IDEOLOGY OF ENGLISH COLONIZATION 58I frustrated by the queens directive that he

Ideology of english colonization 58i frustrated by

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IDEOLOGY OF ENGLISH COLONIZATION 58I frustrated by the queen's directive that he should not molest the Gaelic Irish inhabitants of Ulster, and when the local chieftain, Sir Brian McPhelim O'Neill, broke his compact with Essex he considered "all this to fall out to the best . . . so in the manner of their departure and breach of their faiths they have given me just cause to govern such as shall inhabit with us in the most severe manner, which I could not without evil opinions have offered if their revolt had not been manifest." One of the lieutenants of the expedition, Edward Barkley, was glad of the opportunity to extend stern rule over the Ulster Irish, who, he wrote, would be commanded by the queen or starve. Barkley gave a graphic description of how Essex's men had driven the Irish from the plains into the woods where they would freeze or famish with the onset of winter, and concluded with the smug observation: "how godly a dede it is to overthrowe so wicked a race the world may judge: for my part I thinke there canot be a greater sacryfice to God."'15 The most extreme action of the enterprise took place at a Christmas feast in I574, where O'Neill, his wife, and his kinsmen were seized by Essex, later to be executed in Dublin, and two hundred of O'Neill's followers were killed. This massacre went beyond the queen's original instructions, but it is significant that the attitude of the London gov- ernment had hardened sufficiently to countenance the actions of Essex. The queen even commended his service in Ulster and was satisfied that her instructions had been complied with, "because we do perceive that, when occasion doth present, you do rather allure and bring in that rude and barbarous nation to civility and acknowledging of their duty to God and to us, by wisdom and discreet handling than by force and shedding of blood; and yet, when necessity requireth, you are ready also to oppose yourself and your forces to them whom reason and duty cannot bridle."16 It appears, therefore, that the Essex experience had convinced the queen and her advisors that the Irish were an unreasonable people and that they, no less than the Scots intruders in Ulster, might be slaughtered by extralegal methods. Similar extreme action was taken by Gilbert against those who 15'See Devereux, Lives of Devereux, I, 30-31, for Essex to Burghley, July 20, I573, and ibid., 37-39, for Essex to Privy Council, Sept. 29, 1573. Barkley to Burghley, May I4, I574, S.P. 63/46, no. i5, P.R.O. 16 R. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, with a Succinct Account of the Early History (London, 1885-1890), II, 288-289, and queen to Essex, July I3, 1574, in Devereux, Lives of Devereux, I, 73-74. This content downloaded from 161.45.198.122 on Wed, 14 Aug 2013 10:50:32 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
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582 WILLIAM AND MARY QUARTERLY opposed the colonization effort in Munster. When the expected re- sistance occurred, Gilbert was, in October 1569, appointed military gov- ernor of Munster with almost unrestricted power of martial law.17 There- after war in Munster became total war, and Gilbert extended his action
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