Rory ODonnell earl of Tyrconnel

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O'Donnell, Rory, 1st earl of Tyrconnel [I] (1575–1608). The second son of the chief of the O'Donnells, Rory joined his brother Hugh Roe and Tyrone in rebellion against Elizabeth from 1598 until 1602. After the disaster at Kinsale, Hugh Roe fled to Spain and died in September 1602. Rory assumed the chieftainship and submitted to Elizabeth's lieutenant Mountjoy. After a visit to James I in June 1603 O'Donnell was created earl of Tyrconnel but became increasingly dissatisfied. Learning that a plan to seize Dublin castle had been betrayed and fearing arrest, he joined Tyrone in the Flight of the Earls in September 1607. He spent his remaining months in Rome, where he died in July 1608, amid suspicions of poison. His son served in an Irish regiment in the Spanish army: a daughter, born after the flight, developed a taste for adventure in men's clothing and lived in poverty in Rome.

J. A. Cannon

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Rory O'Donnell Tyrconnel, earl of, 1575–1608, Irish chieftain; brother of Hugh Roe O'Donnell, lord of Tyrconnel, whom he succeeded as chief of the clan in 1602. After the rebellion in which his brother had been a leading figure, Rory went to London (1603) to submit to James I. He was knighted, created earl, and made sheriff of Donegal. However, he soon engaged in a conspiracy with Spain to seize Dublin Castle and the government and to start a general uprising. His flight (1607) with Hugh O'Neill, 2d earl of Tyrone, after the discovery of the plot, signified the end of political power of the Irish tribal chieftains. He died at Rome and was posthumously attainted (1613) by the Irish Parliament.