Saturday, 12 November 2011

King Edward III

King Edward III - Influence on Ireland

Edward III came to the throne of England in 1327 when his father Edward II passed away.  The Bruce attacks weakened the colonists and shifted the balance of power in Ireland with the O'Neills winning out in Ulster.

The Irish kings took back much of the land and all across the country, the English were becoming absorbed into the native population.  This happened for two reasons, the first one being mainly for their own survival and protection.

They adopted all the Irish customs including their language.  The second one was that the English government had allowed a subtle distinction in those that were English by birth (New English) and those that were English by blood. (Old English)

The old English grew annoyed as the new English were given powers and authority and so a large portion of the old English sided with the Irish.

It is often claimed that these old English became more Irish than the Irish themselves. (Hiberniores Hibernicis ipsis)  The Anglo-Irish Lords grew in power and King Edward III tried to bring them down and get them to obey.

He made three attempts to achieve this and sent across at different times three governors all of whom failed to succeed.

The early years of the 14th Century experienced famine, a series of poor cropping seasons and the outbreak of Black Death. All of this happened during Edward III's reign, where he seemed pre-occupied with the Hundred Year's War.

You should now read about the Black Death in Ireland.