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1641 Depositions, Volume VII: Wexford Aidan Clarke (principal editor) | The Irish Manuscripts Commission

Release Date02/11/2024
PublisherThe Irish Manuscripts Commission

The 1641 Depositions are witness statements, mainly by Protestants but also by some Catholics, from all walks of life, concerning their experiences of the 1641 rebellion in Ireland.

The examinations included in this volume provide a far richer source of information about the manner in which the Wexford community mobilised for war than exists for any other county. This includes detailed (often first-hand) accounts of the arrangements made to raise and supply fighting men. They also show that violence in county Wexford was largely associated with publicly organised siege operations against forts and castles. Vivid descriptions survive of the exercise of political control through public meetings, the creation of a county-wide hierarchy of representatives coordinating committees and the vigorous exaction under clerical supervision of the Confederate Catholic oath of association.

This volume contains original depositions taken in 1642–6, but the greater part of the papers relating to Wexford consist of one of only two surviving sets of records of ‘Commissions of Delinquency’, appointed in each precinct in late 1653 to prepare for the implementation of the 1652 Act of Settlement. Their task was to identify landholders who had been excluded from pardon under the terms of the act, either because they had taken arms in the first year of the rebellion or because they had assisted those who had done so, and who were therefore ineligible to receive ‘compensatory’ land in Connacht. They are important to understanding land redistribution in seventeenth-century Ireland.

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€50 | 978-1-906865-41-2 | lxx + 533 pp