1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Skeffington, Sir William

SKEFFINGTON, SIR WILLIAM (c. 1463–1535), lord deputy of Ireland, belonged to a Leicestershire family and was sheriff of Leicestershire and Warwickshire under Henry VII. He was master of the ordnance and a member of parliament during the reign of Henry VIII., and in 1529 was appointed deputy in Ireland for Henry's son, the duke of Richmond, the nominal lord lieutenant of that country. He crossed over in August 1529, but his power was so circumscribed by instructions from Henry that the head of the Fitzgeralds, Gerald, 9th earl of Kildare, and not Skefnngton, was the real governor of Ireland. This state of affairs lasted for three years and then in 1532 the deputy was recalled. In 1534, Kildare being in prison in England and his son Thomas, afterwards the 10th earl, being in revolt, Skeffington was again appointed deputy. After some delay he landed at Dublin in October 1534 and marched at once to relieve Drogheda, but further progress in the work of crushing the rebellion was seriously delayed by his illness. However, in the spring of 1535 he was again in the field. He took Maynooth, the heavy artillery used by him on this occasion earning for him his surname of " the gunner "; he forced some of Kildare's allies to make peace and he captured Dungarvan. He died on the 31st of December 1535.