The Geraldines and Medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth

The Geraldines and Medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth


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The Geraldines and Medieval Ireland: The Making of a Myth by Peter Crooks

From the earliest moments of their involvement in Ireland, the Geraldines (or FitzGeralds) - the greatest of the Anglo-Norman dynasties established in Ireland after 1169 - became shrouded in myths, often of their own creation. This fund of mythology was later appropriated for political and polemical uses by writers across the post-medieval centuries up to the early decades of the Irish Free State. This book, the proceedings of the inaugural Trinity Medieval Ireland Symposium, examines the 'myth of the Geraldines' in two senses: the literary and historical evidence from the Middle Ages and its reception from the 16th century onwards; and the myths and misconceptions that have encrusted around aspects of Geraldine history in historical scholarship.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781846826276
Publisher: Four Courts Press
Publication date: 03/31/2017
Pages: 446
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Peter Crooks is a lecturer in medieval history at Trinity College Dublin.

Seán Duffy is a fellow of Trinity College Dublin, where he is professor in medieval Irish history.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations 7

List of Contributors 15

Preface 16

1 Gerald of Windsor and the origins of the Geraldines Seán Duffy 21

2 Giraldus and the Geraldines Huw Pryce 53

3 The Geraldines and the conquest of Ireland Colin Veach 69

4 The early Geraldine castles of Ireland: some case studies Linzi Simpson 93

5 Geraldine lordship in thirteenth-century Ireland Brendan Smith 157

6 The dynastic ramifications of the Geraldines Paid MacCotter 170

7 Rebellion and rehabilitation: the first earl of Desmond and the English scene Robin Frame 194

8 The ascent and descent of Desmond under Lancaster and York Peter Crooks 223

9 The Geraldines and Gaelic culture Katharine Simms 264

10 The Geraldines and the culture of the wider world Aisling Byrne 278

11 The Geraldines and the Irish: intermarriage, ecclesiastical patronage and status Sparky Booker 292

12 The Great Earl of Kildare (1456-1513) and the creation of the English Pale Steven G. Ellis 325

13 Geraldine endgame: reassessing the origins of the Desmond rebellion, 1573-9 David Edwards 341

14 The myth of 'Silken Thomas' Ciaran Brady 379

15 The battle for the Geraldincs: a contested legacy in nineteenth-century Ireland Ruairí Cullen 399

Index 415

Maps, Tables and Appendices


4.1 Locations of Geraldine castles featured in the case studies 94

8.1 Southern Ireland, c.1450 231

12.1 County Kildare in the era of the Great Earl 333


1.1 The kinsmen of Gerald of Windsor 23

1.2 Descendants of Nest in Ireland 45

7.1 Desmond and the Berkeleys 203

7.2 Irish earldom families and the kin and household of Edward III 207

7.3 Desmond's debts at his death, 1356 217

8.1 Earls of Desmond, Kildare and Ormond in the late Middle Ages 227

11.1 Some marriage alliances among the Geraldine earls of Desmond 297


3.1 Giraldus Cambrensis's dedication of Expugnatio Hibernica to King John, c.1210 84

8.1 Illustrative documents concerning the earldom of Desmond in the fifteenth century 252

9.1 Irish poems to Geraldine patrons, fourteenth to seventeenth centuries 274

11.1-4 Irish jurors in the extents of Irish monastic possessions, 1540-1 316

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