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Encyclopedia > Old English (Ireland)

The Old English (Irish: Seanghaill) were the descendants of the settlers who came to Ireland from Wales, Normandy and England after the Norman invasion of Ireland in the twelfth-century. The name was coined in the late sixteenth century to describe the section of the above community which lived within the heart of English-ruled Ireland, the Pale. This article is about the modern Goidelic language. ... This article is about the country. ... For other uses, see Normandy (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... Combatants Normans: Leinster,  England,  Fleming,  Welsh, Irish Kingdoms: Ulster, Munster Connaught  Norsemen Commanders Dermot MacMurrough, King Henry II, Strongbow, Raymond Carew, Richard Fitz Godbert Rhys ap Gruffydd, Maurice Fitz Gerald, Robert Fitz Stephen, Rory OConnor Askuluv Strength Note: All figures may vary according to source. ... (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... The Pale or the English Pale comprised a region in a radius of twenty miles around Dublin which the English in Ireland gradually fortified against incursion from Gaels. ...


Many of the Old English became assimilated into Irish society over the centuries and their nobility were effectively the ruling class in the land up to the 16th century. They were dispossessed, however, in the political and religious conflicts during and after the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland in the 16th and 17th centuries, largely due to their continued adherence to the Catholic religion. The so called "New English" Protestant settlers largely replaced them as the governing class and the landowning class of Ireland by 1700. The Tudor re-conquest of Ireland took place under the English Tudor dynasty during the 16th century. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ...

Contents

In medieval Ireland

Old English was the term applied from the 1580s to those Irish descended on the patrilineal side from a wave of late medieval Norman, French, Welsh, English, Breton and Flemish settlers who went to Ireland to claim territory and lands in the wake of the Norman conquest of Ireland in 1169-72. London-based Norman-English governments expected the "Old English" to promote English rule in Ireland, through the use of the English language, law, trade, currency, social customs and farming methods. The realisation of this aim was most advanced in the Pale and the walled towns. This article is about the country. ... For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ... This article is about the historical kingdom, duchy and French province, as well as one of the Celtic nations. ... For other uses, see Flanders (disambiguation). ...


The "Old English" community in Ireland was never monolithic. In some areas, especially in the Pale around Dublin, south county Wexford, Kilkenny, Limerick and Cork, the term referred to relatively urbanised communities, who spoke the English language (though sometimes in arcane local dialects like Yola), used English law and lived in a manner similar to that found in England. However, in much of the rest of Ireland, the term referred to a thin layer of landowners and nobility, who ruled over Gaelic Irish freeholders and tenants. For other uses, see Dublin (disambiguation). ... Statistics Province: Leinster County Town: Wexford Code: WX Area: 2,352 km² Population (2006) 131,615 Website: www. ... Statistics Province: Leinster County Town: Kilkenny Code: KK Area: 2,061 km² Population (2006) 87,394 Website: www. ... Statistics Province: Munster County Town: Limerick Code: LK Area: 2,686 km² Population (2006) 183,863 (including Limerick City); 131,303 (without Limerick City) Website: www. ... Statistics Province: Munster County seat: Cork Code: C Area: 7,457 km² (2,879 sq mi) Population (2006) 480,909 (including City of Cork); 361,766 (without Cork City) Website: www. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Introduction The Yola language is a branch of Middle English that evolved separately among the English who followed the Norman barons Strongbow and Robert Fitzstephens to eastern Ireland in 1169. ... “Gael” redirects here. ...


In the provinces, the Old English (known as Gaill - foreigners - in the Irish language), were at times indistinguishable from the surrounding Gaelic lords and chieftains. Dynasties such as the Fitzgeralds, Butlers and Burkes adopted the native language, legal system, and other customs such as fostering and intermarriage with the Gaelic Irish and the patronage of Irish poetry and music. Such people became regarded as more Irish than the Irish themselves as a result of this process. (See also Norman Ireland). The most accurate name for the community throughout the late medieval period was Hiberno-Norman, a name which captures the distinctive blended culture which this community created and operated within. In an effort to halt the "Gaelicization" of the Old English community, the Irish Parliament passed the Statutes of Kilkenny in 1367, which among other things, banned the use of the Irish language, wearing of Irish clothes and banned Gaelic Irish people from living within walled towns. This article is about the modern Goidelic language. ... This article or section contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... The Brehon Laws were statutes that governed everyday life and politics in Ireland until the Norman invasion of 1171 (the word Brehon is an Anglicisation of breitheamh (earlier brithem), the Irish word for a judge). ... A 1907 engraving of William Butler Yeats, one of Irelands best-known poets. ... More Irish than the Irish themselves was a phrase used in the Middle Ages to describe the phenomenon whereby foreigners who came to Ireland attached to invasion forces tended to be subsumed into Irish social and cultural society, adopted the Irish language, Irish culture, style of dress and a wholesale... A tower house near Quin. ... The term Hiberno-Norman is used of those Norman lords who settled in Ireland, admitting little if any real fealty to the Anglo-Norman settlers in England. ... Gaelicization (NAE or CwE) or Gaelicisation (CwE) is the act or process of making something Gaelic. ... The Statutes of Kilkenny were a notorious series of thirty-five acts passed at Kilkenny in 1367, aimed at curbing the alarming decline of the Hiberno-Norman Lordship of Ireland. ...


There was no religious division in medieval Ireland, beyond the requirement that English-born prelates should run the Irish church. However after the 1530s most of the pre-16th century inhabitants continued their allegiance to Roman Catholicism, even after the Protestant Reformation in England. The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Topics in Christianity Preaching Prayer Ecumenism Relation to other religions Movements Music Liturgy Calendar Symbols Art Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Reformation redirects here. ...


The 16th and 17th century crisis

In contrast, the New English, the wave of settlers who came to Ireland from the Elizabethan era onwards during the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland, kept their English identity, religious, social and cultural traditions and unlike the Normans and the Old English, remained distinct and separate from the rest of Ireland. The new settlers were self consciously English and Protestant and looked on Ireland as a conquered country that needed to be "civilised" and converted to the Protestant religion. The poet Edmund Spenser was one of the chief advocates of this view. He argued in "A View on the Present State of Ireland" (1595), that a failure to fully conquer Ireland had led previous generations of English settlers to become corrupted by the native Irish culture. To the "New English", many of the Old English were "degenerate", having adopted Irish customs and retaining the Catholic religion. Philosopher Edward Said has argued that the New English demonisation of the Old English as a barbarian "other" and their construction of their own identity as "civilised" people anticipated the later colonialist and orientalist stereotypes about non-European peoples that gained currency in the 19th century. However, most of the Old English community - especially in the Pale, continued to think of themselves as the English of Ireland, well into the 17th century. (See also Early Modern Ireland 1536-1691) The Elizabethan Era is the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603) and is often considered to be a golden age in English history. ... The Tudor re-conquest of Ireland took place under the English Tudor dynasty during the 16th century. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Edward Wadie Saïd, Arabic: , , (1 November 1935 – 25 September 2003) was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and Palestinian activist. ... The Other or constitutive other (also referred to as othering) is a key concept in continental philosophy, opposed to the Same. ... Colonialism is a system in which a state claims sovereignty over territory and people outside its own boundaries, often to facilitate economic domination over their resources, labor, and often markets. ... Orientalism is the study of Near and Far Eastern societies and cultures, by Westerners. ... The Reformation, before which, in 1536, Henry VIII broke with Papal authority, fundamentally changed Ireland. ...


It was their exclusion from the government of Ireland, on the grounds of their religious dissidence, in the course of the 16th century that alienated the Old English from the state and eventually propelled them into a common identity with the Gaelic Irish as Irish Catholics. The first confrontation between the Old English and the English government in Ireland came with the cess crisis of 1556-1583. During this period, the Pale community resisted paying for the English army in Ireland to put down a string of revolts ending with the Desmond Rebellions (1569-73 and 1579-83). The term "Old English" was coined at this time, as the Pale community emphasised their English identity and loyalty to the crown, while at the same time refusing to cooperate with the wishes of the English Lord Deputy of Ireland. Originally, the conflict was a civil issue, the Palesmen objected to paying new taxes that had not first been approved by them in the Parliament of Ireland. However, the dispute also took on a religious dimension, especially after 1571, when Elizabeth I of England was excommunicated by the Pope. Rebels such as James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald (himself from the Hiberno-Norman Desmond dynasty) portrayed their rebellion as a "Holy War" and indeed received money and troops from the Papacy. In the Second Desmond Rebellion (1579-83), a prominent Pale Lord, James Eustace, Viscount of Baltinglass joined the rebels for religious reasons. Before the rebellion was over, several hundred Old English Palesmen had been hanged,[citation needed] either for rebellion or because they were suspected of rebellion because of their religion. This episode marked an important break between the Pale and the English Government and between the Old and New English. The term cess (a shortened form of assess; the spelling is due to a mistaken connection with census), is generally a tax. ... The Desmond Rebellions occurred in the 1569- 1573 and 1579-1583 in Munster in southern Ireland. ... Official standard of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland The Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (also known as the Viceroy or in the Middle Ages as the Lord Deputy) was the head of Englands (pre-1707) or Britains (post 1707) administration in Ireland. ... This article is about the legislature abolished in 1801. ... Elizabeth I redirects here. ... Excommunication is religious censure which is used to deprive or suspend membership in a religious community. ... James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, a member of the 16th century ruling Geraldine dynasty in the province of Munster in Ireland, rebelled against the crown authority of Queen Elizabeth I of England in response to the onset of the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland and was deemed an archtraitor. ... The Second Desmond rebellion was the more significant and widespread of the two Desmond Rebellions launched by the Fitzgerald dynasty of the Desmond area of Munster, Ireland in the 1560s. ...


However, in the subsequent Nine Years War (1594-1603) the Pale and the Old English towns remained loyal[citation needed] to the English Crown during another Catholic inspired rebellion. It was the re-organisation of the English government in Ireland along Protestant lines in the early 17th century that eventually severed the ties between the Old English and England itself. Firstly, in 1609, Catholics were banned from serving in public office in Ireland. In 1613, the constituencies of the Irish Parliament were changed so that the New English Protestants would be a majority in it. Thirdly, in the first half of the 17th century, the Old English landowning class faced the prospect of their land being confiscated by the state (see Plantations of Ireland). The political response of the Old Community was to appeal directly to the King of England, first James I and then Charles I for a package of reforms, including religious toleration and civil equality to Catholics in return for increased taxes. However, on several occasions in 1620s and 1630s, they agreed to pay the higher taxes, only for the monarch to defer any concessions. Such Old English writers as Geoffrey Keating were by then arguing, for example in the Irish language Foras Feasa ar Éirinn, that the true identity of the Old English was Catholic and Irish, rather than English. The Nine Years War (Irish: Cogadh na Naoi mBliana) in Ireland took place from 1594 to 1603 and is also known as Tyrones Rebellion. ... This article is about the legislature abolished in 1801. ... Plantations in 16th and 17th century Ireland were established throughout the country by the confiscation of lands occupied by Gaelic clans and Hiberno-Norman dynasties, but principally in the provinces of Munster and Ulster. ... James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625) was King of Scots as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James I. He ruled in Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567, when he was only one year old, succeeding his mother Mary... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from March 27, 1625 until his execution. ... Seathrún Céitinn, known in English as Geoffrey Keating, was a 17th century Irish clergyman, poet and historian. ...


Dispossession and defeat

In 1641, many of the Old English community made a decisive break with their past as loyal subjects by joining the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Many factors influenced the decision of the Old English to join the rebellion, among them fear of the rebels and fear of government reprisals against all Catholics. However, the main long term reason was a desire to reverse the anti-Catholic policies that had been pursued by the English authorities over the previous 40 years in Ireland. Nevertheless, despite their formation of an Irish government in Confederate Ireland, the Old English identity was still an important division within the Irish Catholic community. During the Irish Confederate Wars (1641-53), the Old English were often accused by the Gaelic Irish of being too ready to sign a treaty with Charles I of England at the expense of the interests of Irish landowners and the Catholic religion. The ensuing Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649-53), saw the ultimate defeat of the Catholic cause and the dispossession of the Old English nobility. While this cause was briefly revived in the Williamite war in Ireland (1689-91), by 1700, the Protestant descendants of the New English had become the dominant class in the country. The Irish Rebellion of 1641 began as an attempted coup détat by Irish Catholic gentry, but rapidly degenerated into bloody intercommunal violence between native Irish Catholics and English and Scottish Protestant settlers. ... Motto Pro Deo, Rege et Patria, Hibernia Unanimis(Latin) For God, King and Country, Ireland is United Capital Kilkenny Language(s) English, Latin, Irish Religion Government Monarchy King  - 1642–49 Charles I  - 1649–53 Charles II1 Historical era Wars of the Three Kingdoms  - Rebellion October 1641  - Established Summer 1642  - Cessation... The Irish Confederate Wars were fought in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. ... Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, Scotland and Ireland from March 27, 1625 until his execution. ... Combatants English Royalists and Irish Catholic Confederate troops English Parliamentarian New Model Army troops and allied Protestants in Ireland Commanders James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde (1649 - Dec. ... For the context of this war see Jacobitism and Glorious Revolution. ...


In the course of the eighteenth century, the old distinction between Old English and Gaelic Irish Catholics faded away, as more of the country became Anglicized and social divisions were defined, against the backdrop of the Penal Laws (Ireland) almost solely in sectarian terms of Catholic and Protestant, rather than ethnic ones. Anglicized refers to foreign words, often surnames, that are changed from a foreign language into English. ... The Penal laws in Ireland (Irish: Na Péindlíthe) refers to a series of laws imposed under British rule that sought to discriminate against majority native Catholic population but also against Protestant dissenters in favour of the established Church of Ireland which recognised the English monarchy as its spiritual... Sectarianism is an adherence to a particular sect or party or denomination, it also usually involves a rejection of those not a member of ones sect. ...


Collective identity of the Old English

Historians disagree about what to call the Old English community at different times in its existence and how to define this community's sense of collective identity.


Irish historian Edward MacLysaght makes the distinction in his Surnames of Ireland book between 'Hiberno-Norman' and 'Anglo-Norman' surnames. This sums up the fundamental difference between "Queen's English Rebels" and the Loyal Lieges. The Geraldines of Desmond or the Burkes of Connacht, for instance, could not accurately be described as "Old English" as that was not their political and cultural world. The Butlers of Ormond on the other hand could not accurately be described as 'Hiberno-Norman' in their political outlook and alliances, especially after they married into the English royal family. Edward McLysaght (November 6, 1887 – March 4, 1986) was elected to the Senate of the Irish Free State in 1922 and was appointed Inspector for the Irish Manuscripts Commission in 1938. ... The term Hiberno-Norman is used of those Norman lords who settled in Ireland, admitting little if any real fealty to the Anglo-Norman settlers in England. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... County Desmond was an historic county of Ireland on the south-western coast of Ireland. ... Statistics Area: 17,713. ...


Some historians now refer to them as "Cambro-Normans", and Seán Duffy of Trinity College, Dublin invariably uses that term rather than the misleading "Anglo-Norman" (most Normans came via Wales, not England), but after many centuries in Ireland and just a century in Wales or England it seems quite odd that their entire history since 1169 is now known by a description, Old English, which only came in the late sixteenth century. Cambro-Norman is a term used for Norman knights who settled in southern Wales after the Norman conquest of England in 1066. ... For other institutions named Trinity College, see Trinity College. ...


The earliest known reference to the term, "Old English" community is in the 1580s (Nicholas Canny, Ireland, from Reformation to Restoration). The community of Norman descent prior to then used numerous epithets to describe themselves but it was only as a result of the political crisis of the 1580s that the Old English community emerged. Some contend it is ahistorical to trace a single "Old English" community back to 1169 as the real Old English community was a product of the late sixteenth century in the Pale. Until then identity was much more fluid; it was the administration's policies which created an oppositional and clearly defined Old English community.


Brendan Bradshaw, in his study of the poetry of late sixteenth century Tír Chónaill, points out that in the Irish the Normans were not called Seanghaill ("Old Foreigners") there but rather they were called Fionnghaill and Dubhghaill. He argued in a lecture to the Mícheál Ó Cléirigh Institute in University College, Dublin that the poets referred to those of Norman stock who were completely hibernicised thus with the purpose of granting them a longer vintage in Ireland that they had (Fionnghaill- Norwegian Vikings; Dubhghaill= Danish Vikings). This follows on from his earlier arguments that the term Éireannaigh as we currently know it also emerged during this period in the poetry books of the Uí Bhroin of Wicklow as a sign of unity between Gaeil and Gaill; he viewed it as a sign of an emerging Irish nationalism. Breandán Ó Buachalla essentially agreed with him, Tom Dunne and Tom Bartlett were less sure. Mícheál Ó Cléirigh (c. ... University College Dublin - National University of Ireland, Dublin - more commonly University College Dublin (UCD) - is Irelands largest university, with over 20,000 students. ... Irish nationalism refers to political movements that desire greater autonomy or the independence of Ireland from Great Britain. ...


See also

The Deeds of the Normans in Ireland (La Geste des Engleis en Yrlande) is an Anglo-Norman chronicle telling how Strongbow arrived in Ireland in 1170 and the subsequent arrival of Henry II of England. ...

 
 

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