Journal Article

Taking Up Office in Elizabethan Connacht: The Case of Sir Richard Bingham

Rory Rapple

in The English Historical Review

Volume CXXIII, issue 501, pages 277-299
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 0013-8266
Published online April 2008 | e-ISSN: 1477-4534 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehr/cen012
Taking Up Office in Elizabethan Connacht: The Case of Sir Richard Bingham

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Sir Richard Bingham (1527/8 – 1599) has commonly been portrayed as emblematic of a cadre of English martial men entrusted with local government in Elizabethan Ireland: a ‘representative’ garrison hardliner. However this view overlooks the fact that at the time of his appointment as Governor of Connacht, Bingham, whose record of loyalty to the monarch appeared patchy at best, was a tremendously unpopular figure among the governing establishment in Ireland, even among those who were fellow military men. Unlike most of the prominent seneschals and captains serving in the sister kingdom Bingham had not spent decades as a member of the Irish garrison. Despite his status as an outsider he prevailed against his opponents, a diverse group that included intimates of the previous provincial governor Sir Nicholas Malby, subordinate officers and, most significantly, the Lord Deputy Sir John Perrot. His eventual assertion of control over Connacht was secured because of his acquiesence with the land taxation scheme known as composition, a reputation-making victory at Ardnary against an incursion of Scottish troops as well as sustained, unquestioning support from the chief Secretary Sir Francis Walsingham.

Journal Article.  11953 words. 

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

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