Ulster and the Isles in the Fifteenth Century: The Lordship of the Clann Domhnaill of Antrim

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Four Courts, 2004 - History - 256 pages
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The book is a comparative study of Gaelic lordships on the margins of the emerging nation states of the later middle ages. Kingston examines the fluctuating fortunes of the Clann Domnaill family and their neighbors in the fifteenth century. He focuses on the Clann Eoin Mhóir branch of the family which established itself in Antrim while maintaining its role in the affairs of the Western Isles. By contrast to their famous and well-documented sixteenth-century successors, the earls of Antrim, the leaders of Clann Eoin Mhóir in the 1400s often seem shrouded in obscurity. However, using sources from both sides of the North Irish Sea, it is possible to sketch an outline of the evolution of Clann Eoin Mhóir's lordship. The themes of the book are introduced in an examination of aspects of the shared heritage of Ireland and western Scotland in the centuries leading up to the period of the study. In the first two chapters, a narrative framework of events in both Ulster and the Isles is developed using a combination of sources. In chapter 3, the culture of Gaelic lordship inherited by the Uí Neill and the greater Clann Domnaill is discussed and a vocabulary of lordship, adapted from earlier law tracts for late medieval needs, suggested. In chapter 4, the means by which this lordship was exercised are discussed and the institution of the council posited. Chapter 5 considers the prosecution of warfare in the region and its impact on lordship (and landscape); and chapter 6 provides a broader set of comparisons from the rest of these islands and Europe.

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The culture of tigearnais in fifteenthcentury Gaelic society
The exercise of lordly power

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