War Aims of Aodh Mór Ó Néill

Below are the stated war aims of Hugh O’Neill (Aodh Mór Ó Néill)Earl of Tyrone, in the Nine Years’ War (Cogadh na Naoi mBliana), a conflict waged by Irish chiefs and their allies against English rule in Ireland. It ended in defeat for the Irish chieftains, which led to their exile in the Flight of the Earls and to the Plantation of Ulster. It was the largest conflict fought by England during the Elizabethan era.

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That the catholic, apostolic, and Roman religion be openly preached and taught throughout all Ireland, as well in cities as borough towns, by bishops, seminary priests, Jesuits, and all other religious men.

That the Church of Ireland be wholly governed by the pope.

That all cathedrals and parish churches, abbeys, and all other religious houses, with all tithes and church lands, now in the hands of the English, be presently restored to the catholic churchmen.

That all Irish priests and religious men, now prisoners in England or Ireland, be presently set at liberty, with all temporal Irishmen, that are troubled for their conscience, and to go where they will, without further trouble.

That all Irish priests and religious men may freely pass and repass, by sea and land, to and from foreign countries.

That no Englishman may be a churchman in Ireland.

That there be erected an university upon the crown rents of Ireland, wherein all sciences shall be taught according to the manner of the catholic Roman church.

That the governor of Ireland be at least an earl, and of the privy council of England, bearing the name of viceroy.

That the lord chancellor, lord treasurer, lord admiral, the council of state, the justices of the laws, queen’s attorney, queen’s serjeant, and all other officers appertaining to the council and law of Ireland, be Irishmen.

That all principal governments of Ireland, as Connaught, Munster, etc., be governed by Irish noblemen.

That the master of ordnance, and half the soldiers with their officers resident in Ireland, be Irishmen.

That no Irishman’s heirs shall lose their lands for the faults of their ancestors.

That no Irishman’s heir under age shall fall in the queen’s or her successors’ hands, as a ward, but that the living be put to the heir’s profit, and the advancement of his younger brethren, and marriages of his sisters, if he have any.

That no children nor any other friends be taken as pledges for the good abearing of their parents, and, if there be any such pledges now in the hands of the English, they must presently be released.

That all statutes made against the preferment of Irishmen as well in their own country as abroad, be presently recalled.

That the queen nor her successors may in no sort press an Irishman to serve them against his will.

That O’Neill, O’Donnell, the Earl of Desmond, with all their partakers may peacable enjoy all lands and privileges that did appertain to their predecessors 200 years past.

That all Irishmen, of what quality they be, may freely travel in foreign countries, for their better experience, without making any of the queen’s officers acquainted withal.

That all Irishmen may freely travel and traffic all merchandises in England as Englishmen, paying the same rights and tributes as the English do.

That all Irishmen may freely traffic with all merchandises, that shall be thought necessary by the council of state of Ireland for the profit of their republic, with foreigners or in foreign countries, and that no Irishman shall be troubled for the passage of priests or other religious men.

That all Irishmen that will may learn, and use all occupations and arts whatsoever.

That all Irishmen may freely build ships of what burden they will, furnishing the same with artillery and all munition at their pleasure.

— Calendar of State Papers relating to Ireland, 1599-1600 (London 1899) 279-281.

Published by Christian Clay Columba Campbell

Christian Clay Columba Campbell is a Roman Catholic of the Anglican Use. As Senior Warden of the Cathedral of the Incarnation (Orlando, FL), he organised the process by which the parish accepted the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus, petitioning to join the Catholic Church. The Anglican Cathedral is now the Church of the Incarnation in the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. Personal queries should be directed to me at eccentricbliss dot com.

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