Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond

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Murrough O'Brien, King of Thomond
Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond.jpg
Murrough O'Brien, last King of Thomond & 1st Earl of Thomond
King of Thomond
Reign 1539-1543
Predecessor Conor O'Brien
Successor Monarchy abolished
Donough O'Brien, 2nd Earl of Thomond
Earl of Thomond
Reign 1 July 1543 - 7 November 1551
Successor Donough O'Brien
Baron of Inchiquin
Reign 1 July 1543 - 7 November 1551
Successor Dermod O'Brien
Died 7 November 1551
Spouse Eleanor FitzGerald
Issue Dermod O'Brien
House Ua Briain
Father Turlough O'Brien
Mother Raghnait MacNamara

Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Thomond (Irish: Murchadh Carrach Ó Briain) (died 7 November 1551) was the last King of Thomond, and a descendant of the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru.[1]


A member of the Irish nobility, he was the son of Turlough, King of Thomond and his second wife, Raghnait MacNamara, and also brother of Connor, who was inaugurated King of Thomond in 1528. He was educated in England and a staunch protestant.[2] On his brother's death in 1539 he set aside his nephew Donough and made himself of King of Thomond. He married Eleanor FitzGerald, daughter of Thomas FitzGerald, Knight of the Valley. They had three sons and four daughters.[1]

On 1 July 1543 O'Brien surrendered his Irish royalty to King Henry VIII of England and the same year he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Earl of Thomond, with remainder to his nephew Donough (who was created Baron Ibrackan on the same day) and Baron Inchiquin, with remainder to the heirs male of his body.[1] The grant of the English titles was conditional upon the abandonment of native titles, the adoption of English customs and laws, the pledging of allegiance to the English crown, apostasy from the Roman Catholic Church, and conversion to the Anglican Church.

In August of that year he joined the king's Privy Council.

Lord Thomond died on 7 November 1551. He was succeeded in the earldom by his nephew Donough according to the special remainder, while the barony of Inchiquin passed to his eldest son Dermod. Another son was Teige Mac Murrough O'Brien, who was an early High Sheriff of Thomond.[1] Of his daughters, Lady Honora O'Brien married Sir Rory Gilla Duff O'Shaughnessy and Margaret O'Brien married Richard Burke, 2nd Earl of Clanricarde, but they were divorced after he claimed that she worked witchcraft against him.



  1. ^ a b c d Cokayne, George Edward, ed. (1896). Complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct or dormant (S to T). 7 (1st ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 391. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Ciarán Ó Murchadha, "The Diocese of Killaloe, An Illustrated History", p. 31,32

Further reading[edit]

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Connor O'Brien
King of Thomond
Kingdom abolished
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Earl of Thomond
Succeeded by
Donough O'Brien
Baron Inchiquin
Succeeded by
Dermod O'Brien