Grange and Armada Development Association are delighted to welcome Hiram Morgan to Grange for the Lecture Series during the Celtic Fringe Festival 2015.
Born in Belfast in 1960, Hiram Morgan was educated at St Catharine’s College Cambridge and now teaches at University College Cork. He has written Tyrone’s Rebellion (Woodbridge, 1993) and has edited Political Ideology in Ireland, 1541-1641 (Dublin, 1999), Information, Media and Power through the Ages (Dublin, 2001) and the Battle of Kinsale (Bray, 2004). He was a founder and co-editor of History Ireland, Ireland’s illustrated history magazine. He is director of CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts of Ireland and is currently working on a biography of Hugh O’Neill, earl of Tyrone, for publication by the Royal Irish Academy.
Lecture Title: The Impact of the Spanish Armada in Ireland
This paper looks at how the Armada’s shipwreck in 1588 affected the political situation in Ireland. Even though the Armada had failed against England directly in the Channel, its accidental encounter with Ireland had important indirect consequences for England. Whilst many Spaniards were drowned or killed on the coasts of Ireland, the survivors who reached various Irish chiefs inland – O’Rourke, O’Flaherty, McSweeny and O’Neill – had a significant impact on native resistance. They taught new military tactics and helped to get messages through to the Spanish authorities. When the Spanish again took a serious interest in Ireland in 1596, they found six Armada survivors still living in Ireland, including Tyrone’s famous servant Pedro Blanco shipwrecked at Streedagh. He passed back and forward through the lines at Kinsale prior to the decisive battle and then accompanied O’Neill on the Flight of Earls.
Besides the fate of Gaelic Ireland in the short term, the paper concludes by reflecting on some of the myths about the Armada survivors and more recently about the rediscovery of its artefacts.