Fiants and Pardons in the State Papers of Ireland

Relating to County Donegal

~ 1603 to 1610 ~

The Fiants and Pardons Roll provide a unique collection of Irish family surnames in Co. Donegal, on the eve of the plantation of Ulster and the aftermath of Nine Year War, which was the last major military attempt to preserve the old Irish customs and political tradition in the northwest of Ulster. It brought together two of the oldest ruling families, the O’Donnells of Tyrconnell and O’Neils of Tyrone, who forged an alliance against the Dublin government, which culminated in the outbreak of the Nine Year War in 1593. It ended with the flight of the Hugh Roe O’Donnell to Spain, where he died on 10 September 1602 and was buried at a chapel in the town of Valladolid. The military strength muster by the O’Donnells, who in the State Papers were the Captain and Governor of Tyconnell, can be estimated from a number of sources: Marshall Bagnall’s description of Ulster, written in 1586, the Carew MS Description of Ulster, also written in 1586, John Dymmok’s Treatise of Ireland written c.1600, which are all mentioned in ‘The Description of Ireland and The State thereof as it is at the present in Anno 1598’ with notes by Edmund Hogan (Dublin, 1878), p. 29. The Description of Co. Donegal, is very similar to Marshal Bagenal's Description of Ulster in 1586.

Marshal Bagenal’s Description of Ulster, Anno 1586

Dunegall – The Countie of Donnegall conteyneth all Terconell, which is all the lands belonging unto O’Donell and that sirname, and all Odohertie’s country. Odonell is Capten and Governour of Tirconell, the chife strengthe of whome standeth most upon two Septes of people called the Ogallochelles and McSwynes, who are all gallglas for the most parte. He is able to make above 200 horsmen and 1300 footmen. Betwene him and Oneyl ben contynuall warres for the Castell of Lyffer and the lands there aboutes, lienge between bothe their countries bordringe upon Loughe Foyle, which by meane of their dissention is kepte altogether waste and uninhabited, neither is there any dwelling in the Castle.

“O’Doghertie Countrie is a Promontory almost environed with the sea, namelie with Lough Swylie, on the South parte and Loughe Foile on the Northe. It is governed by a Capten called Odoghertie, who beinge not of power able to defend him selfe, is forced to contribute bothe to Oneyle and Odonell, and (alterius vicibus) to serve them bothe. His country, lienge upon the sea and open to the IIa and Jura in Scotland, is almost yearelie invaded by Scotes, who take the spoile of it at their pleasures; whereby Odoghertie is forced allwaies to be at their devocions. He is able of his owne nation and other his followers to make 60 horsmen and 300 footmen”. Building in his country ar the Dery which is defaced, and Greencastle and [blank] which ar wardable”.

[Marshal Bagenal’s Description of Ulster, Anno 1586, in the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, First Series, Vol. 2 (1854)]

The ability of the O’Donnells to muster 200 horsmen and 1300 footmen in Tyrconnell in 1586, is supported by the list of Irish captains and the number of their men raised by province in State of Ireland treatise at the arrival of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, and the Treaties of Ireland John Dymmock in 1599.  In the first, he could raise a troop horse of 180 and 1250 foot, and in the second a troop of horse of 250 and foot numbering 1,400.

State of Ireland at the arrival of the Earl of Essex, April 1599

The strength of the number of men mustered in Co. Donegal begins with the following:

“In Tyconnell, being O'Donnell's country.

Sir John O'Dogherty, whose country joineth to Lough Foyle, 300 foot, 40 horse.

Doneloghes' country, being betwixt he river of Finne and Lough Swillie, the son[s] of O'Donnell have 150 foot and 30 horse.

In McSwine's country, McSwyne d[e] Band, McSwyne de Fand, and McSwyne d[e] Doe, 500 foot, 30 horse. O'Boyle's country reacheth to Calebegge, 100 foot, 20 horse.

In the country of Donogall, where O'Donnell's chief house is, 200 foot, 60 horse”

[Brewer, J. S. & Bullen, William: Calendar Carew Manuscripts, 1589-1600 (Nendeln,1974), p. 229]

Dymmok’s Treaties of Ireland enumerates, c.1600

The strength of the number of men mustered in Co. Donegal is listed under two sections, the first covers the whole of Ulster, called “A Perticular of the Rebells Forces of Horse and Foote ordinarily imployed in the Rebellion, 28 April 1599”

“O’Donnelagh’s county between the River Finn and Loch Swilly, possessed by Conn O’Donnell’s sons and Hugh mac Hugh duff … 60 horsed and 100 foot.

Sr. John O'Dogherty and his country joining the Lough Foyle . . . 40 horse and 300 foot.

In the Mac Swynes country . . . 30 horse and 500 foot.

O'Boyle and his country . . . 20 horse and 100 foot.

O'Donell and his country of Dunegall . . . 60 horse and 200 foot.

O'Gallogher . . . 40 horse and 200 foot.

Total number of horse amounts to 250 and foot of solders to 1,400.

In the second list in Dymmok’s Treaties of Ireland, called “A Perticuler of such Horse and Foote as the Erle of Tyrone hath very lately Plotted to be cessed and Waged by the Severall Captaynes and Lords of Cuntries in ye Province of Vlster”, it notes “O'Donell with all his country . . . 200 horse and 3000 foot”.

It is estimated that when Hugh Roe O’Donnell led his forces south from Co. Donegal to Kinsale in Co. Cork in the winter months of November and December 1601, to join the Spanish and other Irish Confederates, he had with him some 300 horsemen and 1500 foot soldiers. When the Irish forces, which included Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone and his army, finally met the English camped near Kinsale on the night of the 24 December (Christmas Eve), the battle unfavourably went against them. It left a broken army with the number of Irish slain estimated as upwards as 1200 dead and 800 wounded with others taking flight from the battle field, including some of O’Donnell’s own chief men. O’Donnell himself escaped to Spain to seek help, whilst those who survived returned north into Connaught and south Donegal under the command of his younger brother Rory O’Donnell.  The following year in December 1602, Rory O’Donnell and his natural follower submitted to Mountjoy, the Lord Deputy, at Athlone.

On 9 January, 1603, Mountjoy wrote to the English Privy Council to say that although O’Donnell ‘had all his brother's forces, followers and creaghts at his command, he submitted without any conditions to the Queen’s mercy, and offered to give pledges, to vacate all such castles, as were in his possession’ in Co. Sligo, including Ballymote. In his letter, Mountjoy goes on to say, ‘he (Rory) said that his father (Sir Hugh McManus O’Donnell) and grandfather (Manus O’Donnell) had been true servitors that he himself, with the “privity” of Sir Corners Clifford, had made a resolution to serve against his brother (Hugh), but his purpose having been discovered, he was kept in irons’. Mountjoy remarked ‘this we know to be true. He offered his service, if he might be received, either here or beyond the seas wherever the Queen should please to employ him”. This "manner of carriage proceeding from a man of good spirit, active and wise" induced me, the (Lord) Deputy, to receive him’.

On 26 February, 1603, Rory O’Donnell and his followers received a royal pardon issued by the Dublin government. It produced the first substantial list of names that would form the basis of a collection of pardon rolls spanning nearly eight years that give us a remarkable insight to the population of Co. Donegal, and is arguably the first Census Substitute for the county. In the following list, which begins with the pardon of Rory himself, his family and all his ‘natural followers’, and numbers about 547 names, men and women who had probably all been a Kinsale. It lists the names of most of the major families of Co. Donegal, including the O’Boyles, O’Gallaghers, MacSweeneys and O’Clery family, who served as the hereditary historians and scribes to the O’Donnells.  The O’Clerys were the authors of a book of Genealogies, and one of the four masters who compiled the Annals of the Ireland. There are other lessor families of interest, both of ‘O’ and ‘Mac’ type that reflect the sub-branching of families within the larger lineages and septs of Co. Donegal. In the list below, there are links to thirteen sub folders, which list the names of all the persons pardoned and each has been an indexed.

Transcript of Patent Roll of Queen Elizabeth I – 26 February, 1603

General Pardon to Rory O Donnell, of Tireconnell, in the province of Ulster, gent., Caffara O Donell, Innyne duffe alias Finnola ny Connell, Fynnola ny Donell, Meive ny Donell, Mary ny Donyll, Teige oge [O Boyle alias O Boile, Edm. Boy O Boyle,] Dwaltagh m‘Donell ballagh O Boyle, Wm. O Boyle, [James O Boyle, Edm. boy m‘Dw]altagh O Boyle, Murrogh [m‘Edm. O Boile,] Rich. O Boyle, Donogh oge O Boyle, Brian m‘Dwaltagh O Boyle, Rory m'Donogh O Boyle, Teige m'Hugh O Boyle, Rone m‘Donell O Boyle, Tirlagh oge m‘Donogh O Boyle  …. Continue to full transcript.

[The Eighteenth Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records in Ireland (Dublin, 1886), Appendix to Eighteenth Report, p. 108, No. 6761]

Transcript of Patent XXXVII – 27, 1 James I – 31 August, 1603

General Pardon to Daniel Lee of the Derrie in the country of Tirconnell, gent.
[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 30]

Transcript of Patent XXVI – 23, 1 James I – 12 September, 1603

General Pardon to Brian McTirlagh O’Galchor of Tirhue, gent., Annablie ny Swine his wife, Donatus otherwise Donnogh McGillemant of the same, Rorie Ballogh O’Galchor of the same, and Owen oge O’Galchor of the same, in the country of Tirconnell, gent. 12 Sept. 1st.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 29]

Transcript of Patent XXXI – 32, 1 James I – 27 September, 1603

Grant to Roderic O’Donell, brother to the arch-traitor Hugh O’Donell, lately deceased in Spain, of the title and dignity of earl of Tirconnell, with remainder to his heirs male, and in defect thereof to his brother Galfrid, or Caffrie O’Donell and his heirs male, with the title of baron of Donegal to his heir apparent. 27 Sept. 1st.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 10]

Transcript of Patent XCVI – 44, 2 James I – 23 November, 1604

General Pardon to Mulmory McSwine, knt, Donogh Mc Swine, Brian vayne O’Gallochore, Gualter Mc Swine, Owen O’Farigh, Hugh O’Farigh, Maurice O’Farigh, John O’Farigh, Brian O’Farigh, Roderic O’Farigh, Roderic O’Gallochore, Donell Groyne O’Gallochore, John Croyne O’Galloghore, Donell Croyne O’Galloghore, Owen Dorgha O’Sarigh in Donegall co.—23 Nov. 2nd.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 50]

Transcript of Patent Roll CXXV – 44, 3 James I – 18 February, 1606

General Pardon to Caphar oge Mc Caphar O’Donell, John O’Donell Mc Hughe, Mc Hughe Duffe, Owen Mc Calline, Mulcave Mc Owen O’Galloghor, Feroll Mc Ferdorogh O'Gallogher, James Crome O’Neale O’Gallogher, Owen Mc Hugh O’Gallogher, James Mc Owen oge O’Gallogher, Hugh O’Donell Donogh nowe O’Gallogher, Manus Roe O’Donell, Edm. boy O’Donnell, Caphar Mc Owen O’Donell, Brian Ballagh O’Donell, Arthur O’Donell …. Continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 88]

Transcript of Patent LXV—13, 4 James I – 28 May, 1606

General Pardon to Moylmorie Mc Swinenadoe (Mc Swine Na Doe) of Ballibeale-feaste in Donegal co. knt, and Donnogh Swyna his son.—28 May, 4th.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 99]

Transcript of Patent XVII – 21, 4 James I – 1 July, 1606

General Pardon to Will. Bastard, James Griffin, Garret McGarrot, Rich. Filler of Ballishannan in Donegal co. 1 Jul. 4th.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 90]

Transcript of Patent XXXV—10, 5 James I – 5 June, 1607

General Pardon to James Mc Donogh O’Galchar of Innishowen in Donegal co. gent. 18 June 5th.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 110]

Transcript of Patent XXXII—8, 5 James I – 7 July, 1607

General Pardon to sir Donell O’Cahan of Tyrone co. knt, Capher oge McCapher O’Donnell, Neal Mc Owen McSwyne, Terence Mc Owen Mc Swyne, Edm. boy O’Donell, Manus McArt oge O’Donell, Will. O’Galcher, Donell Crone Maganelie, John O’Nilarkie, Daltin O’Nilarkie, Donell Niloge, Hugh O’Donell, Manus Roe O’Donell, Donell O’Boy, Edm. Comegh O’Donell, Brian Ballagh O’Donell, Arthur oge O’Donell, John Duffe Mc Gye, Donell Carregh Oniloge, Neal Mergagh McSwyne, Quoy 0’Doghertie, John Dongin of Dorin, John Mechain of Ballishannan, all in Donegal co. Gorie Mc Shane O’Cahane, Shane Ballagh O’Cahane, Ny Brian Modder, John O’Mullane Mc William, John O’Cahane Mc Swyne, Brian O’Cahan ….. Continue to Index.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 110]

Transcript of Patent XXVII—8, 5 James I – 23 February, 1608

General Pardon to Neale Mc Lawry of Donegal co.—23 Feb. 5th.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 117]

Transcript of Patent LXXl – 53, 6 James I - 10 March, 1609

General Pardon to James O’Galchor Mc Donochey, Charles or Cahir Mc Tirlagh O’Galchor, Farroll Mc Tirlagh O’Galchor, Daniell Grome Mc Arte O’Galchor, Eneise O’Galchor, Moltaba Mc Art O’Galchor, Edm. Dorragh Mc Art O’Galchor, Moylemurraghe Mc Swine, Tirlagh ni Swine, Edm. Mc Donogh Mc Swine, Neale Mc Edw. Mc Swine, Barnard or Brian O’Glinney Mc Swine, Shane Mc Gilpatrick. Neile Ballagh Mc Gilkerre, Eugene or Owen O'Dowey, Edm. O’Dowey, Melaghlin O’Dowey, Cale O’Harrey Dermot, Dermott O'Patten, Conchor O’Patten, Connor Croane O’Kennane …. Continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 128]

Transcript of Patent CIII – 37, 6 James I, 9 March, 1609

General Pardon to Phelime oge O’Doghertie, Briane oge Mc Lawghline, Hugh O’Doughertie, Donell Mc Laughline, Tirloe Male O’Doghertie, Richard O’Doghertie, Briane Mc Laghline, Connor Caro O’Doughertie, Donell O’Doughertie, Phelomie Reogh O’Doghertie, Edmund O’Doughertie, Neale O’Mallohire, Donogh O’Malohire, Owen O’Quiglie, Manus O’Branigan, John otherwise Shane O’Doughertie, Donald O’Doughertie, Owen O’Doughertie, John otherwise Shane O’Doughertie, Calle Duffe Mc Laghline, Gillmorie O’Moloherie, Gilleduffe O’Doughertie ….. continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 136-37]

Transcript of Patent CIV – 38, 6 James I, 9 March, 1609

General Pardon to Diermond Mc Monnell, Manus Mc Gerrald, Brian oge O’Shrue, Arte O’Shrue, Brian O’Charny, Owen O’Moleigh, Donoghie O’Charne, Neale O’Doghertie, Connor Mc Monell, Cahire O’Doghertie, Donald O’Doghertie, Donell Mc Owen Boyle, Tirloe O’Hamigan, Owen O’Doghertie, Henry O’Doghertie, Donell Mc Callogh, Donoghie O’Cahane, Rowrie O’Doghertie, Briane oge O’Cahan, Thady otherwise Teige O’Quine, Macknahie O’Morison, Donell O’Morison, Gorrie O’Chane, Donogh oge Mc Allen, Brian O’Doghertie, Brian O’Linchenan, Owen O’Callie, Edmund Mc Callie, Tirloe O’Callie, Richard O’Cahan, Donell O’Gibbon, Ed. Mc Brehound, Hugh O’Brilohan, Richard O’Brilohan … continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, pp. 137-38]

Transcript of Patent CV—40, 7 James I – 10 March, 1609

General Pardon to Owen O’Galloghor of Coolemactrian in Donegal Co. Fenlam O’Dowie of the same, Richard O’Dowie, Owen oge McOwen O’Galloghor, Laghlin O’Dowie, Cale O’Dermote, Torlogh O’Dorninge, Torlogh O’Morrison, Owen O’Lefertie, Patricke O’Monghan, James Magewee, Shane O’Donnell, Edmond Doff'e O’Shrene, One McOwen O’Galoghor, Tirlagh McDonell oge, Twole O’Dermote, Phellam McWilliam O’Gallichor, Manus O’Mullarkie, Donnell oge O’Donell, Hugh O’Galloghor, Manus Reigh O’Gallahor, Donnell Crone O’Gallohor, Connor O’Regane, Owen McSwine, Shane O’Glakan ….  continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 138-9]

Transcript of Patent XXVII—53, 7 James I – 10 July, 1609

General Pardon to Turlagh Roe O’Boyle of Balliboyle in Donegall co.Gent. 10 Jul. 7th.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 143]

Transcript of Patent LVII – 53, 7 James I - 10 July, 1609  

General Pardon to Miler Magrath, archbishop of Cashell, Tirlagh Magrath of Ballimakie in Tipperary co. gent. dame Finole Coghlane otherwise Carroll, wife of said Tirlagh, Redmond Magrath of Ballimore in said co. gent. Brian Magrath blien in said co. gent. Mark Magrath of Killnallawe in Tipperary cross co. James Magrath of Termonmagrath, gent. [thereafter, a number of men from Termonmagrath and Donegal appear alongside others from Tipperary, Louth, Cavan, etc] and include the following: Brian Mc Nellus of Termonmagrath, Oliver Plunket of the same, Turlagh Roe O’Boyle of Balliboyle  … continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, pp. 143-44]

Transcript of Patent LXVIII—42, 8 James I – 10 July, 1609

General Pardon for Caffer McHugh Duffe O’Donell of Kilmacrenan barony in Donegal co. Hugh O’Brogan of the same, and Gillduffe O’Freill of the same—10 Feb. 7th.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 163]

Transcript of Patent XIX – 37, 7 James I, 22 July, 1609

General Pardon to Neil O’Lafertie, Neil Mc Cormocke, Brian roe O’Lafertie, Owen O’Harrane, Rowrie O’Haran, Gilmoyrie O’Harrane, Brian Mc Cormocke, Dermot O’Laphertie, Neale O’Kelly, Donell O’Laphertie, Owen O’Laphertie, Manus Mc Shefferie, Conoghor Mc Shefferie, Owen boy Mc Closkee, Donogh Duffe Mc Peake, Will. O’Harran, Ed. Duffe O’Demsie, Brian Makine, Brian M Ed. Mc Laughline, Cale O’Doughertie, Brian O’Kerrine, Pheilime Mc Glanarchie, Hugh O’Laphertie, Monus O’Boyle, Gilpatricke boy Mc Colgane, Hugh Mc Laghline, Tirlagh Mc Gilboy, Art Mc Donogh O’Galchor ….. Continue to full transcript  & Index.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, pp. 150-52]

Transcript of Patent CXII – 49, 7 James I – 28 July, 1609

General Pardon to Donell Grome Mc Swine, Mulmore Mc Owen Mc Gilcire, Tirlagh Mc Mulmore Mc Gilcire, Tirlagh Ballagh Marongallie, Semus Cronie O’Shirnie, Neale Merigagh O’Donell Mc Adegain, Owen Mc Corcourglasse Macilbrie, Semus boy Mc Douchannerie Mc Sweney, Concoure Mc Owen Mc Concourglas Mc Kilbrid, Murris Mc Owen Mc Kilbrid, Rowry Mc Mulmory ni Sweny, Ed. Mc Mulmurry Mc Swyny, Donell Mc Geregan, Cormacke Mc Caodh Mc Tady, Edmond Mc Teige Macaodh, Donogh Concour Maginnaile, Edmond Mc Owen Mc Paidin, Owen bane Mc Swine … Continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 148]

Transcript of Patent LXXIV—26, 8 James I, 13 July, 1610

General Pardon to Owen O’Boyle of Donegal co. gent. Mackuma [Malcolm] Reade, gent. Manus O’Curalane, gent. Edmond O’Galchor, gent. Patrick O’Harkane, gent. James O’Galchor, gent. Turloe Duffe O’Tymonie, gent. William Duffe O’Loughton, gent. Brian Carragh Magee, gent. Hugh O’Longane, gent. Hugh O’Canon, gent. Manus O’Glackane, gent. Brian Mc Collnine, gent. Ed. O’Loonane, gent. John otherwise Shane O’Galchor, gent. Hugh O’Galchor, gent. Henry O’Dougherty, gent. Owen Crafford, gent. John otherwise Shane O’Deveny, gent. Hugh Duffe O’Devenie, gent. …. Continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 174]

Transcript of Patent LXXIV—28, 8 James I, 17 July, 1610

General Pardon for William O’Friell of Donegal co. gent. Connor Roe Mc Arte O’Galchor, gent. Brien Mc Owen Mc James O’Galchor, gent. Edmond Duffe O’Currelane, gent. Donnell O’Devenny, gent. Owen Magetigan, gent. Owen O’Lonan, gent. Moylmory Mc Conigan Mc Donogh Grany, gent. Owen Mc Connell oge, gent. Hugh boy Mc Mulcalfe O’Galchor, gent. Hugh O’Shirine, gent. Brian O’Cassidie, gent. Phelomie O’Doughertie, gent. John otherwise Shane Modder O’Molerke, gent. Connor oge Mc Teige Reigh O’Galehor, gent. Turloe Mc Farrell Mc Brian O‘Galchor, gent. ….. Continue to full transcript.

[Calendar of the Patent Rolls of the Chancery of Ireland (Dublin, 1800), James I, p. 175]