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Ulick na gCeann Burke, 1st Earl of Clanricarde

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The Earl of Clanricarde
Uilleag de Búrca
Member of the Irish House of Lords
Hereditary Peerage
1 July 1543 – March 1544
Preceded byNew Creation (Clanricarde)
Succeeded byRichard Sassanach Burke
Personal details
Ulick Burke
  • Grany / Grace O'Carroll
  • Honora de Burgh
  • (before 1544)
Children4, including Richard Sassanach Burke
ParentRichard Mór Burke

Ulick na gCeann Burke, 12th Clanricarde or Mac William Uachtar, 1st Earl of Clanricarde (English: /ˈjlɪk/; English: /klænˈrɪkɑːrd/; YOO-lik; klan-RIK-ard; died 1544; styled MacWilliam, and na-gCeann, meaning "of the Heads", "having made a mount of the heads of men slain in battle which he covered up with earth") was an Irish noble and son of Richard Mór Burke, 9th Clanricarde (d. 1530) by a daughter of Madden of Portumna.[1]


Ulick succeeded his father to the headship of his clan, and held estates in County Galway. In March 1541 he wrote to Henry VIII, lamenting the degeneracy of his family, which had rebelled against England in the mid-14th century, and "which have been brought to Irish and disobedient rule by reason of marriage and nurseing [sic] with those Irish, sometime rebels, near adjoining to me", and placing himself and his estates in the king's hands. The same year he was present at Dublin, when an act was passed making Henry VIII King of Ireland.[1]

In 1543, in company with other Irish chiefs, he visited the King at Greenwich and made full submission in accordance with the King's policy of "surrender and regrant". He was confirmed in the captainship and rule of Clanricarde, and on 1 July 1543, he was created Earl of Clanricarde and Baron of Dunkellin in the peerage of Ireland. He was regranted the greater part of his former estates, with the addition of other lands. 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 his review of the state of Ireland in 1553, Lord Chancellor Cusake stated "[t]he making of McWilliam earl of Clanricarde made all the country during his time quiet and obedient."[1]

He did not live long to enjoy his new English dignities, but died shortly after returning to Ireland in about March 1544. He is called by the annalist of Loch Cé "a haughty and proud lord," who reduced many under his yoke, and by the Four Masters "the most illustrious of the English in Connaught".[1]

Marriages and family[edit]

Burke married three times. Firstly, he was married to Grany or Grace, daughter of Mulrone O'Carroll. This marriage was the only one declared valid and he eventually divorced her. They had a son:

Secondly, he married Honora de Burgh, sister of Ulick de Burgh. He later divorced her as well.

Thirdly, he married Maire Lynch. They had a son:

  • John Burke, who claimed the earldom in 1568.[1][2]

According to Burke's Peerage, he had several other sons, Thomas "the Athlete" Burke (shot in 1545), Redmond "of the Broom" Burke (died 1595), and Edmund Burke (died 1597).[1]


As a result of his marriages and relationships, there were a number of candidates contending for the titles of Clanricarde and Earl. The eventual successor was Ulick's eldest legitimate son, Richard Sassanach Burke, 2nd Earl of Clanricarde.[3]


Clanricarde (Mac William Uachtar) Genealogy


Coat of arms of Ulick na gCeann Burke, 1st Earl of Clanricarde
A Cat-a-Mountain sejant guardant proper, collared and chained Or.
Or, a cross gules in the first quarter a lion rampant sable.
Two Cats-a-Mountain sejant guardant proper, collared and chained Or.[4][5]
UNG ROY, UNG FOY, UNG LOY (One king, one faith, one law)


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainYorke, Philip Chesney (1911). "Clanricarde, Ulick de Burgh, 1st Earl of". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 421.
  2. ^ Cokayne, G. E. (1889). The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain, and the United Kingdom Extant, Extinct, or Dormant. Vol. 2 (1st ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. pp. 257.
  3. ^ "Burke, Ulick (de Burgh, Uilleag) ('Uilleag na gCeann') | Dictionary of Irish Biography". www.dib.ie. Retrieved 21 December 2021.
  4. ^ Burke, John; Burke, Bernard (1844). Encyclopædia of Heraldry: Or General Armory of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Comprising a Registry of All Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time, Including the Late Grants by the College of Arms. H. G. Bohn.
  5. ^ Burke, Bernard (1884). The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time. University of California Libraries. London: Harrison & Sons.


Preceded by Clanricarde
Succeeded by
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Earl of Clanricarde
Succeeded by