Confederate Ireland

Confederate Ireland

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Confederate Ireland

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Confederate Ireland refers to the period of Irish self-government between the Rebellion of 1641 and the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland in 1649. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation, also known as the "Confederation of Kilkenny" (based in the city of Kilkenny). The remaining Protestant-controlled enclaves in Ulster, Munster and Leinster were held by armies loyal to the royalist, parliamentarians or Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The Confederates failed to defeat the English armies in Ireland in 1642–49 in a conflict known as the Irish Confederate Wars and joined a royalist alliance in 1648 against the Rump Parliament.

Rebellion and the formation of the Confederation

This is a political history, for a military history of the period, see Irish Confederate Wars
The Catholic Confederation was formed in the aftermath of the 1641 rebellion, both to control the popular uprising and to organise an Irish Catholic war effort against the remaining English and Scottish armies in Ireland. It was hoped that by doing this, the Irish Catholics could hold off an English or Scottish re-conquest of the country. The initiative for the Confederation came from a Catholic bishop, Nicholas French and a lawyer named Nicholas Plunkett. They put forth their proposals for a government to Irish Catholic nobles such as Viscount Gormanston, Viscount Mountgarret and Donagh MacCarthy, Viscount Muskerry. These...
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