Sunday, 13 November 2011

Elizabeth I in Ireland

Elizabeth I in Ireland

Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth I in Ireland
Bloody Mary died at the young age of 42 and did not mother a child.  The crown was passed to Elizabeth who like the others also began to change the pattern of Irish history. Historically, Elizabeth I in Ireland is regarded as one of the greatest of all the English monarchs. In 1560 a parliament in Dublin reversed all that Mary had done with reference to the Catholic religion and restored the Protestant religion.  She renewed royal supremacy over the church and this meant that if Catholics did not use the Book of Common Prayer and attend a Sunday service, they could be fined.

The Catholic clergy could not take these oaths and so they were forced to close churches, but they continued their ministry by travelling among the people.  The law like many others in Ireland really only took grip around the Pale, and was ignored elsewhere in Ireland, the issue being that it was impossible to enforce.  Elizabeth also defeated the Spanish Armada, and England did become the leading Protestant power, and truly established itself as a colonial power.

Elizabeth also executed the Chieftain of Monaghan and imprisoned Red Hugh O'Donnell in Birmingham Tower at Dublin Castle.  The capture of Red Hugh had been planned by Sir John Perrott who at that time was the Lord Deputy of Ireland.

In 1579, a huge uprising took place in Munster which also involved the Spanish and the Italians. Again this was put down both quickly and ruthlessly and following a familiar patter, was planted with English colonists.

The anglicisation of Ireland was advancing and Trinity College in Dublin was opened in 1592 to provide an English education and also to help the established church. Only Ulster managed to stand its ground during this period. The Chieftains there knew and had witnessed the violence and duplicity of the English, and were not going to fall into the same traps.

From Torr Head, the most northern point in County Antrim, Sorley Boy MacDonnell had watched the massacre of the entire population of Rathlin Island, where 600 people were put to death, including his own wife and family, who he had sent there because he believed it to be safer. In very simple terms the English at that time believed the Irish as uncivilised and heretics because of their Catholic religion.

I would now recommend that you read about Sir Water Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth.