List of Irish consorts

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The Queen of Ireland or sometimes Royal Consort of Ireland was the spouse of the rulers and monarch of Ireland.

There have been no native Queens of Ireland since the late 12th century, following the complex sequence of the Norman invasion of Ireland, Treaty of Windsor (1175), and death of the last true High King of Ireland, Rory O'Connor, in 1198.

From 1542, it was a style if not always a reality of the wife of the foreign Monarch of England and later Great Britain, or that of the Queen of these realms in her own right.

Queens of Ireland[edit]

Semi-historical Queens[edit]

Queen Husband's Reign Spouse Remarks
Brigid ingen Cobthaig 564–566 Ainmuire mac Sétnai Daughter of Cobthaig of the Uí Cheinnselaig. She was the mother of Cobthaig.
Eithne 595–600 Áed Sláine She may have been mother to Áed's recorded children: at least six sons, including Diarmait and Blathmac, and a daughter named Rontud.
Findelb ingen Chellaig 665–669 Sechnassach Probably daughter of Cellach Cualann, king of Leinster (died 715) of the Uí Máil. She was probably the mother of Bé Fáil, Murgal and Mumain, all being daughters.
Muirenn ingen Cellaig 694–701 Loingsech mac Óengusso Daughter of Cellach Cualann, king of Leinster (died 715) of the Uí Máil. She was the mother of Flaithbertach, was later High King, and Fergal.
? ingen Congal Cendmagair 709–718 Fergal mac Máele Dúin Daughter of Congal Cennmagair, High King of Ireland (died 710) of the Cenél Conaill. According to Fáistine Fergaile meic Máele Dúin ("Fergal mac Máele Dúin's Prophecy") to have been an illicit union; she was mother of Áed Allán.
? Of the Ciannachta. According to Fáistine Fergaile meic Máele Dúin ("Fergal mac Máele Dúin's Prophecy"), she was mother of Niall Frossach.
Ailbíne ingen Ailello 739–758 Domnall Midi Daughter of Ailello of Ard Ciannacht, a minor kingdom of the coast north of the River Boyne. Only recorded wife of Domnall Midi.
Dunlaith ingen Flaithbertaich 759–765 Niall Frossach Daughter of Flaithbertach mac Loingsig, High King of Ireland (died 765) of the Cenél Conaill. She was mother of Áed Oirdnide, and died in 798.
Bé Fáil ingen Cathail 766–792 Donnchad Midi Daughter of Cathal mac Muiredaig, eponym of the Leth Cathail in Ulster. She was mother of Óengus and Máel Ruanaid, and her death in 801 is recorded in the Annals of Ulster: "Be Fáil daughter of Cathal, Donnchad's queen, died.".
Euginis ingen Donnchada 793–817 Áed Oirdnide Daughter of Donnchad Midi, High King of Ireland (died 797) of the Clann Cholmáin. She died in 802.
Maedhbh ingen Indrechtach Daughter of Indrechtach mac Muiredaig, King of Connacht (died 723) of the Uí Briúin. Also known simply as Medb. According to the 12th century Banshenchas (Lore of Women), she was mother of Niall Caille, and died in 798.
Gormflaith ingen Donnchada 823–846 Niall Caille Daughter of Donnchad Midi, High King of Ireland (died 797) of the Clann Cholmáin. She was mother of Áed Findliath, and died in 861 and the notice of her death in the Annals of Ulster calls her "a most charming queen of the Irish".
Queen Husband's Reign Spouse Remarks

Historical Queens[edit]

Queen Husband's Reign Spouse Remarks
Gormlaith Rapach ingen Muiredach 855–879 Áed Findliath Daughter of Muiredach mac Eochada, King of Ulster (died 839) of the Dal Fiatach. Known as "the Harsh". According to the 12th century Banshenchas (Lore of Women), she was mother of Domnall mac Áeda and Eithne ingen Áeda.
Land ingen Dúnlainge Daughter of Dúngal mac Fergaile, King of Osraige (died 842) and sister of Cerball mac Dúnlainge. She was widow of High King Máel Sechnaill. According to the 12th century Banshenchas (Lore of Women), she was mother of Domnall mac Áeda and Eithne ingen Áeda. She died in 842.
Máel Muire ingen Cináeda Daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts (died 858) of the House of Alpin. She was mother of Niall Glúndub by her first marriage. According to Annals of Ulster, she died in 913. She remarried after her husband's death.
Gormlaith ingen Flainn 879–916 Flann Sinna Daughter of Flann mac Conaing, King of Brega (died 868) of the Síl nÁedo Sláine. She was mother of Donnchad Donn.[1]
Eithne ingen Áeda Daughter of Áed Findliath, High King of Ireland (died 879) of the Cenél nEógain. She was mother of Máel Ruanaid. She was also married to Flannácan, King of Brega, by whom she had a son named Máel Mithig, although whether this preceded her marriage to Flann is unclear. It is likely that Flann divorced Eithne in order to follow the tradition of marrying his predecessor's widow, Eithne's stepmother. Eithne died as a nun in 917.[2]
Máel Muire ingen Cináeda Daughter of Cináed mac Ailpín, King of the Picts (died 858) of the House of Alpin. She was mother of Domnall mac Flainn, King of Brega, and Lígach ingen Flainn (died 923). According to Annals of Ulster, she died in 913.
Gormlaith ingen Flainn 916–919 Niall Glúndub Daughter of Flann Sinna, High King of Ireland (died 879) of the Clann Cholmáin. Was the widow of Cerball mac Muirecáin, the King of Leinster and before that Cormac mac Cuilennáin, the King of Munster. Legend depicted her as a tragic figure; she was resorted to begging from door to door after Niall's death. She was mother of Muirchertach mac Néill. The Annals of Ulster record her death in 948.
Cainnech ingen Canannáin 919–944 Donnchad Donn Daughter of Canannán mac Flaithbertach, King of the Cenél Conaill of Tír Connaill. She died in 929.
Órlaith íngen Cennétig Daughter of Cennétig mac Lorcáin, King of the Dál gCais of Thomond. She was killed in 941, apparently on Donnchad's order, perhaps due to a sexual relationship between her and her stepson Óengus.
Dublemna ingen Tigernán Daughter of a Tigernán, a lord or king of Bréifne of the Ua Ruairc. She died in 943.
Gormflaith ingen Murchada 980–1002 Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill Daughter of Murchad mac Finn, king of Leinster, and also widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York. She remarried to Brian Boru.
Mór 1002–1014 Brian Boru Daughter of Gilla Brigte Ua Maíl Muaid of the Cenél Fiachach. Mother of his successor Murchad mac Brian, who was slain with his father at the Battle of Clontarf.
Echrad Mother of his successor Donnchad mac Brian.
Gormflaith ingen Murchada Daughter of Murchad mac Finn, king of Leinster. Widow of Olaf Cuaran, the Viking king of Dublin and York, and former wife of Máel Sechnaill. Mother of his successor Donnchad mac Brian, later King of Munster. She was said to be his true love, having mistakeningly challenged his authority one too many times, they divorced. Though she is said to be the cause of his death, she was also said to be the one to mourn him the most. She died in 1030.
Dub Choblaig Daughter of a king of Connacht. Mother of Cénnetig mac Briain (Kennedy).
Máel Muire ingen Amlaíb 1014–1022 Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill
(second reign)
Daughter of Amlaíb Cuarán of the Norse-Irish Uí Ímair, she is the first known Queen of Ireland of Norse descent. Máel Muire died in 1021, a year before her husband, to whom she may have been wed for over two decades. The Annals of Clonmacnoise actually style her Queen of Ireland.[3]
Cacht ingen Ragnaill died 1064 (with opposition) Donnchad mac Briain Possibly sister of Echmarcach mac Ragnaill, king of Dublin, also of the Uí Ímair. The marriage was in 1032.[4] Cacht died in 1054, styled Queen of Ireland.[5]
Derbforgaill ingen Donnchad died 1072 (with opposition) Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó Daughter of Donnchad mac Briain, king of Munster of the Dál gCais.
Dubchoblaig of the Uí Cheinnselaig died 1086 (with opposition) Toirdelbach Ua Briain Of the Uí Cheinnselaig. Mother of Diarmait Ua Briain, perhaps named for her kinsman and Toirdelbach's protector Diarmait mac Maíl na mBó. She died in 1088
Derbforgaill of Osraige Mother of Tadc and Muirchertach.
Gormlaith of Ua Fógarta Of the Ua Fógarta.

Ladies of Ireland[edit]

The Lordship of Ireland (1171–1541) was a Cambro-Norman state created in the wake of the Norman invasion of Ireland (1169–71). While authority over the whole island was claimed, effective control was far less. It was ruled by Prince John, and when he became King of England, the Lordship of Ireland became attached to the crown therefore the Ladies of Ireland are the same as the Queens of England from 1171 onwards.

Royal consorts of Ireland (Kingdom of Ireland and after)[edit]

In 1542 the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 was passed in the Parliament of Ireland, stating that Henry VIII of England and his successors would also be Kings of Ireland. Henry's sixth and last queen consort Catherine Parr, under the Crown of Ireland Act of 1542, was the only wife to assume the title of Queen consort of Ireland. This was not recognized in Europe until c. 1555, by which time Henry was dead. More importantly, Gaelic Ireland, with its many overkings and sub-kings, was not completely brought under control until after the so-called Flight of the Earls in 1607, following the Nine Years' War. From 1555 to 1603 the quasi-official monarchs of Ireland, or at least a large part of it, were the Tudors, Mary I of England and Elizabeth I of England. During George III's reign The Kingdom's of Great Britain and Ireland merged to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Act of Union 1800.

For the queens between 1801 and 1927, go to List of British consorts.


For the queens of Northern Ireland, go to List of British consorts.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Doherty, "Flann Sinna".
  2. ^ Woolf. "View", p. 93.
  3. ^ Annals of Clonmacnoise 1014[recte, 1021]
  4. ^ Annals of Inisfallen
  5. ^ Annals of Tigernach; Chronicon Scotorum

Sources[edit]

  • Ireland, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy