Biographies A-Z

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Macartney (MacCartney), George

Macartney (MacCartney), George (c.1660–1730), soldier, was born in Belfast, eldest son of George Macartney (qv) (d. 1702), merchant of Belfast, and his wife, Martha, daughter of Sir…

Macartney (McCartney), ‘Black’ George

Macartney (McCartney), ‘Black’ George (c.1630–1702), merchant, was a cousin of the McCartneys of Blacket in the parish of Urr, Scotland, and was probably born there. Like them he spelled his name ‘McCartney’, but the form ‘Macartney’ was adopted by his descendants and is…

Macartney (McCartney), George

Macartney (McCartney), George (1626–91), merchant and customs official, was the only son of Bartholomew McCartney of Auchinleck, near Kirkcudbright, Scotland, and his wife Catherine, daughter of George Maxwell of Orchardton. George spelt his name as McCartney, but the form ‘…

Macaulay, William (‘Bill’) J. Babbington

Macaulay, William (‘Bill’) J. Babbington (1892–1964), diplomat, was born 15 December 1892 in Dublin, the only son of Capt. Patrick Macaulay and Elizabeth Macaulay (née Murphy) of Waterside, Co. Antrim. He was educated privately and served with a commission in the British naval volunteer…

MacAuley, Charles John

MacAuley, Charles John (1887–1956), surgeon, was born 9 October 1887 at 78 Stanhope Street, Belfast, the son of Charles MacAuley, master mariner, and Ann MacAuley (née McKay). He had at least one sister, and his brother, Henry MacAuley, later became an orthopaedic surgeon at Cappagh…

Macauliffe, Max

Macauliffe, Max, also known as Michael McAuliffe (1838–1913), Indian Civil Service judge and Sikh scholar, was born 11 September 1838 in Glenmore, Monagea, Co. Limerick, eldest of five sons and seven daughters of John McAuliffe, schoolteacher and farmer, and Julia McAuliffe (née Browne…

MacAvin (McAvin), John Patrick

MacAvin (McAvin), John Patrick (1880–1938), businessman and politician, was born on 27 December 1880 in Ballymore, Co. Westmeath, the eldest son of David MacAvin, an RIC constable stationed in the Ballymore area and originally of Co. Monaghan, and his wife Anne (née Walsh) from Co.…

Mac Brádaigh, Fiachra

Mac Brádaigh, Fiachra (c.1690–c.1760), poet, was a native of Co. Cavan. Nothing is known of his immediate family and his place of birth cannot be determined precisely, but he appears to have resided throughout his life in the parish of Drung – part of the MacBradys…

Mac Brádaigh, Philip

Mac Brádaigh, Philip (c.1650–c.1719), poet and clergyman, commonly known as ‘Philip Ministir’ or ‘Parson Brady’, was born in Co. Cavan about the middle of the seventeenth century, probably in the district to the west of Cootehill that had previously formed the…

MacBride, David

MacBride, David (1726–78), doctor and scientist, was born 26 April 1726 in Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, son of Robert MacBride (1687–1759), presbyterian minister at Ballymoney, and his wife, a Miss Boyd from Killaghy, Co. Down, whose father may have been David Boyd. Robert McBride was…

MacBride, (Edith) Maud Gonne

MacBride, (Edith) Maud Gonne (1866–1953), advanced nationalist, political activist, and subject of most of the love poetry of W. B. Yeats (qv), was born 21 December 1866 at Tongham Manor, near Farnham, Surrey, England, eldest…

MacBride, Ernest William

MacBride, Ernest William (1866–1940), zoologist, was born 17 November 1866 in Belfast, eldest among five children of Samuel MacBride, linen manufacturer, of Edgehill, Belfast, and Mary Jane (‘Minnie’) MacBride (née Brown), daughter of a presbyterian minister in Donegal. Many of his…

MacBride, John

MacBride, John (1865–1916), officer in the Boer army and republican, was born 7 May 1865 at Westport, Co. Mayo, the youngest of the five sons of Patrick MacBride and his wife, Honoria (née Gill), shopkeepers in the town. MacBride was educated at the Christian Brothers' School in…

MacBride, Seán

MacBride, Seán (1904–88), lawyer and politician, was born in Paris on 26 January 1904. He was the only child of the marriage of Major John MacBride (qv) and (Edith) Maud Gonne (qv…

Mac Bruaideadha, Maoilín Óg

Mac Bruaideadha, Maoilín Óg (1550?–1602), poet, was a son of Maoilìn Mac Bruaideadha, ollamh le seanchas or chronicler to the O'Briens of Thomond and head of one of the learned families of Gaelic society. Maoilìn Òg received an education in keeping with his ancestors’…

Mac Bruaideadha, Tadhg mac Dáire

Mac Bruaideadha, Tadhg mac Dáire (1550?–1625?), poet, was one of a large family born to Dáire Mac Bruaideadha, proprietor of Knockanalban in the parish of Kilmurry Ibrickan, Co. Clare, and his wife, Fionnghuala Gray. The Mac Bruaideadhas were one of the learned families of Gaelic…

Mac Caba (McCabe), Alasdair (‘Alec’)

Mac Caba (McCabe), Alasdair (‘Alec’) (1886–1972), teacher, revolutionary, politician, and founder of the Educational Building Society, was born 5 June 1886 in Keash, Co. Sligo. Educated at Keash national school and Summerhill College, Sligo, he won a scholarship to St Patrick's…

MacCabe, Frederick Faber

MacCabe, Frederick Faber (1868–1954), racehorse trainer and journalist, was born in Glasnevin, Dublin. Educated at Terenure College, Downside School, and TCD, he qualified as a medical doctor in 1891. In his late teens and early twenties…

MacCabe (Mac Cába), Cathaoir (Cahir)

MacCabe (Mac Cába), Cathaoir (Cahir) (c.1670–c.1740), poet and harpist, was born at Cloghballybeg, parish of Mullagh, Co. Cavan; details of his parents are unknown. He acquired in youth some knowledge of Greek and Latin, an erudite literacy in the Gaelic verse…

MacCabe, William Bernard

MacCabe, William Bernard (1801–91), journalist, poet, historian, and author, was born 23 November 1801 in Dublin. Details of his early life are scarce but it is known that he began a career as a journalist in the 1820s, working for both Dublin and provincial newspapers. In 1823 he…

MacCaffrey, James

MacCaffrey, James (1875–1935), priest, historian, and president of St Patrick's College, Maynooth, was born 25 October 1875 in Alderwood, Clogher, Co. Tyrone, son of Francis MacCaffrey, farmer, and Ann MacCaffrey (née McElroy). After early education at St Macartan's seminary,…

Mac-Caille

Mac-Caille (d. c.489), bishop and abbot of Cruachán Breg Éile (Croghan Hill, barony of Lower Philipstown, Co. Offaly), and saint in the Irish tradition, was reputedly the son of Darerca, sister of St Patrick…

Mac Cairteáin, Liam (an Dúna) (William MacCartain)

Mac Cairteáin, Liam (an Dúna) (William MacCartain) (c.1668–1724), scribe and poet, was born in Doon, Co. Cork. Nothing is known of his parents, but it is believed that he was of Ulster origin. A Jacobite, he was a major in Mac Cárthaigh Spáinneach's cavalry regiment that…

Mac-Caírthinn

Mac-Caírthinn (d. 506), bishop and disciple of St Patrick (qv) and founder of the church of Clochar (Clogher, Co. Tyrone). Nothing is known of his ancestry other than that the Uí Maicc Caírthinn were one of the septs of…

MacCall, Seamus

MacCall, Seamus (1892–1964), writer and soldier, was born at sea in late 1892, the younger son of John MacCall, a protestant civil engineer of Omagh, Co. Tyrone, and Eithne MacCall (née MacAlister), a Dublin-born Scots presbyterian. He went to school in Omagh until he was seven, when he…