"The scum of both nations": a Gaelic perception of gender and communities during the conquest of Ulster

Garl, Olivia N., author
Gudmestad, Robert, advisor
Kreider, Jodie, advisor
Little, Ann, committee member
Kwiatkowski, Lynn, committee member
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This thesis covers the conquest of Gaelic Ulster from 1555-1653 through a gender lens. Early modern Ulster's history is rift with dynamic, systemic change that has been occluded by previous scholarship. By bringing women out of the footnotes and fragments, this work establishes the importance of surveying colonization and conquest on two levels. It demonstrates how gendered perceptions of the Gaelic Irish isolated their nested identities to serve English constructions of the Other. In addition, it complicates the narrative of English sovereignty in Ulster by describing the complexity of Gaelic rule and its dependence on kinship networks prior to 1600. Gaelic kinship networks, reinforced by marriage alliances and fosterage, utilized regional ties to enforce their autonomy despite increased English presence in Ulster. This work utilizes specific cases to demonstrate continuity and change over time in Ulster's Gaelic and settler communities during this period. Chapter 1 examines the use of marriage alliances and fosterage to reinforce Gaelic power from 1555-1600. It uses the examples of Agnes Campbell and Finola MacDonnell to show the permeable and alterable boundaries of Ulster's warrior society during this time of turmoil. Chapter 2 examines the role of settlers in Ulster's English and Scottish communities from 1600-1641. It explains the process of altering the Irish figure in print culture to serve English ambitions of conquest and how those realities differed in everyday life. Chapter 3 uses the 1641 Depositions to reflect on the drastic change in Ulster as it was superimposed on the 1641 Irish Rebellion. It examines 450 depositions taken in Antrim and Down to analyze what gendered, coded language was used to construct or reconfigure images of settlers and natives, Protestants and Catholics, and victims and rebels.
2021 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.
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early modern Britain
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