Art Óg mac Murchadha Caomhánach

Art Óg
Mac Murchadha, King of Laighin

MacMurrough-Kavanagh riding
Reign 1375c.1417
Predecessor Donnchadh mac Muircheartaigh
Successor Donnchadh mac Airt Mhóir
Born 1357
Died c.1417
Ferns or New Ross, County Wexford, Ireland
Burial St Mullin's, County Carlow, Ireland
Spouse Elizabeth le Veel
Issue Donnchadh, Gerald (Gearalt), Diarmuid Lamhdearg
Full name
Art Óg Mac Murchadha Caomhánach
Irish Art mac Airt Mac Murchadha Caomhánach
English Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh
House Mac Murchadha-Caomhánach
Father Art Mór Mac Murchadha Caomhánachh

Art Óg Mac Murchadha Caomhánach (anglicized Art MacMurrough-Kavanagh or Art MacMorrough;[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.


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

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. He died soon after Christmas 1417, perhaps in his bed in Ferns, or perhaps was poisoned in New Ross (accounts differ).[2][3]


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.

The 19th century Irish politician Arthur MacMurrough Kavanagh was a descendant of MacMurrough-Kavanagh.

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