Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 42.djvu/182

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O'More
O'More
176

Infuriated at being caught, O'More fell upon Harrington, ‘hacked and hewed’ him so that Sidney saw his brains moving when his wounds were being dressed, then rushing through a soldier's legs, he escaped practically naked (Carew MSS. 1575-88, f. 356). He soon afterwards burned Carlow; but in an attempt to entrap Barnaby Fitzpatrick, baron of Upper Ossory, into his hands, he was killed by the Fitzpatricks in June 1578, and his head set up on Dublin Castle. He left a son, Owen McRory O'More, whom John Burke, son of the Earl of Clanricarde, took charge of. The English got hold of him after some difficulty, and foolishly allowed him to return to his own country. He became as great a rebel as his father, and, after a life of fighting and plundering, in which, however, he recovered almost all Leix, was killed in a skirmish near Timahoe, Queen's County, 17 Aug. 1600. Moryson called him ‘a bloody and bold young man,’ ‘The Four Masters’ an ‘illustrious, renowned, and celebrated gentleman.’ After his death the importance of the O'Mores as a sept was gone.

[Bagwell's Ireland under the Tudors; Webb's Compendium of Irish Biogr.; Cal. of State Papers, Irish Ser., and of the Carew MSS.; State Papers; Annals of the Four Masters, ed. O'Donovan, vols. vi. vii.; authorities quoted.]

W. A. J. A.


O'MORE, RORY (fl. 1620–1652), Irish rebel, often called Roger Moore or More, son of Calvagh O'More, was descended from the ancient chiefs of Leix. After the plantation of the Queen's County the O'Mores raised various rebellions, which were afterwards reckoned as nineteen in number. A transplantation to Kerry, Clare, and Connaught was undertaken during the reign of James I, of which the state papers contain many details. But they kept always drifting back to their own district, and it was said that they preferred dying there to living anywhere else. Chichester, with a reference to Spanish history, called them White Moors. One of this harassed clan was Roger's father, Calvagh, who had become possessed of a castle and lands at Ballina in Kildare, and these were not affected by the transplantation. Roger, the elder son, inherited Ballina, married a daughter of Sir Patrick Barnewall [q. v.], the noted catholic champion, and was thus connected with the best families of the Pale.

It has been said that O'More, who was in poor circumstances, had hopes of recovering the lands of his family from Strafford; but there is no trace of any such idea in that statesman's correspondence. There was a moment of weakness after the great viceroy's final departure in April 1640; the English government were busy in Scotland, and the time seemed propitious for an effort by the Irish catholics to regain their lost territories, and to restore the splendour of their religion. O'More, who afterwards admitted to an English prisoner (Temple, Hist. of Irish Rebellion, p. 103) that a plot had been hatching for years, began negotiations with John or Shane O'Neill, the great Tyrone's younger son and last surviving heir, who was acknowledged by the Irish and on the continent as Earl of Tyrone. He sounded some of the discontented gentry of Connaught and Leinster, having an ally among the latter in Colonel Richard Plunkett, who was his wife's first-cousin. Plunkett, who was a needy man, was well known at the English court and in Irish society, and had seen service in Flanders. The disbanding of Strafford's army had left a great many officers and soldiers without employment, and these very willingly listened to the plotter. O'More's means of persuasion were mainly two: there was a chance for old Irish and Anglo-Irish families to recover their lost estates or to win new ones; and there was something like a certainty that the puritan parliament in England would deal harshly with the adherents of Rome. Many lent a favouring ear; but all agreed that nothing could be done without a rising in Ulster. His position made O'More the fittest person to mediate between the Pale and the native clans.

In February 1641 O'More applied to Lord Maguire [see Maguire, Connor, second Baron of Enniskillen], who was in Dublin for the parliamentary session, with Hugh Oge MacMahon [q. v.], and others of the northern province. Richelieu promised arms, ammunition, and money to the titular Earl of Tyrone; but the latter was killed in Spain in the spring of 1641, and the conspirators transferred their hopes to Colonel Owen Roe O'Neill [q. v.], who was then in Flanders. O'More appears throughout as the mainspring of the whole plot, and his parish priest, Toole O'Conley, was chosen as the messenger to Owen Roe. It was O'More who swore Maguire, Sir Phelim O'Neill [q. v.], and the rest to secrecy (Hickson, Ireland in the Seventeenth Century, ii. 190). About 1 Sept. 1641 it was decided to seize Dublin Castle on 5 Oct., but the day was afterwards changed to the 23rd. O'More was to lead the party charged with seizing the lesser of the two gates. He visited Ulster at the beginning of October, shifting constantly from place to place to avoid suspicion, and was one of the five who made the final arrangements on the 15th. The place of meeting