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Irish Catholic Identities$
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Oliver P. Rafferty

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097317

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719097317.001.0001

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Irish political Catholicism from the 1530s to 1660

Irish political Catholicism from the 1530s to 1660

(p.77) 4 Irish political Catholicism from the 1530s to 1660
Irish Catholic Identities

David Finnegan

Manchester University Press

The sixteenth century did witness a slow but definitive transformation of the Irish political and religious landscape. However it is here argued that the impetus for this came not from Henry VIII but from the ‘Observant’ tendencies within some Catholic religious orders. At the same time the essential element in Tudor reform in Ireland was the political transformation of the country. This went hand in hand with the attempt to impose the new religion. While most Irish were determined to maintain the old religion some combined this with a sense of continued loyalty to the Protestant monarchy. As time wore on this produced enormous strain on those who maintained such dual loyalty. Some clergy urged alliance with Spain in order to frustrate English and Protestant ambition. Such a policy served to weaken pan-Catholic unity. Nevertheless there followed a revolution in Irish confessional identity culminating in the rise of Cromwellian government, the operations of which helped cement the characteristics of Irish Catholic identity

Keywords:   Divided-loyalty Tudor-policy Old English Gaelic religious-unity

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