Lowe, J. (1960)
The negotiations between Charles I and the Confederation of Kilkenny, 1642-1649.
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Negotiations between Charles I and the Confederation of Kilkenny lasted from January, 1643, until his death in January, 1649, and were carried on from time to time in Paris and Rome as well as Dublin, Kilkenny and Oxford. Charles required troops, arms and money to enable him to defeat the English Parliament and the Scots: the Confederates desired religious freedom and political concessions. The operations of Charles' several agents were rarely co-ordinated; the Confederacy was split into factions. It is the primary object of this thesis to provide a full account of their complex transactions against the background of the war in England and the struggle for Catholic supremacy in Ireland. In view of its unique importance and the accessibility of numerous original sources, many of which are now in print, the history of the Confederation has been strangely neglected. The only would-be major work to have appeared, Professor T.Coonan's The Irish Catholic Confederacy and the Puritan Revolution (1934), is partisan, weak on relations with England, and based almost entirely on published material. In this thesis, use of the abundant sources available, including a number that are unprinted, and due attention to the English side of affairs make it possible to reconstruct several key episodes for the first time and to throw further light on disputed or imperfectly known problems. At the same time, received views of Charles' methods and character and of the Confederates' political inexperience, disunity, and failure to formulate a coherent policy are confirmed and expanded. The machinery used in the negotiations and the parts played in them by Henrietta Maria in Paris, Kenelm Digby in Rome, and the various Royalist agents in Ireland, are described in detail. An attempt is also made to assemble all the accessible evidence relevant to the Earl of Glamorgan's well-known mission, to discuss the theories put forward to explain his powers, and to suggest a novel and possibly definitive interpretation.
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Institution: University of London, Royal Holloway College (United Kingdom).