Of Kerns and Gallowglasses: Irish Armies of the 16th Century 1487-1587 (Paperback)

Of Kerns and Gallowglasses: Irish Armies of the 16th Century 1487-1587 By Robert Gresh Cover Image

Of Kerns and Gallowglasses: Irish Armies of the 16th Century 1487-1587 (Paperback)


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Provides unprecedented detail on the Irish armies, military procedures, arms and equipment with particular attention on the Highland mercenary forces that operated in Ireland during this time.

Ireland at the outset of the Tudor era was a highly militarized society, with more than sixty Gaelic lordships maintaining independent armed forces. By the 1540s, the centralizing Tudor state had ended the self-rule enjoyed by the Anglo-Irish Pale and was embarked on an increasingly severe program of reconquest.

A key element of regaining central control over the island was the demilitarizing of the Irish lordships, both Gaelic and semi-Gaelicised Anglo-Irish. Native resistance resulted in an increasingly costly series of large-scale wars, fueled by the emergence of the Reformation. e book traces the development of Irish armies during the period, including the latest studies on the question of modernization: i.e., the 'Military Revolution'. Recent scholarship has called into question many long standing assumptions about Ireland in this period, including the degree of contact and commerce with mainland Europe, and the ability of Irish society to adapt to, and absorb, outside influences. A new appreciation of these questions helps place Tudor Irish military culture in a European context, calling for a reassessment of the degree to which Irish armies were outdated. While an expression of a profoundly traditional culture, they are found to be suited to purpose and eager to adopt rearms at nearly the rate seen in England.

The early part of this period saw Irish lordships enjoying a degree of local autonomy, exploiting newly found sources of wealth--principally fish--and expressing great confidence in a building boom of castles and associated churches and monasteries with continental affiliations. e book covers the phenomenon of large-scale castle building in this era, which has le Ireland the most heavily encastellated landscape in Europe.

Also included are comprehensive army lists and unprecedented detail on Irish arms and armor of the period, tracing developments over time. New period sources and iconography are made use of. Besides the 'rising out' of the Pale and the traditional Irish troop types (horseman, galloglass and kern), a thorough examination is made of Scots Highland mercenary activity in Ireland, including weapons and organization. Also featured are the naval forces of the West Highland Scots and maritime clans of Ireland, including strength and changes in ship types over time.
Product Details ISBN: 9781804513545
ISBN-10: 1804513547
Publisher: Helion & Company
Publication Date: April 30th, 2024
Pages: 298
Language: English