Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
- Relations: rebellious towards its monarch, though such rebellions have been suppressed.
- Current Ruler: Charles II
- Religion: The majority of the nobility (those descended from the English) are Church of Ireland, while the old families still hold to Roman Catholicism.
Throughout the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth centuries there were numerous small uprisings by the native Irish against the continued colonisation by the English, whereby there was mass confiscation of land from Irish landowners which was subsequently given to those England, Scotland and Wales who were loyal to the Crown to settle. In 1641 they mounted a nationwide war. Known as the "Great Rebellion" it dragged on for eleven years and caused wholesale death and destruction throughout the whole island. Finally, Oliver Cromwell came to Ireland to put this rebellion down "once and for all." He proceeded by marching on every Irish city, slaughtering any and all that resisted him. Typical was his march on Drogheda. When his army entered the town, in addition to the defending soldiers, there were also 3000 unarmed civilians there. Cromwell's soldiers began killing everyone in sight, and when the slaughter was over, only thirty Irish people remained.
When the war ended in 1652, one third of the Irish Catholic population had been killed and additional thousands had been transported to the West Indies to work as slaves. Cromwell's soldiers were granted generous grants of land as a result of their "excellent effort." To make room for his soldiers, Cromwell issued his famous order, "to hell or Connaught"--either move to the barren lands of western Ireland or be killed. By 1655, land owned by non-Irish had increased to 75%. In spite of all this, it was said, "an Irish nation still existed--separate, numerous, and hostile." In view of this some families converted for political security, but remained closest Catholics.