De Clare took my hand as he spoke and led me to an empty hut that, I supposed, had been especially prepared for us. He stepped forward and took both hands in his, lowering his head to kiss each in turn. Continue reading The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife: A Union Bathed in Blood.
“We can ill afford to have such men as enemies,” he said in a final effort at persuasion.
I could see the logic of Father’s assertion but it only added to the burden of responsibility that now lay upon my shoulders.” Continue reading His Stag Do was a Massacre: 24th August 1170 the Sacking of Waterford.
Father was smiling. I remember thinking how rare an event that was these days. ‘Go now and prepare yourself for a journey and your marriage,’ he bade me. ‘We leave at first light tomorrow for Waterford where de Clare awaits us.’ Continue reading 23rd August 1170: An Irish ‘D-Day’ Landing
By 23rd August he deemed the conditions right to set sail, setting not only the course of his ships, but that of his subsequent career and the history of Ireland and her neighbour for centuries to come. Continue reading Setting Course for Ireland
Whilst Raymond waited in his camp on a small peninsula on the border between Wexford and Waterford, what was keeping Strongbow? One can only imagine the difficulty of recruiting a private army at a time when every man of substance who wished to advance his career was pursuing opportunities to impress and, eventually, serve his king. Strongbow was not the only noble who had supported the wrong side during the Anarchy. There were others who needed to find a way of regaining the position they had lost with the upon coronation of Henry II. Meanwhile, Strongbow’s future son-in-law was making … Continue reading A Charismatic Leader Picks his Team
By sending the Irish party there – it was, after all, on their route back to Ireland – he could kill two birds with one stone. There were men there who would welcome a foreign expedition. They could report back on the likelihood of such a venture achieving success. Continue reading Men With Grievances.
How often did either party wonder if tomorrow would be the day when everything changed? Continue reading A Summer of Nervously Waiting: Ireland in 1170.
My thanks to Sally Cronin for featuring Strongbow’s Wife on her blog, along with an excellent review. For anyone that’s interested, there are two ways in which the Strongbow story connects with Archbishop Becket. Both he and Henry II were close friends with the Bristol merchant Aoife’s father first turned to for help in regaining his kingdom. And, once Beckett had been murdered in Canterbury Henry felt the need to atone. His mission to Ireland, suggested by the Pope some years earlier probably seemed like a good way of doing so. via Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – Author Update … Continue reading Sharing Book Reviews
Another entry in the Historical Ragbag’s Advent Calendar of Medieval Ruins involving Strongbow and his cohorts. I remember spending a few delightful days in Dunbrody, at a country house hotel run by one of Ireland’s ‘celebrity’ chefs. There’s a small brewery there, too, and I occasionally drink a glass of the excellent pale ale produced there. Not that any of that has anything to do with medieval history or Strongbow! Enjoy the article. The more I read about Irish history the more I understand the fraught relationship between the neighbouring islands. I do think it’s important, for English people especially, … Continue reading Another Connection Between Ireland and the Marcher Lords
The Historical Ragbag blog’s Advent Calendar of Medieval Religious Institutions today features another place with great significance in the history of Ireland and Strongbow’s presence there. His wife’s uncle, (St.) Laurence O’Toole, was Abbot at Glendalough, installed there by her father, before becoming Archbishop of Dublin. I first visited Glendalough when working on a month long assignment in Dublin in the spring of 1970. I’ve been there several times since coming to live in Ireland and it is without doubt one of the most beautiful and magical places you could ever visit. via Advent Calendar of Medieval Religious Institutions: December … Continue reading More Strongbow Connections