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Encyclopedia > Flight of the Earls

The Flight of the Earls (Irish: Teitheadh na nIarlaí) refers to the departure from Ireland on 14 September 1607 of Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone and Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell. Year 1607 (MDCVII) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 10-day slower Julian calendar). ... The inauguration of Hugh at Tullyhogue (Tulach Óg). ... Rory ODonnell 1st Earl of Tyrconnell (1575–1608) (originally known in Irish as Rudhraighe Ó Domhnaill), the last King of Tír Conaill and 1st Earl of Tyrconnell. ...


The Journey

The Earls set sail from Rathmullan, a village on the shore of Lough Swilly in County Donegal, accompanied by ninety followers, many of them Ulster noblemen, and some members of their families. Several left their wives behind, hoping either to return or retrieve them later. Lough Swilly (Loch Súilí in Irish) in Ireland is a fjord-like body of water lying between the eastern side of the Inishowen Peninsula in County Donegal and the rest of northern Donegal. ... Statistics Province: Ulster Dáil Éireann: Donegal North East, Donegal South West County Town: Lifford Code: DL Area: 4,841 km² Population (2006) 146,956 Website: www. ...

The late Tomas Cardinal O’Fiaich, Cardinal Archbishop of Armagh, gave a lecture at Rathmullan in September 1988, recounted with his permission and that of the Donegal Historical Society in O’Domhnaill Abu, issue no. 11, of Summer 1989, in which he recounted that Earl O’Neill of Tyrone “had a gold cross which contained a relic of the True Cross, and this he trailed in the water behind the ship, and according to O’Ciainain, it gave some relief from the storm”, during the crossing to Quillebeouf where they arrived on finally on the Continent on 4 October 1607. The significance of this act is also underlined by the fact that the date of the exile from Rathmullan was the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. This relic of the True Cross was probably a minor relic from that kept at Holy Cross Abbey which they had previously visited en route to Kinsale in 1601. According to Christian tradition, the True Cross is the cross upon which Jesus was crucified. ... Holy Cross Abbey is a monastery of the Catholic Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (OCSO), popularly known as the Trappists near Berryville, Virginia. ... Market Street in Kinsale, one of the towns oldest thoroughfares Kinsale (Cionn tSáile in Irish) is a town in County Cork, Ireland. ...

Their destination was Spain, but they disembarked in France and proceeded overland to Spanish Flanders, some remaining in Louvain, whilst the main party continued to Italy. They planned to return to Ireland and with campaign for the recovery of their realms, with the support of Spain, but both died in exile.

The Flight of the Earls was a watershed in Irish history, as the ancient Gaelic aristocracy of Ulster went in to permanent exile. Despite their attachment to the Gaelic system, the Earls had reluctantly accepted their Earldoms from the English-run Kingdom of Ireland, under a policy known as surrender and re-grant. But their flight was forced upon them by the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland, which cleared the way for the Plantation of Ulster. The Gaels are an ethno-linguistic group which spread from Ireland to many parts of Britain, specifically Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales and Cornwall. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      The term aristocracy refers to a form of government where power is held by a small number of individuals from an elite or from noble families. ... Coat of arms1 Capital Dublin Language(s) Irish, English Government Monarchy King2  - 1542-1547 Henry VIII  - 1760-1801 George III Chief Secretary  - 1660 Matthew Lock  - 1798-1801 Viscount Castlereagh Legislature Parliament of Ireland  - Upper house Irish House of Lords  - Lower house Irish House of Commons History  - Act of Parliament 1541... The Tudor re-conquest of Ireland took place under the English Tudor dynasty during the 16th century. ... The Plantation of Ulster was a planned process of colonisation which took place in the northern Irish province of Ulster during the early 17th century in the reign of James I of England. ...

Background to the Exile

After their defeat at the Battle of Kinsale in 1601, and the suppression of their rebellion in Ulster in 1603, Tyrone and the Prince of Tyrconnell, Lord Tyrconnell's elder brother and predecessor, had been forced into exile in January 1602 by the victorious English government of Ireland under the leadership of the Lord Mountjoy. They retained their lands and titles, although with much diminished extent and authority. However, the countryside was laid bare in a campaign of destruction in 1602, and induced famine in 1603. When King James I took the throne in 1603 he quickly proceeded to issue pardons for the Irish lords and their rebel forces. Siege of Kinsale - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins/monobook/IE50Fixes. ... The Nine Years War (Irish: Cogadh na Naoi mBliana) in Ireland took place from 1594 to 1603 and is also known as Tyrones Rebellion. ... This article is about the nine-county Irish province. ... Red Hugh ODonnell (Aodh Rua Ó Domhnaill in Irish) (1572- 10 September 1602) was an Irish lord who led a rebellion against English government in Ireland from 1593 and helped to lead the Nine Years War, a revolt against English occupation, from 1595 to 1603. ... Coat of arms1 Capital Dublin Language(s) Irish, English Government Monarchy King2  - 1542-1547 Henry VIII  - 1760-1801 George III Chief Secretary  - 1660 Matthew Lock  - 1798-1801 Viscount Castlereagh Legislature Parliament of Ireland  - Upper house Irish House of Lords  - Lower house Irish House of Commons History  - Act of Parliament 1541... Charles Blount (pr. ...

But by then, on 10 September 1602 the Prince of Tyrconnell had already died, allegedly assassinated, in Spain, and his brother succeeded him as 25th Chieftain of the O'Donnell clan. He was later granted the Earldom of Tyrconnell by King James I on 4 September 1603, and restored to a somewhat diminished scale of territories in Tyrconnell on 10 February 1604. The peerage title Earl of Tyrconnell has been created four times in the Peerage of Ireland. ... Tyrconnell can refer to: a territory in Ireland, now more commonly referred to as County Donegal (see Tír Conaill), although the Kingdom and later Principality of Tyrconnell was broader than that, including parts of Sligo, Leitrim (Republic of Ireland), and Fermanagh (United Kingdom). ...

In 1605 the new Lord Deputy of Ireland, Sir Arthur Chichester, began to encroach on the freedoms of the two Earls. Fearing arrest, they chose to flee to the Continent, where they hoped to recruit an army for the invasion of Ireland with Spanish help. However, earlier in 1607 the Spanish fleet had been destroyed by the Dutch in the Battle of Gibraltar. Also as the Anglo–Spanish War (1585) had ended in 1604, King Philip III of Spain wanted to preserve the recent peace with England under its new Stuart dynasty. Tyrone ignored these realities, remained in Italy, and persisted with his invasion plan until his death in exile in 1616. Official standard of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (also known as the Viceroy or in the Middle Ages as the Lord Deputy) was the head of Englands (pre-1707) or Britains (post 1707) administration in Ireland. ... Arthur Chichester, 1st Baron Chichester (May 1563 – 19 February 1625), known between 1596 and 1613 as Sir Arthur Chichester, was an English administrator and soldier, best known as the Lord Deputy of Ireland from 1604 to 1615. ... Combatants United Provinces Spain Commanders Jacob van Heemskerk † Juan Álvarez de Ávila † Strength 26 warships 4 merchant ships 21 warships Casualties 100 dead 60 wounded 4,000 dead 21 ships destroyed The naval Battle of Gibraltar took place on 25 April 1607 during the Eighty Years War when a Dutch... Combatants Spain England Dutch Republic Commanders Philip II, Philip III, Marquis of Santa Cruz, Duke of Medina Sidonia, Duke of Parma Elizabeth I, Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Earl of Leicester The Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604) was an intermittent conflict between the kingdoms of Spain and England, which was never... Philip III of Spain Philip III (Spanish: Felipe III) (April 14, 1578 – March 31, 1621) was the king of Spain and Portugal (as Philip II Portuguese: Filipe II), from 1598 until his death. ... The Coat of Arms of King James I, the first British monarch of the House of Stuart The House of Stuart or Stewart was a royal house of the Kingdom of Scotland, later also of the Kingdom of England, and finally of the Kingdom of Great Britain. ...

The Attainders

Meanwhile their titles were attainted in 1614, although they continued to be recognised on the Continent. It can be noted that the attainder of these titles in 1614 – six years after Earl of Tyrconnell’s death in Rome in 1608 – can hardly have been considered legitimate, at least in continental Catholic countries of the day. Even within the context of English and its colonial Irish rule, the attainder came about six years after Rory, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, had already died. As accused, for him to have been properly tried, he should have been tried by his peers in the Peerage of Ireland, under the presiding authority of the Lord High Steward of Ireland. However, he was already dead, unable to stand in his own defence, and his title already inherited by his son Hugh “Albert” O'Donnell, therefore in order to attaint the title, the trial would have to have been of Hugh “Albert”, who had in fact committed no crime. A bill of attainder (also known as an act or writ of attainder) is an act of legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime, and punishing them, without benefit of a trial. ... The Peerage of Ireland the term used for those peers created by British monarchs in their capacity as Lord or King of Ireland. ... For other uses of High Steward, see High Steward (disambiguation). ...

The attainder was therefore considered by many a travesty of justice and was considered null and void by many on the Continent. The Earl of Tyrconnell's son, Hugh “Albert” O'Donnell's succession as 2nd Earl of Tyrconnell (1st creation) was therefore recognized as valid abroad, not least in the Spanish realm.

But even more importantly, in a Papal Bull of 1555, the Pope conferred the title King of Ireland on King Philip II of Spain, having excommunicated King Henry VIII of England for breaking with Papal authority, and for arrogating to himself the title King of Ireland, whereas Ireland had hitherto been a lordship held by the King of England as vassal of the Pope ever since the English-born Pope Adrian IV had granted it to King Henry. This is how the Irish lords of Tyrconnell and Tyrone had come to solicit help from Spain, in submission and recognition of its Monarch’s suzerainty. Papal bull of Pope Urban VIII, 1637, sealed with a leaden bulla. ... The designation King of Ireland has been used during three periods of Irish history. ...

Commemoration on the 400th Anniversary

The 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls is being marked on 14 September 2007, throughout Donegal, including with a regatta of tall ships, fireworks, lectures, and conferences. There is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Flight of the Earls and the subsequent Plantation in Draperstown in Northern Ireland and at the "Flight of the Earls Centre" in the Martello Tower at Rathmullan. Draperstown (Baile na Scríne in Irish) is a small town in County Derry, Northern Ireland, in the Sperrin Mountains. ... Northern Ireland (Irish: ) is a part of the United Kingdom lying in the northeast of the island of Ireland, covering 5,459 square miles (14,139 km², about a sixth of the islands total area). ... Martello towers (or simply Martellos) are small defensive forts built in several countries of the British Empire during the 19th century, from the time of the Napoleonic Wars onwards. ...

Related Bibliography

  • The Life of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, Prince of Tyrconnell (Beatha Aodh Rua O Domhnaill) by Lughaidh O'Cleirigh. Edited by Paul Walsh and Colm Ó Lochlainn. Irish Texts Society, vol. 42. Dublin: Educational Company of Ireland, 1948 (original Gaelic manuscript in the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin).
  • Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616, compiled during the period 1632-1636 by Brother Michael O’Clery, translated and edited by John O'Donovan in 1856, and re-published in 1998 by De Burca, Dublin.
  • Blood Royal - From the time of Alexander the Great to Queen Elizabeth II, by Charles Mosley (genealogist), published for Ruvigny Ltd., London, 2002 [ISBN 0-9524229-9-9]
  • The Fighting Prince of Donegal, A Walt Disney Film, made in 1966 about the life of Prince Red Hugh O’Donnell (i.e. Hugh Roe), starring Peter McEnery, Susan Hampshire, Gordon Jackson, and Andrew Keir.
  • Vicissitudes of Families, by Sir Bernard Burke, Ulster King of Arms, published by Longman, Green, Longman and Roberts, Paternoster Row, London, 1861. (Chapter on O’Donnells, pages 125-148).
  • The Fate and Fortunes of the Earls of Tyrone (Hugh O’Neill) and Tyrconnel (Rory O’Donel), their flight from Ireland and death in exile, by the Rev. C. P. Meehan, M.R.I.A., 2nd edition, James Duffy, London, 1870.
  • Erin’s Blood Royal – The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland, by Peter Berresford Ellis, Constable, London, 1999, (pages 251-258 on the O’Donel, Prince of Tirconnell).
  • Vanishing Kingdoms - The Irish Chiefs and Their Families, by Walter J. P. Curley (former US Ambassador to Ireland), with foreword by Charles Lysaght, published by The Lilliput Press, Dublin, 2004 [ISBN 1-84351-055-3 & ISBN 1-84351-056-1]. (Chapter on O'Donnell of Tyrconnell, page 59).
  • A View of the Legal Institutions, Honorary Hereditary Offices, and Feudal Baronies established in Ireland, by William Lynch, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, published by Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, Paternoster Row, London, 1830 (O’Donnell: page 190, remainder to Earl’s patent).

Charles Mosley was Editor-in-Chief of Burkes Peerage & Baronetage (106th edition) and of the re-titled 107th edition, Burkes Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage [1]. He was born London, England. ...

See also

The Tudor re-conquest of Ireland took place under the English Tudor dynasty during the 16th century. ... The Contention of the Bards (in Irish, Iomarbhágh na bhFileadh) was a literary controversy of early 17th century Gaelic Ireland, lasting from 1616 to 1624 (probably peaking in 1617), in which the principal bardic poets of the country engaged in a bout of polemical versifying against each other and... OCahan (Irish: Ó Catháin) is the name of a significant clan in Ulster, a province of Ireland. ... Tadhg Ó Cianáin, fl. ... View from the north-western end of the village where it reaches the sea. ...

External links

Flight of the Earls Sterling Silver Coin launched in Donegal visit www.flightoftheearls.ie

  Results from FactBites:
Flight of the Earls - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (246 words)
This journey, the Flight of the Earls, is a watershed marking the destruction of Ireland's ancient Gaelic aristocracy and paved the way for the Plantation of Ulster.
There is a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Flight of the Earls and the subsequent Plantation in Draperstown in Northern Ireland and at the "Flight of the Earls Centre" in the Martello Tower at Rathmullan.
Flight Of The Earls Commemoration (1607 - 2007)
The Flight Of The Earls.Net - By Dr. John McCavitt FRHistS (784 words)
The 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls in 2007 is rapidly approaching.
Included also are rubbings (and translations) of the tombstones in Rome of the earl of Tyrconnell and Hugh O’Neill, baron of Dungannon, son of the earl of Tyrone.
Overall, the story of the Flight of the Earls is a tale of epic proportions, an enthralling and momentous episode in the history of Ireland and the wider world that has lost none of its drama and appeal in the passage of time.
  More results at FactBites »



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