Introduction – 1641
Fresh contexts and perspectives
in Ireland, 1641
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This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book highlights the significance of the sixteenth century wars of religion, but argues that the appropriate context within which to investigate the 1641 rebellion is one of European expansionism. It covers the colonial world that Edward Waterhouse so vividly portrayed in his Declaration. The book deals with methods and sources for a more comprehensive mapping of the content of the depositions, emphasising the use of mid-seventeenth century cartographic evidence such as the Down Survey. It examines how a geographical analysis of the depositions helps us to understand the forces shaping the nature of the 1641 rebellion at elite levels. The book provides a wider comparative framework both cultural and demographic to examine the certainties and uncertainties surrounding the evidence and the subsequent construction and use made of that evidence.

Ireland, 1641

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