Name: Maurice de Prendergast
Prefix: Sir 1
Residence: Prendergast Castle, Pembrokeshire
Occupation: Governor of County Wexford & City of Cork
Change Date: 22 JUN 2004
Went to Ireland with Richard Strongbow de Clare.
Gave Prendergast Castle to the Knights of St John of Jerusalem in 1177 and eventually joined that order.
On 11 May 1169 Maurice de Prendergast, after embarking at the port of Milford, arrived in two boats and landed at Bannow Bay, County Wexford, with 10 knights and 200 archers (given as 600 men in other places) and foot soldiers as part of the vanguard of Strongbow?s force (who didn?t arrive until 23 August 1170), though small in number they were experienced fighting men and met with early success. There are variations in the accounts regarding landing dates, site and numbers of men. Dermot taking no chances decided to wait for more reinforcements.
In the fighting that ensued De Prendergast and 200 men were under siege and asked Dermot for transport back to Wales, on being refused this they promptly changed sides and Dermot had to swear allegiance to the local king, who was unaware of the imminent arrival of Strongbow and the main force.
Another version says that Maurice was so disgusted with the barbarity of Dermot that he renounced his service and joined the Ossary standard. After this hasty decision Maurice was in a dilemma as the Chieftain of Leinster now wanted to attack Dermot, Maurice now decided to return to Wales and was opposed by the Prince of Ossary, he solved this by arranging a treaty between Dermot and Ossary which was confirmed by Fitzstephen, he then returned to Wales to later return with Strongbow.
Another version of this episode is that Maurice and his men wished to return to Wales to visit their wives and were refused passage, upon this they changed sides and Dermot paid dearly for his treachery. Eventually they returned to Wales and later returned to Ireland with Strongbow?s force, this seems a more likely account.
It is apparent that there are various accounts of this incident but it is agreed that after a short time in Ireland Maurice de Prendergast returned to Wales and later returned with Strongbow and the main force. Strongbow landed near Waterford with 200 knights and a 1000 soldiers.
On 17 October 1171 King Henry 11 landed at Waterford with 500 knights and 4,000 men at arms and archers, in the face of these forces by 1250 (80 years later) three quarters of Ireland was under Norman rule.
It may be of interest to note that the Normans were a mixture of Celtic blood, Frankish blood and that of the Viking invaders who settled in France in 911 AD when Charles the Simple, King of France, ceded part of his kingdom to the Vikings. That area became known as the land of the Northmen and the name of the people who lived there became shortened to "Normans". Hence Maurice had quite a large part of Celtic and Viking blood before he settled in Wales before going to Ireland.
The Settlement Period In Ireland:
In Ireland the Prendergast family flourished and extended itself. Maurice de Prendergast having played a prominent part in the invasion of Ireland was granted land in Waterford, Wexford, Tipperary, Mayo and Wicklow, he became the Governor of the County and City of Cork. Amongst other grants he was granted five Knight?s Fees in the present Barony of Shelmalier East (Territory Fernegenal), south of Wexford town and by the River Slaney.
Sir Bernard Burke (ref. Burkes Colonial Gentry) informs us that soon after the invasion they seated themselves at Newcastle Prendergast on the River Suir, which washed the walls of their manor house on its way to Cahir Castle and Clonmel. Their territory stretched from Cahir to Cappoquin and from Fethard to Cloghean.
Maurice was one of the English lords chosen to witness the signature of Henry 11 to the deed whereby he gave the city and lands of Cork to Robert Fitzgerald and Milo de Cogan in 1170.
In 1177, Maurice made over the Castle de Prendergast in Wales, Pembrokeshire, to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, joined the order, and died in 1205 at Kilmainham (near Dublin), the chief seat of the brotherhood in Ireland, being then Prior of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
Sir Maurice?s descendants were listed among the leading gentry of the counties of Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary in 1598 and were also to be found in many other counties notably Mayo and Galway. Some of those who settled in Mayo assumed the surname Fitzmaurice in his honour.
The family married into many of the most Ancient Nobility & Gentry, and appear in their pedigrees, such families include the Le Poer (later Power), Butler, Ormond, Cahew, Dunboyne, Fitzgibbon, Courcey, Condon, Cloncarthy, Desmond & Fitzgerald?s.
The arms of Jasper Prendergast were confirmed in Wexford in 1618 whilst in 1639 Edmund Prendergast was confirmed in the Manor (castle) of Newcastle Prendergast in Tipperary. One of Edmund?s descendants became Baronet of Gort.
A learned member of the family was John Patrick Prendergast (1808-1893), the historian known for his "Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland" .
Maurice is remembered in history (honorably known as the "Faithful Norman") for his integrity and honesty and was respected by friend and foe. It is probable that many, if not all, present day Irish Prendergast?s are descended from Maurice and his wife who was a Fitzgerald
Sir Maurice De Prendergast Maurice had two sons, Phillip and Gerald Mc Maurice.
Maurice De Prendergast?s younger Son Gerald Mc Maurice founded a branch of the family in Co. Mayo, generally known by the Irish name of MacMaurice or MacMorrish and gave name to the barony of Clanmorris, now represented in the Castle Macgarret branch by Lord Oranmore (Source: Burke's Peerage, Oranmore, B., and Gort., V,)
Enniscorthy Castle: The town of Enniscorthy is about 14 miles north of the town of Wexford in County Wexford . A huge Norman castle on the banks of the river Slaney was built about 1225 by Phillip De Prendergast, elder son of Maurice De Prendergast. The castle now houses the Wexford County Museum.
- Philip de Prendergast
- Type: Gedcom File
Title: Jim Weber