Magauran, Edmund (DNB00)

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MAGAURAN, EDMUND (1548–1593), Roman catholic archbishop of Armagh, a member of the clan Macgauran or Macgovern of Tullyhaw, co. Cavan, was born in Maguire's country in 1548, and appears to have been educated abroad, either like his successor, Peter Lombard [q. v.], at Louvain, or more probably at one of the Irish colleges in Spain. In 1581 he was sent on a mission to the pope by the chiefs of his native country, and was appointed bishop of Ardagh on 11 Sept. (Brady, Episcopal Succession, i. 292). On 1 July 1587 he was translated to the archbishopric of Armagh and primacy of all Ireland, vacant by the death of Richard Creagh [q. v.] The pallium was granted him on 7 Aug. (ib. i. 221). This appointment was gratifying to the northern chiefs, and especially to the Maguires, with whom Magauran was on intimate terms. Magauran was in Ireland in 1589 (Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1588–92). But in 1592, according to a letter from Sir R. Bingham [q. v.] to Burghley, he went ‘into Spain with letters and great assurance from Hugh Roe O'Donell and McGwyre’ (ib. 1592–6, p. 81). Philip II distinctly promised him that Spanish troops should be sent by way of Scotland to aid the Irish in the summer, and Magauran is said to have accompanied Philip into France when he took his daughter to be married to the Duke of Guise (ib. p. 71). Before his return home he seems to have also visited Clement VIII, who entrusted him with a message to the Irish troops, exhorting them to persevere in their opposition to the queen.

At length crossing to Ireland in a vessel of James Fleming, a merchant of Drogheda, he landed there probably at the end of 1592. The government regarded him as a rebel, and in two or three days he took refuge with Hugh Maguire, lord of Fermanagh [q. v.], on the confines of his diocese. Ample rewards were offered for his apprehension, and Sir William Fitzwilliam [q. v.], who knew of Magauran's arrival, but was ignorant of his errand, sent to Maguire to demand his surrender. This was refused, and Maguire retired with Magauran to a strong position in the interior of Fermanagh. Magauran, who found the country quiescent, occupied himself in rousing the Irish to fresh efforts, and his words, backed as they were by promises from Rome and Spain, had considerable effect (Lombard, De Hibernia Comment. pp. 345–7). Sir R. Bingham, writing to Burghley 6 June 1593, said, Magauran ‘doth much mischief riding on his chief horse, with his staff and shirt of mail’ (Cal. State Papers). Meanwhile his emissaries in Lisbon and elsewhere were continuing negotiations for foreign aid, and the differences at home between Maguire and Brian Oge O'Rourke were composed by his intervention. Maguire, who had lately laid down his arms, was induced to rebel again in 1593. But the outbreak of hostilities cost Magauran his life. He was killed in an engagement between Maguire and Bingham on midsummer eve 1593. ‘McGuire was on horseback, and all their principal men and himself escaped so narrowly, and the very next unto him, round about him, were stricken down, amongst whom his ghostly father, the titulary primate, MacGauran, lost his life, a man of more worth, in respect of the villainy and combinations which he hath wrought with the ill Irishry, than the overthrow of divers hundreds of other Beggars, and so generally is his death lamented as if the same were their utter overthrow. And assuredly he was the only stirrer and combiner of their mischiefs towards in Ulster (and the primer of McGuire to come forward in their two journeys, making the Irishry full of belief that they should have the aid this summer of Spaniards), and another champion of the Pope's, like Dr. Allen, the notable traitor; but God be thanked, he hath left his dead carcase on the Maugherie, only the said rebels carried his head away with them that they might universally bemoan him at home’ (Sir R. Bingham, Letter of 28 June 1593). The chronology of Magauran's life is obscure, and several dates have been given for his death. Brennan and Moran give 1598; in the ‘Annals of the Four Masters,’ vi. 1593, a spirited account of the engagement, called the battle of Sciath na Feart, is supplied, under date 3 July 1593; but the letter of Bingham quoted above is conclusive. Still more various is the spelling of his name, which appears in many forms, the chief of which are Macgawran, Macgavrin, Macsaruraghan, Magoran, and Magauran. His christian name is also given as Edward, Redmond, and Edmund.

[Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1588–92, 1592–6; Peter Lombard, De Hibernia, pp. 345–7; Camden's Annals; De Burgo's Hibernia, p. 602; Roth's Analecta de Processu Martyriali; Fynes Moryson's Itinerary, ii. 20; Cox's Hibernia Anglicana, ii. 403; O'Sullevan's Hist. Cath. Hiberniæ, t. iii.; Annals of the Four Masters, vii. s.a.; Wadding, xxiii. 294; Moran's Spicilegium Ossoriense, 3rd ser. p. 38; Brady's Episcopal Succession, i. 221, 292; Brennan's Ecclesiastical Hist.; Renehan's Collections, p. 273; Stuart's Hist. Memoirs of Armagh, pp. 269, 270; Lenihan's Hist. of Limerick, p. 121; Bagwell's Ireland under the Tudors.]

A. F. P.