Online Encyclopedia

HUGH

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 111 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HUGH O'NEILL (d. c. 166o), son of Owen Roe's brother Art Oge, and therefore known as Hugh Mac Art, had served with some distinction in Spain before he accompanied his uncle, Owen Roe, to Ireland in 1642. In 1646 he was made a major-general of the forces commanded by Owen Roe; and after the death of the latter he successfully defended Clonmel in 165o against Cromwell, on whom he inflicted the latter's most severe defeat in Ireland. In the following year he so stubbornly resisted Ireton's attack on Limerick that he was excepted from the benefit of the capitulation, and, after being condemned to death and reprieved, was sent as a prisoner to the Tower of London. Released in 1652 on the representation of the Spanish ambassador that O'Neill was a Spanish subject, he repaired to Spain, whence he wrote to Charles II. in 166o claiming the earldom of Tyrone. He probably died in Spain, but the date of his death is unknown. The Clanaboy (or Clandeboye) branch of the O'Neills descended from the ancient kings through Neill Mor O'Neill, lord of Clanaboy in the time of Henry VIII., ancestor (as mentioned above) of the Portuguese O'Neills. Neill Mor's great-greatgrandson, Henry O'Neill, was created baronet of Killeleagh in 1666. His son, Sir Neill O'Neill fought for James II. in Ireland, and died of wounds received at the battle of the Boyne. Through an elder line from Neill Mor was descended Brian Mac Phelim O'Neill, who was treacherously seized in 1573 by the earl of Essex, whom he was hospitably entertaining, and executed together with his wife and brother, some two hundred of his clan being at the same time massacred by the orders of Essex. (See ESSEX, WALTER DEVEREUX, 1st earl of.) Sir Brian Mac Phelim's son, Shane Mac Brian O'Neill, was the last lord of Clanaboy, and from him the family castle of Edenduffcarrick, on the shore of Lough Neagh in Co. Antrim, was named Shane's Castle. He joined the rebellion of his kinsman Hugh, earl of Tyrone, but submitted in 1586. In the 18th century the commanding importance of the O'Neills in Irish history had come to an end. But John O'Neill (174o—1798), who represented Randalstown in the Irish parliament 1761—1783, and the county of Antrim from the latter year till his death, took an active part in debate on the popular side, being a strong supporter of Catholic emancipation. He was one of the delegates in 1789 from the Irish parliament to George, prince of Wales, requesting him to assume the regency as a matter of right. In 1793 he was raised to the peerage of Ireland as Baron O'Neill of Shane's Castle, and in 1795 was created a viscount. In defending the town of Antrim against the rebels in 1798 O'Neill received wounds from which he died on the 18th of June, being succeeded as Viscount O'Neill by his son Charles Henry St John (1779—1841), who in 1800 was created Earl O'Neill. Dying unmarried, when the earldom therefore became extinct, Charles was succeeded as Viscount O'Neill by his brother John Bruce Richard (1780-1855), a general in the British army; on whose death without issue in 1855 the male line in the United Kingdom became extinct. The estates then devolved on William Chichester, great-grandson of Arthur Chichester and his wife Mary, only child and heiress of Henry (d. 1721), eldest son of John O'Neill of Shane's Castle.
End of Article: HUGH
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