Earl of Clanricarde

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Earldom of Clanricarde
Arms of the Earl of Clanricarde
Arms: of de Burgh/Burke: Or, a cross gules in the first quarter a lion rampant sable.[1]
Creation date1543 (1st creation)
1800 (2nd creation)
Created byHenry VIII
PeeragePeerage of Ireland
First holderUlick Burke, 1st Earl of Clanricarde
Present holderSebastian Browne, 12th Marquess of Sligo
Heir apparentChristopher Browne, Earl of Altamont
Remainder to1st creation: 1st Earl's heirs male
2nd creation: 13th Earl's heirs male, with remainder to heirs male of his daughters
Subsidiary titlesEarl of St Albans (E: 1628)
Viscount Tunbridge (E: 1624)
Viscount Galway (E: 1628)
Viscount Bourke of Clanmories (I: 1629)
Baron of Dunkellin (I: 1543)
Baron of Somerhill (E: 1624)
Baron of Imanney (E: 1628)
Baron Somerhill (UK: 1826)
StatusExtant (2nd creation)
Extinction date1916 (1st creation)
Seat(s)Portumna Castle
Former seat(s)Somerhill House
MottoUNG ROY, UNG FOY, UNG LOY (One king, one faith, one law)[2]
Ulick de Burgh, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde.

Earl or Lord of Clanricarde (English: /klænˈrɪkɑːrd/; klan-RIK-ard) is a title that has been created twice in the Peerage of Ireland, first in 1543 and again in 1800. The former creation became extinct in 1916 while the 1800 creation is extant and held by the Marquess of Sligo since 1916.

Clanricarde was a Gaelic title meaning "(head of) Richard's family" (also known as Mac William Uachtar/Upper Mac William) and this family were descended from Richard Mór de Burgh, 1st Lord of Connacht (d.1243), son of William de Burgh (d.1205/6), founder of the de Burgh/Burke family in Ireland.

In 1543, Ulick na gCeann Burke, 12th Clanricarde, was created Baron of Dunkellin (/dʌnˈkɛlɪn/; dun-KELL-in) and Earl of Clanricarde in the Peerage of Ireland. His great-grandson, the fourth Earl, was created Baron of Somerhill and Viscount Tunbridge in the Peerage of England in 1624, Baron of Imanney and Viscount Galway in the Peerage of Ireland and Earl of St Albans in the Peerage of England in 1628. His son, Ulick Burke, the fifth Earl, was a prominent Royalist during the Civil War. In 1646 he was created Marquess of Clanricarde in the Peerage of Ireland. In c.1650 he also succeeded his cousin as third Viscount Bourke of Clanmories according to a special remainder in the letters patent (see below). On his death, in 1657, the marquessate and the English titles became extinct. However, he was succeeded in the Irish titles by his second cousin, the sixth Earl. He was the son of The Hon. Sir William Bourke, third son of the third Earl. He died without male issue and was succeeded by his younger brother, the seventh Earl.

His younger son, the ninth Earl (who succeeded his elder brother Richard), fought in the army of James II of England (VII of Scotland), was created by him Baron Bourke of Bophin, and was taken prisoner at the Battle of Aughrim in 1691. He was outlawed and attainted with his estates forfeited. However, in 1701, Lord Clanricarde was acquitted by Act of Parliament and restored to his estates. His grandson, the eleventh Earl, assumed the ancient surname of de Burgh in lieu of Burke (or Bourke). His eldest son, the twelfth Earl, was created Marquess of Clanricarde in the Peerage of Ireland in 1789. He was childless and on his death the marquessate became extinct. He was succeeded in the other titles by his younger brother, the thirteenth Earl. He was a general in the British Army. Lord Clanricarde was elected as one of the 28 original Irish Representative Peers in 1800. The same year, he was created Earl of Clanricarde (second creation) in the Peerage of Ireland, with remainder, failing male issue of his own, to his daughters Lady Hester Catherine de Burgh (wife of Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo) and Lady Emily de Burgh, and the heirs male of their bodies according to priority of birth.

His son, the fourteenth Earl, was a noted politician. He was created Marquess of Clanricarde in the Peerage of Ireland in 1825. In 1826 he was also made Baron Somerhill, of Somerhill in the County of Kent, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. This title gave the Marquesses an automatic seat in the British House of Lords. Lord Clanricarde married The Hon. Harriet Canning, daughter of Prime Minister George Canning and his wife Joan. His eldest son, Lord Dunkellin, died in 1867. The 1st Marquess was succeeded by his second son, the 2nd Marquess, who assumed by Royal Licence the additional surname of Canning in 1862 as heir of his maternal uncle, Charles, 1st Earl Canning. Lord Clanricarde later represented County Galway in Parliament as a Liberal. On his death, in 1916, all the titles became extinct, except the second (1800) creation of the Earldom of Clanricarde, which passed according to the special remainder to his cousin, The 6th Marquess of Sligo. He was the grandson of the aforementioned Lady Hester Catherine de Burgh and Howe Browne, 2nd Marquess of Sligo.

The title of Viscount Bourke of Clanmories in the County of Mayo, was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1629 for The Hon. John Bourke, fourth son of Ulick Burke, 3rd Earl of Clanricarde. The peerage was created with remainder to the heirs male of his father. Lord Bourke was succeeded by his son, the second Viscount. On his death, around 1650, he was succeeded according to the special remainder by his cousin the fifth Earl of Clanricarde. The titles remained united until their extinction in 1916.

Other members of the family included John "na Seamar" Burke, younger son of the second Earl, who claimed the Barony of Leitrim and his sons Redmond Burke, Lord Leitrim and William Burke, Lord of Bealatury. Another was Ulick Burke, younger son of the seventh Earl, who was created Viscount Galway in 1687.

Earls of Clanricarde; First creation (1543)[edit]

Marquess of Clanricarde; First creation (1646)[edit]

Earls of Clanricarde; First creation (1543; Reverted)[edit]

Marquess of Clanricarde; Second creation (1789)[edit]

Earls of Clanricarde; First creation (1543; Reverted)[edit]

Marquess of Clanricarde; Third creation (1825)[edit]

Earls of Clanricarde; Second creation (1800; Reverted)[edit]

The heir apparent is the present holder's son Christopher Ulick Browne, Earl of Altamont (b. 1988)

Viscounts Bourke of Clanmories (1629)[edit]

see above for further Viscounts Bourke of Clanmories

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burke, Bernard (1884). The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time. University of California Libraries. London : Harrison & sons.
  2. ^ Burke, John; Burke, Bernard (1844). Encyclopædia of Heraldry: Or General Armory of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Comprising a Registry of All Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time, Including the Late Grants by the College of Arms. H. G. Bohn.

External links[edit]

Leigh Rayment's Peerage Pages [self-published source][better source needed]