William Collis Meredith
Sir William Collis Meredith, was Chief Justice of the Superior Court for the Province of Quebec from 1866 to 1884. In 1844, he was offered but refused the positions of Solicitor General of Canada and Attorney-General for Canada East - the latter position he turned down again in 1847. In 1887, he was one of the two English-speaking candidates considered by the Liberals for the role of Lieutenant Governor of Quebec; the home he commissioned and lived in at Montreal from 1845 to 1849 still stands today, known as the Notman House. Born May 23, 1812, at No.1 Fitzwilliam Square, second son of the Rev. Thomas Meredith and his wife Elizabeth Maria Graves, the eldest daughter of the Very Rev. Richard Graves, Dean of Ardagh, he was named for his father's first cousin, William Collis J. P. of Tieraclea House, High Sheriff of Kerry, a first cousin of Lord Monteagle. Meredith was a brother of Edmund Allen Meredith, his first cousins included John Walsingham Cooke Meredith, Sir Richard Graves MacDonnell, John Dawson Mayne, Francis Brinkley, Major-General Arthur Robert MacDonnell and Sir James Creed Meredith.
A year after Meredith was born his family moved up to Ardtrea, near Cookstown, County Tyrone, his father having resigned his fellowship in Dublin to take up the position of Rector there. In 1819, Meredith's father died of'a sudden and awful visitation' at his home while attempting to shoot a ghost with a silver bullet, his mother returned to Harcourt Street, he joined his Meredith and Redmond cousins at Dr Behan's school in County Wexford. Five years against her parents wishes, Meredith's mother remarried her mother's cousin, James Edmund Burton, a first cousin of Henry Peard Driscoll and an uncle of Sir Richard Francis Burton and Lady Stisted. A magistrate at Tuam, Meredith's step-father had "wasted every farthing of his Irish property" and so attracted by the land grants he took the position of the Church of England's first missionary to Terrebonne, Quebec. In the summer of 1824, Meredith arrived at'Burtonville', his stepfather's house and farm outside Rawdon, Quebec a four-day journey north of Montreal.
He was tutored there by Burton himself or by whatever tutor his stepfather could procure, who were few and far between. In 1828, William's mother, "a lady of much culture and refinement, possessed of great energy and force of character", sent him back to Ireland to complete his studies at Trinity College, Dublin. In 1831, a year before his mother and stepfather returned permanently to Co.. Cork, he chose to return to Montreal to commence his legal studies there, he articled under The Hon. Clement-Charles Sabrevois de Bleury and James Charles Grant, QC, before being called to the Bar of Lower Canada in 1836. On Monday, August 9, 1837, at eight o'clock in the evening, Meredith fought a duel with pistols against James Scott, no stranger to such events. Earlier that day, following a dispute over legal costs, Meredith challenged Scott, he chose James McGill Blackwood to second him. The duel took place behind Mount Royal, the pistols used were Meredith's which he had bought in London, on a previous trip to England.
On the first exchange Scott took a bullet high up in the thigh, the duel was called to a stop. List of duels Meredith v Scott, 1837, under'Canadian Duels'; the bullet in Scott's thigh bone lodged itself in such a way that it could not be removed by doctors, causing him great discomfort for the rest of his days. For Scott, this was where he had shot Sweeney Campbell in a duel when they were students. In the early 1850s, when both the adversaries had become judges, one of the sights to see was Meredith helping his brother judge up the steep Court House steps, Scott being still hindered by the lameness in his leg since their encounter. Not long after the duel, his career was interrupted again by the Lower Canada Rebellion of 1837. Under the command of Lt.-Colonel Clément-Charles Sabrevois de Bleury, with whom he had articled with a few years Meredith joined the Montreal Rifles as a Lieutenant and saw action against the French rebels at the Battle of Saint-Eustache, reaching the rank of Major in the militia.
From the late 1830s Meredith, "a careful, shrewd lawyer", was senior partner of the firm Meredith & Bethune and subsequently Meredith, Bethune & Dunkin. Their offices were situated at 33 Little St. James Street and the firm was described in the 1840s as the most influential in Montreal, having brought together the largest legal business by any one firm in the Province of Quebec. In 1843, he commissioned John Wells, to build him a home beyond the walls of Old Montreal on a spacious plot of land surrounded by fields and Maple trees, it still stands today, known as the Notman House. In 1844, he was created a Queen's Counsel, declining the office of Solicitor General, subsequently that of Attorney-General, which he declined again for the second time in 1847 during the Draper administration. Meredith disliked politics. In the same year Chief Justice Joseph-Rémi Vallières de Saint-Réal offered him the position of Dean of Law at McGill University, which he turned down - a position his grandson, William Campbell James Meredith held.
He was one of the founding members and a director of the High School of Montreal, established with his help in 1843 and soon superseded the Royal Grammar School. He was counsel to the board of the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning and on the committee to save McGill University in the early 1840s, he conducted a good deal of business for the univer
County Laois is a county in Ireland. It is located in the south of the Midlands Region and is located in the province of Leinster, was known as Queen's County; the modern county takes its name from a medieval kingdom. Laois County Council is the local authority for the county. At the 2016 census, the population of the county was 84,697, an increase of 26% since the 2006 census; the first people in Laois were bands of hunters and gatherers who passed through the county about 8,500 years ago. They hunted in the forests that covered Laois and fished in its rivers, gathering nuts and berries to supplement their diets. Next came Ireland’s first farmers; these people of the Neolithic period planted crops. Their burial mounds remain in Cuffsborough. Starting around 2500 BC, the people of the Bronze Age lived in Laois, they produced weapons and golden objects. Visitors to the county can see a stone circle they left behind at Monamonry, as well as the remains of their hill forts at Clopook and Monelly. Skirk, near Borris-in-Ossory, has a Bronze Age standing ring fort.
The body of Cashel Man indicates that ritual killing took place around 2000 BC. The next stage is known as the pre-Christian Celtic Iron Age. For the first time, iron appeared in Ireland, showing up in the weapons used by factions who fought bloody battles for control of the land. At Ballydavis, archaeologists have discovered ring barrows; the county name derives from Loígis. In the 11th century, its dynastic rulers adopted the surname Ua/Ó Mórdha, they claimed descent from a member of the Red Branch Knights. By the first century AD, the western third of Laois was part of the Kingdom of Ossory; the eastern part was divided into seven parts, which were ruled by the Seven Septs of Loígis: O’More, O’Lalor, O’Doran, O’Dowling, O’Devoy, O’Kelly and McEvoy. When Ireland was Christianised, holy men and women founded religious communities in Loígis. St. Ciarán of Saighir founded his monastic habitation in the western Slieve Bloom Mountains as the first bishop of Ossory, reputedly before St. Patrick, his mother Liadán had an early convent.
Between 550 and 600, St. Canice founded Aghaboe Abbey and St. Mochua founded a religious community at Timahoe. An early Christian community lived on the Rock of Dunamase; the Synod of Rathbreasail that established the Irish dioceses was held near Mountrath in 1111, moving the Church away from its monastic base. As religious orders with strong ties to Rome replaced older religious communities, the wooden buildings of the early Christian churches in Laois gave way to stone monasteries; the Augustinians and Dominicans established themselves at Aghaboe Abbey, while the Cistercians took over an older religious community at Abbeyleix. The Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169-71 affected Laois as it was a part of the Kingdom of Leinster. In Laois, the fortress on the Rock of Dunamase was part of the dowry of the Irish princess Aoife, given in marriage in 1170 to the Norman warrior Strongbow. Advancing Normans surveyed the county from wooden towers built on top of earthen mounds, known as mottes, they built stone fortresses, such as Lea Castle, just outside Portarlington.
Several of the county’s towns were first established as Norman boroughs, including Castletown and Timahoe. From 1175 until about 1325, Normans controlled the best land in the county, while Gaelic society retreated to the bogs and the Slieve Bloom Mountains; the early 14th century saw a Gaelic revival, as the chieftains of Loígis caused the Normans to withdraw. The Dempseys seized Lea Castle. Examples of tower houses built by the Irish Mac Giolla Phádraig chieftains are found at Ballaghmore and Cullahill Castle, both decorated with Sheela na gigs. In 1548, the English confiscated the lands of the O’Mores, built "Campa," known as the Fort of Leix, today’s Portlaoise, it was shired in 1556 by Queen Mary as Queen's County, covering the countries of Leix, Slewmarge and that part of Glimnaliry on the southwest side of the River Barrow. Laois received its present Irish language name following the Tan War. Laois was sometimes spelt "Leix". Portlaoise is the county town. Loígis was the subject of two Plantations or colonisations by a mix of Scottish and English settlers.
The first occurred in 1556, when Thomas Radclyffe, 3rd Earl of Sussex dispossessed the O'Moore clan and attempted to replace them with Scottish and English settlers. However, this only led to a long drawn-out guerilla war in the county and left a small Scottish and English community clustered around garrisons. There was a more successful plantation in the county in the 17th century, which expanded the existing Scottish and English settlement with more landowners and tenants from both Scotland and England. Neither plantation was successful due to a lack of tenants and because of continuous raids and attacks by the O'Moores. In 1659, a group of Quakers led by William Edmundson, settled in Mountmellick, while a group of Huguenots were given refuge in Portarlington in 1666 after their service to William of Orange in the Williamite War in Ireland. What followed was a period of relative calm. Anglo-Irish landowners enclosed the land and built fine houses, including Durrow Castle, Heywood House and Emo Court.
In 1836, a branch of the Grand Canal stretched to Mountmellick, further stimulating industry in that town. The Great Famine of 1845-49 devastated the county; the county’s workhouses coul
Bishop of Ossory
The Bishop of Ossory is an episcopal title which takes its name after the ancient of Kingdom of Ossory in the Province of Leinster, Ireland. In the Roman Catholic Church it remains a separate title, but in the Church of Ireland it has been united with other bishoprics; the diocese of Ossory was one the twenty-four dioceses established at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111 and coincided with the ancient Kingdom of Ossory. The episcopal see has always been in Kilkenny, the capital of Ossory at the time of the Synod of Rathbreasail; the erroneous belief that the cathedral was further north at Aghaboe is traced by John Bradley to a 16th-century misinterpretation of a 13th-century property transfer, combined with the fact that the abbey at the site which became St Canice's Cathedral, was a daughter house of Aghaboe Abbey. Following the Reformation, there were parallel apostolic successions. In the Church of Ireland, the see of Ossory combined with Ferns and Leighlin to form the united bishopric of Ossory and Leighlin in 1835.
In the Roman Catholic Church, the title continues as a separate bishopric. The bishop's seat is located at St. Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny; the current Ordinary is the Most Reverend Dermot Farrell, appointed by the Holy See on 3 January 2018 and ordained bishop on 11 March 2018. The following list of bishops is inscribed in St. Mary's Cathedral and listed on the Roman Catholic diocese's website. Bishops in the early Irish church ruled over a kingdom, in this case Osraige or Ossory, but were often associated with a particular monastery and may have been in some matters subordinate to its abbot. St. Ciarán of Saigir According to his vitae, St. Ciarán was ordained to the episcopate by Pope Celestine I. St. Carthage St. Medran St. Sedna St. Muccine St. Modomnoc St. Aengus Lamoidan St. Lachtin St. Colman Ua Eirc St. Cuillen St. Bochonna St. Finnech Duirn St. Eochan St. Killene Mac Lubne Laidhgnen Mac Doinlanach Tnuthgall Mocoach Cucathrach Cothach Fereoach Conchobhar Conmhach Ua Loichene Inchalach Anluan Cormac Mac Eladhach Ceran Departed Sloidhedhach Cormac Fearchal Fochartach Colman Confoelad Donchadh Fochartach Donchad Ua Celieachair Comhoran Ceallack Reamhar Ceallack Ua Caonhoran GCatholic with Catholic incumbent bio links
The Province of Lower Canada was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River and the shores of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It covered the southern portion of the current-day Province of Quebec and the Labrador region of the modern-day Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Lower Canada consisted of part of the former colony of Canada of New France, conquered by Great Britain in the Seven Years' War ending in 1763 Other parts of New France conquered by Britain became the Colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island; the Province of Lower Canada was created by the "Constitutional Act of 1791" from the partition of the British colony of the Province of Quebec into the Province of Lower Canada and the Province of Upper Canada. The prefix "lower" in its name refers to its geographic position farther downriver from the headwaters of the St. Lawrence River than its contemporary Upper Canada, present-day southern Ontario; the colony/province was abolished in 1841 when it and adjacent Upper Canada were united into the Province of Canada.
Like Upper Canada, there was significant political unrest. Twenty-two years after the invasion by the Americans in the War of 1812, a rebellion now challenged the British rule of the predominantly French population. After the Patriote Rebellion in the Rebellions of 1837–38 were crushed by the British Army and Loyal volunteers, the "1791 Constitution" was suspended on 27 March 1838 and a special council was appointed to administer the colony. An abortive attempt by revolutionary Robert Nelson to declare a Republic of Lower Canada was thwarted; the provinces of Lower Canada and Upper Canada were combined as the United Province of Canada in 1841, when The Union Act of 1840 came into force. Their separate legislatures were combined into a single parliament with equal representation for both constituent parts though Lower Canada had a greater population; the Province of Lower Canada inherited the mixed set of French and English institutions that existed in the Province of Quebec during the 1763–91 period and which continued to exist in Canada-East and in the current Province of Quebec.
Lower Canada was populated by Canadiens, an ethnic group who trace their ancestry to French colonists who settled in Canada from the 17th century onward. Traveling around Lower Canada was made by water along the St. Lawrence River. On land the only main route was the Chemin du Roy or King's Highway, built in the 1730s by New France; the King's Highway remained as an alternate means of travel until the challenge of steamboats and trains on land began to challenge the royal road. Challenged by boats and trains, the royal road's importance waned after the 1850s and would not re-emerge as a key means of transportation until the modern highway system of Quebec was created in the 20th century; the Canadas Upper Canada French colonial empire French and Indian War Province of Quebec Former colonies and territories in Canada Canada East, period after the Act of Union List of lieutenant governors of Quebec Ottawa River timber trade Timeline of Quebec history National Patriots' Day Republic of Lower Canada Robert Christie.
A History of the Late Province of Lower Canada, Quebec City: T. Cary/R. Montreal: Worthington, 1848–1855 François-Xavier Garneau. History of Canada: from the time of its discovery till the union year, Montreal: J. Lovell, 1860 Media related to Lower Canada at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of Lower Canada at Wiktionary Lower Canada from The Canadian Encyclopedia Lower Canada - Encyclopædia Britannica Gouvernors of Lower Canada - Histoire du Québec Lower Canada - Library and Archives Canada Lower Canada - Quebec Parliament library
Roger Hale Sheaffe
General Sir Roger Hale Sheaffe, 1st Baronet was a Loyalist General in the British Army during the War of 1812. He was created a Baronet in 1813 and afterwards served as Commander and acting Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. There is conflicting information to statements regarding his military accomplishments in the "Letters of Veritas" in and around page 50. Roger Hale Sheaffe was born at Boston, the third son and eighth child of Susannah Child, daughter of Susannah Hatch and Thomas Child and William Sheaffe, a graduate of Harvard University who became Deputy Collector of Customs at Boston, her father was an Englishman of the same family as 1st Earl Tylney. He owned considerable property in his native Lincolnshire but emigrated to Boston where he co-founded Trinity Church, in 1733. One of Sheafe's sisters, married Robert Livingston, of Clermont Manor, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. Another sister, married Captain Ponsonby Molesworth, grandson of Robert Molesworth, 1st Viscount Molesworth.
A third sister married brother of Mrs Samuel Ward. Shaeffe was educated at the Boston Latin School with 1st Baronet, his father died penniless in 1771 and his mother opened a boarding house to support her 10 children. One of the residents there was Lord Percy the 2nd Duke of Northumberland, the leader of the British forces in Boston during the American War of Independence. Lord Percy aided the family during the War and was so struck by the qualities and the leadership potential of Shaeffe that he sent him to a military academy in London. Lord Percy became Shaeffe's lifelong friend and benefactor, purchasing his first commission as Ensign in 1778 in the 5th Regiment of Foot, he purchased a lieutenancy. Sheaffe served with his regiment in Ireland from 1781 until 1787. In Detroit and at Fort Niagara, he served under Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe, who had a high opinion of him, he was commissioned Captain in 1795. He first served under Lieutenant-Colonel Isaac Brock in the 49th Regiment of Foot in 1798.
The 49th was posted to Canada in 1802. As Lieutenant-Colonel, Sheaffe commanded the garrison at Fort George, where he faced an attempted mutiny. Despite his own notable achievements, Sheaffe was compared unfavourably with the popular and charismatic Brock. Sheaffe had been Brock's second in command prior to their time in Canada, continued in that role upon their arrival. Shortly after arriving at their new station, a mutiny was attempted by some of Sheaffe's men. Brock hurriedly came to the aid of his subordinate, ended the mutiny without conflict, arrested the perpetrators, they claimed they took their actions directly as a result of Sheaffe's belligerence, but were subsequently executed after a court-martial. Brock warned Sheaffe to stop working the men too hard and to stop punishing men harshly for small infractions. Sheaffe attained the rank of Colonel in 1808, Major-General in 1811; this last promotion hurt Sheaffe financially, as he transferred from a full-pay commission as Colonel of the 49th to half pay as an unassigned general officer on the staff.
Sheaffe returned to Canada from a visit to England in July 1812. The next month, the War of 1812 broke out. Sir George Prevost, the Governor General of Canada and commander in chief of the forces there, appointed Sheaffe to command the troops at Fort George on the Niagara River. While Brock was absent, dealing with an American army at the Siege of Detroit, Sheaffe was required by Prevost to negotiate an armistice with the American forces on the opposite side of the river. Prevost may have believed that peace could be negotiated but by the time the armistice ended, the Americans had been reinforced. Early on 13 October the Americans began crossing the Niagara at Queenston, a few miles south of Fort George. Brock galloped from Fort George to Queenston, arriving just in time to see the Americans capture the commanding heights and a British heavy gun battery, he sent orders to Sheaffe to bring reinforcements, but before they could arrive he led two frontal assaults against the heights. During the second, he was shot dead.
Sheaffe arrived on the battlefield at 2pm. In contrast to Brock's actions, he waited for reinforcements before leading his force on a wide detour to the top of the heights, so as to shield them from American artillery, he meticulously drew up his force before attacking at 4pm. The Americans, terrified of the Mohawks who had joined the battle, tried to flee but were trapped against the river, surrendered. One thousand prisoners were taken, for a cost of 50 casualties. Sheaffe was appointed Lieutenant Governor and commander in Upper Canada in succession to Brock, but was unpopular with the people he was to defend, with his own soldiers. During the months of 1812 he was unable to transact business with the Legislature due to illness and other military commitments, forcing Prevost to make a personal visit to Upper Canada in February 1813. In April, Sheaffe was present in the provincial capital, to deal with the civil authorities. York was weakly defended and Sheaffe had only four companies of regulars, passing through en route to Fort George and other posts.
On 27 April, an American force supported by other armed vessels attacked. In the Battle of York, Sheaffe's outnumbered. Sheaffe decided to preserve his regulars and ordered a retreat to Kingston, having destroyed the fort and a sloop of war under construction in the dockyard; the militia were l
Bytown is the former name of Ottawa, Canada's capital city. It was founded on September 26, 1826, incorporated as a town on January 1, 1850, superseded by the incorporation of the City of Ottawa on January 1, 1855; the founding was marked by a sod turning, a letter from Governor General Dalhousie which authorized Lieutenant Colonel John By to divide up the town into lots. Bytown came about as a result of the construction of the Rideau Canal and grew due to the Ottawa River timber trade. Bytown's first mayor was John Scott, elected in 1847. Bytown was located where the Rideau Canal meets the Ottawa River and consisted of two parts centered around the canal, Upper Town and Lower Town. Upper Town, situated to the west of the canal, was situated in the area of the current downtown and Parliament Hill. Lower Town was on the east side of the canal where today's Byward Market and general area of Lower Town still exists; the two areas of town were connected over the Rideau Canal by the Sappers Bridge, constructed in 1827.
The town took its name from John By who, as a Colonel in the British Royal Engineers, was instrumental in the construction of the canal. The name "Bytown" came about, somewhat as a "jocular reference" during a small dinner party of some officers, it appears on official correspondence dated 1828. Joseph Bouchette in the summer of 1828 wrote: The streets are laid out with much regularity, of a liberal width that will hereafter contribute to the convenience and elegance of the place; the number of houses now built is about 150. On the elevated banks of the Bay, the Hospital, an extensive stone building, three Barracks stand conspicuous. Colonel By laid out the streets of Bytown, a pattern that exists today. Wellington Street, Rideau Street and Sparks Street were some of the earliest streets in use. Sappers Bridge connected Sparks Street to Rideau Street at that time. Nicholas Sparks owned Bytown's land west of the canal, except for the lands north of Wellington, which were considered "Ordnance" lands.
The area east of Bank Street to the canal was acquired by the military and not used for houses for around two decades, after which it was returned to him. The Ottawa River timber trade spurred the growth of Bytown, it saw an influx of immigrants, entrepreneurs hoping to profit from the squared timber that would be floated down the Ottawa River to Quebec. Bytown had seen some trouble in the early days, first with the Shiners' War in 1835 to 1845, the Stony Monday Riot in 1849; some early buildings that still stand had been erected in Bytown. In 1826, Thomas McKay was contracted to build the commissariat building, now the Bytown Museum. McKay built Rideau Hall, parts of the Union Bridge connecting LeBreton Flats to Hull. Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica was built early on in the developing town; the University of Ottawa had its 1846 origins as a college, it received its present location in 1856. Though administration of Bytown had been conducted by civil authorities since 1828, the town did not become incorporated until much later.
Various attempts at incorporation had been initiated since 1845. The Ordnance Department had held lands in the town's core, lands, the property of Nicholas Sparks; these lands were considered by many to be blocking economic progress as well as being held for speculative reasons only. When Ordnance returned the lands to Sparks through the Vesting Act, the major obstacle to incorporation was removed. Bytown was incorporated on July 28, 1847, sanctioned by both the Legislative Assembly and the Governor, but this was disallowed by the Queen due to the perceived threat to Ordnance. An act of the Legislative Assembly further facilitated the incorporation of municipalities, on January 1, 1850, Bytown was incorporated. Richmond Landing was a small settlement started in 1809 with Jehiel Collins' store, which preceded Bytown in present-day Ottawa, it was located just south of Victoria Island east of the present-day Portage Bridge in present-day Lebreton Flats. Wright's Town, just across the Ottawa River near the Chaudiere Falls, had been founded by this time.
Collins built a log cabin and store on the south shore of the Ottawa River, near the Chaudière Falls area. The property was acquired by Caleb T. Bellows, an assistant in the store. Collins is credited as the first settler of, and by 1819, the little settlement at the landing got. The settlement was named Bellows Landing until the fall of 1818, when a group of settlers responsible for the creation of a new road to Richmond, Ontario stayed there; the road became Richmond Richmond Landing acquired its name. Sergeant Hill, had directed the creation of Richmond Road, Ottawa's first thoroughfare, a road which contained tree stumps, whose origin began at a portage trail bypassing the Chaudière Falls. Richmond Landing was an area for those heading to and from Richmond could dock and receive correspondence and supplies from the outside world. A tavern constructed in 1819, whose existence had been shown since Bytown's earliest maps, was excavated prior to the construction of the Canadian War Museum whose east side covers it.
Early maps show the locations of buildings, a Governmental store, constructed later. A buildings had been requested by early settlers to hol
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s