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Sir Nicholas Malby

(c. 1530—1584) soldier and president of Connacht


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(c.1530–1584), soldier and administrator. Originally serjeant-major general in Sidney's army and a minor player in the Enterprise of Ulster, Malby was appointed military governor of Connacht in 1576 and promoted to provincial president in 1578. His actions included the suppression of Clanricard's sons, campaigns against O'Rourke, the settlement of the Mayo Bourkes' succession dispute, and the establishment of a composition in Connacht to finance its administration. Malby's military rigour and judicial equity won the respect of the Gaelic Irish and the praise of their annalists. Not only did Malby turn a blind eye to Catholic religious practices and monastic survivals, he also used Gaelic methods including the fostering out of his children to establish personal ties with the lords. His ambitions extended to Ulster and Munster. The queen was critical of his aggressive actions in the latter, which contributed to the second Desmond rebellion. Malby's 17,000-acre grant in Roscommon was the nucleus of a small New English colony.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.


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