in the former slaves constituted a common element in the stipends or gifts which the higher kings gave their vassal sub-reguli. Female slaves, who were employed in the houses of chiefs and flaiths in grinding meal with the hand-mill or quern, and in other domestic work, must have been very common, for the unit or standard for estimating the wealth of a bó-aire, blood-fines, &c., was called a cumhal, the value of which was three cows, but which literally meant a female slave. The descendants of those slaves, prisoners of war, forfeited hostages, refugees from other tribes, broken tribesmen, &c., gathered round the residence of the ríg and flaiths, or squatted upon their march-lands, forming a motley band of retainers which made a considerable element in the population, and one of the chief sources of the wealth of chiefs and flaiths. The other principal source of their income was the food-rent paid by ceiles, and especially by the daer or bond ceiles, who were hence called biathachs, from biad, food. A flaith, but not a ríg, might, if he liked, go to the house of his ceile and consume his food-rent in the house of the latter.
Under the influence of feudal ideas and the growth of the modern views as to ownership of land, the chiefs and other lords of clans claimed in modern times the right of best owing the tribe-land as turcrec, instead of stock, and receiving rent not for cattle and other chattels as in former times, but proportionate to the extent of land given to them. The turcrec-land seems to have been at first given upon the same terms as turcrec-stock, but gradually a system of short leases grew up; sometimes, too, it was given on mortgage. In the Highlands of Scotland ceiles who received turcrec-land were called “taksmen.” On the death of the chief or lord, his successor either bestowed the land upon the same person or gave it to some other relative. In this way in each generation new families came into possession of land, and others sank into the mass of mere tribesmen. Sometimes a “taksman” succeeded in acquiring his land in perpetuity, by gift, marriage or purchase, or even by the “strong hand.” The universal prevalence of exchangeable allotments, or the rundale system, shows that down to even comparatively modern times some of the land was still recognized as the property of the tribe, and was cultivated in village communities.
The chief governed the clan by the aid of a council called the sabaid (sab, a prop), but the chief exercised much power, especially over the miscellaneous body of non-tribesmen who lived on his own estate. This power seems to have extended to life and death. Several of the flaiths, perhaps, all heads of septs, also possessed somewhat extensive powers of the same kind.
The Celtic dress, at least in the middle ages, consisted of a kind of shirt reaching to a little below the knees called a lenn, a jacket called an inar, and a garment called a brat, consisting of a single piece of cloth. This was apparently the garb of the aires, who appear to have been further distinguished by the number of colours in their dress, for we are told that while a slave had clothes of one colour, a rég tuatha, or chief of a tribe, had five, and an ollamh and a superior king six. The breeches was also known, and cloaks with a cowl or hood, which buttoned up tight in front. The lenn is the modern kilt, and the brat the plaid, so that the dress of the Irish and Welsh in former times was the same as that of the Scottish Highlander.
By the abolition of the heritable jurisdiction of the Highland chiefs, and the general disarmament of the clans by the acts passed in 1747 after the rebellion of 1745, the clan system was practically broken up, though its influence still lingers in the more remote districts. An act was also passed in 1747 forbidding the use of the Highland garb; but the injustice and impolicy of such a law being generally felt it was afterwards repealed. (W. K. S.)
CLANRICARDE, ULICK DE BURGH (Bourke or Burke), 1st Earl of (d. 1544), styled MacWilliam, and Ne-gan or Na-gCeann (i.e. “of the Heads,” “having made a mount of the heads of men slain in battle which he covered up with earth”), was the son of Richard or Rickard de Burgh, lord of Clanricarde, by a daughter of Madden of Portumna, and grandson of Ulick de Burgh, lord of Clanricarde (1467–1487), the collateral heir male of the earls of Ulster. On the death of the last earl in 1333, his only child Elizabeth had married Lionel, duke of Clarence, and the earldom became merged in the crown, in consequence of which the de Burghs abjured English laws and sovereignty, and chose for their chiefs the sons of Sir William, the “Red” earl of Ulster’s brother, the elder William taking the title of MacWilliam Eighter (Uachtar, i.e. Upper), and becoming the ancestor of the earls of Clanricarde, and his brother Sir Edmond that of MacWilliam Oughter (Ochtar, i.e. Lower), and founding the family of the earls of Mayo. In 1361 the duke of Clarence was sent over as lord-lieutenant to Ireland to enforce his claims as husband of the heir general, but failed, and the chiefs of the de Burghs maintained their independence of English sovereignty for several generations. Ulick de Burgh succeeded to the headship of his clan, exercised a quasi-royal authority and held vast estates in county Galway, in Connaught, including Loughry, Dunkellin, Kiltartan (Hilltaraght) and Athenry, as well as Clare and Leitrim. In March 1541, however, he wrote to Henry VIII., lamenting the degeneracy of his family, “which have been brought to Irish and disobedient rule by reason of marriage and nurseing with those Irish, sometime rebels, near adjoining to me,” and placing himself and his estates in the king’s hands. The same year he was present at Dublin, when the act was passed making Henry VIII. king of Ireland. In 1543, in company with other Irish chiefs, he visited the king at Greenwich, made full submission, undertook to introduce English manners and abandon Irish names, received a regrant of the greater part of his estates with the addition of other lands, was confirmed in the captainship and rule of Clanricarde, and was created on the 1st of July 1543 earl of Clanricarde and baron of Dunkellin in the peerage of Ireland, with unusual ceremony. “The making of McWilliam earl of Clanricarde made all the country during his time quiet and obedient,” states Lord Chancellor Cusake in his review of the state of Ireland in 1553. He did not live long, however, to enjoy his new English dignities, but died shortly after returning to Ireland about March 1544. He is called by the annalist of Loch Cé “a haughty and proud lord,” who reduced many under his yoke, and by the Four Masters “the most illustrious of the English in Connaught.”
Clanricarde married (1) Grany or Grace, daughter of Mulrone O’Carroll, “prince of Ely,” by whom he had Richard or Rickard “the Saxon,” who succeeded him as 2nd earl of Clanricarde (grandfather of the 4th earl, whose son became marquess of Clanricarde), this alliance being the only one declared valid. After parting with his first wife he married (2) Honora, sister of Ulick de Burgh, from whom he also parted. He married (3) Mary Lynch, by whom he had John, who claimed the earldom in 1568. Other sons, according to Burke’s Peerage, were Thomas “the Athlete,” shot in 1545, Redmond “of the Broom” (d. 1595), and Edmund (d. 1597).
See also Annals of Ireland by the Four Masters (ed. by O. Connellan, 1846), p. 132 note, and reign of Henry VIII.; Annals of Loch Cé (Rerum Brit. Medii Aevi Scriptores) (54) (1871); Hist. Mem. of the O’Briens, by J. O. Donoghue (1860), pp 159, 519; Ireland under the Tudors, by R. Bagwell, vol. i.; State Papers, Ireland, Carew MSS. and Gairdner’s Letters and Papers of Henry VIII.; Cotton MSS. Brit. Mus., Titus B xi. f. 388. (P. C. Y.)
CLANRICARDE, ULICK DE BURGH (Bourke or Burke), Marquess of (1604–1657 or 1658), son of Richard, 4th earl of Clanricarde, created in 1628 earl of St Albans, and of Frances, daughter and heir of Sir Francis Walsingham, and widow of Sir Philip Sidney and of Robert Devereux, earl of Essex, was born in 1604. He was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Burgh in 1628, and succeeded his father as 5th earl in 1635. He sat in the Short Parliament of 1640 and attended Charles I. in the Scottish expedition. On the outbreak of the Irish rebellion Clanricarde had powerful inducements for joining the Irish—the ancient greatness and independence of his family, his devotion to the Roman Catholic Church, and strongest of all, the ungrateful treatment meted out by Charles I. and Wentworth to his father, one of Elizabeth’s most stanch adherents in Ireland, whose lands were appropriated by the crown and whose death, it was popularly
- Cal. of State Pap., Carew MSS. 1515–1574, p. 246.