intent. He had been offered the kingship in 1595 by O'Neill and his allies, but turned it down. English. The Flight of the Earls (Irish: Teitheamh na nIarlaí) took place in September 1607, when Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, and about ninety followers, left Ulster in Ireland for mainland Europe. (Willie Duffin / Presidential Archive). Henry's second great campaign, a religious one to extend the It was, for even the most determined of fighters, too much. distinctive ways and submit to the Crown. O'Neill was also to make a decision account is carefully researched and severely dents Canny's, it is Using (4). On September 14, 2007, its 400th anniversary was commemorated in Co. Donegal with fireworks, conferences, a regatta of tall ships, and the unveiling of a statue representing the Flight at Rathmullan by the then-Irish president, Mary McAleese. The simple inscription translates as “To God, the greatest and best, the bones of prince Hugh O’Neill.” (Peter1936F / Wikimedia Commons). The crossing, described in the writings of a follower named. northern Gaelic lords in the 1590s. The allies could take their leave of Ireland, seeking out a new invasion by Spanish forces; they could go to London, staying at court until O’Neill’s points of frustration were redressed; or they could, to their shame, choose to do nothing, and go on living on great swathes of Ulster land they could no longer afford to maintain. overthrowing English rule, the plan was to annex Ireland to the The Flight of the Earls: escape or strategic regrouping? He was later granted the Earldom of Tyrconnell by King James I on 4 September 1603, and restored to a somewhat diminished scale of territories in Tyrconnell on 10 February 1604. On board were Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, and Rory O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, together with more than ninety of their family and followers. Hugh O’Neill held out until March 24, 1603, giving in just six days after the death of Queen Elizabeth I. Crown officials in Ireland in the wake of The Nine Years' War (1594-1603), led by the Lord Deputy, Sir Arthur Chichester, maintained a vendetta against the northern Earls after the conflict ended with the Treaty of Mellifont, 1603. A son of the O’Neills, a family of powerful and respected Gaelic chieftains made all the more formidable by the support they received from occupying English forces in their claim to be the legitimate heirs to the coveted Earl of Tyrone title. It wasn’t until ten years later, in 1595, that he underwent an old Irish ritual to claim his rightful title of “, The Ó Néill.” In doing this, he took command of the O’Neill clan of Ulster, and officially. The wild geese's flightpath to France started in 1607 with the Flight of the Earls. Inevitable, Kerney 1999, last updated 7 September 2007. However, his ongoing support of the Crown’s occupation allowed the matter to be overlooked, and at age 35, he took his his place as the Earl of Tyrone with full English support. son-in-law, the chieftain Donal O'Cahan. The French government rejected calls for their extradition, whereas the Earls’ allies during The Nine Years' War, the Spanish, were anxious to avoid causing offence to England in the wake of the Anglo-Spanish peace treaty of 1604. It was remarkable in that it was the largest conflict ever fought by England during the Elizabethan era—at the height of the war, England had deployed roughly 18,000 soldiers in an attempt to quash the resistance of the Irishmen; an attempt which would, to the disappointment of many, end in success for the English forces. The late Tomas Cardinal O’Fiaich, Archbishop of Armagh, gave a lecture at Rathmullan in September 1988 and recounted that the Earl of Tyrone allegedly “had a gold cross which contained a relic of the True Cross, and this he trailed in the water behind the ship, and according to O’Ciainain, it gave some relief from the storm” during the crossing to Quillebeuf-sur-Seine in Normandy, France. appropriate. He wrote a beautiful elegiac poem on the death of the Princes of Tyrone and Tirconnell, in which he addresses Nuala, the sister of the Earl Roderick O’Donnell; and he pathetically represents her as weeping alone over the graves of the princes, on St. Peter’s Hill. Kerney Walsh, Destruction by Peace, is worthwhile looking at the differing Following the A Changing Libraries Initiative - This site and all content is made available under respective copyrights. Stormy weather resulted in landfall being made in France. This poem, translated from the Irish, has been admirably versified by the late Clarence Mangan (and is quoted in Connellan’s Four Masters, and Sullivan’s Story of Ireland); and the poem concludes with an allusion to the blood of Conn of the Hundred Battles[1]—meaning that the O’Neills and O'Donnells were descendants of that celebrated king, who was Monarch of Ireland in the second century. To a rather comical degree, These sources, letters of As a result of bad weather, O'Neill and his party had to Some, including the late Tomas Cardinal O’Fiaich, Archbishop of Armagh, claim that Hugh O’Neill owned “a gold cross which contained a relic of the True Cross, and this he trailed in the water behind the ship, and it gave some relief from the storm.” The group reached Normandy in France exactly one month after their exile began.

landowners of Connacht accepted English land tenure under the

Despite their attachment to and importance in the Gaelic system, the Earls' ancestors had accepted their Earldoms from the English-run Kingdom of Ireland in the 1540s, under the policy of surrender and regrant. .

The small fishing town of Rathmullan in County Donegal witnessed a key event in Irish history - the end of the old Gaelic order. Some 60 people on board may be accounted for as the crew who had travelled from the continent. Their titles were attainted in 1614, although they continued to be recognised on the Continent. Kerney Walsh's apt title came from a comment

English under Lord Deputy Mountjoy responded with a scorched Their departure was the end of the old Gaelic order, in that the earls were descended from Gaelic clan dynasties that had ruled their parts of Ulster for centuries. other remedy but to take up arms, or to escape from the Kingdom. The article on the Flight of the Earls by Donegal Cultural Services describes the departure of some of the most important Ulster chieftains on a small fishing boat to Spain in 1607. conciliating O'Neill, and he was assured that 'the King had no No reply that is known of was made to the proclamation He also deeply wished to put a final stopper in the war that had almost driven England to bankruptcy.) For that reason, it conveys the reality of the calamity in a much more telling way. Mural depicting Flight of the Earls, Belfast, Northern Ireland, Mural depicting flight of the Earls in Bruff Co. It was, for even the most determined of fighters, too much. (Wikimedia Commons).

The act, on a surface level, was a simple one. became Earl of Tyrconnell. that particular time, and today the debate is still ongoing. persecution, and hostile Revisionist and Unionist accounts It wasn’t until some 22 years after the birth of Hugh O’Neill that another primary player in the Flight of the Earls came into the world. (1) Anderson says:—, “Artful Cecil employed one St. Laurence to entrap the earls of Tyrone and Tirconnell, the lord of Delvin, and other Irish chiefs, into a sham plot, which had no evidence but his; but, those chiefs being informed that witnesses were to be hired against them, foolishly fled from Dublin, and, so taking guilt upon them, they were declared rebels; and six entire counties in Ulster were at once forfeited to the Crown, which was what their enemies wanted.”. Aware of the conflict, King James offered O’Neill an opportunity to come state his case before him in London; O’Neill never did. What is at stake here is The story went that his killer was James “Spanish” Blake, an Anglo-Irish spy working on behalf of George Carew, the First Earl of Totnes, who was credited with many killings in mainland Europe at the time. as Fitgerald and Butler. prepared to ally persuasion with force when she deemed it was the attitude of the Lord Deputy, Sir Arthur Chichester, and The National Library of Ireland's current exhibition, Swiss commemoration / short film; March, 2008, Bridget FitzGerald, Countess of Tyrconnell, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, List of World Heritage Sites in the Republic of Ireland, List of national parks of the Republic of Ireland, Public holidays in the Republic of Ireland,, Articles needing additional references from July 2009, All articles needing additional references, Articles lacking in-text citations from May 2020, Articles with multiple maintenance issues, Short description is different from Wikidata, All Wikipedia articles written in Irish English, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from May 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Flee with his friends and hope for a reinvasion by Spain, Go to London and stay at court until his grievances were redressed.

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