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Journals & Biographies

The Annals Of The Four Masters


The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, or The Annals of the Four Masters as they are more commonly called, were compiled between 1632 and 1636 under the direction of Michael O’Clery, a franciscan brother in Donegal. They are a yearly chronicles of major (and sometimes minor) occurrences in Ireland from the Year of the Deluge (ie Noah’s flood) until 1616 A.D. Following are extracts from the Annals that reference members of the Clann MacAodhagain.

(Spelling of MacAodhagain is Anglicised to Mac Egan throughout.)

Volume 3

1225 A.D. – Flann, the son of Auliffe O’Fallon, Chief of Clann-Uadagh, was slain by Felim, the son of Cathal Crovderg, in this war; and Teige O’Finaghty, one of the officers Aes graidh of Hugh, the son of Roderic, was slain by the people of Mac Egan during the same war.1249 A.D. – An army was led by the Roydamnas heirs presumptive of Connaught, namely, Turlough and Hugh, two sons of Hugh, the son of Cathal Crovderg, to Athenry, on Lady Day in mid-autumn, to burn and plunder it. The sheriff of Connaught was in the town before them, with a great number of the English. The English demanded a truce for that day from the sons of the King of Connaught, in honour of the Blessed virgin Mary, it being her festival day; but this they did not obtain from them; and although Turlough forbade his troops to assault the town, the chiefs of the army would not consent, but determined to make the attack, in spite of him. When Jordan and the English saw this, they marched out of the town, armed and clad in mail, against the Irish army. The youths of the latter army, on seeing them drawn up in battle array, were seized with fear and dismay, so that they were routed; and this was through the miracles of the Blessed Virgin Mary, on whose festival they had refused to grant the truce demanded from them. Of their chiefs were here killed Hugh, son of Hugh O’Conor; Dermot Roe, son of Cormac O’Melaghlin, the two sons of O’Kelly; Brian an Doire, the son of Manus; Carragh Inshiubhail, son of Niall O’Conor; Boethius Mac Egan; the two sons of Loughlin O’Conor; Donnell, son of Cormac Mac Dermot; Finnanach Mac Branan; Cumumhan Mac Cassarly, and others besides.1273 A.D. – A depredation was committed by Jordan d’Exeter in Corran. A few of the young princes of Connaught overtook him; but these having adopted an imprudent plan, suggested by some of the common people, it fell out that Donnell, son of Donough, Manus, son of Art O’Conor, Aireaghtagh Mac Egan, Hugh O’Beirne, and many others, were slain.1309 A.D. – Hugh, the son of Owen, son of Rory, son of Hugh, son of Cathal Crovderg, King of Connaught, and worthy heir to the monarchy of Ireland, the most hospitable and expert at arms of all the Irish born in his time, was slain by Hugh Breifneach, the son of Cathal O’Conor, at Coill-an-clochain, together with many of the chiefs of his people about him. Among these were Conor Mac Dermot; Dermot Roe, son of Teige O’Conor; Dermot, son of Cathal Carragh Mac Dermot; Hugh, son of Murtough, son of Teige, son of Mulrony; and Dermot O’Healy, a princely brughaidh, the best of his time. On the other side fell Gilla-na-naev Mac Egan, Chief Brehon of Connaught, and the most illustrious of the Brehons of his time;Faghartach O’Devlin, and others not mentioned. The Sil-Murray then conferred the lordship upon Rory,the son of Cathal O’Conor. Rory O’Conor and O’Flynn afterwards led a troop of cavalry to the Plain, and slew Mac Feorais Bermingham.1316 A.D. – A very great army was mustered by Felim O’Conor and the chiefs of the province of Connaught. In this battle were slain John Mac Egan, O’Conor’s Brehon.1317 A.D. – Maelisa Roe Mac Egan, the most learned man in Ireland in law and judicature, died.1320 A.D. – A meeting and conference took place between Cathal O’Conor and Mulrony Mac Dermot: a kindly and amicable peace was concluded between them, and Mac Dermot then returned to his own country. Cathal, however, afterwards violated the conditions of this peace, for he made a prisoner of Mac Dermot at Mullagh Doramhnach, and also of his wife, the daughter of Mac Manus, at Port-na-Cairrge.Maelisa Don Mac Egan and his son, and Tomaltagh Mac Donough, Lord of Tirerrill, were also made prisoners, and the country was entirely plundered.1327 A.D. – Farrell, son of Ualgarg O’Rourke, Cuilen O’Dempsey, and Sabia, daughter of Mac Egan, died.

1329 A.D. – Maelisa Donn Mac Egan, Chief Ollav of Connaught, died.

1353 A.D. – Saerbhreathach, son of Maelisa Donn Mac Egan, Ollave of Conmaicne, died on Inis Cloghrann.

1355 A.D. – Murrough, the son of Cathal O’Farrell; Dervorgilla, the daughter of O’Farrell; and Teige Mac Egan, a man learned in the Fenechas, died.

1359 A.D. – Manus O’Dowda, son of the Lord of Hy Fiachrach, and Hugh, the son of Conor Mac Egan, the choicest of the Brehons of Ireland, died.

1362 A.D. – Auliffe Mac Firbis, intended Ollav of Tireragh; Farrell, the son of Teige Mac Egan, a learned Brehon; John, son of Donough Mac Firbis, intended Ollav of Tireragh; Dermot, son of Mac Carthy; Conor, son of Melaghlin Carragh O’Dowda, and Murtough, his son, all died.

1369 A.D.
 – Melaghlin Mac Mahon, heir to the lordship of Oriel; Brian, the son of Murtough O’Conor; John, the son of Edward Mac Hubert; Donough O’Beirne, Chief of Tir-Briuin; Randal O’Hanly; Cormac O’Hanly; also John Mac Egan, and Gilbert O’Bardan, two accomplished young harpers of Conmaicne, died.


(Source: Clann Mac Aodhagáin Britain website.)

Volume 4

1378 A.D. – Teige Mac Egan, Chief Brehon of Lower Connaught, a sage without contention or reproach, who kept a house of general hospitality for all comers, died.1390 A.D. – Brian Mac Egan, Ollav of Breifny in judicature, died; and John (i.e. the Official Mac Egan),successor to this Brian, was slain four nights before Christmas Day.1399 A.D. – Boethius Mac Egan, a man extensively skilled in the Fenechus law, and in music, and who had kept a celebrated house of hospitality; and Gilla-na-naev, the son of Conor Mac Egan, Arch-Ollav of the Fenechus Law, died.1404 A.D. – Taichleach, the son of Donough O’Dowda; Tuathal, the son of Melaghlin O’Donnellan, intended ollav of Sil-Murray in poetry ; and Teige, the son of Boethius Mac Egan, intended ollav of Lower Connaught in law,—the three died.1409 A.D. – Murtough Mac Egan, Chief Brehon of Teffia, a learned and profound adept in his own profession, died.

1413 A.D. – Colla, the son of Teige O’Kelly, heir to the lordship of Hy-Many; Melaghin, the son of Manus Mac Donnell; O’Meagher, Chief of Hy-Cairin; and Mac Egan of Ormond, a man learned in the Fenechus, all died.

1422 A.D. – Cosnamhach Oge Mac Egan, Ollav of the Kinel-Fiachach, and of O’Conor Faly in judicature, was slain, in a mistake, by the sons of O’Melaghlin, with one cast of a javelin.1430 A.D. – Farrell, the son of Boethius, son of Teige Mac Egan, Ollav of Lower Connaught in Law, universally learned in every art, and who kept a house of hospitality for all who came to visit him, died, after a good life.

1436 A.D. – Gilla-Isa Mac Egan, Ollav to Mac Wattin in law, a pious, charitable, and humane man, and the superintendent of schools of jurisprudence and poetry, died.

1438 A.D. – Donough, the son of Siry O’Cuirnin, a learned historian; O’Daly of Breifny, Chief Poet to O’Reilly; and Conor Mac Egan, Ollav of Clanrickard in law, died.

1443 A.D. – Mac Egan of Ormond, i.e. Gilla-na-naev, the son of Gilla-na-naev, son of Hugh, Ollav of Munster in law, a man generally skilled in each art, and who kept a house of public hospitality for all, died.

1443 A.D. – Hugh Mac Egan, the son of Farrell, son of Boethius, died, in the springtide of his prosperity. He was the most fluent and eloquent of the Irish of his times. He was Ollav of Lower Connaught in law.

1447 A.D. – Gilla-na-naev, the son of Aireachtach, who was son of Solomon Mac Egan, the most learned Brehon and Professor of Laws in Ireland, died.1473 A.D. – Brian, the son of Robert Mac Egan, ollav to O’Conor Don and O’Hanly, died.

1474 A.D. – Gilla-Finn Mac Egan, Ollav to O’Conor Faly, and Thomas, the son of Donnell O’Coffey, died.

1486 A.D. – Teige Mac Egan, Ollav of Annaly, was slain in an abominable manner by the descendants of Irial O’Farrell.

1487 A.D. – John, the son of Conor Mac Egan, Ollav of Clanrickard, and Hugh, the son of Brian, son of Farrel Roe O’Higgin, died.

Volume 5

1529 A.D. – Cosnamhach, the son of Farrell, son of Donough Duv Mac Egan, the most distinguished adept in the Fenechas, poetry, and lay Brehonship, in all the Irish territories, died, and was interred at Elphin.

1529 A.D. – Mac Egan of Ormond (Donnell, the son of Hugh, son of Donnell), head of the learned of Leath-Mhogha in Feneachus and poetry, died.

Volume 6

1601 A.D. – After they had come together at one place, they pitched and arranged a camp before Kinsale, and from this they faced Rinn-Corrain; and they allowed them the garrison there neither quiet, rest, sleep, nor repose, for a long time and they gave each other violent conflicts and manly onsets, until the warders after all the hardships they encountered, were forced to come out unarmed, and surrender at the mercy of the Lord Justice, leaving their ordnance and their ammunition behind them. The Lord Justice billeted these throughout the towns of Munster, until he should see what would be the result of his contest with the other party who were at Kinsale. It was on this occasion that Carbry Oge, the son of Carbry Mac Egan, who was ensign to the son of the Earl of Ormond, was slain.


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