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Insular ChristianityAlternative models of the Church in Britain and Ireland, c.1570–c.1700$
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Robert Armstrong and Tadhg Ó hAnnracháin

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086984

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086984.001.0001

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Riots, rescues and ‘grene bowes’: Catholics and protest in Ireland, 1570–1640

Riots, rescues and ‘grene bowes’: Catholics and protest in Ireland, 1570–1640

(p.67) Chapter 4 Riots, rescues and ‘grene bowes’: Catholics and protest in Ireland, 1570–1640
Insular Christianity

Clodagh Tait

Manchester University Press

This chapter investigates the subject of popular protest by Catholics in Early Modern Ireland. It is now accepted that a more unified sense of ‘Irish’ identity was beginning to cohere from the later sixteenth century, with religion acting as a point of contact and commonality for the Old English and Gaelic populations of the island. Continuing experiences of persecution, exclusion and conflict in the first forty years of the seventeenth century not only cemented a sense of common Catholic purpose, they also allowed the building of a sense of the possibility of common agency. Too often, however, the voices of the ordinary people, as they negotiated their places within a changing society, have been omitted from the historical narrative of events. The authorities in Ireland accorded them more respect, believing that they did have strong opinions, and might act in sophisticated ways to defend their rights. Protest, especially protest with the threat or use of violence, cleared mental as well as physical spaces for political and religious dissent, and reminded the authorities that some element of flexibility was needed in return for acquiescence to their rule.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Old English, Gaelic Irish, Ireland, Protest

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