Identity is contingent and dynamic, constituting and reconstituting subjects with political effects. This book explores the implications of Protestant and 'British' incursions for the development of Irish Catholic identity as preserved in Irish language texts from the early modern period until the end of Stuart pretensions. Questions of citizenship, belonging, migration, conflict, security, peace and subjectivity are examined through social construction, post-colonialism, and gendered lenses from an interdisciplinary perspective. The book explains the issue of cultural Catholicism in the later middle ages, by way of devotional cults and practices. It examines Catholic unionism vis-a-vis Victorian politics, military and imperial service, the crown, and the position of the Catholic Church with relation to the structures of the state in Ireland. In particular the North American experience and especially the importance of the USA for consolidating a particular interpretation of Irish Catholic nationalist identity, is explored. Children studied in English Catholic public schools like Stonyhurst and Downside where the establishment Irish Catholics and rising mercantile classes sought to have the characteristics of the Catholic gentleman instilled in their progeny. The book sets out to detect the voices of those Catholic women who managed to make themselves heard by a wider audience than family and friends in Ireland in the years between the Act of Union of 1800 and independence/partition. It considers what devotional interests both Gaelic Irish and Anglo-Norman actually shared in common as part of a wider late medieval Catholic culture.
, while the patrons of such collections came from both GaelicIrish and Anglo-Norman backgrounds,
delineating the boundaries of religious identity and devotional taste
‘across the divide’ is not a simple task for, in most cases, these boundaries (if they were boundaries at all) were quite porous. This chapter will
confine itself to considering what devotional interests both communities
actually shared in common as part of a wider late medieval Catholic
Medieval Irish cultural Catholicism 63
In her recent study of the transformation of the twelfth
provide a unique insight into GaelicIreland in a period
of extraordinary political, socio-economic and cultural change.1 Prior to
the Tudor conquest (1543–1603), the organisation of Irish learning had
changed little since the middle ages. In addition to the monastic schools,
secular ‘academies’ of poetry, genealogy, history, medicine and law
operated under the control of an ollamh, a leading scholar of the highest status. Despite successive Tudor and early Jacobean administration
attempts to curb the activities of poets, harpers, rhymers, chroniclers and
’ within the Pale and
those outside it?
Without doubt the Reformation in England, evolving as it did hand in
hand with Tudor state-building, had profound consequences for Irish
identity. But why did the Reformation not progress as systematically
in Ireland as in its sister island? Was it in fact because the GaelicIrish
manipulated the new distinction in religion as a means of emphasising linguistic and cultural differences and took the opportunity to use
religious differences as an ideologically more powerful tool for distinctive identity aimed at
support Irish militants like Hugh O’Neill, then in rebellion against Elizabeth I.
This gave increased influence to his Irish supporters in Spain, notably Flaithrí
Ó Maol Chonaire (Florence Conry), then a student in the fledgling Salamanca
college. When he complained about Jesuit management there, alleging a bias
COLLEGE COMMUNITIES ABROAD
against GaelicIrish entrants, a Spanish government investigation ensued.60 In the
meantime, however, the Ulster earls and their Spanish allies suffered defeat and
Eucharistic controversy and the English origins of Irish Catholic identity, 1550–51
reasons for St Leger’s frustration was the privy
council’s refusal to endorse a proposal he had put forward to sanction
the use of a Latin version of the English communion service in Ireland.
Latin, of course, was not just the lingua franca of scholars, statesmen
and ecclesiastics, but it was also the main language through which
the Dublin administration communicated with the GaelicIrish.12 Its
employment would have enabled St Leger to introduce the new service
‘where the inhabitants understand not the English tongue’ in a comfortingly familiar form, and thus reduce
. Between 1542–48
this ‘constitutional revolution’ stabilised Ireland and had it reached
maturity, may well have accomplished a gradual reduction of GaelicIreland to English ways at minimal cost. However, a more aggressive
government-sponsored military policy – advocated by influential servitors in the face of perceived native backsliding on reform – saw the
Gaelic lords swiftly abandon their commitment to reform and seek
foreign support. This tendency resurfaced whenever local powerbrokers
felt their interests threatened by the state and this disjunction eventually
-Saxon England (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2012).
18 Patrick Wormald, ‘Celtic and Anglo-Saxon Kingship: Some Further Thoughts’, in Sources of Anglo-Saxon Culture , ed. Paul Szarmach (Kalamazoo, MI: Medieval Institute Publications, 1986), pp. 151–83; Bart Jaski, Early Irish Kingship and Succession (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2000); Katherine Simms, From Kings to Warlords: The Changing Political Structure of GaelicIreland in the Later Middle Ages (Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987).
19 eDIL , s.v. febas . See Jaski’s overview of febas , which he describes as