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Clanricarde was a term meaning both a territory and a title in Ireland between the 13th and early 20th centuries.


The territory, in what is now County Galway, Ireland, stretched from the barony of Clare in the north-west along the borders of County Mayo, to the River Shannon in the east. Subservient territories included Uí Maine, Kinela, de Bermingham's Country, Síol Anmchadha and southern Sil Muirdeagh.


The Clanricarde, was a Gaelic title meaning "Richard's family", or "(head of) Richard's family". The Richard in question was the illegitimate son of William de Burgh, whose great-great grandson became the first Clanricarde in the 1330s. The title was first recorded in 1335, and had probably being used informally for a few generations. However, with the advent of the Burke Civil War 1333-38 it came to denote the head of the Burkes of Upper or south Connacht based largely in what is now east and central County Galway. Simultaneously it was used to describe the lands held by the family.

The title Mac William Uachtar was also used as a synonym. It was a Gaelic title meaning "son of the upper William (de Burgh)". It was used to differentiate the Burkes of upper or south Connacht from their cousins, the Bourkes of lower or north Connacht, who were known was the Mac William Lower.

However it was never used as popularly as the term Clanricarde and was in any case abaondoned by the end of the 16th century.

In 1543 the then Clanricarde was created Earl of Clanricarde by Henry VIII.

The Clanricardes or Mac William Uachtar 1333-1544

Family tree

  Walter de Burgh
  |                                           |
  |                                           |
 William de Burgh, died 1205.    Hubert de Burgh, 1st Earl of Kent, d. 1243. 
  |                                        (issue; John and Hubert)
  |                                                         |                                             |
  |                                                         |                                             |    
 Richard Mór de Burgh, 1st Baron of Connaught  Hubert de Burgh, Bishop of Limerick, d. 1250.   Richard Óge de Burgh
  |                                                                                                       |
  |                                           ____________________________________________________________|
 de Burgh Earl of Ulster,                     |                  |               |
 Burke of Castleconnell, County Limerick      |                  |               |
 Mac William Iochtar Bourke of County Mayo.  Hubert           William            Richard                                  
                                              |                  |               |
                                              |                  |               |_________________               
                                     Clan Mac Hubert?   Richard an Fhorbhair     |                |
                                                                 |               |                |
  _______________________________________________________________|               Sir David Donn  Sir William Ruad
  |                                           |         |                            |                    d.1327.
  |                                           |         |                   Clan Mac David
  Ulick Burke of Annaghkeen, d. 1343.      Raymond  Walter Óge
  Richard Óg Burke, d. 1387.
  Burke of Clanricarde

See also


  • A New History of Ireland, volume IX, Oxford, 1984;
    • Earls of Ulster and Lords of Connacht, 1205-1460 (De Burgh, De Lacy and Mortimer), p. 170;
    • Mac William Burkes: Mac William Iochtar (de Burgh), Lords of Lower Connacht and Viscounts of Mayo, 1332-1649, p. 171;
    • Burke of Clanricard: Mac William Uachtar (de Burgh), Lords of Upper Connacht and Earls of Clanricard, 1332-1722.