The Hiberno-Normans are those Norman lords who settled in Ireland after the Norman conquest of Ireland in 1169 and who remained a distinct community until their eclipse in the early seventeenth century following the Tudor conquest of Ireland. The term embraces both their origins as a distinct community with their own dialect of Norman-French and their development in Ireland (the prefix "Hiberno" means "relating to Ireland or the Irish", from Hibernia). The Clan Burke, FitzGeralds, Butlers and de Berminghams are notable families among them.

The Hiberno-Normans often admitted little if any real fealty to the Anglo-Norman settlers in England,[1] and soon began to interact and intermarry with the Gaelic nobility of Ireland, especially outside the zone of English control known as The Pale. This process of gaelicisation became known as the Hiberno-Normans becoming More Irish than the Irish themselves (later Latinised as Hiberniores Ipsis Hibernis).

By the late 16th century, the Hiberno-Normans began to be referred to as the Old English. In the Irish language, they were known as the gaill or "foreigners". Englishmen born in England however were called Sasanaigh or "Saxons", and there was a very strong distinction made between Gaill and Sasanaigh in the Irish annals, with the former being referred to variously as Fionnghaill or Dubhghaill depending upon how much the poet wished to flatter his patron.[2]

Hiberno-Norman surnames

The following is a list of Hiberno-Norman surnames, many of them unique to Ireland. For example the prefix "Fitz" meaning 'son of', in surnames like Fitzgerald or Fitzpatrick is particularly Hiberno-Norman ( cf. modern French "fils de" with the same meaning). [3]

  • Barrett
  • Blake, from de Blaca
  • Blanchfield, from De Blancheville
  • Burke, also the variants Bourke and de Burge
  • Butler
  • D'Alton
  • D'Arcy, also the variant De Arcy
  • de Barry
  • de Clare
  • Candon, Condon, from de Caunteton
  • de Lacy
  • Devereaux
  • Deane, from de Denne
  • Fanning
  • FitzDermot, this gives the appearance of an Hiberno-Norman surname but originated with the Mac Gilla Mo-Cholmóg family of the Uí Dúnchada sept of the Uí Dúnlainge at the time of the Norman Invasion. They were based at Lyons Hill, Co. Dublin.
  • FitzGerald
  • FitzGibbons
  • Fitzhenry, also the variant Fitzharris
  • Fitzmaurice, also the variant Fitzmorris
  • FitzPatrick, this came from the native Gaelic-Irish Mac Giolla Phádraig, Kings of Ossory.
  • Fitzralph
  • Fitzrichard
  • FitzRoy
  • Fitzsimons/Fitzsimon
  • Fitzstephen
  • Fitzwilliam
  • Joyce
  • Kilcoyne, derived from the original Gaelic "O Cadhain", emerged in Norman Galway.
  • Lambart (There is a possible kinship between the Lambarts and Lamberts)
  • Lambert, also the variant Lamport. Most notably John Lambert of Creg Clare
  • Mansell, from Le Mans, France
  • Marren
  • Martyn, also the variant Martin
  • Nicolas, Nicola
  • Plunkett
  • Power
  • Prendergast
  • Preston
  • Redmond
  • de Tiúit/Tuite
  • Rossiter (other form to write Rosseter, Rossitur, Raucester, Rawcester, Rochester)
  • Russell (Derived from a French term for a red-haired individual.)
  • Savage
  • Sinnott
  • Tyrrell or Tyrell
  • Walshe/Walsh/Welsh (meaning 'Briton' or 'foreigner' or literally 'Welshman'. Gaelic 'Breathnach')
  • Woulfe (Anglicized from the Original Norman-Gaelic De Bhulbh [Wolf])
  • White (Anglicized from the original de Faoite meaning "of fair skin")

Hiberno-Norman texts

There are an extensive number of texts in Hiberno-Norman French, most of them administrative (including commercial) or legal, although there are a few literary works as well. [4] [5] There is a large amount of parliamentary legislation, including the famous Statute of Kilkenny and municipal documents.

The major literary text is The Song of Dermot and the Earl, a Chanson de geste of 3458 lines of verse, concerning Dermot McMurrough and Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (known as Strongbow). [6] Other texts include the Walling of New Ross composed about 1275, and early 14th century poems about the customs of Waterford.

See also

Normandy portal



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