The Malone Family

Malone family crest

(Crest No. 305. Plate 31.)

THE Malone family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Muirdach or Mulrooney Mullethan, King of Connaught in the seventh century and of the line of Duach Galach, first Christian King of Connaught.

The ancient name was O’Connor Maoleone, meaning “Bald John,” and was taken from Maoileoin, nephew of Roderick O’Connor, last chief monarch of Ireland. The title of the chief of the sept was Chief of Broglie, and the possessions of the O’Malones were located in the present County of Westmeath. The O’Malones were a branch of the O’Conors, Kings of Connaught, and their possessions in the barony of Brawney, in the County of Westmeath, were large and fertile. In former days these chiefs had the title of Barons of Clan-Malone, and afterward obtained that of Barons Sunderlin, of Lake Sunderlin, in Westmeath. Several of them also held possessions in the County of Wexford.

In the wars between the kings of Meath and Connaught, the latter were usually successful, and toward the close of the eleventh century the branch of Bald John obtained a settlement in Westmeath. This was a district closely bordering on Connaught, east of the Shannon, and close to Athlone. Being near the ancient see of Clonmacnoise, the Malones were generous benefactors to the abbey, of which many of them had been abbots. The ancient estate of the family is called Ballymahone or Riverstown, within five miles of Athlone.

Many of this name were eminent ecclesiastics and distinguished for their learning and piety. Among these may be mentioned Hugh O’Malone, successor of Kieran of Clonmacnoise, 1153; Hugh O’Malone, Bishop of Clonmacnoise, 1219; Rory O’Malone, Bishop of Ardagh, 1540; and Dean O’Malone, “the most learned man in all Ireland,” according to the Four Masters. Rev. William Malone, born 1586, Superior of the Jesuits in Ireland, from which he was forced to fly, was renowned for his zeal and learning. He died rector of the Irish College, Seville, Spain, 1659. Many of the name have also held high place in political life and in literature.

Anthony Malone, who was born 1700 and died 1776, was one of the ablest men and most eloquent orators of his age. Grattan declared him to be “a man of the finest intellect than any country ever produced.” He represented Westmeath in the Irish Parliament from 1727 until 1760. He consistently and ably championed Ireland’s rights on all occasions. His father, Richard Malone, was acknowledged to have had no equal as a lawyer during his generation. Edmond Malone, nephew of Anthony, is known as one of the greatest of Shakespearian commentators. He was an intimate of Burke, Johnston, Charlemont, and the best men of his time. Though most of his life was passed in England, he always exercised his influence in favor of his country and advised all his friends to oppose the Union.

The Rev. Sylvester Malone, pastor of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul, Brooklyn, N. Y., and one of the regents of the University of the State of New York, is a scion of this distinguished family and represents in his person and character all the best qualities of his distinguished kinsmen of the name. His learning, piety, and patriotism have gained for him the esteem and admiration of the best element of the American people, and his able and consistent course has not only placed him in the front rank of the clergy of the United States but has reflected honor on the Church he worthily represents, and has contributed to break down the barriers of prejudice probably more than that of any other man of his day.