Hugh O'Neil

Justin McCarthy
Chapter V | Start of Chapter

One of the most important and famous struggles made during these years against English dominion was led by Hugh O'Neil. This celebrated Irish leader was the grandson of that Shane O'Neil whom Henry VIII. had created Earl of Tyrone. He had led thus far a very different life from that usually led by an Irish Chieftain. The ruling powers were at first inclined to make a favourite of him, and confirmed him in his earldom and estates. He was brought over when very young to England, and we learn that even in the brilliant Court of Queen Elizabeth he was distinguished for gifts and graces of body and mind. For a long time Tyrone seemed a loyal supporter of English rule. He commanded a troop in the Queen's service, and even took part in the suppression of risings in his own country, co-operating with the Earl of Essex in the Ulster wars and the settlement of Antrim.