Burke Civil War

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The Burke/de Burgh Civil War was a conflict in Ireland in the 1330s between three leading members of the de Burgh (Burke/Bourke) family.

Background

William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster, was murdered by his household knights in June 1333. His only child, Elizabeth de Burgh (1332–1363), succeeded as Countess of Ulster and legal heir to the de Burgh estate as an infant. But because she was an infant, and a female, she was taken by her mother to England for safety.

Meanwhile, three members of the de Burgh family fought against each other in an attempt to preserve their own personal estates, and overall control of the massive de Burgh inheritance in Ireland. They were:

Loss and divisions

The eventual outcome of the war was the loss of almost all the de Burgh lands in Ulster, which was reconquored within a year by the Gaelic-Irish.

The remaining de Burghs in Ireland fragmented into three distinct clans, all of which had several sub-septs. They were:

Clan William, Mac William, Clanricarde

  Walter de Burgh
  |
  |____________________________________________
  |                                           |
  |                                           |
 William de Burgh, died 1205.    Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent, d. 1243. 
  |                                        (issue; John and Hubert)
  |_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                         |                                             |
  |                                                         |                                             |    
 Richard Mór de Burgh, 1st Baron of Connaught  Hubert de Burgh, Bishop of Limerick, d. 1250.   Richard Óge de Burgh
  |                                                                                             (Burke of Clanricarde)
  |_________________________________________________________________
  |                                                               |
  |                                                               |
  Walter de Burgh, 1st Earl of Ulster                William Óg de Burgh
  |                                                               |
  |                                                               |
  Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster          Edmond Albanach de Burgh
  |                                                      (Mac William Íochtar)          
  |___________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                 |
  |                                                                 |
  John de Burgh                                           Edmond de Burgh, 1298-1338.
  |                                                      (Clan William Bourke of Munster)    
  |                                                                
  William Donn de Burgh, 3rd Earl of Ulster                       
  |                                                                 
  |                                                            
  Elizabeth de Burgh, 4th Countess of Ulster                       
  |                                                          
  |                                                       
  Philippa, 5th Countess of Ulster                      
  |                                          
  |
  Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March

References

  • A New History of Ireland, volume IX, Oxford, 1984;
    • Earls of Ulster and Lords of Connacht, 1205-1460 (De Burgh, De Lacy and Mortimer), p. 170;
    • Mac William Burkes: Mac William Iochtar (de Burgh), Lords of Lower Connacht and Viscounts of Mayo, 1332–1649, p. 171;
    • Burke of Clanricard: Mac William Uachtar (de Burgh), Lords of Upper Connacht and Earls of Clanricard, 1332–1722.
  • Burke:People and Places, Eamonn de Burca, Dublin, 1995.
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