Rory Oge O’More/Ruaidhri og ua Mordha

O’MORE, RORY or RURY OGE (d. 1578), Irish rebel, called in Irish Ruaidhri og ua Mordha, was second son of Rory O’More, captain of Leix, by Margaret, daughter of Thomas Butler, and granddaughter of Pierce or Piers Butler, eighth earl of Ormonde [q. v.] (cf. Lodge, Peerage of Ireland, ed. Archdall, iv. 19; and Harl. MS. 1425, f. 119b). Sir Henry Sidney once called him ‘an obscure and base varlet,’ but his family was one of the most important of the minor Irish septs, and also one of the most turbulent.

Rory O’More (fl. 1554), the father, was son of Connell O’More (d. 1537), and early acquired the character of a violent and successful chieftain. On the death of Connell a fierce dispute broke out between the three sons—Lysaght,Kedagh, and Rory—and their uncle Peter the tanist. Peter was for the time a friend of the Butlers. Consequently the deputy, Lord Leonard Grey, supported the sons; and, although Peter was acknowledged chief, Grey got hold of him by a ruse, and led him about in chains for some time, Kedagh then seems to have secured the chieftainship, Lysaght having been killed; but he died early in 1542, and Rory, the third brother, succeeded. He, after a period of turmoil, agreed on 13 May 1542 to lead a quieter life, and made a general submission, being probably influenced by the fact that Kedagh had left a son of the same name, who long afterwards, in 1565, petitioned the privy council to be restored to his father’s inheritance. Like other Irish chiefs of the time, O’More was only a nominal friend to the English. In a grant afterwards made to his eldest son his services to King Edward VI are spoken of; but they must have been of doubtful value, as an order of 15 March 1550-1 forbade any of the name of O’More to hold land in Leix (App. to 8th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland). At some uncertain time between 1550 and 1557 Rory O’More was killed, and was succeeded by a certain Connell O’More, who may be the Connell Oge O’More mentioned in 1556 in the settlement of Leix (cf. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, i. 400, and Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1509-73, pp. 135,414). He was put to death in 1557 (Annals of the Four Masters, ii. 1545). Rory left two sons, Callagh and Rory Oge. Callagh, who was brought up in England, was called by the English ‘The Calough,’ and, as he describes himself as of Gray’s Inn in 1568, he may be assumed to be the John Callow who entered there in 1567 (Foster, Reg. of Gray’s Inn, p. 39). In 1571 Ormonde petitioned for the Calough’s return, and soon afterwards he came back to Ireland, where in 1582 he was thought a sufficiently strong adherent to the English to receive a grant of land in Leix (Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1574-85, pp. 392, 412).

Rory Oge O’More, the second son, was constantly engaged in rebellion. He received a pardon on 17 Feb. 1565-6, but in 1571 he was noted as dangerous, and in 1572 he was fighting Ormonde and the queen at the same time, being favoured by the weakness of the forces at the command of Francis Cosby, the seneschal of Queen’s County, and the temporary absence of Ormonde in England. In this little rebellion the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds were united against him; but when, in November 1572, Desmond escaped from Dublin, it was Rory Oge O’More who escorted him through Kildare and protected him in Queen’s County (cf. 12th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland, p. 78). He was mixed up in Kildare’s plots in 1574, and taken prisoner in November. But he was soon free, and Sidney, when on his tour in 1575, wrote of him: ‘Rory Oge O’More hath the possession and settling-place in the Queen’s County, whether the tenants will or no, as he occupieth what he listeth and wasteth what he will.’ However, O’More was afraid of the deputy, and when Sydney came into his territory, he went to meet him in the cathedral of Kilkenny (December 1575), and ‘submitted himself, repenting (as he said) his former faults, and promising hereafter to live in better sort (for worse than he hath been he cannot be).’ Hence we find a new pardon granted to him on 4 June 1576 (ib. p. 179). But in the next year he hoped for help from Spain, and, pushed on by John Burke, his friend, he made a desperate attack on the Pale. He allied himself with some of the O’Connors, and gathered an army. On 18 March 1576-7 the seneschal of Queen’s County was commanded to attack Rory Oge and the O’Connors with fire and sword (13th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland, p. 25). There was good reason for active hostilities, as on the 3rd the insurgents had burned Naas with every kind of horror. Sidney wrote to the council the same month: ‘Rory Oge O’More and Cormock M’Cormock O’Conor have burnt the Naas. They ranne thorough the towne lyke hagges and furies of hell, with flakes of fier fastned on poles ends’ (Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1574-85, p. 107; cf. Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 110). Later in the year O’More captured Harrington and Cosby. They were rescued by a ruse. O’More’s wife and all but O’More himself and one of those who were with him were killed. Infuriated at being caught, O’More fell upon Harrington, ‘hacked and hewed’ him so that Sidney saw his brains moving when his wounds were being dressed, then rushing through a soldier’s legs, he escaped practically naked (Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 356). He soon afterwards burned Carlow; but in an attempt to entrap Barnaby Fitzpatrick, baron of Upper Ossory, into his hands, he was killed by the Fitzpatricks in June 1578, and his head set up on Dublin Castle. He left a son, Owen McRory O’More, whom John Burke, son of the Earl of Clanricarde, took charge of. The English got hold of him after some difficulty, and foolishly allowed him to return to his own country. He became as great a rebel as his father, and, after a life of fighting and plundering, in which, however, he recovered almost all Leix, was killed in a skirmish near Timahoe, Queen’s County, 17 Aug. 1600. Moryson called him ‘a bloody and bold young man,’ ‘The Four Masters’ an ‘illustrious, renowned, and celebrated gentleman.’ After his death the importance of the O’Mores as a sept was gone.

[Bagwell’s Ireland under the Tudors; Webb’s Compendium of Irish Biogr.; Cal. of State Papers, Irish Ser., and of the Carew MSS.; State Papers; Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O’Donovan, vols. vi. vii.; authorities quoted.]

Source: Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 42 O’More, Rory (d.1578) by William Arthur Jobson Archbold

Twenty-seven generations of great-grandparents

A while back I posted that if you are somehow descended from Patrick Grehan Senior (1756 -1832) and Judith Grehan (neé Moore), then you are a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn , and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st. You can find that post here.  I hadn’t taken it any further, so I’m grateful to Nancy Beckley for pushing things back to Edward the First. I picked it up, and pushed it a bit further. It all seems very impressive until you do the maths. 27th great-grandparent means there are another 536 million other great-grandparents who aren’t kings or queens. Still it’s always nice having a saint in the family.

Saint Margaret is Scotland’s only royal saint, and Malcolm is the one in Macbeth. 

27th great grandparents William the Conqueror (1028–1087) and Matilda of Flanders (1031-1083), and also Saint Margaret and the Scottish king Malcolm III. 

26th great grandparents Henry I (1068 – 1135) and Matilda [originally christened Edith] of Scotland (c. 1080 – 1 May 1118),

25th great grandparents Geoffrey V (1113 – 1151) of Anjou and Matilda, (1102 – 1167)

24th great grandparents Henry II ( 1154 -1189) and Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122 -1204)

23rd great grandparents King John (1199-1216) Isabella of Angoulême (1188 – 1246)

22nd great grandparents Henry III (1207-1272)/Eleanor of Provence (1223 – 1291)

21st great grandparents: King Edward I (1239-1307)/Eleanor of Castile (1241 – 1290)

20th great grandparents:  Elizabeth of Rhuddlan (1282-1316)./ Humphrey de Bohun, (1276-1322) 4th Earl of Hereford (second husband)

19th great grandparents:  Lady Eleanor de Bohun (1304-1363)/James Butler (1305-1338), 1st Earl of Ormond

18th great grandparents:  James Butler (1331-1382), 2nd Earl of Ormond/Elizabeth Darcy (1332-1390)

17th  great grandparents: James Butler (1359-1405), 3rd Earl of Ormond/Anne Welles (1360 -1397)

16th  great grandparents:  Richard Butler (1395-1443), Sir Richard Butler of Polestown/ Catherine O’Reilly(1395-1420), Gildas O’Reilly, Lord of East Breifne

15th  great grandparents:  Edmund MacRichard Butler (1420-1464), The MacRichard of Ossory/ Catherine O’Carroll (?-1506)

14th  great grandparents:  Sir James Butler (1438 -1487),/Sabh Kavanagh (1440 -1508), Princess of Leinster, daughter of Donal Reagh Kavanagh MacMurrough, King of Leinster (1396-1476)

13th great grandparents:  Piers Butler (1467-1539), 8th Earl of Ormond/Margaret Fitzgerald (c.1473 -1542)

12th great grandparents:  Thomas Butler (?-1532)/wife not known

Rory O More

11th great grandparents:  Margaret Butler/Rory O’More (?-1556)

10th great grandparents:  Lewis O’More/wife not known

9th great grandparents:  Walter Moore/Alicia Elliott

8th great grandparents:  Patrick Moore/Joan O’Hely

7th great grandparents:  Edmund Moore/Elizabeth Graham

6th great grandparents:  James Moore (?-1741)/Mary Cullen

5th great grandparents:  Edward Moore (?-1787)/Jane Reynolds

4th great grandparents:  Judith Moore (1763-?)/Patrick Grehan (1758-1832)

3rd great grandparents:  Patrick Grehan (1791-1853)/Harriet Lescher (1811-1877)

2nd great grandparents:  Celia Mary Grehan(1838-1901)JohnRoche O’Bryen1810-1870

1st great grandparents: Ernest A O’Bryen 1865-1919/Gertrude Purssell 1873 -1950

If you’re related to Patrick Grehan Senior (1756 -1832) then you are a cousin to Anne Boleyn and Queen Elizabeth 1.

Anne Boleyn

I’ve avoided this one for a while, partly because it is out of period, and also partly because it is hard to work through. It does also appear to be slightly showy-offy, which it isn’t intended to be, well maybe a bit.

It does make it a bit slow going around the National Portrait Gallery, as well as getting a bit of a look when I chime up with “That’s another one of yours…”

Where I do think it helps, is in helping to set into context, how the Grehans would have felt about themselves. In a period when lineage, and status was very important to people; and when there was a strong emphasis on family backgrounds, then it is almost impossible to believe that there wasn’t talk of being the descendants of Irish kings, and of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy. It almost certainly colours some of the wedding choices in the C19th.

But a word of warning from Sir Bernard Burke, in the preface to the 1912 edition of Burke’s Irish Gentry.

“Of course, one knows that every Irishman is the descendant of countless kings, princes and other minor celebrities. One admits it, the thing is unquestionable. One knows, of course, also, that every family is the oldest in Co. Galway, or Co. Sligo, or somewhere else, and that, for some reason or other, every Irishman is the ” head ” of his family…”

Elizabeth I – The Armada portrait

However, it does appears that if you are somehow descended from Patrick Grehan Senior (1756 -1832) and Judith Grehan (nee Moore), [in our case, they are great,great,great,great, grandparents, so ha ha Danny Dyer] then you are a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn [yes that one.], and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st [yes that one, as well.], as well as descended from a number of Kings of Laois, and a fair smattering of Irish Earls.

The first major clue comes from Burke’s Landed Gentry in the 1871 edition. In the lineage of Patrick Grehan III (Patrick Grehan senior’s grandson) there is the following statement.

(lineally descended from Lewis, the 4th son of  Roger O’More (more commonly, referred to now as Rory 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.”

Patrick Grehan III had his rights to the arms confirmed in June 1863, so it must have been accepted by the Ulster King of Arms.

Broken down in, I hope, the simplest way; Judith Grehan’s great-grandfather was Edmund Moore, and he, in his turn, was the great-grandson of Lewis More, the youngest son of Rory O’More, and Margaret Butler. So they are separated by seven generations.

Therefore, Judith Grehan is a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn, seven times removed, and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st six times removed. In order to work out your own relationship simply add on the right number of generations. In the case of my children, it is a fourth cousin of Anne Boleyn, fourteen times removed, and and a fifth cousin of Elizabeth 1st thirteen times removed.

Rather than expand this post too much, I have decided to link to two further posts, containing the workings-out.

How Margaret Butler and Anne Boleyn are related.

More-Butler-Grehan

There is also more detail on the More-O’Farrell post, though that is possibly the most confusing entry in any edition of Burke’s Landed Gentry ever.

 

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.”

The submission of Rory Caoch O’More – 1543

The submission of Rory Caoch O’More reads:

Rory O’More of Lex, brother as he asserts to Kedagh (Roe) O’More, lately deceased, now admitted to the Captainship of the same country by the consent and election of all the noblemen and inhabitants of the country, appeared before us the Deputy Council, and submitted himself to the King.He promises that: –

  1. He will be faithful and liege subject; and he and the other gentlemen of his country will receive their lands from his Highness.
  2. He will reject the Roman Pontiff’s usurped primacy.
  3. He will deliver Kedagh mac Piers mac Melaghlin O’More as his hostage to the Deputy into the hands of Thomas Eustace, Viscount of Baltinglass, for the observance of his agreements and promises, and for the restitution of all damages done to the subjects of the King, during the time of Kedagh O’More’s government.
  4. He will have 72 kerne, horseboys being computed in that number, for the rule of the said country of Leix; and will maintain no other kerne there.
  5. He will rise up with the Lord Deputy in every great journey, called “Hostings.”For any sudden journey of two days and nights he will find 24 horsemen and all his aforesaid kerne; and in every great hosting 8 horsemen and 20 kerne.
  6. Donnamase with the demesne lands, Tymooge and other lands of the late Earl of Kildare in Leix, shall be restored to the King.The demesnes of Donnamase shall be surveyed and their extent declared by indifferent men (as jurors on the Inquisition), and the lands and rents of the said Earl of Kildare by Thomas Wolf senior; and both those lands, and the possessions of (the Nunnery of) Grayne (Graney, Co. Kildare), of the Monasteries of Saint Mary of Dublin, of Connall (Co. Kildare), and of other religious Houses, with the lands of Kyllberry (Co. Kildare), are at the disposition of the tenants and farmers of the King.
  7. When the Lord Deputy requires any Scots (Galloglasses), to be imposed the Counties of Kildare, Kilkenny or Tipperary, the Leix shall support 60 Scots, and shall be exempt from all subsidies for that year.
  8. The King shall have 20 marks yearly as a subsidy.
  9. The Lord Deputy and Council shall have 100 Cows for his (Rory’s) nomination and admission to the Captaincy of the aforesaid Country.
  10. He shall have the goods of his brother Kedagh, by paying Kedagh’s debts, and the profit and produce of all his possessions, saving Kedagh’s wife’s portion, until he be recompensed for the debts which he shall ratify the same; otherwise not.”

This was Rory Caoch O’More son of Connel O’More son of Melaghlin O’More. Doonamasse is the Castle Dunamase.

Indenture, Dated 13th May, 34 Henry VIII.[“Carew Mauscripts,” 1515-74]

From Lord Walter Fitzgerald,the Journal of the County Kildare Archaeological Society, Volume VI . The  edited papers were published in Dublin in 1911.

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 O’MORE, (fl. 1620–1652)

, Irish rebel, often called Roger Moore or More, son of Calvagh O’More, was descended from the ancient chiefs of Leix. After the plantation of the Queen’s County the O’Mores raised various rebellions, which were afterwards reckoned as nineteen in number. A transplantation to Kerry, Clare, and Connaught was undertaken during the reign of James I, of which the state papers contain many details. But they kept always drifting back to their own district, and it was said that they preferred dying there to living anywhere else. Chichester, with a reference to Spanish history, called them White Moors. One of this harassed clan was Roger’s father, Calvagh, who had become possessed of a castle and lands at Ballina in Kildare, and these were not affected by the transplantation. Roger, the elder son, inherited Ballina, married a daughter of Sir Patrick Barnewall [q. v.], the noted catholic champion, and was thus connected with the best families of the Pale.

It has been said that O’More, who was in poor circumstances, had hopes of recovering the lands of his family from Strafford; but there is no trace of any such idea in that statesman’s correspondence. There was a moment of weakness after the great viceroy’s final departure in April 1640; the English government were busy in Scotland, and the time seemed propitious for an effort by the Irish catholics to regain their lost territories, and to restore the splendour of their religion. O’More, who afterwards admitted to an English prisoner (Temple, Hist. of Irish Rebellion, p. 103) that a plot had been hatching for years, began negotiations with John or Shane O’Neill, the great Tyrone’s younger son and last surviving heir, who was acknowledged by the Irish and on the continent as Earl of Tyrone. He sounded some of the discontented gentry of Connaught and Leinster, having an ally among the latter in Colonel Richard Plunkett, who was his wife’s first-cousin. Plunkett, who was a needy man, was well known at the English court and in Irish society, and had seen service in Flanders. The disbanding of Strafford’s army had left a great many officers and soldiers without employment, and these very willingly listened to the plotter. O’More’s means of persuasion were mainly two: there was a chance for old Irish and Anglo-Irish families to recover their lost estates or to win new ones; and there was something like a certainty that the puritan parliament in England would deal harshly with the adherents of Rome. Many lent a favouring ear; but all agreed that nothing could be done without a rising in Ulster. His position made O’More the fittest person to mediate between the Pale and the native clans.

In February 1641 O’More applied to Lord Maguire [see Maguire, Connor, second Baron of Enniskillen], who was in Dublin for the parliamentary session, with Hugh Oge MacMahon [q. v.], and others of the northern province. Richelieu promised arms, ammunition, and money to the titular Earl of Tyrone; but the latter was killed in Spain in the spring of 1641, and the conspirators transferred their hopes to Colonel Owen Roe O’Neill [q. v.], who was then in Flanders. O’More appears throughout as the mainspring of the whole plot, and his parish priest, Toole O’Conley, was chosen as the messenger to Owen Roe. It was O’More who swore Maguire, Sir Phelim O’Neill [q. v.], and the rest to secrecy (Hickson, Ireland in the Seventeenth Century, ii. 190). About 1 Sept. 1641 it was decided to seize Dublin Castle on 5 Oct., but the day was afterwards changed to the 23rd. O’More was to lead the party charged with seizing the lesser of the two gates. He visited Ulster at the beginning of October, shifting constantly from place to place to avoid suspicion, and was one of the five who made the final arrangements on the 15th. The place of meeting was his son-in-law’s house in Armagh county, Sir Phelim O’Neill [q. v.] and Lord Maguire being present there with him. But it is hard to be hidden in the country, and Sir William Cole, in a letter dated 11 Oct., warned the lords justices that there was mischief brewing (Nalson, Collections, ii. 519). He did not name O’More, and nothing really was known until the evening of 22 Oct., when Owen O’Connolly made his statement to Lord-justice Parsons. Late that night O’More went to Lord Maguire and told him that the cause was lost. It is from Maguire’s often printed narrative that we know most of the details. O’More, with Plunkett and Hugh O’Byrne, escaped over the river, and was perhaps not at first suspected, for O’Connolly did not mention him, nor does his name occur in the first statement made by MacMahon, or in the letter of the Irish government to Lord Leicester. His brother-in-law, Lord Kingsland, was one of those on whom the Irish government at first relied for the preservation of peace.

The plot to seize Dublin Castle totally failed, but the Ulster rebellion broke out as arranged, and O’More almost at once appears in the field as colonel with a large, but only partially armed, force under him. His brother Lewis had the rank at first of captain, and afterwards of colonel. O’More fought victoriously at Julianstown, in Meath, on 29 Nov., and acted as spokesman for the Ulster Irish at the conference held a few days later on the hill of Crofty, between their chiefs and the gentry of the Pale. The substance of his speech, which had been carefully prepared, is preserved by Sellings (Gilbert, Hist. of Confederation and War, i. 36). In the proclamation of the lords justices, dated 8 Feb. 1641-2, a price was put upon his head—400l. for its actual production, and 300l. for satisfactory evidence of having slain him. He was present when Ormonde defeated the Irish at Kilrush on 15 April 1642. Carte says he went to Flanders about this time; and, if so, he probably returned with Owen Roe O’Neill, who reached Ireland in July. He was serving in the King’s County at the end of that month, the title of general being accorded to him by the Irish thereabouts. On the formation of the supreme council of the confederate catholics at Kilkenny in October he was appointed to command in the King’s County and half the Queen’s County, and was present at the taking of Birr in January 1642-3 (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 218).

In spite of his many connections, O’More was not thoroughly trusted by the Anglo-Irish; he was a Celt, and towards the Celtic party he drifted more and more. The gentry of the Pale were soon sorry for the war, which ruined most of them; and when O’More confessed to his brother-in-law Fleming that he was the real originator of it, the latter answered that he found himself mistaken, for he thought the devil had begun it (Carte). In 1644 O’More’s name appears in a list of Owen Roe’s followers, his title in the Irish cipher being ‘the shoemaker’ (Contemp. Hist. i. 605). In the same year he offered himself for service in Antrim’s Scottish expedition [see Macdonnell, Randal, 1609-1683], with a half-armed regiment of fifteen hundred men (ib. i. 652). In 1648 he was living at Ballinskill, in the district where his clan once ruled (ib. i. 229). In the same year he was in arms against the Kilkenny confederation, and was employed by Owen Roe in abortive negotiations with Inchiquin (ib. i. 747, 751). Early in the following year the author of the ‘Aphorismical Discovery,’ who regarded him as a mere temporiser, says he was one of O’Neill’s cabinet council, and that he tried to bring about an understanding between his leader and Ormonde, but only succeeded in offending both (ib. ii. 21). After the declaration of Jamestown on 12 Aug. 1650 O’More and his brother Lewis both took arms, and he commanded some foot in Connaught in the following year (ib. ii. 114, 158). He had Clanricarde’s commission as commander in Leinster, with full civil and military authority (ib. iii. 1, 15). But the cause was quite lost by this time, and O’More was driven into the remote island of Bofin. The author of the ‘Aphorismical Discovery’ says that he was basely deserted there by Bishop Lynch and others in December 1652; that he escaped to the Ulster coast, and lived there for a time disguised as a fisherman; and that he was reported to have escaped to Scotland (ib. iii. 143). It seems quite as likely that he perished obscurely in Ireland. Both brothers were excepted from pardon for life or estate in the Cromwellian Act of Settlement 12 Aug. 1652, and Lewis was soon afterwards hanged as guilty of murder (Ludlow, Memoirs, ii. 8).

O’More was an accomplished man, and could speak well both in English and Irish. He was undoubtedly the main contriver of the rebellion; but he was not a professional soldier, and played no great part in the war. He was distantly connected by marriage with Ormonde, and Carte gives him credit for doing his best to check the barbarities of which Sir Phelim O’Neill’s followers were guilty. That he was considered reasonable and humane by the protestants may be inferred from the fact that Lady Anne Parsons applied to him for protection. His answer has been preserved (Hist. MSS. Comm. 2nd Rep. p. 218). He wrote like a gentleman, but did not grant the lady’s request. Popular tradition clings to the name of Rory O’More, but it is probable that some of this glory really belongs to Rory Oge, who gave the government so much trouble in Queen Elizabeth’s time.

[Calendar of Irish State Papers, 1603-25; Carte’s Life of the Duke of Ormonde, bk. iii.; Nalson’s Collection, vol. ii.; Ludlow’s Memoirs; Temple’s Hist. of Irish Rebellion, ed. 1766; Lodge’s Peerage, ed. Archdall, art. ‘Viscount Kingsland;’ Hickson’s Ireland in the Seventeenth Century; Gilbert’s Hist. of the Confederation and War in Ireland and his Contemporary Hist. of Affairs in Ireland; Carte MSS. in the Bodleian Library, passim.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 42
O’More, Rory (fl.1620-1652)

by Richard Bagwell

Rory Oge O’More (d. 1578)

O’MORE, RORY or RURY OGE (d. 1578), Irish rebel, called in Irish Ruaidhri og ua Mordha, was second son of Rory O’More, captain of Leix, by Margaret, daughter of Thomas Butler, and granddaughter of Pierce or Piers Butler, eighth earl of Ormonde [q. v.] (cf. Lodge, Peerage of Ireland, ed. Archdall, iv. 19; and Harl. MS. 1425, f. 119b). Sir Henry Sidney once called him ‘an obscure and base varlet,’ but his family was one of the most important of the minor Irish septs, and also one of the most turbulent.

Rory O’More (fl. 1554), the father, was son of Connell O’More (d. 1537), and early acquired the character of a violent and successful chieftain. On the death of Connell a fierce dispute broke out between the three sons—Lysaght,Kedagh, and Rory—and their uncle Peter the tanist. Peter was for the time a friend of the Butlers. Consequently the deputy, Lord Leonard Grey, supported the sons; and, although Peter was acknowledged chief, Grey got hold of him by a ruse, and led him about in chains for some time, Kedagh then seems to have secured the chieftainship, Lysaght having been killed; but he died early in 1542, and Rory, the third brother, succeeded. He, after a period of turmoil, agreed on 13 May 1542 to lead a quieter life, and made a general submission, being probably influenced by the fact that Kedagh had left a son of the same name, who long afterwards, in 1565, petitioned the privy council to be restored to his father’s inheritance. Like other Irish chiefs of the time, O’More was only a nominal friend to the English. In a grant afterwards made to his eldest son his services to King Edward VI are spoken of; but they must have been of doubtful value, as an order of 15 March 1550-1 forbade any of the name of O’More to hold land in Leix (App. to 8th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland). At some uncertain time between 1550 and 1557 Rory O’More was killed, and was succeeded by a certain Connell O’More, who may be the Connell Oge O’More mentioned in 1556 in the settlement of Leix (cf. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, i. 400, and Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1509-73, pp. 135,414). He was put to death in 1557 (Annals of the Four Masters, ii. 1545). Rory left two sons, Callagh and Rory Oge. Callagh, who was brought up in England, was called by the English ‘The Calough,’ and, as he describes himself as of Gray’s Inn in 1568, he may be assumed to be the John Callow who entered there in 1567 (Foster, Reg. of Gray’s Inn, p. 39). In 1571 Ormonde petitioned for the Calough’s return, and soon afterwards he came back to Ireland, where in 1582 he was thought a sufficiently strong adherent to the English to receive a grant of land in Leix (Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1574-85, pp. 392, 412).

Rory Oge O’More, the second son, was constantly engaged in rebellion. He received a pardon on 17 Feb. 1565-6, but in 1571 he was noted as dangerous, and in 1572 he was fighting Ormonde and the queen at the same time, being favoured by the weakness of the forces at the command of Francis Cosby, the seneschal of Queen’s County, and the temporary absence of Ormonde in England. In this little rebellion the Butlers and the Fitzgeralds were united against him; but when, in November 1572, Desmond escaped from Dublin, it was Rory Oge O’More who escorted him through Kildare and protected him in Queen’s County (cf. 12th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland, p. 78). He was mixed up in Kildare’s plots in 1574, and taken prisoner in November. But he was soon free, and Sidney, when on his tour in 1575, wrote of him: ‘Rory Oge O’More hath the possession and settling-place in the Queen’s County, whether the tenants will or no, as he occupieth what he listeth and wasteth what he will.’ However, O’More was afraid of the deputy, and when Sydney came into his territory, he went to meet him in the cathedral of Kilkenny (December 1575), and ‘submitted himself, repenting (as he said) his former faults, and promising hereafter to live in better sort (for worse than he hath been he cannot be).’ Hence we find a new pardon granted to him on 4 June 1576 (ib. p. 179). But in the next year he hoped for help from Spain, and, pushed on by John Burke, his friend, he made a desperate attack on the Pale. He allied himself with some of the O’Connors, and gathered an army. On 18 March 1576-7 the seneschal of Queen’s County was commanded to attack Rory Oge and the O’Connors with fire and sword (13th Rep. Dep.-Keep. Publ. Rec. Ireland, p. 25). There was good reason for active hostilities, as on the 3rd the insurgents had burned Naas with every kind of horror. Sidney wrote to the council the same month: ‘Rory Oge O’More and Cormock M’Cormock O’Conor have burnt the Naas. They ranne thorough the towne lyke hagges and furies of hell, with flakes of fier fastned on poles ends’ (Cal. State Papers, Irish Ser. 1574-85, p. 107; cf. Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 110). Later in the year O’More captured Harrington and Cosby. They were rescued by a ruse. O’More’s wife and all but O’More himself and one of those who were with him were killed. Infuriated at being caught, O’More fell upon Harrington, ‘hacked and hewed’ him so that Sidney saw his brains moving when his wounds were being dressed, then rushing through a soldier’s legs, he escaped practically naked (Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 356). He soon afterwards burned Carlow; but in an attempt to entrap Barnaby Fitzpatrick, baron of Upper Ossory, into his hands, he was killed by the Fitzpatricks in June 1578, and his head set up on Dublin Castle. He left a son, Owen McRory O’More, whom John Burke, son of the Earl of Clanricarde, took charge of. The English got hold of him after some difficulty, and foolishly allowed him to return to his own country. He became as great a rebel as his father, and, after a life of fighting and plundering, in which, however, he recovered almost all Leix, was killed in a skirmish near Timahoe, Queen’s County, 17 Aug. 1600. Moryson called him ‘a bloody and bold young man,’ ‘The Four Masters’ an ‘illustrious, renowned, and celebrated gentleman.’ After his death the importance of the O’Mores as a sept was gone.

[Bagwell’s Ireland under the Tudors; Webb’s Compendium of Irish Biogr.; Cal. of State Papers, Irish Ser., and of the Carew MSS.; State Papers; Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O’Donovan, vols. vi. vii.; authorities quoted.]

Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 42
O’More, Rory (d.1578)

by William Arthur Jobson Archbold

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

TIME LINE

RORY CEACH AND RORY OGE O’MORE

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

Moore – O’More

Moore is a very numerous name in Ireland. With some 16,500 of the population so called, it holds twentieth place in the list of commonest names. The great majority of these (apart from the metropolitan area) are in Munster and Ulster. It is practically impossible to say what proportion of these are of Gaelic Irish origin and what proportion of English extraction, for Moore is also indigenous in England and very common there (it has thirty-ninth place in their list). It would perhaps be better to say Anglo-Norman rather than English, since Anglo-Norman Moores established themselves in Munster soon after the invasion. These Moores are called de Mora in Irish, a phonetic rendering of the English name which is derived from the word ‘moor’ (heathy mountain).

The old Irish Moores are Ó Mordha, from the word mordha (stately, noble). The eponymous ancestor Mordha was twenty-first in descent from Conal Cearnach, the most distinguished of the heroes of the Red Branch.

The O’Mores were the leading sept of the Seven Septs of Laois; the other six being tributary to them. According to Keating, the O’Mores have St. Fintan as their protector. Of thirteen families of Moore recorded in Burke’s Landed Gentry of Ireland (1912), twelve claim to have come to Ireland as settlers from England or Scotland and only one to be an offshoot of the O’Mores. Judged by the test of their resistance to English aggression, the O’Mores may be described as one of the foremost Irish septs. In this connection particular mention may be made of Rory O’More (died 1557) and his son, Rory Óg O’More (died 1578), both of whom were distinguished Irish leaders in the wars against the Tudor sovereigns, and another Rory O’More, a member of the Laois sept, the head of the 1641 Rising and a staunch ally of Owen Roe O’Neill in the subsequent war. It is of interest to note that he was known in English as Moore as well as O’More.

Of the many Moores who have distinguished themselves in various phases of Irish life the most famous was, perhaps, Thomas Moore (1779-1852), the poet: he was of a Co. Wexford family. The Moores of Moore Hall, Co. Mayo, produced George Henry Moore (1810-1870), the politician, and his two sons George Moore (1852-1933), the novelist, and Col. Maurice Moore (1854-1939), author and ardent worker in the Nationalist cause in the last century. The Moores of Moore Hall descend from the Moores of Alicante, Spain, who were English in origin. Father Florence O’More, alias Moore (1550-1616) was a noted Irish Jesuit in Austria. Rev. Michael Moore (1640-1726) was the only Catholic provost of Trinity College (Dublin University). Others were noted as economists, architects etc., and one Rev. Henry Moore (1751-1844) was friend and biographer of John Wesley. A number of O’Mores of the Laois sept were officers of the Irish Brigade in France in the eighteenth century. The descendants of one of them, Murtagh O’More (who went to France in 1691), ranked among the nobility of France as Lords of Valmont.

The family name of the Earls of Drogheda is Moore: their ancestor came to Ireland under Queen Elizabeth I. The Moores of Barmeath have been settled there since the fourteenth century. St. Malachy, who was Archbishop of Armagh from 1132 to 1148, is described by Gams and other ecclesiastical authorities as Malachy O’Moore. His surname, however, was O’Morgair (now obsolete), which is not, in fact, an early form of Ó Mordha.