Editing history — 5 Comments

  1. I had forgotten any details about this that I learned during schooldays in Dublin but had retained a memory of the fact that Klkenny had great historical significance.

    What is included in history lessons depends on who recorded the events and turned them into so called historical facts. Everyone has a point ot view they want to transmit. I’ve always thought that events in history would be quite surprising to some of those involved in them were they to read the accounts. Did you ever read ‘The Daughter of Time’ (1951) by Josephine Tey? About Richard III, it’s quite relevant to your post – an historical detective story.

    At base history really is local. People have a great interest in things that happened in their locality or region and also an interest in the individuals or families involved. My great-great grandfather lived in Cabinteely and made his way to the Crimea to fight in that war. For me, that is of intense interest. It’s not of particular interest to anyone else, however, save perhaps a local historian in Cabinteely who might be interested (not from the flesh and blood angle but from the pure history angle).

  2. British history is very selective!

    Not until I read Noam Chomsky did I discover Churchill approved of bombing native Africans to test the air force after the First World War.

  3. Your blog sparked memories of History in School and the one thing I kept were my History notes. In 1367 there were also the Statutes Of Kilkenny. Prince Lionel son of King Edward 111 and husband of Elizabeth de Burgo daughter of the Irish de Burgos came over to Ireland as Viceroy. He found his wife’s lands had been taken over by relations of de Burgos and had changed the name. He drew up the Statutes and they were passed by a Parliament in Kilkenny which only represented The Pale. The English felt the English in Ireland were becoming ” more Irish than the Irish themselves”. They forbade the Normans from inter marriage with the Irish and were not allowed to adopt Irish ways, be entertained by Irish minstrels etc or dress in Irish fashion. These laws were ignored outside The Pale and later in Tudor times The Earls of Kildare were constantly in trouble for breaking them.
    The Confederation of Kilkenny was called in October 1642. It was called by Bishops and Lords because the Irish wanted some government in the Country. England was at Civil War and was not able to look after Irish affairs. There was no Party unity – the Supreme Council was made up of people from different parties and was a great cause of it’s weakness. Again it was Anglo Irish against Old Irish. The Pope sent over Cardinal Rinuccini but he was only interested in maintaining the Catholic Church. The Earl of Ormond disliked the Cardinal and all he stood for. Believe it or not but in 1649 there was a Battle of Rathmines in which Ormond was defeated and in August of that year Cromwell arrived. Actually Cromwell arrived in Ringsend.
    Now you know where the name for that Italian Restaurant opposite Kilkenny Castle comes from. This is just in a nutshell. No wonder you were never taught that in English Schools. There was a lot of Irish History that we were not taught either.

  4. I once bought a book to re-read the history of the English Civil War – I think I was more confused afterwards! Sometimes, when trying to understand Irish history, I feel like Gladstone in “1066 and All That”, where it says that Gladstone spent lots of time trying to solve the Irish Question and every time he thought he was getting warm the Irish changed the question.

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