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    Derrick's The Image of Irelande (1581) & Irish Clothing

    Derrick's The Image of Irelande (1581) pt.1

    The following images are woodcuts that appeared in the book The Image of Irelande by John Derricke, and published by John Daye in London in 1581.

    Derricke was believed to have been a retainer to Sir Henry Sidney & was an eyewitness to the events in Ireland during this period. While the book is most certainly Sassenach propaganda, it is considered by most historians to be an important work illustrating Irish costume and customs and the English military during the Tudor period.

    Also included are both period illustrations and modern interpretations of the Irish léine and of the warriors known as the Galloglass.



    From the website: The Image of Irelande, by John Derrick (London, 1581) - Plates

    The Edinburgh University Library copy of "The Image of Irelande, with a discouerie of VVoodkarne" was gifted by the poet William Drummond of Hawthornden, one of the early graduates of the Tounis College to his alma mater. The woodkarne, or woodkerne, were a semi-nomadic people, perceived as living by plunder and bloodshed like the Border Reivers in the Debatable Land between Scotland and England at the same period.

    The EUL copy is unique in having a complete set of the woodcut plates, which provide important illustrations of Irish costume and custom and of English military gear of the late 16th century. Like a strip cartoon, the plates tell the story of the subjugation of the Irish rebels by Sir Henry Sidney, Lord-Deputy of Ireland under Queen Elizabeth of England (and father of the poet Sir Philip Sidney whose "Arcadia" was greatly admired by William Drummond). It was reprinted in facsimile and edited by John Small, Librarian of the University, in 1883.

    note: scans of the plates & additional caption descriptions appear courtesy of "The Irish Wars 1485 - 1603" (Osprey Man-At-Arms # 256) and appear in italics. To view an original copy of Derricke's book, see the link above.

    The best depictions of Irish warfare in the Tudor period are the series of 12 woodcuts found in Derricke's 'The Image of Ireland', published in 1581 but portraying events during Sir Henry Sidney's second viceroyalty, 1575-78 -- probably his itinerary round Ireland from October 1575 to april 1576. (Osprey Books)

    A soldier holding a battle-axe hands a spear to an Irish chieftain in full dress, with a page holding the chieftain's horse. Note the pillion saddle of the horse.



    An armed company of the kerne, carrying halberds and pikes and led by a piper, attack and burn a farmhouse and drive off the horses and cattle. Derricke's original caption observes that 'they spoil, and burn, and bear away, as fit occasions serve, and think the greater ill they do, the greater praise deserve.'



    The most famous plate of the set shows the chief of the Mac Sweynes seated at dinner and being entertained by a bard and a harper. The meal of beef is prepared in traditional fashion, being stewed in a cauldron made of its own hide.



    The Irish chieftain receives the priest's blessing before departing to fight the English, who are shown in full armour. To the right the raiders are repulsed by English troops, who recapture the rustled livestock.



    The English solders return in triumph with 'liberated' livestock and Irish prisoners, carrying severed Irish heads and leading a captive by a halter. Note the adoption of Irish practice in the taking of enemy heads.



    Sir Henry Sidney, Lord-Deputy, accompanied by an armed force, sets out from Dublin Castle for a progress through Ireland. Note impaled rebel heads above the gateway.

    Last edited by BoldHighlander; 15th January 11 at 01:26 AM.
    [SIZE="2"][FONT="Georgia"][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B][I]T. E. ("TERRY") HOLMES[/I][/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [SIZE="1"][FONT="Georgia"][COLOR="DarkGreen"][B][I]proud descendant of the McReynolds/MacRanalds of Ulster & Keppoch, Somerled & Robert the Bruce.[/SIZE]
    [SIZE="1"]"Ah, here comes the Bold Highlander. No @rse in his breeks but too proud to tug his forelock..." Rob Roy (1995)[/I][/B][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]

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