The O'Neills' Inauguration Chair

Contributed by Ulster Museum

The O'Neills' Inauguration Chair

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The Clandeboye O'Neills were a branch of the O'Neills of Tyrone who settled in south Antrim and north Down in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in what had been the Anglo-Norman earldom of Ulster. The name Clandeboye, or Clann Aodh Buide, refers to their descent from Aodh Buidhe, or Hugh the Yellow-Haired, who died in 1283. Their chair may have been modelled on that at Tullaghogue, on which the O'Neills of Tyrone were inaugurated, and is the only surviving example of its kind. The Clandeboye O'Neills lost their independence with the rest of Gaelic Ulster as a result of the Nine Year's war. But the family survived, and in 1680 Cormac mac Airt Oig O'Neill sponsored the compilation of Leabhar Cloinne Aodha Buidhe, the Book of Clandeboye, a manuscript collection of O'Neill genealogies and praise poems.

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