Sir James Ormond

Ormond, Sir James, known as "Black James," illegitimate and only son of the 5th Earl of Ormond, was a valiant but quarrelsome man. In 1492 he was made Lord-Treasurer. In June of the same year a dispute with the Earl of Kildare, resuling in a skirmish, may be said to have commenced the feuds between the Butlers and the FitzGeralds. A striking incident in Sir James's life was his interview with his opponent, the Earl of Kildare, in St. Patrick's Cathedral, in 1512. It was thought the sanctity of the place would ensure decorum; but ere long their retainers came to blows, and several arrows and darts struck the images. [In expiation of this insult to the Church, occurring within the limits of their jurisdiction, the Lord-Mayors of Dublin for many years walked bare-footed through the streets of the city on the anniversary of the tumult.] In the confusion, Sir James took refuge in the chapter-house. Matters were finally adjusted by the Earl of Kildare and Sir James shaking hands through a hole, cut for the purpose, in the chapter-house door. Sir James was killed in a skirmish near Kilkenny, 17th March 1518.


271. Ormond, Duke of, Life 1610-'88: Thomas A. Carte, M.A. 6 vols. Oxford, 1851.