Local expertise in hostile territory
State building in Cromwellian Ireland
in Connecting centre and locality
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Between 1649 and 1651, Oliver Cromwell and parliamentarian forces invaded and conquered both Ireland and Scotland. In the wake of these conquests, the regime embarked upon a dramatic state building project in both countries, implementing a variety of administrative, legal, educational, religious and commercial initiatives with the aim of integrating the two countries into the new commonwealth. Despite clear orders from Whitehall on how to build this ‘new’ state, English authorities in Scotland and Ireland quickly ran into problems executing these ambitions. This chapter looks at how circumstances on the ground in interregnum Scotland and Ireland affected the implementation of ideas and institutions. The situations in the two countries provide a particularly unique lens through which to see how communication changed from centre to periphery to ‘sub-periphery’. That is, not only did communication flow from London to Dublin and Edinburgh, but, once in receipt of the information, officials in the Irish and Scottish capitals sent the decrees further onwards to administrators in remote corners of the two countries. Needless to say, the end results in places such as Kerry and Orkney frequently deviated from the original parliamentarian vision.

Connecting centre and locality

Political communication in early modern England


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