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20 1 “The Sad Story of Our Mis­ er­ ies” Prot­ es­ tant Inter­ pre­ ta­ tions of the Re­ bel­ lion, c. 1641–c. 1840 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 who had sworn to have but one drink a day, and that in the morn­ ing. Gam­ ble was ­ thereby de­ prived of a pros­ pec­ tive drink­ ing com­ pan­ ion after din­ ner, so in­ stead, to oc­ cupy his time, he ­ picked up a book that an­ other ­ lodger had left down: It was Sir ­ William ­ Temple’s ac­ count of the re­ bel­ lion of 1641. I car­ ried it to my room. Sir ­ William was a great states­ man, a pol­ ished gen­ tle­ man, and el­ e­ gant ­ scholar. Such is the char­ ac­ ter his­ to­ rians give him. We must not judge an au­ thor by his book, else I ­ should pro­ nounce him very un­ de­ serv­ ing of the ­ praise so lav­ ishly ­ bestowed on him. Of all the ac­ counts of the above un­ happy pe­ riod, his is the most par­ tial, the most ex­ ag­ ger­ ated, and the most ab­ surd. On re­ flec­ tion, he was him­ self ­ highly dis­ satis­ fied with the per­ for­ mance and would not suf­ fer it to pass ­ through a sec­ ond edi­ tion. But the mis­ chief was al­ ready done.1 Gam­ ble made one mis­ take: he at­ trib­ uted this book to the dip­ lo­ mat and ­ writer Sir ­ William Tem­ ple and in doing so ques­ tioned his il­ lus­ tri­ ous rep­ u­ ta­ tion. But it “The Sad Story of Our Miseries” 21 was not the work of Sir ­ William Tem­ ple; ­ rather, it had been writ­ ten by his­ father, and Gam­ ble was right not to under­ state its in­ flu­ ence. Sir John ­ Temple’s The Irish Re­ bel­ lion (1646) was prob­ ably the most fa­ mous—or in­ fa­ mous—de­ pic­ tion of the ­ events of 1641, a work that could still, in 1887, be sar­ cas­ ti­ cally de­ scribed as “an al­ most in­ fal­ lible wit­ ness ­ against Ca­ thol­ i­ cism.”2 Its no­ to­ ri­ ety over the cen­ tu­ ries ­ rested on its ­ status as a ca­ non­ i­ cal “Prot­ es­ tant” ac­ count of 1641.­ Temple’s work, based as it was on the more lurid of the tes­ ti­ mo­ nies taken from Prot­ es­ tant sur­ vi­ vors of the re­ bel­ lion, ­ painted 1641 as lit­ tle more than a vi­ cious sec­ tar­ ian mas­ sa­ cre. It also pro­ vided an inter­ pre­ ta­ tion of its or­ i­ gins that de­ picted it as both un­ jus­ tified and un­ ex­ pected, a judg­ ment that fur­ ther ­ damned those who had taken part in it. But ir­ re­ spec­ tive of the de­ bates that later ­ sprang up about its ­ events, there was no ques­ tion but that the out­ break of a re­ bel­ lion in Ire­ land on 23 Oc­ to­ ber 1641 was ­ largely un­ ex­ pected. So too were its leg­ a­ cies. Rep­ re­ sent­ ing a Re­ bel­ lion: Henry Jones, Sir John Tem­ ple, and the Con­ struc­ tion of a Prot­ es­ tant Par­ a­ digm Sir John Tem­ ple him­ self had been the mas­ ter of the rolls in the Dub­ lin ad­ min­ is­ tra­ tion in the early 1640s, and on 2 Sep­ tem­ ber 1641 he told one cor­ re­ spon­ dent that “this king­ dom gives noth­ ing worth your knowl­ edge.”3 But ­ within weeks of the out­ break of re­ bel­ lion in the fol­ low­ ing Oc­ to­ ber, the govern­ ment of which Tem­ ple was a part was re­ ceiv­ ing re­ ports that the in­ sur­ gents were mas­ sa...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780299289539
Related ISBN
9780299289546
MARC Record
OCLC
859686981
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-20
Language
English
Open Access
No
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