Ireland 1641-1648

A.) Pre-History of the Revolt

During the time of the English Civil War (1642-1648), Ireland had received little attention from England, and had entered into a development of her own (Ireland 1641-1648). The Confederation of Kilkenny claimed to function as an Irish Parliament. However the leadership of Ireland lacked unity, and among the foremost leaders of the past decade, Owen Roe O'Neill died in 1649, Nucio Rinuccini left Ireland the same year.
The execution of King Charles I. in 1649 in England had resulted in the proclamation of the Commonwealth, in which Oliver Cromwell was the strongman, a Puritan who regarded Catholicism an evil force that had to be crushed. Irish Catholicism was, in his eyes, tainted with the Ulster Massacre of 1641.

B.) The Course of Events

Cromwell lead an English force to Ireland and, in a brutally conducted campaign which lasted until 1653, conquered the island. The most remarkable event was the conquest of Drogheda; the inhabitants of the city were put to the sword.
Cromwell pursued the policy of replacing rebel Catholic Irish peasants with protestant settlers

C.) Legacy

The Irish Catholic church survived as an underground church; Irish priests were instructed in seminaries on the continent, in France or the Spanish Netherlands. They would support Catholic King James II. in 1685-1688, and beyond the Glorious Revolution. Ulster's protestants preserved an English identity.

Note : users are advised that some of the sites linked here not only provide information, but often take sides in a matter which is still a political issue :
Cromwellian Settlement, 1650-1660, from BBC History, Northern Ireland Timeline
Cromwell devastates Ireland, from The Doyle Page
The Curse of Cromwell, from Irelandseye
Oliver Cromwell's Siege on Drogheda, from Louth Online
DOCUMENTS Oliver Cromwell, Report from Ireland to Parliament (Dublin, 17 Sept 1649). [Account of the Siege of Drogheda. from Irish Documents, scroll down

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on June 10th 2003, last revised on November 18th 2004

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