The Image of Irelande, with a Discouerie of VVoodkarne

As Thicke As Pleates May Lye

With skulles upon their poules, Insteade of civil cappes, With speares in hand and sword by sides, To bear off afterclappes; With jackettes long and large, Which shroud simplicitie: Though spiteful dartes which they do beare Importe iniquitie. Their shirtes be verie straunge, Not reaching paste the thigh, With pleates on pleates they pleated are, […]

The Image of Irelande: Kern Led by Piper

Kern are mentioned in Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Acts I and V): The merciless Macdonwald– Worthy to be a rebel, for to that The multiplying villanies of nature Do swarm upon him–from the western isles Of kerns and gallowglasses is supplied; […] Mark, king of Scotland, mark: No sooner justice had with valour arm’d Compell’d these skipping […]

The Irish According to Fynes Moryson (I)

What follows is a very unflattering, but historically instructive, description of the Irish people  in the Tudor age by Fynes Moryson, an English world traveller who published his observations on divers countries across Europe.  I will be posting various snippets, which whilst being severely tainted by English hatred, are still interesting in the Irish Gaelic […]

Gallowglass and Kern

The gallowglass or galloglass (also spelt gallowglas or galloglas) — from Irish: gallóglaigh (plural), gallóglach (singular) — were a class of elite mercenary warriors who principally were members of the Norse-Gaelic clans of Scotland between the mid XIII century and late XVI century. As Scots, they were Gaels and shared a common background and language […]