The Irish

Christopher Maginn

in William Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor State

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199697151
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191739262 | DOI:
The Irish

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This chapter probes the intractable and controversial subject of national identity in Tudor Ireland. It offers an analysis of William Cecil's attitudes toward not only Ireland's Irish, or Gaelic, population, but also the two varieties of Englishmen resident in Ireland by the second half of the sixteenth century: the so-called ‘Old English’ and ‘New English’ populations. It argues that though Cecil viewed English culture as an example of ‘civility’ and Irish culture and society as inherently ‘savage’, circumstances compelled the minister to acquire a level of understanding of the latter.

Keywords: identity; Old English; New English; Irishness; language; genealogy; nobility; ‘civility’ v. ‘savagery’; English–Irish; nation

Chapter.  13097 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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