Plantations in Ireland: 1556 to 1609.
Transcript Plantations in Ireland: 1556 to 1609.
Plantations in Ireland:
1550 to 1610.
This map shows
Ireland around 1500
before the first
plantation of Laois
and Offaly took
place in 1556. The
area around Dublin
known as the Pale
has been under
English control for
many centuries. The
names of the
lordships are marked
in red. Can you spot
the Earl of Kildare’s
land that we talked
about in class?
The Monarchs of England during
the Plantations of Ireland.
Queen Mary I1516-58.
Queen Elizabeth James I- King of
I- 1558- 1603.
•1553- Henry's daughter Mary became Queen of England.
• She believed that the best way to subdue Ireland was to
introduce colonies of English people into the country.
•1556- Mary confiscated the territory of the O'Moores
and O'Connors in Laois and Offaly and sent English
• The settlers were to;
• take English tenants and servants with them to Ireland.
• build stone houses.
• provide the Crown with a certain number of troops
• In honour of the queen and her husband, the king of
Spain, the area was made into shires and renamed;
• Queen's County- Laois.
• King's County- Offaly
• But the plantation was not successful.
The First Desmond Rebellion- (1569-75)
Pope Gregory XIII- 1572-85.
Two of the most powerful families in
Munster were the Old English
Fitzgeralds, earls of Desmond, and the
Butler earls of Ormond.
Queen Elizabeth favoured the Butlers
of Ormond as they were Protestants and
were related to her mother.
The two families fought each other at
the Battle of Affane in 1565.
The earls were called to London by the
Queen and kept there for a few years.
The English government supported the
claims of English adventurers who tried
to take over the absent earls land.
Gaelic chieftains joined James
Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald in his attempt to
defend the lands of his cousin.
Their rebellion was defeated and James
decided to ask King Philip II and the
Pope Gregory XIII for help to stage
another rebellion .
The Second Desmond Rebellion- (1579- 83)
• 1579- the second Desmond Rebellion began in Munster.
•James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald returned to Ireland with a small group of
around 300 Italian and Spanish soldiers sent by the Pope.
•They were determined to resist the spread of Protestantism throughout
•Most local lords refused to help Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald as they were
afraid of English revenge for supporting the rebels.
•Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald was killed himself in a skirmish and shortly after
this the English officials forced the earl of Desmond into open rebellion
against the queen.
•Again, the earl hoped for troops from Spain or the Pope. He called on
all Irishmen ‘to join in the defence of our Catholic faith against
Englishmen who have overrun our country’.
•In September 1580 about 700 of the Pope’s soldiers arrived at
Smerwick to help the rebels. By November they were defeated by the
The Massacre at Smerwick- 1580.
The last earl of
murdered near Tralee
• After their victory at Smerwick, the English forces marched through most of
Munster, plundering and laying waste the territory of the earl of Desmond and
• In November 1583 the last earl of Desmond was assassinated near Tralee. His
head was later sent to England and displayed in the Tower of London.
The Plantation of Munster- 1586.
The land- hungry English adventurers now had the opportunity they had been
waiting for. The vast territories of the earl and his followers could now be
planted with loyal English settlers.
Over half a million acres of land were taken from the earl of Desmond alone.
Under Queen Elizabeth’s plantation scheme settlers were to receive estates of
12,000, 8,000, 6,000 and 4,000 acres.
Only very important friends of the Queen such as Sir Walter Raleigh would
receive larger estates as big as 42,000 acres.
These estates were rented out to English settlers known as undertakers who
undertook to bring over English customs and the Protestant religion.
The undertakers were also expected to introduce more modern English
farming methods to Ireland and avoid taking on any native Irish tenants who
may not be loyal to the queen.
Although this plantation was better planned than the first, it still ran in to
Castles and Bawns during the
• Conditions for the settlers were harsh and
• In an attempt to provide protection from
the Irish attackers the house of the planter
often had a protective bawn with high stone
walls and at least one tower.
Aughnanure Castle (Galway)
Built by the O’ Flahertys c.
1500. Is an example of an
unusual double- bawn Irish
•Other important elements of the plantation
would have been the church with a
clergyman and perhaps a teacher.
•All settlers were expected to be armed.
A typical English Bawn in Ireland.
• Here is an example of
what a typical bawn
would have looked
like in sixteenth
• What other structures
does the design of a
bawn remind you of ?
The Difficulties for the Munster Plantation.
The planters did not provide enough soldiers to
defend the plantation as they were too concerned
with developing their houses and farms.
Despite enjoying some success in building up more
modern towns for trade and exporting timber, most
English settlers left Ireland in fear of attack from the
The woodkern were bands of native Irish militia who
hid out in the woods and attacked settlers at night.
Those who could not escape fled to walled towns
such as Youghal, Cork or Limerick.
As a result of many of the English returning home
those who remained were forced to employ native
Irish servants and labourers.
The English government was to learn some valuable
lessons from the plantation in Munster. The next
major plantation took place in Ulster during the
reign of James I (1603-25).
The Ulster Plantation- 1609.
Look at this map.
Can you think of
settled in the areas
of Ulster indicated
on the map?
The Nine Years War
Shane O’Neill - 1530 - 1567. He became
chief of the O’Neill’s in 1559.
• Up to 1600 most of Ulster was
still outside the control of the
• As early as 1560, Queen
Elizabeth had experienced her
first rebellion in Ulster. The
ruler responsible was a
member of the O’Neill family:
Shane the Proud.
• In 1561 Shane attacked the
O’Donnells of Tyrconnell who
were loyal to Queen Elizabeth
at that time. He had to beg the
Queen’s forgiveness when he
realised that he could not defeat
the earl of Sussex’ army.
The Battle of Farsetmore (1567) and The
death of Shane the Proud.
•On his return from London Shane was at the height of his power.
•Elizabeth gave him permission to attack the McDonnells of Antrim as they
were loyal to Scotland.
•Shane soon broke his promise to the Queen and set about attacking three other
clans in Ulster- the Maguires of Fermanagh, O’Reillys of Cavan, O’Donnells of
•The O’Donnells defeated Shane O’Neill with the help of a large force of
Scottish gallowglasses at the Battle of Farsetmore in Donegal.
•Shane now had to chose between trusting the Enlish or hiding out with his old
enemies the McDonnells of Antrim. Foolishly he chose the latter and the
McDonnells murdered Shane at Cushendun in 1567.
•The McDonnells cut off Shane’s head and sent it to the lord deputy as proof of
their loyalty to the Queen. The English placed Shane’s head on a spike outside
Dublin Castle as a deterrent to any other Gaelic leaders planning on following
Shane’s example of rebelling against Queen Elizabeth.
Hugh O’Neill (1550- 1616)
• After the murder of Shane
O’Neill Queen Elizabeth
decided to take a young
member of the O’Neill clan to
England to rear him as a
• Elizabeth’s plan was to use
young Hugh O’Neill when the
time was right to spread English
influence in Ulster, by placing
him in power.
• Hugh O’Neill returned to
Ireland as the baron of
Dungannon and to all
appearances seemed to be a
Hugh O’Neill (1550- 1616)
•Although Hugh O’Neill had helped the queen’s forces put down the
Desmond rebellion in Munster and had been made earl of Tyrone, when he
became chieftain of the O’Neill clan he had come to see himself more as a
Gaelic ruler than an English Lord.
•Hugh O’Neill began to secretly plot a war against the English presence in
•Without raising the suspicions of the English, he built up stores of weapons
and ammunition and devised a scheme to train lots of men.
•He wrote a letter to King Philip II of Spain asking for help in a Catholic
war against Protestant England.
•In addition to foreign aid, Hugh O’Neill built up friendships or alliances
with the other clans of Ulster. He did this by marriage alliances. His greatest
friend was Red Hugh O’ Donnell.
•Relations between the O’Neills and the O’Donnells of Tyrconnell had been
very bad since the time of Shane the Proud.However, this was soon to
Red Hugh O’Donnell (1572-1602)
AS a teenager Red Hugh had been
kidnapped and imprisoned by the
English in Dublin. He escaped and
walked hundreds of miles to safety.
As a result of this ordeal Red Hugh
would walk with a limp the rest of
his life and this experience lead
him to hate the English.
Like Hugh O’Neill, Red Hugh
wanted to go to war against the
English in order to preserve the
Gaelic way of life in Ireland.
The alliance between the
O’Donnells and the O’Neills
became even stronger when Red
Hugh married a daughter of Hugh
The beginning of the Nine Years War
•1593- McMahon of Monaghan and Maguire of Fermanagh, both
allies of O’Neill, quarrelled with the English government and
attacked a garrison at Enniskillen.
•O’Donnell helped them but O’Neill was not yet fully ready to
declare war on the English so he only helped in secret.
•The forces of the lord deputy were defeated in the battle which
has since become known as the Battle of the Ford of the Biscuits,
so called because the English fled and left their food supplies
•1595- Hugh O’Neill now calls for all Catholics to join in a
religious war against Protestant England.
•Soon rebellion spread throughout the country.
The Battle of The Yellow Ford
August 1598- an English force
under the command of Marshall
Bagenal marched against O’Neill.
The Irish forces made their stand at
a point on the river Blackwater
known as the Yellow Ford.
O’Neill ordered his men to dig a
two-metre-deep trench about two
kilometres in length. They also dug
pits in front of the trench and
covered them with brush so that the
movement of the enemy cavalry
would be hampered.
When the battle ended, the English
losses amounted to 1,500, while the
Irish lost around 400 men.
The Battle of Yellow Ford was to
be the greatest Gaelic victory of the
Nine Years War.
The Battle of The Yellow Ford
Lord Mountjoy arrives in Ireland
•The queen had been furious with Robert Devereaux, the earl of
Essex, and his forces suffered a series of defeats in Ireland and
made a truce with O’Neill.
•Elizabeth called Essex back to England and replaced him with
a general who was both ruthless and brilliant, Lord Mountjoy.
•1600- Mountjoy arrived in Ireland and immediately began
building a number of forts along the coast of Ulster.
•From these strongholds, the English attacked the Gaelic Irish,
destroying their homes, burning their crops and stealing their