STAFFORD, Thomas. Pacata Hibernia; or A History of the Wars in Ireland, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.
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Taken from the original Chronicles. Illustrated with Portraits of Queen Elizabeth and the Earl of Totness; and Facsimiles of all the original Maps and Plans. Second edition. Dublin: Reprinted by the Hibernia-Press Company, No. 1 Temple Lane, 1820. Crown quarto. Second edition. pp. (1) x, 334, (2) 335-708, [6 (index)]. Contemporary full calf. Covers tooled in blind to a panelled design, with an inner wide gilt acanthus roll, ‘Rahan College’ stamped in gilt in centre of upper covers; splash-marbled endpapers. Spines expertly rebacked, corners repaired. Neat stamps of Religious Order. All edges marbled. A near fine set.
COPAC locates 3 copies only of this edition. WorldCat 6. This is one of the great books dealing with Irish history and in particular the final stage of the Elizabethan wars in Ireland (Nine Years War), even if the perspective is that of the winning side. After the death in 1629 of the Earl of Totnes, formerly Sir George Carew, President of Munster, it was put together from the papers by his bastard son, Sir Thomas Stafford. Carew himself played a leading role in the events involved and especially in the decisive battle of Kinsale. One of the great set-pieces in the book concerns the siege of the castle of Glin. Carew had taken the Knight of the Valley’s six-year-old heir as hostage and he had the child placed on top of the fortifications sending word to the defenders that they would now have a fair mark at which to direct their fire: “The constable returned answer that the fear of his life should not make them to forbear to direct their volleys of shot for he said in indecent terms not fit for me to write: The place is open where he was born and the knight may have many more sons”.
In addition to the historical and topographical narrative, it contains a courteous exchange of letters between Carew and Don Juan de Aquila referring to the latter’s gift of wine to his former captor, and finally a long list of the Irish nobility who embarked for Spain after the defeat of ‘Gaelic Ireland’ at Kinsale in late 1601. The work is further enhanced by a series of seventeen large-scale maps and views depicting the various battles and sieges of the campaign.
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