Hugh de Lacy, Lord of Meath
(died 25 July 1186, Durrow, Leinster) was granted the lands of the Kingdom of Meath
by Henry II
in 1172 under the Norman Invasion of Ireland
In 1172 he met Tighearnán Ó Ruairc
, King of Bréifne
on the Hill of Ward
. Negotiations stalled and Giraldus Cambrensis
described how Ó Ruairc's body was strung up while his head was sent to Henry II.
De Lacy himself was killed while supervising the construction of a Motte castle at Durrow,Tullamore in 1186 at the instigation of An tSionnach (the Fox) and O'Breen (see Annals of the Four Masters, 1186.5).
De Lacy was initially buried at Durrow Abbey. In 1195 the archbishops of Cashel and Dublin disinterred him and buried his body in Bective Abbey in Meath and his head in St. Thomas’ Abbey in Dublin. In 1205 his body was also interred in St. Thomas's Abbey.
Henry II displaced the native Murchadh Ó Maoilsheachlainn
, king of Meath
Henry applied to Ireland the feudal system of land tenure which the Normans had already introduced into England.
Henry granted Hugh de Lacy “the land of Meath in as full a measure as Murchadh...or anyone before or after him held it.”
This grant, known as a Liberty that, within the territory, de Lacy’s power was equal to that of the king himself, the only reservation being that the king could dispose of Church lands anywhere. A person with this jurisdiction was known as a Count and the territory over which he ruled was called a county.
One of the privileges of a Count Palatinate, such as de Lacy he could create barons or inferior lords.
In turn de Lacey divided the land among his barons
- Hugh Tyrrell obtained Castleknock
- Gilbert de Angulo (aka Nangle), who became Baron of Navan
- Jocelin, son of above
- William de Missett
- Adam Feipo (aka Phepoe)
- Gilbert FitzThomas
- Hugh de Hose
- Thomas Fleming
- Adam Dullard (aka Dollard)
- Gilbert de Nugent
- Risteárd de Tiúit received land in Westmeath and Longford; later Barony of Moyashell, in Westmeath.
- Robert de Lacy
- Jeoffrey de Constantine
- William Petit
- Myler Fitzhenry
- Richard de Lachapelle
He was the 1st Lord of Meath. You can follow the pedigree up to the Earls of Meath. Hugh de Lacy and his son Walter de Lacy (1180 – 1240) built Trim Castle and Kilkea Castle.
Some time after 1196, the son of Hugh de Lacy, named Walter, granted “the whole land of Rathtowth” to his younger brother, Hugh. Hence we have now the sub-division of the county Meath named the Barony of Ratoath and it has the distinction of being perhaps the first instance that the term, barony, was used in Ireland for a division of a county.
Hugh de Lacy was born before 1135 and married Rose de Monmouth before 1155. He was the son of Gilbert de Lacy of Ewias
castles in the Marches of Wales.
As such he was the grandson of Roger de Lacy who had been exiled from England in 1095 and great grandson of Walter de Lacy, the Domesday baron. He was father of Walter de Lacy
(before 1170 to 1241) and
Hugh de Lacy, 1st Earl of Ulster
(before 1179 to 1242). He also had five daughters and two more sons by Rose. Rose died before 1180 when Hugh married Rose O'Connor by whom he had two more children, William de Lacy and Ysota de Lacy.
- Remfry, P.M., Longtown Castle, 1048 to 1241 (ISBN 1-899376-29-1)
- Remfry, P.M., The Castles of Ewias Lacy, 1048 to 1403 (ISBN 1-899376-37-2)
- Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America Before 1700 by Frederick Lewis Weis, Lines: 177A-8, 177B-7