[MR] Wikipedia: Nine Years' War
Garth Groff via Atlantia
atlantia at seahorse.atlantia.sca.org
Tue Aug 15 03:04:10 PDT 2017
On this date in 1599 during the Nine Years' War in Ireland, Irish forces
led byHugh Roe O'Donnell successfully ambushed the English at the Battle
of Curlew Pass. At this point is might be worth reflecting upon this
whole long conflict.
The Nine Year's War was another in a series of conflicts between the
English, who were trying to consolidate their hold on Ireland, and the
native Irish, who were trying to eject them. The chief Irish commander
was Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_O%27Neill,_Earl_of_Tyrone ). He wily
foe who several times played up to the English, and then turned upon
them when the English least expected it. He was aided by Hugh Roe
O'Donnell, Earl (or King) of Tyrconnell (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Roe_O%27Donnell ). O'Donnell was a
sworn enemy of the English, and would never cozy up to them. Together
these two made a formidable pair, and came close to chasing the English
out of Ireland.
The Nine Years' War began in 1592, and was mainly fought in Ulster
province, but later extended all over Ireland. In addition to the
English push for total control, other causes of the war were a flood of
English colonists displacing the Irish, and the usual clash between
Catholics and Protestants. The Irish enjoyed considerable success
against the English, particularly through guerrilla tactics. A stunning
Irish victory at the Battle of Yellow Ford in 1598 fueled further
risings all over Ireland. In 1599, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl Essex
arrived to take command of the English forces. He totally failed, and
his fresh army of 17,000 was largely chew up and spit out by the Irish.
Queen Elizabeth's displeasure with Devereux led to an attempted coup
against her, and his eventual beheading (remember Errol Flynn and Bette
Davis in ELIZABETH AND ESSEX?).
In 1601, George Carew took control of the English forces, and enjoyed
more success. The Irish made a serious mistake attempting to relieve an
English siege of Kinsale, which was held by Spanish troops. The Irish
army was surprised and routed by English cavalry, and soon Kinsale fell.
This took the heart out of Irish resistance, and the war wound down.
O'Donnell fled to Spain, where he may or may not have been poisoned by
an English agent in 1602. O'Neill again made a truce with the English,
until he left Ireland during the "Flight of the Earls" in 1607.
You can read more about the Nine Years' War at
One very remarkable event took place during the war. In 1594, O'Donnell
had hired a force of Scottish mercenaries, largely his distant cousins
from Clan MacDonald. When the Scots arrived in Ireland, many were
wearing the belted plaid or /feileadh mòr/(the so-called "great kilt").
This is the first confirmed description of the classic Scottish garment
in history: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belted_plaid .
Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge
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