Baron Skryne

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Baron Skryne was the title of the holder of an Irish feudal barony : it derived from the parish of Skryne, or Skreen, in County Meath. It was not recognised as a barony in the Peerage of Ireland, but was habitually used firstly by the de Feypo family and then by their descendants, the Marwards. The Barons of Skryne were not entitled as of right to sit in the Irish House of Lords, although it seems that in practice the holder of the title was often summoned to the Irish Parliament.[1] The title fell into disuse in the seventeenth century, when the family estates were forfeited to the English Crown.

De Feypo Barons of Skryne[edit]

Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath in 1170 granted the lands of Skryne and Santry to his lieutenant Adam de Feypo,[2] who was the first of his family to use the title Baron of Skryne. Despite Adam's loyalty to Hugh de Lacy, his son Richard, second Baron Skryne, witnessed a charter in 1210 forfeiting the de Lacy inheritance.[3] A later Richard, perhaps the first Richard's grandson, died in the reign of Edward I leaving an underage son, Simon. In 1302 Simon, by then an adult, brought a successful lawsuit against his former guardian Theobald de Verdon for wasting his inheritance.[4] The last of the de Feypo barons of Skryne, Francis, founded an Augustinian friary and a chantry about 1340.[5]

Marward Barons of Skryne[edit]

Francis's daughter and heiress Katherine de Feypo married Thomas Marward in about 1375.[6] Lord Francis's eldest son and heir John de Feipo along with his son, also called John, had died before Francis and Katherine became heiress to Skryne. Robert de Feipo, Katherine's surviving brother must have been somewhat out of sorts as he should have been the rightful heir. There had been de Feypo's holding the title of Baron for five generations. Robert lived in Santry Castle near Dunboyne.[7] and his descendants also used the title Baron Skryne.

When the Marwards first adopted the title is uncertain, but it seems to have been before the 1460s, when Anne Marward, described as the daughter of Baron Skryne, married as his first wife Sir Alexander Plunket (died 1503), a future Lord Chancellor of Ireland.[8] Walter Marward, Baron Skryne (died 1487), who was probably Anne's brother, was apparently a man of some consequence, who married Margaret St Lawrence, daughter of the powerful Anglo-Irish peer and statesman Christopher St Lawrence, 2nd Baron Howth.[9]

In the sixteenth century the Marward family were involved in two notable scandals. In 1534 James Marward, Baron Skryne, grandson of Walter and Margaret, was murdered by Richard FitzGerald, younger son of Gerald FitzGerald, 8th Earl of Kildare, supposedly at the instigation of James' wife, Maud Darcy, who later married Fitzgerald.[10] James left an only son Thomas (or Walter) who died about 1565, leaving a daughter and heiress, Janet, titular Barones of Skryne. Her mother, Janet Plunket, daughter of Sir John Plunket, remarried the leading judge Nicholas Nugent, who was given wardship of his step-daughter. Nugent apparently allowed his favourite nephew, William Nugent to kidnap Janet and force her into marriage.[11] Despite the scandal surrounding the marriage, it could not be dissolved. William died in 1625 and Janet in 1629.

Forfeiture of the Barony[edit]

The Skryne inheritance passed to James Nugent, eldest son of William and Janet, but he forfeited his lands after taking part in the Irish Rebellion of 1641, and the title lapsed.

Sixteenth-century tombstone of the Marward family, barons of Skreen.

List of the Barons Skryne (de Feypo; extinct by 1375)[edit]

Incomplete list

  • Adam de Feypo, Baron Skryne (died 1190/91)
  • Richard de Feypo, Baron Skryne (living 1210)
  • Richard de Feypo, Baron Skryne (living 1290)
  • Simon de Feypo, Baron Skryne (living 1302)
  • Francis de Feypo, Baron Skryne (died before 1375)

List of the Barons Skryne (Marward; extinct c.1565)[edit]

Incomplete list

  • Walter Marward, Baron Skryne (died 1487)
  • Thomas Marward, Baron Skryne (1484-1503)
  • James Marward, Baron Skryne (1501-1534)
  • Walter Marward, Baron Skryne (died c.1565)[12]

List of Barons Skryne (Nugent; forfeited 1641)[edit]

  • Janet Marward Nugent, Baroness Skryne (died 1629)
  • James Nugent, Baron Skryne (died after 1641)


  1. ^ Some Remarks upon the Ancient Baronage of Ireland R. Graisbery and Co. Dublin 1829 p.115
  2. ^ Otway-Ruthven, A.J. A History of Medieval Ireland Reissued Barnes and Noble 1993 p.119
  3. ^ Barry, Terence, Frame, Robin, Simms, Katherine Colony and Frontier in Medieval Ireland- Essays Presented to J.F. Lydon Continuun International Publishing Group 1995 p.31
  4. ^ Calendar of the Irish Justiciary Rolls 1302 24
  5. ^ Ware, Sir James Antiquities and History of Ireland 1654 p.88
  6. ^ Eva Gertrude Plewman in "A Family Tapestry"
  7. ^ Adams, Benjamin Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Society of Ireland 1881 p.482
  8. ^ Lodge, John and Archdall, Mervyn Peerage of Ireland Dublin James Moore And Co. 1839 Vol. 6 p.157
  9. ^ Lodge, John Peerage of Ireland London 1784 Vol. 4 p.51
  10. ^ Scott, Brendan Career Wives or Wicked Stepmothers? History Ireland Vol. 17 2009 Issue 1
  11. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926 Vol.1 p.213
  12. ^ Lodge p.51