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The Plantation of Munster
Transcript of The Plantation of Munster
Define the keywords
Background and Causes
The Desmond Rebellions
The Plantation in Action
But the plantation did bring about some long term changes.
i) When the Nine Years War ended, some of the settlers returned. But others sold off their estates to new planters such as Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork. These new planters stayed on to become a wealthy Protestant minority.
ii) New plantation towns were built. Towns such as Bandon and Mallow, Co. Cork. Tallow and Lismore, Co. Waterford, Killarney, Co. Kerry became centres of English law and influence. The planters introduced surnames such as Carew, Browne and Denny.
iii) The planters introduced new breeds of cattle and sheep and new farming methods. The English plough was used and tillage became more important. Trade prospered as timber, wool, hides, and tallow were exported through Cork.
While the Munster Plantation was not a success in the long term, the English government again learned lessons that would be applied in later plantations.
How Successful was the Plantation?
The English government hoped that this plantation would be more successful than the one in Laois-Offaly. But problems soon arose.
The Plantation of Munster
Gaelic Irish Lords
In the middle of the 16th century, most of Munster was ruled by the Fitzgeralds, who were earls of Desmond.
However, Queen Elizabeth I was trying to increase her power in the province.
She appointed presidents to Munster to impose English law and the Protestant religion.
Anglo-Irish and Gaelic lords resisted this.
The English government also encouraged 'adventurers' to lay claim to land in Munster.
These adventurers were young English noblemen, who tried to claim land owned by local lords.
The lords were frightened and angered by these claims.
The efforts to enforce English law, spread the Protestant religion and lay claim to land resulted in two rebellions in Munster in the 1560's and 1570's.
The leader of the rebellion was James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, a cousin of the Earl of Desmond.
Both rebellions were defeated, and James Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald was killed.
Munster was devestated because of the rebellions. Cattle and sheep were killed, crops were destroyed and it said that 30,000 people died.
The Earl of Desmond, who eventually joined the rebellion, was beheaded. His body was displayed in Cork and his head sent to Queen Elizabeth.
The lands of the rebellious lords and chiefs were confiscated.
The confiscated land was surveyed and mapped. Three hundred thousand acres of land was available for mapping.
The English government then decided on a scheme of plantation.
The government wanted to encourage the younger sons of the nobility in southern England to settle in Ireland.
It wanted the plantation to become a centre of English civilisation.
The planters would also have to be ready to resist a Spanish invasion.
The land was divided into estates of 4,000, 6,000, 8,000 and 12,000 acres.
Those who got estates were called undertakers.
They undertook and agreed to fulfil certain conditions.
i) They would settle only English farmers, labourers and craftsmen on their estates.
ii) They would pay rent to the Crown.
iii) They would be ready to defend themselves after 7 years.
iv) They would introduce the Protestant religion and follow the English law.
Some undertakers got very large grants of land. One of these was Sir Walter Raleigh, who was given 42,000 acres around Youghal, Co. Cork.
i) The government hoped that 20,000 English people would settle in Munster. But by the mid 1590's only about one fifth of that number had settled there.
ii) The undertakers could not attract enough English tenants, so they had to rent land to the Gaelic Irish and the Anglo-Irish.
iii) The old owners attacked the new settlers and hunted some of them away. Eventually in the Nine Years War, the planters were driven from their estates into towns or back to England.