Arc of History

[This is a work in progress]

1152: The supremacy of the Church of Rome is acknowledged at the Synod of Kells (previous to this the church in Ireland was a law unto itself, indeed there was hardly a unified church in Ireland at all, mostly local variations on a theme, and often no church government whatever — however, this of course is the characterization of those who sought to reform it).

Pope Adrian IV, Nicholas Breakspear, crowning the Emperor Frederick, 1155

Pope Adrian IV, Nicholas Breakspear, crowning the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick, 1155

1155: Pope Adrian’s bull (Laudabiliter) granting the overlordship of Ireland to Henry II of England. Adrian IV is the first ‘English’ pope, which is to say he comes up out of the church in England, he is, of course, an Anglo-Norman noble. Principally Laudabiliter had to do with re-establishing church governance in Ireland. Henry (1133-89; king, 1154-89) is the son of Matildia (Empress Maud) daughter of Henry I (1068-1135; king, 1100-35) 3rd son of William the Conqueror. Henry II picks up the pieces following the civil war between Matildia and Stephen of Blois, the so-called ‘Anarchy’ (1135-54), rebuilding the kingdom of England, the duchy of Normandy, and the rest of his inheritance (which includes several other duchies and territories). And when he marries Eleanor of Aquitaine (establishing what would become ‘House Plantagenet’) he becomes the most powerful ruler in Europe, certainly in western Europe. Henry and Eleanor are parents of Richard the Lionheart, 1157-99; king, 1189-99 and John ‘Lackland’ [of Magna Charta fame], 1167-1216; king, 1199-1216, and many others — all of whom become kings and queens and dukes and dowager duchesses et cetera throughout western Europe, from Castile and León to Denmark and from Scotland to Sardinia. Even more so than William the Conqueror, Henry II is the founder of one of the great European dynasties.

'Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife' [in the ruins of Waterford] by Daniel Maclise (1854), which clearly has more to do neo-Gothic revival of nineteenth century Britain than it does with medieval Ireland (several epic Maclise paintings adorn the rebuilt neo-Gothic Palace of Westminster

‘Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife’ [in the ruins of Waterford] by Daniel Maclise (c. 1854), which in truth owes more to the neo-Gothic revival of nineteenth century Britain than it does medieval Ireland (several epic Maclise paintings adorn the rebuilt-in-the-middle-of-the-19th-century neo-Gothic Palace of Westminster). The ‘Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife’ is in the National Gallery in Dublin.

Henry II (Plantagenet) 1133-89; king, 1154-89

Henry II (Plantagenet) 1133-89; king, 1154-89

1169: first landing of Anglo-Norman forces in Ireland (Strongbow & Co.) Richard fitz Gilbert de Clare (1130-76), known as ‘Strongbow’, is the 2d earl of Pembroke and Strigoil. He is the eldest son of Gilbert de Clare, 1st earl of Pembroke. Dermot MacMurrough, ruler of the petty kingdom of Leinster (modern-day Wexford, more or less), sought Henry II’s assistance to regain his territories (having been ousted from them by a confederation of Gaelic lords, including Rory O’Connor, High King of Ireland, which alliance arose out of Dermot’s abduction of the wife of Tiernan O’Rourke, lord of Breifne, and other outrages). Strongbow volunteered for the commission in return for which Dermot promised Strongbow his daughter Aoife in marriage. Strongbow lands in Ireland in August 1170 attacking Waterford with a force of some two hundred knights and one thousand other troops. MacMurrough dies in Ferns in May 1171, his lordship of Leinster passing to Strongbow.

1171: Henry II arrives in Ireland (at Waterford) to accept the submissions of the lords of the island (Henry, who comes with a full-scale army, is chiefly concerned to secure the submission of Strongbow — see entry for 1169, above). Henry stays in Ireland long enough to ensure that he is recognised as the fulcrum of all power and authority on these islands and does all that’s necessary to make it so (see the entry for 1172, below, for example).

Cashel in county Tipperary, which before becoming the centre of a Benedictine community and the seat of an archbishop, was the seat of the kings of Munster, the most southerly of the Irish provinces

Cashel in county Tipperary (scene of the Synod of Cashel in 1172), which before becoming the centre of a Benedictine community and the seat of an archbishop, was the seat of the kings of Munster, the most southerly of the Irish provinces

1172: Synod of Cashel assembled under the authority of Henry II. And at Lismore (near Waterford) Henry holds a Council [of peers] — which has been viewed as a sort of proto-parliament.

Maurice FitzGerald, Lord Lanstephan as shown in a manuscript of the Expugnatio Hibernica, written in 1189 by his nephew, Gerald of Wales

Maurice FitzGerald, Lord Lanstephan, as shown in ‘Expugnatio Hibernica’; Maurice was an uncle of Gerald of Wales

1185: Prince John, Earl of Moreton, twelve years old, is sent over by his father as Lord of Ireland, accompanied by Giraldus Cambrensis [Gerald of Wales] (c. 1143- c. 1223) as his tutor. Gerald is a royal clerk and chaplain to King Henry II. Being chosen to accompany Prince John, on John’s first expedition to Ireland, is the catalyst for Gerald’s literary career; his work Topographia Hibernica (completed in 1188, but revised several times afterwards) is an account of his time in Ireland. He follows it with an account of Henry’s conquest of Ireland, Expugnatio Hibernica. Both works display notable degrees of learning but also considerable (many would say malignant) prejudice against Gaelic Ireland. Gerald is proud to be blood-related to the Norman conquerors of Ireland, and his influential works, which portray the Irish as barbaric savages, offer insights into Anglo-Norman worldview in general, and their view of Ireland in particular, and frame much of what was to follow in Anglo-Irish relations (down to the 16th and 17th centuries, including, for example, Edmund Spencer’s A View of the Present State of Ireland of 1595).

1210: King John (1167-1216; king, 1199-1216), at the head of a military force, arrives in Ireland to suppress an Anglo-Norman baronial revolt. During his reign John lost the duchy of Normandy to King Philip II of France, which resulted in the collapse of most of the so-called Angevin Empire. John spent much of his reign attempting to recapture what he’d lost, which cost a fortune which (because the money had to come from somewhere and those less powerful than you are the easiest touch) in turn led to baronial revolts in both England and Ireland, which, by way of settlement, gave rise to the celebrated Magna Charta of 1215.

Magna Charta Hiberniae1216: Henry III sends over to Ireland a version of the great Charter granted by John (that is, the Magna Charta Hiberniae: “Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, Lord of Ireland, etc., to all his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, reeves, ministers, etc., and to all his faithful people, greetings….” etc [the document is in Latin, not English, obviously, as English is hardly even a language at this stage, certainly not in officialdom which would have used Latin first and Anglo-Norman French after that]).

RobertDeBrus1315:  In May, with some 6,000 fighting men [which is a huge army for the time], Edward de Bruce (1275?-1318), earl of Carrick, lands at Larne on the northeast coast of Ireland, invited by a confederation of Gaelic Ireland — Edward de Bruce is the brother of Robert de Bruce (1274-1329), king of Scotland. There had not been a High King in Ireland since Rory O’Connor (1116-98), that is, since the beginning of the Anglo-Norman invasion (see the entry for 1169, above); although in an effort to revive the office of High King, Brian Ua Néill (Brian O’Neill) of Tir Eoghain (Tyrone) took on the mantle in 1258 but was promptly defeated and decapitated at Downpatrick in 1260 (his head salted and sent to London). Offering the office to Edward de Bruce at a time when the English crown was relatively weak (and Scotland rampant) was another attempt at combination and co-ordination in the face of voracious Anglo-Norman conquests. Being descended from Aoife MacMurrough (see the entry for 1169, above), Edward could also claim a lengthy royal Gaelic Irish ancestry, including not only Brian Boru but also the Hiberno-Norse king Olaf Curran. He was also descended from the lords of Galloway, a branch of the princes of Mann and the Isles, as well as, of course, being of Norman stock — ‘de Bruce’ was originally ‘de Brus’. [In addition, Edward may have been fostered in Ireland as a child, most likely by the O’Neills of Ulster, a common Scots-Irish practice.] In June, The Ó Néill and some twelve fellow northern lords met de Brus at Carrickfergus and, as the Irish annals state, de Brus “took the hostages and lordship of the whole province of Ulster without opposition and they consented to him being proclaimed King of Ireland, and all the Gaels of Ireland agreed to grant him lordship and called him King of Ireland.” In fact, de Brus was never to receive anything more than nominal recognition from anyone outside of Ulster (players hedging their bets). At first de Brus and his followers enjoyed several victories, ‘victories’ which consisted in taking towns and stockaded settlements and slaughtering everyone in them — Norman, Gael, and Norse alike, men, women, children, beasts and chickens — consuming all the resources to be had thereat before setting fire to everything, and leaving in their wake nothing but famine and silence and smoke and ashes. The end for these marauders came at the Battle of Faughart in 1318, the Anglo-Norman armed forces commanded by Sir John de Bermingham, 1st earl of Louth. The [15th century] Annals of Ulster records the following for the ending of the ‘kingship’ of Edward de Bruce: “Edward de Brus, the destroyer of Ireland in general, both Foreigners and Gaels, was killed by the Foreigners of Ireland by dint of fighting at Dun-Delgan. And there were killed in his company Mac Ruaidhri, king of Insi-Gall Hebrides and Mac Domhnaill, king of Argyll, together with slaughter of the Men of Scotland around him. And there was not done from the beginning of the world a deed that was better for the Men of Ireland than that deed. For there came nothing during his time in Ireland but death and loss.”

1348: The Black Death plagues settlements at Howth and Drogheda on the eastern seaboard, however, Ireland is so little urbanized, and so little in the path of global trading routes, that the dreaded Black Death, which wiped out about half the population of Europe, has but little impact overall (at least by comparison to the rest of Europe).

LionelDukeOfClarenceAtWestminster1366/7: Parliament assembled at Kilkenny by Lionel, Duke of Clarence, at which the Anti-Irish “Statute of Kilkenny” is enacted — a set of laws designed to keep the Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Irish apart, so that the Anglo-Normans would not blend Gaelic culture into their way of life (language, dress, entertainments, etc, which, as night follows day, leads to blending bloodlines and land-holdings and claims on loyalty and so forth); however, obviously, the need to enact such legislation testifies to the extent to which it’s been occurring. Lionel (1338-68) — Lionel of Antwerp, as he was known — is the third son of Edward III (1312-77; king, 1327-77); in addition to the Clarence dukedom he is also 4th earl of Ulster (the earldom of Ulster at this time amounting to what is more or less the eastern half of present-day county Down) and 5th baron of Connaught (Connaught being the western most province of Ireland).

Richard_II_of_England1394-5: At the head of armed forces numbering as many as 8,000, the largest force brought to the island during the Middle Ages, Richard II (1367-1400; king, 1377-99) lands in Ireland (at Waterford). The English lordships in Ireland are in danger of being overrun, and the Anglo-Norman lords plead for the king to intervene to redress the situation. Richard campaigns in Ireland from the latter half of 1394 into 1395. The invasion and re-conquest is a success. It is one of the most successful achievements of Richard’s troubled reign, which further strengthens his improving position at home (although the consolidation of the English position in Ireland proves to be very short-lived). Richard comes to Ireland again in 1399 (that is, just before the end of his reign — which ended with Henry Bolingbroke (1367-1413) forcing him to abdicate and Bolingbroke (by then duke of Lancaster) being proclaimed Henry IV, the first of the House of Lancaster).

Richard duke of York

1459: Having lost the battle at Ludford Bridge, Richard, duke of York (1411-60), flees to Ireland. Richard served as Lord Protector during Henry VI’s breakdown, however, upon the king’s recovery he was reluctant to surrender the reins of government; he was widely suspected of harbouring an ambition fully to occupy the throne himself [an ambition/conceit which must be seen as a legacy of Bolingbroke’s usurpation of the crown in 1399], not least by Margaret of Anjou, Henry VI’s French wife, with whom he went to war (which is the beginning of the so-called War of the Roses — the red rose being the symbol of the House of Lancaster and the white that of the House of York).

Ireland_14501464: Our Lady’s College at Youghal founded by Thomas FitzGerald, 7th earl of Desmond (at that time Lord Deputy in Ireland). Served by a Warden and clerks, consisting of eight Fellows and eight singing men, the purpose of the college was the training of seminarians for the Irish church.

Edward IV (1442-83; king, 1461-83)

Edward IV (1442-83; king, 1461-83)

1468: The earl of Desmond executed. What happened which led to this remains something of a mystery — Thomas FitzJames FitzGerald, 7th earl of Desmond was a leading Yorkist (the earls of Ormond are the main Lancastrians in Ireland) — but it followed on from a poorly managed expedition into the King’s County (present-day Offaly), Ormond country, disastrously weakening the defences of the Pale. At a subsequent meeting of the Irish parliament at Drogheda the earl’s enemies accused him of treason, of aiding the Irish against the King’s subjects, as well as of extortion, for which he was attainted and beheaded. (He was attainted and beheaded on the authority of John Tiptoft, 1st Earl of Worcester, whom King Edward IV [son of Richard of York] had sent over to restore good order in Ireland — nicknamed “the Butcher of England”, Tiptoft was notorious for cruelty and ruthlessness.) Desmond’s death shocks the political nation: “slain by the swords of the wicked” wrote one chronicler. The fact that he had been seized in a Priory, in breach of the right of sanctuary, caused particular indignation. In any event, the fall of the 7th earl of Desmond would have long-term repercussions because it permanently alienated the Desmond Geraldines from the crown, howsoever the crown manifested itself, Yorkist, Lancastrian, or Tudor.

henry_vii21485: On the 22nd of August, Henry Tudor, duke of Richmond, defeats Richard III at Bosworth. Richard dies on the field of battle and, Henry, as the story goes, picks up the crown of England from off a thorn-bush. This, of course, is part of the Tudor romance, nevertheless the harsh reality of the matter is that at the end of the day Henry stood triumphant on the field of battle with the king of England at his feet, and if anyone wanted the crown of England they’d need to come and undo his grasp on it. And, after 25 or 30 years of War of the Roses instability, the political nation was depleted and war- and intrigue-weary, so (with no one willing enough or organised enough to gainsay it) Henry crowns himself Henry VII. Edward IV’s two sons, the so-called ‘Princes in the Tower’ are not to be found, the blame for their murder/disappearance is laid at the door of wicked Richard III, who is not in a position to refute the presentation. And by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, Henry Tudor further shores up his position (Henry the Lancastrian in union with Elizabeth of York, symbolizing the union of the Roses — the red rose being the symbol of the House of Lancaster and the white that of the House of York [hence, the Tudor rose is a double rose, white within red] —, who together would give birth to Prince Arthur and Prince Henry). Tudor’s claim to the throne, such as it is, is derived from his mother through the Beaufort line. Henry’s mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, and his third wife Katherine Swynford. Swynford was Lancaster’s mistress for about 25 years; when they married in 1396, they already had four children, including Henry’s great-grandfather John Beaufort. Thus Henry’s claim was tenuous: first of all it was by way of a woman (which was not recognised in English law), and secondly it was by way of illegitimate descent (despite the fact that this illegitimacy was subsequently made legitimate by an Act of Parliament). In sum, therefore, there were many others (both at home and abroad) who had better claim to the crown of England, but Henry was de facto ruler of England and if you thought you had a better claim you needed to press it (and see how that worked out for you). In any case, whether they pressed their claims or no, over the next 25 years almost everyone who was any kind of threat to the House of Tudor found themselves coming to some sorry ends — Henry Tudor, it turned out, was the most ruthless and cunning of them all.

Lambert_Simnel,_Pretender_to_the_English_Throne,_Riding_on_Supporters_in_Ireland1487: ‘Lambert Simnel’ (presented as Edward, 17th earl of Warwick, son of George, Duke of Clarence — that is, nephew of Edward IV and Richard III) ‘crowned’ king of England and Lord of Ireland etc in Christchurch Cathedral in Dublin. ‘Lambert Simnel’ is not the lad’s real name — it may have been ‘John’ (it is not clear who he is, he may have been the son of a baker, hence ‘Simnel’, as in Simnel cake, a Burgundy treat) — the name is a creation of Tudor spin-doctors, designed to degrade and mock the whole business. The real Edward, 17th earl of Warwick, was born in 1475 and executed in 1499; he had been held the whole time by the Tudors — that is, held in captivity along with the two sons of Edward IV (the so-called ‘Princes in the Tower’), albeit not ‘with’ them — he was held in isolation for so long that by the time he was executed in 1499, aged just 24, (allegedly for plotting an escape with another pretender Perkin Warbeck) he “could not discern a Goose from a Capon”. Aged about 10 (that is, circa 1485, soon after Henry Tudor’s victory at Bosworth) the John/Lambert boy was taken hold of by an Oxford-trained priest named Richard Simon (or Richard Symonds) who tutored him to make like Edward, the young earl of Warwick (the original plan had been to present him as Richard, duke of York, son of Edward IV, the younger of the princes in the Tower, however, for whatever reasons Simon/Symonds changed tack — the young earl of Warwick also had a very good claim to the throne, far better than Henry Tudor’s anyway). On 24 May 1487, John/Lambert was crowned as ‘Edward VI’ in Dublin [Edward V, son of Edward IV, was never crowned but, nominally, he was king between 9 April 1483, when his father died, until 26 June 1483, when his usurper uncle Richard was crowned]. Ireland was a Yorkist stronghold and John/Lambert was warmly welcomed in Dublin, a reception led by Gearóid Mór FitzGerald (d. 1513), 8th earl of Kildare, then head of the English government in Ireland (Simnel was paraded through the streets of Dublin, carried on the shoulders of “the tallest man of the time”, one D’Arcy of Platten). The earl of Lincoln, formerly the designated successor of the late King Richard III, became involved in the Simnel scheme too. He made his way to Burgundy, where Warwick’s aunt, Margaret of York, the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy, kept court. Margaret collected 2,000 Flemish mercenaries and shipped them to Ireland under the command of Martin Schwartz, a noted military leader of the time. They arrived in Ireland on 5 May. In England, meanwhile, Henry Tudor regathered his fighting men for battle (in terms of public relations, he had successfully delivered some rude blows to the pretender’s claims before leaving to do battle with him). Simnel’s army — mainly Flemish and Irish — came ashore on the Furness area of Lancashire on 5 June 1487. With the exception of Sir Thomas Broughton, few Englishmen joined them. They clashed with Henry Tudor’s army on 16 June at the Battle of Stoke Field and were defeated. Lincoln, Thomas FitzGerald, Sir Thomas Broughton…all were put to the sword on the field at Stoke. Simon/Symonds avoided execution due to his priestly status, he was however imprisoned for life. The earl of Kildare, who had the good sense to curb his enthusiasm and remain in Ireland, was pardoned (eventually). King Henry also pardoned young John/Lambert — because the lad had been but a puppet in the schemes of wicked men — Henry even gave the lad a job in the royal kitchens (as a spit-turner). When he grew older, John/Lambert became a falconer and rode out with the young king (Henry VIII, who became king in 1509, his older brother, Prince Arthur having died in 1502). Almost no information about John/Lambert’s later life is known. It is thought he died some time between 1525 and 1535 (it may be he was the father of one Richard Simnel, a canon of St Osyth’s priory in Essex in the reign of Henry VIII).

Coat_of_arms_of_Sir_Edward_Poynings,_KG1494-6: As lord deputy in Ireland, Sir Edward Poynings brings in a series of reforms which taken together become known as ‘Poyning’s Law’: on one hand these measures sought to reduce the independence of Ireland’s system of government, and on the other strengthen and re-enforce the infamous Statute of Kilkenny (of 1366) — which discouraged the Anglo-Irish from having intercourse with Gaelic Ireland. In Ireland, the struggles between the [Lancastrian] Butlers of Ormond and [Yorkist] Geraldines [of Kildare and Desmond] had reduced royal authority on the island to little but a shadow of its former self; and the head of the Geraldines, Gerald Fitzgerald, 8th earl of Kildare, the Lord Deputy, was on a Tudor seek and destroy list, not least for his support for the pretender Lambert Simnel — see the entry for Lambert Simnel, above. Poynings lands at Howth on 13 October 1494 with a thousand men. Poynings’s first measure is an expedition into Ulster, which is undertaken in conjunction with Kildare, to punish O’Donnell, O’Hanlon, Magennis and others abetting the new pretender Perkin Warbeck (for the Perkin Warbeck story, below). Poynings’s Ulster expedition is brought to a halt because intelligence that Kildare is plotting with O’Hanlon to take his life comes to light; and, at the same time, Kildare’s brother James, seizes Carlow Castle (and, mounting the Geraldine banner thereon, refuses to surrender when summoned in the king’s name). Abandoning the Ulster expedition, Poynings turns south, and brings the rebels at Carlow to book. He then proceeds to Drogheda and summonses a parliament at which, after attainting Kildare, the legislative measures that make the Irish administration directly dependent on the Crown in London are vigorously whipped through. Judges and others are to hold office at the Crown’s pleasure, and not by patent as hitherto; the chief castles on the island are to be put in English hands (which is to say put in the hands of English-born officials); it is made illegal to arm men or to make private war without license, and it is declared high treason to excite the native Irish to take up arms. Furthermore, the (1366) Statute of Kilkenny forbidding marriage or intercourse between the English colonists and the Irish and so forth (including the adoption by Englishmen of Irish laws, customs, manners, or entertainments) are re-enacted and re-enforced. And henceforth the Irish parliament is not be summoned except under the Great Seal of England (which is to say not without giving prior notice to the privy council in London); and no acts of the Irish parliament should be regarded as lawful unless previously submitted to London for approval. While this parliament is still sitting, leaving his chancellor to continue with the legislative programme, Poynings makes another expedition into Ulster. In the north, the Gaelic tribes he aims to engage vanish into the woods and thickets and marshlands in what appears to be almost impenetrable terrain. Poynings then changes tack and negotiates alliances with selected septs, chiefly by means of making money payments to them. Back at headquarters, Poynings also endeavoures to reform the finances of the crown in Ireland, but the opposition of subordinates impaires these efforts at every turn; then Warbeck’s attack on Waterford in July 1495 further interrupts his reforming efforts (see entry for Perkin Warbeck, below). [The lord deputy rode in person against Warbeck, who blockaded Waterford with eleven ships, while the earl of Desmond, with 2,400 men, attacks it from the landward side. The town held out for eleven days, and then, on Poynings’s approach, Warbeck flees.] Poynings is recalled to London in 1496. The Yorkists in Ireland had been dealt with (to some extent), but Henry is disappointed that Poynings, through his system of subsidising Irish chiefs, and the failure of his fiscal reforms, has been unable to make the territory pay its own way; after which, for the now, Henry falls back on the cheaper method of governing the island with the help of the great Anglo-Irish families, and Kildare, who by this time has managed to regain favour (to some extent), is once more appointed lord deputy. (Geraldine supremacy would continue thereafter until the 1520s, but the Tudors did not forget: the Geraldines, all of them, were living on borrowed time.)

Perkin_Warbeck1491-9: Perkin Warbeck (c. 1474 – 23 November 1499) is a pretender to the English throne during the reign of King Henry VII. Claiming to be Richard of Shrewsbury, duke of York, the younger son of King Edward IV, one of the “Princes in the Tower”, Warbeck’s claim gathers widespread interest and not insignificant followers (whether due to genuine belief in his identity or because of a desire to overthrow or harry Henry Tudor whose own claim to the throne was regarded as illegitimate — see entry for 1485, above).

See video below for my account of the Perkin Warbeck story.

Aodh Rua 21505: The Death of Aedh Ruadh O’Donnell [Red Hugh O’Donnell] of Tirconnell (present-day Donegal and Sligo); the following is how O’Donnell is memorialized in the [17th century] ‘Annals of the Four Masters’ (translation from the Gaelic language by Sean O’Faolain): “Aedh Ruadh O’Donnell, son of Niall Garbh, son of Turlough of the Wine, Lord of Tyrconnell, Inishowen, Cinel Moen, and Lower Connaught, died; a man who obtained hostages from the people of Fermanagh, Oriel, Clannaboy, and the Route, and from the O’Kanes and also from the English and Irish of Connaught, with the exception of MacWilliam Clanricard, who, however, did not go unpunished for his disobedience, for O’Donnell frequently entered his territory and left not a quarter of land from the river Suck upwards and from Slieve Aedha westward that he did not make tributary to him. This O’Donnell was the full moon of hospitality in the North, the most jovial and valiant, the most prudent in war and peace, and reigned over the best jurisdiction for law and rule among all the Gaels in Ireland. There was no defence made in Tyrconnell during his time but to close the door against the wind only; the best protector of the church and the learned; a man who gave great alms in honour of the Lord of the Elements; a man by whom a castle was first raised and erected at Donegal that it might serve as a sustaining bulwark for his descendants; and an abbey of Greyfriars, namely the Monastery of Donegal; and a man who made many predatory excursions around and throughout Ireland. A man who may be justly be styled the Augustus of the northwest of Europe. He died after having gained victory over the devil and the world, and after Extreme Unction and good penance, at his own fortress in Donegal on the 20th day of July, in the seventy-eight year of his age, and forty-fourth of his reign, and was interred at the Monastery of Donegal.”

Garrett FitzGerald, 9th earl of Kildare

Garrett FitzGerald, 9th earl of Kildare

1520: Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey, is sent to Ireland to re-establish English law and order in the territory (which appointment begins to spell the end for Geraldine supremacy in Ireland). After the death of Gearóid Mór FitzGerald, 8th earl of Kildare (in 1513), his son Garrett succeeded him as Lord Deputy (to pick up the thread of this Geraldine narrative, see the Lambert Simnel story at 1487, above, and the entry for 1494-6 on Sir Edward Poynings’ term of office as Lord Deputy). The new lord deputy leads successful campaigns against several Gaelic tribes flouting the king’s writ — the O’Moores of Leix, the O’Reillys of Brefney, and the O’Tooles of Wicklow; and he captures O’Carroll’s castle, which had held out against his father. Turning his attention northwards next, he takes the strong castle of Dundrum and captures and burns the castle of Dungannon and so forth. This industry in the king’s service (which is attended with almost uninterrupted success) excites the jealousy of other Anglo-Irish lords, especially the Butlers of Ormond, long-standing rivals of the Gearldines, who employ all and every means against the young earl. Kildare counteracts all such schemes so skilfully, that for a long time his enemies are frustrated; at last however Ormond manages to gain the ear of Cardinal Wolsey, the Lord Chancellor (the young king’s chief man of business), which results in Kildare being summoned to England to answer charges of enriching himself from crown revenues and of holding traitorous intercourse with the king’s Irish enemies. Soon after he arrives in England, Wolsey dispatches Thomas Howard, earl of Surrey, to Ireland to serve as lord deputy. From the day of Howard/Surrey’s arrival in Ireland he applies himself to the secret task of collecting evidence against the earl of Kildare; taking down vague reports of every kind, aided all through by Ormond. Meanwhile, in London Kildare marries Lady Elizabeth Grey, a near relative of the king, which (for a time) brings a halt to proceedings against him and Howard/Surrey is recalled. With Kildare still detained in London, Ormond is made lord-deputy. Ormond is not reluctant to make use of his power to injure Kildare, several of whose castles he takes possession of and whose interests he disrupts (which is no more than making right wrongs as Ormond would have seen it). At last Kildare is permitted to return to Ireland, and, as might be expected, the ancient Ormond-FitzGerald feud now blazes up with manifold fury, such that eventually (lest there be full-scale war) the king has to step in, sending over commissioners to investigate and settle matters. In sum their decision is for Kildare, whom they recommend re-appointing as Lord Deputy, which happens in 1524.

1522: In Ulster meanwhile the ever-running feud between the O’Neills of Tir Eoghan (Tyrone) and the O’Donnells of Tirconnell (present-day Donegal and Sligo) flares up again; the chief of the O’Neills, Conn Bacach, 1st earl of Tyrone, recently inaugurated as ‘The O’Neill’ (three years before), made a great gathering of his tribesmen and their allies and entered into Tyrconnell to bring the O’Donnells under subjection which is where the O’Neills felt the lesser tribe ought to be (the O’Neills are the dominant power group in the north). Having taken and laid waste to the O’Donnell fortress at Ballyshannon, the earl makes camp at Knockavoe, near Strabane. O’Donnell has fewer men but what he wants in numbers he makes up for in cunning and craft. He surprises the O’Neill camp that night, and, almost before sentinels are aware of it, the two tribes are in amongst one another in the darkness before dawn. After a bloody struggle, in which it must have been difficult to distinguish friend from foe, (with a losses of over 900 men) the mighty O’Neills are routed.

1529: Spanish representative, Gonzalo Fernandez, in Ireland to see and speak with the disaffected earl of Desmond in the south (this, of course, is the period when Henry VIII is looking for ways and means to annul his marriage to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon — the sister of the king of Spain —, so that he can openly and lawfully take up with his latest mistress Anne Boleyn).

Siegel of the Geraldine earls of Kildare

Siegel of the Geraldine earls of Kildare

1529-31: Re-established as Lord Deputy (see entry for 1520, above), the earl of Kildare is directed by the king to arrest the earl of Desmond, who has been found holding correspondence with the king’s enemies (see entry for 1529, above). Kildare leads an army southwards on this unpleasant mission (the earl of Desmond is a fellow FitzGerald and an important ally); but Desmond eludes pursuit, and the lord deputy returns to Dublin empty-handed. It is alleged that he intentionally allowed Desmond to escape arrest, which may have been true. Kildare’s enemies especially the two most powerful, Ormond in Ireland, and Wolsey in England, still keep a watch on Kildare’s every move and record everything with a view to doing him mischief. At last they succeed in so far as they have him summoned to England again to answer misconduct and other charges (see also entry for 1520, above). Kildare is examined by the lords of the privy council and again he successfully defends himself; however, although Wolsey is not able to have him condemned, nevertheless he has him sent back to the Tower pending other business. Meantime things begin to go badly in Ireland: the Pale is attacked and plundered by O’Conor of Offally and several other tribal chiefs. These disturbances are laid at the door of Kildare, who is accused of having, by messages from London, incited O’Conor and the others to attack. But Kildare’s extraordinary influence and good fortune prevail once more and he is released and restored to the king’s confidence. Sir William Skeffington is appointed Lord Deputy, however, and Kildare is sent with him to Ireland to advise and support. This arrangement does not last long (for Kildare is too high and proud to act as subordinate to any English knight). In 1531 Skeffington marches north against O’Neill and, while Kildare accompanies the expedition for the sake of appearance (for it cannot be supposed that he was earnest in taking part in a war on Conn O’Neill, his cousin and friend), the enmity between the earl and the lord deputy breaks out openly and finally the earl storms off taking himself to England to lay his case before the king. The result is that Skeffington is removed from office, and Kildare becomes Lord Deputy again. Having failed to please the king in the divorce business, Wolsey is deposed by this time (and dead) so now Kildare fears none; consequently he uses his power accordingly. The result is that for a third time Kildare is summoned to England to give an account of his management of the king’s government in Ireland. It may be that Kildare is contemplating open rebellion at this point, at least he delays obeying the order to present himself in London as long as he can and he furnishes his castles with great guns, pikes, powder and so forth. But at last there comes a peremptory mandate and the earl needs to either bow his head or raise his banner. He decides to obey the summons. “The Geraldines had become thoroughly Irish”, one writer (looking back at this period) would write. “They were always engaged in war, exactly like the native chiefs, they spoke and wrote the Gaelic language, read and loved Irish books and Irish lore of every kind, kept bards, shanachies, and antiquaries, as part of their household; and intermarried, fostered and gossiped with the leading Irish families. They were as much attached to all the native customs as the natives themselves; and when the Reformation came, they became champions of the Catholic cause. When we add to all this that they were known to be of an ancient and noble family, which told for much in Ireland, we have a sufficient explanation of the well-known fact that the native Irish were rather more attached to those Geraldines than they were to many of their own chiefs of purely Gaelic stock.”

Thomas FitzGerald, Lord Offaly ('Silken Thomas'), 10th earl of Kiladre

Thomas FitzGerald, Lord Offaly (‘Silken Thomas’), 10th earl of Kiladre

1534: Thomas, Lord Offaly — ‘Silken Thomas’ as he became known — serves as Lord Deputy in Ireland while his father, the earl of Kildare, is in England answering the charges against him — see entry for 1529-31, above). In June 1534 Thomas comes to believe that his father has been executed in London. He summons the governing council of Ireland to St Mary’s Abbey in Dublin, and on 11 June, accompanied by 140 horsemen with silk fringes on their helmets (hence the ‘Silken Thomas’ nickname), rides to the abbey where he publicly renounces his allegiance to King Henry VIII, Lord of Ireland. Afterwards he attacks Dublin Castle, but his assault is repelled. He orders (or at least permits) the execution of Archbishop Allen, who tries to mediate, at Clontarf, which loses him all support from the church. By this time his father is taken ill and dies in London. Thomas retreates to his stronghold at Maynooth, County Kildare, but in March 1535 this is taken by an English troop under the command of Sir William Skeffington (they do so by bribing a guard while Thomas is absent gathering support). Thomas wrongly assumes that his cause would automatically attract overwhelming support, particularly from ‘Old English’ Catholics [Irish lords of Anglo-Norman descent] whom he expected to be wholly opposed to Henry’s Reformation of the church. However, the smart play was to wait and see how things turned out — the old aristocracy, by definition, are a deeply conservative and cautious lot — so Thomas was left more isolated than was promising. Meanwhile (well-provisioned) Lord Leonard Grey arrives from England as the new Lord Deputy and Fitzgerald, seeing his followers slip away and his allies submitting one by one, decides to seek pardon for his impetuosity. He is still a formidable opponent, so Grey, wishing to avoid a prolonged conflict, guarantees his personal safety and persuades him to submit unconditionally and plead for the King’s mercy. In October 1535 FitzGerald is sent as a prisoner to the Tower of London. Despite Grey’s guarantee, along with five of his uncles FitzGerald is executed at Tyburn on 3 February 1537. The Silken Thomas rebellion causes Henry to pay far more attention to the government of Ireland, which eventually leads to the creation of the kingdom of Ireland in 1541 (see below) with Henry VIII as king.

1539: With the Reformation in full flood monasteries within the Pale begin to be closed down and their lands and incomes sold off and/or otherwise parcelled out.

1541: Act making Henry VIII ‘king of Ireland’ passed by the Irish parliament (before this the king of England had but the ‘lord[protector]ship’ of Ireland, and, in any event, Ireland was never regarded as a ‘kingdom’ — not in London, not in Rome, and not in any court or faculty in all of Europe).

henry 8 petworth house portrait1542: St Leger brought in the ‘Surrender and Re-grant’ policy, whereby Irish landowners needed to surrender their possessions to the new king of Ireland, Henry VIII (see entry for 1541, above), which would then be re-granted to them (that is, they would have security of tenure under the crown in the new reformed regime, otherwise they would be regarded as suspect by the crown — if not enemies thereof — and they would enjoy no such security).

1549: English Book of Common Prayer now to be used in Ireland (part of the ongoing Reformation).

1550-7: Settlers planted in King’s County and Queen’s County (present day Offaly and Laois).

1560-7: Shane O’Neill rebelled and was attainted as a traitor. In 1562 he submitted to Queen Elizabeth I, and then not long after rebelled again. He fought the MacDonnells and burned Armagh cathedral. When he was defeated by O’Donnell at Forsetmore, he ran to the MacDonnells, who killed him.

1568-73: The earl of Desmond’s rebellion in the south.

1571: The first printed Irish was produced (Sidney’s Bible?).

Walter_Devereux,_1st_Earl_of_Essex_from_NPG1573-6: Walter Devereux (1541-76), 1st Earl of Essex, attempted to establish a plantation colony in Antrim. Eager to give proof of “his good devotion to employ himself in the service of her majesty,” he offered to subdue and colonize, at his own expense, a portion of the Irish province of Ulster, at that time completely under the dominion of the rebel O’Neills, under Sir Brian MacPhelim and Tirlogh Luineach, with the Scots under their leader Sorley Boy MacDonnell. His offer, with certain modifications, was accepted, and he set sail for Ireland in July 1573, accompanied by a number of earls, knights and gentlemen, and with a force of about 1200 men. The beginning of his enterprise was inauspicious, for on account of a storm which dispersed his fleet and drove some of his vessels as far as Cork, his forces did not all reach the place of rendezvous till late in the autumn, and he was compelled to entrench himself at Belfast for the winter. Here, by sickness, famine and desertions, his troops were diminished to little more than 200 men. Intrigues of various sorts, and fighting of a guerilla type, followed with disappointing results, and Essex had difficulties both with the lord deputy (Fitzwilliam) and with the Queen. Essex was in straits himself, and his offensive movements in Ulster took the form of raids and brutal massacres among the O’Neills; in October 1574 he treacherously captured MacPhelim at a conference in Belfast, and after slaughtering his attendants had him and his wife and brother executed at Dublin. Elizabeth, instigated apparently by Robert Dudley (1531-88), the earl of Leicester, after encouraging Essex to prepare to attack the Irish chief Tirlogh Luineach, suddenly commanded him to “break off his enterprise”; but, as she left him a certain discretionary power, he took advantage of it to defeat Tirlogh Luineach, chastise Antrim, and massacre several hundreds of Sorley Boy’s following, chiefly women and children, discovered hiding in the caves of Rathlin Island.

1579-82: The Desmonds rebel again (the last earl [the 16th] hunted down like a mad dog, and slaughtered like one too ‘in the wilds of Kerry’ in 1583; his vast estates attainder’ed and planted).

1580: Soldiers representing the Pope were defeated at Smerwick on the Dingle peninsula in Kerry.

1584: The archbishop of Cashel, Dermot O’Hurley, hanged in Dublin.

1585: A plantation of Munster planned (574,628 Irish acres of attainder’ed earl of Desmond).

1587: Hugh O’Neill becomes earl of Tyrone.

320px-Routes_of_the_Spanish_Armada1588 (August and September): Twenty-five ships of the Spanish Armada wrecked off the coast of Ireland. The Spanish Armada (Spanish: Grande y Felicísima Armada or Armada Invencible, literally “Great and Most Fortunate Navy” or “Invincible Fleet”) was a Spanish fleet of 130 ships that sailed from A Coruña in August 1588 under the command of the Duke of Medina Sidonia with the purpose of escorting an army from Flanders to invade England. The strategic aim was to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I of England and the Tudor establishment of Protestantism in England, with the expectation that this would put a stop to English interference in the Spanish Netherlands and to the harm caused to Spanish interests by English and Dutch privateering. The Armada chose not to attack the English fleet at Plymouth, then failed to establish a temporary anchorage in the Solent, after one Spanish ship had been captured by Francis Drake in the English Channel, and finally dropped anchor off Calais. While awaiting communications from the Duke of Parma’s army the Armada was scattered by an English fireship attack. The Spanish fleet was forced to abandon its rendezvous with Parma’s army, who were blockaded in harbour by Dutch flyboats. The Armada managed to regroup and, driven by southwest winds, withdrew north, with the English fleet harrying it up the east coast of England. The commander ordered a return to Spain, but the Armada was disrupted during severe storms in the North Atlantic and a large portion of the vessels were wrecked on the coasts of Scotland and Ireland. Of the initial 130 ships over a third failed to return. The expedition was the largest engagement of the undeclared Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). The following year England organised a similar large-scale naval campaign against Spain, the Drake-Norris Expedition, also known as the Counter-Armada of 1589, which was also unsuccessful.

Queen Elizabeth (the Armada portrait)

Queen Elizabeth (the Armada portrait)

1590: Execution of Red Hugh McMahon and the shiring of his lordship (of Oriel) to form what is now County Monaghan

1591: the trial and hanging of O’Rourke in London

1591 OS (January 1592 NS): Hugh O’Donnell, who the government had kidnapped at Rathmullen four years earlier, escapes from Dublin Castle.

1592: Dublin University founded (Trinity College)

1593: the attempt to establish Captain Humphrey Willis as sheriff of Fermanagh triggers revolt of Hugh Maguire

1595: Edmund Spencer’s A View of the Present State of Ireland published******

Hugh O'Neill, Baron Dungannon, and, from 1587, 2d Earl of Tyrone

Hugh O’Neill, Baron Dungannon, and, from 1587, 2d Earl of Tyrone

1595-1603: Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, rebels. (After Turlough Luineach died, the Hugh O’Neill succeeded him as ‘The O’Neill’.) He defeated Sir Henry Bagenal at Clontibert (June 1595) after which he is proclaimed as a traitor. He defeated Bagenal again at Yellow Ford in August 1598.

1596 (May): Alonso Cobos and other Spanish agents land in Ulster

1596 (October): Padilla’s Armada storm-wrecked off the coast of Galicia

1598 (September): Death of Spain’s King Phillip II

1598 (October/November): Munster Plantation sites attacked.

1599: Phelim MacFeagh O’Byrne defeats the English at Deputy’s Pass near Wicklow

1599: Brian Og O’Rourke defeats and kills Sir Conyers Clifford, lord president of Connacht, in the Curlew Mountains.

1600 (January/February): Hugh O’Neill in Munster; deaths of Hugh Maguire and Warham St Leger in single combat

Sir Charles Blount (Lord Mountjoy) in the 1590s

Sir Charles Blount (Lord Mountjoy) in the 1590s

1600 (February/March): arrival of Sir Charles Blount (Lord Mountjoy) as Lord Deputy of Ireland

1600 (April): Martin de la Cerda and Pedro de Sandoval arrived in Ulster; O’Neill sends his son Henry to Spain

1600 (May): Sir Henry Docwra’s expedition lands at Lough Foyle

1600 (October): O’Neill withdraws from engagement with Blount/Montjoy at Moyry Pass

1600 (December)/1601 (January): Second Martin de la Cerda expedition to Ulster

Sir George Carew, Lord President of Munster 1600-1603

Sir George Carew (1555-1629), Lord President of Munster 1600-03 (knighted, 1586)

1601 (June): Sir George Carew captures James FitzThomas FitzGerald and arrests Florence McCarthy

1601 (August): Pedro de Sandoval arrived in Sligo to report the departure of the Armada

1601 (September/October): Don Juan del Augila makes landfall at Kinsale. From 17th/27th October Carew-Blount/Mountjoy begin to establish siege of Kinsale (which is about the time O’Donnell musters his forces at Ballymote).

1601 (November): O’Neill musters his forces and heads south

1601 (November): O’Donnell evades Carew by marching over the Slieve Felim Mountains

1601 (December): arrival of Zubiaur’s ships at Castlehaven (and are engaged by Leveson’s ships within 6 days) and at about the same time (mid-December) O’Neill and O’Donnell rendezvous on the banks of the Bandon river (also sometimes known as the Glasslyn and at the time maybe had other names)

Hendrick Cornelisz England and Spain at war in Irish waters in 1601

Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom (1566-1640): England and Spain at war in Irish waters in 1601

1601 (24 December OS)/3 January 1602: Battle of Kinsale (a Thursday, between 8 am and 11 am)

1602 (6 January NS): O’Donnell leaves for Spain with Zubiaur

1602 (2 January OS/12 January NS): Articles of Agreement agreed between Aguila and Mountjoy

1602 (9/19 January): Aguila formally surrenders Kinsale

1602 (9/19 March): Aguila departs Cork for Spain

1602 (17/27 June): Dunboy Castle taken

1602 (September): Blount/Mountjoy breaks the O’Neill inaugural stone at Tullaghoge

1602 (1/11 September): death of Hugh O’Donnell at Simancas Castle in Spain

1603 (24 March OS/3 April): Death of Queen Elizabeth (James VI of Scotland succeeds her as James I of England; James is also a descendant of the Tudors, his great-grandmother was Henry VIII’s sister Margaret, his grandmother Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Elizabeth’s cousin)

James VI of Scotland and (from 1603) James I of England

James VI of Scotland and (from 1603) James I of England

1603 (30 March/9 April): Hugh O’Neill surrenders at Mellifont Abbey.

1603 (June/July): Mountjoy brings O’Neill and Rory O’Donnell to London

1604 (4 July): All Jesuits and seminary priests commanded to leave Ireland

1604 (19/29 August): Treaty of London, ending the Anglo-Spanish War, finally secured and ratified

The Somerset House Conference between England and Spain which negotiated the 1604 Treaty of London which brought Anglo-Spanish hostilities to an end (the English delegation on the right led by Sir Robert Cecil, James 1's first minister, next to him is Lord Mountjoy)

The Somerset House Conference between England and Spain which negotiated the 1604 Treaty of London which brought Anglo-Spanish hostilities to an end (the English delegation on the right led by Sir Robert Cecil, James 1’s first minister, next to him is Lord Mountjoy)

1604 (5 November): Discovery of gunpowder plot at Westminister: Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), also known as ‘Guido Fawkes’, the name he adopted while fighting for the Spanish in the Low Countries, was a member of a group of English Catholics who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot which sought to assassinate the new king and a good number of the [Protestant] nobility surrounding him. The plotters secured the lease to an undercroft beneath the House of Lords, and Fawkes was placed in charge of the gunpowder they stockpiled there. Prompted by the receipt of an anonymous letter, the authorities searched Westminster Palace during the early hours of 5 November, and found Fawkes in situ guarding the explosives. Over the next few days, he was questioned and tortured, and eventually broken. Immediately before his execution on 31 January the following year, Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation that was due to follow.

1606: ‘Gavelkind’, a system of inheritance which involved splitting land between members of a clan, was made illegal.

1606 (3/13 April): Death of Blount/Mountjoy

1606 (July): Foundation of St Anthony’s College, Louvain, a Franciscan foundation especially focused on the Counter-Reformation in Ireland

1607 (4/14 September): The Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell (Rory O’Donnell, Hugh Roe’s brother) sail from Lough Swilly—the so-called ‘Flight of the Earls’. They were charged with high treason.

1608 (April-July): Revolt of Sir Cahir O’Doherty

1608 (April): Tyrone and Tyrconnell arrive in Rome

1608 (5 July): Death of Tyrconnell (Rory O’Donnell, Hugh Roe’s brother) in Rome

1608 (July-September): Death Surveying of the counties of Ulster gets under way (almost entire province escheated to the crown)

1610: Beginning of the Plantation of Ulster.

1612: First English factory established in India, at Surat, on the coast of Gujarat

1610: Publication of Sir John Davies’ Discovery of the True Causes why Ireland was never entirely subdued until the beginning of His Majesty’s happy reign (London)

1613 (April-May): Elections to Irish parliament; opening of new parliament 18 May which involves dispute about the election of speaker leading to walkout by Catholic members. Parliament prorogued, 5 June; in August king appoints commission of inquiry into Catholic allegations of illegality in elections to parliament (which reports in November)

1614 (April): King rebukes Catholic delegation complaining about elections to Irish parliament and other matters

1614 (August): King rules on dispute in Irish parliament and second session of the parliament set for 11 October (which sits until end of November)

1615 (April): Convocation of the Church of Ireland at Kilkenny (which has been in session since May 1613) adopts 104 articles of religion

1615 (October): King dissolves Irish parliament

1616: Lughaidh O’Clery’s ‘Life of Hugh Roe O’Donnell’ written (c. 1616)

1616 (10/20 July): death of Hugh O’Neill (earl of Tyrone) in Rome.

1616 (August): Sir Oliver St John sworn in as new Lord Deputy

1617 (October): Fynes Moryson’s Itinerary published in London

1618 (May): Rebellion in Bohemia leading to what would become known as the ‘Thirty Years War’

1618 (October): Native Irish given final warning to to leave the lands of British undertakers in Ulster by May 1619 or face consequences

1621 (27 December; 6 Jan 1622): Philip O’Sullivan Beare’s Historiae Catholicae Iberniae Compendium published in Lisbon.

1622 (September): Viscount Falkland sworn in as new Lord Deputy

1622 (September): in Dublin, James Ussher, bishop of Meath, publishes Discourse on the the religion anciently professed by the Irish and Scottish…

1624 (January): All Catholic ecclesiastics ordered to leave Ireland within 40 days

1624 (21 March): James Ussher appointed bishop of Armagh

1624 (27 March): James I of England (and VI of Scotland) dies; succeeded by Charles I

1625 (October): St Isidore’s Franciscan College in Rome taken over by Irish Franciscans led by Luke Wadding

1626 (November): Protestant bishops and notables in Ireland condemn King Charles’s (apparent) policy of toleration of Catholics

1627 (January): England and France go to war

1626-8: Charles has trouble raising money; his offer of ‘graces’ in return for subsidies not taken up

1629 (April): Treaty of Susa ends England’s war with France

1629 (October): Lord Falkland leaves Ireland; Viscount Loftus and the earl of Cork appointed Lord Justices

1629 (October): Treaty of Madrid end England’ war with Spain

1631 (June): Algerine pirates sack village of Baltimore in West Cork carrying off all the village except the weak and the sick

1632 (January): Viscount Wentworth appointed new Lord Deputy (he will be created earl of Strafford on 12 January 1640)

1632 (10 August): the compilation of Annala rioghachta Eireann [Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland] completed by Michael Cleary and his team

1633 (August): Wentworth sworn in as new Lord Deputy

1633 (September): William Laud appointed new archbishop of Canterbury

1633 (September): Thomas Stafford’s Pacata Hibernia published in London  (anon.)

1633 (September): Sir James Ware’s edition of work on Ireland by Edmund Spencer, Campion, and Hanmer published as The History of Ireland… (in Dublin)

1634 (May): Proclamation summoning parliament for 14 July (elections to Irish parliament throughout June and July)

1634: first session of Irish parliament 14 July to 2 August; second session, 4 November to 14 December

1634: Completion of Geoffrey Keating’s ‘Foras feasa ar Eirinn’ (Basis of knowledge of Ireland)

1635 (26 Jan to 21 March): Third session of King Charles’ first Irish parliament; fourth session, 24 March to 18 April)

1636 (July): King Charles orders establishment of admiralty dockyard at Kinsale, near Cork city

1637 (July): Riots in St Giles’ in Edinburgh where Archbishop Laud’s new service-book is issued

1637 (December): Opening of Werburgh Street theatre, first theatre in Dublin

1639 (May-June): First Bishops’ War ended with Treaty or truce of Berwick

1640 (12 January): Wentworth created earl of Strafford

1640 (February-March): elections to Charles’ second parliament; first session of parliament, 16 March to 17 June

1640 (1 April): Wentworth recalled and Christopher Wandesford appointed Lord Deputy

1640 (13 April – 5 May): the so-called ‘Short parliament’ in England

1640 (20 August): Scottish army crosses the Tweed beginning the ‘Second Bishops’ War’; Scots defeat the king’s army at Newburn, near Newcastle; Treaty of Ripon in October agrees truce between Scots and their king

1640 (1 Oct – 12 Nov): Sesond session of Charles’ second parliament

1640 (3 November): Meeting of the ‘Long Parliament’ in London

1640 (11 November): House of Lords agree to start proceedings against Wentworth (now the earl of Strafford)

1640 (3 December): Death of Wandesford, the Irish Lord Deputy

1641 (26 January-5 March): Third session of Charles’ Irish parliament; fourth session 11 May to 17 November

1641 (22 March): Beginning of Stafford/Wentworth’s trial in London

1641 (10 May): Bill for attainder of Stafford; Stafford is executed at Tower Hill on 12 May

1641 (22 October): Outbreak of rebellion in Ulster (horror stories of slaughter of Protestants)

1641 (11 November): Earl of Ormond becomes lieutenant of king’s army in Ireland

1641 (22 November): Ulster rebels begin siege of Drogheda

1641 (3 December): Ulster rebels and Old English party make common cause at meeting at Knockjcrofty, near Drogheda

1641 (23 December): Lord Justices commission a record to be made of depositions on matters connected to the rebellion.

1642 (8 January): About 50 Roman Catholics killed at Islandmagee, county Antrim.

1642 (March): ‘Adventurers’ Act’ passed in English parliament ‘for the speedy and effectual reducing of the rebels in his majesty’s kingdom of Ireland’ offering allotments of forfeited land in proportion to contributions of money (this is the English parliament raising money for itself; once the English Civil War starts, which it does in August 1642; a parliamentary ordinance of July 1843 doubles the amounts of land on offer with this deal for those willing to increase their original contribution by a quarter)

1642 (22 March): Catholic bishops and vicars of the province of Armagh meet at Kells

1642 (April) Ormond defeats insurgents at Kilrush, Co. Kildare & Monro lands at Carrickfergus with Scottish army

1642 (22 June): 41 Catholics expelled from parliament

1642 (July): Owen Roe O’Neill lands at Doe Castle on Sheephaven Bay, County Donegal

1642 (22 August): beginning of the Civil War in England (the Royal Standard raised, at Oxford?)

1642 (September): Thomas Preston lands at Wexford

1642 (24 October to 21 November): First General Assembly held at Kilkenny

1643 (March): Irish Lord Justices report to the king on conditions in Ireland (they report that they estimate that 154,000 protestants killed by rebels.

1643 (March): Ormond defeats Preston at Old Ross

1643 (April): Ormond commanded to treat with the representatives of the Confederation of Kilkenny

1643 (20 May to 19 June): second General Assembly of Confederation at Kilkenny

1643 (June): Owen Roe O’Neill defeated by Sir Robert Stewart at Clones

1643 (August): Galway townspeople join with Confederate cause

1643 (September): one year truce between Ormond and Confederates agreeded

1643 (20 September): first Battle of Newbury, Berks., followed by retreat of Royalists

1643 (25 Sept): ‘Solemn league and covenant’ agreed between English parliament and Scots

1643 (November): third General Assembly of the Confederates at Kilkenny

1643 (13 November): Marquis of Ormond appointed Lord Lieutenant

1634 (19 November): Confederates nominate 7 delegates to meet with the king at Oxford

1644 (March): Confederate delegates arrive at Oxford to meet with the king

1644 (17 April): delegation of Irish protestants meets with the king

1644 (5 May to 7 July): Francois de La Boullaye Le Gouz (French traveller and writer) tours Ireland

1644 (May): Munro seizes Belfast

1644 (2 July): Battle of Marston Moor, Yorks., royalists defeated by combined forces of parliament and Scots

1644 (17 July): Lord Inchiquin  abandons royalist cause and declares for parliament

1644 (20 July to 31 August): fourth General Assembly of Confederates at Kilkenny

1644 (24 Oct): English parliamentary ordinance (the ‘no quarter ordinance’): any Irishman found in arms in England or Wales to be put to death.

Or, more briefly….



1 thought on “Arc of History”

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