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Gaelic Irish, Normans and Old English. Who were they?

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  • 29-07-2022 12:15pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,211 ✭✭✭


    I do not know much about early Irish history. I am particularly stuck on the three groups that lived in Ireland about the time of the Plantations. I would be grateful if anyone could clarify the following.

    The books that I have been looking at seem to give different names to the three groups living in Ireland around this time and this is why I am confused.

    1 The Gaelic Irish. These are the, as it were, the real Irish. The O'Neills and so on. Followed the old Brehon laws. Correct? They lived here all the time?

    2 The Normans. Came from Normandy. The Fitzgeralds and Butlers.

    The texts seem to also call them The Anglo-Irish although that is a name I associate with 18th century Ireland and the Protestant Ascendancy.

    Some served as Lord Deputy. Catholics?

    3 The Old English. This I have difficulty with. They were Catholic. Loyal to the Crown. Lived in the Pale. (Exclusively?)

    Texts say they were English merchants.

    But where did they come from? England? When did they arrive in Ireland? Were they here before the Normans arrived? if they were English how is it that they remained Catholic?

    Thanks to anyone who can clarify in advance the identity of these three groupings.



Comments

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Irish History Podcast has extensive episodes on Ireland from 500AD onward. You'll find them if you go all the way back to his first episodes.



  • Registered Users Posts: 214 ✭✭Rmulvany


    "2 The Normans. Came from Normandy. The Fitzgeralds and Butlers.

    The texts seem to also call them The Anglo-Irish although that is a name I associate with 18th century Ireland and the Protestant Ascendancy.

    Some served as Lord Deputy. Catholics?"

    The above Normans = Anglo Normans, this group really enter the Irish landscape around 1167.

    They would have come to Ireland primarily from England as Anglo-Normans, originally being Normans who invaded England in 1066 (Hastings, William the Bastard)

    As mentioned above, if you have time, Finn Dwyer's Irish History Podcast does some good series on the above, I really enjoyed the Norman Invasion series.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,211 ✭✭✭bobbyss


    Thank you both for those comments. And, yes I am looking at that podcast.

    It is in fact the Old English that I am trying to figure out. I know they were Catholic and loyal to the throne. But am wondering where they came from? When? Before the Normans? After the Vikings?

    The podcast may address those questions.

    But again, thanks.



  • Registered Users Posts: 15,161 ✭✭✭✭Fr Tod Umptious


    Are the "old English" and the "Anglo Normans" not the same?

    Came here in 1167 onwards, were Catholics and loyal to the crown as you said.

    The reason they get referred to as "Old English" is to distinguish them from the "New English" that arrived in Elizabethan times and in the early Stuart period.

    These would have been Protestant planters who were also loyal to the crown.



  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,717 Mod ✭✭✭✭riffmongous


    The post from Ft. Tod explains it more or less. The 'Old English' would have been the descendants of the Normans, generally referring to the ones who did not accept Protestantism but generally remained loyal. You could probably make a distinction between Old English and Hiberno-Norman, both were Anglo-Norman and Catholic but had different levels of acceptance of Irish culture and loyalty to the crown.



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