Friday, May 27, 2011

The Queen in Ireland

The Queen has been to (the Republic of) Ireland, to a warm welcome from the people and praise from pundits and politicians. Wind things back to the late 1500s and another Queen Elizabeth was thinking about Ireland too. After the disasters caused by two of her once-favoured aides - the Sir Thomas Smith colony in Co Down from 1572-1575, and the Earl of Essex's campaign in Co Antrim from 1573-1575 - her approach to Ireland changed. She struck this Seal in 1586, the first one to include the harp of Ireland. #alttext#

In Co Down, Queen Elizabeth I (to some degree) made peace with the resident Savages and the Clandeboye O'Neills - in 1587 she formally granted Con O'Neill 'Castlereagh and its appurtenances' and in 1588 she ennobled Patrick Savage as 'Lord Savage of the Little Ards'. And it was all going so well until...