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Bríd McGrath

In this chapter Bríd McGrath considers the MPs ‘recruited’ to the Irish Parliament between 1642 and 1647. Her analysis of the 87 identified MPs added to the Commons during that period reveals that they mostly represented Leinster seats (especially those under the control of the government in Dublin); two-thirds were Protestant New English, and most were soldiers or government officials. The problems of conducting wartime elections meant that many MPs were ‘elected’ by the use of blank returns or effectively chosen by the local sheriffs, and the numbers varied considerably through the decade, with peaks in 1642 (to replace ejected Catholics), 1644 and 1647. Despite this, there was a considerable variety of political views, reflecting the increasingly divided Protestant community.

in Ireland in crisis
Sir Henry Sidney’s return to Dublin as depicted in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Bríd McGrath

In addition to depicting Henry Sidney’s continued state building and reform of Irish political and administrative systems, this chapter argues that the Image also represents Sidney’s desire to promote the ceremonial aspects of the viceroy’s role, especially the newly established herald’s office. In such depictions, Derricke presents Sidney as the embodiment of vice-regal power in stark contrast to his depictions of the uncivilised Irish. And he does so especially in the various visualisations of the woodcuts, which illustrate civic imagery, civic iconography and state regalia. This chapter thoroughly analyses Plates 10 and 11 for these civic images, highlighting the role of heralds and aldermen in Sidney’s military and diplomatic achievements. Moreover, this chapter considers the distinction and overlap between English and Irish symbols in these plates.

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne