Hugh de Lacy, First Earl of Ulster
Title Details

327 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

2 b/w. 2 line. Illustrations

Series: Irish Historical Monographs

Imprint: Boydell Press

Hugh de Lacy, First Earl of Ulster

Rising and Falling in Angevin Ireland

by Daniel Brown

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
The extraordinary life story of an ambitious, thirteenth-century adventurer.
This book charts the striking rise, fall and restoration of the first earl of Ulster, Hugh II de Lacy, described by one contemporary chronicler as 'the most powerful of the English in Ireland'. A younger son of the lord of Meath,de Lacy ascended from relatively humble beginnings to join the top stratum of Angevin society, being granted in 1205 the first earldom in Ireland by King John. Subsequently, in 1210, having been implicated in rebellion, Hugh wasexpelled from Ulster by a royal army and joined the Albigensian crusade against Cathar heretics in southern France. Unusually, after almost two decades in exile and a second revolt against the English crown, de Lacy was restored to the earldom of Ulster by King Henry III in 1227, retaining it to his death, c. 1242.
Situated in the north-east of Ireland, Ulster's remoteness from centres of colonial administration allowed Hugh de Lacy to operate beyondthe normal mechanisms of royal control, forging his own connections with other powerful lords of the Irish Sea province. The fluidity of noble identity in frontier zones is also underlined by the career of someone who, accordingto his political needs, presented himself to different audiences as a courtly sophisticate, freebooting colonist, crusading warrior, or maurauding 'Irish' ruler.
The foundation for this study is provided by Hugh de Lacy's acta, provided as an appendix, and representing the first collection of comital charters in an Irish context. These cast fresh light on the wider themes of power and identity, the intersection of crown and nobility, and the risks and rewards for ambitious frontiersmen in the Angevin world.

Daniel Brown obtained his PhD from Queen's University Belfast, and completed his research on Hugh de Lacy as a postdoctoral fellow at Trinity College Dublin.
Introduction
Beginnings: birth, brotherhood and the burden of lineage
Rise: the making of an earl, 1201-5
Ascendancy: lordship in Ulster, 1205-10
Fall: the road to rebellion, 1205-10
Exile: between two kingdoms, 1210-27
Restoration: comes and colony, 1227-42
Conclusion
Appendices: the acta of Hugh de Lacy, 1189-1242
Appendix I: Extant charter-texts
Appendix II: Lost acta of Hugh de Lacy
Appendix III: Index of persons in charter-texts
Appendix IV: Index of place-names in charter-texts
Bibliography
"An absorbing study of a knight who rode his luck boldly at a time when Fortune's wheel revolved with dizzying velocity amid the political turmoil of John's reign and its protracted aftermath." ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
"Brown does a fine job of laying out Hugh's life in greater depth than has hitherto been achieved." CAMBRIAN MEDIEVAL CELTIC STUDIES
"Just about the most fascinating and enlightening volume about Ireland in the Middle Ages that [this reviewer] has read for many a year...It is a sweeping panoramic history like few others." FAMILIA: ULSTER GENEALOGICAL REVIEW 2017
"[A]n excellent piece of scholarship that adds a great deal of texture to the Angevin political narrative." SCOTIA
"Irish historians must be especially indebted to Daniel Brown for his unravelling of a forest of aristocratic tenancies, allegiances and familial connections, and an immensely detailed chronology of changes in court factions that underlie the earl's adventurous career." SEHEPUNKTE
"Makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Irish history in the early thirteenth century, and also contains insights that will be of value to historians of the wider Angevin world." IRISH HISTORICAL STUDIES
"Will be of great benefit to anyone interested in Anglo-Norman Ulster." ULSTER ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
"This evocative study skillfully weaves from the life of an aristocratic chancer not only the story of lordship construction at the turn of the thirteenth century, but also of the fractured but interrelated communities around the Irish Sea and the convoluted royal policies of indirect control that made Hugh's maneuvers possible." G. E. M. Lippiatt, Speculum

Hardcover

9781783271344

November 2016

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9781782049029

November 2016

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Title Details

327 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

2 b/w. 2 line. Illustrations

Series: Irish Historical Monographs

Imprint: Boydell Press