Posts tagged Manus the Magnificent

Bram Stoker’s great grandmother was Eliza O’Donnell…

No wonder my family has such a fascination with vampires …. It all makes sense or does it?
Bram Stoker’s great grandmother was Eliza O’Donnell, daughter of Colonel Manus O’Donnell (died 1767), of the O’Donnell family of Newport. The information we have discovered has NEVER before been connected to Bram Stoker.Through this maternal line, we can trace Bram Stoker’s descent in 12 generations from Manus O’Donnell (Manus ‘the Magnificent’), Lord of Tír Conaill (corresponds to the North and North-West portion of Ireland) who died in 1563. We can further trace this direct lineage back to the 11th Century, because the O’Donnell lords from whom Bram Stoker is directly descended, were one of the oldest recorded lineages in Ireland. This makes Bram Stoker one of the very few Irish people who can trace their family history back over 1000 years. He was not simply a ‘clan member’ he was a direct descendant.
Manus ‘The Magnificent’ O’Donnell.The most informed description of Manus ‘The Magnificent’ O’Donnell comes from the article by Dr. Brendan Bradshaw “Manus ‘The Magnificent’ : O’Donnell as Renaissance Prince”. In his article Dr. Bradshaw paints a picture of a flamboyant character know for his dramatic clothing and appreciation of art and culture.

Manus is known as the first great Irish lord of Tyrconnell who ruled between 1537 and 1555.He is recognised as one of Ireland’s leading political figures of the time.He was also well known in Britain and in mainland Europe. He is described in The Annals of the Four Masters as “a learned man, skilled in many arts, gifted with a profound intellect, and the knowledge of every science.”

He wrote love poetry and satiric verse and undertook to supervise the writing of a life of St Colmcille at Lifford Castle, where he was captive. This was completed in 1536. He described the 6th-century monastic founder as his ‘high saint and kinsman in blood’. This project, because of its commitment to sources and interest in religious reform, has been claimed as an example of Renaissance humanist influence.

Webb (1878) notes in A Compendium of Irish Biography that his clothing is described by St. Leger in a despatch to Henry VIII.: “He was in a cote of crymoisin velvet, with agglettes of gold, twenty or thirty payer; over that a greate doble cloke of right crymoisin saten, garded with blacke velvet; a bonette, with a fether, sette full of agglettes of gold.”

Manus was deposed by his son Calvagh O’Donnell in 1555.

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References:

Bradshaw, Brendan: “Manus ‘The Magnificent’: O’ Donnell as Renaissance Prince”. In: Cosgrove, Art and McCartney, Donal (eds.), Studies in Irish History presented to R. Dudley Edwards, Dublin 1979, 15-36.

O’Donavan, John. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616. Volume I. Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1854
The Dictionary of Ulster Biography,http://www.newulsterbiography.co.uk/

Webb, A. (1878) A Compendium of Irish Biograpy, DUBLIN: M. H. GILL & SON

Photo: Bram Stoker’s great grandmother was Eliza O’Donnell, daughter of Colonel Manus O’Donnell (died 1767), of the O’Donnell family of Newport. The information we have discovered has NEVER before been connected to Bram Stoker.</p><br /><br />
<p>Through this maternal line, we can trace Bram Stoker’s descent in 12 generations from Manus O’Donnell (Manus ‘the Magnificent’), Lord of Tír Conaill (corresponds to the North and North-West portion of Ireland) who died in 1563. </p><br /><br />
<p>We can further trace this direct lineage back to the 11th Century, because the O’Donnell lords from whom Bram Stoker is directly descended, were one of the oldest recorded lineages in Ireland. This makes Bram Stoker one of the very few Irish people who can trace their family history back over 1000 years. He was not simply a ‘clan member’ he was a direct descendant.<br /><br /><br />
Manus 'The Magnificent' O'Donnell<br /><br /><br />
The most informed description of Manus 'The Magnificent' O'Donnell comes from the article by Dr. Brendan Bradshaw "Manus 'The Magnificent' : O'Donnell as Renaissance Prince". In his article Dr. Bradshaw paints a picture of a flamboyant character know for his dramatic clothing and appreciation of art and culture.</p><br /><br />
<p>Manus is known as the first great Irish lord of Tyrconnell who ruled between 1537 and 1555.He is recognised as one of Ireland's leading political figures of the time.He was also well known in Britain and in mainland Europe. He is described in The Annals of the Four Masters as "a learned man, skilled in many arts, gifted with a profound intellect, and the knowledge of every science."</p><br /><br />
<p>He wrote love poetry and satiric verse and undertook to supervise the writing of a life of St Colmcille at Lifford Castle, where he was captive. This was completed in 1536. He described the 6th-century monastic founder as his ‘high saint and kinsman in blood'. This project, because of its commitment to sources and interest in religious reform, has been claimed as an example of Renaissance humanist influence.</p><br /><br />
<p>Webb (1878) notes in A Compendium of Irish Biography that his clothing is described by St. Leger in a despatch to Henry VIII.: "He was in a cote of crymoisin velvet, with agglettes of gold, twenty or thirty payer; over that a greate doble cloke of right crymoisin saten, garded with blacke velvet; a bonette, with a fether, sette full of agglettes of gold."</p><br /><br />
<p>Manus was deposed by his son Calvagh O'Donnell in 1555.<br /><br /><br />
References:</p><br /><br />
<p>Bradshaw, Brendan: “Manus ‘The Magnificent’: O’ Donnell as Renaissance Prince”. In: Cosgrove, Art and McCartney, Donal (eds.), Studies in Irish History presented to R. Dudley Edwards, Dublin 1979, 15-36.</p><br /><br />
<p>O'Donavan, John. Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616. Volume I. Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1854<br /><br /><br />
The Dictionary of Ulster Biography, http://www.newulsterbiography.co.uk/</p><br /><br />
<p>Webb, A. (1878) A Compendium of Irish Biograpy, DUBLIN: M. H. GILL & SON
Research suggests ‘Dracula’ may have been inspired by Bram Stoker’s O’Donnell Clan ancestryThe centenary of Bram Stoker’s death will occur on Friday
The historian, Fiona Fitzsimmons, has been studying the Dublin-born author’s family tree since November, ahead of the centenary of his death on Friday.She has traced and documented Stoker’s direct descent from Manus “the Magnificent” O’Donnell – an Irish clan leader who led a rebellion against Henry VIII in the 16th century.The O’Donnell family is one of Ireland’s oldest and most powerful families, dating back to the 11th century.
Ms Fitzsimmons says her research shows that Stoker himself knew of these family connections and was influenced by them when he wrote his best known novel.
“We believe that our research will rescue Stoker from his critics, so that ‘Dracula’ can be read and understood as its author intended,” she said.

“Stoker did not use overtly Irish symbols in ‘Dracula’ but his main theme is taken from Irish history, recast in the artist’s imagination. The tale of a decayed aristocracy in possession of a great warrior past, the survivors displaced by the passage of history now living in the shadows is the story of ‘Dracula’ as envisioned by this descendant of Manus O’Donnell.”

The vampire character ‘Dracula’ has traditionally been linked with Transylvania’s Vlad the Impaler – a 15th-century Prince of Wallachia renowned for his cruelty and practice of impaling his enemies. You can learn more about the research into Bram Stoker’s family tree here.

Photo: Research suggests 'Dracula' may have been inspired by Bram Stoker's O'Donnell Clan ancestry</p><br /><br />
<p>The centenary of Bram Stoker's death will occur on Friday<br /><br /><br />
The historian, Fiona Fitzsimons, has been studying the Dublin-born author's family tree since November, ahead of the centenary of his death on Friday.<br /><br /><br />
She has traced and documented Stoker's direct descent from Manus "the Magnificent" O'Donnell - an Irish clan leader who led a rebellion against Henry VIII in the 16th century.<br /><br /><br />
The O'Donnell family is one of Ireland's oldest and most powerful families, dating back to the 11th century.<br /><br /><br />
Ms Fitzsimons says her research shows that Stoker himself knew of these family connections and was influenced by them when he wrote his best known novel.<br /><br /><br />
"We believe that our research will rescue Stoker from his critics, so that 'Dracula' can be read and understood as its author intended," she said.<br /><br /><br />
"Stoker did not use overtly Irish symbols in 'Dracula' but his main theme is taken from Irish history, recast in the artist's imagination.<br /><br /><br />
"The tale of a decayed aristocracy in possession of a great warrior past, the survivors displaced by the passage of history now living in the shadows is the story of 'Dracula' as envisioned by this descendant of Manus O'Donnell."<br /><br /><br />
The vampire character 'Dracula' has traditionally been linked with Transylvania's Vlad the Impaler - a 15th-century Prince of Wallachia renowned for his cruelty and practice of impaling his enemies.<br /><br /><br />
You can learn more about the research into Bram Stoker's family tree here.
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