Seventeenth Century

The title Viscount Galway has been four times, once as a Peerage of England and three times as a Peerage of Ireland. British monarchs created these titles, which allowed the holder of the title to sit in the British or Irish Parliament.

The first instance of Viscount Galway becoming a Peerage, in this case of England, was in 1628, when the title was awarded to Richard Bourke, the 4th Earl of Clanicarde. He was also given the title of Earl of St. Albans. The title ceased to exist after his passing.

In 1687 the title was resurrected and given to Ulick Bourke. He was also given the title Baron of Tyaquin. When a large percentage of the English population grew tired of James II, as well as fearing his Catholic faith, they turned to William of Orange from the Netherlands, who was married to an English princess. There was a great deal of fighting between those loyal to James and those loyal to William, and Bourke lost his life at the Battle of Aughrim fighting for the forces of James II. The battle, fought on July 12, wast the bloodiest battle fought on Irish soil, in 1791. Fittingly, Aughrim is located in county Galway, so Bourke died in his own territory.

This map shows the county of Galway lies on Ireland's southwest coast. The Battle of Aughrim was fought in the Viscount's own county.