[Sir] Rory O’More

Life
fl.1620-1652 [var. O’Moore; orig. Roger Moore]; main contriver of 1641, chf. mediator between Ulster Irish and Pale gentry; enlisted Owen Roe O’Neill [from Spain], 1642; commanded Confederates in King’s and Queen’s Co., 1643; mediated with Inchiquin, 1648, and Ormond, 1949; refuged in Inisboffin, 1652; escaped to Scotland, or perished in Ireland; his image appeared on the banners of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. ODNB DIB

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Criticism
John G Rowe, The First of the Rapparees, Rory Oge O’Moore (no title-page; 15pp.].

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Commentary
D. George Boyce, Nationalism in Ireland (London: Routledge 1982; 1991 Edn.): ‘The original leaders of the 1641 Rebellion were, certainly, native Irish; and the rebellion was most serious and most bloody in Ulster, that part of Ireland which had been last to lose its Gaelic social and political identity. But its leader, Rory O’More, was no Gaelic hero of [78] the stamp of Hugh O’Neill. Before he rose to fame as the “ leader” of “Ireland” he was commonly known as Roger Moore, a landowner with property in counties Armagh and Kildare, and a man who had political and family connections with the Old English. … [with Lord Maguire and Phelim O’Neill] members of a socially notable propertied class, who had, on the accession of Charles I, been quick to declare their loyalty to the Crown. They were certainly not “wild Irish”, even though their rank and file might conform, to some extent at least, to that stereotype. … Their aims … amounted to an attempt to ward off the consequences of the change in the distribution of political power that was taking place in England … as a means of defending themselves against further encroachment by the parliament of England. (pp.78-79.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography: fl.1620-52; called Roger Moore, or More; assisted in concerting 1641; whom victory at Julianstown, negotiated with gentry of Pale at Crofty, 1641; outlawed, 1642; commanded Confederation forces in Loais and Offaly, 1643; among Owen Roe’s followers, 1644; in arms against Confederation, 1948; tried to effect arrangement between Ormond and O’Neill, 1649; commanded foot in Connaught, 1650; driven to Bofin, escaped to Scotland or died in Ireland; the most humane of the Irish leaders.

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Notes

Library of Herbert Bell (Belfast) contains John G Rowe, The First of the Rapparees: Rory Oge O’Moore (no title-page; 15pp.), ending with quote, ‘Who dare say no to Rory Oge with all his raparees!’

Namesake: Rory O’More of Laois hoped that an Irish school, with a printing press as at Louvain, would be established before Flann Mac Aodhagáin died. (See Oxford Companion to Irish Literature, ed. Robert Welch, Oxford: Clarendon 1996, under Mac Aodhagáin.)

Namesake (fiction): Rory O’More is the stage-title-character of Lover’s comical novel, Rory O’More (1836).

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