1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Clanricarde, Ulick de Burgh, Marquess of

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CLANRICARDE, ULICK DE BURGH (Bourke or Burke), Marquess of (1604–1657 or 1658), son of Richard, 4th earl of Clanricarde, created in 1628 earl of St Albans, and of Frances, daughter and heir of Sir Francis Walsingham, and widow of Sir Philip Sidney and of Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, was born in 1604. He was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Burgh in 1628, and succeeded his father as 5th earl in 1635. He sat in the Short Parliament of 1640 and attended Charles I. in the Scottish expedition. On the outbreak of the Irish rebellion Clanricarde had powerful inducements for joining the Irish—the ancient greatness and independence of his family, his devotion to the Roman Catholic Church, and strongest of all, the ungrateful treatment meted out by Charles I. and Wentworth to his father, one of Elizabeth’s most stanch adherents in Ireland, whose lands were appropriated by the crown and whose death, it was popularly asserted, was hastened by the harshness of the lord-lieutenant. Nevertheless at the crisis his loyalty never wavered. Alone of the Irish Roman Catholic nobility to declare for the king, he returned to Ireland, took up his residence at Portumna, kept Galway, of which he was governor, neutral, and took measures for the defence of the county and for the relief of the Protestants, making “his house and towns a refuge, nay, even a hospital for the distressed English.”[1] In 1643 he was one of the commissioners appointed by the king to confer with the Irish confederates, and urged the wisdom of a cessation of hostilities in a document which he publicly distributed. He was appointed commander of the English forces in Connaught in 1644, and in 1646 was created a marquess and a privy councillor. He supported the same year the treaty between Charles I. and the confederates, and endeavoured after its failure to persuade Preston, the general of the Irish, to agree to a peace; but the latter, being advised by Rinuccini, the papal nuncio, refused in December. Together with Ormonde, Clanricarde opposed the nuncio’s policy; and the royalist inhabitants of Galway having through the latter’s influence rejected the cessation of hostilities, arranged with Lord Inchiquin in 1648, he besieged the town and compelled its acquiescence. In 1649 he reduced Sligo. On Ormonde’s departure in December 1650 Clanricarde was appointed deputy lord-lieutenant, but he was not trusted by the Roman Catholics, and was unable to stem the tide of the parliamentary successes. In 1651 he opposed the offer of Charles, duke of Lorraine, to supply money and aid on condition of being acknowledged “Protector” of the kingdom. In May 1652 Galway surrendered to the parliament, and in June Clanricarde signed articles with the parliamentary commissioners which allowed his departure from Ireland. In August he was excepted from pardon for life and estate, but by permits, renewed from time to time by the council, he was enabled to remain in England for the rest of his life, and in 1653 £500 a year was settled upon him by the council of state in consideration of the protection which he had given to the Protestants in Ireland at the time of the rebellion. He died at Somerhill in Kent in 1657 or 1658 and was buried at Tunbridge.

The “great earl,” as he was called, supported Ormonde in his desire to unite the English royalists with the more moderate Roman Catholics on the basis of religious toleration under the authority of the sovereign, against the papal scheme advocated by Rinuccini, and in opposition to the parliamentary and Puritan policy. By the author of the Aphorismical Discovery, who represents the opinion of the native Irish, he is denounced as the “masterpiece of the treasonable faction,” “a foe to his king, nation and religion,” and by the duke of Lorraine as “a traitor and a base fellow”; but there is no reason to doubt Clarendon’s opinion of him as “a person of unquestionable fidelity. . . and of the most eminent constancy to the Roman Catholic religion of any man in the three kingdoms,” or the verdict of Hallam, who describes him “as perhaps the most unsullied character in the annals of Ireland.”

He married Lady Anne Compton, daughter of William Compton, 1st earl of Northampton, but had issue only one daughter. On his death, accordingly, the marquessate and the English peerages became extinct, the Irish titles reverting to his cousin Richard, 6th earl, grandson of the 3rd earl of Clanricarde. Henry, the 12th earl (1742–1797), was again created a marquess in 1789, but the marquessate expired at his death without issue, the earldom going to his brother. In 1825 the 14th earl (1802–1874) was created a marquess; he was ambassador at St Petersburg, and later postmaster-general and lord privy seal, and married George Canning’s daughter. His son (b. 1832), who achieved notoriety in the Irish land agitation, succeeded him as 2nd marquess.

Bibliography.—See the article “Burgh, Ulick de,” in the Dict. of Nat. Biography, and authorities there given; Hist. of the Irish Confederation, by R. Bellings, ed. by J. T. Gilbert (1882); Aphorismical Discovery (Irish Archaeological Society, 1879); Memoirs of the Marquis of Clanricarde (1722, repr. 1744); Memoirs of Ulick, Marquis of Clanricarde, by John, 11th earl (1757); Life of Ormonde, by T. Carte (1851); S. R. Gardiner’s Hist. of the Civil War and of the Commonwealth; Thomason Tracts (Brit. Mus.) E 371 (11), 456 (10); Cal. of State Papers, Irish, esp. Introd. 1633–1647 and Domestic; Hist. MSS. Comm., MSS. of Marq. of Ormonde and Earl of Egmont.  (P. C. Y.) 

  1. Hist. MSS. Comm.: MSS of Earl of Egmont, i. 223.