Connacht / Connaught (Connachta -“Land of the Descendants of Conn”) (pop.503,000) is the smallest of Ireland’s four Provinces, comprising five Counties with a total area of 17,713.38km / 6,839.1mi.
Connacht History since 1169
Long established as a kingdom, the Cuige Chonnacht held the primacy of Ireland’s five Cuigí (Provinces) under its C12th ruler Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair / Rory O’Connor, who was acknowledged Ard Rí / High King. After the Normans invasion, he had little option but to submit to King Henry II, retaining the title king of Connacht under the Treaty of Windsor 1175.
John de Courcy, who had successfully conquered eastern Ulster in 1177, failed to take Connacht in 1188, but the province fell to a combined Norman force in 1225, and the De Burgh / Burke dynasty became the dominant kinship group for several centuries.
The remnant of the O’Conor family maintained the title of king of Connacht during the Middle Ages with kings inaugurated officially up until the late C17th. The ruling O’Conor Don family have survived until the present day.
In 1570 a provincial presidency of Connaught was established by Queen Elizabeth I‘s Lord Lieutenant Sir Henry Sidney.
The “Republic of Connaught” had a brief existence in 1798 with French military support.
Dukedom of Connaught
The English Royal Family claims a line of descent from the ancient Connachta, and in 1874 Queen Victoria granted her third son, Prince Arthur (b.1850), the title Duke of Connaught and Strathearn of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Prince Arthur of Connaught (1883–1938), only son of the 1st Duke, predeceased his father. After the first Duke’s death in 1942, the title was inherited by his grandson, Alastair Windsor (1914–1943). In the absence of any male heirs, the Dukedom became extinct when Alastair died, 15 months after his grandfather.
Connaught Place in Delhi was named after the first Duke, who visited India in 1921. A British Indian Army cavalry regiment, 6th Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers (Watson’s Horse) was also named for him, as was a Canadian armoured regiment, the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own).