Biographies A-Z

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Adam (Adams), William Augustus

Adam (Adams), William Augustus (1865–1940), soldier, was born 27 May 1865 in Dublin, elder son among three children of the Rev. B. W. Adams, MRIA, author and rector of Santry, Co. Dublin, and his second wife Louisa Jane,…

Adams, Bernard

Adams, Bernard (1566–1626), Church of Ireland bishop of Limerick, was born in Middlesex. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford (BA 1586, MA 1590), and elected fellow. Appointed bishop of Limerick (1603…

Adams, John Bodkin

Adams, John Bodkin (1899–1983), doctor, was born 20 January 1899 in Randalstown, Co. Antrim, elder son of Samuel Adams, watchmaker, and Ellen Adams (née Bodkin) from Desertmartin, Co. Londonderry, and grew up in Ballinderry, Co. Antrim. His brother died in 1916. His father retired…

Adams, Michael

Adams, Michael (1937–2009), publisher and catholic activist, was born in Dublin on 22 June 1937, eldest of three children (two boys and a girl) of Francis Adams, cattle dealer, victualler and JP for Co. Fermanagh, and his wife Mary or Maud (née Atteridge), a protestant and daughter…

Adams, Robert

Adams, Robert (1791–1875), surgeon, was born in Dublin, son of Samuel Adams, solicitor, and his wife (née Filgate), and was apprenticed successively to William Hartigan (qv) (1810) and George Stewart (1813), surgeon general to the…

Adams, Ronald James (Ronnie)

Adams, Ronald James (Ronnie) (1916–2004), racing driver and businessman, was one of the last of a generation of successful amateur gentleman drivers, and was well known in his native Ulster. He was born in Belfast on 8 March 1916, only son of James Adams and his Scottish wife Sarah…

Adams, William George Stewart

Adams, William George Stewart (1874–1966), economist, academic, and public servant, was born 8 November 1874 at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland, youngest child of John Adams, headmaster of St John's Grammar School, Hamilton, and Margaret, daughter of John Stewart, Glasgow cotton…

Adderley, Thomas

Adderley, Thomas (1715–91), landowner, MP, and entrepreneur, the only son of two children of Francis Adderley, Cork landowner, and Elizabeth Adderley (née Fowkes), was educated at TCD (BA 1735,…

Addison, Joseph

Addison, Joseph (1672–1719), writer and politician, was born 1 May 1672 at Milston, near Amesbury, Wiltshire, England, eldest son of Lancelot Addison (1632–1703), vicar of Milston and chaplain to Charles II and James II (qv), and his…

Adomnán

Adomnán (c.624–704), son of Rónán, was 9th abbot of Iona (679–704), biographer of Colum Cille, and saint in the Irish tradition. According to the genealogies, he was son of Rónán son of Tinne, one of the Cenél Conaill branch of the Uí Néill, and a kinsman of…

Adrain, Robert

Adrain, Robert (1775–1843), mathematician, was born 30 September 1775 in Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, eldest among five children of a schoolteacher; his parents' names are not known. He received a good education, though he was self-taught in the higher mathematics. He lost both…

Adrian (Bor), Max

Adrian (Bor), Max (1903–73), actor, was born 1 November 1903 in Ireland, the son of Edward Norman Cavendish Bor, a Bank of Ireland agent (or manager), and Mabel Lloyd (née Thornton). The family lived successively at Maryborough, Callan, and Waterford. Max was educated at Portora…

Áed

Áed (d. 598), son of Ainmere and overking of Uí Néill, belonged to Cenél Conaill, one of the leading dynasties of Uí Néill. His father Ainmere (qv) (d. 569), a first cousin of Colum Cille (…

Áed

Áed (d. 700), bishop of Sléibte (Sletty, on the border of Co. Carlow and Co. Laois), which belonged to the Uí Bairrche sept of Laois, was son of Broccán according to the genealogies. Because of the growth in Armagh's influence and claims to metropolitan status in the latter half of…

Áed

Áed (982/3–1056), son of Cróngille Ua Foirréid and bishop and scholar at Armagh, belonged, like many bishops of Armagh, to the Cenél nÉogain, the most powerful of the dynasties of the Northern Uí Néill. He is best known as the subject of the poem ‘Uasal epscop Éirenn Áed’: here the…

Áed Abrat

Áed Abrat (‘of the eyelid’) (d. 577), son of Eochu Tírmchárna and overking of Connacht, features as an ancestor of the Uí Briúin Aí dynasty of Co. Roscommon from which the later Ua Conchobair kings of Connacht claimed descent. His pedigree, however, is dubious, with elements…

Áed Allán

Áed Allán (d. 743), son of Fergal and king of Tara, belonged to the Cenél nÉogain dynasty. His father, Fergal (qv) son of Máel-dúin, king of Tara, was slain by the Leinstermen in 722. His mother was probably a daughter of Ernán, a Cenél…

Áedán

Áedán (c.534–606/9), son of Gabrán and king of Dál Riata, belonged to the lineage of Cenél nGabráin and had at least one brother, Éoganán (d. 597). His father, Gabrán son of Domangart, reigned as king of Dál Riata c.538–558. His mother, said to have been Fedelm…

Áedán (Aidan)

Áedán (Aidan) (d. 651), founder and first bishop of Lindisfarne, was effectively ruler of the church of Northumbria from c.635 till his death. The mission of Paulinus from Canterbury (begun in 625) was superficially successful, culminating in the establishment of an…

Áed Bennán

Áed Bennán (‘of the spiked helm’?) (d. 619/21), son of Crimthann and overking of Munster, belonged to the dynasty of Éoganacht Locha Léin (centred in mid Co. Kerry). Áed supposedly had two brothers, Áed Finn and Áed Damán, which suggests genealogical confusion. It is said that he…

Áed Dub

Áed Dub (‘black [haired]’) (d. 639), bishop of Kildare, belonged to the ruling Uí Dúnlainge dynasty of north Leinster; his father Colmán Már and his brother Fáelán (qv) were overkings of Leinster. Another of his brothers, Áed Find, was ancestor…

Áed Dub

Áed Dub (‘black [haired]’) (d. 588), son of Suibne Araide and overking of Ulaid, belonged to the Dál nAraide dynasty of the Ulster Cruthin. He emerged as king of Dál nAraide after the battle of Móin Dairi Lothair (563), in which the Uí Néill severely defeated the Cruthin.…

Áed Findliath

Áed Findliath (‘light-grey’) (d. 879), son of Niall and king of Tara, belonged to the Northern Uí Néill dynasty of Cenél nÉogain. His father, Niall Caille (qv), previously king of Tara, died in 846. His mother, Gormlaith, was a daughter of…

Áed Menn

Áed Menn (‘stammering’) (d. 738), son of Colcu, king of south Leinster and contender for overkingship of the province, was a member of the Síl Cormaic lineage of Uí Chennselaig. His father Colcu (d. 722) had held the relatively minor kingship of Ard Ladrann, the caput of…

Áed Oirdnide

Áed Oirdnide (d. 819), son of Niall and king of Tara, belonged to the Cenél nÉogain dynasty. His father, Niall Frossach (qv), was king of Tara until his abdication c.770. His mother Dunlaith was a daughter of…