Galloglass 1250-1600 Gaelic Mercenary Warrior

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    O UT T H E U TH OR N D ILLUSTRATOR

    FERGUS CA N is an expert on armed conflict in the medieval Celticwest and a prolific historical writer scholarand museum professional. His

    Gaelicforebears were involved in many of the eventsdetailed inthis book.H has also written a bookabout Scottish arms and armour and presented

    do ur n n ta ry about battles of the Scottish War for Independencefeaturedon t h Blu my r I as of raveheart

    II \ Hit AI l iv s nd works inDonegal I relI Illltur 11 hi tory illustration from Black

    r U nlv r lty .

    WARRIOR 143

    G LLOGL SS125 16

    Gaelic Mercenary Warrior

    FERGUS NN N ILLUSTRATED Y SE N O BROGAIN ri s i to r Marcus Cowper

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    Firstpublished inGreatBritain in2010 by OspreyPublishingMidland House,West Way Botley, OxfordOX2 OPH UK44-0223rd St Suite219,Long IslandCity, NY 11101, USAE-mail:info@ospreypublishing.com

    2010OspreyPublishing Ltd.

    Allrightsreserved.Apart fromany fairdealing for thepurpose of privatestudy,research,criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright,Designsand PatentsAct, 19B8 nopa r t of thispublication maybereproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted inany formor by anymeans,electroniC, electrical,chemical,mechanical,optical,photocopying recording or otherwise, without the prior written permissionof the copyright owner.Enquiries should beaddressed to the Publishers.

    A CIP catalogue record forthis book is available from the British Library.

    ISBN-13:978 1B4603 S77 7

    E-book ISBN:9781 849082686

    Editorial by lliosPublishing Ltd,Oxford, UK www.iliospublishing.com)Cartography: Map Studio,RomseyPage layoutby: Mark HoltIndexby: MikeParkinTypesetin Sabonand MyriadProOriginated by: PDQ MediaPrintedin China th roughWorldprin t Ltd

    10 11 12 13 14 1 0 9 8 7 6 S 4 3 2 1

    FOR A CATALOGUEOF ALL 800KS PU8L1SHED BYOSPREYMILITARY AND AVIATION PLEASE CONTAG:

    OspreyDirect, c/o RandomHouse Distribution Center,400 HahnRoad,Westminster,MD 21 1S7Email:uscu stomerservice@o spreypublishi ng.com

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    www.ospreypublishing.com

    DEDICATION

    This book is dedicated to the memory of mygrandmother JoanCannan,nee Ross 1918-2002),whose ancestorwas wounded atDundal kservingwith EdwardBrucein the14th century. Cuiridh mi clach r docham

    ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    My thanks to CormacBourke,Curator of MedievalAntiquities, UlsterMuseum; my mother Crescy;Dublin CityCouncil;the Departmentof Environment,Heritage and Local Government,Republic of Ireland;Fergus Gillespie,Chief Herald of Ireland;EthanHayesKalemjian;Lambeth PalaceLibrary;Tom Newton;Bob Paisley;BrendanSmith,Reader in History,Bristol University;David Swift;and as alwaysmy wife Heather.

    ARTISTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

    LemuelBlack,Nikolai Bogdanovic, DavidBrogan,Thomas 8rogan,FergusCannan,Marcus Cowper,Conor Doherty,Eoghan Doherty,MichealDoherty,Ridhcheall Doherty,Vivienne Doherty,Felim MacGabhann,CronMacKay,John McCavitt, HelenMcDonagh, Mike McNally,VincentO Donnell,Christopher Pannell, BoydRankin, Tom Sweeney,Dave SwiftandLynneWilliams.

    ARTISTS NOTE

    Readersmay care to notethat theoriginalpaintings f romwhich thecolour platesin this book were preparedare available for private sale.Allreproduction copyright whatsoever is retained by the Publishers.Allenquiries shouldbe addressedto:

    Sean 0 Br6gain,Srathan Ghallaigh,An Clochan, Leifear,TirChonaill,Ireland

    ThePublishersregret thatthey canenter into no correspondence uponthismatter.

    THE WOODL ND TRUST

    OspreyPublishing are supporting theWoodlandTrust, the UK s leadingwoodland conservationcharity,by funding thededication of trees.

    CONTENTS

    INTRODU TION

    HRONOLOGY

    RECRUITMENT

    Home to I re land . Irish galloglass

    TRAINING N D SELECTION

    The hereditary t r a d i t i o n . England s foul over-sight

    APPEARANCE

    C l ot h in g . A r m ou r . Weapons

    CONDITIONS OF SERVICE

    Contracts and bonds of vassalage. Freelance galloglass Ran ks and unit structureThe cons l Pay and ra t ions . i e t Bil let s and accommodation. Discipline in the ranksAccom m oda ti o n f o r t he officers

    ON MP IGN

    Irish armies. Raiding. The dynamics of the r a id . M a k in g c a mp

    THE GALLOGLASS EXPERIENCE OF BATTLE

    Before the b a t t l e . Surpri se and night attacks. Standing g u a rd . Va n gu a rd a n d attackTo hand b lo ws . The defensive screen. Rearguard ac t ions . AmbushesVictory over the English: Meath 1423 Gal log lass against gal log lass: Knockdoe 1504Loyalty t o t he end: Monasternenagh 1579

    ETHOS N D MOTIVATION

    ium hum nit tis Fa mi n e a n d homic ide . Vassals and empire buildersThe lo rd s gal log lass Into government service . Constables of the Pale

    Retirement and rew ard . Like anatomies o f dea th The gal log lass and the keys to heaven

    PLACES TO VISIT

    GLOSSARY

    SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

    INDEX

    4

    4

    6

    7

    24

    44

    59

    6

    62

    64

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    R RUITM NT

    Inauguration of the chief of theO Neilisat Tullaghogein anEnglish map of c.1600. A two-handed axe, he ld a lof ton theleft, indicatesthe presence ofO Neill sMacDonnell constableof galloglass at the ceremony.MacDomhnaill MacDonnell)andMac Sfthigh MacSheehy)galloglasswere descended

    from the MacDona Ids, a preeminentpower in the WesternIsles. Alreadydeepiy involvedinirishaffairs by the time of theBruce invasion, many joinedwith the Scots assault onIreland. Other MacDonaldsopposed the Bruce brothersbut seem also to have been onbadterms withthe anti-BruceMacDougalis. TheseMacDonaIds probabiy foundthemselvesin reducedcircumstancesand becamegalloglassin Ireland. NationalMaritime Museum, London)

    Home to IrelandA rr iv ing in the ir l ongs hips in the middle yea rs of the 13th century, thegal loglass se tt led first in the north of Ireland before spreading out acrossthe land. Immediately the advance of the English was checked. Scots quicklyacquired a reputation for being instigators of r ev ol t i n I re la nd - or as theEnglish general Sir Henry Bagenal put i t m uc h l at er i n 1 59 2, f or be in g t he fi rebrand and nurse of rebellion in Ireland. Scottish galloglass, generally

    Highland noblemen of a rather minor, restlessly ambitious or disgraced sort,l iked to be flat tered by the Irish bards as exi led heroes re turning to rescuethe Irish motherland . The reality was that most of them simply saw Irelandas a playground for their ambit ion and a n ew land to e xp lo it . No r did theyhave much interest in the plight of the ordinary Irish people. The Irish peoplethey were interes ted in were the chiefs and lords of t he c ount ry - those w ithmoney and power to give them.

    The English occupation of Ire land began when Dermot MacMurrough,King of Leinster, was deposed by a neighbouring chiefin 1166. Foolishly, butunderstandably, Dermot appealed to England for help. Soon, land-hungryEnglish and Welsh knights were p o u rin g in to Ireland. A terrible war ofconquest had begun. Thenative chiefs fought back but, lackinga s ingle kingto rally behind, suffered defeat after defeat. By the middle of the nextcenturythe English had succeeded in establishing a permanent enclave around Dublinknown as t he P al e , f ro m t he La ti n fo r s t ak e . T h e I ri sh c hief s fac ed astark choice: perish or bring yet more fore ign fighters into their country.The foreigners they turned to were the galloglass.

    Battle of Kinsale: O Neill and O Donnell defeated.

    Deat h o f Elizabeth I; James VI of Scotland becomeKingJames I of Scotland, England and Ireland.

    Flight of the Earls ; O Neill (Earl of Tyrone) , Rory Donnell(Earl of Tyrconnel) and Cuconnachy Maguire (Lord ofFermanagh) leave Ulsterfor the European Continent,never to return.

    Plantation of Ulster begins.

    Thomas Gainsford comments in h Glory of nglandThe name of galloglass is in a manner extinct .

    Highland and Island Scots were warriors to the bone. Their ances tors were amix of warl ike Celtic tr ibesmen and Viking soldier-seafarers , and the twocultures had fused togetherto create a violent society of tempe tuous, ruddys kinned men . Li fe in the se par ts w a bas ed a round s ub i t ence a gr ic ul tu re ,fishing, hunting,fighting and feuding. This wasa world in which conflict wasa part of dai ly li fe. For a y oung H ighlande r w ho had not inherited land orposition, prospects were few. Everyday life was so hazardous - whether as afisherman riding thewaves or a peasant famer driving his meagreflock acrosswind-lashed moors - that it wa n o g re at l eap i nt o t h e unknown to become asoldier. Forthose up to thechallenge,it was worth taking a chancein Ireland.

    Yet many of the first galloglass - including the MacSweeneys, MacDoweJlsa nd many M ac Do nnel ls - w ere not men choosing to seek their fortunes inIreland, but exiles who had been ejected or otherwisefallen foul of theKing ofScots. Meanwhile, other MacDonnells (the MacSheehys were a MacDonnelloffshoot) and the MacRorys were enthus ias t ic proponents of Robert and

    Edward Bruce s vision of an Ireland free of Eng li sh rul e, s eein ri chpickings to be had ifthe An I -Iri hbarons could be driven fr m th irestates . Ire land offer d th 111 boththeprospectof power ndl, n I an