Kingdom of Meath - Westmeath, Annaly and Longford
County - Ancient Kingdoms
The Administrative County
of Longford was part of various Kingdoms over the last 2000 years.
The name Longford is an Anglicization of the Irish
(meaning "ship") and
(meaning "port" or "dock"). This name was applied to many Irish settlements of Viking origin and eventually came to
mean fort or camp in the Irish language, and so
the modern Irish spelling, is the name of this town, which was one of the only Gaelic Irish market towns to arise
without first being founded by Vikings or Normans.
the Norman invasion of
Ireland, in 1172 the kingdom of Meath was awarded
to Hugh de
Lacy as the Lordship of
Meath by Henry II of
England in his capacity as Lord of
The territory corresponding to County Longford was a
frontier colony of the Kingdom of
Meath in the first millennium. Between the fifth and
twelfth centuries the Longford territory was called the kingdom of Tethbae
By an act of the 34th of Henry VIII, the ancient
palatinate of Meath was divided. The Eastern portion of
Meath retained its former name and the western being called Westmeath. County Longford was a portion of the
WestMeath but cut out into a distinct county by Queen Elizabeth in 1586. The Feudal Lords of WestMeath controlled
much of the region both before and after the separation. The Counties of Meath and Westmeath Act ( Henry VIII
34 ) of 1542, proclaimed Westmeath (which then included Longford which separated in 1586) a county, separating it
from Meath. https://www.libraryireland.com/topog/W/Westmeath.php
Longford, whose early name was Annaly or Anghaile, or
Anale, was a principality of the Chiefs/O’Farrells and was originally part of County
Meath. In the 12th century it was granted by Henry II to Hugh de Lacy, who started an English colony
there. On the division of Meath into two counties in 1543, Annaly was included in Westmeath. By 1569 Annaly was a
shire under the name of Longford. Area 421 square miles (1,091 square km). Pop. (2002) 31,068; (2011)
With an area of 1,091 km2 (421 sq mi) and
a population of 40,810, Longford is the
fourth smallest of the 32 counties in area and second smallest in terms of population. It is also the fourth smallest
of Leinster’s 12 counties by size and smallest by
population. It borders counties Cavan to the
northeast, Westmeath to the east and
southeast, Roscommon to the west and southwest
and Leitrim to the northwest.
Barony of Longford - Longford barony derives its name
from the town of Longford (from Irish Longphort Uí Fhearghail, "O'Fergal's riverside
Administrative Barony History
Anciently Longford barony was part of a territory known as Cairpre
Gabra (northern Tethbae), and later Muinter Anghaile
(Annaly). The present barony is formed from the territory of Moytra (Clongesh and part of Templemichael
parishes), and the territory of Clan Hugh (in Killoe parish). Carn
Clonhugh was a ritual centre for the Clan Hugh (Clann
Anghaile or ** Annaly," which was formed out of the ancient territory of Teffia,
comprised the whole of the County Longford, and was the principality of OFarrell. His chief residence was the town
of << Longford," anciently called Longphort-Ui-Fhearghail or the Fortress of 0*£arrelL This territory was
divided into Upper and Lower Annaly: the former comprising that part of Longford south of Granard, and a part of
the County Westmeath, was possessed by O'Farrell Buidhe (or OTarrell the Yellow) ; the latter, or that portion
north of Granard, was possessed by O'Farrell Ban (or O'Farrell the Fair).
The success of the Anglo-Norman arms in Ireland was more immediately felt by the native princes and chiefs
inhabiting the districts adjoining Dublin. In 1172 Henry the Second despoiled Murchard O’Melaghlin of his kingdom
of Meath, and granted it to
Hugh De Lacy, who was appointed Lord Palatinate
of the territory. De Lacy divided it among his various chiefs, who were commonly
called “De Lacy's Barons
Longford-Westmeath Grants to Lord Delvin or Lord
Do. OXIII.— " Grant from the King to
Sir Richard, Lord Delvin.— Longford County. Licence to hold a Thursday market and a fair
on the 1st of August, and two days at Longford, with the usual courts and fees ; rent, 6s.
8d., English. — 7 Dec. 3rd."
1552- Grant to Nugent - Friars of the
Order of St. Dominick Longford County Domincan Convent - THE Convent of Longford was founded in the
year 1400, for Dominicans, by O'Ferrall, Prince of Annaly. # This house had been celebrated for the number of
its learned men, three of whom, Connor, Diarmed and Henry Duffe M“Fechehan, became victims to the general
plague which raged throughout Ireland in 1448.
This place did not exist longer than the year 1580, because
we find it recorded that this monastery, with certain lands attached, was granted in the fourth year of the reign
of Philip and Mary — that is, about the year 1552 — to one Richard Nugent and his heirs, in capite, for
St Brigid’s Priory was dissolved and was the first property in Longford to be the subject of a crown grant when in
1556–7 it was given to Richard Nugent, Baron of Delvin.
Boundaries with only Baron Delvin.
County Longford [6 baronies] - Leinstermap
All - The territory now called Longford anciently went by the names Teathba and
Teffia. North Teffia was inhabited by the Glasraidhe, descendants of early inhabitants. By the 5th century
Longford was divided into north and south. The northern territory became known as Cairbre Gabhra, after Cairbre
a son of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Another son received the southern half. In the 8th century the Conmaicne
(e.g. O'Farrells) invaded the Ui Cairbre and by the 11th century were the dominant people as the territory
became known as Annaly, and was considered part of the province of Meath. It was controlled in the north by the
O'Farrel Ban (White) and in the south by the O'Farrel Buy (Yellow). Longford was formed as a county (shire) in
Ardagh - was formed from the territory of Sleughtwilliam (Mostrim parish), the
territory of Clangillernan (Templemichael), and from part of the church lands in the parishes of Ardagh and
Granard - Anciently this was part of a territory known as Cairpre Gabra, alias Corpre
Tethbae, or North Teffia. The barony was formed from the territory of Clanshane (Granard, Abbeylara, and part
of Colmcille parishes), and from the territory of Slewcarberie (Clonbroney and part of Colmcille parishes).
Muintir Geradhain was located on the west side of Lough Gowna, where Ó Geradhain (Gaynor or MacGinver) is
mentioned as lord here in the 11th century.
Longford - was formed from the territory of Moytra (Clongesh and part of Templemichael
parishes), and the territory of Clan Hugh (in Killoe parish). Anciently it was part of a territory known as
Cairpre Gabra, and later Muinter Anghaile (Annaly).
Moydow - (Magh Dumha) Anciently it was part of a territory known as Tethba. The barony
was formed from the territories of Clanawlye (Ardagh & Moydow), and parts of the territories of Moybrawne
(Taghshinny parish), Clanconnor (part Kilcommock, part Cashel parishes), and Muintergalgan.
Rathcline - was formed from the territories of The Callow (left bank of Shannon,
Lanesboro to Ballymahon) and the territory of Clanconnor (part Kilcommoc, part Cashel). Callow is derived from
the gaelic 'Caladh na hAnghaile', a former name for the barony, located between Muinter Gillagan and the river
Shannon. O Fergail (O'Farrell) is noted as chief here. O'Faughny is also noted as chief of the Callow (Callo)
into the 16th century.
Shrule or Abbeyshrule - was formed from parts of the territories of Moybrawne
(Shrule), Clanconnor and Muintergalgan. Moybrawne was anciently part of a territory known as Bregmaine, or Mag
Bregmaine, in Cenél Maine.
Misc - The O'Cuinn (O'Quinn) was a principal chief of Teffia and later held a small
territory in Annaly centered at Rathcline.