Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 41.djvu/326
ing his submission to Henry, promising for himself and his followers to live and die his ‘true, faithful, and obedient servants.’ He appeared to St. Leger ‘a very sobre man, and very like to contynewe your Majesties trewe subjecte;’ and Henry, gratified by his submission, expressed his intention of conferring on him some title of honour, together with a grant of all the suppressed religious houses in his country.
There was some difficulty in reconciling the Irish succession by tanistry with that of primogeniture; but it was finally concluded that O'Brien himself should be created Earl of Thomond for life, the title to revert after his death, not to his eldest son, who was created Baron of Inchiquin, but to his nephew Donough, created at the same time Baron of Ibrickan. This ingenious solution of a perplexing problem clearly demonstrated Henry's intention to proceed in the reconquest of Ireland by conciliatory methods, if possible; he hoped that time would bring with it a practical reconciliation of the laws and customs of the two countries. On the adjournment of the parliament to Trim (12 to 21 June 1542), O'Brien repaired thither with his nephew Donough, ‘both honestly accompanied and apparelled,’ and attended the lord-deputy to Dublin, where he remained for three or four days. At his own request he was included in the commission for the suppression of the religious houses in Thomond, and in the following year visited England. Owing to the general dearth of money in Ireland, St. Leger was obliged to lend him, for his journey, 100l. in harp-groats, i.e. in pence. He arrived at court, accompanied by Ulic de Burgh, first earl of Clanricarde, in June 1543, and, having renewed his submission, he was, on Sunday, 1 July, created Earl of Thomond. The expenses of his installation were defrayed by Henry, who also, for his ‘better satisfaction,’ granted him a house and lands in Dublin for his entertainment during his attendance on parliament.
After a brief sojourn in London O'Brien returned to Ireland. The honours conferred upon him were followed by beneficial results. He had, of course, his quarrels with his neighbours, the Burkes and Munster Geraldines, and more than once his attitude threatened the general peace. But he had a sincere regard for St. Leger, and a word from him was sufficient to control him. He accompanied St. Leger to the water's edge at his departure in April 1546, and was one of those who welcomed him on his return in 1550. He died in the following year and was succeeded by his nephew Donough, who surrendered his patent, and was granted a new one on 7 Nov. 1552, conferring the title on him and the heirs male of his body. He did not long enjoy the honour, being killed in April 1553 by his brother Donnell, called Sir Donnell, who had married his cousin, a daughter of Murrough O'Brien. The earldom passed to Conor O'Brien, third earl [q. v.], Donogh's eldest son, by Helen Butler, youngest daughter of Piers, eighth earl of Ormonde.
[O'Donoghue's Historical Memoirs of the O'Briens; State Papers, Ireland, Hen. VIII (printed); Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O'Donovan; Ware's Rerum Hibernicarum Annales; Annals of Loch Cé, ed. Hennessy; Lodge's Peerage, ed. Archdall, vol. ii.]
O'BRIEN, MURROUGH, first Earl of Inchiquin (1614–1674), known in Irish tradition as Murchadh na atoithean, or 'of the conflagrations,' was the eldest son of Dermod, fifth baron of Inchiquin, by Ellen, eldest daughter of Sir Edmond Fitzgerald of Cloyne. His grandfather and namesake was killed in July 1597 at the passage of the Erne, fighting for Queen Elizabeth. It appears from an inquisition taken after the death of his father that Inchiquin was born in September 1614. His wardship was given to Patrick Fitzmaurice, and the custody of his property to Sir William St. Leger [q. v.], lord president of Munster, whose daughter he married. He had a special livery of his lands in 1636, and afterwards went to study war in the Spanish service in Italy. He returned in 1639, and prudently yielded to Wentworth's high-handed scheme for the colonisation of Clare. In a letter to Wentworth Charles took notice of this, and directed that he should not 'in course of plantation have the fourth part of his lands in that county taken from him as from the other the natives there' (Lodge). On 2 April 1640 he was made vice-president of Munster, and sat as a peer in the parliament which Stratford held that year.
The great Irish rebellion began on 23 Oct. 1641, and in December Inchiquin accompanied the president in an expedition against the Leinster rebels who were harassing Waterford and Tipperary. All the prisoners taken in a fight near Carrick-on-Suir were executed by martial law (Carte, Ormonde, i. 264). In April 1642, during the siege of Cork by Muskerry with four thousand men, Inchiquin, ‘one of the young and noble-spirited commanders,’ led a sally of two troops of horse and three hundred musketeers, which broke up the Irish camp for a time. Muskerry left baggage and provisions behind, and Inchiquin was able to ship guns and to take two castles on the west side of Cork harbour which had annoyed the navigation