GILBERT, John T. Ed. by. History of The Irish Confederation and The War in Ireland, 1641-1643: Containing a narrative of affairs of Ireland from 1641 to the conclusion of the treaty for cessation of hostilities between England and the Irish, in 1643 by Richard Bellings


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... With correspondence and documents of the Confederation and of the administrators of the English government in Ireland, contemporary personal statements, memoirs, etc. Illustrated with portraits and facsimiles. Seven volumes. Dublin: Gill / Irish Printing Company / and Dollard, 1882-1891. Large quarto. Quarter blue morocco on blue buckram boards, titled in gilt. Each volume limited to 25 copies. Ex lib with labels and neat stamps. A very good set. Extremely rare.
Confederate Ireland, also referred to as the Irish Catholic Confederation, was a period of Irish Catholic self-government between in the 1640s, formed by Catholic aristocrats, landed gentry, clergy and military leaders after the Irish Rebellion of 1641, the Confederates controlled up to two-thirds of Ireland from their base in Kilkenny; hence it is sometimes called the “Confederation of Kilkenny”.
The main objectives of the Confederate Irish were: to defend themselves against attacks from the Puritans; to maintain the prerogatives of the Crown; as well as the privileges and rights of the Irish Parliament; to reinstate the Roman Catholic Church throughout Ireland; as it stood in the reign of Henry VII; and to annul all penal laws against its members. They declared by public oath their allegiance to the King, but resisted the authority of the English Parliament. The Confederacy sided with the Royalists because they were promised full rights for Catholics and self governance, essentially backing the wrong side and ending up with a greater Protestant presence in Ireland and even fewer rights for Catholics. Through the Supreme Council, they organised forces, nominated commanders and officials, collected revenues, levied taxes, minted coin, treated with foreign powers, and governed the most of Ireland.
It was generally believed that all records of the Confederation had perished, and that the true history of that body would always remain unrecorded and unknown. John Gilbert, the renowned historian and editor of the present work, collected from various archives at home and abroad valuable and authentic primary material in connection with the Confederation. One of the most important documents to surface was an historical narrative from 1641 to 1643 by Richard Bellings, a member of the Supreme Council. The work commences with a view of the state of Ireland in 1641 and the author was of the opinion that he would “transmit to posterity observations perhaps as useful, although not so memorable and full as a war managed with more noise, greater power, and between princes whose very names may bespeak attention for their actions”.


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