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  • The 1641 Rebellion and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.
  • England and the 1641 Irish rebellion.
  • The Rebellion and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms?

First hand exposure to continental politics was evidently the quickest route to an education in the realities of European diplomacy, as Richard Bellings also demonstrated. In the s, the perception of the Irish war as a struggle for Catholic liberty fired the religious enthusiasm of a number of private lay individuals in France, most notably the Duc de Vantadour who in explored the possibility of devoting substantial monetary aid to Ireland through the medium of the papal nuncio Rinuccini Kavanagh 1: Such a lack of appreciation of diplomatic niceties was something which other continental observers also noted.

Having suffered himself in this regard, Rinuccini wrote to France in November trying to smooth over another example of Confederate rudeness, which he ascribed to inexperience of proper protocol because of Protestant oppression AMAE v and he offered similar explanations also to French envoys in Ireland Gilbert, 7: Nevertheless, despite resenting such slights, a genuine confessional sympathy for the Confederate cause existed at the highest echelons of French administration during the s, in the persons of individuals such as the Comte de Brienne and, indeed, Cardinal Mazarin himself.

Irish officers, for instance, serving in the French army found it surprisingly easy to receive permission to return to their native land in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of the wars. The massive contributions to their war effort, which the Confederate Catholics had originally hoped to secure from secular continental Catholic powers, France among them, would simply never materialise, a fact which became abundantly clear to Richard Bellings during his mission to France and Italy in On his arrival in Ireland in the French agent, du Moulin, also seems to have distributed another pistoles 24, francs in an effort to oil the wheels of the recruitment process of Irish mercenaries, which was consistently one of the chief drivers of French policy.

Other less significant contributions were also made in the course of the decade, such as the 25, francs which Rinuccini received in Kavanagh 2: 39 but overall French contributions to the Confederates were decidedly meagre.

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But here, once again, they were to be disappointed. Chief among these was the question of recruitment both in terms of the acquisition of levies and in denying them to their Spanish enemies.

Irish Rebellion of 1641

Linked to these latter efforts was the French fear that the Confederates might throw themselves into the arms of the Spanish, thus providing the Habsburgs with extremely useful bases and ports as well as an abundant recruiting ground. In this regard, one can note that considerations were given in Paris to plans to seize either Youghal, Waterford or Wexford for their own use in the middle of the decade AMAE rv. The French were also concerned with the fortunes of the House of Stuart. Throughout the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, France clearly favoured the royalist cause and, particularly in , sought to use Ireland as a means to prolong the struggle against parliament.

The 1641 Massacre of Irish Protestants

Their primary goal was to restore a limited and financially restricted monarchy, incapable of posing a threat to France. As a by-product, the establishment of peace between Charles I and his rebellious subjects would redound to the credit of the regency government of Mazarin and Anne of Austria, which had already successfully mediated the conflicts between Venice and Rome in and Sweden and Denmark in Jusserand Finally, as noted previously, the French were opposed to the mass persecution of Irish Catholics, and hoped to obtain the free exercise of religion for their co-religionists.

Less altruistically, it might be surmised that the French government assumed that that the successful safe-guarding of Catholicism in the island would provide a useful source of leverage in the event of future tension between France and England. In the same period only one regiment, that of Patrick FitzGerald in , departed for Spain. Simultaneously, the crisis of the three kingdoms which erupted in and altered the political landscape in both Britain and Ireland.

A new agent, De la Monerie, was dispatched to Ireland during the first Confederate-royalist truce of but this resulted only in immense frustration — from a French governmental perspective he was kept dangling for two years before finally being informed that a levy could not be made AMAE r. In actual fact he received two permissions to levy troops but could not organise their export Gouhier 63; AMAE f. At a time when Bourbon forces were desperate for soldiers, these were expensive failures. By the French were prepared to offer the son of the Confederate general Thomas Preston, James Preston, the not inconsiderable lump payment of 70 francs per soldier delivered AMAE 3rv as opposed to a mere three francs prior to Gouhier 63 , together with a number of important privileges for a proposed regiment within French service.

Stradling suggests that in the second half of the s Bourbon recruitment was far more successful than that of the Spanish Habsburgs Stradling In recruitment terms, the result of this was unfavourable for France. Relatively few soldiers had been available for continental recruitment during the years of the Confederate Association, although the precise reasons for this remain somewhat under-investigated. Certainly the Confederate authorities pleaded with both France and Spain that all available soldiers were needed for their own use.

In the argument was put to Paris, for instance, that the Confederates had only 10,, men in arms to confront enemy armies up to 20, strong and that therefore they could not allow levies for foreign service to be made AMAE 19r. Nevertheless, even if these figures were correct, it would appear that the chief restriction on Confederate recruitment was not manpower but money and munitions. Every regiment that the Confederates conceded to one power inevitably raised a storm of protest from the ministers of the other Gilbert 7: In that context, unwilling to take a definitive partisan position towards either crown, the Confederates may simply have surmised and probably correctly that the anger caused by procrastination would be easier to defuse than the reaction to clear decisions, in favour of one side or the other.

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Confederate reluctance was probably increased by the fact that, although Irish soldiers were greatly prized by both powers, France at any rate was very reluctant to set the precedent of actually paying the Confederate government for the right to make levies. Enough Irish soldiers did arrive in France to allow for the formation of eight regiments but French recruitment in the s was far less organised than that of the Habsburgs, partially as a result of the chaos during the Fronde and partially because of an unwillingness to provoke the Cromwellian regime by demonstrating overt interest in Ireland Gouhier In that context, the expertise of the Spanish agent, Francois Foissote, in particular, came to the fore.

A series of interlocking reasons underpinned this, on the face of it, rather surprising conclusion. A certain part was evidently played by the marriage link between the royal houses of England and Scotland and Ireland of course and France but this could easily be overemphasised. The contemporary European death-struggle between Bourbon and Habsburg interests was after all directed on the French side by a Spanish queen-regent on behalf of her half-Habsburg son.

More important was the fear of an English republic which would alter the European balance of power. Charles I had been a welcome neighbour for his French in-laws because his capacity to raise revenue had been so limited. But the prospect of England travelling the Dutch path was viscerally alarming to the French government which noted that the republican government of the Netherlands was capable of raising far greater taxes than those which had initially triggered the revolt against the Spanish. It was also noted that together the Dutch and a putative English republic would be in a position to dominate commerce with the New World thanks to their naval strength Jusserand But Mazarin also seems to have considered that Rinuccini was an unrealistic idealist if he believed that the Confederates, having attained their demands by force of arms, would then return to their allegiance AMAE rv.

Consequently, his desire for a settlement of the Irish Catholic question within a wider British context may also have been motivated by a desire to remove another complicating proto-Republican factor from archipelagic politics. Alternatively, it might be surmised that the attitude of the French government reflected their own perception of the pacification of the Huguenot community in France.

However, the opposition of the papal nuncio and the Irish clergy unexpectedly derailed this treaty. By , French policy was once again preoccupied with the recruitment of troops. Apparently some of his letters were not even deciphered as his predecessor de la Monerie, together with Jean Talon, now returned to direct French operations AMAE v. In , however, a wider political agenda once more re-emerged and it was in Paris that much of the initial spade-work which led to the second Ormond peace was accomplished through the meetings between the royalist party and the Confederate envoys, Viscount Muskery and Geoffrey Browne Ohlmeyer Ultimately, therefore, the French did contribute to the creation of an anti-parliamentarian Royalist coalition in Ireland but, unhappily from their perspective, it proved incapable of defending the island from the Cromwellian invasion.

The Confederates were Catholic rebels, who insisted on their loyalty to the Stuart monarchy. France was favourable to the royalist cause and sympathetic to the position of Irish Catholicism. Consequently, a natural basis for mutual co-operation seemed to exist. The Confederates received neither major assistance nor protection. From their perspective, a certain limited advantage was gained by the fact that Spain also was unable to profit from Irish recruiting grounds during the s but the failure of the attempts to re-establish the Stuart monarchy ultimately undermined even this small achievement, when Spain gained disproportionately from the mass exodus of Irish soldiers following the Cromwellian conquest.

Goodwill and mutual sympathy proved incapable of sustaining a successful interaction.


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In this regard, the fact that France was not the only continental lodestone of Irish interest was probably of some significance. Not only was there a significant constituency of Spanish support among Irish Catholics but, more crucially during the s, the papacy exerted direct influence over the Confederates. Papal policy, as it transpired, was no more successful than French policy, but the contest between Roman and Bourbon visions of an acceptable Catholic settlement in Ireland probably contributed to the failure of both. C orrespondence Politique , Scritture Originali riferite nelle Congregazioni Generali , Aiazzi, Giovanni.

Nunziatura in Irlanda diMonsignor Gio.

Irish Rebellion , Used - AbeBooks

Firenze: Tipografia Piatti, For nearly two centuries a strife of tongues has raged regarding the character of the revolt, and apologists have been found who have denied the atrocities committed on the settlers, and done their best to wipe out the bloody stain which rests on the character of the Irish people. The difficulty of arriving at the truth regarding this sad portion of Irish history is very great; for not only are the facts covered over thick with the fabrications of succeeding generations of controversialists, but even the original documents of the period are not to be trusted, many of them being framed for the purposes of deceit.

Recent research has, however, proved, that while the accounts of the horrors of the revolt have been greatly exaggerated, the cruelties practised were only too horrible. This must have been so; for it is to be remembered that in Ireland it was the rising of race against race, and that the race which rose in rebellion was the lower in civilisation, and considered that it was suffering under grievous wrongs at the hands of the Government of their conquerors.

Probably no fairer or more weighty account of the Rebellion of has been written than that of Mr Lecky, who says—"No impartial writer will deny that the rebellion in Ulster was extremely savage and bloody, though it is certainly not true that its barbarities were either unparalleled or unprovoked.

They were, for the most part, the unpremeditated acts of a half-savage populace. Wentworth's government bore hardly on the Ulster Scots, and there are traces in his letters that he had in view a plan even more thoroughgoing than dragooning and religious persecution. He certainly did not like these Irish Presbyterians, and feared their sternness. There seems to have floated in his mind some half-formed plan of getting quit of their troubling for ever by driving them out of Ulster in a body.

Wentworth was by far the ablest, and therefore the most dangerous, of all Charles I. He was impeached and executed, his death leaving Ireland really without government; for he had permitted no one near him who was capable of grasping the reins when they fell from his hands. Wentworth's rule had been hard on all—on the Roman Catholics, whether Irish or Norman-Irish, as well as on the Presbyterians, and he had given fresh sharpness and poignancy to the remembrance of the many wrongs under which they suffered.

To men smarting under great grievances, the time appeared well suited for a blow for freedom. The Scottish people had just accomplished a successful rebellion, and had compelled the English king virtually to agree to all that it demanded; while England itself was evidently rapidly drifting into civil war. Ireland, moreover, was almost devoid of troops, for the army which Wentworth had raised was disbanded early in ; while the Government at Dublin was in the hands of two Lord Justices, lacking both character and ability.

The northern settlers, besides, were without cohesion, and badly armed. The leaders of the Irish determined on a great struggle for independence. The rising was arranged with great ability, the plan being consummated largely by the aid of Roman Catholic friars, who passed from district to district unnoticed.

Warning of impending danger was sent from England to the Lord Justices, but they remained unmoved; and Dublin Castle itself would have been secured by the rebels if one of the party intrusted with its surprisal had not turned traitor on the evening before the outbreak. It was in Ulster that the greatest fury of the rising was felt, for it was in the northern province that the land had been to the fullest extent taken from the original proprietors; religion, patriotism, and interest therefore alike called on the native population to attempt to recover supremacy.

On the night of the 22d October , all over Ulster, as if with one accord, the Irish rose on the English settlers, who lived in most cases in isolated farmhouses in the midst of an Irish population; while armed bodies, led by the chiefs of the Irish septs, easily surprised most of the forts, which were feebly held by small English garrisons. The plan of the original settlement had been broken through by Wentworth, when he, out of jealousy of the Presbyterians, disarmed the country, and so destroyed that system of defence which James I.

Before the morning broke all Ulster was ablaze with burning villages and farmhouses. There followed what must take place in every agrarian revolt—murder and outrage, even though it may have been true that "the main and strong view of the common Irish was plunder," 76 and that the leaders, with some exceptions, deprecated murder, and desired only the expulsion of the English.

The settlers were driven out of their homes unarmed and defenceless, many of them stripped of clothing, in a singularly inclement season, with no place of refuge near at hand to which they could retreat; while around them flocked, like birds of prey, all the blackguardism of an unsettled country. It is not necessary nor desirable to describe the horrors which accompanied the flight of this miserable crowd—men, women, and children, the aged, scarce able to walk, the babe at the breast—toward the cities of refuge on the coast. None dared give them shelter or succour their distress. Many perished of cold and hunger, many were barbarously outraged and murdered; while famine and fever carried off in Dublin and Londonderry and Coleraine not a few of those who had escaped the perils of the way.

One curious point it is very difficult to determine—how far the Scottish settlers suffered along with the English. It appears that the leaders of the revolt desired to distinguish between the two nationalities, probably rather to cause diversity of interest than because the Irish had reason to love Scottish more than English settlers, or because Presbyterians were more tolerant of Roman Catholics than Episcopalians.