Author Topic: Gaelic gentry in the late medieval period  (Read 249 times)

Offline crb83

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Gaelic gentry in the late medieval period
« on: Tuesday 22 September 20 21:03 BST (UK) »
Lately I've been getting into the Tudor Fiants and compiling notes for my surname around Breifne and the midlands.  I'm wondering what really constituted a "gentleman", especially among surnames that were not part of a leading sept.  For instance in a fiant from 1570, a James M'Clyne of Rathinmore (Rahinmore, Co. Westmeath) is listed as a gentleman among the Mageoghegans.  I hate to assume things, but would it be fair to assume that he probably had a maternal connection to the Mageoghegans and became an heir to the land he was on?

"Pardon to Conly Mageoghegan of Donowre, gentleman and chief of his name; Brian Mageoghegan of the same, gentleman; Thomas O'Brynan of Adamstowne, gentleman; Johanna his wife; Thady and Mortagh O'Brynan his sons; James M'Clyne, gentleman, of Rathinmore; Phelim M'Geoghegan of Donowre, gentleman; Donogh M'Goghegan of Kennaghe, kern; and Ferrall m'Fiagh M'Goghegan of the same, kern."

Most likely there was probably some Maclean gallowglass presence around Moycashel barony much earlier when the Mageoghegan was much more powerful than in this period (likely 1350-1450). Although chieftains did billet their mercenaries on very good land, I dont think they would have given them title unless it was their descendants had some blood connection after some time. But thats just a theory of mine.

Rahinmore (An Raithin Mor: the great little ringfort) is a 172-acre townland in the parish of Newtown, Moycashel b., Co. Westmeath. In the 1655 Down Survey maps it appears that it's part of Cominstowne (526 acres) under Thos Geoghegan, who is later listed as people transported under the Cromwellian Resettlement Acts.
All Maclean-variants.
Cavan, Longford, Westmeath, Offaly, Dublin City

Offline Ghostwheel

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Re: Gaelic gentry in the late medieval period
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 03 January 21 16:30 GMT (UK) »
I wouldn't say that there is any clear conclusion that can be made.

It could be a maternal connection.  I have direct proof of such a case circa 1600 in O'Molloy territory in Offaly.  I think a lot of the clans were moving to primogeniture, at that time, as that was the preferred system of the crown.  This probably led to some transmission of property through the female line.

But another possibility is that it was ecclesiastical land that was given to the supporters of Henry VIII.

Still a third possibility is that the clans had their own supporters that they rewarded with land.  Also, in the Kildare Rental, it seems as though sometimes lands were sometimes given as punishment for breaking a peace.