Derricke’s Image of Irelande and late sixteenth-century Dublin
in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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The Image of Irelande, with a Discoverie of Woodkarne was published by John Derricke in 1581, following his time in Ireland in the employ of Sir Henry Sidney, the then lord deputy of Ireland. The book defends Sidney’s record and details the military victories he achieved over the native Irish. Included in the publication were twelve double-page woodcuts which Derricke stated were ‘Made and devised by him’. These depict various scenes of life in late Tudor Ireland, some of which Derricke may have witnessed himself. Two of these illustrate Sidney in Dublin, one a scene in which the lord deputy emerges through the main gate of Dublin Castle in a procession of horse-mounted troops. Notwithstanding certain licence on Derricke’s part, this image of Dublin Castle and its environs still provides a valuable commentary on the nature of the built environment in late sixteenth-century Dublin, the nature of which is only partially understood from documentary sources and archaeological remains. This chapter discusses the value of Derricke’s Image for archaeologists and architectural historians in reconstructing certain aspects of architecture in late Tudor Dublin.

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