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Blathewyc (from Irish: Uí Blathmaic, meaning "descendants of Blathmac"[1]), is the name of several different historical territorial divisions located in modern-day County Down, Northern Ireland. It is the Anglicised name of an ancient Irish district, ruled by the Uí Blathmaic, as well as the name of a former barony, bailiwick, and county.[1]

Uí Blathmaic[edit]

Blathewyc is an Anglicisation of the Irish tribal name Uí Blathmaic, which means the "descendants of Blathmac". They take their name from Blathmac, who was of the Dál Fiatach. Blathmac is cited as being the son of Áed Róin mac Bécce Bairrche, an over-king of Ulaid who died in 735.[1]

Bailiwick and county[edit]

With the invasion of Ulaid in 1177 by the Norman knight John de Courcy, and its subsequent conquest, the neighbouring districts of Aird Uladh and Uí Blathmaic were combined to form a county, which was styled as "Comitatus de Arde" and "Comitatus Novae Villae".[2] This county was divided into two bailiwicks: "Balliva del Art" and "Balliva de Blathewick", with its capital at Nove Ville de Blathwyc (present-day Newtownards).[2]

In 1345, Edward III, appointed Roberta de Halywode as sheriff of "Comitatus Nove Ville de Blawico".[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Gerard Stockman, ed. (1992). County Down II - The Ards. Place-Names of Northern Ireland. Department of Celtic, The Queen's University of Belfast. ISBN 0-853-89-433-7. 
  2. ^ a b c d James O'Laverty (1878). "The Territory of the Ards". An Historical Account of the Diocese of Down and Conor, Ancient and Modern, Vol. I. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)