Earl of Ormonde
English Commonwealth was established in 1649. The biggest problem then was how to subdue Ireland. Since 1641, there was active opposition to when English authority was imposed.
· Irish Catholics fiercely attacked the Protestant settlers in Ulster.
· Following C1’s execution (who was a chief Irish supporter), Earl of Ormonde persuaded the Protestant royalists in southern Ireland to join w/Catholics to fight against English P.
· March 1649, Cromwell is appointed by Rump as Lord Lieutenant (the viceroy of Ireland. A viceroy is a ruler exercising authority in a colony on behalf of a sovereign). He was then told to crush the Irish combination.
Cromwell’s Irish campaign 1649 – 50:
· August 1649, Cromwell landed south of Dublin w/12,000 men where he began his 9-month campaign in Ireland.
Ormonde’s forces outnumbered the English army BUT they had less artillery and discipline. P controlled the Irish Sea meaning that Cromwell’s army was regularly supplied whereas Ormonde’s army wasn’t.
Ormonde hoped that the forces of Owen Roe O’Niell (led the Irish peasantry) would help to form a combined royalist army against Cromwell. BUT O’Niell died in November so this wouldn’t have been possible.
· HOWEVER, the fear that this alliance could’ve been possible is the reason why Cromwell began his campaign w/advancing on Drogheda (town to the north of Dublin that commanded the main north-south route).
· Drogheda was taken after strong resistance. This effectively secured the English army’s control of the north of Ireland.
· Cromwell turned to head south and within 6 months, brought Ireland under his army’s domination. It was during this southern march that Wexford was captured, once again after fierce resistance.
Both Drogheda and Wexford were well-defended towns where civilians had gathered as well as troops. Both towns were strategically important hence why Cromwell took them. Occupants were first offered quarter (mercy) if they surrendered but they refused. By following the rules of war, Cromwell ordered his troops to…