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The Welsh and the Shaping of Early Modern Ireland, 1558-1641

The Welsh and the Shaping of Early Modern Ireland, 1558-1641

Rhys Morgan
Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: NED - New edition
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 229
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  • Book Info
    The Welsh and the Shaping of Early Modern Ireland, 1558-1641
    Book Description:

    The colonial presence in early modern Ireland is usually viewed as being thoroughly English, and in places Scottish, with the Welsh hardly featuring at all. This book, based on extensive original research, demonstrates that there was in fact a significant Welsh involvement in Ireland between 1558 and 1641. It explores how the Welsh established themselves as soldiers, government officials and planters in Ireland. It also discusses how the Welsh, although participating in the 'English' colonisation of Ireland, nevertheless remained a distinct community, settling together and maintaining strong kinship and social and economic networks to fellow countrymen, including in Wales. It provides a detailed picture of the Welsh settler communities and their networks, and discusses the nature of Welsh settler identity. Overall, the book demonstrates how an understanding of the role of the Welsh in the shaping of early modern Ireland can offer valuable new perspectives on the histories of both countries and on the making of early modern Britain. Rhys Morgan completed his doctorate in history at Cardiff University

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-336-2
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of illustrations
    (pp. ix-ix)
  4. Acknowledgements
    (pp. x-x)
  5. Abbreviations
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Introduction: Locating the Welsh in Ireland and Britain during the early modern period
    (pp. 1-14)

    This is a study of Welsh military and civilian involvement in Ireland between the accession of Elizabeth I and the Irish rebellion of 1641. One might think that the Welsh relationship with its western neighbour during a period in which the latter was experiencing some of the most dramatic and violent social and political changes in its history would be a well-trodden historical path. In fact, despite more than thirty years of attempts by historians to write a more holistic ‘British’ history, there has been no significant attempt to assess the nature of Welsh involvement in Ireland in the early...

  7. Part I: From soldier to settler

    • 1 ‘Soldiers of Wales’: the Welsh presence in the Irish army 1558–1641
      (pp. 17-52)

      The first three chapters of this book will analyse the three main ways in which the Welsh came to Ireland during this period: to serve in the military, to work in the administration, and to settle in the plantations. Together they will seek to quantify and explore the nature of the Welsh presence in Ireland, which will enable an exploration of Welsh community and identity in Ireland in the final two chapters. This chapter will address the Welsh role in the English army in Ireland. The military formed the bulk of the English and Welsh presence in Ireland between 1558...

    • 2 Servants and soldiers: Welsh involvement in the Irish administration, 1558–1641
      (pp. 53-72)

      Chapter 1 explored the most usual way in which the Welsh came to Ireland in the early modern period: military service. The next two chapters assess the extent to which the Welsh were involved in Ireland’s civilian establishment, specifically the secular and religious administration and the plantations. In none of these domains were the Welsh as prominent as they were in the Irish military. Nonetheless Welsh involvement, usually overlooked, was pervasive: Welsh men and women can be found throughout the Irish administration and plantation projects. These chapters will map the changing nature of the Welsh presence in the administration and...

    • 3 The Welsh plantations, 1558–1641
      (pp. 73-104)

      This chapter addresses how the Welsh joined the colonial community in Ireland as settlers. The period between 1558 and 1641 witnessed an acceleration in attempts to plant Irish land with settlers from England, Scotland, Wales and elsewhere. The chapter assesses the scale of Welsh involvement in these plantation schemes, and presents a picture of the nature and form of Welsh settlement in Ireland and how this changed over time. It provides the first study of Welsh settlers in Ireland, and completes the broader prosopographical analysis of the Welsh in the Irish colonial community. An often-overlooked Welsh presence can be found...

  8. Part II: The New Welsh

    • 4 A colonial community? Kinship and cooperation among the Welsh in Ireland, 1558–1641
      (pp. 107-130)

      Having established the composition and nature of Welsh involvement in early modern Ireland, the second part of this book moves on to argue that the Welsh formed a distinctive group within the New English community. This challenges the prevailing historiographical tendency to present the New English as a cohesive and monolithic interest. This chapter considers the Welsh in Ireland as a community. It is argued that Welsh men and women in Ireland cooperated in informal networks sustained by kinship ties and political and social allegiances formed in Wales. Migrants also often demonstrated a sense of loyalty to fellow Welshmen. The...

    • 5 A ‘ragged Welch companie’: difference and identity within the New English community
      (pp. 131-154)

      The previous chapter challenged received opinion regarding the coherence of the New English community in Ireland by arguing that distinct Welsh networks existed within it. This chapter attempts to further question ideas about colonial unity by emphasising the importance of difference within the New English community. It begins by examining how the Welsh in Ireland were represented by their English counterparts. At the beginning of this period the Welsh in Ireland were presented by observers as a loyal and united part of the colonial community. However, ethnic and religious tensions engendered by the wars of the 1580s and 1590s heightened...

  9. Conclusion
    (pp. 155-160)

    In the winter of 1641, as the British settlement in Ireland collapsed before a Catholic rebellion, a priest named James O’Halligan read a letter at mass in Armagh that had supposedly been sent by the Catholic archbishop of Dublin. According to an English witness, O’Halligan warned his parishioners that any that ‘did harbour or relieve any Englishe, Scotte or Walshe or give them any almes at all at their howses should be excommunicated’.¹ O’Halligan highlighted something missing from most histories of early modern Ireland: that the colonial presence was made up of three distinct peoples. Such differences have been rendered...

  10. Appendix 1: Identifying the Welsh: the reliability of surnames as evidence
    (pp. 163-168)
  11. Appendix 2: English and Welsh levies for Ireland, 1558–1640
    (pp. 169-191)
  12. Appendix 3: Welsh captains in Ireland, 1558–1640
    (pp. 192-196)
  13. Appendix 4: The administrative positions of Welsh officers and their families after 1588
    (pp. 197-200)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 201-218)
  15. Index
    (pp. 219-230)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 231-231)