Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, jgahs vol. VII. No. I., Notes on the Persons Named in the Obituary Book of the Franciscan Abbey at Galway by Martin J. Blake, 1-28

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Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society, JGAHS Vol. VII. No. I., Notes on the Persons Named in the Obituary Book of the Franciscan Abbey at Galway by Martin J. Blake, 1-28.

Notes on the Persons named in the Obituary Book of the Franciscan Abbey at Galway.

[CONTINUED FROM Vol. VI., No. iv. at p. 235.]

[See Vol. VI., No. iv., p. 230].
This was Sir William de Burgb, knight, who was styled, in Irish Liath, in Latin Canus, in English The Grey. He was son of William de Burgh, sometimes styled "of Athanchip," because he was slain at that place (in A.D. 1270), who was a younger brother of Walter de Burgh, 1st (De Burgh) Earl of Ulster, which Walter was the father of Richard de Burgh, 2nd (De Burgh) Earl of Ulster, commonly called the Red Earl. Sir Williarn Liath de Burgh was therefore first cousin to the Red Earl.

From A.D. 1276 to his death in A.D. 1324, Sir William Liath de Burgb held a position among the Anglo-Norman nobles of Connaught inferior only to that of his cousin the Red Earl. No account is given in tbe Dictionary of National Biography of Sir William Liath de Burgh; but as he was the founder of tbe Franciscan Abbey at Galway with the obituary of which I am dealing in these Notes, and furthermore was a very great man
Illustration of Sir William De Burgh at

[From a coloured drawing in the Historia et Genealogia Familia de Burgo, an Irish MS. No. 1440 in the Library of

T. C. D.]


who took an important part in the history of Connaught for nearly 50 years (A.D. 1277-A.D. 1324), I think it desirable to give here, in some detail, all that I have been able to ascertain about him.

As early as A.D. 1277, Sir William Liath de Burgh, and his cousin the Red Earl began to take part in the wars in Thomond (County Clare), carried on between rival chieftains of the O'Briens for the sovereignty of Thomond. The De Burghs in this warfare were mainly actuated by antagonism towards the Anglo-Norman families of De Clare and the Geraldines, lest these nobles should obtain a controlling power in Thomond. Hence, the De Burghs always aided whichever O'Brien chieftain the De Clares and the Geraldines were for the time being opposing in favour of a rival


Early in A.D. 1276 King Edward I. granted to Thomas de Clare the whole territory of Thomond.* This Thomas de Clare was a brother of Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester (who had died in A.D. 1262). In A.D. 1277 Thomas de Clare, in order to get a secure foot-hold in Thomond, took side with Brian ruadh O'Brien then King of Thomond, against his rival and nephew, Turlogh O'Brien. Brian ruadh was defeated by Turlogh O'Brien at the battle of Magh-Gresain, whereupon Thomas de Clare thought it best to get rid of Brian ruadh, whom he had sworn to assist, and caused him to be barbarously murdered by having him tied to two wild horses and torn asunder (A D. 1277). This act caused all the O'Briens to combine against De Clare, who was driven out of Thomond, and was ultimately slain by Turlogh O'Brien in A.D. 1287. In this warfare Turlogh O'Brien was assisted by the De Burghs.

In December A.D. 1294, John Fitz Thomas (Fitzgerald), then Baron of Offaly, and later on first Earl of Kildare-the head of the Geraldines-captured the Red Earl and Sir William Liath de Burgh, and imprisoned them both for three months in the castle of Lea, near Portarlington. They were released in March 1295 by order of King Edward I., and John Fitz Thomas was, in 1299, obliged to surrender all his lands in Connaught to the Red Earl, In exchange for lands in Leinster and Munster. t

In A.D. 1296 Sir William Liath de Burgh founded the FranĀ­-

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