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The King's Irishmen: The Irish in the Exiled Court of Charles II, 1649-1660

The King's Irishmen: The Irish in the Exiled Court of Charles II, 1649-1660

Mark R.F. Williams
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 340
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  • Book Info
    The King's Irishmen: The Irish in the Exiled Court of Charles II, 1649-1660
    Book Description:

    King Charles I's execution in January 1649 marked a moment of deliverance for the victors in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but for thousands of Royalists it signaled the onset of more than a decade of penury and disillusionment in exile. Driven by an enduring allegiance to the Stuart dynasty, now personified in the young King Charles II, Royalists took up residence among the courts, armies, and cities of Continental Europe, clinging to hopes of restoration and the solace of their companions as the need to survive threatened to erode the foundations of their beliefs. The King's Irishmen vividly illustrates the experience of these exiles during the course of the 1650s, revealing complex issues of identity and allegiance often obscured by the shadow of the Civil Wars. Drawing on sources from across Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe, it looks at key Irish figures and networks in Charles II's court-in-exile in order to examine broader themes of memory, belief, honour, identity, community, dislocation and disillusionment. Each chapter builds upon and challenges recent historical interest in royalism, providing new insights into the ways in which allegiances and identities were re-fashioned and re-evaluated as the exiles moved across Europe in pursuit of aid. The King's Irishmen offers not only a vital reappraisal of the nature of royalism within its Irish and European dimensions but also the nature of 'Irishness' and early modern community at large. MARK WILLIAMS is Lecturer in Early Modern History at Cardiff University.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-308-9
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgements
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Abbreviations and Formatting
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction: The Problem of Irish Royalism
    (pp. 1-22)

    A hastily-scrawled poem lamenting the fate of ‘dead England’ and the toppling of the known social order may seem to the modern eye a strange means by which to reinforce common bonds of allegiance and rekindle a sense of defiance in the face of defeat. In the estimations of the poem’s author, Richard Bellings – long-time secretary to the Catholic Confederation of Kilkenny, ardent Royalist, and devout Irish Catholic – the future seemed unequivocally grim. At the time of his writing to his friend and ally, the English Royalist and diplomat Sir Richard Browne, Bellings had been in exile in...

  6. 1 Memory and Merit: The Many Incarnations of Lord Inchiquin
    (pp. 23-59)

    Fearing the ‘deception of posterity’ by others and seeking the vindication of allies provided Sir Edward Hyde with the motivation to take up the pen and produce, over the course of some twenty-five years, his monumentalHistory of the Rebellion.³ TheHistoryhas since become more a mirror to the scars left upon Hyde by the experience of civil war and exile than an accurate historical account. At either side of the exile of the 1650s, Hyde’s writing was undoubtedly intended to deceive, cloaking disillusionment and personal failures with a narrative of conflicted social orders and false loyalties.⁴ The compulsion...

  7. 2 Memory and Catholicism: Lord Taaffe and the Duke of Lorraine Negotiations
    (pp. 60-79)

    In April 1653, Inchiquin had attended a meeting of the Privy Council to decide the King’s reaction to the recent activities of John Callaghan, an Irish clergyman and Doctor of Theology at the University of Paris. The brief notes made from the meeting by Sir George Lane, secretary to the Marquis of Ormond, relate that the latter spoke to the King regarding the ‘words said to have been spoken by the said Doctor to the Chancellor of France [Mathieu Molé]’, namely that ‘his Majesty would give power to assure the pope that he will turne Roman Catholic as soon as...

  8. 3 The Crisis of the Church: John Bramhall
    (pp. 80-120)

    Taking refuge in the chapel of Sir Richard Browne in Paris, while at the same time making a desperate effort to preserve Anglican faith amid a rising tide of conversions, John Cosin, exiled dean of Peterborough and later bishop of Durham, turned to Scripture for both comfort and guidance. Writing in the margins of a form of prayer for services held at Charles II’s chapel in The Hague, Cosin singled out passages which reveal the minds of the Royalist exiles to have been locked within a narrative of both sin and divine trial, where correction through God’s judgment grappled with...

  9. 4 Duty, Faith, and Fraternity: Father Peter Talbot
    (pp. 121-157)

    One year after the execution of his king, Edward Hyde marked the occasion in his private correspondence and personal reflections with a combination of sombreness and optimism. Having accompanied Francis, Lord Cottington, as Charles II’s ambassador-extraordinary to the court of Philip IV in Madrid, Hyde drew strength from the ‘good affection’ shown by the Spanish toward ‘his Master’. The Spanish, Hyde wrote to Ormond in Ireland, maintained ‘a high detestacion of ye Villany’ enacted against Charles I, and were eager to aid his son in the advancement of his cause. Likewise, Hyde wrote to the Royalist agent and priest Robert...

  10. 5 Duty, Faith, and Fraternity: Thomas, Richard, and Gilbert Talbot
    (pp. 158-180)

    Peter Talbot was not the only one of his brethren to have conducted this sort of moral, spiritual, and political arithmetic during the course of the exile. Nor was he the only one of his brothers to have been variously encouraged, ignored, or condemned by Charles II’s court in exile, despite great utility, by virtue of perceived duplicity or untrustworthiness. Many of the same attributes which had made Peter Talbot such an appealing, if not wholly trustworthy intermediary within Catholic Europe were present in his brothers, who shared similar connections with the collegiate networks, monasteries, ambassadors, and soldiery of Europe....

  11. 6 Honour, Dishonour, and Court Culture: Lord Taaffe
    (pp. 181-206)

    Among the many years of deprivation, solitude, and general hopelessness which comprised the exile of Charles II and those loyal to his cause, 1658 holds a unique place for its unfulfilled promises and unrealised potential. The inability of either the Royalists or their European allies to seize the opportunity created by the death of Oliver Cromwell, and the peaceful succession of Richard Cromwell to the Protectorate, left the Royalist cause in a state of disarray. For the Marquis of Ormond, the sense of disappointment which the events of that year had engendered was also a personal one. Having left for...

  12. 7 Information, Access, and Court Culture: Daniel O’Neill
    (pp. 207-236)

    The politics of Charles’s pleasures was not, of course, the only factor that had determined the outcome of Taaffe’s pleas for satisfaction and gentlemanly decorum. Certainly, Charles can and should be faulted for his lack of interest in the proper management of these affairs of honour and preferment.² As Ormond and Hyde lamented, Charles’s inability (or unwillingness) to function as a powerful, stabilising entity at the centre of the scattered Royalist community had certainly exposed a failure on the King’s part to grasp the particular demands of exile and the needs of his supporters amid penury and disillusionment. Yet, the...

  13. 8 ‘Patron of Us All’: The Marquis of Ormond
    (pp. 237-294)

    In August 1688, Thomas Flatman – poet, painter and general man of letters – published a Pindaric ode in tribute to the recently deceased Duke of Ormond. Casting a wide glance over the Duke’s career, Flatman praised his subject’s political longevity, steadfast support of the Church, and unwavering loyalty to the Crown. Central to the poet’s reflections upon Ormond’s enduring qualities was the ‘disdain’ shown by the then-Marquis in serving his ‘neglected Sovereign’ during the ‘Thunder … and Lightning’ of civil war and exile, upholding ‘a crazy tottering Crown’ amid ‘the Hurricane of State’. Flatman was certainly not the first...

  14. Conclusions: Deliverance and Debts: The Legacy of Exile
    (pp. 295-308)

    Ormond’s departure from Breda in May 1660 was marked with a tone of both cautious optimism and veiled doubt as to where the Restoration would lead the Three Kingdoms under the watchful eyes of Catholic Europe. Pressed by the papal internuncio at Brussels, Girolamo de Vechii, Ormond cautioned that, while some measure of toleration might indeed be implemented by the newly restored Charles II, it was limited by political and confessional realities at home. While de Vechii tactfully reminded Ormond that all of his ancestors were Catholics, Ormond could not hide his scepticism: English Catholics, he anticipated, were more likely...

  15. Bibliography
    (pp. 309-328)
  16. Index
    (pp. 329-340)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 341-343)