TUDOR AND GAELIC IRELAND IN THE 17th CENTURY

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TUDOR AND GAELIC IRELAND IN THE 17th CENTURY

  1. 1. Christianity andIdentity in Ireland Tudor and Gaelic Ireland inthe 17th Century: Reformation and Rebellion
  2. 2. I. IRELAND, 1450-1534• After English conquest lost steam in 14th century Ireland became a land occupied by two distinctive nations• Some interaction, assimilation and conflict but two separate identities prevailed
  3. 3. “Conditions in the Pale and in the coastal towns would have appeared familiar to an observer from the north of England or the lowlands of Scotland. However, Gaelic Ireland, notwithstanding four hundred years of the English presence on the island and an ostensibly shared religion and church organisation, would have appeared exotic and outlandish: a society outside the range of ordinary
  4. 4. Gaelic Ireland • In many ways unchanged… – Tannistry – Old social hierarchy – Fabric of church in disarray – Pastoral and semi-nomadic – Dress • Yet some change… – Power vacuum in Ulster; consolidation of power by O’Neill’s (Tyrone) and O’Donnell’s (Donegal) – MacSweeney clan and Gallowglass – Firearms • Yet: power spent on relentless inter-tribal war
  5. 5. English Ireland • Colony survived through powerful families: Burkes (Mayo), FitzGeralds (Kildare, Desmond), Burkes (Ormond) • Process of Gaelicisation: – Tannistry – Language – Brehon law – Fosterage • BUT NOT CULTURAL ASSIMILATION • “the English living in Ireland” • Loyal to the Crown • Crown power limited to Pale, families ruled semi-autonomous “marches”
  6. 6. • BIG PICTURE: War of the Roses (1455-1485); House of Plantagenet (York) and House of Tudor (Lancaster)• Anglo-Irish were “Yorkists”• Desire for political autonomy• 1470: Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th earl of Kildare appointed Lord Deputy – Most powerful family in English Ireland – Kildare would monopolise post until 1530s• Gerald plots to overthrow Henry VII• 1594, Sir Edward Poyning appointed LD – Poyning’s Law: designed specifically to limit the power of the governor, particularly the House of Kildare
  7. 7. • 1509, Henry VIII succeeds hisfather• 1513, Gerald FitzGerald dies• Son, also Gerald FitzGerald, assumes role of LD• But Henry has different plans for Ireland – Complete the conquest begun 1172 – Ireland brought to civility by “sober ways, political drifts, and amiable persuasions” – Not afraid to use violence; acting the Renaissance humanist• 1520, Earl of Surrey appointed LD, arrives with 500 troops• 1528, Gerald reappointed LD• 1530, William “Gunner” Skeffington appointed LD• 1534, Gerald imprisoned in Tower of London for third and final time; dies of natural causes
  8. 8. • Rumours reach Ireland that Gerald has been executed• “Silken” Thomas Fitzgerald mounts rebellion – Takes Dublin Castle – Denounces Henry VIII a heretic – Seeks support from the Pope and Charles IV of Spain – Murders Archbishop of Dublin – Anglo Irish reckon they know the outcome – the Kildares are too powerful, so support rebellion• Gunner Skeffington deployed with 2500 men• Rebellion ends in March 1535 with “Maynooth Pardon” Maynooth Castle
  9. 9. • Anthony St Ledger appointed LD• Pursues policy of “surrender and regrant”• Most Gaelic lords consent (Earls of Tyrone, Tyrconnell, Thomond) – Build English style houses with courts – English language – Encase land• Henry’s policy of politics and persuasion seems to be on course• Yet Silken Thomas’s rebellion begs a question• BIG PICTURE: Age of Reform
  10. 10. II. RELIGIOUS REFORM IN EUROPE, ENGLAND AND IRELAND• Reformation is not simply the “beginning of protestantism”• Actually three reform movements: – Magisterial Reformation • Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Knox, Melanchthon, Beza – Counter Reformation • Council of Trent (1545-63) • Religious Orders: Ignatius Lloyola (Jesuits), John of the Cross, Francis de Salles – Radical Reformation • Baptists, Menno Simons, Münster Occupation• Political Dimension to Reformation – End of political Christendom (though not the idea of Christendom!) – Beginning of confessional states – Changed orbit of power in Europe – time of fear, greed, injustice and religious war
  11. 11. Henry VIII and Reform• Act of Supremacy, 1531• Dissolution of the Monasteries, 1536- 1541• 1539, Pilgrimage of Grace• 1536, Irish Supremacy Act• Irish dissolution of the monasteries – Not completed• LD Anthony St Ledger distributes monastic lands• Edward V succeeds father (1547-1553)• More “reformed” outlook• 1549, Book of Common Prayer introduced – Reasonably successful in Ireland
  12. 12. III. FAILURE OF THE IRISH REFORMATION1. Observant Reform – Didn’t take root in England, Scotland or Wales – Ireland possessed well educated clerical elite – Committed to the communities they served – Preached in Irish – Well aware of development son the continent – took tough stand against Reformation ideas form the get-go – Influence in courts of lords (both Gaelic and English) lead to children being educated on the continent in Counter- Reformation institutions
  13. 13. 2. Tudor Political Policy• 1553, Mary Tudor succeeds Edward VI• Fervent Catholic• Pursued policy of conquest and colonisation (“Plantation”)• Colonisation as “solution” first floated by Anthony St Ledger in 1530s• The O’More and O’Connor rebellions on the borders of the Pale gave excuse• Founded Marsborough (Port Laois) and Phillipstown (Daingean) – Required soldiers – Violence and massacres occur• By 1690 over 2/3 of Irish land had passed hands and 100,000 British settlers had set up home on Irish soil• But why pursue colonisation when “politics and persuasion” seemed to be working?
  14. 14. Plantation a good idea? – 1573, Thomas Smith murdered in Strangford – MacDonnell’s colonised the north of Ulster through the 16th century – July 1575, Rathlin Massacre, ordered by Earl of Essex, carried out by Francis DrakeWalter Daveraux, Earl of Essex
  15. 15. Ideology of Colonisation• What happened in 1492?• Spanish established a trans- Atlantic empire• Ireland was now geographically and tactically important• Conquest and Colonisation was seen as a divine act – Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – William Hakluyt’s Principle Voyages – Edward Spenser
  16. 16. Ideology of Colonisation• Edmund Spenser, planter in Munster and famous poet, A View of the Present State of Ireland (1596): need was to civilise the barbarous Irish and the degenerate Old English both culturally and religiously• Re-interpreted history, especially Laudabiliter• Colony failed on both accounts – Reform comes form top down but soldiers make bad missionaries! – Wrong sort of settlers: adventurers not families! – Trinity College established to train Gaelic ministers, but failed
  17. 17. • Yet some did sincerely try to promote the new religion• Nicholas Walsh, Bishop of Ossory (d. 1585)• Book of Common Prayer, 1609• Gaelic does not = Catholic!!!!
  18. 18. Old English Rebellions• Old English felt ostracized; politically isolated and financially out of pocket• Desmond Rebellions, 1569, 1579-83• Planting of Munster• Prelude to total conquest?• Flees to Europe after 1560 rebellion fails• Appealed to Phillip II and Pope• Arrives in 1579 – unfurls Papal Banner• Old English readily support him• Rebellion fails; famine, massacres, depopulation and impoverishment• Also Viscount Baltinglass rebellion, Nugent conspiracy• REBEL OLD ENGLISH UNITE UNDER BANNER OF RELIGION
  19. 19. IV. THE END OF GAELIC IRELAND• Suppression of Gaelic earls in Munster left Gaelic Ulster dangerously exposed• Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone (1550-1516)• Most powerful, and last of the great Gaelic lords• Upbringing in England and the Pale• Loyal to the Crown• Represses Scots-Gaelic colonisation in north Ulster• Militarises Ulster• Recognised the fragility of his preferment by the Crown and the implications of the new ideology• Would have to choose – am I an English earl or a Gaelic cheiftan?• Actions of O’Donnell’s and Maguires forced his hand• Ulster at War: 1594-1603 (Nine Year War)
  20. 20. • Initially successful:• Ford of Biscuits (1594) – Clontibret (1595) – Yellow Ford (1598)• Couldn’t take towns• Emboldened by initial success• Appeals to Spain and Pope• Why might this have been a mistake? – Spanish Armada, 1588• 1599 – appeals to Old English: “Faith and Fatherland”• Draws up demands• Lord Mountjoy appointed LD, brings 20,000 men to Kinsale to meet Spanish soldiers• Tyrone surrenders, but given generous terms• However, the age of Gaelic rule is over
  21. 21. Flight of the Earls, September 1603

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