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Confederate Ireland was the period of Irish
Catholic The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Catholic
self-government between 1642 and 1649, during the Eleven Years' War. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation or Confederacy, also known as the Confederation of Kilkenny because it was based in
Kilkenny Kilkenny (). is a city in County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located in the South-East Region, Ireland, South-East Region and in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster. It is built on both banks of the River Nore. T ...

Kilkenny
. It was formed by Catholic nobles,
landed gentry The landed gentry, or the ''gentry'', is a largely historical British social class of landowners who could live entirely from rental income Renting, also known as hiring or letting, is an agreement where a payment is made for the temp ...
, clergy and military leaders after the
Irish Rebellion of 1641 The Irish Rebellion of 1641 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1641) was an uprising by Irish Catholics in the Kingdom of Ireland, who wanted an end to anti-Catholic discrimination, greater Irish self-governance, and to partially or fully reverse the plantation ...
, and it included Catholics of
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...

Gaelic
and Anglo-Norman descent. They wanted an end to anti-Catholic discrimination within the
kingdom of Ireland The Kingdom of Ireland ( ga, label=Early Modern Irish, Classical Irish, an Ríoghacht Éireann; ga, label=Irish language#Towards a standard Irish – An Caighdeán Oifigiúil, Modern Irish, an Ríocht Éireann, ) was a client state of Kingdo ...

kingdom of Ireland
, greater Irish self-governance, and to roll back the
plantations of Ireland Plantations A plantation is an agricultural estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that specializes in cash crops, usually mainly planted with a single crop, with perhaps ancillary areas for vegetables for eati ...
. They also wanted to prevent an invasion by anti-Catholic English Parliamentarians and
Scottish Covenanters Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian polity, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious affa ...
, who were defying the king,
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
. Most Confederates professed loyalty to Charles I and believed they could reach a lasting settlement with the king once his opponents in the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
had been defeated.The Confederate Assembly of Kilkenny
. British Civil Wars Project.
The Confederacy had what were effectively a parliament (called the General Assembly), an executive (called the Supreme Council), and a military. It minted coins, levied taxes and set up a printing press. Confederate ambassadors were appointed and recognised in
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...
,
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...
and the
Papal States The Papal States ( ; it, Stato Pontificio), officially the State of the Church ( it, Stato della Chiesa, ; la, Status Ecclesiasticus; also '), were a series of territories in the Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Ital ...
, who supplied the Confederates with money and weapons. The Confederate armies fought the , the English Parliamentarians, an army of Ulster Protestant settlers, and a Scottish
Covenanter Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian polity, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious af ...
army that was sent to Ulster. These enemy forces controlled
the Pale The Pale (''An Pháil'' in Irish language, Irish) or the English Pale (' or ') was the part of Ireland directly under the control of the English government in the Late Middle Ages. It had been reduced by the late 15th century to an area along ...
, parts of eastern and northern
Ulster Ulster (; ga, Ulaidh or ''Cúige Uladh'' ; sco, label=Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster Scots, Ulstèr or ''Ulster'') is one of the four traditional Irish provinces of Ireland, provinces, in the north of Ireland. It is made up of nine Counties ...

Ulster
, and the region around
Cork Cork or CORK may refer to: Materials * Cork (material), an impermeable buoyant plant product ** Cork (plug), a cylindrical or conical object used to seal a container ***Wine cork Places Ireland * Cork (city) ** Metropolitan Cork, also known as G ...
. The king authorised secret negotiations with the Confederates, resulting in a Confederate–Royalist ceasefire in September 1643 and further negotiations. In 1644, a Confederate military expedition landed in Scotland to help Royalists there. The Confederates continued to fight the Parliamentarians in Ireland, and decisively defeated the Covenanter army in the . In 1647, the Confederates suffered a string of defeats by the Parliamentarians at Dungan's Hill, Cashel and Knockanuss. This prompted the Confederates to make an agreement with the Royalists. The agreement divided the Confederates, and this infighting hampered their preparations to resist a Parliamentarian invasion. In August 1649, a large English Parliamentarian army, led by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
, invaded Ireland. By May 1652 it had defeated the Confederate–Royalist alliance, although Confederate soldiers continued a guerrilla campaign for a further year.


Formation

: ''For a military history of the period, see
Irish Confederate Wars The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War (from ga, Cogadh na hAon Bhliana Déag), took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a series of civil wars in the kin ...
'' The Irish Catholic Confederation was formed in the aftermath of the
1641 rebellion The Irish Rebellion of 1641 ( ga, Éirí Amach 1641) was an uprising by Irish Catholic Irish Catholics are an ethnoreligious group An ethnoreligious group (or an ethno-religious group), or simply an ethnoreligion, is a grouping of people w ...
, both to control the popular uprising and to organise an Irish Catholic war effort against the remaining English and Scottish armies in Ireland. It was hoped that by doing this, the Irish Catholics could hold off an English or Scottish re-conquest of the country. The initiative for the Confederation came from a Catholic bishop, Nicholas French, and a lawyer named
Nicholas Plunkett Sir Nicholas Plunkett (1602–1680) was an Anglo-Irish lawyer and politician. The son of Christopher Plunkett, 9th Baron Killeen and Jane (or Genet) Dillon, daughter of Sir Lucas Dillon (judge), Lucas Dillon, his brother Luke Plunkett, 1st Earl ...
. They put forth their proposals for a government to Irish Catholic nobles such as
Viscount Gormanston 185px, Jenico Preston, 14th Viscount Gormanston, GCMG Viscount Gormanston is a Peerage, title in the Peerage of Ireland created in 1478 and held by the head of the Preston family, which hailed from Lancashire. It is the oldest Viscount, vicomital t ...
,
Viscount Mountgarret Viscount Mountgarret is a title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1550 for the Hon. Richard Butler, 1st Viscount Mountgarret, Richard Butler, younger son of Piers Butler, 8th Earl of Ormond. His grandson, the third Viscount, was outlaw ...
,
Viscount Muskerry A viscount ( , for male) or viscountess (, for female) is a Title#Aristocratic titles, title used in certain European countries for a nobility, noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, and its historical equivalents, was a non-here ...
and the
Baron of Navan {{Use dmy dates, date=November 2019 The Barony of Navan was an Irish feudal barony which was held by the de Angulo family, whose name became Nangle. It was a customary title: in other words the holder of the title was always referred to as a Ba ...
. These men would commit their own armed forces to the Confederation and persuaded other rebels to join it. The declared aims of the Confederates were similar to those of Sir
Phelim O'Neill Sir Phelim Roe O'Neill of Kinard (Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of ...
, the leader of the early stages of the rebellion in Ulster, who issued the
Proclamation of Dungannon The Proclamation of Dungannon was a document produced by Sir Phelim O'Neill on 24 October 1641 in the Irish town of Dungannon. O'Neill was one of the leaders of the Irish Rebellion of 1641, Irish Rebellion which had been launched the previous da ...
in October 1641. On 17 March 1642 these nobles signed the "Catholic Remonstrance" issued at
Trim, County Meath Trim () is a town in County Meath County Meath (; gle, Contae na Mí or simply ) is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' ...
that was addressed to King Charles I. On 22 March, at a synod in nearby Kells chaired by Hugh O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh, a majority of the Catholic bishops proclaimed that the rebellion was a
just war The just war theory (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of ...
. On 10 May 1642, Ireland's Catholic clergy held a
synod A synod () is a council of a Ecclesia (church), church, usually convened to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application. The word ''wikt:synod, synod'' comes from the meaning "assembly" or "meeting" and is analogous with the L ...

synod
at
Kilkenny Kilkenny (). is a city in County Kilkenny, Republic of Ireland, Ireland. It is located in the South-East Region, Ireland, South-East Region and in the Provinces of Ireland, province of Leinster. It is built on both banks of the River Nore. T ...

Kilkenny
. Present were the
Archbishop In many Christian Denominations Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' an ...
s of
Armagh Armagh ( ; ga, Ard Mhacha, , "Macha Macha () was a sovereignty goddess Sovereignty goddess is a scholarly term, almost exclusively used in Celtic studies (although parallels for the idea have been claimed in other traditions, usually unde ...
, Cashel and
Tuam Tuam ( ; ga, Tuaim , meaning 'mound' or 'burial-place') is a town in Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_ ...
, eleven bishops or their representatives, and other dignitaries. They drafted the
Confederate Oath of AssociationImage:Charles I (1630s).jpg, 180px, Irish Confederates pledged allegiance to Charles I of England, Charles I of Ireland. The Confederate Oath of Association was an oath of allegiance made by Confederate Ireland, Irish Confederate Catholics during the ...
and called on all Catholics in Ireland to take the oath. Those who took the oath swore allegiance to
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
and vowed to obey all orders and decrees made by the "Supreme Council of the Confederate Catholics". The rebels henceforth became known as Confederates. The synod re-affirmed that the rebellion was a "just war". It called for the creation of a council (made up of clergy and nobility) for each
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

province
, which would be overseen by a national council for the whole island. It vowed to punish misdeeds by Confederate soldiers and to excommunicate any Catholic who fights against the Confederation. The synod sent agents to France, Spain and Italy to gain support, gather funds and weapons, and recruit Irishmen serving in foreign armies. Lord Mountgarret was appointed president of the Confederate Supreme Council, and a General Assembly was fixed for October that year.


The first Confederate Assembly

The first Confederate General Assembly was held in Kilkenny on 24 October 1642, where it set up a
provisional government A provisional government, also called an interim government, an emergency government, or a transitional government, is an emergency government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally ...
. The Assembly was a parliament in all but name. Present at the first Assembly were 14
Lords Temporal The Lords Temporal are secular members of the House of Lords The House of Lords, formally The Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the of ...
and 11
Lords Spiritual The Lords Spiritual of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the Unite ...
from the
Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city ...
, along with 226 commoners. The Confederate's constitution was written by a
Galway Galway ( ; ga, Gaillimh, ) is a in the , in the of . It is the of , which is named after it. It lies on the between and , and is the on the island of Ireland and the , with a population at the 2016 Census of 79,934. Located near an ...

Galway
lawyer named
Patrick D'Arcy Patrick d'Arcy (27 September 1725 – 18 October 1779) was an Irish mathematician born in Kiltullagh, County Galway in the west of Ireland. His family, who were Catholics, suffered under the penal laws. In 1739 d'Arcy was sent abroad by ...
. The Assembly resolved that each county should have a council, overseen by a provincial council made up of two representatives from each county council. The Assembly agreed orders "to be observed as the model of their government". The Assembly elected an executive known as the Supreme Council. The first Supreme Council was elected on or about 14 November. It consisted of 24 members, 12 of whom were to abide always in Kilkenny or wherever else they deemed fitting. The members of the first Supreme Council were as follows:
James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven ( - 11 October 1684) was the son of Mervyn Tuchet, 2nd Earl of Castlehaven and his first wife, Elizabeth Barnham (1592 - ). Castlehaven played a prominent role in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms that took plac ...
, representing the Crown, was the final member of the Supreme Council. The Supreme Council would have power over all military generals, military officers and civil magistrates. Its first act was to name the generals who were to command Confederate forces:
Owen Roe O'Neill Owen Roe O'Neill ( Irish: ''Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill''), c. 1585 – 6 November 1649, was a Gaelic Irish soldier and one of the most famous of the O'Neill dynasty The O'Neill dynasty (irish language, Irish: ''Ó Néill'') is a lineage of Irish ...
was to command the Ulster forces, Thomas Preston the Leinster forces, Garret Barry the Munster forces and John Burke the Connacht forces.
Ulick Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde Ulick MacRichard Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde, 5th Earl of Clanricarde, 2nd Earl of St Albans (; ; ; ; 1604, in London – July 1657, in Kent), was an Anglo-Irish nobleman who was involved in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. Lord Clanricar ...
was named head general, as they thought he would sooner or later join the Confederates. The Supreme Council issued an order to raise £30,000 and a levy of 31,700 men in Leinster who were to be trained at once. The Supreme Council also made its own seal, described as follows: "'Twas circular, and in its centre was a large cross, the base of which rested on a flaming heart, while its apex was overlapped by the wings of a dove. On the left of the cross was the harp , and on the right the crown." The motto on the seal was ''Pro Deo, Rege, et Patria, Hiberni Unanimes'' (''For God, King and Fatherland, Ireland is United''). A National Treasury, a mint for making coins, and a press for printing proclamations were set up in Kilkenny. This first General Assembly sat until 9 January 1643.


Policies

However, the Confederate Catholic Association of Ireland never actually claimed to be an independent government, because (in the context of the
Wars of the Three Kingdoms The Wars of the Three Kingdoms, sometimes known as the British Civil Wars, were an intertwined series of conflicts that took place between 1639 and 1653 in the kingdoms of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country tha ...
) they professed to be , loyal to
Charles I Charles is a masculine given name predominantly found in English language, English and French language, French speaking countries. It is from the French form ''Charles'' of the Proto-Germanic, Proto-Germanic name ᚲᚨᚱᛁᛚᚨᛉ (in r ...

Charles I
. Since only the King could legally call a Parliament, the Confederate General Assembly never claimed to be a Parliament either, although it acted like one. In negotiations with the Royalists, the Confederates demanded that all concessions made to them would be ratified in a post war
Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city ...
, which would have resembled the Confederate General Assembly including some Protestant Royalists. The Confederates' stated objective was to reach an agreement with the King. The ambitions were: full rights for Catholics in Ireland, toleration of the Catholic religion, and self-government for Ireland. Their campaign for religious equality in 1628–34 had been promised but then shelved by Charles until 1641. The members of the Supreme Council were predominantly of
Hiberno-Norman From the 12th century onwards, a group of Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from Norsemen, Norse Vikings ...
descent and were distrusted by many of the
Gaelic Gaelic is an adjective that means "pertaining to the Gaels". As a noun it refers to the group of languages spoken by the Gaels, or to any one of the languages individually. Gaelic languages are spoken in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Whe ...

Gaelic
Irish, who felt they were too moderate in their demands. The more radical Confederates pressed for a reversal of the
plantations A plantation is an agricultural estate, generally centered on a plantation houseA plantation house is the main house of a plantation A plantation is a large-scale estate, generally centered on a plantation house, meant for farming that spe ...
and the establishment of Catholicism as the
state religion A state religion (also called an established religion or official religion) is a religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whethe ...
in Ireland. The Confederates believed that their aspirations were best served by alliance with the royalist cause and therefore made supporting the King a central part of their strategy. This was because some English MPs and Scottish
Covenanters Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian polity, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious af ...
had threatened before the war to invade Ireland and destroy the Catholic religion and Irish land-owning class, but the threat was never official policy. The King, by contrast, had repeatedly promised them some concessions. The difficulty for Charles was that he was horrified at the 1641 rebellion and had signed the
Adventurers Act The Adventurers' Act is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of England which specified its aim as "the speedy and effectual reducing of the rebels in His Majesty's Kingdom of Ireland". The Irish Rebellion of 1641 had broken out five m ...
into law in 1642, which proposed confiscating all rebel held lands in Ireland. A new policy of refusing pardon to any Irish rebels had also been agreed in London and Dublin (issuing pardons had been a common method to end Irish conflicts in the previous century). Therefore, his forces remained hostile to the Confederates until 1643, when his military position in England started to weaken. Many of the Confederate gentry stood to lose their land under the
Adventurers Act The Adventurers' Act is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of England which specified its aim as "the speedy and effectual reducing of the rebels in His Majesty's Kingdom of Ireland". The Irish Rebellion of 1641 had broken out five m ...
; it galvanised their efforts and they realised that it could only be repealed by taking a loyal stance. However, while the moderate Confederates were anxious to come to an agreement with Charles I and did not press for radical political and religious reforms, others wished to force the King to accept a self-governing Catholic Ireland before they came to terms with him. Failing that, they advocated an independent alliance with France or Spain.


Cessation with the royalists

In September 1643, the Confederates negotiated a "cessation of arms" (or
ceasefire A ceasefire (or truce), also spelled cease fire (the antonym of 'open fire'), is a temporary stoppage of a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State ...
), with
James Butler, 1st Duke of Ormonde Lieutenant-General Lieutenant general (Lt Gen, LTG and similar) is a three-star military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare Wa ...
, the senior general of the royalist army in Ireland. It was signed at Jigginstown, near
Naas Naas ( ; ga, Nás na Ríogh or ) is the county town of County Kildare in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. In 2016, it had a population of 21,393, making it the second largest town in County Kildare after Newbridge, County Kildare, Newbridge. H ...

Naas
. This meant that hostilities ceased between the Confederates and Ormonde's royalist army based in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
. However, the English garrison in
Cork Cork or CORK may refer to: Materials * Cork (material), an impermeable buoyant plant product ** Cork (plug), a cylindrical or conical object used to seal a container ***Wine cork Places Ireland * Cork (city) ** Metropolitan Cork, also known as G ...
(which was commanded by
Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin Murrough MacDermod O'Brien, 6th Baron Inchiquin, 1st Baron O'Brien of Burren, 1st Earl of Inchiquin (16149 September 1674), was an Irish nobleman and army officer. He was known as ''Murchadh na dTóiteán'' ("of the conflagrations") in reference ...

Murrough O'Brien, 1st Earl of Inchiquin
, a rare Gaelic Irish
Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants originating in the Reformation reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of , but disagree among themselves ...
) objected to the ceasefire and mutinied, and he declared their allegiance to the English
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of ...
. The Scottish
Covenanters Covenanters ( gd, Cùmhnantaich) were members of a 17th-century Kingdom of Scotland, Scottish religious and political movement, who supported a Presbyterian polity, Presbyterian Church of Scotland, and the primacy of its leaders in religious af ...
had also landed an army in Ulster in 1642, which remained hostile to the Confederates and to the king – as did the
Laggan Army The Laggan Army, sometimes referred to as Lagan Army, was a militia formed by Protestant settlers in the fertile Laggan Valley of County Donegal, Ulster, during the time of the Irish Rebellion of 1641. Background Following the defeat of Ga ...
of the Scottish settlers living in Ulster. The Jacobite historian
Thomas Carte Thomas or John Carte (16862 April 1754) was an England, English historian with Jacobitism, Jacobite sympathies, who served as a Church of England clergyman. Life Carte was born near Clifton upon Dunsmore (itself near Rugby, Warwickshire, Rugby), t ...
mentioned the financial terms of the Cessation, whereby the Confederates undertook to pay Ormonde £30,000 in stages up to May 1644, half in cash and half in live cattle. In 1644 the Confederates sent around 1,500 men under
Alasdair MacColla Alasdair Mac Colla Chiotaich MacDhòmhnaill (c. 1610 – 13 November 1647), also known by the English variant of his name Sir Alexander MacDonald, was a military officer best known for his participation in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms The ...
to
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
to support the royalists there under
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose (1612 – 21 May 1650) was a Scottish nobleman, poet and soldier, Lord Lieutenant, lord lieutenant and later viceroy and captain general of Scotland. Montrose initially joined the Covenanters in the Wa ...
against the Covenanters, sparking a
Civil War A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
– their only intervention on the Royalist side in the civil wars in Great Britain.


Papal Nuncio's arrival

The Confederates received modest subsidies from the monarchies of France and Spain, who wanted to recruit troops in Ireland but their main continental support came from the Papacy.
Pope Urban VIII Pope Urban VIII ( la, Urbanus VIII; baptised 5 April 1568 – 29 July 1644), born Maffeo Barberini, was head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 6 August 1623 to his death in 1644. As pope, he expanded the papal territ ...

Pope Urban VIII
sent
Pierfrancesco Scarampi Pierfrancesco Scarampi (1596 – October 14, 1656) was a Roman Catholic oratorian and papal envoy. Biography Early life and ordination Scarampi was born into the noble Scarampi, Scarampi family in the Marquisate of Montferrat, today a part of Piedm ...
to liaise with and help the Confederates' Supreme Council in 1643.
Pope Innocent X Pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of the worldwide Catholic Church, and head of ...

Pope Innocent X
strongly supported Confederate Ireland, over the objections of
Cardinal Mazarin Cardinal Jules Mazarin (, also , , ; 14 July 1602 – 9 March 1661), born Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino () or Mazarini, was an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic g ...

Cardinal Mazarin
and the Queen,
Henrietta Maria Henrietta Maria (french: link=no, Henriette Marie; 25 November 1609 – 10 September 1669) was Queen of England, Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Ga ...

Henrietta Maria
, who had moved to Paris in 1644. Innocent received the Confederation's envoy in February 1645 and resolved to send a nuncio extraordinary to Ireland,
Giovanni Battista Rinuccini Giovanni Battista Rinuccini (1592–1653) was an Italian people, Italian Catholic Church, Roman Catholic archbishop in the mid-seventeenth century. He was a noted legal scholar and became chamberlain to Pope Gregory XV. In 1625 Pope Urban VIII ...
,
archbishop of Fermo The Archdiocese of Fermo ( la, Archidioecesis Firmana) is a Roman Catholic ecclesiastical jurisdiction in northern Italy, with its seat in the city of Fermo, Marche. It was established as the Diocese of Fermo in the 3rd century, and elevated to an a ...
, who embarked from
La Rochelle La Rochelle (, , ; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''La Rochéle''; oc, La Rochèla ) is a city on the south west coast of France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime Departments o ...

La Rochelle
with the Confederacy's secretary,
Richard Bellings Sir Richard Bellings (1613–1677) was a lawyer and political figure in 17th century Ireland and in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. He is best known for his participation in Confederate Ireland, a short-lived independent Irish state, in which he ...
. He took with him a large quantity of arms and military supplies and a very large sum of money. These supplies meant that Rinuccini had a big influence on the Confederates' internal politics and he was backed by the more militant Confederates such as
Owen Roe O'Neill Owen Roe O'Neill ( Irish: ''Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill''), c. 1585 – 6 November 1649, was a Gaelic Irish soldier and one of the most famous of the O'Neill dynasty The O'Neill dynasty (irish language, Irish: ''Ó Néill'') is a lineage of Irish ...
. At Kilkenny Rinuccini was received with great honours, asserting that the object of his mission was to sustain the King, but above all to help the Catholic people of Ireland in securing the free and public exercise of the Catholic religion, and the restoration of the churches and church property, but not any former monastic property.


The first "Ormonde Peace"

The Supreme Council put great hope in a secret treaty they had concluded with
Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester (9 March 1602 or 9 March 16033 April 1667), styled Lord Herbert of Raglan from 1628–1644, was an English nobleman involved in royalist politics, and an inventor. While Earl of Glamorgan, he was sen ...

Edward Somerset, 2nd Marquess of Worcester
, under his new title of Earl of Glamorgan, on the King's behalf, which promised further concessions to Irish Catholics in the future. Being a very wealthy English Catholic royalist, Glamorgan was sent to Ireland in late June 1645 with secret orders from Charles to agree to the Confederates' demands in return for an Irish Catholic army that would fight for the King in England. The plan would be anathema to most English Protestants at the time. A copy of Glamorgan's secret orders was publicised by the
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the mid 13th to 17th century. The first English Parliament was convened in 1215, with the creation and signing of ...
, and to preserve his support in Protestant England the King had to deny his link and even proclaimed Glamorgan as a traitor. To deter the use of Confederate Irish soldiers in England the Long Parliament passed the
Ordinance of no quarter to the Irish The ordinance of no quarter to the Irish was a decree of the English Long Parliament passed on 24 October 1644 in response to the Irish Confederation of Kilkenny threat to send troops from Ireland to support Charles I of England, King Charles I dur ...
in October 1644. The nuncio considered himself the virtual head of the Confederate Catholic party in Ireland. In 1646 the Supreme Council of the Confederates had come to an agreement with Ormonde, signed on 28 March 1646. Under its terms Catholics would be allowed to serve in public office and to found schools; there were also verbal promises of future concessions on religious toleration. There was an amnesty for acts committed in the Rebellion of 1641 and a guarantee against further seizure of Irish Catholic rebels' land by acts of
attainder In English criminal law, attainder or attinctura was the metaphorical "stain" or "corruption of blood" which arose from being condemned for a serious capital crime (felony or treason). It entailed losing not only one's life, property and hereditary ...
. However, there was no reversal of Poynings' Law, which meant that any legislation due to be presented to the
Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city ...
must first be approved by the English Privy Council, no reversal of the Protestant majority in the
Irish House of Commons The Irish House of Commons was the lower house of the Parliament of Ireland that existed from 1297 until 1800. The upper house was the Irish House of Lords, House of Lords. The membership of the House of Commons was directly elected, but on a hi ...
and no reversal of the main plantations, or
colonisation Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their—or their ancestors'—former country, gaining significant privileges over other inhabitants of the territory by such ...

colonisation
, in Ulster and Munster. Moreover, regarding the religious articles of the treaty, all churches taken over by Catholics in the war would have to be returned to Protestant hands and the public practice of Catholicism was not guaranteed. In return for the concessions that were made Irish troops would be sent to England to fight for the royalists in the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, ...
. However, the terms agreed were not acceptable to either the Catholic clergy, the Irish military commanders – notably
Owen Roe O'Neill Owen Roe O'Neill ( Irish: ''Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill''), c. 1585 – 6 November 1649, was a Gaelic Irish soldier and one of the most famous of the O'Neill dynasty The O'Neill dynasty (irish language, Irish: ''Ó Néill'') is a lineage of Irish ...
and Thomas Preston – or the majority of the General Assembly. Nor was the papal nuncio Rinuccini party to the treaty, which left untouched the objects of his mission; he had induced nine of the Irish bishops to sign a protest against any arrangement with
Ormonde Ormonde is a surname occurring in Portugal (mainly Azores), Brazil, England, and United States. It may refer to: People * Ann Ormonde (born 1935), an Irish politician * James Ormond (administrator), James Ormond or Ormonde (c. 1418–1497), the i ...
or the king that would not guarantee the maintenance of the Catholic religion. Many believed the Supreme Council were unreliable, since many of them were related to Ormonde or otherwise bound to him. Besides, it was pointed out that the English Civil War had already been decided in the English Parliament's favour and that sending Irish troops to the royalists would be a futile sacrifice. On the other hand, many felt after
O'Neill's O'Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd. is an Ireland, Irish Sports equipment, sporting goods manufacturer established in 1918. It is the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Ireland, with production plants located in Dublin and Stra ...
Ulster army defeated the Scots at the
battle of Benburb A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...

battle of Benburb
in June 1646 that the Confederates were in a position to re-conquer all of Ireland. Furthermore, those who opposed the peace were backed, both spiritually and financially, by Rinuccini, who threatened to excommunicate the "peace party". The Supreme Council were arrested and the General Assembly voted to reject the deal.


Military defeat and a new Ormonde peace

After the Confederates rejected the peace deal, Ormonde handed Dublin over to a parliamentarian army under Michael Jones. The Confederates now tried to eliminate the remaining parliamentarian outposts in
Dublin Dublin (; , or ) is the capital and largest city of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_ ...

Dublin
and
Cork Cork or CORK may refer to: Materials * Cork (material), an impermeable buoyant plant product ** Cork (plug), a cylindrical or conical object used to seal a container ***Wine cork Places Ireland * Cork (city) ** Metropolitan Cork, also known as G ...
, but in 1647 suffered a series of military disasters. First, Thomas Preston's
Leinster Leinster ( ; ga, Laighin or ) is one of the provinces of Ireland Since pre-historic times, there have been four Provinces of Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic ...

Leinster
army was destroyed by Jones's parliamentarians at the
Battle of Dungan's Hill The Battle of Dungan's Hill took place in County Meath, in eastern Ireland on 8 August 1647. It was fought between the armies of Confederate Ireland and the English Parliament during the Irish Confederate Wars. The Irish army was intercepte ...
in
County Meath County Meath (; gle, Contae na Mí or simply ) is a county A county is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human ...
. Then, less than three months later, the Confederates' Munster army met a similar fate at the hands of Inchiquin's parliamentarian forces at the battle of Knocknanauss. These setbacks made most Confederates much more eager to come to reach an agreement with the royalists and negotiations were re-opened. The Supreme Council received generous terms from Charles I and Ormonde, including toleration of the Catholic religion, a commitment to repealing Poyning's Law (and therefore to Irish self-government), recognition of lands taken by Irish Catholics during the war, and a commitment to a partial reversal of the
Plantation of Ulster The Plantation of Ulster ( gle, Plandáil Uladh; Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster-Scots: ''Ul ...

Plantation of Ulster
. In addition, there was to be an Act of Oblivion, or amnesty for all acts committed during the 1641 rebellion and Confederate wars – in particular the killings of British Protestant settlers in 1641 – combined with no disbanding of the Confederate armies. However Charles granted these terms only out of desperation and later repudiated them. Under the terms of the agreement, the Confederation was to dissolve itself, place its troops under royalist commanders and accept English royalist troops. Inchiquin also defected from the Parliament and rejoined the royalists in Ireland.


Civil War within the Confederation

However, many of the Irish Catholics continued to reject a deal with the royalists.
Owen Roe O'Neill Owen Roe O'Neill ( Irish: ''Eoghan Ruadh Ó Néill''), c. 1585 – 6 November 1649, was a Gaelic Irish soldier and one of the most famous of the O'Neill dynasty The O'Neill dynasty (irish language, Irish: ''Ó Néill'') is a lineage of Irish ...
refused to join the new royalist alliance and fought a brief internal civil war with the royalists and Confederates in the summer of 1648. So alienated was O'Neill by what he considered to be a betrayal of Catholic war aims that he tried to make a separate peace with the English Parliament and was for a short time effectively an ally of the English parliamentary armies in Ireland. This was disastrous for the wider aims of the Confederacy, as it coincided with the outbreak of the second civil war in England. The Papal Nuncio, Rinuccini, endeavoured to uphold Owen Roe O'Neill by excommunication, excommunicating all who in May 1648 took part in the Inchiquin Truce with the Royalists; but he could not get the Irish Catholic Bishops to agree on the matter. On 23 February 1649, he embarked at Galway, in his own frigate, to return to Rome. It is often argued that this split within the Confederate ranks represented a split between Gaelic Irish and Old English (Ireland), Old English. It is suggested that a particular reason for this was that Gaelic Irish had lost much land and power since the English conquest of Ireland and hence had become radical in their demands. However, there were members of both ethnicities on each side. For example, Felim O'Neill of Kinard, Phelim O'Neill, the Gaelic Irish instigator of the Rebellion of 1641, sided with the moderates, whereas the predominantly Old English south Wexford area rejected the peace. The Catholic clergy were also split over the issue. The real significance of the split was between those landed gentry who were prepared to compromise with the royalists as long as their lands and civil rights were guaranteed, and those, such as Owen Roe O'Neill, who wanted to completely overturn the English presence in Ireland. They wanted an independent, Catholic Ireland, with the English and Scottish settlers expelled permanently. Many of the militants were most concerned with recovering ancestral lands their families had lost in the plantations. After inconclusive skirmishing with the Confederates, Owen Roe O'Neill retreated to Ulster and did not rejoin his former comrades until Oliver Cromwell, Cromwell's invasion of 1649. This infighting fatally hampered the preparations of the Confederate-royalist alliance to repel the invasion of parliamentarian New Model Army.


Cromwell's invasion

Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English general and statesman who, first as a subordinate and later as Commander-in-Chief, led armies An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" e ...

Oliver Cromwell
invaded Ireland in 1649 to crush the new alliance of Irish Confederates and royalists. The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland was the bloodiest warfare that had ever occurred in the country and was accompanied by pandemic, plague and famine. Kilkenny Siege of Kilkenny, fell after a short siege in 1650. It ended in total defeat for the Irish Catholics and royalists. The pre-war Irish Catholic land-owning class was all but destroyed in this period, as were the institutions of the Roman Catholic Church. Most of the senior members of the Confederation spent the Cromwellian period in exile in France, with the English Royalist Court. After the English Restoration, Restoration, those Confederates who had promoted alliance with the Royalists found themselves in favour and on average recovered about a third of their lands. However, those who remained in Ireland throughout the Interregnum (England), Interregnum generally had their land confiscated, with prisoners of war executed or transported to penal colonies.


Significance

Confederate Ireland's style of parliament was similar to the landed oligarchy
Parliament of Ireland The Parliament of Ireland ( ga, Parlaimint na hÉireann) was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city ...
established by the Normans in 1297, but it was not based on a democratic vote. Given their large notional power base, the Confederates ultimately failed to manage and reorganise Ireland so as to defend the interests of Irish Catholics. The
Irish Confederate Wars The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years' War (from ga, Cogadh na hAon Bhliana Déag), took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a series of civil wars in the kin ...
and the ensuing Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–53) caused massive loss of life and ended with the confiscation of almost all Irish Catholic owned land in the 1650s, though much was re-granted in the 1660s. The end of the period cemented the English colonisation of Ireland in the so-called Cromwellian Settlement.


See also

* History of Ireland * Early Modern Ireland 1536-1691, Early Modern Ireland 1536–1691 * Confederation


Citations


References

* * – 1643 to 1660 * *


Further reading

* Canny, Nicholas, ''Making Ireland British 1580–1650'', Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2001. * Lenihan, Pádraig, ''Confederate Catholics at War 1641–49'', Cork University Press, Cork, 2001. * Ohlmeyer, Jane & Kenyon, John (eds.), ''The Civil Wars'', Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1998. *


External links


The Confederate Assembly of Kilkenny
''British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1638–1660'' {{coords, 52, 39, N, 7, 15, W, display=title States and territories established in 1642, Ireland 1640s in Ireland Wars of the Three Kingdoms Irish Confederate Wars 17th century in Ireland Former countries in Ireland Former confederations, Ireland Provisional governments, Ireland