Skip to content
BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access October 31, 2020

Kildare rebellion (1534-1535) in the Annals of the Four Masters

  • Marcin Böhm ORCID logo EMAIL logo
From the journal Open Military Studies


One of the most important Irish historical sources, which are the Annals of the Four Masters, written in the modern period, provide us with unusually valuable information about the history of the Emerald Island. In addition to data from the ancient or medieval periods, it also contains material from the difficult 16th and 17th centuries for Ireland, when it came under the yoke of English Protestants, who were initially represented by the Tudors and then by the Stuart dynasty. The Annals of the Four Masters also witnesses the resistance of the Irish, both those from Hiberno Normans and Gaelic Irish, to the demands of new authorities, including the rejection of Catholicism and total submission to the power of the kings of England. One such attempt, although unsuccessful, was the Kildare rebellion undertaken by Silken Thomas Earl of Kildare in the late 1630s. The laconic nature of Annales’ accounts, as well as the omission by this source of many important data, makes it an auxiliary material related to military history in the case of the Kildare rebellion. This is interesting because, in the context of later revolts that broke out in Ireland against the authority of the Tudors or Stuarts, in the era of further conquest of the island, this source is very valuable research material in this field.


A New History of Ireland, Vol. 3: Early Modern Ireland, 1534-1691, ed. T.W. Moody, F.X. Martin, Oxford 1991.Search in Google Scholar

Brady, Ciaran, 2002. The Chief Governors: The Rise and Fall of Reform Government in Tudor Ireland 1536–1588, Cambridge.Search in Google Scholar

Bradshaw, B., 1977. ‘Cromwellian reform and the origins of the Kildare rebellion’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series, 27, pp. 69–93.10.2307/3679188Search in Google Scholar

Connellan, Owen, 1846. The Annals of Ireland, translated from the original Irish of the Four Masters, Dublin.Search in Google Scholar

Concannon, Helena, 1948. John O’Donovan and “The Annals of the Four Masters”, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review Vol. 37, No. 147, pp. 300-307.Search in Google Scholar

Cunningham, Bernadette; Gillespie, Raymond, 1990. „Englishmen in sixteenth-century Irish Annals”, Irish Economic and Social History, Vol. 17, pp. 5-21.10.1177/033248939001700101Search in Google Scholar

Cunningham, Bernadette, 2010. The Annals of the Four Masters: Irish History, Kingship, and Society in the Early Seventeenth Century, Dublin.Search in Google Scholar

Ellis Steven G., 1976-77. ‘Tudor policy and the Kildare ascendancy in the lordship of Ireland’, Irish Historical Studies 20 (1976–7), pp. 235–71.10.1017/S0021121400024263Search in Google Scholar

Ellis Steven G., 1980. „Thomas Cromwell and Ireland, 1532-1540”, The Historical Journal, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp. 497-519.10.1017/S0018246X00024869Search in Google Scholar

Ellis, Steven G., 1981. „Henry VIII, rebellion and the rule of law”, The Historical Journal, 24, 513-531.10.1017/S0018246X00022494Search in Google Scholar

Ellis, Steven G.; Maginn, Christopher, 2007. The Making of the British Isles, The State of Britain and Ireland, 1450–1660, London-New York.Search in Google Scholar

Guy, John, 2000. The Tudors: A very short introduction, Oxford.Search in Google Scholar

O’Donovan, John, ed., 1856. Annala rioghachta Eireann: Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, by the Four Masters, from the earliest period to the year 1616 (in Irish and English) (2nd ed.), Volume 5 (AD 1501–1588), Royal Irish Academy.Search in Google Scholar

Hamilton, Hans Claude, ed., 1860. Calendar of the State Papers relating to Ireland of the reign Henry VIII., Edward VI., Mary and Elisabeth, London.Search in Google Scholar

Lizeray, Henri, 1882. Le livre des quatre maîtres: Annales du royaume d’Irlande, depuis les origines jusqu’à l’arrivée de saint Patrice, Leroux.Search in Google Scholar

Lydon, James, 1995. „Ireland and the English Crown, 1171-1541”, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 29, No. 115, pp. 281-294.10.1017/S0021121400011834Search in Google Scholar

Magin, Christopher, 2012. Wiliam Cecil, Ireland, and the Tudor state, Oxford.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697151.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Marquis of Kildare (Charles William FitzGerald, 4th Duke of Leinster), The Earls of Kildare and their ancestors from 1057 to 1773, Dublin 1858.Search in Google Scholar

Maxwell, Constantia, 1979. The Rebellion of “Silken Thomas” (1534-5), Dublin Historical Record Vol. 32, No. 2, p. 68 (1 page).Search in Google Scholar

McCormack, Anthony M., 1997. „Internecine Warfare and the Decline of the House of Desmond, c. 1510 - c. 1541”, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 30, No. 120, pp. 497-512.10.1017/S0021121400013420Search in Google Scholar

McCorristine, Laurence 1987. The revolt of Silken Thomas, Dublin.Search in Google Scholar

Murray, James, 2008. Enforcing the English Reformation in Ireland: Clerical Resistance and Political Conflict in the Diocese of Dublin, 1534-1590, Cambridge.10.1017/CBO9780511575846Search in Google Scholar

Mc Carthy, Daniel, 2008. The Irish Annals: Their Genesis, Evolution and History, Dublin.Search in Google Scholar

Quinn, David B., 1961., „Henry VIII and Ireland, 1509-34”, Irish Historical Studies, Vol. 12, No. 48, pp. 318-344.10.1017/S002112140001988XSearch in Google Scholar

Ó Muraíle, Nollaig, 1987. “The autograph manuscripts of the Annals of the Four Masters”, Celtica, vol. 19, pp. 75–95.Search in Google Scholar

Ó. Siochrú, Micheál, 1996. „Foreign Involvement in the Revolt of Silken Thomas, 1534-5”, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Section C: Archaeology, Celtic Studies, History, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 96C, No. 2, pp. 49-66.Search in Google Scholar

O’Sullivan, William, 1999. “The Slane manuscript of the Annals of the Four Masters”, Ríocht na Mídhe: Journal of the County Meath Historical Society, vol. 10, pp. 78–85.Search in Google Scholar

R. Edwards, Dudley, 1934, „Venerable John Travers and the Rebellion of Silken Thomas”, Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review Vol. 23, No. 92, pp. 687-699.Search in Google Scholar

Woodward, Geoff, 2008. Rebellion and the Disorder under Tudors 1485-1603, London.Search in Google Scholar

Received: 2020-06-28
Accepted: 2020-08-27
Published Online: 2020-10-31

© 2020 Marcin Böhm, published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Downloaded on 1.6.2023 from
Scroll to top button