Monday, April 1, 2013

An Irish Castle

From author Arthur Russell:
Trim Castle on the River Boyne in in Co Meath was the largest castle built by the Norman adventurers who came to conquer Ireland in 1169.  It was built by Hugh deLacy who accompanied King Henry II on his visit to Ireland during the winter of 1171/72.
The purpose of the Royal visit was twofold. Henry was anxious to absent himself from London where the murder of Thomas a Becket had recently occurred, with accusing fingers being pointed at him. After all, it was known that he had often expressed the desire to rid himself of “this troublesome priest”, and England was being threatened to be placed under interdict by the Pope.
Henry's second purpose was to put shape and organization on the two year old conquest of Irish territory, which he feared might be going in a direction not to his liking, and which might threaten his Empire.

His main worry was the ambition of the leader of the invasion, Sir Richard “Strongbow” deClare, who had gone to Ireland without his permission and had just married the daughter of the King of Leinster, Dermot MacMurrough, also without his permission.

This raised the possibility of Strongbow becoming an Irish king in his own right. As such, he might not acknowledge allegiance to King Henry, who had years earlier snubbed his advancement in Wales.  Henry came with a huge army, not just to impress his own subjects, but also Gaelic chieftains whom he hoped to overawe into accepting his overlordship.
Between October 1171 and March 1172, Henry held court in Dublin and accepted the submission of all his knights and of any Gaelic chieftain who felt inclined to give it. The presence of such an overwhelming army on Irish soil forced even Ard-Ri (High King) Rory O’Connor to bend the knee for the first time in history for an Irish Ard-Rí to do this to a foreign power. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

Nancy Reyes said...

on a different topic: Check out George Stuart's figurines and comments on Marie Antoinette.