The 'Recusancy Revolt' of 1603 Revisited, Popular Politics, and Civic Catholicism in Early Modern Ireland

John Walter
2021 The Historical Journal  
This article contributes to a body of work exploring the possibilities of a popular politics in Ireland before the rising of 1641. It does so by revisiting the 'recusancy revolt' of 1603 in which, in the interregnum created by Elizabeth I's death, churches and civic space in towns in the south and west of Ireland were reoccupied for Catholic worship. Reading for meaning in the shaping and timing of the crowd rituals at the heart of the protest, the article argues that Old English elites and
more » ... le physically acted out the recovery of these spaces for the public performance of a civic Catholicism, in which corporate worship was integral both to the maintenance of the civic order and to the defence of ancient liberties and freedoms against the encroachments of an anglicizing and Protestant regime. Analysing the dynamics of these confessional protests, the article assesses the potential for an active citizenry represented by popular political mobilization in 1603 and contrasts this with later popular mobilization in the 1641 rising. It explores the paradox at the heart of a protest in which it was believed that the restoration of public Catholic worship could co-exist with continuing civic loyalty to an English and Protestant monarchy.
doi:10.1017/s0018246x21000327 fatcat:ixaoqz7edvahzmpbvtx4uvezs4