Fermanagh Gold Introduction

Fermanagh has a great number of Border Reiver families, many coming here shortly after the beginning of the Plantation of Ulster in the early 17th century. 

Of the five most common names in County Fermanagh three are Border Reiver families. These are Johnston 2nd, Armstrong 4th and Elliotts 5th. The most common name in Fermanagh is Maguire, the ancient rulers of Fermanagh and Mc Manus 3rd commonest name who are also Maguires being descended from a "Manus" Maguire hence Mac Manus. 

The Border Reivers spent centuries raiding into England when it suited them, or Scotland when it suited or raiding each other when they had nothing else to do. When James V1 of Scotland became James 1 of the united kingdoms of England and Scotland he decided to put an end to this raiding for now wherever they raided they were raiding his subjects. So he sent forces into the Borders and hanged Border Raiders in 30s and 40s in that area and advised the rest to go to Ireland for the good of their health. Hence we have a lot of Border Reiver descendants in Fermanagh.

Read more on the Internet site Border Reivers

Lament of an exiled Reiver.

This is my departing night
For here no longer must I stay
There’s neither friend nor foe of mine
But wishes me away.

From: The Reiver’s Road in Historic Tracks-Exploring Britain’s Heritage by Des Hannigan 1997.

Contributed by John Cunningham Sep 2001