Causes of Tyrone's Rebellion

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  • Created on: 22-11-20 13:23

Causes of Tyrone's Rebellion

Anglo-Irish Relations

When Henry VIII broke with Rome, Ireland remained Catholic and the noiblity stayed semi-independent. With Ireland being Catholic and ruled by the Pope, and England having Elizabeth of the head of the Church, it created religious tensions.

Alongside that, the plantation system outside Pale to civilise Irish traditions created resentment. This was a religious underlying cause. 

Elizabeth's rule of Ireland 1559-94

Attempts to rule Ireland created resentment e.g. introducing English councils to rule in Munster started 2 rebellions which could inspire further rebellions.

775 settlers were in Munster with intention to eradicate Irish tradition and this increased resentment towards the English. General Political cause, could be a catalyst but had been going on a while.

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Causes of Tyrone's Rebellion

English Incursions into Ulster from the 70s

Ulster was , it was controlled by the O'Neills and the O'Donnels who preivously shared control but then 2 English courtiers were granted Eastern Ulster, uniting both Irish clans against a common enemy. This gave them both reason to rebel and join forces.

The situation descended into violence and Elizbateh called off the plantation, due to rising anger around the plantation.Political cause, catalyst.

Resentment of the Earl of Tyrone

- O'Neill accepted the title of Earl of Tyrone 1585 but there was growing tensions with new settlers in Ulster. Irish lands were being taken and regranted and the MachMahon chief was executed.

Tyrone married the sister of Henry Bagenal in attempt to neautralise the situation but it failed so they eloped, creating personal tension between them. 

- Hugh O'Donnel was imprisoned in Dublin Castle to make his father obey English rule, so he was resentful towards the English, after 4 years he escaped and plotted against the Queen. This was all growing resentment towards the English and a personal, political catalyst.

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Causes of Tyrone's Rebellion

English Managment of Anglo-Irish chiefants

Tyrone offered to accept English government styles if he can have control of Ulster, however he was being overlooked in favour of Englishmen with connections to Elizabeth's court.This was personal political resentment and anger.

This was a common issue of Irish nobility being overlooked or excluded from influential positions e.g. Earl of Ormond. Appointments to office were dominated by English officals who used it for personal gain. This was a catalyst.

Tyrone's decision

He tried to get Spanish support but failed, so him and an Ulster lord besieged an English held castle 1594. In August he offered to restore peace for control of Ulster but was refused again due to his religion. He was infruiated by the untrustworthiness of the English government.

It was his attempt to reconcile and stay loyal, but the English made it obvious how they favoured the English and it was the trigger of the rebellion.

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Causes of Tyrone's Rebellion


- Underlying religious tensions: Pope ruled Ireland vs Elizabeth head of CofE.

- Attempts to civilise Irish traditions (plantation) created resentment, especially settlers. e.g Munster rebellions. 

- Tried to set up English style courts and favoured Englishmen.

- Ulster, shared between O'Neill and O'Donnel sparked a join of forces when Easter Ulster was given to English Courtiers. Had reasons to rebel.

- Earl of Tyrone (O'Neill) offered peace in return for control of Ulster but was refused twice and didnt trust the English government. 

- Irish nobility were being refused their positions which built resentment.

- O'Donnel had personal resentment after being imprisoned for 4 years for his dads actions.

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