Kingdom of Desmond


The Kingdom of Desmond was a historic kingdom located on the southwestern coast of Ireland The name is Irish in origin – Deas-Mhumhain – which means South Munster The Kingdom of Desmond originated in 1118, based on the Treaty of Glanmire, when the major parts of the prior Kingdom of Munster fractured into the Kingdom of Desmond and the Kingdom of Thomond Irish: Tuadh-Mhumhain, meaning North Munster

Contents

  • 1 MacCarthy Mórs: Kings of Desmond
  • 2 Principalities and Other Septs
    • 21 Carbery
    • 22 Muskerry
    • 23 Duhallow
    • 24 Other Septs
      • 241 Coshmaing
      • 242 Non-MacCarthy Septs
  • 3 See also
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links

MacCarthy Mórs: Kings of Desmondedit

From its inception in 1118 through 1596, the Kingdom of Desmond was ruled by the family of the MacCarthy Mór, ie, the "Great MacCarthy" For centuries the MacCarthy Mórs reigned as Kings of Desmond, and maintained significant demesne lands manors throughout the kingdom Principal seats were at Pallis Castle near present-day Killarney, Castle Lough on Killarney's Lough Leane, and Ballycarbery Castle near Caherciveen on the Ring of Kerry1

After the death of King Donal IX MacCarthy Mór in 1596, and following the effective end of the Gaelic Order after the Battle of Kinsale 1602, the former Kingdom of Desmond was partitioned between County Cork and County Kerry in 1606

Subsequent to the end of the MacCarthy Mór sovereignty in Desmond, descendants entitled to the highest Gaelic designation of "Chief of the Name" of the MacCarthy Mór family, are also properly styled as Princes of Desmond A secondary title of the MacCarthy Mór would derive from the lordship designation of his Sept

Principalities and Other Septsedit

Map adapted from: WF Butler; Pedigree and Succession of the House of MacCarthy Mór, With a Map; Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland; Vol 51, May 1920; p33

Generational offshoots cadet family lines of the Royal House of Desmond received their own territories and titles – known as appanages of the royal house Those MacCarthy Mór cadet branches which did not evolve to the MacCarthy Mór chief-of-the-name status, became chiefs-of-the-name of their own princely septs, ie MacCarthy Reagh of Carbery, MacCarthy of Muskerry, and MacDonough MacCarthy of Duhallow

Because of their location, it was the MacCarthys of Muskerry and Carbery who ended up fighting the majority of the battles against the Normans – mainly the FitzGerald Earls of Desmond – while defending and expanding the Gaelic realms By the mid-sixteenth century, the main line of the MacCarthys Mor had largely withdrawn to Kerry, so any modern claims that they are still entitled to the nominal overlordship of Carbery and Muskerry might be rejected by any extant descendants of these branches

Carberyedit

One of three principalities within the original Kingdom of Desmond, Carbery, under the MacCarthy Reagh dynasty founded by Donal Gott MacCarthy in the mid-13th century, achieved independence from the overlordship of the MacCarthy Mórs of Desmond Thus, the MacCarthy territories were actually over a fourth again greater outside of Desmond proper, due to the independent and considerable principality of Carbery, directly to the south/southeast of Desmond

Principal seats of the Lords/Princes of Carbery were at Kilbrittain Castle near Kinsale in County Cork, as well as Timoleague Castle west of Kinsale Possession of the latter was frequently in dispute with the Norman family of Barry, who were also prominent in West Cork Some of the more notable sub-lordships under the MacCarthy Reagh dynasty of Carbery included castles at Ballydehob, Benduff, Downeen, Kilcoe, and Kilgobbin, to name but a few

Muskerryedit

Blarney Castle

The MacCarthys of Muskerry, on the other hand, derived more recently from the MacCarthys Mór, and so were and still are considered a sept of the main dynasty This principality of the Kingdom of Desmond began in the 14th century as an appanage of King Cormac Mór MacCarthy Mór d 1359 for his second son, Dermod At various times, because of their adeptness at playing the political game with England, the Lords/Princes of Muskerry also bore various British titles, such as Earl of Clancarty, Viscount Mountcashel, and Baron Lord of Blarney

From its rebuilding in the late 15th century by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, Blarney Castle, near to Cork city, was the principal seat of the MacCarthys of Muskerry It was from alleged dialogue between Cormac Teige MacCarthy, the Lord of Blarney, and Queen Elizabeth I of England, that the term "blarney" was coined to mean "empty flattery" or "beguiling talk" It is also from Blarney Castle that the legend of "kissing the Blarney Stone" derives

Among the numerous sub-infeudations/sub-lordships within the overlordship of the Princes of Muskerry, some of the major ones were: Ballea, Carrignamuck, Carrignavar, Castlecormac, Cloghroe, Cloghphillip, and Downyne

Duhallowedit

The third of the princely lines that began as appanages of the MacCarthy Mór dynasty was that of the MacCarthys of Duhallow Irish: Dúiche Ealla, known as the MacDonough MacCarthys The Duhallow sept began in the 13th century as an appanage from the then-King of Desmond, Cormac Fionn MacCarthy Mór r 1244–1248, to his son Diarmuid Dermond It was the Gaelic lordships of Duhallow and Coshmaing that occupied the northern frontier of the MacCarthys of Desmond in their sometime struggles with the Norman family of the FitzGeralds, the Earls of Desmond The principal seat of the Lords of Duhallow was at Kanturk The family of the MacDonough MacCarthy Lords/Princes of Duhallow became extinct in the 18th century

As in the other princely appanages of Carbery and Muskerry, Duhallow held overlordship of a number of septs of both comital ard tiarna rank – Clanawly, Clonmeen, and Dromagh – as well as baronial tiarna rank – eg, Cappagh, Dromiscane, Kanturk, Kilbolane, Knocktemple, and Lohort, among others

Other Septsedit

Coshmaingedit

The sept clan of Sliocht Eoghan of Coshmaing "beside the River Maine" was established in the 14th century by King Cormac Mór MacCarthy Mór d 1359 for his third son, Eoghan, as an appanage of the royal house of Desmond According to Butler, "Of the MacCarthy septs in the Barony of Magunihy, by far the most 88 to 105 ploughlands was the Sliocht Eoghain Mhoir of Cois Mainge… The lands of this sept stretched along the whole northern frontier of Magunihy from a point near Castlemaine to the border of Cork"2

The head of Sliocht Eoghan of Coshmaing was styled as Lord Ard Tiarna of Coshmaing English: Cosmaigne The principal seat of the Coshmaing lordship was at Molahiffe, with other castles sub-lordships at Fieries and Clonmeallane3

Non-MacCarthy Septsedit

Both inside and outside the territories of the Kingdom of Desmond in southwestern Ireland, there were many families other than the various septs of the MacCarthys Most prominent of the Norman families in the area were the FitzGeralds Earls of Desmond, FitzMaurices, Barrys, Barretts, and Roches

The chief non-MacCarthy Gaelic princes under the MacCarthy Mórs in Desmond were the O'Sullivans After them were the O'Donoghues, and these two were the only septs who took part in the performance of the MacCarthy inauguration ceremonies – ie, the bestowal of the White Wand Also prominent were the O'Callaghans, O'Keeffes, McAuliffes, O'Sheas, O'Fearris, /O'Fearguis and others

Within Carbery, aside from the MacCarthy Reaghs, the most prominent Gaelic families were the princely sept of the O'Donovans, the O'Mahonys, O'Driscolls, O'Dalys, and O'Crowleys Within Muskerry, prominent non-MacCarthy Gaelic families included the MacSweeneys, O'Learys, O'Spaelains, O'Healys, and O'Riordans

See alsoedit

  • Sliocht Cormaic of Dunguile
  • Earl of Clancarty
  • Lordship of Ireland

Notesedit

  1. ^ O'Laughlin, Michael C Families of County Kerry, Ireland; Irish Genealogical Foundation; 1994; p 21; ISBN 978-0-940134-36-2
  2. ^ Butler, W F; Two Kerry Baronies in the Sixteenth Century; Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society; Part 1, Vol XXXXiii, No 137; January–June 1928; pp 3–4
  3. ^ MacCarthy, Samuel Trant; The MacCarthys of Munster; Chapter XV, p 266; Dundalk Press; Dundalk, Ireland; 1921

Referencesedit

  • Butler, W F T, Gleaning from Irish History Longman, Green & Co 1925
  • Ellis, Peter Berresford, Erin's Blood Royal: The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland Palgrave Revised edition, 2002
  • MacCarthy Glas, Daniel, The Life and Letters of Florence MacCarthy 1867
  • MacCarthy, Samuel Trant, The MacCarthys of Munster 1922
  • O'Donovan, John ed and tr, Annála Ríoghachta Éireann Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters 7 vols Royal Irish Academy Dublin 1848–51 2nd edition, 1856
  • O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees Dublin 5th edition, 1892
  • Ó hInnse, Séamus ed and tr and Florence MacCarthy, Mac Carthaigh's Book, or Miscellaneous Irish Annals AD 1114–1437 Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies 1947
  • O'Keeffe, Eugene ed and tr, Eoganacht Genealogies from the Book of Munster Cork 1703 available here
  • Ó Murchadha, Diarmuid, "The Battle of Callan, AD 1261", in Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, Vol LXVI, No 204 July–December 1961 pp 105–116
  • Ó Murchadha, Diarmuid, Family Names of County Cork Cork: The Collins Press 2nd edition, 1996

External linksedit

  • Kingdom of Desmond Association – An Association Devoted to the Study and Preservation of the History and Legacy of the Kingdom and its Rulers
  • The MacCarthy Clan Foundation
  • The Munster Plantation and the MacCarthys, 1583-1597 at The Irish Story



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