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Dr Ruth Canning on “Trust, Desert, Power and skill to serue”: The Old English and Military Identities in late Elizabethan Ireland

June 27, 2017 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


June 27, 2017
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


The Bridge, Room 1001, First Floor, Hardiman Research Building


Pádraig Lenihan

Focussing on the martial services and petitions of Patrick Plunkett, Baron of Dunsany, during the Nine Years’ War, this paper will explore how members of Ireland’s Old English Pale community drew on military traditions and personal service as the chief means of articulating political allegiances, grievances, and their rights as crown subjects. It will address the increasing displacement of Old Englishmen from the crown’s military ranks alongside their pleas to be recognised as “the old experienced learned with bloody hands”.  It will also highlight their unique status as “Englishmen” living on a distant Tudor frontier and how a constant state of military preparedness shaped individual and collective mentalities.  By doing so, this paper aims to explore how an emerging Old English identity was shaped and defined by its military traditions and its martial men.

Moore Institute Visiting Fellow Dr Ruth A. Canning is a Lecturer in History at Liverpool Hope University. Prior to this, she held a Marie Curie International Research Fellowship with School of History, University College Cork, and the School of Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University, Montreal. A historian of early modern Ireland with a special focus on Ireland’s Nine Years’ War (1594-1603), Ruth’s forthcoming monograph, The Old English in Early Modern Ireland: The Palesmen and the Nine Years’ War, 1594-1603 (Boydell & Brewer, 2018), examines the socio-political impact of war on identity formation amongst Ireland’s minority Old English population.