Roderick - Encyclopedia

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RODERICK, or Ruadri (d. 1198), king of Connaught and high king of Ireland, was the son of Turlough (Tordelbach) O'Connor, king of Connaught, who had obtained the overkingship in 1151, but had lost it again in 1154 through the rise of Muirchertach O'Lochlainn in Ulster. Roderick succeeded to Connaught in 1156, and after ten years' fighting won back the title of high king. His ill-advised persecution of Dermot (Diarmait MacMurchada)., king of Leinster, furnished the pretext for the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. Roderick endeavoured to expel the invaders, but was driven behind the Shannon. He delayed his submission to Henry II. until 1175, when a treaty was concluded at Windsor. Roderick, under this agreement, held Connaught as the vassal of England, and exercised lordship over all the native kings and chiefs of Ireland; in return he undertook to pay an annual tribute. The treaty did not put an end to the wars of the Norman adventurers against Connaught and Roderick's dependants. He held out till 1191; but then, weary of strife, retired to the cloister. He died in 1198, the last of the high kings of Ireland.

See Giraldus Cambrensis, Opera, vol. v. (Rolls Series); G. Orpen's Song of Dermot and the Earl (1892); W. Stubbs's edition of Benedictus Abbas (Rolls Series); Miss K. Norgate's England under the Angevin Kings, vol. ii. (1887).

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