Friday, 17 August 2012

The Irish Confederate War Irish Ensign

Here is the next chap and this is an Ensign in one of the Confederate Regiments but before that here is a little about the Irish Confederate Wars. The Irish Confederate Wars, also called the Eleven Years War (derived from the Irish language name Cogadh na hAon-déag mBliana), took place in Ireland between 1641 and 1653. It was the Irish theatre of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms – a series of civil wars in the kingdoms of Ireland, England and Scotland (all ruled by Charles I). The conflict in Ireland essentially pitted the native Irish Catholics against English and Scottish Protestant colonists and their supporters. It was both a religious and ethnic conflict – fought over who would govern Ireland, whether it would be governed from England, which ethnic and religious group would own most of the land and which religion would predominate in the country.

Irish Confederate Ensign

The war in Ireland began with the rebellion of the Irish of Ulster in October 1641, during which thousands of Scots and English Protestant settlers were killed. The rebellion spread throughout the country and at Kilkenny in 1642 the association of The Confederate Catholics of Ireland was formed to organise the Irish Catholic war effort. The Confederation was essentially an independent state and was a coalition of all shades of Irish Catholic society, both Gaelic andOld English. The Irish Confederates professed to side with the English Royalists during the ensuing civil wars, but mostly fought their own war in defence of the Irish Catholic landed class's interests.

The Confederates ruled much of Ireland as a de facto sovereign state until 1649, and proclaimed their loyalty to Charles I. From 1641 to 1649, the Confederates fought against Scottish Covenanter and English Parliamentarian armies in Ireland. The Confederates, in the context of civil war in England, were loosely allied with the English Royalists, but were divided over whether to send military help to them in the English Civil War. Ultimately, they never sent troops to England, but did send an expedition to help the Scottish Royalists, sparking the Scottish Civil War.

The wars produced an extremely fractured array of forces in Ireland. The Protestant forces were split into three main factions (English Royalist, English Parliamentarian and Scottish Covenanter) as a result of the civil wars in England and Scotland. The Catholic Confederates themselves split on more than one occasion over the issue of whether their first loyalty was to the Catholic religion or to King Charles I.

The wars ended in the defeat of the Confederates. They and their English Royalist allies were defeated during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland by the New Model Army under Oliver Cromwell in 1649–53. The wars following the 1641 revolt caused massive loss of life in Ireland, comparable in the country's history only with the Great Famine of the 1840s. The ultimate winner, the English parliament, arranged for the mass confiscation of land owned by Irish Catholics as punishment for the rebellion and to pay for the war. Although some of this land was returned after 1660 on the Restoration of the monarchy in England, the period marked the effective end of the old Catholic landed class.

An Irish Confederate Flag
The actual flag I used is like this one but with Jesus carrying the cross instead.


  1. Nice bit of artwork. Thanks for the history I know nothing of this period of history really. It made a good read.

  2. Thank you for covering our history PK, I don't see nearly enough of it and I like this. I think I like these Irish with no color and in pen and ink. The stark quality captures the feeling of sadness that is really felt by soldiers so much better.

  3. I agree with Anne, the black/ white pic really creates a good feel of the conflict by just showing one soldier. I like the rest of your work very much as well!

  4. Thanks you for all your comments and I have to say that these are rather close to my heart with family coming for there and the start of all the troubles ever since. But more importantly it is a part of the English Civil War that most people no nothing about and I think if in a small way I can bring it to peoples attention I have done my job.


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