Flight Of The Earls Essay

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Europe, Ireland and the wider world I: Renaissance to Enlightenment, 1350 – 1750: HI2102 What were the main causes of the Flight of the Earls? On the 14th of September in the year 1607 the Earl of Tyrone Hugh O’Neill and the Earl of Tyrconnel Rory O’Donnell fled Ireland alongside officials, their families and numerous Gaelic chieftains. They left Ireland from Rathmullen in County Donegal. This flee was to become known as the flight of the Earls. They arrived in the Spanish Netherlands and then eventually made their way to Rome. The Flight of the Earls led to the most drastic form of the British government’s policy of plantation in Ireland. The Flight of the Earls has remained as one of the most memorable events in the history of Ireland. But what exactly were the reasons for the Flight of the Earls? The causes have been debated by historians with different interpretations as to why they fled but it is clear that the influence of the Earls in Ireland have been diminished greatly in the years prior to the Flight of the Earls. This essay seeks to clarify the reasons for the decline in power of the Earls in Ireland through exploration of the solidification of British rule in Ireland, along with key events in the years prior to the Flight of the Earls such as Hugh O’Neill’s campaign and onto the nine years war and the Battle of Kinsale and the Treaty of Mellifont after the Battle of Kinsale. The nine years war lasted from the years 1594 to 1603. This war was fought between Irish Earls and the English army. As the Irish rebellion began to gather force Queen Elizabeth sent the 2nd Earl of Essex along with an army of 20,000 soldiers, upset with a lack of progress the Earl of Essex was beckoned back to London where he was subsequently trie... ... middle of paper ... ...treatment of the population by the English and marshal law. The Flight of the Earls took place because of a number of reasons. The Battle of Kinsale is a key moment in the study of the Flight of the Earls, it set in motion the decline of the Gaelic order in Ireland, the loss in the Battle of Kinsale led to the Treaty of Mellifont which is one of the main reasons for the Flight of the Earls as we see the loss of power of the Earls and the resulting conditions of the Treaty of Mellifont such as the end of Brehon law and the introduction of English law and also the introduction of Martial Law which seemed to be the final straw in a sense for the Earls. It is important to also note the impact of the plot to take down the Earls which Mary Frances Cusack alluded to in her work. The impact of all these events combined is what I feel led to the Flight of the Earls in 1607.
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