Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland exhibition material

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This article offers a comprehensive and descriptive list of each piece included in Nobility and Newcomers in Renaissance Ireland, one of the Exhibitions at the Folger.

London: City of Two Realms (case 1 and wall after case 1)

London bore a heavy Irish mark, politically and culturally, in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Richard Duke of York's return from Ireland in 1450, where he served as Governor and enjoyed great support, helped spark the Wars of the Roses. The first Tudor king, Henry VII, (crowned 1485), would in turn face two Yorkist invasions launched from Ireland. Ireland was made a kingdom by Act of Parliament in 1541, and the crown's efforts to control the western realm inspired sixteenth-century mapmakers and historians: Knowledge equals power, and the Tudor capital was awash in new maps, histories, ethnographies, and politcal treatises concerning Ireland and its governance. Literary London, meanwhile, played to popular sentiment and emphasized the exotic character of the Irish in prose, verse, and drama.

Items included

Case 1

Wall after case 1

Dublin (case 2)

English and Irish noble connections played out in Dublin much as they did in London—at times harmonious, at times violently contentious. Founded by Vikings in the ninth century, Dublin was always an international settlement, and it became the de facto capital of the island by the time of the Anglo-Norman invasion in the late twelfth century. This first "English" conquest established intimate connections—by blood, marriage, and alliance—between nominally "English" and nominally "Irish" aristocracy. By the late Tudor period, the descendants of these two groups had become the "Old English" and "native Irish" (or "Gaels") respectively, and both were predominantly Catholic. The Tudor reconquest then introduced a (mostly Protestant) "New English" interest to this mingled society and thereby added a new level of complexity to cosmopolitan Dublin and the rest of the country.

Items included

  • FACSIMILE. Galwaye; Dublin; Lymericke; Corcke from Civitates Orbis Terrarum. Cologne: Anton Hierat & Abraham Hogenberg, 1618. Call number: ART 229- 985 no.11 (size L); displayed inset map of Dublin.
  • FACSIMILE from the University of Edinburgh. John Derricke. Image of Irelande. London: J. Kingston, 1581. (Image)
  • Letter of command signed from Elizabeth I, Queen of England, to Sir Henry Sidney, Lord Deputy of Ireland. Manuscript, November 4, 1568. Call number: X.d.127 and LUNA Digital Image.
  • Lodowick Bryskett. A Discourse of Civill Life. London: William Aspley, 1606. Call number: STC 3959; displayed [ p. 1 (sig B1r)
  • FACSIMILE. William Wynne Ryland. Sir Philip Sidney. 18th century. Call number: ART File S569 no.6 (size XS) and LUNA Digital Image.
  • FACSIMILE from the National Gallery of Ireland. After Arnold van Brounkhorst. Portrait of Sir Henry Sidney (1529–86), Lord Deputy of Ireland. Oil on panel, 16th century.
  • Richard Stanyhurst. Harmonia seu Catena Dialectica. London: For Reginald Wolf, 1570. Call number: STC 23229; displayed sig. a2 and LUNA Digital Image.
  • Edmund Campion. Two Histories of Ireland. Dublin: Societie of Stationers, 1633. Call number: STC 25067a copy 1; displayed sig. ¶2r.
  • The Famous Historye of the Life and Death of Captaine Thomas Stukeley. London: William Jaggard, 1605. Call number: STC 23405 copy 2; displayed p. 40.
  • John Derricke. The Image of Irelande. London: J. Kingston, 1581. Call number: STC 6734; displayed title page.

Turmoil in the Pale: the Decline of Kildare (case 3 and wall above case 3)

The English Pale was an ill-defined legislative zone create in 1494 to protect Dublin's hinterland from what lay beyond. From its inception, the Pale was a site of cultural hybridity, political negotiation, and occasional rebellion. Most local nobles were of mixed English-Irish ancestry and they had to maintain allegiance to the distant English crown while living among the Gaelic neighbors, who had their own established language, laws and traditions. After Henry VIII's break with Rome, the nobles also had to defend their Catholicism against a state-sponsored Protestantism. The greatest of these families was the Fitzgeralds, earls of Kildare, who were among the most powerful and wealthy lords in all of England and Ireland. Until their rebellion in the 1530s, they regularly served as the English crown's cheif governors in Ireland.

Items included

Case 3

  • Richard Stanyhurst. De Rebus de Hibernia Gestis...1584. Call number: DA930.S8 1584 Cage; displayed title page.
  • Richard Stanyhurst. The First Foure Bookes of Virgil’s Aeneis. London: Henry Bynneman, 1583. Call number: STC 24807; displayed p. 1.
  • FACSIMILE from the National Gallery of Ireland. Attributed to the Master of the Countess of Warwick. Portrait of “The Fair Geraldine,” Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Lincoln (ca. 1528–90). Oil on panel, 16th century. Image.
  • Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey. Sonnet to Elizabeth Fitgerald in Songs and Sonets. London: Richard Tottell, 1574. Call number: STC 13866 Copy 1; displayed fol. 5r and LUNA Digital Image.
  • Thomas Nashe. The Unfortunate Traveller. London: T. Scarlet, 1594. Call number: STC 18380; displayed p. 35.

Wall above case 3

Wall before Case 4

  • FACSIMILE from the National Gallery of Ireland. Attributed to Steven van der Meule. Portrait of Thomas Butler (1532–1614), tenth Earl of Ormond. Oil on panel, 16th century.

Continuity & Change: Ormond’s Leinster (case 4)

Items included

  • Dermot O'Meara. Ormonius. London: Thomas Snodham, 1615. STC 17761; displayed title page
  • Genealogies of earls of England and Ireland. Manuscript, 1581–c.1625. V.a.266; displayed leaf between 20 + 21
  • LOAN from Harvard University Library. Michael O’Byrne, scribe. Agso Duainaire Aodhamac Seain UiBhruin ó Glen Moluara. Manuscript, compiled 1726–28. Shelf Mark MS Ir6.
  • FACSIMILE from Harvard University Library. Michael O’Byrne, scribe. Agso Duainaire Aodhamac Seain UiBhruin ó Glen Moluara. Manuscript, compiled 1726–28. Shelf Mark MS Ir6
  • FACSIMILE from Royal Irish Academy. Míchéal mac Peadair Uí Longáin, scribe. Miscellany, “Toghaim Tomas rogha” on “Black Thomas” Butler. Manuscript, 18th century. Shelf Mark MS 23 N 15.
  • FACSIMILE from the Huntington Library. Thomas Churchyard. A Scourge for Rebels. London: Thomas Dawson, 1584. Shelf Mark 56400.
  • Edmund Spenser. The Faerie Queene. London: John Wolfe, 1590. STC 23080; displayed 2Q2v–2Q2r
  • Attributed to Thomas Morgan. Leycesters Commonwealth. Paris, 1584. STC 19399; displayed p. 44–45

Wall after Case 4

  • Plaster cast made from portrait in relief (1565–75) of King Edward VI, from the ornamental frieze of the Long Gallery, Ormond Castle, Carrick-On-Suir, County Tipperary, Ireland. Kindly reproduced for exhibition by the National Monument Service, Office of Public Works, Ireland.

Rebellion in Munster: the Fall of Desmond (case 5)

Items included

  • LOAN from Rolf and Magda Loeber. Francesco Petrarch. Le Volgari Opere del Petrarcha con la Espositione di Alessandro Vellutello da Lucca. Venice, 1525.
  • FACSIMILE from Lambeth Palace. Desmond pedigree. 17th century. Shelf Mark MS 610.
  • Thomas Churchyard. The Miserie of Flaunders. London: Felix Kingston, 1579. STC 5243; displayed D1
  • FACSIMILE from Cambridge University Library. A[nthony] M[unday]. The True Reporte of the Prosperous Successe which God Gave Unto our English Souldiours. London: Edward White, 1581.
  • Edmund Spenser. The Faerie Queene. London: Richard Field, 1596. STC 23082 copy 2; displayed Gg3/466–467

Wall above Case 5

  • FACSIMILE from the National Library of Ireland. Francis Jobson. The Province of Munster. ca. 1589. Shelf Mark 16 B 13.

Vitrine after Case 5

  • Raphael Holinshed. Chronicles of England, Scotlande, and Irelande. London: Henry Denham, 1587. STC 13569 copy 2, vol. 1; displayed p. 172–173

Rise of the New English “New Men”: The Munster Plantation (case 6)

Items included

  • Richard Beacon. Solon his Follie. Oxford: Joseph Barnes, 1594. STC 1653.2; displayed title page
  • Copy of letter from Erhardus Stibarus to Erasmus Neustetter from Lotichius, Elegiarum (Lyon, 1553), in the hand of Edmund Spenser. Manuscript, copied after 1576. X.d.520
  • Georg Sabinus. Poemata. Leipzig, 1563? V.a.341; displayed title page
  • Edmund Spenser. Amoretti and Epithalamion. London: P. Short, 1595. STC 23076; displayed title page
  • Edmund Spenser. Colin Clouts Come Home Againe. London: Thomas Creede, 1595. STC 23077 copy 4; displayed A2
  • Lodowick Bryskett. “A Pastorall Aeglogue upon the death of Sir Phillip Sidney Knight, & Co.” in Edmund Spenser Colin Clouts Come Home Againe. London: Thomas Creede, 1595. STC 23077 copy 2; displayed H2
  • FACSIMILE from the Royal Irish Academy. Feargal Dubh Ó Gadhra, scribe. Court verse. Poem by Eochaid Ó hEodhusa in O’Gara manuscript, 17th century. Shelf Mark MS 23 F 16.

Wall after Case 6

Items included

  • FACSIMILE from the National Gallery of Ireland. William Segar [attributed]. Portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh (1522–1618). Oil on canvas, 16th century.
  • LOAN from Elizabethan Gardens. Artist unknown, attributed to the school of Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger. Portrait of Elizabeth I (1533–1603). Oil on oak panels, ca. 1593.
  • FACSIMILE from Private Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library. Portrait of a gentleman, said to be Edmund Spenser (the “Kinnoul Portrait”. Oil on panel, early 17th century.

Breaking the West: Queens, Captains, and Nobility in Connacht (case 7)

Items included

  • John Speed. Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. London: Thomas Snodham, 1616. STC 23044; displayed after p. 143
  • FACSIMILE from private collection. English School. Portrait of Sir William Fitzwilliam (1529–99), Lord Deputy of Ireland. 1595.
  • FACSIMILE from the National Portrait Gallery, London. Unknown artist. Sir Richard Bingham (1528–99). Oil on panel, 1564.
  • Program for The Pirate Queen. Hilton Theatre, New York. New York, 2007.
  • FACSIMILE from the Irish Image Collection/Getty Images. Rockfleet Castle on Clew Bay, County Mayo, Ireland (“Pirate Queen” Tower House). Photograph.
  • Conrad Heresbach. Foure Bookes of Husbandry. London: John Kingston, 1578. STC 13197 copy 2; displayed ij
  • John Milton. “Lycidas” from Justa Edouardo King Naufrago. Cambridge: Thomas Buck, 1638. STC 14964; displayed p. 20–21

Wall after Case 7

Items included

  • FACSIMILE from the Royal Irish Academy. Mícheál Óg Ó Longáin, scribe. A collection of scraps of manuscripts written at various times and in various places. Manuscript, 1795–1821, and 1833. Shelf Mark MS 23 G 24.
  • FACSIMILE from the Baltimore Museum of Art. Sir Anthony van Dyck. The Marchioness of Worcester. Oil on canvas, ca. 1637.
  • Kilcolman Castle, County Cork. Contemporary photographs and virtual reconstruction on website, "Centering Spenser: A Digital Resource for the Munster Plantation," constructed by the East Carolina University Multimedia Center.

Wall before Case 8

  • FACSIMILE. Mantle. Created December 2012 by Professor Robin Haller and students of the Textiles Program, School of Fine Arts and Communication, East Carolina University.

The Nine Year’s War (case 8)

Items included

  • Sir Thomas Stafford. Pacata Hibernia. London: Augustine Mathewes, 1633. STC 23132a; displayed fold-out between p. 188–189
  • Robert Bagot. Letter from Robert Bagot, Dublin, to Richard Bagot, Blithfield. Manuscript, February 24, 1598. L.a.85; displayed p. 376–377
  • Edmund Spenser. A View of the Present State of Ireland. In a miscellany on religion and state affairs, 1559–1601. Manuscript, compiled ca. 1601. V.b.214; displayed p. 137
  • Thomas Lee. The Discoverye and Recoverye of Ireland. Manuscript, ca. 1600. V.a.475; displayed title page
  • I.E. A Letter from a Souldier of Good Place in Ireland. London: Thomas Creede?, 1602. STC 7434 copy 1; displayed title page
  • William Shakespeare. Henry V. London: Printed for T.P.,1608. STC 22291 copy 1; displayed title page

James and the Three Kingdoms (case 9)

Items included

  • FACSIMILE. John Speed. Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine. London: Thomas Snodham, 1616. STC 23044; displayed plate between 137–138
  • Respublica Sive Status Regni Scotiae et Hiberniae [The Commonweal, or, the description of royal power of Scotland and Ireland by diverse authors]. Leiden: Elzevir Press, 1627.
  • FACSIMILE from Clonalis House. “Poem in praise of James I,” from The Book of the O’Conor Don. Manuscript.
  • LOAN from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Transcribed by Domhnall ac Mothánna/Domhnal ac Taig. Tales, Ossianic verse. Manuscript, ca. 1603?
  • FACSIMILE from The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Church of England Leabhar na nUrnaightheadh gComhchoidchiond. Dublin: Sheon Francke, 1608.
  • Ben Jonson. The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. London: Will Stansby, 1616. STC 14751; displayed p. 1000–1001
  • Historical extracts. Manuscript, ca. 1625. X.d.393; displayed p. 23v–24

Wall after Case 9

  • English School, after Daniel Mytens. Portrait of Henry Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton. Not before 1620. Folger Shakespeare Library. FPb55;

Flight(s) of the Earls to the Continent and England (case 10)

Items included

  • Maurice O'Fihely. Enchyridion Fidei. Venice: Boneto Locatelli, 1509. 159- 114q; displayed sig. A3r
  • Richard Stanyhurst. De Vita S. Patricii. Antwerp: Christophe Plantin, 1587. BX4700.P3 S8 1587 Cage; displayed title page
  • Phillip O’Sullivan Beare. Historiae Catholicae Iberniae compendium. Lisbon: Petro Crasbecckio, 1621. DA910.O7 Cage; displayed p. 14
  • FACSIMILE from University College, Dublin. Tadhg Ó Cianáin. Diary of the Flight of Earls. Manuscript, ca. 1609.
  • FACSIMILE from Hiram Morgan. Hugh O’Neill (back row, far left) in Rome. Detail from an Italian fresco (16th century).
  • Thomas Carve. Itinerarium. London: Nicholas Heyll, 1639. D915.C29 1639 Cage; displayed sig. (6)

The Ulster Plantation (case 11)

Items included

  • FACSIMILE from Lambeth Palace Library. Carew Manuscript. Gaelic Pedigree.
  • Sir John Davies. Discoverie of the True Causes why Ireland was Never Entirely Subdued. London: William Jaggard, 1612. STC 6348; displayed title page
  • William Shakespeare. Mr William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies London: Isaac Iaggard & Ed. Blount, 1623. STC 22237 fo. 1 no. 75; displayed first page of The Tempest
  • LOAN from Bienecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Thomas Blenerhasset. A Direction for the Plantation in Ulster. London: Edward Allde, 1610.

Pilaster after Case 11

Pedigree of the Taylor family, Shadoxhurst, Kent. Manuscript, 1665. Z.e.41

Land and Law: The New Nobility (case 12)

Items included

  • FACSIMILE from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. Boyle’s funerary monument.
  • FACSIMILE from the National Library of Ireland. Thomond Pedigree. Manuscript, 16th century.
  • Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica. Dublin: David Hay, 1772. DA905.L8 Cage; displayed p. 196
  • John Cusack (17th century). Ireland’s Comfort. Manuscript, 1629? G.a.10; displayed p. 175
  • FACSIMILE from Lambeth Palace Library. Fear Flatha Ó Gnímh’s pedigree of Randall MacDonnell, a Scotsman made Viscount Dunluce in the Irish peerage.

Vitrine after Case 12

  • Edmund Tilney. Topographical descriptions, regiments, and policies. Manuscript, c.1597 – c.1601. V.b.182; displayed p. 342–343

Stuart Dublin (case 13)

Items included

  • Edmund Spenser. A View of the [Present] State of Ireland in Edmund Campion’s Two Histories of Ireland. Dublin: Society of Stationers, 1633. STC 25067a copy 2; displayed title page
  • FACSIMILE from Private Collection/The Bridgeman Art Library. Sir Anthony van Dyck. Portrait of Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. Oil on canvas, 17th century.
  • Sir James Ware. De Scriptoribus Hiberniæ. Dublin: Society of Booksellers, 1639. STC 25066 copy 2; displayed A3
  • James Shirley.The Royall Master. London: Thomas Cotes, 1638. STC 22454a copy 2; displayed title page
  • James Shirley.St. Patrick for Ireland. London: J. Raworth, 1640. STC 22455 copy 1; displayed title page
  • LOAN from Rolf and Magda Lorber. Sir Philip Sidney. The Countess of Pembrokes Arcadia. Dublin: Society of Stationers, 1621.

Irish London (case 14)

Items included

  • James Ussher. A Discourse of the Religion Anciently Professed by the Irish and Brittish London: Robert Young, 1631. STC 24549 copy 1; displayed title page
  • James Butler, Duke of Ormond, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Articles of Peace, Made and Concluded with the Irish Rebels, and Papists. Including “Observations” attributed to John Milton. London: Matthew Simmons, 1649. A3863; displayed title page
  • Wenceslaus Hollar. The True Maner of the Execution of Thomas Earle of Strafford. London, between 1641 and 1677. ART 264809 (size S) /
  • John Ford. The Chronicle Historie of Perkin Warbeck. London: Thomas Purfoot, 1634. STC 11157; displayed title page
  • Owen Felltham. Resolves: Divine, Morall, Politicall. London: Anne Seile, 1661. F655; displayed A1r
  • FACSIMILE from His Grace the Duke of Bedford and the Trustees of the Bedford Estates. Circle of Peter Lely. Margaret Russell with her niece Lady Diana. 17th century.
  • FACSIMILE from the Royal Irish Academy. Mícheál Ó Longáin, scribe. Copy of poem to Meg Russell. Manuscript, 18th century. Shelf Mark MS 23 G 20.
  • Henry Peacham. Minerva Britanna, or, A Garden of Heroical Devises. London: Wa. Dight, 1612. STC 19511 copy 1; displayed H3/p. 45
  • James Howell. Mercurius Hibernicus. Bristol, 1644.