Sir Thomas de Rokeby (died 1356 or 1357) was a soldier and senior Crown official in fourteenth-century England and Ireland, who served as Justiciar of Ireland. He was appointed to that office to restore law and order to Ireland, and had considerable early success in this task, but he was recalled to England after the military situation deteriorated. He was later re-appointed Justiciar, and returned to Ireland to take up office, but died soon afterwards.
The Rokebys were a prominent landowning family from Mortham in North Yorkshire; Thomas was probably the son of Thomas de Rokeby, who died in 1318 (some sources name his father as Alexander).His nephew, also named Thomas, the son of his brother Robert, was closely associated with him in his later years and the elder Thomas was often called "l'oncle" to distinguish him from his nephew. It was almost certainly the nephew, not the uncle, who was the grandfather of the second Sir Thomas de Rokeby, who died sometime after 1423.
Rokeby first came to public attention in 1327 when, after his return from prison in Scotland, he received the thanks of the new King Edward III for being the squire who had first pointed out the approach of the Scots army during the invasion of the previous July. As a reward he was knighted and given lands worth £100 a year.He saw action against the Scots regularly between 1336 and 1342 and had charge of Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle while they were held by the English. He was High Sheriff of Yorkshire 1342–1349. He was one of the English commanders at the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, and it was said, "gave the Scots such a draught as they did not care to taste again". He was then entrusted with bringing King David II of Scotland as a captive to London, and he received further grants of land as a reward for his good services.
In 1349 he was appointed Justiciar of Ireland, and given a large armed retinue to accompany him, as it was recognised by the English Crown that "Ireland is not in good plight or good peace".While there was some surprise at the appointment of an old soldier to such a sensitive political position, the more informed view was that Rokeby would be well suited to the task of enforcing justice by military force. He arrived in December and made a quick circuit of the south of Ireland, mainly to keep watch on the powerful but troublesome magnate Maurice FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond.
Rokeby was praised by his contemporaries for his regard for justice and his zeal in checking extortion by Crown officials. He undertook a general overhaul of the Irish administration, aimed particularly at the detection and prevention of corruption and the removal of incompetent officials.Arguably he showed excessive zeal in arresting and imprisoning the Treasurer of Ireland, Robert de Emeldon, a man who enjoyed the King's personal regard. Admittedly the charges against Emeldon were very serious, including rape, robbery and manslaughter, but Rokeby must have known that the King, out of regard for their long friendship and Emeldon's record of good service to the Crown in Ireland, had already pardoned Emeldon for killing one Ralph de Byrton, a knight, in 1336. Emeldon was once more pardoned and quickly released.
In November 1351 Rokeby held a Great Council at Kilkenny. It dealt partly with the problem of official corruption already mentioned, partly with the problem of defence of the Pale, and partly with the question of intermarriage and other close contacts between the Anglo-Irish and the Old Irish.Otway-Ruthven notes that little of the legislation was new, apart from the application to Ireland of the English Statute of Labourers of 1351, and that much of it was repeated in the better-known Statutes of Kilkenny of 1366.
In 1353 the Clan MacCarthy of Muskerry, the dominant clan in central County Cork, who had until then been loyal to the English Crown, rebelled. Rokeby showed considerable skill in crushing the uprising and succeeded in replacing the rebellious head of the clan, Dermot MacCarthy, with his more compliant cousin Cormac. Cormac's descendants gained great wealth, extensive lands and the title Earl of Clancarty.
This promising state of good order did not last long: a rebellion by the O'Byrne Clan of Wicklow in 1354 was followed by a general uprising headed by the MacMurrough-Kavanagh dynasty. Although Muirchearteach MacMurrough-Kavanagh, the self-styled King of Leinster, was captured and executed, Rokeby suffered several military defeats. He was unable to suppress the O'Byrnes' rebellion, and other risings took place in Tipperary, Kildare and Ulster.
Rokeby was now an ageing and discouraged man, and in 1355 it was decided to recall him. His replacement, rather surprisingly, was that Earl of Desmond whom it had been one of his main tasks to keep in check. Desmond died a year later on 26 July 1356.Rokeby was reappointed Justiciar, and returned to Ireland, only to die soon afterwards at Kilkea Castle.
He was married: his wife was named Juliana, but little else is known of her. They had no children, and his estates passed to his nephew, the younger Thomas.
Rokeby was a popular and respected figure in Ireland: he was described as "one who paid well for his victuals, and did not rob the poor" (i.e. he did not abuse the much criticized system of purveyance, the forcible requisition of foodstuffs from the public). He was also noted for his modest lifestyle: "I drink only from wooden vessels" is one of his recorded sayings.The citizens of Cork, protesting at his recall, referred to his "evident good work" in maintaining law and order.
Otway-Ruthven contrasts his early successes with his disappointing later record, and notes that the 1350s was the crucial decade in which the English Crown lost control of much of Ireland until the sixteenth century.
Diarmait Mac Murchada, anglicised as Dermot MacMurrough, Dermod MacMurrough, or Dermot MacMorrogh, was a King of Leinster in Ireland. In 1167, he was deposed by the High King of Ireland, Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair. The grounds for the deposition were that Mac Murchada had, in 1152, abducted Derbforgaill, the wife of the king of Breifne, Tiernan O'Rourke. To recover his kingdom, Mac Murchada solicited help from King Henry II of England. His issue unresolved, he gained the military support of the Earl of Pembroke. At that time, Strongbow was in opposition to Henry II due to his support for Stephen, King of England against Henry's mother in the Anarchy. In exchange for his aid, Strongbow was promised in marriage to Mac Murchada's daughter Aoife with the right to succeed to the Kingship of Leinster. Henry II then mounted a larger second invasion in 1171 to ensure his control over Strongbow, resulting in the Norman Lordship of Ireland. Mac Murchada was later known as Diarmait na nGall. He was seen in Irish history as the king that invited the first-ever wave of English settlers, who were planted by the Norman conquest. The invasion had a great deal of impact on Irish Christianity, increasing the de facto ability of the Holy See to regulate Christianity in Ireland.
Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh was an Irish politician. His middle name is spelled MacMorrough in some contemporaneous sources.
Maurice FitzThomas FitzGerald, 1st Earl of Desmond in Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland was an Irish nobleman in the Peerage of Ireland, Captain of Desmond Castle in Kinsale, so-called ruler of Munster, and for a short time Lord Justice of Ireland. Called "Maurice the Great", he led a rebellion against the Crown, but he was ultimately restored to favour.
The Second Desmond Rebellion (1579–1583) was the more widespread and bloody of the two Desmond Rebellions in Ireland launched by the Fitzmaurice/FitzGerald Dynasty of Desmond in Munster against English rule. The second rebellion began in July 1579 when James Fitzmaurice landed in Ireland with a force of Papal troops, triggering an insurrection across the south of Ireland on the part of the Desmond dynasty, their allies, and others who were dissatisfied for various reasons with English government of the country. The rebellion ended with the 1583 death of Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Desmond, and the defeat of the rebels.
Walter de Lacy was lord of Meath in Ireland. He was also a substantial land owner in Weobley, Herefordshire, in Ludlow, Shropshire, in Ewyas Lacy in the Welsh Marches, and several lands in Normandy. He was the eldest son of Hugh de Lacy, a leading Cambro-Norman baron in the Norman invasion of Ireland, and Rohese of Monmouth.
John FitzGeoffrey, Lord of Shere and Justiciar of Ireland was an English nobleman and Crown official.
John FitzThomas was an Irish nobleman in the Peerage of Ireland, as 4th Lord of Offaly from 1287 and subsequently as 1st Earl of Kildare from 1316.
Elizabeth le Veel, also known as Elizabeth Calf, was an Anglo-Irish noblewoman, and wife of Art mac Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh, King of Leinster. Her marriage to Art violated the Statutes of Kilkenny, and resulted in her property being forfeited to the English crown. This caused her husband to declare war in Ireland against the forces of King Richard II of England.
Maurice FitzMaurice FitzGerald was an Irish magnate, soldier, and Justiciar of Ireland from 1272 to 1273. His family would come to epitomize the ideal of cultural synthesis in Ireland, becoming "more Irish than the Irish themselves", fusing Gaelic and Norman customs in Irish identity. "But others say that he never enjoyed that lordship himself, but passed it the son and grandson of his eldest brother Gerald."
Thomas de Clare, Lord of Thomond was a Hiberno-Norman peer and soldier. He was the second son of Richard de Clare, 6th Earl of Gloucester and his wife Maud de Lacy, Countess of Gloucester. In 1272 he served a term as Lieutenant of the Duchy of Aquitaine. On 26 January 1276 he was granted the Lordship of Thomond by Edward I of England; he spent the next eight years attempting to conquer it from the O'Brien dynasty, kings of Thomond.
The Barony of Ballyane is a Barony in County Wexford Republic of Ireland. It was "surrendered and regranted" by the Clan Kavanagh in 1543. Diarmait Mac Murchada, King of Uí Cheinnsealaig and king of Leinster held the lands of the Barony of Ballyane in 1167. His clan of MacMurrough-Kavanagh began to regain some of their former territories in the 14th century, especially in the north of the county, principally under Art MacMurrough Kavanagh. He extended their territories and exercised control over County Wexford and over County Carlow which is located in the province of Leinster. In pre-Norman times Leinster was part of the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnsealaig, whose capital was at Ferns.
Sir William Brabazon, was an English born soldier and statesman in Ireland. He held office as Vice-Treasurer of Ireland and Lord Justice of Ireland. His descendants still hold the title Earl of Meath.
Sir John Morice or Moriz was an English-born statesman of the fourteenth-century whose career was mainly spent in Ireland. He is remembered chiefly for his enthusiastic, if not very successful, efforts to reform the Irish administration, and for the fact that a portrait of him exists, said to be the earliest portrait of an Irish judge.
John L'Archers, or L'Archer was an English born cleric and judge who had a distinguished career in Ireland, holding the office of Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He died during the first outbreak of the Black Death in Europe, and was probably a victim of it.
Cahir mac Art Kavanagh, "The MacMurrough" and King of Leinster, also Lord of St. Molyns, and baron of Ballyann, was an Irish magnate of the Tudor period.
Sir Simon Fitz-Richard was an Irish barrister and judge. He became Chief Justice of the Irish Common Pleas, and fought a long and successful campaign against the efforts of his enemies to remove him from office.
Thomas FitzMaurice, Lord OConnello, of Shanid, was the eldest son of Maurice FitzGerald, Lord of Lanstephan by his wife, Alice. Thomas was the progenitor of the Geraldine House of Desmond, and brother of Gerald FitzMaurice, 1st Lord of Offaly, progenitor of the Geraldine Houses of Kildare and Leinster.
Robert de Emeldon was an English-born Crown official and judge who spent much of his career in Ireland. He held several important public offices, including Lord High Treasurer of Ireland and Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer. He was a turbulent and violent man, who was guilty of at least at least one homicides, was later imprisoned for a number of serious crimes including rape and manslaughter, and had a bad reputation for corruption: but he was a royal favourite of King Edward III and was thus able to survive temporary disgrace.
Robert Preston, 1st Baron Gormanston was an Anglo-Irish nobleman, statesman and judge of the fourteenth century. He held several senior judicial offices including, for a brief period, that of Lord Chancellor of Ireland. He was the founder of the leading Anglo-Irish Preston family whose titles included Viscount Gormanston and Viscount Tara.
Sir Thomas Mortimer was a medieval English soldier and statesman who served briefly in several important administrative and judicial state offices in Ireland and played a part in the opposition to the government of King Richard II. He was an illegitimate member of the Mortimer family, who were one of the leading noble houses of England and Ireland, and he helped to manage the Mortimer lands during the minority of the family heir, his nephew Roger, earl of March. Sir Thomas was also a close associate of the Lords Appellant, the powerful faction of nobles who opposed the administration of King Richard II.