Sir Thomas Cusack, Lord Chancellor of Ireland

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Thomas Cusack, Sir

Birthplace: Meath, Republic of Ireland
Death: Died in Ireland
Place of Burial: Meath, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of John V Cusack; John Cusack, of Cushinstown and Alison Cusack
Husband of Jenet Cusack, Lady Dowager; Maud Cusack; Maud Cusack and Joan Cusack
Father of Katherine Colley; Catherine Colley; Mary Butler (Cusack), Baroness Caher; Margaret O'Brien and Robert Cusack
Brother of Jane Cusack; Matilda Cusack; Catherine Cusack; Thomasine Waffer Cusack; Johanna Cusack and 1 other

Occupation: Lord Chancellor of Ireland
Managed by: Angelus Valentine Morningstar
Last Updated:

About Sir Thomas Cusack, Lord Chancellor of Ireland

Thomas Cusack’s tangled marriage history

Thomas had been made lord chancellor of Ireland in 1550 and was an influential political figure in the Pale. Born around 1505, Cusack was in his mid-fifties when he married Jenet [Sarsfield], who was probably in her late twenties or early thirties at this time. Financial comfort was obviously a major consideration for people who married in the early modern period, and the marriage between Thomas and Jenet, which was childless, is a perfect example. When Cusack married Jenet, the financial implications of the match were made perfectly clear. ....

Cusack also experienced his own share of marital woes, which he attempted to obscure as much as possible. In his will, he refers to Maud Darcy, who predeceased him, as his first wife, but this was not actually the case. His first wife was in fact Joan Hussey, with whom he had three children. Thomas later applied for a divorce from Joan on grounds of consanguinity (they were third cousins), which was granted in 1537. Interestingly, Cusack was accused in 1547 of persuading a servant of his to

enter into familiaritie with his wif [Joan Hussey] whereupon he had a divorse betwixt him and hir: and soone upon married the late wife of the baron of Skeyne [Maud Darcy]’.

This accusation, however, was part of a series of allegations designed to smear Lord Deputy Anthony St Leger and his followers, so it should not necessarily be taken at face value. Although lessened from seven degrees of blood relationship to four in 1215, the laws of consanguinity and marriage relations were still strict in the sixteenth century. If a man had had sexual relations with a woman, he could not then marry her sister, first, second or third cousin. Nor, through bonds of spiritual affinity, could a widower marry the godmother of his children or vice versa. [1]


  1. Career wives or wicked stepmothers? History of Ireland (magazine); Volume 17, Issue 1. (Jan/Feb 2009)


Sir Thomas Cusack was the son of John Cusack and Alison Wellesley.2 He married Maud Darcy, daughter of George Darcy.2 He died on 1 April 1571.2

    He lived at Lismullen, County Meath, Ireland.3 He held the office of Lord Chancellor [Ireland].3 He lived at Cussingtown, Ireland.4 He held the office of Lord Justice [Ireland].5

Children of Sir Thomas Cusack and Maud Darcy 1.Katherine Cusack+6 d. 19 Jan 1597/98 2.Mary Cusack+3 d. a 1601 Children of Sir Thomas Cusack 1.Margaret Cusack+7 d. a 1610 2.Alice Cusack+1 3.Alison Cusack+4 d. Dec 1623 4.Robert Cusack8 Citations 1.[S37] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes (Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003), volume 1, page 334. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition. 2.[S8] Charles Mosley, editor, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, 2 volumes (Crans, Switzerland: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 1999), volume 2, page 2971. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition. 3.[S6] G.E. Cokayne; with Vicary Gibbs, H.A. Doubleday, Geoffrey H. White, Duncan Warrand and Lord Howard de Walden, editors, The Complete Peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, Extant, Extinct or Dormant, new ed., 13 volumes in 14 (1910-1959; reprint in 6 volumes, Gloucester, U.K.: Alan Sutton Publishing, 2000), volume II, page 466. Hereinafter cited as The Complete Peerage. 4.[S47] Hugh Montgomery-Massingberd, editor, Burke's Irish Family Records (London, U.K.: Burkes Peerage Ltd, 1976), Aylmer, page 42. Hereinafter cited as Burke's Irish Family Records. 5.[S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2298. 6.[S8] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 106th edition, page 2971. 7.[S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 2, page 2035. 8.[S37] Charles Mosley, Burke's Peerage and Baronetage, 107th edition, volume 3, page 4129.

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Sir Thomas Cusack, Lord Chancellor of Ireland's Timeline

Meath, Republic of Ireland
Age 26
Meath, Republic of Ireland
Age 50
Age 71
Meath, Meath, Ireland
Age 75
April 1, 1571
Age 81