THE MAGUIRE KINGS
They constructed rude fortifications and built dwellings and forts of undressed stone. At what date of human history they came to Ireland we do not know nor how long they dwelt there before the coming into that country of a more superior race known as the Tutha Danaan, whose coming was about 1500 B. C. They overcame the Fir-bolgs and controlled Ireland for about five hundred years, when again came an invasion of a still more superior race known to history as Milesians and who overcame both the Tuth Danaan and the remnant of the Fir-bolgs, and who built up over the entire island a superior civilisation which continued until the coming of the Anglo Invasion under Strongbow during the reighn of Henry II of England, in 1167 A. D.
Our most authentic records credit the great king and chieftain, Milesius as coming from Greece or from some locality now unknown but contiguous to Greece, and the time of his coming to Ireland shortly after the close of the Trojan War.
It is surmised and well conjectured that the Milesians were one of the nations that took part in that great conflict against the Trojans and after the close of that great conflict, the Milesians like many other of those who were with them, co-sharers in the events of the Ten Years War sought for a new land wherein to settle far beyond the confines of their former home.
The somewhat mystic records that are left to us tell us Milesius was directed by Prophetic voices of his soothsayers and was so told to sail to the West to the pillar of Hercules and beyond whilst fortunate winds would fill their sails and waft them to an island of destiny, wherein they would conquer another people and build up a great nation.
are told in the Annals of Inisfail that Milesius had, previous to his departing
from his former home, fought with and conquered thirty-two kings; that they and
other great men with him in his fleet of vessels arriving in Ireland, one
thousand to twelve hundred years before the Christian Era, he placed as kings
or governors over Ireland. Arriving in
Turning to the feature of the subject kings of Ireland who each in his own right held sway in rulership over his own area of territory we will turn our attention to that area known as Firmanach, in the Southeast area of the Kingdom of Ulster, which territory was under the rulership of Maguider or Maguire line of Princes, and its rulers or chiefs carried forward the government of the respective territory as was done by the other minor princes of Ireland.
There were frequent wars between the small kinglets and sometimes war between provinces in which all the smaller kingdomes sided with the chief or king of their respective province or kingdoms.
Again from time to time a war would open by perhaps one half of all Ireland making war on the high king, and from time to time, the authority of the high king as grand ruler of all Ireland was only nominal.
Again a period of history would arise wherein the authority of the high king was supreme and respected from north to south and good national government was the rule when happiness was over all the land, for example, in the days of Cormack McArt and in the days of Brian Boru.
It was uncommon for the king or ruler of one of the thirty-two kingdoms to intermarry into the family of a provincial king or even into the family of a high king, in which case a prestige of such ruler at once greatly advanced him in a public way.
example might be when a king of one of the thirty-two minor principalities of
This treaty entered into advanced the position of Donn Maguire to the position of High King of Firmanach and his descendants ruled as Kings over Firmanach until the year 1642 when Connor Maguire, the last King of Firmanach having taken up arms jointly with Phelom O'Neill for the liberation of Ireland against Charles I in which is historically known as the great Irish Reveloution of 1641-1644. After having practically reconquered a large part of Ireland; through the application of superior numbers and greater war resources, the Irish Chiefs including Connor Maguire, the last King of Firmanach, the allied chiefs were defeated, Maguire taken prisoner and with other Irish leaders he was tried for high treason in the Tower of London and executed at Tyburn on the 20th day of February of 1644 and the 20th year of the reign of Charles I, king of Great Britain.
The treatment of Connor Maguire and the Irish Chiefs tried and executed with him was particularly brutal and heartless, most heart rendering in cruelty. After having been hanged at Tyburn, the body of Connor Maguire was disemboweled and burned before the corpse, the body then drawn and quartered.
Thus closed the direct reign of the Maguire Kings of Firmanach, for although as men of the royal race and entitled to the crown of Firmanach they never again after the death of Connor Maguire reigned as sovereign of Firmanach, but their descendants many of them served in the Irish Brigade, in France, also many of them found service in the armies of Spain and Austria.
Cromwell Firmanach was raided and very many of the Maguire sect were forced
into other parts of Ireland and returning when permitted until we come to the
year 1745, when Prince Charles Stewart prepared to assert his rights to the
trons of England and Scotland. Leaving
France and reaching Scotland, he had a large number of Highlanders to take up
arms for his cause and for several months invading Scotland, he lieutanants or
agents visited Ireland, went into the counties of Down and Firmanach. There they secured about five hundred men to
three grandsons of King Connor Maguire were given official positions in the
army of Prince Charles. Their names were
Daniel or Donald, Charles and Rodger.
Holding commissions they took part in the early battles of Prince
Charles' invasion which were in the main victorious until the disastrous battle
of Colloden where the forces of Prince Charley were outnumbered three to one by
the army of the Duke of Cumberland, brother of George II of
and Donald Maguire, who had found safety and protection in that province
married into two of the prominent Irish families of the Slieve Snaght country
on the Northeast coast of
these three sons of Michael Maguire, John, who was of an adventurous and
combative proclivity was in his early years active in a commercial and
political way. He came into trouble with
the British Government in 1847 by having taken part in the Ribbonmen and young
Maguire, son of Conal, lived in
those who escaped from the battlefield of Colloden with the two Maguire
princes, as previously stated, there were a few Highlanders, among them one
named McAndrew, another MacCunningham.
Reaching Slieve Snaght with the Maguires and there marrying into the
people of that region and some years later a son of one of the McAndrews
settling at Slieve Snaght came down to Killcar
and married the daughter of Michael Maguire who died at Cashlings in
1808. Of this family a McAndrew wedded
to a Maguire, there were born four sons, Thomas, Michael, Cormick and William
and one daughter Bridget. Of these sones
one named Thomas married, lived, and died in
Michael and William McAndrew
The foregoing accounts for the Cashlings branch of the descendants of Connor Maguire last King of Firmanach executed by the British at Tyburn in 1644. The title of High King of Firmanach having been conferred on Donn Maguire in the year 1290 and Conor Maguire having been executed as the last King of Firmanach, we find the Maguires high kings or princes of Firmanach for a period of 354 years. Of the other descendants of Daniel and Rodger Maguire who found shelter in Slieve Snaght in northeastern Donegal there are many to represent them in that region although many of them emigrated to the United States, to Spain, to South America and other countries. Many of them becoming prominent in each country to which they went to find freedom and liberty that was denied them in their own country.
There are however, at this
time, dwelling in the
1. Entered January 1998 by FVM
from copies supplied by Mark Hamilton of