Journal Article

English Lords in Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Century Ireland: Roger Bigod and the de Clare lords of Thomond

Beth Hartland

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXII, issue 496, pages 318-348
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cem002
English Lords in Late Thirteenth and Early Fourteenth Century Ireland: Roger Bigod and the de Clare lords of Thomond

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This article examines the contrasting experiences of the non-resident Roger Bigod, earl of Norfolk, and the usually resident Thomas de Clare and sons, English lords with lands in Ireland in the reigns of Edward I and II, to demonstrate how and how well English interests could be maintained in Ireland in a period which has been seen as the beginning of the decline of the English lordship. The article focuses on the relations of these English lords with the native Irish, on the one hand, and with the settler population of Ireland and the Dublin government on the other. It concludes that, irrespective of whether English lords entered into the Gaelic political and cultural world, or whether they invited the Gaels to enter their English political world, their efforts at maintaining English rule in Ireland were acceptable to, and accepted by, the greatest English lord in Ireland, the king. The article also draws attention to the labels historians use to designate lords as either 'English' or 'Anglo-Irish' in this period. The relative ease with which the de Clares made alliances with the resident lords of Ireland, at one point even with their rivals for power and influence in south-western Ireland, suggests that such lords still occupied a single aristocratic world at this time, and that their alliances should be viewed in their appropriate geographical and temporal contexts.

Journal Article.  16600 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: British History ; World History ; European History ; International History

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