Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 40.djvu/416

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

nephew Niall, son of Dubhtuinne, who was king of Ulidia, was defeated by him in battle and deposed in 1011. In 1015 he was attacked by Maelseachlainn II [q. v.], king of Ireland, and had to yield him hostages. After this defeat the deposed Niall, son of Dubhtuinne, with some of the inhabitants of Dal nAraidhe, the southern sub-kingdom of Ulidia, rose against him; but he defeated them and slew his nephew. To secure his position, in 1019 he blinded his kinsman, Flaibheartach O'Heochaidh. Niall had many ships, and in 1022 defeated a Danish fleet off his coast and captured most of its vessels and their crews. Later in the year he invaded the territory of the Airghialla in the south of Ulster, and won a great victory at Slieve Fuaid, co. Armagh. The Cinel Eoghain attacked him in 1027, and carried off a great spoil of cattle from Ulidia. In 1047 there was so great a famine in his country that many of his people migrated to Leinster. The famine was followed by deep snow from 2 Feb. to 17 March, and the year was long known to chroniclers as ‘bliadhain an mór sneachta’ (‘the year of the great snow’). He died 13 Sept. 1062. His son Eochaidh died on the same day, but left descendants who take their name from him; some of them survive on the coasts of Ulster to this day, and are famous for their skill as boatmen and sea-fishers. They are called after him in Irish O'Heochaidh, which is often anglicised Haughey, and sometimes Haugh, Hoey, or Howe.

[Annala Rioghachta Eireann, ed. O'Donovan, vol. i.; Annals of Ulster, ed. Hennessy, vol. i.; local information.]

N. M.

NIALL (d. 1139), anti-primate of Armagh, was son of Aedh and grandson of Maelisa, who with his father, Amhalghaidh, filled the primacy of Ulster for fifty-six years. Another member of his family held the temporalities of the see for three years after the election of St. Malachy O'Morgair [q. v.], and in 1131 they were seized by Niall, who publicly displayed the Bachall Isa, or pastoral staff of Jesus, to the populace, and was able for a short time to hold his own. He also seized an ancient book, probably that now known as the book of Armagh. St. Bernard, the friend of his rival, speaks of him with severity as ‘Nigellus quidam, imo vero nigerrimus.’ He wandered about in the diocese, and reasserted his claim in 1137, when Giolla Iosa succeeded Malachy as the regular archbishop, but was driven out and died, ‘after intense penance,’ say the chronicles, in 1139.

[Annala Rioghachta Eireann, ed. O'Donovan, ii. 1063; Colgan's Trias Thaumaturga, 1650, p. 305; Bernardi Opera, Paris, 1586, ii. 724–725; Stuart's Historical Memoirs of the City of Armagh, Newry, 1819.]

N. M.

NIAS, Sir JOSEPH (1793–1879), admiral, third son of Joseph Nias, ship insurance broker, was born in London on 2 April 1793. He entered the navy in 1807, on board the Nautilus sloop, under the command of Captain Matthew Smith, with whom he continued in the Comus and Nymphen frigates, on the Lisbon, Mediterranean, North Sea, and Channel stations till August 1815. During the last few weeks of the Nymphen's commission Nias, in command of one of her boats, was employed in rowing guard round the Bellerophon in Plymouth Sound, keeping off the sightseers who thronged to catch a glimpse of Napoleon. He continued in active service after the peace, and in January 1818 was appointed to the Alexander brig, with Lieutenant (afterwards Sir) William Edward Parry [q. v.], for an expedition to the Arctic under the command of Sir John Ross [q. v.] In February 1819 he was again with Parry in the Hecla, returning to the Thames in November 1820, and on 26 Dec. he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. In January 1821 he was again appointed to the Hecla with Parry, and sailed for the Arctic in May. After two winters in the ice the Hecla returned to England in November 1823. In 1826 Nias went out to the Mediterranean as first lieutenant of the Asia, carrying the flag of Sir Edward Codrington [q. v.], and, after the battle of Navarino, was promoted to be commander on 11 Nov. 1827, and appointed to the Alacrity brig, in which he saw some sharp service against the Greek pirates who at that time infested the Archipelago, and especially on 11 Jan. 1829, in cutting out one commanded by a noted ruffian named Georgios, who was sent to Malta and duly hanged. The Alacrity was paid off in 1830.

Nias was advanced to post rank on 8 July 1835, and in May 1838 commissioned the Herald frigate for the East Indies, a station which at that time included Australia, China, and the Western Pacific. In February 1840, when Captain Hobson of the navy was ordered to take possession of New Zealand in the name of the queen, he went from Sydney as a passenger in the Herald, and was assisted by Nias in the formal proceedings (Correspondence relative to New Zealand, Parl. Papers, 1841, vol. xvii.; Bunbury, Reminiscences of a Veteran, vol. iii.) During the first Chinese war Nias was actively employed in the operations leading to the capture of Canton, and on 29 June 1841 he was nominated a C.B. The Herald returned to England in 1843, when Nias was placed on half