The Quin or O’Quin Family

Quin or O’Quin family crest

(Crest No. 60. Plate 5.)

THE Quin family is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heremon. The founder of the family was Maine, ancestor of the Southern Hy Nials, and son of Nial of the Nine Hostages, King of Ireland, A. D. 379. The ancient name was Quin, and signifies “The Hound.”

Quin or O’Quin family crest

(Crest No. 231. Plate 53.)

The possessions of the clan were located in the present County of Londonderry. The O’Quins were Chiefs of Moy Lugad and of Siol Cathusaigh (a quo Casey), as given in the Annals of the Four Masters, under A. D. 1218. Moy Lugad, according to the Books of Leacan and Ballymote, lay in Keenaght of Glengiven, in the above-mentioned county.

The O’Quins were also Chiefs of Muintir Giolgain, and had their chief castle at Rathcline, in the County of Longford. Their territory extended into the baronies of Ardagh, Moydoe and Shrule, in that county.

There was another powerful family of the Quins in the Counties of Clare and Limerick, distinct from this family in Annaly.

The founders of this family were Brian Boru, King of Ireland, A. D. 1002, and Moriertach O’Brien, last King of Ireland of the race of Brian Boru, A. D. 1089. The chiefs of this clan were styled Lords of Puble y Brien. There have been many distinguished persons of this name.

James Quin, born in 1693, was, next to Garrick, the greatest actor of his time. For many years he held the leading position at Drury Lane Theater. The present house of Dunraven is a branch of the Quin family.

The third Earl of Dunraven, Edwin Wyndham Quin, born in 1812, was one of the most distinguished of Irish archaeologists. He was educated at Eton, England, and subsequently spent three years under Sir William Hamilton at the Dublin Observatory. He devoted his life to natural science, especially to Irish antiquities and Irish archaeological researches. He visited nearly every barony in Ireland and all the islands of the coast in his scientific pursuits, investigating every species of Irish architectural remains of importance. His object was “to vindicate the artistic and intellectual capabilities of the ancient and mediaeval Irish.” His works were published in 1877, after his death, and are a record of “the spirit of Irish architecture in a style never previously attempted in pictorial representations.” Montalambert dedicated to him one of the volumes of his famous work, “The Monks of the West.”