therefore forgive his and others’ past
22 The term ‘Mere Irish’ was not, as it is sometimes supposed, a pejorative term. ‘Mere’
in this context means ‘pure-blooded’ or ‘whole’ and was used to distinguish the GaelicIrish from the English-Irish or Old English. The dismissive connotation of ‘mere’ in the
contemporary sense (as in, for example, the phrase ‘a mere child’) did not exist in the
early modern period.
23 John Kerrigan, ‘Boyle’s Ireland and the British problem, 1641–1679’, in David J. Baker
and Willy Maley (eds), British identities and English Renaissance
. after 1566). She perhaps knew him through Thynne, who was a friend
and fellow evangelical. St Loe came from the senior gentry of Somerset, was
a wealthy and successful soldier, and one of Elizabeth I’s most trusted servants
and captain of the guard. About forty at the time, he was well educated,
intelligent, charming, active and generous.36 ‘A man of grett hope: whose
hardy, painfull, discrett, chargeable, and co[n]tynuall, good service’ was
commended by the lord deputy of Ireland, St Loe could be ruthless, as when
he defeated GaelicIrish rebels in late summer 1548
Stouthamer-Loeber, ‘Books owned by members of
Old English and GaelicIrish families in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries’, in
Michael Potterton and Thomas Herron (eds), Dublin and the Pale in the Renaissance,
c.1540–1640 (Dublin, 2011), pp. 286–8.
36 Raymond Gillespie, ‘The social thought of Richard Bellings’, in Micheál Ó Siochrú (ed.),
Kingdoms in crisis: Ireland in the 1640s (Dublin, 2001), pp. 212–28. See also Coolahan’s
chapter in this volume.
GRIBBEN 9781526113245 PRINT.indd 47
fitfully.37 The response to older works
litmus test for reciprocal admiration of ‘opposing’ groups
was Ware’s relationship with key figures in GaelicIreland. The existence
of these important nationwide contacts has already been established,
but his association with the distinguished Gaelic scholar Dubhaltach
Mac Fhirbhisigh from Sligo merits particular attention. After returning to Dublin following the collapse of the Cromwellian regime, Ware
immediately immersed himself in Irish sources in an effort to complete
various projects which had been interrupted during the Interregnum.
62 Cunningham and Gillespie