Baron Longford Baron Annaly - Feudal Barons

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Governor and Chief of the Annaly - The Title of Captain of a Country

During the time of Queen Elizabeth in the 1558-1603, other regions of the English Empire had Captainships or Captaincies which were similar to being a Governor or Indigineous Chief of a Country. Queen Elizabeth I was the last monarch of the Tudor dynasty, which ruled England between 1485 and 1603. Elizabeth I was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Mary I of England reigned from 1553 to 1558.

Nov 22 1565 - Captainship of Slewghte William in Annaley (Longford) or CLAN LIAM to Baron Delvin.  This is also spelled SleightWilliam or SlaghtWilliam in History books. The grant also inlcuded the Island and Abbey of All Saints. Also known as: Captaincy of the Sleaught - William in the Analy which is the region near Ardagh. Also known as the Custody or Captainship of Slewaght or Clans within the Analy (which is O'Ferrall Bane) or the Northern Nation of Annaly. A clan captaincy or chiefship was similar to being granted the title of Prince or Lord of a Country or Nation.

The roles of "custody" and "captainship" during Queen Elizabeth I's reign were indeed synonymous with what we might now refer to as a governorship. These terms were used interchangeably to describe the authority granted by the monarch to govern a specific region or country. The individual appointed as custodian or captain would essentially hold the position of governor, responsible for the administration, defense, and representation of the crown's interests in the designated area. They would exercise executive authority, enforce laws, and oversee various aspects of local governance, much like a modern-day governor. This practice was common during the Tudor period and was a way for the monarch to delegate power and ensure control over various territories within the realm. In some cases such as Baron Delvin "The Earl of Westmeath", this honor was also a hereditary patent and grant pertaining directly to the Annaly Longford in the Ardagh areas for the Slewght William which was a Claim Chief of the Country honor but also symbolic of the Clan William or Clan Liam !

Clan Chiefs and The Power over a Country Nation

The term "slawght" or "slocht" in a Gaelic context could indeed refer to a "sept" or branch of a clan, often transliterated as "sliocht" in Irish, meaning "progeny" or "descendants." The notion of captainships related to clans or septs in Irish or Scottish Gaelic culture generally referred to leadership or chieftain roles within those family groups rather than official titles granted by a monarch. However, the English or Scottish crowns did occasionally grant charters or titles that acknowledged these local leaders, integrating them into the broader system of royal governance.  

In the case of Scotland and Ireland, here are a few examples that reflect how Gaelic leadership roles were sometimes formalized or recognized through patents or similar grants: 

1.      Chiefship or Captainship of a Clan: This title would be akin to the chief or head of a clan, recognized by the crown for administrative and legal purposes. For example: 

·         Clan Donald: The head of Clan Donald in Scotland historically held the title of Lord of the Isles, which was officially recognized by the Scottish crown until the lordship was forfeited in the late 15th century. 

2.      Captainship of Gallowglasses: The gallowglasses were mercenary warriors of Norse-Gaelic descent who served in Scotland and Ireland. Leaders of gallowglass septs might be granted captainships or similar titles, recognizing their command over a body of troops. 

·         MacSweeney : Various branches of the MacSweeney family, descendants of Norse-Gaelic settlers, were known for their roles as leaders of gallowglass warriors, and were granted lands and titles in Ireland for their service. 

3.      Hereditary Captainship of Clan Chattan: A federation of clans in Scotland, Clan Chattan, had a recognized leader known as the Captain of Clan Chattan, a title that involved leadership over multiple associated clans. 

·         Mackintosh Chiefs: As captains of Clan Chattan, the Mackintosh chiefs were recognized by Scottish royal charters, consolidating various clan septs under their leadership. 

These examples show a blend of Gaelic tribal leadership roles with the feudal systems imposed by Scottish and English governance, where native leaders were often integrated into the new administrative frameworks through legal recognitions and grants. 


Certainly, the concept of captainships and custodies within the context of Gaelic clans, particularly in Scotland and Ireland, includes both formal and informal roles that were recognized and sometimes formalized by higher authorities. Here are more examples of such captainships, many of which pertain to recognized leaders who were granted legal titles and responsibilities by either Scottish or English monarchs: 

1.      Captainship of Clanranald - This title refers to the leader of the Macdonalds of Clanranald, a significant branch of the larger Clan Donald in Scotland. The Captain of Clanranald was often recognized formally by Scottish kings, who granted charters affirming his authority over the clan and its lands. 

2.      Captainship of Clann Chameron - The head of Clan Cameron, often referred to as the "Captain of the Camerons," was a title used to denote the chief's military and social leadership over the Clan Cameron in the Scottish Highlands. 

3.      Captainship of the Clan Arthur - This less commonly known captainship pertained to the MacArthur clan, historically centered in Argyll, Scotland. The MacArthurs were once a powerful family, and the captainship would have denoted the head of the clan, recognized by the crown. 

4.      Captainship of the Caterans (Highland mercenaries) - Not specific to a single clan, but rather a role involving the leadership of semi-independent bands of Highland mercenaries who were known as 'Caterans.' Historically, individual leaders could be granted captainships to legally manage these groups, which were sometimes used for both local policing and military raids. 

5.      Hereditary Captainship of Dunstaffnage - Held by the MacDougalls, this captainship included custodianship of Dunstaffnage Castle, strategically important near Oban in Scotland. The title was recognized by Scottish royal authority, highlighting the integration of clan governance with national security needs. 

6.      Captainship of the Macneils of Barra - The chief of the Clan Macneil, known as the Captain of Barra, held sway over the Isle of Barra and its people. This title, recognized by the crown, was critical due to the strategic importance of the Western Isles in Scotland. 

7.      Captainship of Clan Gregor - Despite the proscription of the name and arms of Clan Gregor in the early 17th century, the role of Captain of the Clan Gregor was a significant leadership position when legally recognized. After the lifting of the proscription, formal recognition of the clan's leadership was restored. 

These titles often came with both the authority to govern and the responsibility to maintain order and loyalty within the clan, acting as a bridge between the traditional clan structure and the centralized authority of the Scottish or English crown. These roles were crucial in managing the often tumultuous relationships between the Highland clans and the government. 


Individuals holding positions of custody, captainship, or governorship during the Tudor period, including Queen Elizabeth I's reign, were addressed with titles of respect such as "Your Lordship." This was a common form of address for those holding positions of authority and rank, especially if they were part of the ruling heirarchy or were granted titles by the monarch. "Your Lordship" was a courteous and respectful way to address individuals in positions of governance or authority, regardless of whether they held noble titles or not. It was a form of address that acknowledged their authority and status within society.

Captains of The Annaly

In 1565, there is the grant in the patent rolls of the Captainship and Chief status of the Slewght William or SlaghtWilliam of the Annaly. Slewght or Sleight-William is Gaelic for Clan Liam, and the Captainship is a Chief title for the "Clan and Country". The grant is made by Mary and Queen Elizabeth I. The Sleughtwilliam historically includes the Ardagh and Edgeworthstown regions. This grant by the Queen Elizabeth to Lord Delvin Christopher Nugent was effectuated on 22 Nov 1565. Further, the possessions and the captainship of Slewaght (Ardagh Diocese) within the Analy were granted to Lord Devlin in 1565 with the Abbey of All Saints, and the custody or captainship of Slewaght within the Analy. Lord Delvin was also granted the abbey lands of the island of Inishmore or Inchemore in County Longford where the famous St. Columb lived before leaving to convert the Scots.

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Other Examples of Country or Principality of Annaly Grants - of Seneshal and Sejeant of the Whole Country.

This Document below from 1604 refers to the  Country of O'Ferrall Bane as the SlaghtWilliam of the Annaly - the Lordship of Annaly or Anghaile,  was divided into two factions: 1) Clann Seaáin / Ó Fearghail Bán (White O’Farrell) or Fair O'Farrell ) and 2) Ó Clann Murchadha / Ó Fearghail Buidhe (Yellow O’Farrell), each controlling the north and south of Annaly respectively. **North Annaly was ruled by the Fair or White O'Farrell.

Spelling Variations (O’)Farrell  (O’)Farely (O’)Farel (O’)Farley (O’)Farrill (O’)Ferrall, (O’)Ferraly (O’)Ferral (O’)Ferally (O’)Ferall (O’)Feraly (O’)Feral (O’)Ferrell (O’)Ferrill (O’)Frawley (O’)Fearghail (O’)Farrall (O’)Farrely (O’)Farrel (O’)Farelly (O’)Farell







Confiscation in Irish history/Chapter 3 - Wikisource, the free online library

A portion of the O'Ferralls had joined in Tyrone's rebellion, and had been attainted and outlawed—chiefly, said they, through Lord Delvin's procurement. Lord Delvin sought to obtain possession of their lands, by virtue of a grant to him by Elizabeth of forfeited lands value £100 a year.[45]

The O'Ferralls had submitted to the Crown under promise of pardon and remission of forfeiture; nevertheless the widow and son of Lord Delvin had obtained a warrant to pass to themselves nearly one-half of the County Longford.

Next the Baron of Delvin and his mother had got a grant to be satisfied out of any forfeited lands in Longford which might have come to the Crown during Tyrone's rebellion; and during the early days of James I. 

At first his idea was that the surviving O'Ferralls and the chief inhabitants should repossess what they had before the war, and that the lands of those who had died in rebellion should go to Lord Delvin. [47]


Richard II and the Wider Gaelic World: A Reassessment | Journal of British Studies | Cambridge Core





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Richard II and the Wider Gaelic World: A Reassessment | Journal of British Studies | Cambridge Core



The O'Farrells of Annaly

The Uí Fhearghail, known as O’Ferralls or O’Farrells, trace their lineage back to Ir, son of Milesius, through their ancestor Conmac, son of Fergus Mac Roigh and the legendary Queen Maedhbh (Maeve), of the Iron Age in Connaught, from whom they take their clan name, Conmaicne—the descendants of Conmac. Among the prominent clans of the Conmaicne were the MacRannals, MacDonoughs, O’Duignans, and the O’Farrells. They held princely status in Annaly, with their main stronghold located in Longford town, known in Irish as Longphort Uí Fhearghail, meaning ‘O’Farrells Stronghold’. The renowned ancient epic, Táin Bó Cúailnge or ‘Cattle Raid of Cooley’, showcases the valor of Queen Maeve, and part of its path traverses northern County Longford, including Longford Town. The term Uí Fhearghail translates to ‘Followers of Fearghal’, with Fearghal believed to stem from the Gaelic words Fear, meaning ‘Man’, and Ghal, meaning ‘Valour’. Hence, it signifies “Man of Valour” or a similar rendition such as ‘Valiant Warrior’.


 Due to internal strife within the clan over the Lordship of Anghaile, which was divided into two factions: Clann Seaáin / Ó Fearghail Bán (White O’Farrell) and Ó Clann Murchadha / Ó Fearghail Buidhe (Yellow O’Farrell), each controlling the north and south of Annaly respectively. Although numerous Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Norman Lordships existed in the region during this period, there was minimal internal resistance to the dominance of the Uí Fhearghails over the Lordship of Anghaile. In fact, they maintained a stronghold on the Chieftaincy of Anghaile from their initial presence, asserting ownership rights. However, it was the internal conflicts within the clan that ultimately fragmented the unified Ó Fearghail Lordship of the territory. The title of Ó Fhearghail was bestowed upon the ruling Lord (taoiseach) based on tradition and various factors, such as personality, military prowess, and the ability to both retain existing followers and attract new ones. The Lord's household served as the focal point of wealth and political influence within the clan, as any surplus generated within the clan was directed towards maintaining the household's hierarchical status. cu31924028071029.pdf (


The O'Ferrall Sept, Princes of Annally, is a distinguished lineage tracing its roots back to Milesius, the renowned ruler of Gralicia, Andalusia, Murcia, Castile, and Portugal, commonly known as Milesius of Spain. The Milesians settled in this land centuries before the era of Christ.   Among the three sons of Milesius who left progeny were Heber, Ir, and Heremon. From Ir descended Fergus Mor, who, through Meavre (or Mab), Queen of Connaught, fathered three sons: Conmac, Ciar, and Core. Ciar's descendants became the O'Connors of Kerry, while Core's lineage extended to the O'Connors of Corcomroe and the O'Loughlins of Burren, both situated in County Clare.   The eldest son, Conmac, gave rise to the O'Farrells, Kings of Conmacne, whose domain encompassed present day Longford County, significant portions of Leitrim, Sligo, and Galway Counties, as well as the territory formerly known as Ouircneach in Westmeath, later called "Nugent Country."

Lords of Annaly - Richard More O'Ferrall - Wikipedia  eldest son and heir of Ambrose More O'Ferrall, Lord of Laois and Prince of Annally. Alice More O'Ferrall (abt.1880-bef.1960) | WikiTree FREE Family Tree No Known Children.  Alice Mansfield (More O'Ferrall) (deceased) - Genealogy ( 

February | 2015 | Moxhams of Ireland ( Abbeys of Longford

The Farrells of Annaly - The Farrell Clan 

The Seat and Caput of the Principality of Annaly - King James I granted the ancient seat of the Annaly region and many other castles, manors, monasteries, abbeys,  and feudal seats of power to Baron Delvin within the Annaly or "Longford Westmeath", or inside of the historical County Longford region.  Baron and Chief of the Castle "Lissardowlan as spelled today"  History of the County Longford - Page 60 - Google Books Result- 


The O'Farrells maintained their independence as a clan and nation or sovereign down to the year 1565, when Annaly was reduced to shire ground by the lord-deputy, Sir Henry Sidney. The Seat of the Principality of Annaly resided at the town of Longford, which was formerly known as Longphort Ui Fhearghail, or O'Farrell's fortress. Baron Delvin was granted this Castle and Fortress in Longford by the Crown.