Burgh, Sir Edmund Albanach de (a.1315–1375), magnate, first lord of Lower Connacht (Mayo), was son of Sir William Liath de Burgh (qv); his sobriquet ‘Albanach’ (the Scot) refers to the time he spent in Scotland as a hostage after the release of his father in 1316. The events surrounding the deaths of Albanach's brother, Walter (qv), and the subsequent assassination of William (qv), 3rd earl of Ulster, led to a permanent state of enmity between Albanach and Sir Edmund de Burgh (qv), third son of the second earl, Richard de Burgh (qv). Within the complex scheme of the politics of Connacht, the two Edmunds were supported by different factions among both Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Irish, which led to a state of almost continual warfare till February 1338, when Sir Edmund was murdered by Albanach. For this action, Albanach was driven from Connacht, but he gathered a fleet of ships and continued to raid the coasts till he received a royal pardon in March 1340, and reestablished himself as a power. Albanach's lifetime is marked by the disintegration of the de Burgh lordship of Connacht into two rival camps, centred on Edmund's family, Clanwilliam of Lower (northern) Connacht, on one hand, and the Clanricard Burkes of Upper (southern) Connacht on the other.
This period also saw the gradual erosion of royal power within the province. However, Sir Edmund continued to present himself as a loyal subject of the king and of the absentee countess of Ulster, to whom he made payments from time to time, when it was politic to do so. De Burgh submitted to the justiciar, Walter de Bermingham (qv), in 1347, and on two occasions (1340, 1347) he was asked to supply troops for the king's wars in France. Throughout this period, the politics of Connacht became increasingly complex, as the barriers between Gaelic and Anglo-Irish broke down further into factions and alliances. Till his death (November 1375), Albanach was generally able to maintain his position as the most powerful man in Connacht by skilfully playing O’Connor Roe against O’Connor Donn, making punitive raids against any threats, especially the Clanricard Burkes, and increasingly using gallowglasses to augment his forces. His career and his relations with the earls of Ulster and the crown show the increasing divergence between the theory of lordship and its practice in the fourteenth century, which resulted in the destruction of the great de Burgh lordship of Connacht.