Ralph Ufford

(c. 1334—1346) justiciar of Ireland

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(d. 1346), justiciar of Ireland 1344–6, one of the most vigorous governors of the 14th century whose rule was denounced as oppressive by the Dublin annals. A banneret of Edward III's household, Ufford married c.1343 Matilda of Lancaster, widow of William de Burgh, earl of Ulster. He arrived in Ireland with an English retinue of 40 men-at-arms and 200 archers. Early in 1345 he entered Ulster, deposing Henry O'Neill (Éinrí Ó Néill) from kingship and replacing him with Aodh Reamhar O'Neill. Ufford's ties with absentees and insistence on the letter of the law provoked war with the 1st earl of Desmond. Later in 1345 he outlawed Desmond, gathered a large army, and seized his castles and lordships; he also imprisoned the earl of Kildare, by trickery according to the Dublin annals. After his death Edward III rehabilitated the earls, employing them in the justiciarship during the 1350s.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.

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