The Meehan Coat of Arms

Meehan Coat of Arms

A chairde,

I hope everyone on the list has seen the Family Insignia or "Coat of Arms" as it is sometimes called. It is a beautiful shield, purchased at a great price.

Christopher The O'Meighan had been a loyal subject of Charles II, who had restored the ancestral lands to this Chieftain in gratitude for the clan's service against Oliver Cromwell (who had executed Charles' father). For the period between the reacquisition of Ballagh and the death of Charles, Christopher and the remnants of Clan O'Meighan lived and worked at Ballagh. Upon Charles II's death, James II, a Catholic, ascended to the throne. This was in 1687. Catholic Ireland was quite excited by this turn of fortune, as it appeared James wanted to reverse the many discriminatory practices against the native Catholic population. However, as optimistic as the Irish population was, the English establishment was as determined to protect their own - i.e. Protestant interests. Therefore, William of Orange (a Dutch Prince who was married to James II's daughter Mary) was encouraged to prosecute a war against James and sieze the throne of the three kingdoms (England, Scotland, and Ireland) for himself. He recruited armies from the Continent, including French Huguenots, Danes, Dutch, Germans, and only a small number of English and Scots. (He distrusted these because the Stuarts - James II's ancestors - had legitimaeley ruled previously, and he was uncertain that some of these armies might turn on him.

A European army of 35,000 met an army of 25,000 Irish at the Boyne in 1690, and - as we know from history - William's European Army was victorious.

Christopher The O'Meighan lost his life in this critical battle, and the ancestral lands were again confiscated. Two of his sons, James and Charles (aged 15 and 13) continued fighting all the way through to the Treaty of Limerick, and then were transported to France.

In appreciation for the bravery and sacrifice of the Meehan family at the Boyne, King James III of England and Ireland bestowed the honor of a coat of arms for the Meehans. It is a shield divided by a chevron and three bucks. It was granted to James O'Meighan (Mehegan) for his family's part in the Battle of the Boyne.


Ted Meehan

This is from Ted Meehan on the MEEHAN mailing list To subscribe to the list, please send a "subscribe" message.