The most well-known variant of Irish Claddagh rings is the Fenian Claddagh ring. This particular Claddagh differs from others in that it does not include a crown on top of the heart.
Two different explanations have been proposed to explain how the Irish Claddagh ring initially came into being.
The first hypothesis is that Margaret Joyce came into possession of a substantial fortune as a result of an inheritance from her late husband, Domingo de Rona. He was a prosperous Spanish trader who did business with Galway, which is located in Ireland. She subsequently tied the knot with Oliver Og French, the Mayor of Galway, in 1596, and utilized the fortune that she had received to build a number of bridges around Connacht. The first Claddagh ring that she received was believed to be a providential reward, and it was presented to her by an eagle in the form of a gift.
The second theory is that Richard Joyce, a native of Galway, was kidnapped by Algerians and sold into slavery by a Moorish goldsmith. Joyce was forced to work in the goldsmith's shop. Later that year, in 1689, King William III of England issued a demand for the release of all British citizens, including Richard Joyce. As a result, Richard Joyce was set free. If Richard Joyce would agree to remain in Algiers, the Moorish goldsmith promised to marry his only daughter to him and give him a significant amount of his money. He also proposed marriage to Richard Joyce. According to the legend, Richard Joyce rejected all of the enticing offers and traveled back to his hometown with the very first Claddagh ring in his possession.
What is a Fenian Claddagh ring?
Although it is possible that the Fenian Claddagh Ring came into existence before the regular Claddagh Ring, the two are inextricably linked and Fenian Claddagh Rings have been specially crafted for Fenian Claddaghs to symbolize their aspiration for an Ireland independent of the British monarchy. Around the middle of the nineteenth century, a group of Irish nationalists known as the Fenian Claddagh started an uprising against British control in Ireland. The absence of a crown on the Claddagh is intended to represent the people of Ireland's longing for independence from British rule.
History of the Fenian Claddagh Ring...
This version of the Claddagh Ring with two hands holding a heart and no crown was made in Dublin in the 1800s. It became known as the Fenian Claddagh Ring or the Dublin Claddagh Ring.
Our Fenian Claddagh Ring with its secret inscription "Anam Cara" meaning Soul Friend is an enduring symbol of love. In Irish tradition, Claddagh rings are passed down from mother to daughter. Joyce later began the romantic tradition of giving a Claddagh ring to a loved one as a promise of friendship, love, and loyalty.