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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal House of O'Conor
Ó Conchubhair
O'Conor.png
Parent houseUí Briúin Ai / Síl Muiredaig
CountryIreland
FoundedAD 75 [1]
FounderConchobar mac Taidg Mór
Current headDesmond O'Conor, The O'Conor Don
Final rulerFedlim Geancach Ó Conchobair
Titles
Estate(s)

The O'Conor Don family (Middle Irish: Ó Conchubhair; Modern Irish: Ó Conchúir), are an Irish noble house and were one of the most influential and distinguished royal houses in Ireland. The O'Conor family held the throne of the Kingdom of Connacht up until 1475. Having ruled it on and off since 967, they ruled continuously from 1102 to 1475. Moreover, the O'Conor parent house the Uí Briúin and Síol Muireadaigh ruled Connacht on many occasions - but not continuously - between 482 and 956. The house of O'Conor also produced two High Kings of Ireland, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair and his son Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, the last High King of Ireland. The family seat is Clonalis House outside Castlerea in County Roscommon.

The current O'Conor Don is Desmond O'Conor (b. 22 September 1938) who lives in Rotherfield, East Sussex in England.[2]

History

The Ó Conor Don is the head of a lineage which provided about one hundred Kings of Connacht,[3] thirty Chiefs of the Name and two High Kings of Ireland, Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair (1088–1156), and his son Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair (c. 1115–1198), the last High King..

During the late 14th century, the Ó Conor dynasty was grouped into two main divisions, one led by Toirdealbhach Ruadh, the other by Toirdealbhach Óg (also called Toirdealbhach Donn), both in the seventh generation of descent from Cathal Crobhderg. From these descended the families of Ó Conchubhair Ruadh (now extinct) and Ó Conchubhair Donn.

The O'Conor Don line in descent from Sir Hugh O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Ballintubber Castle

  • Sir Hugh O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Ballintubber Castle (1541-1632). Member of Parliament from 1585-86 for Roscommon. Signed a Deed of Composition with Queen Elizabeth I. He was knighted by Lord Deputy Sir John Perrott, and was styled Lord of Connaught.
    • Calvach O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Ballintubber Castle (1584–1655). He was a candidate for the representation of Roscommon in the parliament of 1613, but was defeated by Sir John King. In 1641 it was rumoured that he was to be made King of Connaught, and his castle of Ballintober was the centre of the Confederate party. In June 1642 Lord Ranelagh attacked him outside Ballintober and routed his army, but did not capture the castle. He was specially excepted from pardon in the act of parliament as to Ireland in 1652, and died in 1655, leaving two sons, Hugh and Charles. His widow, as a transplanted person, obtained, at Athlone on 8 June 1656, a decree granting her seven hundred acres out of about six thousand.
      • Hugh O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Ballintubber Castle (1617–1669). In 1641 he was appointed colonel in the Irish army, and at the siege of Castlecoote in 1642 was captured by Sir Charles Coote. He was examined in Dublin before Sir Robert Meredith, and described the origin of the rising in Connaught in 1641, and stated that he and Sir Lucas Dillon had been appointed to ask Lord Clanricarde to take the command of the army in Connaught. He was falsely accused of having murdered one Hugh Cumoghan, servant of Major Ormsby, but was not tried, and, after detention for a year, obtained his liberty, and in July 1652 was one of the Irish officers who entered into articles of surrender with the president of Connaught. In 1653 he was acquitted of the charge of murder, and went abroad and served as a captain in the Duke of Gloucester's regiment. After the Restoration he applied to be reinstated in his castle of Ballintober, co. Roscommon, and an estate of ten thousand acres. He died in 1669, before his claim had been decided.
        • Hugh O'Conor, The O'Conor Don. The commissioners of claims adjudged eleven hundred acres out of ten thousand which his father possessed before he took up arms for the king.
      • Charles O'Conor.
    • Hugh Og O'Conor of Castlerea. His Estates were confiscated by Cromwell's adventurers.
      • General Daniel O'Conor of Castlerea. He followed Charles II into exile, and returned at the Restoration.
        • Colonel Andrew O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Clonalis
          • Daniel O'Conor. An Ancestor of Charlotte O'Conor Eccles through his daughter Jane's elopement with the Protestant William Eccles.
            • Dominick O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Clonalis
            • Alexander 'Sandy' O'Conor, The O'Conor Don of Clonalis.
            • Thomas O'Conor.
            • Brigadier General Sir Hugh O'Conor. Knight of Calatrava. He served in his Catholic Majesty the King of Spains Army. He was appointed Governor of Texas. He was the founder of the city of Tucson in Arizona. He was later appointed Governor of the Yucatan Peninsula, where he died.
          • Sir Thomas O'Conor. He gained the rank of officer in the French Army. He fought in the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745, with King Louis XV's Irish Brigade having played a large part in bringing success. He was awarded the Chevalier, Order of St. Louis in 1745 for bravery.
    • Cathal O'Conor of Bellanagare (1597–1634).
      • Major Owen O'Conor of Bellanagare (d. 1692). He fought against Cromwell. He mortgaged his estate for three troops of Cavalry for the Jacobite Cause. He was appointed the Governor of Athlone by James II. He died in Chester Prison in 1692.
      • Charles og O'Conor (d.1696)
        • Denis O'Conor of Bellanagare (b. 1674). He took legal action against the Government, claiming they had illegally confiscated his inheritance in the form of his uncle's lands. He was awarded only 900 acres of the original land belonging to his uncle. He was a patron of Turlough O'Carolan, who composed a work in his honour called "Donagh Cahill Oge". He composed a number of other pieces in honour of the O'Conor family. It is reported that O'Carolan once said I think, that when I am among the O'Conors, the harp has the old sound in it. O'Carolan taught Denis's son Charles how to play the harp and much of what we know of O'Carolan is through the diaries of Charles. When O'Carolan died he left his harp to the O'Conors. Which is on display at Clonalis House.
          • Charles O'Conor of Bellanagre (1710–1791). A noted Antiquarian, Historian and Scholar. He was deeply imbued from youth in the native aristocratic literary and cultural tradition, yet his writings were clearly influenced by the Enlightenment and he was as familiar with the works of Locke, Hume, Montesquieu, Rousseau and Voltaire as he was with Gaelic lore. He was author of the highly influential Dissertations on the Ancient History of Ireland, first published in 1753. This was the first Irish history written in English by someone who had a command of the surviving Irish and colonial sources and who saw the past from an indigenous perspective. Its publication established O'Conor as the leading living expert on Ireland's history and antiquities. He is also credited with helping to generate an interest in Irish culture, history and antiquities among the Anglo-Irish establishment. He was a founder member in 1785 of the Royal Irish Academy. He also helped to foster a public awareness in English-speaking Ireland of the value of studying Irish, along with its associated poetry and folk-tales. As a Roman Catholic, O'Conor was affected for much of his life by the Penal Laws - which were intended to break the political power of Irish Catholics and were aimed in particular at the landowning class. Catholic gentry such as the O'Conors were denied access to careers in the army or law and could take no part in government at either national or local level. Many Catholic gentlemen had to go abroad to the Continent to further careers denied them at home. Given this background and his considerable intellectual powers, it is not surprising that O'Conor tried to advance the civil rights of Catholics marginalised by the Penal Laws. One of the most interesting features of his career was how his antiquarian and historical studies fuelled his political interests and his desire to see the laws eased or repealed. He started to write pamphlets advocating rights for Catholics from at least 1749 onwards. In 1756 he was one of the three founder members of the Catholic Committee, which tried to encourage the surviving Catholic gentry and clergy, as well as the emerging merchant class, to agitate peacefully against the Penal Laws. In many ways, the Catholic Committee was the beginning of the peaceful Catholic political activism that was to be so much a feature of nationalist politics in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
          • Daniel O'Conor. He served as an officer in the Royal French Army. He distinguished himself at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745.
          • Hugh O'Conor. Converted to Protestantism in order to claim his older brothers Charles's lands during the penal laws. However, he was unsuccessful, and converted back to Catholicism and was forgiven by his brother.
          • Rev. Roger O'Conor. He was a Roman Catholic priest.
          • Rev. Matthew O'Conor. He was a Roman Catholic Priest.
    • Bryan Roe O'Conor.In 1641 His lands were confiscated for his part in the Uprising against Cromwell.
      • Roger O'Conor. In 1688 his lands were confiscated for his supporting King James II.
        • Owen O'Conor (d.1766).
          • Roderic O'Conor (d. 1781).
            • Bernard O'Conor.
            • Thomas O'Conor(d.1832).
            • Patrick O'Conor.
          • Major Thomas O'Conor of Miltown He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for County Roscommon. He gained the rank of Major in the French Service. He held the office of High Sheriff of Roscommon in 1767.
            • Roderic O'Conor of Miltown.
              • Dillon O'Conor.
              • Richard O'Conor.
              • Roderie O'Conor of Miltown (1794-1868). He held the office of High Sheriff of Roscommon in 1839.
              • Aylward O'Conor (1805–1877).
                • Aylward Owen Blood O'Conor (1842–1911).
                  • Aylward Robert O'Conor (1872–1952). He gained the rank of Captain in the British Army.
                    • Lt.-Col. Roderic Aylward O'Conor (1910–2003). He fought in the Second World War. He gained the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Artillery. He was awarded the Territorial Decoration (T.D.).
                      • Turlough Roderic Rosetti O'Conor (b. 1937).
                  • Reverend William Owen O'Conor (1878–1919). Died in Mesopotamia.
                • Roderick O'Conor.
                • Bindon Blood O'Conor.
                • William Frederick O'Conor.
                • Dillon O'Conor.
            • Captain Owen O'Conor. He gained the rank of Captain in the British Army.

Key figures

Kings of Connacht

Chiefs of the Name

  • Toirdhealbhach Óg Donn mac Aodha meic Toirdhealbhaigh, d. 9 December 1406.
  • Cathal mac Ruaidhri Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 19 March 1439.
  • Aodh mac Toirdhealbhaigh Óig Ó Conchobhair Donn, d.15 May 1461.
  • Feidhlimidh Geangcach mac Toirdhealbhaigh Óig Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1474 – last fully recognised King of Connacht.
  • Tadhg mac Eoghain Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1476.
  • Eoghan Caoch mac Feidhlimidh Gheangcaigh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1485.
  • Aodh Og mac Aodh Ó Conchobhair Donn
  • Toirdhealbhach Óg mac Ruaidhri Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1503
  • Conchobhar mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn
  • Cairbre mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1546
  • Aodh mac Eoghain Chaoich Ó Conchobhair Donn, deposed 1550
  • Diarmaid mac Cairbre Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1585
  • Sir Hugh/Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1632
  • An Calbhach mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1654 – popularly inaugurated king in 1643.
  • Hugh Óg mac Aedh Ó Conchobhair Donn, d. 1662.
  • Andrew O'Connor Don of Clonalis
  • Dominick O'Connor Don of Clonalis, d. 1795
  • Alexander O'Connor Don, d. 1820
  • Owen O'Connor Don of Clonalis and Ballinagare, d.1831
  • Denis O'Conor Don of Clonalis, 1794–1847
  • Charles Owen O'Conor Don, 1838–1906
  • Denis Charles O'Conor Don, 1869–1917
  • Owen Phelim O'Conor Don, 1870–1943
  • Fr. Charles O'Conor Don, 1906–1981
  • Denis O'Conor Don, 1912 – 10 July 2000
  • Desmond O'Conor Don (Former Chairman of the British-Chile Chamber of Commerce, former banker, resides in Sussex), b.1938

Other notable members of the family

See also

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ O'Donovan, John (1891). The O'Conors of Connaught: An Historical Memoir. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, and Co. p. 4.
  2. ^ Curley, W. Vanishing Kingdoms. Dublin. Lilliput Press.
  3. ^ O'Donovan, John (1891). The O'Conors of Connaught: An Historical Memoir. Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, and Co.

Bibliography

External links

This page was last edited on 24 February 2021, at 15:54
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