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Castles and colonists

Castles and colonists: An archaeology of Elizabethan Ireland

Copyright Date: 2010
Pages: 192
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  • Book Info
    Castles and colonists
    Book Description:

    Castles and colonists is the first book to examine life in the leading province of Elizabeth I's nascent empire. Klinglehofer shows how an Ireland of colonising English farmers and displaced Irish 'savages' are ruled by an imported Protestant elite from their fortified manors and medieval castles. Richly illustrated, it displays how a generation of English 'adventurers' including such influential intellectual and political figures as Spenser and Ralegh, tried to create a new kind of England, one that gave full opportunity to their Renaissance tastes and ambitions. Based on decades of research, Castles and colonisers details how archaelogy had revealed the traces of a short-lived, but significant culture which has been, until now, eclipsed in ideological conflicts between Tudor queens, Hapsburg hegemony and native Irish traditions,

    eISBN: 978-1-84779-319-5
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The epigraph offered at the beginning of this book reveals Spenser’s image of Man’s creation as a divine plan to colonize that ‘waste and emptie place’ forfeited by the Fallen Angels, a clear metaphor for Elizabeth’s policy of settling Ireland with English Protestants. Two years later, in the quote above, he penned a desperate plea begging the Queen to help ‘this miserable land’. No one spoke better for the colonial experience of Elizabeth’s Munster Plantation than a man who lived there throughout its existence, who married and raised a family there, who served its government in several positions, and who...

  6. 1 Archaeology and Elizabeth’s empire
    (pp. 5-33)

    This chapter examines the role of archaeology in the study of the Elizabethan colonization of southern Ireland. Initial foreign settlement by early modern European states, or by their authorized commercial organizations, are usefully characterized as the ‘proto-colonial phase’ of the epoch of modern colonial imperialism. For European overseas activities, the proto-colonial period may be generalized asc. 1450–1650. The ‘planting’ of English colonists in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries is recognized as an important step in English colonialism and a turning point in Irish history, but twentieth-century politics and policies discouraged its study.² The colonist in Irish...

  7. 2 Elizabethan fortifications in Ireland
    (pp. 34-60)

    Ireland began Elizabeth’s reign as a kingdom under the English Crown, and ended it as a quasi-colony. In a process that continued well into the seventeenth century, land available for colonization was provided by confiscations at each act of rebellion, and region by region the island was pacified by new fortifications. Irish religious disaffection followed a growing Calvinist influence in the established Church of England, but the actual breakdown of loyalty was caused by new English arrivals acquiring administrative posts, opportunists who disregarded traditional allegiances and Celtic laws. Fortifications provided a military solution to a political problem. Military technology evolved...

  8. 3 Colonial settlement
    (pp. 61-85)

    The 1500s saw the Hapsburg Empire spreading across the globe and Valois France claiming supremacy as the most populous and prosperous nation in Europe. Tudor England, however, retained only remnants of its medieval domains. On the Continent, the Plantagenet legacy was reduced to a small zone defending Calais. Hegemony over the Scots was a thing of the past. Authority in Ireland had shrunk to the walled cities and the fifty-mile-wide Pale around Dublin.² French royal power pressed upon the Tudors at Calais, but in Ireland and along the Scottish border, English rule was challenged and essentially neutralized by the ‘feudal...

  9. 4 Vernacular architecture
    (pp. 86-108)

    Sixteenth-century Ireland does not fit standard English historical periodization. England had by that time abandoned medieval traditions for nation-state building, a new religious creed, and an essentially new nobility. New architectural forms, as well, appeared in both urban and rural locales, and in both wealthy and less affluent households.² Ireland was different in many ways from its forward neighbour, and its sixteenth century was one of retarded change, of resistance to both Renaissance and Reformation. The increasing interest of English monarchs in colonizing Ireland and the subsequent plantations of Munster, Ulster, and other regions in the later sixteenth and early...

  10. 5 The archaeology of Kilcolman Castle
    (pp. 109-131)

    The Elizabethan court poet Edmund Spenser, author ofThe Faerie Queeneand colonial officer in County Cork, resided at Kilcolman Castle from around 1588 to October 1598, shortly before his death in January 1599.² Granted a 3000 acre estate by Elizabeth, Spenser repaired and improved the castle, a small medieval enclosure on a hilltop overlooking a marshy lake and bog. Its fate was to be burned and abandoned, then later used as a quarry for building stone. Archaeological fieldwork directed by the writer took place at Kilcolman from 1993 to 1996 to determine what evidence still existed for Spenser’s occupancy...

  11. 6 Spenserian architecture in Ireland
    (pp. 132-160)

    Ben Jonson’s comedyEastward Horeveals how the early seventeenth century still valued castles as important social possessions. The claim by an impecunious Sir Petronell to have a castle and estate, more than his title, attracted the social-climbing daughter of the rich goldsmith Touchstone. For purely military purposes, castles had become obsolete with successful French siege artillery in Normandy and Gascony nearly 200 years earlier. During the 1540s Henry VIII erected coastal artillery forts as ‘castles’, but after that the term was little used by the English military.² One could thus assume that Jonson employed an archaic idiom for dramatic...

  12. 7 Conclusions
    (pp. 161-166)

    Proto-colonial archaeology of Elizabethan Ireland, particularly in the Irish Republic, has only recently begun, and caution warns against advancing firm conclusions at this stage. Nevertheless, some general observations are justified concerning the twelve-year Elizabethan colonial settlement, or ‘planting’, of Munster, because even limited fieldwork can significantly correct research all too dependent upon insufficient documentation. Elizabethan Ireland was certainly not the ‘brave new world’ that Shakespeare posited inThe Tempest, but it may be that he had in mind just those problems incurred by the plantation of Munster.

    Munster colonial villages, large and small, attempted to replicate what existed in England:...

  13. Select bibliography
    (pp. 167-173)
  14. Index
    (pp. 174-178)