Savage, Roland (DNB00)

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SAVAGE, Sir ROLAND (d. 1519), soldier, was lord of Lecale, co. Down, and a member of the ancient family of Savages of the Ards. His ancestor, Sir William, accompanied De Courcy to Ireland at the close of 1176, and settled at Ardkeen in the Ards, co. Down, holding his lands by baronial tenure.

Sir Roland was seneschal of Ulster on 2 Aug. 1482 (Cal. Rot. Pat. i. 270 b). He has been identified with Janico or Jenkin Savage, also seneschal of Ulster, whose name Janico was perhaps a sobriquet. The latter was famous among the English of the province for his exploits against the Irish towards the close of the fifteenth century. For the settlers it was a time of especial distress, as the civil war in England precluded much aid being sent from that country. Savage was the only military leader in whom the English reposed any confidence, and in a petition addressed to the king, probably between 1482 and 1494, they prayed him to send succour ‘to his faithfull servant and true liegeman, Janico Savage’ (Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy, v. 132).

In 1515 Sir Roland Savage is mentioned in a memorial on the state of Ireland and a plan for its reformation (State Papers of Henry VIII) as ‘one of the English great rebels’ who undertook wars on their own authority. Perhaps, in consequence of this, Gerald Fitzgerald, ninth earl of Kildare [q. v.], was able to revive an old claim and to deprive Savage of Lecale. Savage died soon after, in 1519, leaving a son Raymond, who duly succeeded to Lecale in 1536 (Annals of Loch Cé, Rolls Ser. p. 229; Cal. Irish State Papers, Carew MSS., 1515–71, p. 94). James, surnamed Macjaniake, was also probably his son.

[G. F. A[rmstrong]'s Savages of the Ards, pp. 158–69.]

E. I. C.