The O'Brien dynasty is a royal and noble house founded in the 10th century by Brian Boru of the Dál gCais or Dalcassians. After becoming King of Munster, through conquest he established himself as Ard Rí na hÉireann. Brian's descendants thus carried the name Ó Briain, continuing to rule the Kingdom of Munster until the 12th century where their territory had shrunk to the Kingdom of Thomond which they would hold for just under five centuries. In total, four Ó Briains ruled in Munster, two held the High Kingship of Ireland. After the partition of Munster into Thomond and the MacCarthy Kingdom of Desmond by Tairrdelbach Ua Conchobair in the 12th century, the dynasty would go on to provide around thirty monarchs of Thomond until 1542. During part of this period in the late 13th century they had a rivalry with the Norman de Clare house, disputing the throne of Thomond; the last Ó Briain to reign in Thomond was Murrough Ó Briain who surrendered his sovereignty to the new Kingdom of Ireland under Henry VIII of the House of Tudor, becoming instead Earl of Thomond and maintaining a role in governance.
Today the head carries the title of Prince of Thomond, depending on succession sometimes Baron Inchiquin. Throughout the time that the Ó Briains ruled in medieval Ireland, the system of tanistry was used to decide succession, rather than primogeniture used by much of feudal Europe; the system in effect was a dynastic monarchy but family-elected and aristocratic, in the sense that the royal family chose the most suitable male candidate from close paternal relations—roydammna rather than the crown automatically passing to the eldest son. This sometimes led to in-family warring. Since 1542, the head of the Ó Briain house adopted primogeniture to decide succession of noble titles instead; the Ó Brian emerged as chiefs of the Dál gCais tribe from the south-west of Ireland — a cohesive set of septs, related by blood, all claiming descent in tradition from a common ancestor of Cas,sixth in descent from Cormac Cas. In the Annals of the Four Masters, the father of Cormac Cas was said to be Oilioll Olum, according to tradition King of Munster and King of Leinster in the 3rd century.
Such a connection would have meant that the tribe held kinship with the Eoghanachta who had dominated Munster since the earliest times. While founder mythologies were common in antiquity and the medieval world, such a connection is regarded as fanciful and politically motivated in the context of the rise to prominence of the Dalcassians. Instead, academic histories accept the Dalcassians as being the Déisi Tuaisceart, after adopting a new name — first recorded under their newly adopted name under the year 934 in the Annals of Inisfallen; the Déisi, a people whose name means vassals, were located where today is Waterford, south Tipperary and Limerick. During the 8th century, the latter was further divided into the Déisi Deiscirt and the Déisi Tuaisceart who would become the Dalcassians. Prehistoric ancestors of the Déisi Tuisceart and Dál gCais may have been a once prominent Érainn people called the Mairtine, it was during this century that the tribe annexed to Munster the area today known as Clare and made it their home.
Taken from the weakened Uí Fiachrach Aidhne it had been part of Connacht but was renamed Thomond. After gaining influence over other tribes in the area such as the Corcu Mruad and Corcu Baiscinn, the Dalcassians were able to crown Cennétig mac Lorcáin as King of Thomond, he died in 951, his son Mathgamain mac Cennétig was to expand their territory further according to the Annals of Ulster. Mathgamain along with his younger brother Brian Boru began military campaigns such as the Battle of Sulcoit, against the Norse Vikings of the settlement Limerick, ruled by Ivar; the Dalcassians were successful, plundering spoils of jewels and silver, finding "soft, bright girls, booming silk-clad women and active well-formed boys". The males fit for war were executed at Saingel. Through much of his reign Mathgamain was competing with his Eoghanachta rival Máel Muad mac Brain. Mathgamain was only defeated in the end by a piece of treachery; the crown of Munster was back in the hands of the Eoghanachta for two years until Brian Boru had avenged his brother, with the defeat and slaying of Máel Muad in the Battle of Belach Lechta.
The following year Brian came to blows with the Norsemen of Limerick at Scattery Island where a monastery was located. Whilst all parties were Christians, when their king Ivar and his sons took refuge in the monastery, Brian desecrated it and killed them in the sanctuary. Following this the Dalcassians came into conflict with those responsible for the death of Mathgamain, the Eoghanachta represented by Donovan and Molloy. A message was sent to Molloy.
Heresy is any belief or theory, at variance with established beliefs or customs, in particular the accepted beliefs of a church or religious organization. A heretic is a proponent of such beliefs. Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause, blasphemy, an impious utterance or action concerning God or sacred things; the term is used to refer to violations of important religious teachings, but is used of views opposed to any accepted ideas. It is used in particular in reference to Christianity and Islam. In certain historical Christian and Jewish cultures, among others, espousing ideas deemed heretical has been and in some cases still is met with censure ranging from excommunication to the death penalty; the term heresy, from Greek αἵρεσις meant "choice" or "thing chosen", but it came to mean the "party or school of a man's choice" and referred to that process whereby a young person would examine various philosophies to determine how to live.
The word "heresy" is used within a Christian, Jewish, or Islamic context, implies different meanings in each. The founder or leader of a heretical movement is called a heresiarch, while individuals who espouse heresy or commit heresy are known as heretics. Heresiology is the study of heresy. According to Titus 3:10 a divisive person should be warned twice before separating from him; the Greek for the phrase "divisive person" became a technical term in the early Church for a type of "heretic" who promoted dissension. In contrast correct teaching is called sound not only because it builds up the faith, but because it protects it against the corrupting influence of false teachers; the Church Fathers identified Judaism with heresy. They saw deviations from orthodox Christianity as heresies that were Jewish in spirit. Tertullian implied that it was the Jews who most inspired heresy in Christianity: "From the Jew the heretic has accepted guidance in this discussion " The use of the word "heresy" was given wide currency by Irenaeus in his 2nd century tract Contra Haereses to describe and discredit his opponents during the early centuries of the Christian community.
He described the community's beliefs and doctrines as orthodox and the Gnostics' teachings as heretical. He pointed out the concept of apostolic succession to support his arguments. Constantine the Great, who along with Licinius had decreed toleration of Christianity in the Roman Empire by what is called the "Edict of Milan", was the first Roman Emperor baptized, set precedents for policy. By Roman law the Emperor was Pontifex Maximus, the high priest of the College of Pontiffs of all recognized religions in ancient Rome. To put an end to the doctrinal debate initiated by Arius, Constantine called the first of what would afterwards be called the ecumenical councils and enforced orthodoxy by Imperial authority; the first known usage of the term in a legal context was in AD 380 by the Edict of Thessalonica of Theodosius I, which made Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire. Prior to the issuance of this edict, the Church had no state-sponsored support for any particular legal mechanism to counter what it perceived as "heresy".
By this edict the state's authority and that of the Church became somewhat overlapping. One of the outcomes of this blurring of Church and state was the sharing of state powers of legal enforcement with church authorities; this reinforcement of the Church's authority gave church leaders the power to, in effect, pronounce the death sentence upon those whom the church considered heretical. Within six years of the official criminalization of heresy by the Emperor, the first Christian heretic to be executed, was condemned in 386 by Roman secular officials for sorcery, put to death with four or five followers. However, his accusers were excommunicated both by Ambrose of Milan and Pope Siricius, who opposed Priscillian's heresy, but "believed capital punishment to be inappropriate at best and unequivocally evil"; the edict of Theodosius II provided severe punishments for those who had or spread writings of Nestorius. Those who possessed writings of Arius were sentenced to death. For some years after the Reformation, Protestant churches were known to execute those they considered heretics, including Catholics.
The last known heretic executed by sentence of the Catholic Church was Spanish schoolmaster Cayetano Ripoll in 1826. The number of people executed as heretics under the authority of the various "ecclesiastical authorities" is not known. In the Catholic Church and willful manifest heresy is considered to spiritually cut one off from the Church before excommunication is incurred; the Codex Justinianus defines "everyone, not devoted to the Catholic Church and to our Orthodox holy Faith" a heretic. The Church had always dealt harshly with strands of Christianity that it considered heretical, but before the 11th century these tended to centre on individual preachers or small localised sects, like Arianism, Donatism and Montanism; the diffusion of the Manichaean sect of Paulicians westwards gave birth to the famous 11th and 12th century heresies of Western Europe. The first one was that of Bogomils in modern-day Bosnia, a sort of sanctuary between Eastern and Western Christianity. By the 11th century, more organised groups such as the Patarini, the Dulcinians, the Waldensians and the Cathars were beginning to appear in the towns and cities of northern Italy, southern France and Flanders.
In France the Cathars gr
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than by good works, the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers.
However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Roman Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, Jan Hus—only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider and modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Sweden, Latvia and Iceland. Reformed denominations spread in Germany, the Netherlands, Scotland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, John Knox; the political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII began Anglicanism, bringing England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement. Protestants have developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy.
Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants developed the concept of an invisible church, in contrast to the Roman Catholic view of the Catholic Church as the visible one true Church founded by Jesus Christ. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country. A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Reformed, Lutherans and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, charismatic and other churches are on the rise, constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy. Six princes of the Holy Roman Empire and rulers of fourteen Imperial Free Cities, who issued a protest against the edict of the Diet of Speyer, were the first individuals to be called Protestants; the edict reversed concessions made to the Lutherans with the approval of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V three years earlier.
The term protestant, though purely political in nature acquired a broader sense, referring to a member of any Western church which subscribed to the main Protestant principles. However, it is misused to mean any church outside the Roman and Eastern Orthodox communions. Protestantism as a general term is now used in contradistinction to the other major Christian traditions, i.e. Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. During the Reformation, the term protestant was hardly used outside of German politics. People who were involved in the religious movement used the word evangelical. For further details, see the section below. Protestant became a general term, meaning any adherent of the Reformation in the German-speaking area, it was somewhat taken up by Lutherans though Martin Luther himself insisted on Christian or evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ. French and Swiss Protestants instead preferred the word reformed, which became a popular and alternative name for Calvinists.
The word evangelical, which refers to the gospel, was used for those involved in the religious movement in the German-speaking area beginning in 1517. Nowadays, evangelical is still preferred among some of the historical Protestant denominations in the Lutheran and United Protestant traditions in Europe, those with strong ties to them. Above all the term is used by Protestant bodies in the German-speaking area, such as the Evangelical Church in Germany. In continental Europe, an Evangelical is either a Calvinist, or a United Protestant; the German word evangelisch means Protestant, is different from the German evangelikal, which refers to churches shaped by Evangelicalism. The English word evangelical refers to evangelical Protestant churches, therefore to a certain part of Protestantism rather than to Protestantism as a whole; the English word traces its roots back to the Puritans in England, where Evangelicalism originated, was brought to the United States. Martin Luther always disliked the term Lutheran, preferring the term evangelical, derived from euangelion, a Greek word meaning "good news", i.e. "gospel".
The followers of
Drogheda is one of the oldest towns in Ireland. It is known as a centre of industry and medical care, it is located on the Dublin–Belfast corridor on the east coast of Ireland in County Louth but with the south fringes of the town in County Meath, 49 km or 30 miles north of Dublin. Drogheda has a population of 41,000 inhabitants, making it the third largest town by population in all of Ireland, it is the last bridging point on the River Boyne. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange is located 8 km west of the town. Drogheda was founded as two separately administered towns in two different territories: Drogheda-in-Meath and Drogheda-in-Oriel; the division came from the twelfth-century boundary between two Irish kingdoms, colonised by different Norman interests, just as the River Boyne continues to divide the town between the dioceses of Armagh and Meath. In 1412 these two towns were united, Drogheda became a'County Corporate', styled as'the County of the Town of Drogheda'. Drogheda continued as a County Borough until the setting up of County Councils through the enactment of the Local Government Act 1898, which saw all of Drogheda, including a large area south of the Boyne, become part of an extended County Louth.
With the passing of the County of Louth and Borough of Drogheda Provisional Order, 1976, County Louth again grew larger at the expense of County Meath. The boundary was further altered in 1994 by the Local Government Regulations 1994; the 2007–2013 Meath County Development Plan recognises the Meath environs of Drogheda as a primary growth centre on a par with Navan. In recent years Drogheda's economy has diversified from its traditional industries, with an increasing number of people employed in the retail and technology sectors; the town has a community of independent artists and musicians who have been looking to the local economy rather than Dublin for employment. Drogheda was selected to host Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann 2018. Drogheda has a hinterland of 70,000+ within a 15 kilometres radius covering County Louth and County Meath. According to the 2016 Irish Census, there are 40,956 in Drogheda town; the town is situated in an area with an abundance of archaeological monuments dating from the Neolithic period onwards, of which the large Passage Tombs of Newgrange and Dowth are the best known.
The remarkable density of archaeological sites of the prehistoric and Early Christian periods uncovered in recent years in the course of development, notably during construction of the Northern Motorway: Gormanston to Monasterboice, or'Drogheda Bypass', have shown that the hinterland of Drogheda has been a settled landscape for millennia. Despite local tradition linking Millmount to Amergin Glúingel, in his 1978 study of the history and archaeology of the town John Bradley stated that "neither the documentary nor the archaeological evidence indicates that there was any settlement at the town prior to the coming of the Normans"; the results of the numerous and large-scale excavations carried out within the area of the medieval town in the past ten years appear to have confirmed this statement. The earliest monument in the town is the motte-and-bailey castle, now known as Millmount Fort, which overlooks the town from a bluff on the south bank of the Boyne and, erected by the Norman Lord of Meath, Hugh de Lacy sometime before 1186.
The wall on the east side of Rosemary Lane, a back-lane which runs from St. Laurence Street towards the Augustinian Church is the oldest stone structure in Drogheda, it was completed in 1234 as the west wall of the first castle guarding access to the northern crossing point of the Boyne. The earliest known town charter is that granted to Drogheda-in-Meath by Walter de Lacy in 1194. In the 1600s the name of the town was spelled "Tredagh" in keeping with the common pronunciation, as documented by Gerard Boate in his work Irelands' Natural History. In c. 1655 it was spelled "Droghedagh" on a map by William Farriland. Drogheda was an important walled town in the English Pale in the medieval period, it hosted meetings of the Irish Parliament at that time. According to R. J. Mitchell in John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, in a spill-over from the War of the Roses the Earl of Desmond and his two youngest sons were executed there on Valentine's Day 1468 on orders of the Earl of Worcester, the Lord Deputy of Ireland.
It came to light, that Elizabeth Woodville, the queen consort, was implicated in the orders given. The parliament was moved to the town in 1494 and passed Poynings' Law, the most significant legislation in Irish history, a year later; this subordinated the Irish Parliament's legislative powers to the King and his English Council. The town was besieged twice during the Irish Confederate Wars. On the second occasion an assault was made on the town from the south, the tall walls breached, the town was taken by Oliver Cromwell on 11 September 1649, as part of the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland and it was the site of a massacre of the Royalist defenders. In his own words after the siege of Drogheda, "When they submitted, their officers were knocked on the head, every tenth man of the soldiers killed and the rest shipped to Barbados." The Earldom of Drogheda was created in the Peerage of Ireland in 1661. The Battle of the Boyne, 1690, occurred some 6 km west of the town, on the banks of the River Boyne, at Oldbridge.
In 1790 Drogheda Harbour Commi
The O'Neill dynasty is a group of families all of Irish Gaelic origin, that have held prominent positions and titles in Ireland and elsewhere. As Chiefs of Cenél nEógain, they are the most prominent family of the Northern Uí Néill, along with the O'Donnell, O'Doherty and the O'Donnelly clans; the O'Neills hold that their ancestors were Kings of Ailech during the Early Middle Ages, as descendants of Niall of the Nine Hostages. A number of their progenitors and members are named as High Kings of Ireland, such as Niall Glúndub and Domnall ua Néill. From 1185 until 1616, the O'Neills were sovereign Kings of Tír Eógain, holding territories in the north of Ireland. After their realm was merged with the Kingdom of Ireland and the land was caught up in the Plantation of Ulster, they were involved in a number of significant events, such as Tyrone's Rebellion, the Flight of the Earls, the Irish Rebellion of 1641 and the Irish Confederate Wars; the O'Neill clan claims descent from Niall Glúndub, a 10th-century king of Ailech as well as High King of Ireland.
Niall descended from the Cenél nEógain branch of the Northern Uí Néill. The first to adopt the patronymic surname was Niall Glúndub's great-great-grandson, Flaithbertach Ua Néill; the O'Neill clan does not receive a mention in non-Irish recorded history sources until 1160, from which they emerge from a "very murky background". In 1167 the high-king of Ireland, Ruaidri Ua Concobhair marched north and divided the kingdom of Tír Eoghain into two; the portion north of Slieve Gallion, was given to Niall Mac Lochlainn, with the portion south of Slieve Gallion, given to Áed Ua Néill. After this the two rival clans contested for control over Tír Eoghain until the battle of Caimeirge in 1241, where the O'Neills wiped out the MacLaughlins. Once the MacLaughlins were defeated, the O'Neills spread out and dominated the other client clans across Ulster and the other Irish kingdoms, they used the disruption of the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169 to their benefit and were able to consolidate their hold on the western half of Ulster.
The Bruce Invasion of Ireland devastated the Norman Earldom of Ulster, which held sway over eastern Ulster and most of its north coast all the way to Derry. Its collapse in 1333 allowed a branch of the O'Neills, on good terms with the Normans, the Clandeboy O'Neills, to step into the power vacuum and take control over large parts of eastern Ulster; the dominant Gaelic and Norman-Irish leaders were in tune with their contemporary peers of the Middle Ages in terms of education, international trade, diplomacy. The O'Neills of Tyrone had strong family relationships with the FitzGerald dynasty, both the Earls of Kildare and Earls of Desmond. In 1171, King Henry II of England came to Ireland to remove the authority of the Norman lords in Ireland, he received the pledge of fealty from them. During the Middle Ages, the O'Neills of Tyrone were active politically and militarily throughout Ireland sending nobility to fight within Ireland and in campaigns in Europe. From 1312 to 1318, the O'Neill kings were staunch supporters of King Robert the Bruce and his brother Edward Bruce in their struggle for Scottish independence.
They sent troops and supported Edward in his attempt to become King of Ireland in 1315. In 1394 Richard II of England deemed King Niall Mor "Le Grand O'Neill" upon a friendly hosting of the two kings. In the 14th century Edward III of England called Tyrone "the Great O'Neill" and invited him to join a campaign against the Scots, another O'Neill prince accompanied the English king on a crusade to the Holy Land. In 1493, Henry VII of England referred to Henry O'Neill, King of Tyrone, as "the Chief of the Irish Kings" and gave him a gift of livery; the O'Neills' independent stature within Ulster began to change with the ascent of King Henry VIII in England in 1509. Soon after he took the English throne, Henry decided to grasp Ireland via a reputed Papal Bull that claimed to grant the lordship of Ireland to English kings; this was spurred by the 1537 Rising of Silken Thomas Fitzgerald. The O'Neills supported their FitzGerald dynasty cousins in that rebellion and had to maneuver politically to keep the English from toppling their power in Ulster when the rising failed.
Henry began a policy to reduce the kings in Ireland to the same rank and structure as the English nobility. In the policy called Surrender and regrant Irish monarchs were forced to surrender their titles and independent lands to Henry, in return he created them Earls of the Kingdom of Ireland and "granted" them their own lands back; the last King of Tyrone and first original earldom was one such grant by Henry VIII in 1542 to Conn Bacach O'Neill, on the creation of the Kingdom of Ireland. Conn wanted to be named the Earl of Ulster, but Henry refused that royal honor out of spite for Conn's previous warfare against his crown; the earldom of Tyrone was granted in 1542. The submission of Conn O'Neill led to a 50-year civil war within Ulster that led to downfall of O'Neill power in 1607 with the departure of the third earl for Rome and exile. Shane an Diomais, the eldest surviving, legitimate son of Conn Bacach O'Neill, was styled Prince of Tyrone, Prince of Ulster, Dux Hibernicorum by his European peers.
He did not share the moderate relationship with the English. He was always at war with the Lord Li
Bishop of Clogher
The Bishop of Clogher is an episcopal title which takes its name after the village of Clogher in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Following the Reformation, there are now parallel apostolic successions: one of the Church of Ireland and the other of the Roman Catholic Church. Clogher is one of the twenty-four dioceses established at the Synod of Ráth Breasail in 1111 and consists of much of south west Ulster, taking in most of counties Fermanagh and Monaghan and parts of Tyrone, Cavan and Donegal. In the Irish annals the Bishop of Clogher was styled the Bishop of Oirialla. Between c. 1140 to c. 1190, County Louth was transferred from the see of Armagh to the see of Clogher. During this period the Bishop of Clogher used the style Bishop of Louth; the title Bishop of Clogher was resumed after 1193, when County Louth was restored to the see of Armagh. In the Church of IrelandThe present Church of Ireland bishop is the Right Reverend John Francis McDowell, appointed by the House of Bishops on 30 May 2011 and consecrated a bishop on 23 September.
The Church of Ireland bishop is unique in having two diocesan cathedrals within a single diocese, with one Dean and chapter between them: the Cathedral Church of Saint Macartin and the Cathedral Church of Saint Macartan, Clogher. In the Roman Catholic ChurchThe current Roman Catholic bishop is the Most Reverend Lawrence Duffy, appointed by the Holy See on 8 December 2018 and ordained bishop on 10 February 2019; the Roman Catholic bishop's seat is located at the Cathedral Church of Monaghan. Diocese of Clogher Roman Catholic Diocese of Clogher
The Desmond Rebellions occurred in 1569–1573 and 1579–1583 in the Irish province of Munster. They were rebellions by the Earl of Desmond – head of the FitzGerald dynasty in Munster – and his followers, the Geraldines and their allies, against the threat of the extension of their South Welsh Tewdwr cousins of Elizabethan English government over the province; the rebellions were motivated by the desire to maintain the independence of feudal lords from their monarch, but had an element of religious antagonism between Catholic Geraldines and the Protestant English state. They culminated in the destruction of the Desmond dynasty and the plantation or colonisation of Munster with English Protestant settlers.'Desmond' is the Anglicisation of the Irish Deasmumhain, meaning'South Munster' The south of Ireland was dominated, as it had been for over two centuries, by the Old English Butlers of Ormonde and the FitzGeralds of Desmond. Both families raised their own armed forces and imposed their own law, a mixture of Irish and English customs independent of the English government imposed on Ireland.
Beginning in the 1530s, successive English administrations tried to expand English control over Ireland. By the 1560s, their attention had turned to the south of Ireland and Henry Sidney, as Lord Deputy of Ireland, was charged with establishing the authority of the English government over the independent lordships there, his solution was the formation of "lord presidencies"—provincial military governors who would replace the local lords as military powers and keepers of the peace. The dynasties saw the presidencies as intrusions into their sphere of influence, their interfamilial competition had seen the Butlers and FitzGeralds fight a pitched battle against each other at Affane in County Waterford in 1565 in defiance of English law. Elizabeth I summoned the heads of both houses to London to explain their actions. However, the treatment of the dynasties was not even-handed. Thomas Butler, 10th Earl of Ormonde — "Black Tom" Butler, Queen Elizabeth's cousin and friend – was pardoned, while both Gerald FitzGerald, 14th Earl of Desmond and his brother, John of Desmond regarded as the real military leader of the FitzGeralds, were arrested and detained in the Tower of London on Ormonde's urging.
This decapitated the natural leadership of the Munster Geraldines and left the Desmond earldom in the hands of a soldier, James FitzMaurice FitzGerald, the captain general of the Desmond military. FitzMaurice had little stake in a new demilitarised order in Munster, with abolition of the Irish lords' armies. A factor that drew wider support for FitzMaurice was the prospect of land confiscations, mooted by Sidney and Peter Carew, an English claimant to lands granted to an ancestor just after the Norman conquest of Ireland, lost soon afterwards; this ensured FitzMaurice the support of important Munster clans, notably MacCarthy Mór, O'Sullivan Beare and O'Keefe, two prominent Butlers, brothers of the Earl. Fitzmaurice himself had lost the land he had held at Kerricurrihy in County Cork, taken and leased to English colonists, he was a devout Catholic, influenced by the counter-reformation, saw the Protestant Elizabethan governors as his enemies. To discourage Sidney from going ahead with the Lord Presidency for Munster and to re-establish Desmond primacy over the Butlers, FitzMaurice planned rebellion against the English presence in the south, against the Earl of Ormonde.
FitzMaurice had wider aims than the recovery of FitzGerald supremacy within the context of the English Kingdom of Ireland. Before the rebellion, he secretly sent Maurice MacGibbon, Catholic Archbishop of Cashel, to seek military aid from Philip II of Spain. FitzMaurice first attacked the English colony at Kerrycurihy south of Cork city in June 1569, before attacking Cork itself and those native lords who refused to join the rebellion. FitzMaurice's force of 4,500 men went on to besiege seat of the Earls of Ormonde, in July. In response, Sidney mobilised 600 English troops, who marched south from Dublin and another 400 landed by sea in Cork. Thomas Butler, Earl of Ormonde, returned from London, where he had been at court, mobilised the Butlers and some Gaelic Irish clans antagonistic to the Geraldines. After the failed attempt to take Kilkenny, the rebellion descended into an untidy mopping-up operation. Together, Ormonde and Humphrey Gilbert, appointed as governor of Munster, devastated the lands of FitzMaurice's allies in a scorched earth policy.
FitzMaurice's forces broke up. Gilbert, a half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, was the most notorious for terror tactics, killing civilians at random and setting up corridors of severed heads at the entrance to his camps. Sidney forced FitzMaurice into the mountains of Kerry, from where he launched guerrilla attacks on the English and their allies. By 1570, most of FitzMaurice's allies had submitted to Sidney; the most important, Donal MacCarthy Mór, surrendered in November 1569. The guerrilla campaign continued for three more years. In February 1571, John Perrot was made Lord President of Munster, he pursued FitzMaurice with 700 troops for over a year without success. FitzMaurice had some victories, capturing an English ship near Kinsale and burning the town of Kilmallock in 1571, but by early 1573 his force was reduced to less than 100 men. FitzMaurice submitted on 23 February 1573, having negotiated a pardon for his life. However, in 1574, he became landless, in 1575 he sailed to France to seek help from the Catholic powers to start another rebellion.
Gerald FitzGerald, Earl of Desmond, his brother, J