Ulick na gCeann Burke, 1st Earl of Clanricarde
The Earl of Clanricarde
Uilleag de Búrca
|Parent(s)||Richard Mór Burke|
Ulick na gCeann Burke, 12th Clanricarde or Mac William Uachtar, 1st Earl of Clanricarde (English: //; English: //; 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.
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.
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 adoptation 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."
He did not live long to enjoy his new English dignities, but died shortly after returning to Ireland 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."
Marriages and family
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 Bourke, who claimed the earldom in 1568.
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.
- 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.
- public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Clanricarde, Ulick de Burgh, 1st Earl of". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 421. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the
- Chisholm 1911.
- "Burke, Ulick (de Burgh, Uilleag) ('Uilleag na gCeann') | Dictionary of Irish Biography". www.dib.ie. Retrieved 21 December 2021.