THE MODERN NOBILITY OF BREFNEY

From Irish Pedigrees; or the Origin and Stem of the Irish Nation by John O'Hart

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Leitrim: The following were the chief settlers to whom large grants of land were given in the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First:—Hamilton, who erected a castle at Manorhamilton; and the family of Villiers, dukes of Buckingham. Skerrard, in after times barons of Leitrim, and the family of Clements are at present earls of Leitrim.

Cavan: The following have been the noble families in the county Cavan, since the reign of James the First:—Lambert, earls of Cavan: Maxwell, earls of Farnham; Coote, earls of Bellamont; Pope, earls of Belturbet; Verney, barons of Belturbet. Amongst the great landed proprietors, but not resident in the county, were the marquises of Headford, the earls of Annesley, and the earls of Gosford. And among the landed proprietors resident in the county have been—the earls of Farnham, the families of Burrowes, Clements, Coote, Humphreys, Nesbitt, Pratt, Saunderson, Vernon, etc.

Cavan is derived from the Irish "Cabhan" (pronounced "Cawan"), which signifies a hollow place; and corresponds with the situation of the town of Cavan, which is located in a remarkable hollow.

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, Brefney O'Rourke was, by the lord deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, formed A.D. 1565, into the county Leitrim, and so called from the town of Leitrim; and in the same reign, A.D. 1584, Brefney O'Reilly was, by the lord deputy, Sir John Perrott, formed into a county, and called Cavan, from its chief town. Cavan was added to Ulster, and Leitrim was left in Connaught.

The name "Leitrim," in Irish Liath-Druim, signifies the Grey Hill: and from the town, the county was called Leitrim, as the county Cavan was called from the town of Cavan. Leitrim is Latinized "Leitrimnia;" and Cavan, "Cavania."

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