Eire, Fodhla, and Banbha, respectively: one year called "Eire," the next "Fodhla," and the next "Banbha," as their husbands reigned in their regular turns; by which names the island is ever since indifferently called, but most commonly "Eire," because that MacCuill, the husband of Eire, ruled and governed the country in his turn the year that the Clan-na-Milé (or the sons of Milesius) arrived in and conquered Ireland.
And being further informed that the three brothers were then at their palace at Aileach Neid, in the north part of the country, engaged in the settlement of some disputes concerning their family jewels, Ithe directed his course thither; sending orders to his son to sail about with his ship and the rest of his men, and meet him there. When Ithe arrived where the (Danann) brothers were, be was honourably received and entertained by them; and, finding him to be a mail of great wisdom. and knowledge, they referred their disputes to him for decision.
That decision having met their entire satisfaction, Ithe exhorted them to mutual love, peace, and forbearance; adding much in praise of their delightful, pleasant, and fruitful country; and then took his leave, to return to his ship, and go back to Spain. No sooner was he gone than the brothers; began to reflect on the high commendations which Ithe gave of the Island; and, suspecting his design of bringing others to invade it, resolved to prevent them, and therefore pursued him with a strong party, overtook him, fought and routed his men and wounded himself to death (before his son or the rest of his men left on ship-board could come to his rescue) at a place called, from that fight and his name, Magh Ithe or "The plain of Ithe" (an extensive plain in the barony of Raphoe, county Donegal); whence his son, having found him in that condition, brought his dead and mangled body back into Spain, and there exposed it to public view, thereby to excite his friends and relations to avenge his murder.
[Note: that all the invaders and planters of Ireland, namely, Parthalonians, Neimhedh, the Firbolgs, Tuatha-de-Danann, and Clan-na-Milé, where originally Scythians, of the line of Japbet, who had the language called Bearla-Tobbai or Gaoidhilg [Gaelic] common amongst them all; and consequently not to be wondered at, that Ithe and the Tuatha-de-Danann understood one another without an Interpreter - both speaking the same language, though perhaps with some difference in the accent] [This note is made by O'Hart and the later Milesian Irish.
They as church scribes do not understand or wish to denigrate the importance of the Tuatha De Danann to the history of Israel and their movement from Egypt into Ireland long before the Milesians came there (Cox)]. The exposing of the dead body of Ithe had the desired effect; for, thereupon, Milesius made great preparations in order to invade Ireland - as well to avenge his uncle's death, as also in obedience to the will of his gods, signified by the prophecy of Cachear, aforesaid. But, before he could effect that object, he died, leaving the care, and charge of that expedition upon his eight legitimate sons by his two wives before mentioned. Milesius was a very valiant champion, a great warrior, and fortunate and prosperous in all his undertakings: witness his name of "Milesius," given him from the many battles (some say a thousand, which the word "Milé" signifies in Irish as well as in Latin) which he victoriously fought and won, as well in Spain, as in all the other countries and kingdoms be traversed in his younger days.
The eight brothers were neither forgetful nor negligent in the execution of their father's command; but, soon after his death, with a numerous fleet well manned and equipped, set forth from Breoghan's Tower or Brigantia (now Corunna) in Galicia, in Spain, and sailed prosperously to the coasts of Ireland or lnis-Fail, where they met many difficulties and various chances before they could land: occasioned by the diabolical arts, sorceries, and enchantments used by the Tuatha-de-Danann, to obstruct their landing; for, by their magic art, they enchanted the island so as to appear to the Milesians or Clan-na-Milé in the form of a Hog, and no way to come at it (whence the island, among the many other names it had before, was called "Muc-Inis or "The Hog Island"); and withal raised so great a storm, that the Milesian fleet was thereby totally dispersed and many of them cast away, wherein five of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius, lost their lives.
That part of the fleet commanded by Heber, Heremon, and Amergin (the three surviving, brothers), and Heber Donn, son of Ir (one of the brothers lost in the storm), overcame all opposition, landed safe, fought and routed the three Tuatha-de Danann Kings at Slieve-Mis, and thence pursued and overtook them at Tailten, where another bloody battle was fought; wherein the three (Tuatha-de-Danann) Kings and their Queens were slain, and their army utterly routed and destroyed: so that they could never after give any opposition to the Clan-na-Milé in their new conquest; who, having thus sufficiently avenged the death of their great uncle Ithe, gained the possession of the country foretold them by Cachear, some ages past, as already mentioned. Heber and Heremon, the chief leading men remaining of the eight brothers, sons of Milesius aforesaid, divided the kingdom between them (allotting a proportion of land to their brother Amergin, who was their Arch-priest, Druid, or magician; and to their nephew Heber Donn, and to the rest of their chief commanders), and became jointly the first of one hundred and eighty-three Kings or sole Monarchs of the Gaelic, Milesian, or Scottish Race, that ruled and governed Ireland, successively, for two thousand eight hundred and eighty-five years from the first year of their reign), Anno Mundi three thousand five hundred, to their submission to the Crown of England in the person of King Henry the Second; who, being also of the Milesian Race by Maude, his mother, was lineally descended from Fergus Mór MacEarca, first King of Scotland, who was descended from the said Heremon - so that the succession may be truly said to continue in the Milesian Blood from before Christ one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years down to the present time.
Heber and Heremon reigned jointly one year only, when, upon a difference between their ambitious wives, they quarrelled and fought a battle at Ardeath or Geshill (Geashill, near Tullamore in the King's County), where Heber was slain by Heremon; and, soon after, Amergin, who claimed an equal share in the government, was, in another battle fought between them, likewise slain by Heremon.
Thus, Heremon became sole Monarch, and made a new division of the land amongst his comrades and friends, viz.: the south part, now called Munster, he gave to his brother Heber's four sons, Er, Orba, Feron, and Fergna; the north part, now Ulster, he gave to Ir's only son Heber Donn; the east part or Coigeadh, Galian, now called Leinster, be gave to Criomthann-sciath-bheil, one of his commanders; and the west part, now called Connaught, Heremon gave to Un-Mac-Oigge, another of his commanders; allotting a part of Munster to Lughaidh (the son of Ithe, the first Milesian discoverer of Ireland), amongst his brother Heber's sons. From these three brothers, Heber, Ir, and Heremon (Amergin dying without issue), are descended all the Milesian Irish of Ireland and Scotland , viz.: from Heber, the eldest brother, the provincial Kings of Munster (of whom thirty-eight were sole Monarchs of Ireland ), and most of the nobility and gentry of Munster , and many noble families in Scotland , are descended.
From Ir, the second brother, all the provincial Kings of Ulster (of whom twenty-six were sole Monarchs of Ireland), and all the ancient nobility and gentry of Ulster, and many noble families in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught, derive their pedigrees; and, in Scotland, the Clan-na-Rory - the descendants of an eminent man, named Ruadhri or Roderick, who was Monarch of Ireland for seventy years (viz., from Before Christ 288 to 218). From Heremon, the youngest of the three brothers, were descended one hundred and fourteen sole Monarchs of Ireland: the provincial Kings and Hermonian nobility and gentry of Leinster, Connaught, Meath, Orgiall, Tirowen, Tirconnell, and Clan-na-boy; the Kings of Dalriada; all the Kings of Scotland from Fergus Mór MacEarea, down to the Stuarts; and the Kings and Queens of England from Henry the Second down to tile present time.
The issue of Ithe is not accounted among the Milesian Irish or Clan-na-Milé, as not being descended from Milesius, but from his uncle Ithe; of whose posterity there were also some Monarchs of Ireland (see Roll of the Irish Monarchs, infra), and many provincial or half provincial Kings of Munster: that country upon its first division being allocated to the sons of Heber and to Lughaidh, son of Ithe, whose posterity continued there accordingly.
This invasion, conquest, or plantation of Ireland by the Milesian or Scottish Nation took place in the Year of the World three thousand Ova hundred, or the next year after Solomon began the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem, and one thousand six hundred and ninety-nine years before the Nativity of our Saviour Jesus Christ; which, according to the Irish computation of Time, occurred Anno Mundi five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine: therein agreeing with the Septuagint, Roman Martyrologies, Eusebius, Orosius, and other ancient authors; which computation the ancient Irish chroniclers exactly observed in their Books of the Reigns of the Monarchs of Ireland, and other Antiquities of that Kingdom ; out of which the Roll of the Monarchs of Ireland, from the beginning of the Milesian Monarchy to their submission to King Henry the Second of England, a Prince of their own Blood, is exactly collected.
[As the Milesian invasion of Ireland took place the next year after the laying of the foundation of the Temple of Jerusalem by Solomon, King of Israel, we may infer that Solomon was contemporary with Milesius of Spain; and that the Pharaoh King of Egypt, who (1 Kings iii. 1,) gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon, was the Pharaoh who conferred on Milesius of Spain the hand of another daughter Scota.]
Milesius of Spain bore three Lions in his shield and standard, for the following reasons; namely, that, in his travels in his younger days into foreign countries, passing through Africa, he, by his cunning and valour, killed in one morning three Lions; and that, in memory of so noble and valiant an exploit, he always after bore three Lions on his shield, which his two surviving sons Heber and Heremon, and his grandson Heber Donn, son of Ir, after their conquest of Ireland, divided amongst them, as well as they did the country: each of them. bearing a Lion in his shield and banner, but of different colours; which the Chiefs of their posterity continue to this day: some with additions and differences; others plain and entire as they had it from their ancestors.
||Heremon: his son. He and his eldest brother Heber were, jointly, the first Milesian Monarchs of Ireland ; they began to reign, A.M. 3,500, or, Before Christ, 1699. After Heber was slain, B.C. 1698, Heremon reigned singly for fourteen years; during which time a certain colony called by the Irish Cruithneaigh, in English "Cruthneans" or Picts, arrived in Ireland and requested Heremon to assign them a part of the country to settle in, which he refused; but, giving them as wives the widows of the Tuatha-de-Danans, slain in battle, he sent them with a strong party of his own forces to conquer the country then called "Alba," but now Scotland; conditionally, that they and their posterity should be tributary to the Monarchs of Ireland. Heremon died, B.C. 1683, and was succeeded by three of his four sons, named Muimne, Luigne, and Laighean, who reigned jointly for three years, and were slain by their Heberian successors.
||Irial Faidh ("faidh": Irish, a prophet): his son; was the 10th Monarch of Ireland ; d. B.C. 1670. This was a very learned King; could foretell things to come; and caused much of the country to be cleared of the ancient forests. He likewise built seven royal palaces, viz., Rath Ciombaoith, Rath Coincheada, Rath Mothuig, Rath Buirioch, Rath Luachat, Rath Croicne, and Rath Boachoill.
He won four remarkable battles over his enemies: - Ard Inmath, at Teabtha, where Stirne, the son of Dubh, son of Fomhar, was slain; the second battle was at Teanmhuighe, against the Fomhoraice, where Eichtghe, their leader, was slain; the third was the battle of Loch Muighe, where Lugrot, the son of Moghfeibhis, was slain; and the fourth was the battle of Cuill Martho, where the four sons of Heber were defeated. Irial died in the second year after this battle, having reigned 10 years, and was buried at Magh Muagh.
||Eithrial: his son; was the 11th Monarch; reigned 20 years; and was slain by Conmaol, the son of Heber Fionn, at the battle of Soirrean, in Leinster, B.C. 1650. This also was a learned King, he wrote with his own hand the History of the Gaels (or Gadelians); in his reign seven large woods were cleared and much advance made in the practice of agriculture.|
||Foll-Aich: his son; was kept out of the Monarchy by Conmaol, the slayer of his father, who usurped his place.
||Tigernmas: his son; was the 13th Monarch, and reigned 77 years; according to Keating, he reigned but 50 years; he fought twenty-seven battles with the followers of the family of Heber Fionn, all which he gained. In his reign gold was mined near the Liffey, and skilfully worked by Inchadhan. This King also made a law that each grade of society should be known by the number of colours in its wearing apparel: - the clothes of a slave should be of one colour; those of a soldier of two; the dress of a commanding officer to be of three colours; a gentleman's dress, who kept a table for the free entertainment of strangers, to be of four colours; five colours to be allowed to the nobility (the chiefs); and the King, Queen, and Royal Family, as well as the Druids, historians, and other learned men to wear six colours.
This King died, B.C. 1543, on the Eve of 1st of November, with two-thirds of the people of Ireland , at Magh Sleaght (or Field of Adoration), in the county of Leitrim , as he was adoring the Sun-God, Crom Cruach (a quo Macroom). Historians say this Monarch was the first who introduced image worship in Ireland .
||Enboath: his son. It was in this prince's lifetime that the Kingdom was divided in two parts by a line drawn from Drogheda to Limerick .
||Smiomghall: his son; in his lifetime the Picts in Scotland were forced to abide by their oath, and pay homage to the Irish Monarch; seven large woods were also cut down.
||Fiacha Labhrainn: his son; was the 18th Monarch; reigned 24 years; slew Eochaidh Faobharglas, of the line of Heber, at the battle of Carman. During his reign all the inhabitants of Scotland were brought in subjection to the Irish Monarchy, and the conquest was secured by his son the 20th Monarch. Fiacha at length (B.C. 1448) fell in the battle of Bealgadain, by the hands of Eochaidh Mumho, the son of Moefeibhis, of the race of Heber Fionn.
||Aongus Olmucach: his son; was the 20th Monarch; in his reign the Picts again refused to pay the tribute imposed on them 250 years before, by Heremon, but this Monarch went with a strong army into Alba and in thirty pitched battles overcame them and forced them to pay the required tribute. Aongus was at length slain by Eana, in the battle of Carman, B.C. 1409.
||Main: his son; was kept out of the Monarchy by Eadna, of the line of Heber Fionn. In his time silver shields were given as rewards for bravery to the Irish militia.
||Rotheachtach: his son; was the 22nd Monarch; slain, B.C. 1357, by Sedne (or Seadhna), of the Line of Ir.
||Dein: his son; was kept out of the Monarchy by his father's slayer, and his son. In his time gentlemen and noblemen first wore gold chains round their necks, as a sign of their birth; and golden helmets were given to brave soldiers,
||Siorna "Saoghalach" (long-oevus): his son; was the 34th Monarch; he obtained the name "Saoghalach" on account of his extraordinary long life; slain, B.C 1030, at Aillin, by Rotheachta, of the line of Heber Fionn, who usurped the Monarchy, thereby excluding from the throne -
||Olioll Aolcheoin: son of Siorna Saoghalach.
||Gialchadh: his son; was the 37th Monarch; killed by Art Imleach, of the Line of Heber Fionn, at Moighe Muadh, B.C. 1013.
||Nuadhas Fionnfail: his son; was the 39th Monarch; slain by Breasrioghacta, his successor, B.C. 961.
||Aedan Glas: his son. In his time the coast was infested with pirates; and there occurred a dreadful plague (Apthach) which swept away most of the inhabitants.
||Simeon Breac: his son; was the 44th Monarch; he inhumanly caused his predecessor to be torn asunder; but, after a reign of six years, he met with a like death, by order of Duach Fionn, son to the murdered King, B.C. 903.
||Muredach Bolgach: his son; was the 46th Monarch; killed by Eadhna Dearg, B.C. 892; he had two sons - Duach Teamhrach, and Fiacha.
||Fiacha Tolgrach: son of Muredach; was the 55th Monarch. His brother Duach had two sons, Eochaidh Framhuine and Conang Beag-eaglach, who were the 51st and 53rd Monarchs of Ireland . Fiacha's life was ended by the sword of Oilioll Fionn, of the Line of Heber Fionn, B.C. 795.
||Duach Ladhrach: his son; was the 59th Monarch; killed by Lughaidh Laighe, son of Oilioll Fionn, B.C. 737.
||Eochaidh Buadhach: his son; was kept out of the Monarchy by his father's slayer. In his time the kingdom was twice visited with a plague.
||Ugaine Mór: his son. This Ugaine (or Hugony) the Great was the 66th Monarch of Ireland . Was called Mór on account of his extensive dominions, - being sovereign of all the Islands of Western Europe . Was married to Cæsair, daughter to the King of France , and by her had issue - twenty-two sons and three daughters. In order to prevent these children encroaching on each other he divided the Kingdom into twenty-five portions, allotting to each his (or her) distinct inheritance.
By means of this division the taxes of the country were collected during the succeeding 300 years. All the sons died without issue except two, viz: - Laeghaire Lorc, ancestor of all the Leinster Heremonians; and Cobthach Caolbhreagh, from whom the Heremonians of Leath Cuinn, viz., Meath, Ulster, and Conacht derive their pedigree. Ugaine was at length, B.C. 593, slain by Badhbhchadh, who failed to secure the fruits of his murder - the Irish Throne, as he was executed by order of Laeghaire Lorc, the murdered Monarch's son, who became the 68th Monarch.
||Colethach Caol-bhreagh: son of Ugaine Mór; was the 69th Monarch; it is said, that, to secure the Throne, he assassinated his brother Laeghaire; after a long reign he was at length slain by Maion, his nephew, B.C. 541.
||Melg Molbhthach: his son; was the 71st Monarch; was slain by Modhchorb, son of Cobhthach Caomh, of the Line of Heber Fionn, B.C. 541.
||Iaran Gleofathach: his son; was the 74th Monarch; was a King of great justice and wisdom very well learned and possessed of many accomplishments; slain by Fear-Chorb, son of Modh-Chorb, B.C. 473.
||Conla Caomh: his son; was the 74th Monarch of Ireland; died a natural death, B.C. 442.
||Olioll Cas-fiachlach: his son; was the 77th Monarch; slain by his successor, Adhamhar Foltchaion, B.C. 417.
||Eochaidh Alt-Leathan: his son; was the 79th Monarch; slain by Feargus Fortamhail, his successor, B.C. 395.
||Aongus (or Æneas) Tuirmeach-Teamrach: his son; was the 81st Monarch; his son, Fiacha Firmara (so called from being exposed in a small boat on the sea) was ancestor of the Kings of Dalriada and Argyle in Scotland . This Aongus was slain at Tara (Teamhrach), B.C. 324.
||Enna Aigneach: the legitimate son of Aongus; was the 84th Monarch; was of a very bountiful disposition, and exceedingly munificent in his donations. This King lost his life by the hands of Criomthan Cosgrach, B.C. 292.
||Assaman Eamhna: his son; was excluded from the Throne by his father's murderer.
||Roighen Ruadh: his son; in his time most of the cattle in Ireland died of murrain.
||Fionnlogh: his son.
||Fionn: his son; m. Benia, daughter of Criomthan; had two sons.
||Eochaidh Feidlioch: his son; was the 93rd Monarch; m Clothfionn, daughter of Eochaidh Uchtleathan, who was a very virtuous lady. By him she had three children at a birth - Breas, Nar, and Lothar (the Fineamhas), who were slain at the battle of Dromchriadh; after their death, a melancholy settled on the Monarch, hence his name "Feidhlioch."
This Monarch caused the division of the Kingdom by Ugaine Mór into twenty-five parts, to cease; and ordered that the ancient Firvolgian division into Provinces should be resumed, viz., Two Munsters, Leinster, Conacht, and Ulster. He also divided the government of these Provinces amongst his favourite courtiers: - Conacht he divided into three parts between Fiodhach, Eochaidh Allat, and Tinne, son of Conragh, son of Ruadhri Mór, No 62 on the "Line of Ir;" Ulster (Uladh) he gave to Feargus, the son of Leighe; Leinster he gave to Ros, the son of Feargus Fairge; and the two Munsters he gave to Tighernach Teadhbheamach and Deagbadah.
After this division of the Kingdom, Eochaidh proceeded to erect a Royal Palace in Conacht; this he built on Tinne's government in a place called Druin-na-n Druagh, now Craughan (from Craughan Crodhearg, Maedhbh's mother, to whom she gave the palace), but previously, Rath Eochaidh. About the same time he bestowed his daughter the Princess Maedhbh on Tinne, whom he constituted King of Conacht; Maedhbh being hereditary Queen of that Province.
After many years reign Tinne was slain by Maceacht (or Monaire) at Tara . After ten years' undivided reign, Queen Maedhbh married Oilioll Mór, son of Ros Ruadh, of Leinster , to whom she bore the seven Maine ; Oilioll Mór was at length slain by Conall Cearnach, who was soon after killed by the people of Conacht. Maedhbh was at length slain by Ferbhuidhe, the son of Conor MacNeasa (Neasa was his mother); but in reality this Conor was the son of Fachtna Fathach, son of Cas, son of Ruadhri Mór, of the Line of Ir. This Monarch, Eochaidh, died at Tara , B.C. 130.
||Bress-Nar-Lothar: his son. In his time the Irish first dug graves beneath the surface to bury their dead; previously they laid the body on the surface and heaped stones over it. He had also been named Fineamhnas.
||Lughaidh Sriabh-n Dearg: his son; was the 98th Monarch; he entered into an alliance with the King of Denmark, whose daughter, Dearborguill, he obtained as his wife; he killed himself by falling on his sword in the eighth year Before CHRIST.
||Crimthann-Niadh-Nar: his son; who was the 100th Monarch of Ireland, and styled "The Heroic." It was in this Monarch's reign that our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST was born. Crimthann's death was occasioned by a fall from his horse, B.C. 9. Was married to Nar-Tath-Chaoch, daughter of Laoch, son of Daire, who lived in the land of the Picts ( Scotland ).
||Feredach Fionn-Feachtnach: his son; was the 102nd Monarch. The epithet "feachtnach" was applied to this Monarch because of his truth and sincerity. In his reign lived Moran, the son of Maom, a celebrated Brehon, or Chief Justice of the Kingdom; it is said that he was the first who wore the wonderful collar called Iodhain Morain; this collar possessed a wonderful property: - if the judge who wore it attempted to pass a false judgment it would immediately contract, so as nearly to stop his breathing; but if he reversed such false sentence the collar would at once enlarge itself, and hang loose around his neck. This collar was also caused to be worn by those who acted as witnesses, so as to test the accuracy of their evidence. This Monarch, Feredach, died a natural death at the regal city at Tara , A.D. 36.
||Fiacha Fionn Ola: his son; was the 104th Monarch; reigned 17 years, and was (A.D. 56) slain by Eiliomh MacConrach, of the Race of Ir, who succeeded him on the throne. This Fiacha was married to Eithne, daughter of the King of Alba; whither, being near her confinement at the death of her husband, she went, and was there delivered of a son, who was named Tuathal.
||Tuathal Teachtmar: that son; was the 106th Monarch of Ireland . When Tuathal came of age, he got together his friends, and, with what aid his grandfather the king of Alba gave him, came into Ireland and fought and overcame his enemies in twenty-five battles in Ulster, twenty-five in Leinster, as many in Connaught, and thirty-five in Munster.
And having thus restored the true royal blood and heirs to their respective provincial kingdoms, he thought fit to take, as he accordingly did with their consent, fron each of the four divisions or provinces Munster, Leinster, Connaught, and Ulster, a considerable tract of ground which was the next adjoining to Uisneach (where Tuathal had a palace): one east, another west, a third south, and a fourth on the north of it; and appointed all four (tracts of ground so taken from the four provinces) under the name of Midhe or "Meath" to belong for ever after to the Monarch's own peculiar demesne for the maintenance of his table; on each of which several portions he built a royal palace for himself and his heirs and successors; for every of which portions the Monarch ordained a certain chiefry or tribute to be yearly paid to the provincial Kings from whose provinces the said portions were taken, which may be seen at large in the Chronicles.
It was this Monarch that imposed the great and insupportable fine (or "Eric") of 6,000 cows or beeves, as many fat muttons, (as many) hogs, 6,000 mantles, 6,000 ounces (or "Uinge") of silver, and 12,000 (others have it 6,000) cauldrons or pots of brass, to be paid every second year by the province of Leinster to the Monarchs of Ireland for ever, for the death of his only two daughters Fithir and Darina. (See Paper "Ancient Leinster Tributes," in the Appendix).
This tribute was punctually taken and exacted, sometimes by fire and sword, during the reigns of forty Monarchs of Ireland upwards of six hundred years, until at last remitted by Finachta Fleadhach, the 153rd Monarch of Ireland, and the 26th Christian Monarch, at the request and earnest solicitation of St. Moling. At the end of thirty years' reign, the Monarch Tuathal was slain by his successor Mal, A.D. 106. This Monarch erected Royal Palace at Tailtean; around the grave of Queen Tailte he caused the Fairs to be resumed on La Lughnasa (Lewy's Day), to which were brought all of the youth of both sexes of a suitable age to be married, at which Fair the marriage articles were agreed upon, and the ceremony performed. Tuathal married Baine, the daughter of Sgaile Balbh, King of England .
||Fedhlimidh (Felim) Rachtmar: his son; was so called as being a maker of excellent wholesome laws, among which he established with all firmness that of "Retaliation;" kept to it inviolably; and by that means preserved the people in peace, quiet, plenty, and security during his time. This Felim was the 108th Monarch; reigned nine years; and, after all his pomp and greatness, died of thirst, A.D. 119. He married Ughna, daughter of the King of Denmark .
||Conn Ceadcathach (or Conn of the Hundred Battles); his son; This Conn was so called from hundreds of battles by him fought and won: viz., sixty battles against Cahir Mór, King of Leinster and the 109th Monarch of Ireland, whom he slew and succeeded in the Monarchy; one hundred battles against the Ulsterians; and one hundred more in Munster against Owen Mór (or Mogha Nua-Dhad), their King, who, notwithstanding, forced the said Conn to an equal division of the Kingdom with him.
He had two brothers - 1. Eochaidh Fionn-Fohart, 2. Fiacha Suidhe, who, to make way for themselves, murdered two of their brother's sons named Conla Ruadh and Crionna; but they were by the third son Art Eanfhear banished, first into Leinster, and then into Munster, where they lived near Cashel. They were seated at Deici Teamhrach (now the barony of Desee in Meath), whence they were expelled by the Monarch Cormac Ulfhada, son of Art; and, after various wanderings, they went to Munster where Oilioll Olum, who was married to Sadhbh, daughter of Conn of the Hundred Battles, gave them a large district of the present county of Waterford, a part of which is still called Na-Deiseacha, or the baronies of Desies.
They were also given the country comprised in the present baronies of Clonmel, Upper-Third, and Middle-Third, in the co. Tipperary , which they held till the Anglo-Norman Invasion. From Eochaidh Fionn-Fohart decended O'Nowlan or Nolan of Fowerty (or Foharta), in Lease (or Leix), and Saint Bridget; and from Fiacha Suidhe are O'Dolan, O'Brick of Dunbrick, and O'Faelan of Dun Faelan, near Cashel. Conn of the Hundred Battles had also three daughters: 1. Sadhbh, who m. first, MacNiadh, after whose death she m. Oilioll Olum, King of Munster . (See No. 84 on the "Line of Heber"); 2. Maoin; and 3. Sarah (or Sarad), m. to Conan MacMogha Laine. - (See No. 81. infra).
Conn reigned 35 years; but was at length barbarously slain by Tiobraidhe Tireach, son of Mal, son of Rochruidhe, King of Ulster . This murder was committed in Tara , A.D. 157, when Conn chanced to be alone and unattended by his guards; the assassins were fifty ruffians, disguised as women, whom the King of Ulster employed for the purpose.
||Art Eanfhear ("art:" Irish, a bear, a stone; noble, great, generous; hardness, cruelty. "Ean:" Irish, one; "fhear," "ar," the man; Gr. "Ar," The Man, or God of War): son of Conn of the Hundred Fights; a quo O'h-Airt, anglicised O'Hart. This Art, who was the 112th Monarch of Ireland, had three sisters - one of whom Sarad was the wife of Conaire Mac Mogha Laine, the 111th Monarch, by whom she had three sons called the "Three Cairbres," viz. - 1. Cairbre (alias Eochaidh) Riada - a quo "Dalriada," in Ireland , and in Scotland ; 2. Cairbre Bascaon; 3. Cairbre Musc, who was the ancestor of O'Falvey, lords of Corcaguiney, etc. Sabina (or Sadhbh), another sister, was the wife of MacNiadh [nia], half King of Munster (of the Sept of Lughaidh, son of Ithe), by whom she had a son named Maccon; and by her second husband Olioll Olum she had nine sons, seven whereof were slain by their half brother Maccon, in the famous battle of Magh Mucroimhe [muccrove], in the county of Galway, where also the Monarch Art himself fell, siding with his brother-in-law Olioll Olum against the said Maccon, after a reign of thirty years, A.D. 195. This Art was married to Maedhbh, Leathdearg, the daughter of Conann Cualann; from this Queen, Rath Maedhbhe, near Tara , obtained its name.
||Cormac Ulfhada: son of Art Eanfhear; m. Eithne, daughter of Dunlang, King of Leinster ; had three elder brothers - 1. Artghen, 2. Boindia, 3. Bonnrigh. He had also six sons - 1. Cairbre Lifeachar, 2. Muireadach, 3. Moghruith, 4. Ceallach, 5. Daire, 6. Aongus Fionn: Nos. 4 and 5 left no issue. King Cormac Mac Art was the 115th Monarch of Ireland ; and was called "Ulfhada," because of his long beard. He was the wisest, most learned, and best of any of the Milesian race before him, that ruled the Kingdom.
He ordained several good laws; wrote several learned treatises, among which his treatise on "Kingly Government," directed to his son Carbry Liffechar, is extant and extraordinary. He was very magnificent in his housekeeping and attendants, having always one thousand one hundred and fifty persons in his daily retinue constantly attending at his Great Hall at Tara; which was three hundred feet long, thirty cubits high, and fifty cubits broad, with fourteen doors to it.
His daily service of plate, flagons, drinking cups of gold, silver., and precious stone, at his table, ordinarily consisted of one hundred and fifty pieces, besides dishes, etc., which were all pure silver or gold. He ordained that ten choice persons should constantly attend him and his successors - Monarchs of Ireland , and never to be absent from him, viz. - 1. A nobleman to be his companion; 2. A judge to deliver and explain the laws of the country in the King's presence upon all occasions; 3. An antiquary or historiographer to declare and preserve the genealogies, acts, and occurrences of the nobility and gentry from time to time as occasion required; 4. A Druid or Magician to offer sacrifice, and presage good or bad omens, as his learning, skill, or knowledge would enable him; 5. A poet to praise or dispraise every one according to his good or bad actions; 6. A physician to administer physic to the king and queen, and to the rest of the (royal) family; 7. A musician to compose music, and sing pleasant sonnets in the King's presence when there-unto disposed; and 8, 9, and 10, three Stewards to govern the King's House in all things appertaining thereunto.
This custom was observed by all the succeeding Monarchs down to Brian Boromha [Boru], the 175th Monarch of Ireland , and the 60th down from Cormac, without any alteration only that since they received the Christian Faith they changed the Druid or Magician for a Prelate of the Church. What is besides delivered from antiquity of this great Monarch is, that (which among the truly wise is more valuable than any worldly magnificence or secular glory whatsoever) he was to all mankind very just, and so upright in his actions, judgments, and laws, that God revealed unto him the light of His Faith seven years before his death; and from thenceforward he refused his Druids to worship their idol-gods, and openly professed he would no more worship any but the true God of the Universe, the Immortal and Invisible King of Ages.
Whereupon the Druids sought his destruction, which they soon after effected (God permitting it) by their adjurations and ministry of damned spirits choking him as he sat at dinner eating of salmon, some say by a bone of the fish sticking in his throat, A.D. 266, after he had reigned forty years. Of the six sons of Cormac Mac Art, no issue is recorded from any [of them], but from Cairbre-Lifeachar; he had also ten daughters, but there is no account of any of them only two - namely, Grace (or Grania), and Ailbh [alve], who were both successively the wives of the great champion and general of the Irish Militia, Fionn, the son of Cubhall [Coole]. The mother of Cormac MacArt was Eachtach, the daughter of Ulcheatagh. Cormac was married to Eithne Ollamhdha, daughter of Dunlang, son of Eana Niadh; she was fostered by Buiciodh Brughach, in Leinster .
||Cairbre-Lifeachar, the 117th Monarch of Ireland: son of King Cormac Mac Art; was so called from his having been nursed by the side of the Liffey, the river on which Dublin is built. His mother was Eithne, daughter of Dunlong, King of Leinster.
He had three sons - 1. Eochaidh Dubhlen; 2. Eocho; and 3. Fiacha Srabhteine, who was the 120th Monarch of Ireland, and the ancestor of O'Neill, Princes of Tyrone. Fiacha Srabhteine was so called, from his having been fostered at Dunsrabhteine, in Connaught; of which province he was King, before his elevation to the Monarchy.
After seventeen years' reign, the Monarch Cairbre Lifeachar was slain at the battle of Gabhra [Gaura], A.D. 284, by Simeon, the son of Ceirb, who came from the south of Leinster to this battle, fought by the Militia of Ireland, who were called the Fiana Erionn (or Fenians), and arising from a quarrel which happened between the; in which the Monarch, taking part with one side against the other, lost his life.
||Fiacha Srabhteine, King of Conacht, and the 120th Monarch of Ireland: son of Cairbre-Liffechar; married Aoife, daughter of the King of Gall Gaodhal. This Fiacha, after 37 years' reign, was, in the battleof Dubhcomar, A.D. 322, slain by his nephews, the Three Collas, to make room for Colla Uais, who seized on, and kept, the Monarchy for four years. From those three Collas the "Clan Colla" were so called.
||Muireadach Tireach: son of Fiacha Srabhteine; m. Muirion, daughter of Fiachadh, King of Ulster; and having, in A.D. 326, fought and defeated Colla Uais, and banished him and his two brothers into Scotland, regained his father's Throne, which he kept as the 122nd Monarch for 30 years.
||Eochaidh Muigh-Meadhoin [Moyvone]: his son; was the 124th Monarch; and in the 8th year of his reign died a natural death at Tara, A.D. 365; leaving issue four sons, viz., by his first wife Mong Fionn: - I. Brian; II. Fiachra; III. Olioll; IV. Fergus. And, by his second wife, Carthan Cais Dubh (or Carinna), daughter of the Celtic King of Britain , - V. Niall Mór, commonly called "Niall of the Nine Hostages."
Mong Fionn was daughter of Fiodhach, and sister of Crimthann, King of Munster, of the Heberian Sept, and successor of Eochaidh in the Monarchy. This Crimthann was poisoned by his sister Mong-Fionn, in hopes that Brian, her eldest son by Eochaidh, would succeed in the Monarchy.
To avoid suspicion she herself drank of the same poisoned cup which she presented to her brother; but, notwithstanding that she lost her life by so doing, yet her expectations were not realised, for the said Brian and her other three sons by the said Eochaidh were laid aside (whether out of horror of the mother's inhumanity in poisoning her brother, or otherwise, is not known), and the youngest son of Eochaidh, by Carthan Cais Dubh, was preferred to the Monarchy. I. Brian, from him were descended the Kings, nobility and gentry of Conacht - Tirloch Mór O'Connor, the 121st, and Roderic O'Connor, the 183rd Monarch of Ireland . II. Fiachra's descendants gave their name to Tir-Fiachra ("Tireragh"), co. Sligo , and possessed also parts of co. Mayo. III. Olioll's descendants settled in Sligo - in Tir Oliolla (or Tirerill). This Fiachra had five sons: - 1. Earc Cuilbhuide; 2. Breasal; 3. Conaire; 4. Feredach (or Dathi); and 5. Amhalgaidh.
||Niall Mór: son of Eochaidh Muigh-Meadhoin; a quo the "Uí Néill" of Ulster , Meath, and Conacht. In Niall's rise to Kingship he had to overcome his wicked stepmother, Mongfhinn, who abandoned him as a baby, naked on a hill. He is raised by a wandering bard, Torna Eices.
Sithchenn the Smith fortells he will be High King. Then he comes across an old hag who demands that he and his companions give her a kiss. Only Niall has the courage to do so, and she turns into a beautiful woman named Flaithius ( Royalty), the personification of sovranty. She fortells that he will be the greatest of Ireland 's High Kings.
Niall is a very interesting historical figure, curiously enough part of his story starts in England in 1919. In that year archeologists discovered a hoard of Roman silver plate, dating from Valens (365-378) to the early reign of Honorous (395-423 AD.). This find was compared to 1,506 Roman silver coins from a 1854 excavation in County Londonderry which dated from Constantius II to Honorius.
It created great debate among English historians as to how these coins were brought to England from the continent and buried. These and other finds had coins from earlier times up to Honorus, but none beyond. Including the North Mendip hoard; 2,042 coins from Constans to Honorous, there were approximately 13 finds altogether. Who brought these coins to England and Northern Ireland ? After the Roman Emperor Theodosius I died ( January 17, 385 ) it gave the green light to the Franks, Saxons, Picts, Scots and Irish to sack the European Continent, and they did.
Honorius succeeded his father Theodosius and sent The Roman Army under the Vandal Stilcho north to take care of the raiders. Stilcho was successful in putting down the raiders on the continent, but he could not stop the raiders from Ireland . The Roman historian Claudian makes it clear that" the most formidable onslaught had come from Ireland under one powerful leader acting in co-operation with the Picts and Saxons."
Here is where we get back to Niall, the Irish Annals of the Four Masters states that "Niall began to reign in 379. He was not only the paramount king of Ireland, but one of the most powerful to ever hold that office, and was therefore one of the few Irish kings able to mobilize great forces for foreign expeditions." Niall went to Scotland in order to strengthen his power and gained alliances with the Scots and Picts, he then marched to Laegria and sent a fleet to Armorica ( France ) in order to plunder. He established the Dal Riada which was the name for this conglomeration of Irish, Scots and Picts.
These raids led to amazing results. Keating in his History of Ireland states that "St. Patrick was brought as a captive to Ireland in the ninth year in the reign of Niall," it was this time when Niall was on his expedition to Scotland and France . An Irish fleet went to the place where Patrick dwelt, then aged 16 years, and as was the custom of the Irish, they brought a large number of hostages with them along with Patrick's two sisters Lupida and Daererca.
Niall had pillaged Wales, Scotland, England and France . Keating also states that "Niall having taken many captives returned to Ireland and proceeded to assemble additional forces and sent word to the chief of the Dal Riada, requesting him to follow with all his host to France ." Niall set out for the new adventure with Gabhran, the chief of the Del Raida, to plunder France at the river Loire .
With this group was Eochaida who had been banished as the King of Leinster and had plans to be the High King of Ireland . While crossing The English Channel Niall was killed by an arrow from Eochaida. Niall had been High King of Ireland for twenty-seven years. Niall played a great part in breaking down Roman power in Britain and France between the years of 379 and 406. Keating states that " Wales ceased to be controlled by the central government from 380-400 due to Niall". Prof. Sir William Ridgeway states that the coins found in the excavations mentioned earlier were brought back by Niall's companions after his death and buried. And the interest created by the coins helped to make Niall a historical reality.
A lot of what is now known about Niall was found while digging around to answer the questions about the coins. Niall of the Nine Hostages died a pagan, but after the dawn of Christianity in Ireland, his descendants were foremost in promoting and endowing the Christian Church in Ireland, and nearly 300 of them were canonized as Saints.
He was twice married: - his first Queen was Inne, the daughter of Luighdheach, who was the relict of Fiachadh; his second Queen was Roigneach, by whom he had Nos. I., II., III., IV., V., VI., and VII., as given below. This Niall Mór succeeded his Uncle Crimthann; and was the 126th Monarch of Ireland . He was a stout, wise, and warlike prince, and fortunate in all his conquests and achievements, and therefore called "Great."
He was also called Niall Naoi-Ghiallach or "Niall of the Nine Hostages," from the royal hostages taken from nine several countries by him subdued and made tributary: viz., - 1. Munster , 2. Leinster , 3. Connacht , 4. Ulster , 5. Britain , 6. the Picts, 7. the Dalriads, 8. the Saxons, and 9. the Morini - a people of France, towards Calais and Piccardy; whence he marched with his victorious army of Irish, Scots, Picts, and Britons, further into France, in order to aid the Celtic natives in expelling the Roman Eagles, and thus to conquer that portion of the Roman Empire; and, encamping on the river Leor (now called Lianne), was, as he sat by the river side, treacherously assassinated by Eocha, son of Enna Cinsalach, king of Leinster, in revenge of a former "wrong" by him received from the said Niall.
The spot on the Leor (not " Loire ") where this Monarch was murdered is still called the "Ford of Niall," near Boulogne-sur-mer . It was in the ninth year of his reign that St. Patrick was first brought into Ireland, at the age of 16 years, among two hundred children brought by the Irish Army out of Little Brittany (called also Armorica), in France. Niall Mór was the first that gave the name of Scotia Minor to " Scotland ," and ordained it to be ever after so called; until then it went by the name of "Alba."
Niall had twelve sons: - I. Eoghan (who gave his name to Tir Eoghain or Tyrone); II. Laeghaire (or Leary), the 128th Monarch, in the 4th year of whose reign St. Patrick, the second time, came into Ireland to plant the Christian Faith, A.D. 432; III. Conall Crimthann, ancestor of O'Melaghlin, Kings of Meath; IV. Conall Gulban, ancestor of O'Donnell (princes, lords, and earls of the territory of Tirconnell - Donegal), and of O'Boyle, O'Dogherty, O'Gallagher, etc.; V. Fiacha, from whom the territory from Birr to the Hill of Uisneach in Media Hiberniae (or Meath) is called "Cineal Fiacha," and from him MacGeoghagan, lords of that territory, O'Molloy, O'Donechar, Donaher (or Dooner), etc., derive their pedigree; VI. Main, whose patrimony was all the tract of land from Lochree to Loch Annin, near Mullingar, and from whom are descended Fox (lords of the Muintir Tagan territory), MacGawley, O'Dugan, O'Mulchonry (the princes antiquaries of Ireland), O'Henergy, etc.; VII. Cairbre, ancestor of OFlanagan, of Tua Ratha, "Muintir Cathalan" (or Cahill) etc.; VIII. Fergus (a quo "Cineal Fergusa" or Ferguson ), ancestor of O'Hagan, etc.; IX. Enna; X. Aongus or Æneas; XI. Ualdhearg; and XII. Fergus Altleathan. Of these last four sons we find no issue.
||Fiach: son of Niall of the Nine Hostages.
||Tuathal: his son; whose brother Eochaidh was ancestor of Molloy, and other brother Uigin, the ancestor of Higgins.
||Amhailgadh [Awly]: son of Tuathal.
||Coscrach: his son.
||Eochagán ("each:" Irish, a horse; Lat. "eq - uus;" Gr. "ikk - os"), meaning a little horse:" his son; a quo MacEochagáin (Geoghegan).
||Rory: his son.
||Awly (2): his son.
||Giollacolum: his son.
||Creamthann: his son.
||Eochaidh: his son.
||Florence : his son.
||Awly (3): his son.
||Donoch: his son.
||Congal: his son.
||Anluan: his son.
||Coscrach (2): his son; a quo Cnoc Ui Coscraigh.
||Malachi: his son.
||Murtach: his son.
||Congal (2): his son.
||Cucogar: his son.
||Cucalma ("calma:" Irish, brave; Heb. "chalam," he prevailed): his son; a quo MacCalma, anglicised MacCalmont, and Culm.
||Murtach (2): his son.
||Congal (3): his son.
||Congal (4): his son.
||Donoch (2): his son.
||Congal (5): his son.
||Murtach Mór: his son.
||Donoch (3): his son.
||Dermod: his son.
||Aodh Buidhe (Hugh Boy): his son.
||Conla: his son; had one brother.
||Leineach Cairach: his son.
||Conchobhar [connor]: his son.
||Conla (2): his son.
||Ros: his son.
||Neal: his son; had three brothers.
||Conall: his son; had an elder brother named Ros, whose only son named Richard died without issue.
||Conla (2): son of Conall.
||Charles: his son; had two brothers.
||Connor MacGeoghagan of Moycashel: his son; living in 1690.|