John De Courcy

Life
?-?1219 [var. Di Courci]; came to Ireland with William FitzAldelm, 1175; with a surprise attack and an force of 300 men took Downpatrick from Rory MacDunlevy, 1177; transferred the see from Bangor to Down; subdued Ulster after five years; married Affreca, dg. King of Isle of Man, 1180; justiciar of Ireland, 1185; savagely revenged murder of his brother Jordan by a native [ODNB], 1197; outlawed in Ireland by William de Lacy, officer of King John and lost his English estate through forfeiture, 1200; raided Hugh de Lacy, 1203; captured by de Lacy, 1204; exchanged hostages for freedom; withdrew to Tyrone; submitted to crown and recovered English estates, 1205; rebelled against de Lacy’s grant of land in Ulster, 1206; ravaged Antrim with pirate fleet, defeated; licensed to visit England, 1207; pensioned, in personal attendance on King John, 1210-16.

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Criticism
Steve Flanders, De Courcy: Anglo-Normans in Ireland, England and France in the Eleventh and Twelfth Centuries (Dublin: Four Courts Press 2008), 192pp.

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Notes
Usucapture: John de Courcy removed the ‘Conoin’ from Armagh along with the ‘Bacculus Jesu’, when he captured Primate Thomas O’Connor - the bishop and his Patrician relics being restored later to Armagh; effected the translation of the relics of Patrick, Brigid, and Columba to Downpatrick, 1186; commissioned a Latin life of Patrick by Joscelin of Furness (1186) whom he installed in the Franciscan abbey in Downpatrick having evicted the native occupants. [See St. Patrick, q.v.]

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