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‘Reform’ treatises and political discourse

During the sixteenth-century officials and interested parties in Ireland composed hundreds of papers on crown policy in the country and sent them to the metropolitan government in England. The information contained in these ‘reform’ treatises substantially shaped how senior ministers in England viewed an Ireland which very few of them had visited personally. Moreover these documents informed much of these ministers’ outlooks on the Irish of Ireland and the allegedly backward political and social system operating there. Perhaps most importantly, these treatises argued for the adoption of specific policies to confront various problems perceived in Ireland. Some of these in arguing for ‘reform’ through an aggressive programme of regional conquest and colonization were highly coercive, while others in proposing that ‘reform’ could be achieved through educational and social reform or the expansion of the court system had a more sanguine view of Ireland. Whatever the approach, a great many of these were in due course implemented in Ireland. In time the decision to implement these same policies played a major role in shaping the history of early modern Ireland and indeed the wider British state. As such these treatises are central to how the Tudors governed Ireland. This book offers the first extended treatment of the approximately six-hundred extant ‘reform’ treatises. In doing so it examines not just the content of this large body of papers, but how officials and other parties on the periphery of the Irish government debated policy in sixteenth-century Ireland and what impact their writings had.

Essays on text and context

This collection of sixteen essays, the first devoted to John Derricke’s work, offers new readings of, and new sources behind, The Image of Irelande: With a Discoverie of Woodkarne (1581), all to better explicate facets of this difficult and complex book. While prior scholarship on Derricke was largely confined to commentary on the illustrations, the essays in this volume encompass a broad range of approaches to the Image of Irelande in its entirety. Although on the face of it, The Image is blatantly pro-Sidney and anti-Irish propaganda, and has always been so received, the essays in this collection combine to suggest that Derricke’s book is in fact far more culturally and politically daring than has been assumed, with a highly sophisticated textual and visual presentation only now brought into focus. In addition to scrutinizing Derricke’s poetic and iconographic practices, the essays include insights from architecture and archaeology, print history and reading practices, studies of civic display and colonial ideologies. The collection, divided into five sections (Ideologies, Archaeologies, Print and publication, Influences, and Interpretations), establishes a basis on which to build future analyses of Derricke’s enigmatic book.

James Lyttleton

). 74 Stuart Kinsella, ‘Colonial Commemoration in Tudor Ireland, the Case of Sir Henry Sidney’, Sidney Journal 29:1–2 (2011), 105–45, at pp. 113–8 and 127–30. 75 Bradley, ‘Sir Henry Sidney’s Bridge’, p. 190. 76 Bradley, ‘Sir Henry Sidney’s Bridge’, p. 190. 77 Bradley, ‘Sir Henry Sidney’s Bridge’, p. 190. 78 Bradley, ‘Sir Henry Sidney’s Bridge’, p. 178

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

This chapter sheds new light on an important group of practitioners in Tudor Ireland: the Gaelic families who practised hereditary medicine across much of the island. It seeks to locate key families geographically and discusses the importance of patronage and travel for individual practitioners. The chapter also explores the significance of warfare and other factors in influencing the work of these medics.

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
Discovering the formal and figurative texture of Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Matthew Woodcock

John Derricke’s Image of Irelande is regularly mined by historians and critics interested in its ethnographic observations, propagandistic pro-Sidney agenda and the informative detail of its woodcut illustrations. Little has been written, however, about the formal, stylistic and rhetorical aspects of the text itself, and of the confection of verse modes Derricke brings together. This chapter addresses this situation by examining Derricke’s employment of an elaborate vatic compositional fiction, multiple metrical forms and narratorial standpoints, and a distinct set of rhetorical devices (in particular analogy and antithesis). It poses questions about Derricke’s fundamental decision to anatomise his subject using poetry rather than prose, and about the place of allegory or figura in the text, and it considers some of the different generic models he may have had in mind when exploring the role and interplay of words, images and action in both the maintenance and representation of order in Tudor Ireland.

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

literature are to advance further it may well be by exploring these themes individually in order to assess in more detail how the thoughts expressed on these issues in the treatises impacted on specific areas of policy formation. None of these themes was more prominent and of more significance for the direction of events in Tudor Ireland than the concern for regional conquest. Chapter 1 has made abundantly clear that such a strategy was overwhelmingly favoured by reformers in Dublin and the Pale in the first half of the century and that this had major consequences for the

in Debating Tudor policy in sixteenth-century Ireland
David Heffernan

has focused on literary figures such as Richard Stanihurst, Barnaby Rich and Edmund Spenser and their associations with Dublin.7 Indeed, Thomas Herron’s recent article on the allegorical works of both Spenser and Rich directly addresses the fact that works which were designed to encourage reform largely originated within the   4 On Fitzwilliam’s second term as chief governor, see Hiram Morgan, Tyrone’s Rebellion: The outbreak of the Nine Years War in Tudor Ireland (Suffolk, 1993), pp. 55–81.   5 TNA: PRO, SP 63/169/3, f. 14r.  6 Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton

in Dublin
John Derricke versus Edmund Spenser
Brian C. Lockey

Any discussion of Tudor Ireland and the New World should begin with the question of whether Ireland was an English colony or rather an integral, albeit outlying and rebellious, kingdom within a unified composite monarchy. This question, on which there is considerable debate, is important to understanding whether the English presence in Tudor Ireland should be seen as the mature phase of English state formation or part of the first stages in English overseas imperial expansionism. On the one hand, David

in John Derricke’s The Image of Irelande: with a Discoverie of Woodkarne
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Debating Tudor policy in Ireland: The ‘reform’ treatises
David Heffernan

entirely lost to us if Dowdall had not re-submitted it several years later to the new monarch.5 Despite these lost treatises there is substantial evidence to reassure the historian of Tudor Ireland that a great deal of the ‘reform’ treatises written at the time do in fact survive. The clearest example is provided in ‘A Treatise of Irlande’ written in 1586. This long tract contains a section entitled ‘The effecte of the seueral plottes for the reformation of Ireland’, which provides a listing of treatises for the ‘reform’ of Ireland that the author was aware of. Of those

in Debating Tudor policy in sixteenth-century Ireland
Martial identities and the subject of conquest in Derricke’s Image of Irelande
Maryclaire Moroney

University Press, 1996), pp. 136–59. 7 Hammer, Elizabeth’s Wars , p. 71. A detailed analysis of training, recruitment, and supplies for Elizabethan forces in Ireland is offered by John McGurk, The Elizabethan Conquest of Ireland: the 1590s Crisis (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997). 8 Brady, ‘The Captains’ Games’, p. 151 and Ciaran Brady, The Chief Governors: the Rise and Fall of Reform Government in Tudor Ireland, 1536–1588 (Cambridge

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