Henry VIII – atypically – adopted a conciliatory policy of ‘amiable persuasions’ in Ireland, after first executing the rebel ‘Silken Thomas’ Fitzgerald. Elizabeth’s policy, through her Lords Deputy, became more assertive, beginning with the attempted subjugation of Leinster, through ‘plantations’ of settlers. This provoked guerrilla warfare from the displaced clans; in 1569 the Fitzgeralds rebelled again, but were defeated both at Glenmalure and Monasternenagh (1579), leading to the mass plantation of their home turf in Munster. The Macwilliams and Burkes were overcome at Ardnaree (1586), and once again their land was confiscated for settlement. But the most formidable revolt would come in Ulster. Hugh O’ Neill had been created Earl of Tyrone by Elizabeth, but masterminded the uprising, defeating English expeditionary forces at Clontribet (1595) and Yellow Ford (1598). The Spanish sent him reinforcements to Kinsale (1601), but a new Lord Deputy, Baron Mountjoy defeated both the Spanish and then O’ Neill, forcing his surrender (1603).
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