- High Kings of Ireland
High King of Ireland (Irish: Ard Rí na hÉireann) refers to
legendary, pagan kings of Tara. It also refers to later kings, who
were, depending on the period, either the most powerful king of their
day, or, in later times, exercised authority over most of Ireland.
The meaning of High Kingship
While the traditional list of those bearing the title High King
of Ireland (Irish: Ard Rí na hÉireann) goes back thousands of years,
into the second millennium BC, the earlier parts of the list are
largely mythical. It is unclear at what point the list begins to refer
to historical individuals, and also at what point these individuals
can genuinely be said to be "High Kings" in the later sense of the
The following is a provisional list of the
Kings of Leinster up to 1632.
The interesting thing about this list are the number of
MacMurrough-Kavanagh's who were Kings of Leinster between 1171 & 1632.
- Bressal Belach mac Fiachu Ba hAiccid
- Enna Cennsalach mac Labraid Laideach
- Crimthann mac Enna Cennsalach, died 483.
- Findchad mac Garrchu, died 485.
- Froech mac Findchad, d. 495.
- Illan mac Dunlaing, d. 527.
- Ailill mac Dunlaing
- Cormac mac Ailill
- Coirpre mac Cormac
- Colman Mar mac Coirpre
- Aed Dibchine
- Brandub mac Echu, d.605/608.
- Ronan mac Colman, d. 624?
- Crundmael mac Ronan, d.656.
- Faelan mac Colman Mar, d. 666.
- Fianamail mac Mael Tuile, d. 680.
- Bran Mut mac Conall, d. 693.
- Cellach Cualann mac Gerthide, d. 715.
- Murchad mac Bran Mut, d.727.
- Dunchad mac Murchad, d. 728.
- Faelan mac Murchad, d. 738.
- Aed mac Colcu, d. 738.
- Bran Bec mac Murchad, d.738.
- Muiredach mac Murchad, d. 760.
- Cellach mac Dunchad, d. 776.
- Ruaidri mac Faelan, d. 785.
- Bran Ardchenn mac Muiredach, d. 795.
- Finsnechta Cethardec mac Cellach, d. 808.
- Muiredach mac Ruaidri, d.829.
- Cellach mac Bran Ardchenn, d. 834.
- Bran mac Finsnechta, d. 838.
- Lorcan mac Cellach, fl. 848.
- Tuathal mac Muiredach mac Bran Ardchenn, d. 854.
- Muirecan mac Diarmait mac Ruaidri, d. 863.
- Dunlaing mac Muiredach mac Bran Ardchenn, d. 869.
- Ailill mac Dunlaing, d. 871.
- Domall mac Miurecan, d. 884.
- Muiredach mac Bran, d. 885.
- Cerball mac Muirecan, d. 909.
- Augaire mac Ailill, d. 917.
- Faelan mac Muiredach, d. 942.
- Lorcan mac Faelan, d. 943.
- Broen mac Maelmorda, d. 947.
- Tuathal mac Augaire, d. 958.
- Cellach mac Faelan, d. 966.
- Murchad mac Finn, d. 972.
- Augaire mac Tuathal, d. 978.
- Domnall Cloen mac Lorcan, d. 984.
- Donnchad mac Domnall Cloen, deposed 1003.
- Maelmorda mac Murchad, d. 1014.
- Dunlaing mac Tuathal, d. 1014.
- Donnduan mac Dunlaing, d. 1016.
- Bran mac Maelmorda, deposed, 1018.
- Augaire mac Dunlaing, d. 1024.
- Donnchad mac Dunlaing, d. 1036.
- Murchad mac Dunlaing, d. 1042.
- Diarmait mac Mail na mBo, 1042-1072.
(died 1072) was king of Leinster and a
contender for the title of High King of Ireland. He was one of the
most important and significant Kings in Ireland in the pre-Norman era
- Dommall mac Murchad, 1072-1075
- Diarmait mac Enna, 1092-1098
- Donnchadh mac Murrough, 1098-1115.
- Diarmait mac Enna, 1115-1117.
- Enna MacMurrough, 1117-1126.
|Diarmait Mac Murchada 1126-1171.
(also known as Diarmait na nGall, "Dermot of
the Foreigners"), anglicized as Dermot MacMurrough (died 1 January
1171) was the King of Leinster, and is often considered to have been
the most notorious traitor in Irish history. Ousted as King of
Leinster, he invited King Henry II of England to assist him in
regaining the throne. The subsequent invasion led to Henry becoming
Lord of Ireland himself, and marked the beginning of eight centuries
of English dominance.
- Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1171-1175
- Muirchertach mac Domhnall mac Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh,
- Muiris mac Muirchertach MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1282-c.1314.
- Domhnall, c.1314-1317.
- MacMurrough, 1317-c.1323.
- Domhnall mac Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh, c.1323-c.1338.
- Domhnall mac Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh, c.1338-1347.
- Muircheartach mac Muiris MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1347-1354.
- Art mac Muircheartach MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1354-1362.
- Diarmait mac Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1362-1369.
- Donnchadh mac Muircheartach MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1369-1375.
|Art mac Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh,
(b.1357-d.1417), is generally
regarded as the most formidable of the later Kings of Leinster. He
revived not only the royal family's prerogatives but their lands and
power. During the length of his forty-two year reign he fully lived up
to his title, dominating the "Anglo-Norman settlers of Leinster,
extracting 'black rent' in Castledermot and New Ross and seeking an
annual fee from Dublin. Through his wife, the Anglo-Norman heiress
Elizabeth Calf (sic), he claimed the important barony of Norragh in
Co. Kildare" (1).
His dominance of the province and its
inhabitants - both Gaelic and Anglo-Norman - was deemed sufficiently
detrimental to the colony that Richard II spent much of the years
1394-1395 sparring with him. While Art did indeed submit to Richard,
he renounced this fealty on Richard's departure and made much of his
kingdom a death-trap for any invading English or Anglo-Irish forces.
He was very much cut of the same cloth as his ancestors Diarmait mac
Mail na mBo and Diarmait Mac Murchada.
- Donnchadh mac Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1417-1478.
- Domhnall mac Gerald MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1476.
- Muircheartach mac Donnchadh MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1478-1512.
- Art Buidhe mac Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1512-1517.
- Gerald mac Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1517-1523.
- Muiris mac Domhnall MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1523-1531.
- Muircheartach mac Art Buidhe MacMurrough-Kavanagh, 1531-1547.
- Domhnall Spainnach MacMurrough-Kavanagh, ?-1632.
the centuries prior to 1169 Ireland was in the process of becoming a
national kingdom under a High King of Ireland. In the aftermath of a
Cambro-Norman incursion into Ireland in 1169 Henry II and his successors
became "Lord of Ireland". The Treaty of Windsor in 1175 recognised the
last native king as overlord of all Ireland outside Norman control but
further Cambro-Norman incursions weakened his authority and after his
abdication the office fell dormant.
After Henry VIII made himself supreme governor of the Church of
England, he also requested and got legislation through the Irish
Parliament, in 1541 (effective 1542), naming him King of Ireland and head
of the Church of Ireland (which today, both in the Republic of Ireland and
Northern Ireland, remains a member of the Anglican communion but is no
longer an established church like the Church of England). The title "King
of Ireland" was then used until 1 January 1801, the effective date of the
second Act of Union, which merged Ireland and Great Britain to create the
- The information contained in these
pages is provided solely for the purpose of sharing with others
researching their ancestors in Ireland.
- © 2001 Ireland Genealogy Projects,
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