The Chiefs of Leix from 1016 to 1600 A.D


The listing of the Chiefs of Leix is as follows:  (Note:mac  means son of..)

Year:       Chief:
1016       Gahan O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1017       Cearnach O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1026       Aimergin mac Kenny mac Cearnach O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1041       Faelan mac Aimergin O’More, lord of Leix, blinded; died in 1069.
1042       Cucogry O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1063       Lisagh mac Faelan O’More, lord of Leix, slain
1069       Macraith O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1091       Kenny O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1097       Aimergin O’More, lord of Leix died.
1098       The son of Gahan O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1149       Lisagh mac Aimergin mac Faelan O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1153       Neill O’More, lord of Leix, blinded.
1158       Macraith O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1183       Cucogry mac Lisagh O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1196       Donnell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
[It is a remarkable fact the “The Irish Annals” make no mention of an
O’More, Chief of his name, during the thirteenth century]

1319       Shane mac Donough O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1342       Lisagh O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1348       Connell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1354       Rory mac Connell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1368       Lisagh mac David O’More, (?) lord of Leix, died.
1370       Murtough O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1394       Donnell O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1398       Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1404       Gillpatrick O’More, lord of Leix, living.
1464       Kedagh O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1467       Donnell O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1477       The son of Owny O’More, (?) lord of Leix, slain.
1493       Connell mac David O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1493       Neill mac Donnell O’More inaugurated lord of Leix.
1502       Melaghlin mac Owny mac Gillpatrick O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1523       Kedagh mac Lisagh O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1537       Connell mac Melaghlin mac Owny O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1538       Peirce mac Melaghlin mac Owny O’More, lord of Leix, (?) died.
1542       Kedagh roe mac Connell mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1545       Rory coach mac Connel mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1548       Gillpatrick mac Connell mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, died.
1557       Connell og mac Connell mac Melaghlin O’More, lord of Leix, hanged.
1578       Rory og mac Rory coach mac Connell O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1584       (circa).James mac Kedagh O’More, alias Meaghe, lord of Leix, died.
1600       Owny mac Rory og mac Rory coach O’More, lord of Leix, slain.
1600       Owny mac Shane O’More, appointed lord of Leix.”

Why the Grehans are quite posh.

Patrick Grehan III, Celia O’Bryen’s brother had inherited land in the parishes of Killinvoy and St Johns, barony of Athlone, county Roscommon via their grandmother Catherine Hodson. Their grandmother Judith Grehan (nee Moore) was the great, great, great, great, great grand-daughter of Rory O’More, and Margaret Butler, and therefore related to Anne Boleyn

Rory O’More is sometimes referred to as King of Leix (modern day Co.Laois), but is essentially a clan chieftain. But in Irish terms he is Gaelic nobility, Margaret Butler is the daughter of Piers Butler, the 8th Earl of Ormond. The Butlers are Old English aristocracy, i.e they were part of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland in the C12th.

Patrick’s entry in Burke’s Landed Gentry in 1871 reads as follows:

Patrick Grehan, esq., now of Mount Plunkett, is the son of the late Patrick Grehan, esq. of Dublin ( by Catherine his 1st wife, dau. of George Meecham, esq., and co-heiress of her mother Catherine, dau. and eventual co-heiress of William Hodson, esq. of St John’s, co. Roscommon) and grandson of Patrick Grehan, esq. of Dublin who m. Judith, dau. and eventually co-heiress of Edward Moore, esq. of Mount Browne, co. Mayo (lineally descended from Lewis, the 4th son of  Roger O’More, of Leix, by Margaret, dau. and heiress of Thomas, 3rd son of Pierce, 8th Earl of Ormonde). Through this marriage with the co-heiress of Moore, Mr Grehan of Mount Plunkett quarters the arms of O’More of Leix, and Butler, Ormonde. 

Arms–Or, a trefoil, slipped, vert, on a chief, sa., three escallops, of the first; quartering O’More of Leix, Butler of Ormonde, and Hodson of St. John’s–the family of Hodson of St. John’s, is one of considerable antiquity, and at the decease, in 1829, of the last male heir, Oliver Hodson, Esq., a moiety of the St. John’s estates devolved on the present Patrick Grehan [III], Esq.

Crests–A demi-lion, gu. gorged, with three escallops

Motto–Ne oubliex

Seat–Mount Plunkett, Licarrow, Roscommon

Their is a record of the confirmation of arms to Patrick Grehan III, in 1863

  • National Library of Ireland: Arms of Grehan of Mount Plunkett, Co Roscommon, 1863. GO MS 179: 101
  • National Library of Ireland:  Copy of confirmation of arms to Patrick Grehan (III), Mount Plunkett & St Johns, Co Roscommon, grandson of Patrick Grehan (Senior)of Dublin, merchant, 5 June 1863. GO MS 109: 13-14

To help the trail a bit:

Patrick Grehan Senior married Judith Moore, daughter of Edward  Moore. Edward Moore was a partner with Thady Grehan, Patrick’s father. In some sources, Thady is referred to as Edward’s drayman, they were brewers together. In which case, it is a pretty spectacular case of social mobility, pretty much, the van driver’s lad marrying the boss’s daughter.

Edward Moore’s father, James died in 1741. James Moore’s great grand father was Walter More.

Walter More’s father was Lewis (Lysagh) O’More,  one of four sons of  Rory O’More (Ruairi Caoch O’Mordha) who married Margaret Butler. Margaret was the daughter of Thomas Butler and granddaughter of Piers Butler, eighth earl of Ormond.

There is more detail in possibly one of the most complicated entries in Burke’s LG, for the More – O’Farrells of Balyna



Rory Ceach O’More and Rory Oge O’More 1538 – 1578



1538:  Rory Oge O’More is born.

1546, July: Patrick O’More invades Kildare.

1547: Patrick O’More declared a traitor. Kedach O’More, Chief of Leix, died in prison in London. Rory Ceach becomes the new Chief of Leix.

1550: Rory Ceach in active rebellion; continues until 1553.

1555: Patrick O’More kills his brother, Rory Ceach, Rory Oge’s father. Connell O’More, Rory Oge’s uncle becomes Chief.

1556: Dublin Parliament summoned to seize Leix and Offaly lands as “Crown Lands”.

1557: Conell O’More, Chief of Leix, is captured and put to death.

1558: Rory Oge O’More becomes Lord of Leix at age 20. Patrick O’More dies while in prison in London.

1565, February 17th: Rory Oge O’More receives a pardoned by Lord Deputy.

1571: In company with O’Connor, again wages war on English.

1572:  Aides the escape of Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Desmond, from English custody in the Pale.

1572: Prosecuted by Thomas Butler in absentia for treason against the Crown.

1573, March: Piers Butler FitzEdmond, kills Tirrelaghe More, a leader of Kerne.

1573, April: Lord Deputy requests of Lord Burlghy for aid in recovery of Leix from the O’More. Additional request for ability to exterminate the entire clan.

1574: Lord Deputy takes Lysagh MacKedagh, Neal McLisagh and Melaghlin O’More Captive.

1574, August: Callough O’More granded Manor of Ballina, County Kildare.

1574 ,November:  Surprised by English troops and taken captive to Dublin.

Released shortly by Sir William Fitzwilliam, the new Lord Deputy.

1575, March 15th: The Crown gives Leix to Sir Francis Cosby to hold.

1576, June: Again in open rebellion against Enlgish in company with Clanrickard’s sons.

1577, January 1: Massacre of Mullaghmast, near Athy in Kildare.

1577, March 3rd: Burning the town of Naas to the ground.  No life lost.

1577, May: Piers Butler FitzEdmond, at Castle of Galyne in Leix, kills Edmond O’Dewie, Edmond Riogh O’Kelly and Edmond Loaghlor, all confederates of Rory Oge’s.

1577, September: Rory takes Sir Henry Harrington and Alexander Cosby hostage.  Harrington is the nephew to Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy.  Cosby is Francis Cosby’s son.  House attacked by English troops under Robert Harpole.  26 of Rory’s men killed, plus Rory Oge’s wife, and his marshall Conor O’Connor and his wife.  Harrington gravely injured by survives.

Rory Oge escapes alone with Shane MacRory reagh O’More.

1577, November: It is reported by the Lord Deputy that through his actions in the field, Rory Oge O’More cost the English Crown the sum of 200,000 pounds for that year.

1578, June 30th: Rory surprised and killed by Brian Oge MacGillapatrick of Ossory.

1578, September 30th: Shane macRory O’More submits, along with Teig McGilpatrick O’Conor, at Castledermot in Kilkenny.

from the Clan moore website

More-O’Ferral lineage BLG 1871

O’Ferral of Balyna

More-O’Ferrall The Right Hon. Richard, of Balyna, co. Kildare, ,P.C,J.P. and D.L b. 1797; m.28 sept 1839, Hon Matilda Southwell, 3rd dau. Of Anthony, 3rd Viscount Southwell, K.P, and has,

  1. Ambrose- Richard
  2. Maria-Anne m. 1860 to Walter-George Nugent esq, eldest son of Sir Percy Nugent Bart of Domore.

Mr More-O’Farrell formerly M.P successively for cos. Kildare and Longford was appointed a lord of the treasury 1835, secretary to the Admiralty 1839, and secretary to the treasury 1841. From 1847 to 1851 he held the office of Governor of Malta.


Anthony O’More chief of his name, Lord of Leix, had (with two daus, the elder Dorothy, wife of Thomas Fitzgerald, 7th Earl of Kildare, and the younger, m. to Brian Fitzpatrick of Castlebar) a son.

Melaghlan O’More who d. 1481 leaving (by Catherine his wife dau. of Conn O’Neill of Tyrone) a son

Connell O’More who m. a dau of Charles O’Dempsey, and left (at his decease) 1518, three sons, and one dau Ellen,( wife of Sir Oliver Grace, Baron of Courtstown.)

The 2nd son Roger O’More, Caoch, Lord of Leix was slain by his brother Philip 1556. He m.Margaret, dau. and heir of Thomas Butler, 3rd son of Pierce, 8th Earl of Ormonde, and had issue.

  1. Rory, slain 1578, he had a dau. Honora, wife of John Morres, Esq, co. Tipperary.
  2. Charles of Balyna,

Kedagh, page to Queen Elizabeth, who gave him Balyna as a new year’s gift. He m. the dau. of Sir Maurice Fitzgerald, Knt of Luagh, co. Kildare

  1. Lewis, whose son Walter, m. Alicia Elliott, and had a son,
  1. Patrick, father of (by Joan, his wife, dau. of O’Hely, of co. limerick)
  1. Edmund Moore esq., who (m. Elizabeth, dau.of Maurice Graham esq)., and had (with seven daus.) one son,
  1. James Moore, esq. of Dublin who d. 2 june 1741, leaving (by Mary his wife, dau. of James Cullen esq, and widow of col. Keating) three sons
  1. Roger, who d.s.p.; (decessit sine prole)
  2. Edward, of whom presently;
  3. James, col of a regt in the French service, and afterwards Lieut-Col in the British army, who d. at Fontainbleau, 1813.

The 2nd son, Edward Moore esq of Mount Browne, co. Dublin, m. Jane Reynolds , of Dublin, and dying about the year 1787, left with three daus.,

  1. Jane, wife of Owen O’Conor, esq of Belanagare;
  2. Maria, wife of Valentine O’Connor, esq of Dublin; and
  3. Judith, wife of Patrick Grehan, esq of Dublin

an only son, James Moore esq of Mount Browne, who m. Anne, dau of Denis Byrne esq of co Wicklow, and dying about 1785, left issue

  1. Edward Moore esq of Seamore Place , Mayfair;
  2. Walter Moore esq of Liverpool d. unm.; and
  3. Anne widow of William Jermingham esq, brother of Lord Stafford.

The 2nd son

Charles O’More of Balyna d 1601, leaving (by Margaret Scurloch his wife) two sons and a dau., viz

  1. Roger, col confederated Catholics 1646, m Jane, dau. of  Sir Patrick Barnewall, Knt of Turvey, and had issue
  1. Charles, col in the army, killed at Aughrim 12 july 1691, s.p.
  2. Anne, wife of Patrick Sarsfield, of Lucan, and mother of Patrick, Earl of Lucan.
  3. Eleanor, wife of Daniel, son of Sir Hugh Morogh Kavanagh, Knt.
  4. Mary, wife of Tirlogh O’Neill.
  5. Elizabeth, wife of Christopher Beeling
  1. Lewis, of whose line we treat.
  2. Margaret, m. to Thomas Plunkett, esq of Clonebreney.

The 2nd son,

Col Lewis More, one of the confederated catholics in 1646, m. mary, dau of Philip-Mac Hugh O’Reilly, and was father of Anthony More esq of Balyna who m Anne, dau of Alexander Hope esq of Molingar, and had (with a dau Mary, wife of Capt conor O’Reilly) two sons,

  1. Lewis his heir,
  2. Roger, whose will (dated 1 march 1746) was proved 9 jan 1748. He m. ellinor, dau of william wright esq, and has issue,
  1. Anthony o’more, gen in the Spanish service;
  2. May wife of Robert daly esq of Caulfield; and
  3. Mary, wife of Packington Edgeworth, esq of Longwood.

The elder son,

Lewis More, esq of Balyna, m Alicia, dau of Con O’Neill esq, and had with a dau,

  1. Mary, maid of honour to the queen of spain, m to –Ward esq of Madrid) a son and heir,
  2. James more esq of Balyna, whose will bears date 13 dec 1778; by Mary his wife, dau of Ambrose Madden esq of derryhoran, he left an only dau, and heir,

Letitia More who m Richard O’Ferrall esq, only son of Ambrose O’Ferrall esq, by jane Dillion his wife, and dying 1778 (her husband survived till 1790) left several daus, viz,

  1. Mrs Boulger,
  2. Mrs Morris,
  3. Mrs taylor,
  4. mrs Pallas of grouse Hall co cavan, and
  5. Mrs Nugent of Killasons, co Longford)

And three sons, viz,

  1. Ambrose, his heir,
  2. James, maj-gen in the Austrian service, d 1828 aged 75,
  3. Charles, col in the Sardinian service, d 1831.

The eldest son

Ambrose O’Ferrall esq of Balyna, m 1796, anne, only child of john Bagot esq of castle Bagot, co Dublin, by Anne, his 1st wife, only dau, and heiress of W.Walsh esq of Kilmurry, co meath, by Elizabeth Nangle, his wife, and by her (who d 1810) had issue,

  1. Richard More (Right Hon) now of Balyna House,
  2. John Lewis More, of Lissard, co Longford, J.P. and D.L., barrister-at-law, Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, Dublin, m 1836, Clare, dau of Thomas Segrave esq, a younger son of the Cabra family, and has a son, and three daus
  1. Edward Gerald
  2. Mary,
  3. Mia, and
  4. Ellen.
  1. James More
  2. Robert More, in holy orders, d 1834
  3. Edward More, of Kildangan, co Kildare high sheriff co Kildare 1856-7, m 1849, Susan, only child of Dominick O’Reilly esq of Kildangan Castle, co Kildare, and by her (who d 1855) has an only son Dominick, b 1855.
  4. Mary-Ann
  5. Letitie, a nun
  6. Louisa
  7. Catherine
  8. Rose-Anna, m Thomas Errington, esq of Clints, co York

Mr O’Ferrall m 2ndly, 1811, Margaret, youngest dau of the late f.Dunne esq of Brittas, Queen’s county, which lady d 1826. He d 1835, aged 83

BLG 1871: