O’Hanlons in Tudor times

We have sadly neglected of late, our genealogy section and especially the history of the O’Hanlons in this area. We right this now by resuming our outline history of that clan………..

The O’Hanlons are one of three great (former) ruling families of this part of South Ulster – the others being the Magennisses of Iveagh and the O’Neills of South Armagh, a sub-set of the great O’Neill clan of Tyrone. All three suffered under the Tudors.

Elizabeth Tudor was more determined than any of her predecessors – her half sister Mary and half brother Edward, her father Henry VIII and her grand-father Henry VII – to complete the conquest of Ireland.

By her 1569 Act of Confiscation she seized the O’Hanlon estates in Orior and granted those to an English adventurer, Thomas Chatterton, provided only that he would settle the lands with English. Then in 1573 he was granted authority for seven years to ‘invade, subdue or expel, or bring to mercy the people of Ohrere.’

For many reasons Chatterton was unsuccessful and was eventually slain in a raid on the adjoining county of Antrim. None of his heirs were willing to pursue a career in Ireland and the grant was revoked and the lands reverted to the Crown of England.

For a time they reverted to the Surrender and Regrant policy. Oghy O’Hanlon, ‘chief and captain of his nation’ surrendered his territories in ‘Upper and Nether Orrye’ on 20 September 1587, and a new patent was issued on 1 December 1587, whereby O’Hanlon was confirmed in the above lands for life, then to his heirs male, failing whom his brothers. At the same time Sir Oghie agreed to maintain twelve footmen called kerne and eight horsemen, all well armed, to attend upon the Lord Deputy, or other Governor of Ulster, in all hostings and risings and to maintain them in food and all necessities.

Significantly the document also provided for the extinction of the title, The O’Hanlon of Orior. Sir Oghie agreed to pay the Queen

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