Friday, January 10, 2020

Cork - The Rebel City

From Bl. Thaddeus McCarthy's Catholic Heritage Association:
 About the year 1586, William Camden in his Britannia had described Cork for Queen Elizabeth I as: "a populous little trading town, and much resorted to; but so beset with rebel enemies on all sides, that they are obliged to keep constant watch, as if the town were continually besieged ; and they dare not marry out their daughters in the country, but contract one with another among themselves, whereby all the citizens are related in one degree or other."

Speaking of the rebelliousness of Cork City towards the English Crown only a generation later, the historian Charles Gibson writes in his The History of the County and City of Cork, London & Cork, 1861, that: "...there were two other serious causes of discontent; and it would be difficult to say to which the people were most opposed; the one was an attempt of the government to force base money into circulation, and the other to press the Protestant religion upon a people who thoroughly detested it, and held it as corrupt as the coinage."

It is topical, in light of the present difficulties of the €uro to recall the words of Lord Deputy Mountjoy: "And first, whereas, the alteration of the coyne and taking away the exchange in such a measure as that first promised, hath bred a general grievance to men of all qualities, and so many incommodities to all sorts, that it is beyond the judgment of any I can see, or hear, to prevent confusion in the estate, by the continuance thereof... They not only pay excessive prices for all things, but can hardly get anything for their money."

Mountjoy was retained as representative of the English Crown in Ireland when Elizabeth died and was succeeded by James I. He sent emissaries to the Mayor of Cork to have James proclaimed King in Cork. The Mayor replied that the Charter allowed him to take time to consider it. (Read more.)


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