Pirates & Privateers
Gráinne O'Malley ·
story of Gráinne Ni Mháille or Granuaile
(Anglicized as Grace O'Malley, Grany Malley) reads like the most
brazen and unlikely sort of adventure fiction, but there's history
as well as myth in the legend of the Irish noblewoman who led a band
of 200 sea-raiders from the coast of Galway in the sixteenth century. Twice
widowed, twice imprisoned, fighting her enemies both Irish and
English for her rights, condemned for piracy, and finally
pardoned in London by Queen Elizabeth herself, Gráinne
was one of the few sea-raiders to retire from the sea
and die in her own bed, though where she's buried remains a mystery.
Gráinne's exploits were many and attested, and there
can be no doubt that she made a deep impression on
the Englishmen sent to complete the conquest of
Connacht. From her appearance in 1576 before the
Lord Deputy Sir Henry Sidney in Galway, when he
described her as a 'most famous feminine sea captain'
and 'a notorious woman in all the coasts of Ireland',
to her interview with Queen Elizabeth in London in
1593, when she secured the release of her son and her
brother from prison, and promises of maintenance
for herself for the remainder of her life, she proved
herself ready to face all dangers in her determination
to salvage some part of her family's inheritance.
Ni Mhaille or Gráinne Uaile
The Sea-Queen of Ireland
a brief biography by Rosemarie Colombraro at Renaissance-Central. New !
a history with map and illustrations, at Defiant Women's
Ni Mhaille or Gráinne Uaile, part of the
history of Westport,
surrounds burial place of legendary pirate queen Gráinne Uaile,
an article from Western People, August 1997. New URL.
Granuaile, history links from the Unofficial
Ní Mháille Pirate Queen of Connaught.
Grace O' Malley - The Official Site,
from biographer Anne Chambers. New !
Granuaile: The Life and Times of Grace O'Malley by Anne Chambers
has just been issued in a revised edition by Wolfhound Press (ISBN: 0863276318).
The Twilight Lords, an Irish Chronicle, by Richard Berleth,
Knopf, 1978; reprinted Barnes and Noble, 1994, details the
warfare and treachery that characterize Ireland in Elizabethan
Notes on the Illustrations ·
14 March 2004