Art Óg mac Murchadha Caomhánach

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Art Óg
Mac Murchadha, King of Laighin
Art Mór Mac Murchadha Caomhánach.jpg
MacMurrough-Kavanagh riding
Reign1375 – c. 1417
PredecessorDonnchadh mac Muircheartaigh
SuccessorDonnchadh mac Airt Mhóir
Diedc. 1417
Ferns, County Wexford, Ireland
New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland
SpouseElizabeth le Veel
IssueDonnchadh, Gerald (Gearalt), Diarmuid Lamhdearg
Full name
Art Óg Mac Murchadha Caomhánach
IrishArt mac Airt Mac Murchadha Caomhánach
EnglishArt MacMurrough-Kavanagh
HouseMac Murchadha-Caomhánach
FatherArt Mór Mac Murchadha Caomhánachh
Art Mór riding to meet the earl of Gloucester, as depicted in an illustration to Jean Creton's Histoire du roy d'Angleterre Richard II

Art Óg Mac Murchadha Caomhánach (anglicized Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh, Art MacMorrough, Art MacMorrow-Kavanagh, or Art MacMorrow;[1] 1357 – c. 1417) was an Irish king who is generally regarded as the most formidable of the later kings of Leinster. He revived not only the royal family's prerogatives, but also their lands and power. During his 42-year reign, he dominated the Anglo-Norman settlers of Leinster.

MacMurrough-Kavanagh's dominance of the province and its inhabitants, both Gaelic and Hiberno-Norman, was deemed sufficiently detrimental to the colony that Richard II of England spent much of the years 1394 and 1395 sparring with him. While MacMurrough-Kavanagh did eventually submit to Richard, he renounced this fealty on Richard's departure and made much of his kingdom a death trap for any invading English or Anglo-Irish forces. The Crown accordingly dealt with him cautiously and he was granted an amnesty in 1409.

MacMurrough-Kavanagh married Elizabeth le Veel, widow of Sir John Staunton of Clane. She was the only daughter of Sir Robert le Veel, and through her father the heiress of the Anglo-Norman barony of Norragh. Such a racial intermarriage violated the Statutes of Kilkenny and the Crown thus forfeited Elizabeth's lands, which later became one of the causes of her husband's enmity to the English. They had three sons: Donnchadh, King of Leinster, Diarmuid Lamhdearg, and Gerald, Lord of Ferns. Elizabeth's estates later passed to the Wellesley family, who were descendants of her daughter, Elizabeth, by her first husband, Sir John Staunton of Clane; the Wellesleys were ancestors of the Duke of Wellington.

MacMurrough-Kavanagh died soon after Christmas 1417, perhaps in his bed in Ferns, or perhaps was poisoned in New Ross—accounts differ.[2][3]

MacMurrough-Kavanagh's descendants include 19th century Irish politician Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh.

The 1885 historical novel Art M'Morrough O'Cavanagh, Prince of Leinster: An Historical Romance of the Fourteenth Century by M. L. O'Byrne is a loosely biographical account of his life, written from a nationalist perspective.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ryan, John. The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow.
  2. ^ Curtis, Edmund (7 May 2013). A History of Medieval Ireland (Routledge Revivals): From 1086 to 1513. Routledge. ISBN 9781136298707.
  3. ^

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