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The Shadow of a Year

The 1641 Rebellion in Irish History and Memory

John Gibney

Publication Year: 2013

In October 1641 a rebellion broke out in Ireland. Dispossessed Irish Catholics rose up against British Protestant settlers whom they held responsible for their plight. This uprising, the first significant sectarian rebellion in Irish history, gave rise to a decade of war that would culminate in the brutal re-conquest of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell. It also set in motion one of the most enduring and acrimonious debates in Irish history.
    Was the 1641 rebellion a justified response to dispossession and repression? Or was it an unprovoked attempt at sectarian genocide? John Gibney comprehensively examines three centuries of this debate. The struggle to establish and interpret the facts of the past was also a struggle over the present: if Protestants had been slaughtered by vicious Catholics, this provided an ideal justification for maintaining Protestant privilege. If, on the other hand, Protestant propaganda had inflated a few deaths into a vast and brutal “massacre,” this justification was groundless.
    Gibney shows how politicians, historians, and polemicists have represented (and misrepresented) 1641 over the centuries, making a sectarian understanding of Irish history the dominant paradigm in the consciousness of the Irish Protestant and Catholic communities alike.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-2

Most of the re search and and much of the writ ing of this book took place under the aus pices of a Govern ment of Ire land fel low ship held at the Moore In sti tute, Na tional Uni ver sity of Ire land, Gal way. Ear lier ver sions of parts of the text have been pub lished as “‘Facts Newly Stated’: John Curry, the 1641 Re bel lion, and Cath o lic Re vi sion ism in Eighteenth-Century Ire land, 1747–80,” Éire-Ireland: ...

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Introduction

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pp. 3-19

On 22 Oc to ber 2010, in the Long Room of Trin ity Col lege Dub lin, Mary McAleese and Ian Pais ley launched an ex hi bi tion about the Irish re bel lion of 1641. On the face of it, they were an un likely duo. Prior to her elec tion as pres i-dent of the Re pub lic of Ire land, McAleese (a Bel fast Cath o lic whose fam ily home had been burnt out by loy al ists in the 1970s) was per ceived by some to rep re sent ...

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1. “The Sad Story of Our Miseries”: Protestant Interpretations of the Rebellion, c. 1641– c. 1840

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pp. 20-69

John Gam ble was a doc tor and a na tive of Stra bane who had been ed u cated in Edin burgh and served in the Brit ish army; he later set tled in Lon don and then, in the early decades of the nine teenth cen tury, made a num ber of trips home. He wrote down his im pres sions of these trips and in doing so left a fleet ing record of a visit made in 1812 to an inn near Dun given run by a Pres by ter ian ...

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2. “The Naked Truth of This Tragical History”: Catholic Interpretations of the Rising, c. 1641– c. 1865

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pp. 70-114

There was of course an other per spec tive on the events of 1641. John Curry was a Cath o lic phy si cian in Dub lin who had ar gu ably en tered his pro fes sion by de fault; his grand father had fought for James II, and the fam ily, who had lost most of their Cavan lands in the 1650s, were stripped of their re main ing hold ings in the after math of the William ite war. Con se quently, Curry’s father be came a ...

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3. “Historical Facts” and “Stupendous Falsehoods”: An Irish Insurrection at the Limits of Scholarship, c. 1865– c. 1965

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pp. 115-150

To ward the end of the nine teenth cen tury, in the twi light of his life, the re nowned Dub lin law yer John Pat rick Pren der gast re flected on the times in which he had lived and wrote a me moir that, among other things, con tained an ac count of what he termed his “lit er ary work and ex pe ri ences.” The me moir marked a new de par ture for him, as his “lit er ary work” had until then been his tor i cal ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 151-162

On 31 Jan u ary 1866 Thomas MacK night ar rived in Ire land at King stown, now Dun Lao ghaire. Hav ing made his name in Lon don as a jour nal ist and po lit i cal writer, he was in Ire land to be come the new ed i tor of Belfast’s North ern Whig. The next day, 1 Feb ru ary, he made his way to West land Row to take the train to Bel fast, and he rem i nisced about the jour ney thirty years later.1 An ...

Notes

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pp. 163-196

Bibliography

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pp. 197-214

Index

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pp. 215-232


E-ISBN-13: 9780299289539
E-ISBN-10: 0299289532
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299289546
Print-ISBN-10: 0299289540

Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 9 b/w photos
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: History of Ireland & the Irish Diaspora
Series Editor Byline: James S. Donnelly, Jr., and Thomas Archdeacon, Series Editors