As mentioned before for over three centuries the Maguires
would be, Kings, Princes, or Lords of Fermanagh. It is believed that the
Maguires became Kings of Fermanagh by the agency of the
O'Donnells. They are said to have been above average
administrators bringing peace in Fermanagh while the rest of Ireland was
in turmoil. They are even noted for having settled manners between
fueding clans and other warring factions. The Maguires of Fermanagh were
also well known for their philanthropy toword the Arts and the Church.
They made regular pilgrimages to Rome and Santiago, Spain. In their
devotion to the Church they introduced and supported new religious
orders and dedicated many sons & daughters to its service.
Donn Carrach Maguire
(1264-1302) would be the first Chief Maguire, King of
Fermanagh. The first mention of Maguire in the "Annals of Ulster" would
come in 1302,
"Donn Maguire, King of Fermanagh, namely the
first King of Fermanagh of the sons of Maguire, rested in
Donn probably came from the Aghalurcher parish.
Donn earned the title of Ireland's most generous Lord. His main rival
for the title was MacCarthy, Prince of Desmond, although both
were great men in there own right the poets of the time seem to side
with Donn Maguire as being the kindest between the two
"Donn Maguire is this man's name, Desmond is
greater than his terrain. For kindness true Donn has twice his fame,
though Desmond is greater than Donn's
Donn expanded his lands and laid the foundation
of the Maguire dynasty, leaving the title of "The Maguire" established
among the other ruling Chiefs of Ireland. According to Peadar
Livingstone's "The Fermanagh Story" five hundered years after his death
his ghost haunted the mountain of Benaghlin prophesying the deaths of
the Maguires by throwing down boulders from the face of the
And following Donn the line
of Chiefs is as follows
Son of Donn
Rory an Einigh 'the Generous' (1327-1338)
Son of Flaherty.
Aodh(Hugh) I 'Ruadh'
Another son of
Flaherty and brother to Rory. The line of descent is probably through
Aodh(Hugh) instead of reverting back to Rorys line as would be usual.
Philip na Tuaghe 'Battle axe'
Philip was the
warrior Maguire who established what is known today as Fermanagh. He
used both land and water to lay claim to this territory. In his reign he
is noted for defeating the O'Neills, the MacMahons of
Monaghan and the O'Donnells from west Ulster. Because he was able
to defeat the O'Donnells he gained complete control of the Erne. With
the help of his allies the O'Rourkes and O'Reillys he
defended against the incursion of the O'Connors of Roscommon
driving them all the way back home. The warrior would know peace for the
remaing 25 years of his reign and his white sailed vessels would
dominate the Erne. On his death he is believed to have had control of
around a million acres.
'The Black Gillie' I (1395-1430)
Thomas the Great was Philip's son so the Kingdom he
inheirited was secure and prosperous. He made his Kingdom all the more
secure by reducing the power of his sub-Chiefs. Among the Septs under the protection of Maguire there
were the MacAuley/MacCawley, MacCaffrey, Betty,
McCaugherty, MacCamly/Comley, O'Corrigan,
MacCusker, Fitzpatrick of Fermanagh of the Maguires,
Godfrey - MacGothraigh - MacCorry - McCurry - McGarry,
MacLilly/MacAighile, MacManus, O'Mannis,
Mayne an alias of Maguire, Weir, Guire and those
that may or may not have had blood links but never the less were Septs
under Maguire were O'Cassidy, O'Kennan, O'Hussey,
O'Condron, O'Doonigan, O'Drum, MacEntaggart,
MacEvinney/MacEvinney, Farmer, Feddis,
Gunn/MacElgunn, Leonard -Lineen - O'Luinin,
O'Mulroony, O'Slavin/Slevin, & O'Tally. Thomas
brother Hugh - his "Tanaiste" is said to have assisted Thomas by
ruling half the Kingdom under his brother.
Senior Lisnaskea Branch
Tomas Og Maguire 7th Prince
It is at the time of Thomas the Younger that it was said
"If any person be found in the County of Fermanagh not named
Maguire then he must be a tourist"
For the Maguire Clan
truly made Fermanah there own. But with more power comes more reason for
dissension and Thomas' brothers Philip &
Donall Ballagh contested for power in
Fermanah wishing to usurp his authority. Things even became so bad that
at one point in 1439 Thomas was imprisoned by Philip in Enniskillen Castle but he was
finally released by an old friend Henry O'Neill. Donall Ballagh Maguire took
over Enniskillen Castle from Thomas and two years later Philip took over control of the
Castle from him eventually it would end up rivaling the Lisnaskea fort
of Thomas. Luckly blood was thicker than water and the two sides never
fought each other, in fact they often worked together for the greater
good of Fermanagh. Philip died in
1470 one year after Thomas retired. Thomas
died after a 41 year reign. After this point Fermanah would have a split leadership and
later be ruled from both Thomas' line the Senior Lisnaskea branch and from Philips line the Junior or Cadet
Eamonn 8th Prince
Thomas Og. After this most unluckiest of all Maguire Chiefs the
Chieftainship would permanantly be split between the Senior Lisnaskea
branch and the Junior branch. It took only 13 years of Plague, storms,
minor wars, invasions, famine and poor rulership to end Eamonns reign.
In 1483 both O'Neill and O'Donnell raided Maguire
territory and havoc took over the whole of Fermanagh and in 1484 the
final blow to this unlucky prince was when his own son Giolla Patrick
was murdered. The Junior branch gave support to their own John the son of Philip and
the Senior branch did not stand in the way, thus ended not only Eamonns
reign but also the exclusive right of the Senior branch to rule as well
as the end of any of Eammons sons inheiriting the leadership in
Fermanagh, his brother would latter take over instead.
Junior Enniskillen branch
Mor & Brother Donall Ballagh
The sons of
Thomas (Mor) the Great the 6th Prince & brothers to Thomas Og the
7th Prince. Uncles of Eammon the 8th Prince
Sean or John (I) 9th
Prince 1484-1503 First Prince of Tempo
Son of Philp McThomas. Johns 19 year
rule was marked with competence and justice. It is at this point that
Enniskillen Castle completly overshadowed that of Lisnaskea. John would
succeed in bringing a difficult but much needed peace to Fermanagh.
Brian of Tempo (I)
Brother of Sean or John (I) above
the 9th Prince
Conor Mor (I), 10th Prince
Conor the Great was the brother of Eamonn the unlucky 8th
Prince above. He would rule 24 years.
Junior Enniskillen branch
Most likley the
son of John (I) 9th Prince
Cuchonnaght (I) (The Coarb) 11th Prince
Son of Cuchonnaght of Tempo (I).
Durring a Clan dispute Cuchonnaght was killed, the only Maguire Prince
to have been assasinated. He was first buried on Denenish Island, his
remains were later removed to Donegal Abbey by the Friars Minor.
Senior Lisnaskea branch
Giuolla Padraigh or Giolla Patrick
12th Prince 1537-1540
Son of Conor Mor the 10th Prince. This would be the last
official Prince from the Senior branch. Giolla Patricks reign would be
shaky & short lived because of the power of the Junior branch that
had support from the O'Neills and the O'Donnells.
Giolla would be deposed and John
II of the Junior branch set up as Chief .
Sean or John (II) 13th Prince 1540-1566
Son of Cuchonnaght
the 11th Prince. After an invasion by
& O'Donnell John would be set up as Chief, this was
considered an illegal act under Gaelic Law to place a Junior branch over
the Senior branch all with the agency of the
O'Neills. The Lisnaskea Maguires (Senior) never acknowledged the claims of the Enniskillen
Maguires (Junior) so that they never enjoyed their title of "Maguire"
In 1542 Conn O'Neill
would renounce his title of O'Neill and place his Princedom of Tyrone in
the hands of King Henry VIII of England, Henry in turn created
him Earl of Tyrone and confirmed him in possession of all his
lands by Letters Patent, most all Irish Chiefs would follow, among the
Maguire allies to make submition to the English where the
O'Reillys and MacMahons. John would accompany his
father in law Conn O'Neill to London and be created an English
Ultimatly John too would be
deposed and replaced but with someone form his own Junior line.
Bryan of Tempo
(II) died 1655
Brother of John II & Cuchonnacht II
Cuchonnacht (II) 14th
Son of Cuchonnaght the 11th Prince
and brother to John (II) the 13th Prince.Cucconacht II would prove to be
a very able leader successfully manuvering between the English,
the O'Neills and the O'Donnells.
Cucconacht would wait 50 years before accepting English
suzerainty and make submition to Queen Elizabeth I of England. He
successfully negotiated for complete religious freedom, to retain the
native Irish government in Fermanagh under Gaelic Brehon Law, and all
hereditary lands with a standing army.
Cucconacht would marry more than once, one of his wifes
would be Margret O'Neill. In the "Annals of the Four
Masters" it says of him that
"He was truly a lord in his munificence towards the churches,
ollaves (learned men of ancient Ireland), soldiers and servants, and
a learned and studious adept in Latin and
Cucconacht would be the last
Gaelic Prince from the Junior Maguire line to have peace with England.
Sir Aodh(Hugh) (II) 15th
Son of Cucconacht the 14th Prince. The last and one of
the greatest official Chieftains in family history was
Sir Aodh (Hugh) II, Maguire, who led the Irish army to defeat the English, in 1598,
at "The Battle of the Yellow Ford" one of the last true victories the
Irish would see in its struggle with the English of the time. The battle
was fought in hope of ending the incursion of the English & the
"Ulster-Plantation" or colonization in Ireland which was contrary to all
previous agreements with England. This incursion would lead to the
latter Cromwillian and Williamite Confiscations where lands, property
and life would be taken without even a pretense. Unfortunately this
rising was not meant to be, in 1603 Sir Red Hugh who was at the head of
King O'Neil's calvary, on the way to battle the English at Cork,
intercepted Sir Warham Sentleger (St. Leger) quite by accident, the two
great warriors fought and Hugh dispatched Sir Warham Sentleger. The
wounds of the battle would eventualy prove to be fatal to Hugh and a few
hours later he would die. Of Hugh Maguire the "Annals
of the Four Masters" say
"The death of Maguire was a cause of profound sorrow and severe
affliction to O'Neill and the Irish Chiefs in general and that was
not to be wondered at for he was a pillar of battle and conflict,
the shield of protection and deliverance, a tower of defiance and
fortitude, the mainstay of hospitality and generosity".
Ultimately the English
defeated the Irish at the battle of Kinsale. This was the beginning of
the end of the Gaelic
Order, the time the Anglo-Norman
influence took a more complete hold on Ireland.
[?]Cuchonnacht (III) 1602-1608
(Unofficial 16th Prince)
Cucconacht the 14th Prince and half brother to Hugh (II) the 15th and
last official Prince of Fermanagh. Cuchonnacht would be instrumental in
the "Flight of the Earls" although he was never inaugurated by the Clan of Maguire
he was the last recognised as heir to the Chieftainship of Fermanagh
after the death of his half brother Hugh II supported by Owen
Roe O'Donnell. But there were two claimants to the title of
"Maguire", his claim being disputed by Roe
Maguire , grandson of Connor Mor of the Senior line supported by an
O'Neill. Neather would be inaugurated
as Chief of Fermanagh.
In 1607 in what is
known as "The Flight of the
Earls" the Northern Chiefs, their
families and retainers exiled themselves from Ireland. It was
Cuchonnacht that obtained the ship and organized the exodus from Ireland
for O'Neill and the other Northern Chiefs. Cuchonact Maguire would
receive the last sacraments and die of a fever in Genoa on the 12th of
August 1608. He was buried in the Franciscan Church of the Annuciation
in Genoa. Cuchonnachts death would be the end of Gaelic rule by Maguire
in Fermanagh. Maguire rule in Fermanagh would go on but under Gaelic
Kings made English Lords.
fled to the European Continent, were along with other Irish nobles,
their aristocratic lineage was recognized by European courts, French and
Austrian, to name two. They found prominence in serving these courts in
the "Order of the Wild
Geese", those noble Irish sons that
served & died for foreign Lords instead of there beloved Ireland.
They were accepted as noble until the title became extinct in about
Senior Lisnaskea branch
[?]Conor Roe died 1625 (Unofficial
Contested for the 16th
Chieftainship supported by an O'Neill after Hugh of the Junior line
died. He was grandson to Conor the Great
or Conor Mor.
English Barons of
Fermanagh Ireland after the end of the Gaelic Order
Lord Brian Maguire 1st English Baron of Enniskillen d.
of Conor Roe great-grandson of Conor the Great or Conor Mor of the
Lord Conor Rua, 2nd English Baron of
Son of Lord Brian Maguire 1st English Baron of
Enniskillen. Notorious for bungling plot by the remaining Gaelic nobles
to take Dublin Castle. He was hanged at the Tower of London.
Rory, d. 1648
Son of Lord Brian and brother of Conor
Son of Lord Brian and brother of Conor Rua.
This line leads to Terrence
The Maguire of Fermanagh our present
To see this in a broader historical context
an Irish historical
time line should be consulted.