(d. 1243), known to historians as the ‘conqueror of Connacht’, one of the leading barons of Ireland from 1214 and justiciar 1228–32. His father William de Burgh (d. 1205) had received lands in Munster from King John in 1185; he had also obtained a grant of Connacht c.1195, but despite vigorous campaigning had failed to realize it. Richard got a royal charter renewing the grant in 1215, but this was not activated until after the death in 1224 of the Irish king, Cathal O'Connor (Cathal Crobderg Ua Conchobair). Richard's conquest, which was pursued from 1226–7, was facilitated by the backing of his uncle Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar of England. He lost favour when Hubert fell in 1232, but soon recovered it; the conquest, in which many other settler families gained lands, proceeded again from 1235. Richard died while campaigning with Henry III in Gascony.
From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: European History.