Map of flooded Ireland

In March 1603, a week after her death, Queen Elizabeth defeated the last of Irish rebels hiding in the forests of Tyrone. (News can travel slowly and neither side heard the sad news till after the surrender.) Ireland enjoyed some peace for a time, though the rebel armies were gone many malcontents continued to stage raids, until the entire kingdom erupted into revolt with the death of King Henry IX. Ireland had always been a Catholic thorn in England’s side and the Catholic traitors enjoyed widespread support.

The loyalist enclaves in the West and South were rapidly overrun and armies marched on the English held areas near Dublin. Fortunately though large these armies were little more than peasant rabble and the experienced troops of the Lord-Deputy of Ireland and more particularly of Luca Braganza fought then back. Ireland was never entirely pacified again though, and even as the waters rose fighting continued and mighty explosions devastated the land.

Much of Ireland remains under only the theoretical control of King Matthew and outside of the east few of the warlords even pretend to loyalty.

Albion-controlled Ireland

The areas under the full control of Albion are in the south- and north-east. The islands which are protected by the fortresses of Naas, Kilkenny and Waterford were part of the old Pale, the area which followed English law and customs, before the revolt and with an influx of refugees resettled from elsewhere in Albion they are firmly loyal to the Crown. The populations of those islands speak English and look down on what they consider the barbarians of the rest of Ireland.

In the northeast is the Belfast Bridge, a more troublesome area for the Crown. The loyalty of the settlers there, mostly from Scotland and with a larger number from the Highlands than can be trusted, profess loyalty to King Matthew but Anglican Churches and revenue collectors there tend to meet with unfortunate accidents. Most believe it is only their hatred of the Catholics that surround them that keeps them truly loyal, but for all that they send little in the way of taxes to Oxford they do no stint in supplying soldiers.

The West of Ireland

Outside the areas controlled by the Albion government, the country is divided up amongst petty warlords who fight amongst themselves even more than against the Crown. Most style themselves Earls, attempting to call upon the legitimacy of the old aristocracy, but in truth most of the old Irish nobility has fled abroad and mostly to Spain. There they plot to raise armies and retake their old lands but are truly employed by the Spanish as a mercenaries.


Ireland remains a staunchly Catholic country, except near Belfast where the settlers from Scotland have used fire and sword to remove every suspicion of Catholicism. In the eyes of the government however that’s not much of an improvement since it simply exchanges Puritans for Catholics. Even in those areas of Ireland under the full control of Oxford, the population is still largely Catholic. The Catholic clergy remains a significant force throughout the land. Irish loyalty faced with invasion by a Catholic power (such as Spain or France) is an uncertain thing, and from Irish ports an invasion of England proper would be a fearsome prospect. Ireland is also suspected of being the first port of call for Jesuit agents infiltrating Albion.

Playing an Irish Character

Being Irish is a social handicap at Court, like being foreign or really ugly. Irish titles are always of lower precedence than the equivalent English Title. The Viscount of Kildare will always be seated further from the King than the Viscount of Pemroke. This is probably true even if the Viscount of Pembroke is disgraced, since being born Irish is its own form of disgrace. You can still pick on barons though! Irish commoners may have trouble getting seats inside and away from the livestock.

You will also probably be suspected of being a secret Catholic (or possibly a Puritan) and should decide how you will react to such accusation.

ireland.txt · Last modified: 2008/02/09 02:51 by helen