Ulick Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde

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Ulick Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde

Ulick MacRichard Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde, 5th Earl of Clanricarde, 2nd Earl of St Albans (1604, London – July 1657, Kent), was an Irish nobleman who was involved in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Lord Clanricarde was a Catholic Royalist, who had overall command of the Irish forces during the later stages of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. He was created Marquess of Clanricarde in 1646.

Background[edit]

He was the son of The 4th Earl of Clanricarde by his wife Frances Walsingham.[1] Ulick's father was from an Anglo-Norman family who had been long settled in the west of Ireland and had become Gaelicised, although during the early sixteenth century the family had rebelled against the Crown on several occasions, Ulick's father had been a strong supporter of Queen Elizabeth I. He fought on the Queen's side during Tyrone's Rebellion, notably during the victory at the Battle of Kinsale, where he was wounded, after the war he married the widow of The 2nd Earl of Essex, a recent commander in Ireland, who was the daughter of the English Secretary of State and spymaster Sir Francis Walsingham.

In 1622, Ulick married his only wife Anne Compton, the daughter of The 1st Earl of Northampton and his wife, Elizabeth Spencer, they had a single child, Margaret Burgh, who married Viscount Muskerry.

Ulick was summoned to the House of Lords as Lord Burgh in 1628, and succeeded his father as 5th Earl of Clanricarde in 1635; in 1636, he inherited Somerhill House on the death of his father.[2] He was a staunch opponent of the policies of the Lord Deputy of Ireland, The 1st Earl of Strafford, who had attempted to seize much of the great Burke inheritance for the Crown; there was also personal ill-feeling between the two men since the dispute was thought by many to have hastened the death of Ulick's elderly father. He sat in the Short Parliament of 1640 and attended King Charles I in the Scottish expedition. Charles, unlike Strafford, liked and trusted Lord Clanricarde.

Wars of the Three Kingdoms[edit]

Somerhill was sequestered by Parliament in 1645, following the Battle of Naseby,[2] during the Irish Confederate Wars, Lord Clanricarde supported the Royalist leader Ormonde in defending Ireland for Charles I against the Parliamentarians by uniting Catholic and Protestant nobles (he being Catholic). He did not join the Catholic Confederate Ireland, but instead helped to broker a military alliance between the Confederates and English Royalists, he commanded the forces of this alliance during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland, after Lord Ormonde fled the country, and soldiers of his Connaught army helped to win a minor victory at the Battle of Tecroghan. Only a few months later, however, his army was wiped out during the Battle of Meelick Island. Clanricarde was a skillful diplomat but not a great soldier. Like Ormonde, Clanricarde was distrusted by most Catholics in Ireland (he was widely considered to be a friend of the notorious Charles Coote) and thus was thus not capable of halting the Parliamentarian conquest of the country, he was also widely regarded as a man whose actions were governed almost entirely by self-interest.

Later life[edit]

In 1652, he made peace with the victorious Oliver Cromwell, he lost his lands in the Act of Settlement 1652 but his heirs regained them after the Restoration of Charles II in the Act of Settlement 1662. On his death the marquessate became extinct; the earldom passed to his cousin Richard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Clanricarde, Ulick de Burgh, Marquess of". Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 421–422. 
  2. ^ a b Colbran, John (1840). Colbran's New Guide for Tunbridge Wells. Cornhill, London: A H Bailey & Co. pp. 332–33.  (p 332, p 333)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ó Siochrú, Michael. God's Executioner: Oliver Cromwell and the Conquest of Ireland. Faber & Faber, 2009.
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
New creation
Marquess of Clanricarde
1646–1657
Succeeded by
Extinct
Preceded by
Richard Burke
Earl of Clanricarde
1635–1657
Succeeded by
Richard Burke
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Richard Burke
Earl of St. Albans
1635–1657
Succeeded by
Extinct