Religion, civility and the 'British' of Ireland in the 1641 Irish rebellion

Joan Redmond*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the 1641 Irish rebellion through a neglected manuscript account from 1643, written by Henry Jones and three of his 1641 deposition colleagues. The 'Treatise' offers important insights into the rebellion, but also advances a broader understanding of the significance of the early modern efforts to civilise Ireland and the impact of these schemes, especially plantation, on the kind of conflict that erupted in the 1640s. It is an evaluation that brings together both the long pre-history of the rebellion, and what eventually unfolded, offering new perspectives into a crucial and contested debate within modern historiography. The 'Treatise' also presents the opportunity to interrogate the position of the settler community, and their careful construction and presentation of a religiously- A nd culturally-driven improvement of the country. While it was a period of crisis, the rebellion offered an important opportunity to reflect on the wider project of Irish conversion and civility. It was a moment of creation and self-creation, as the emerging 'British' community not only digested the shock of the rebellion, but sought to fashion narratives that underlined their moral claims to Ireland on the grounds of true religion and civility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalIrish Historical Studies
Issue number167
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


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