Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 7 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
ODOFREDUS, an Italian jurist of the 13th century. He was born at Bologna and studied law under Balduinus and Accursius. After having practised as an advocate both in Italy and France, he became professor at Bologna in 1228. The commentaries on Roman law attributed to him are valuable as showing the growth of the study of law in Italy, and for their biographical details of the jurists of the 12th and 13th centuries. Odofredus died at Bologna on the 3rd of December 1265. Over his name appeared Lecturae in codicem (Lyons, 1480) Lecturae in digestum vetus (Paris, 1504), Summa de libellis formandis (Strassburg, 151o), Lecturae in tees libros (Venice, 1514), and Lecturae in digestum novum (Lyons, 1552). O'DONNELL, the name of an ancient and powerful Irish family, lords of Tyrconnel in early times, and the chief rivals of the O'Neills in Ulster. Like the family of O'Neill (q.v.), that of O'Donnell was descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages, king of Ireland at the beginning of the 5th century; the O'Neills, or Cinell Owen, tracing their pedigree to Owen (Eoghan), and the O'Donnells, or Cinel Connell, to Conall Gulban, both sons of Niall. Tyrconnel, the district named after the Cinel Connell, where the O'Donnells held sway, comprised the greater part of the modern county of Donegal except the peninsula of Inishowen; and since it lay conterminous with the territory ruled by the O'Neills of Tyrone, who were continually attempting to assert their supremacy over it, the history of the O'Donnells is for the most part a record of tribal warfare with their powerful neighbours, and of their own efforts to make good their claims to the overlordship of northern Connaught. The first chieftain of mark in the family was Goffraidh (Godfrey), son of Donnell Mor O'Donnell (d. 1241). Goffraidh, who was " inaugurated " as " The O'Donnell," i.e. chief of the clan, in 1248, made a successful inroad into Tyrone against Brian O'Neill in 1252. In 1257 he drove the English out of northern Connaught, after a single combat with Maurice Fitzgerald in which both warriors were wounded. O'Donnell while still incapacitated by his wound was summoned by Brian O'Neill to give hostages in token of submission. Carried on a litter at the head of his clan he gave battle to O'Neill, whom he defeated with severe loss in prisoners and cattle; but he died of his wound immediately afterwards near Letterkenny, and.was succeeded in the chieftainship by his brother Donnell Oge, who returned from Scotland in time to withstand successfully the demands of O'Neill. In the 16th century, when the English began to make deter-mined efforts to bring the whole of Ireland under subjection to the crown, the O'Donnells of Tyrconnel played a leading part; co-operating at times with the English, especially when such co-operation appeared to promise triumph over their ancient enemies the O'Neills, at other times joining with the latter against the English authorities. 1 The Cinel, or Kinel, was a group of related clans occupying an extensive district. See P. W. gJoyce, A Social History of Ireland (London, 1903), i. 166. • MANUS O'DONNELL (d. 1564), son of Hugh Dubh O'Donnell, was left by his father to rule Tyrconnel, though still a mere youth, when Hugh Dubh went on a pilgrimage to Rome about 1511. Hugh Dubh had been chief of the O'Donnells during one of the bitterest and most protracted of the feuds between his clan and the O'Neills, which in 1491 led to a war, lasting more than ten years. On his return from Rome in broken health after two years' absence, his son Manus, who had proved himself a capable leader in defending his country against the O'Neills, retained the chief authority. A family quarrel ensued, and when Hugh Dubh appealed for aid against his son to the Maguires, Manus made an alliance with the O'Neills, by whose assistance he established his hold over Tyrconnel. But in 1522 the two great northern clans were again at war. Conn Bacach O'Neill, 1st earl of Tyrone, determined to bring the O'Donnells under thorough subjection. Supported by several septs of Munster and Connaught, Ind assisted also by English contingents and by the MacDonnells of Antrim, O'Neill took the castle of Ballyshannon, and after devastating a large part of Tyrconnel he encamped at Knockavoe, near Strabane. Here he was surprised at night by Hugh Dubh and Manus O'Donnell, and routed with the loss of goo men and an immense quantity of booty. Although this was one of the bloodiest fights that ever took place between the O'Neills and the O'Donnells, it did not bring the war to an end; and in 1531 O'Donnell applied to the English government for protection, giving assurances of allegiance to Henry VIII. In 1537 Lord Thomas Fitzgerald and his five uncles were executed for rebellion in Munster, and the English government made every effort to lay hands also on Gerald, the youthful heir to the earldom of Kildare, a boy of twelve years of age who was in the secret custody of his aunt Lady Eleanor McCarthy. This lady, in order to secure a powerful protector for the boy, accepted an offer of marriage by Manus O'Donnell, who on the death of Hugh Dubh in July 1537 was inaugurated The O'Donnell. Conn O'Neill was a relative of Gerald Fitzgerald, and this event accordingly led to the formation of the Geraldine League, a federation which combined the O'Neills, the O'Donnells, the O'Briens of Thomond, and other powerful clans; the primary object of which was to restore Gerald to the earldom of Kildare, but which afterwards aimed at the complete overthrow of English rule in Ireland. In August 1 539 Manus O'Donnell and Conn O'Neill were defeated with heavy loss by the lord deputy at Lake Bellahoe, in Monaghan, which crippled their power for many years. In the west Manus made unceasing efforts to assert the supremacy of the O'Donnells in north Connaught, where he compelled O'Conor Sligo to acknowledge his over-lordship in 1539. In 1542 he went to England and presented himself, together with Conn O'Neill and other Irish chiefs, before Henry VIII., who promised to make him earl of Tyrconnel, though he refused O'Donnell's request to be made earl of Sligo. In his later years Manus was troubled by quarrels between his sons Calvagh and Hugh MacManus; in 1555 he was made prisoner by Calvagh, who deposed him from all authority in Tyrconnel, and he died in 1564. Manus O'Donnell, though a fierce warrior, was hospitable and generous to the poor and the Church. He is described by the Four Masters as " a learned man, skilled in many arts, gifted with a profound intellect, and the knowledge of every science." At his castle of Portnatrynod near Strabane he supervised if he did not actually dictate the writing of the Life of Saint Columbkille in Irish, which is preserved in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Manus was several times married. His first wife, Joan O'Reilly, was the mother of Calvagh, and two daughters, both of whom married O'Neills; the younger, Margaret, was wife of the famous rebel Shane O'Neill. His second wife, Hugh's mother, by whom he was ancestor of the earls of Tyrconnel (see below), was Judith, sister of Conn Bacach O'Neill, 1st earl of Tyrone, and aunt of Shane O'Neill.
End of Article: ODOFREDUS
ODOACER, or ODOVACAR (c. 434-493)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.