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You have arrived at LadyRosa.net (or .org), a website and a network where members collaborate in researching and publicising the life and times of Rosa O'Dogherty, 1592-1660. The site is available to any viewers, but the network functions are for registered members. Registration is currently free. Using the network, for internal private communication and other functions is intuitive, but you are advised to study its structure and read the various How To guides on the right side.  Discussion Forums, and other functions are under the Extra Content button.

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July 5, the 400th anniversary of his death in rebellion
Sir Cahir O'Dogherty remembered

More than two hundred members of the O'Dochartaig Clan returned from abroad to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of Sir Cahir O'Dogherty, the last Gaelic lord to rebel against English occupation of his lands. The visitors were led to Inishowen by rere-Admiral Pascual O'Dogherty, Madrid, representing the leadership of the clan, a direct descendent of Cahir's father Sir John O'Dogherty

Following Cahir's rebellion, April, 1608, and his death a few months later, on July 5, 1608, at Doon Rock, Kilmacrennam, Donegal, the traditional O'Doherty peninsula of Inishowen, Co. Donegal, was  taken for himself by the chief English administrator in Ireland, the Lord deputy, Arthur Chichester (pictured here).

A friend and protege of the English, Cahir was provoked into rebellion when it became obvious that his beloved territory of Inishowen, Co. Donegal was to be included in the plantation plans for Ulster, and that he and his people would be removed from their traditional lands and forced into destitution or emigration, as had begun to happen elsewhere in Ulster since 1601.

part 6 of 6
Rosa O'Dogherty - Life and Times


In the summer of 1642 Owen Roe returned to Ireland, to take charge of the Ulster Army in the newly formed independent Irish Confederation. He found the country to be in a wretched condition, even worse than when he left it 37 years previously. He wrote back to Brussels:

 "   "...the country not only looks like a desert, but like hell....

part 5 of 6
Rosa O'Dogherty - Life and Times

 The most famous siege of Europe was the siege of Breda, on the Dutch border, in 1625.   It lasted nine months and was observed,  like a tourist attraction, by Kings and Princes visiting from many lands.  Spinola and his Spanish army were ultimately victorious, with his Irish regiment making a major contribution, and the famous painting by Velazquez shows Spinola receiving the congratulations of his

defeated opponent, Nassau, Prince of Orange, as his officers look on, including it is said, John O’Neill. (image 9..). But tragically for Rosa, it seems she may have lost her son Hugh at Breda, in April, 1625. He would have been twenty one years old, and recently joined the regiment as a captain.....

part 4 of 6
Rosa O'Dogherty - Life and Times

Rosa and Owen then moved to Brussels and their only child, Henry - Johannes Henricus-  was born in 1614 –( Image 4 is his baptismal record) -  registered on May 22nd in Brussels' second parish at the time, the newly fashionable parish of Notre Dame de la Chapelle, among whose famous residents were the painter Breughal the Elder and Europe's leading soldier, Count Ambrosiano Spinola, Owen's boss in the army. The god parents were "Lord" John O'Neill, the future Earl of Tyrone and "Lady" Juana de Vergas,  a Spanish noble lady, perhaps the wife or ex-wife of Don Juan de Mendoza, Spanish Ambassador to the King of England in  1606. .

part 3 of 6
Rosa O'Dogherty - Life and Times
According to the chronicler, Tadhg O’Cianain, who travelled with them, Rosa and her colleagues were very impressed, even somewhat awe struck, with the quality of life and high standard of living for ordinary people which they found in Continental Europe. They had left an Ireland where, even in peace time, rural folk lived in chimneyless sod huts, dressed in primitive clothing, on an almost totally milk-based diet, attached to and dependent on their cattle, nomadic in their routines, and tribal in their social organisation...

part 2 of 6
Rosa O'Dogherty - Life and Times
Rosa was born c. 1589 in Inishowen, probably at her father's castle at Elagh, near Derry. Her mother was Rose O'Neill, a daughter of the great Shane O'Neill (The "Proud"), de facto King of Ireland, by his first wife, who was a sister of the Chief of the O'Donnells. The most senior Gaelic royal blood ran in Rosa's veins.

part 1 of 6
Rosa O'Dogherty - Life and Times


The year 2007 marked the 400th anniversary of the Flight of the Earls from Lough Swilly, Ireland. The commemorations in Ireland of this traumatic event were modest, understated, reluctant, almost as if the Irish authorities are embarrassed by the Flight, and the events surrounding the Flight. These events ushered in the collapse of the Gaelic order, our occupation by a foreign power, the near loss of our culture and language, the beginning of more than three centuries of social and economic deprivation, political oppression and of emigration. 

By kind permission, National Library of Ireland
Rosa's Husband of 36 years, Owen Roe O'Neill

                       Owen Roe at Benburb (Irish Weekly Independent, Dec. 1900)

Who is this site for?

This site is for anyone who has an intererst in Rosa, or her family, friends, times (1592-1660)

But especially it is for people who live or travel in Belgium, Italy, Spain or ireland, or the UK, where traces of Rosa's (or her husband, Owen's) life may be found in manuscripts lying for hundreds of years in libraries, collections, museums or references to them, or material which indicates how they must have lived, where they lived, who they lived with, etc. For example, a number of old towns in the countries mentioned have "city annals" going back 400 years and longer: these can be researched, even by interested amateurs, and sometimes very useful documents can be turned up. (We found her marriage certificate, her death certificate and her son, Henry's baptismal certificate in this manner in Louvain and Brussels)

The idea is then that such information can be discussed and shared with other members, via this site, as described above. (To be detailed soon, along with a chronological timeline containing all that is currently known about her, now under preparation)

Who was Lady Rosa?

Rosa was the daughter of Sir John O'Dogherty, Chief of Inishowen, Donegal, Ireland, Her brother, Cahir, was the last Gaelic irish Chief of the territory, until killed in battle in 1608. By then Rosa had departed ireland with her husband, Caffir O'Donnell, Prince of TirConnell (Donegal), along with his brother Rory, Earl of Tirconnell and other Gaelic leaders, under the general leadership of Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, known as the Great O'Neill. That departure is referred to as the Flight of the Earls, and began from Rathmullan, Lough Swilly, Donegal, Ireland on Sept 14, 1607, 400 years ago.


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