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. It fell into disuse in the seventeenth century.

Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath, in 1170 granted the lands of Skryne and Santry to his lieutenant Adam de Feypo,[1] 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, Baron Skryne, witnessed a charter in 1210 forfeiting the de Lacy inheritance.[2] A later Richard, perhaps the first Richard's grandson, died in the reign of Edward I leaving an underage son, Simon. In 1302 Simon, then of full age, brought a successful lawsuit against his former guardian Theobald de Verdon for wasting his inheritance.[3] The last of the de Feypo barons of Skryne, Francis, founded an Augustinian friary and a chantry about 1340.[4]

Francis' daughter Joanna married Thomas Marward in about 1375,[5] and their descendants also used the title Baron Skryne. In the sixteenth century the family were involved in two notable scandals. In 1534 James Marward, Baron Skryne, 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.[6] 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 allowed his favourite nephew, William Nugent to kidnap Janet and force her into marriage.[7] Despite the scandal, the marriage could not be dissolved. The Skryne inheritance passed to their eldest son, James, but he forfeited his lands after taking part in the Irish Rebellion of 1641.

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Otway-Ruthven, A.J. A History of Medieval Ireland Reissued Barnes and Noble 1993 p.119
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Calendar of the Irish Justiciary Rolls 1302 24
  4. ^ Ware, Sir James Antiquities and History of Ireland 1654 p.88
  5. ^ Adams, Benjamin Journal of the Royal Historical and Archaeological Society of Ireland 1881 p.482
  6. ^ Scott, Brendan Career Wives or Wicked Stepmothers? History Ireland Vol. 17 2009 Issue 1
  7. ^ Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926 Vol.1 p.213