Run Rebel Run

‘We have three beasts to destroy, that lay burdens upon us. The first is the wolf, on whom we lay five pounds a head if a dog, and ten pounds if a bitch. The second beast is a priest, on whose head we lay ten pounds; if he be eminent, more. The third beast is a Tory, on whose head if he be a public Tory we lay twenty pounds; and forty shillings on a private Tory. Your army cannot catch them; the Irish bring them in; brothers and cousins cut one another’s throats.’ – Major Morgan (MP for Wicklow), speaking at Westminster in 1657.

Nowadays we think of the word tory as being a colloquial name for the British Conservative Party or its supporters. Whilst there is an interesting history behind why the name came to be used in English/British/UK politics, today I’m going to focus on the original meaning of the word.

The word tory comes from the Irish word tóraidhe – meaning an outlaw or a pursued man (the Irish word tóir means pursue, and some translate tóraidhe as pursuer rather than pursued man). Basically the tories were Irish rebels, and those rebels were on the run. They were disbanded Confederate soldiers, raiding English-held areas and operating as guerrillas against invaders. They operated in rugged areas, such as the Wicklow mountains, attacking Parliamentarian soldiers and stealing their supplies. Oh, and they attacked tax collectors, too. Obviously, the Parliamentarian soldiers were not too happy about such things. The New Model Army meant to reconquer Ireland, and such rebel activity was not to be tolerated.

If an area was a suspected tory stronghold, then the soldiers must do anything to bring things back under control. And when I say anything, I mean anything. Crops would be burned. Cattle would be destroyed. Burn them out … starve them out … any tactic was acceptable. Some areas were free-fire zones – everyone had to get out, and if they did not, they would be considered tories or tory sympathisers, and be slain.

The fact that innocent people died, or had their crops and houses razed forcing them to become dispossessed … well, all’s fair in war. The tactics led the country into famine – a terrible famine which was worsened by a plague outbreak. The population was decimated (most deaths being those of civilians). The country was in ruins. The country was on its knees. The country was – as intended – ripe for re-conquest.

Most tories met unpleasant fates. Some were sold into slavery. Some were given deals which allowed them to leave the country to serve as soldiers in France (the English Royalist court was in exile in France) or Spain. But such deals were not always what they seemed. In 1653, the last organised tories surrendered in Cavan, thinking that they were to be sent to France. In fact, they were either executed or sent to penal colonies.

Of course some rebels remained and, despite the formal surrender, they would continue their activities on a smaller scale for the remainder of the 1650s.

The Irish Confederate (Eleven Years’) War:

So why were the tories seen as Royalist supporters? Why support one form of English rule over another? Well, the fact is that they probably did not. Affiliations are rarely iron-clad, but held only as long as is convenient.

The Eleven Years’ War (1641-1653) did not start out with Royalist support as its aim. In fact, the original Confederation was a Catholic movement, with the intention of fighting English soldiers sent by the government of Charles I. But even then there were grey areas as to allegiance and objective – otherwise why would the Confederates have felt the need to insist that their fight was against the King’s advisers rather than the King himself?

The war began in 1641 with the Ulster Rebellion – in which thousands of English and Scottish settlers were killed. Until 1649 the Confederates had somewhat of a de facto rule over Ireland. They professed to side with the Cavaliers, they claimed loyalty to Charles I, and they had the support of the Catholic clergy.

It was a complicated war, with constantly shifting loyalties and, at one stage, a brief civil war within the Confederate factions themselves.  It was the arrival of the New Model Army which put an end to it all (a brutal and bloody end), but most people reading about the events arrive at the same opinion: had the Confederates been united instead of constantly shifting sides and engaging in in-fighting, then the Irish Confederate Army might well have won Ireland back for good. In the words of the 17th century poem Tuireamh na hÉireann, the Eleven Years’ war was ‘an cogadh do chríochnaigh Éire’ – the war that finished Ireland.

This is a messy subject – hard to simplify, and even harder to confine to a short blog-post.  There was no ‘right side.’  With people being killed on the basis of their religion, every side carried out what would be called ethnic cleansing today. There is a wealth of material dealing with this period (much of it available online) and I spent a huge amount of time poring over it all. At the end of that research this was the conclusion I came to: in this Irish conflict, the only thing that anyone really supported was their own best interests. Human nature?

But war is ever-present. The world today is filled with those displaced by conflict, desperate to find a safe place, a place to call home. So let’s not end on a cynical note. Let’s end on a hopeful one. In recent weeks, huge swathes of people have been marching to ask that Syrian refugees be welcomed into their countries. There are people – ordinary people – inviting these refugees to share their homes. Perhaps some of us are changing. Perhaps some of us are looking past our own immediate concerns. Perhaps four hundred years from now historians will look back and say: in the 21st century, people cared.

 

Author Spotlight: Lynn Thompson

Once again, the spotlight is going to be on this week’s featured author from the Goodreads Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia and Romance Readers, Writers and Reviewers Group.  The group made me their featured author a wee while back, and you gotta pay it forward!  This week, Lynn Thompson is the lucky lady.

Lynn’s Goodreads bio (which, by the way, I love):

Lynn Thompson’s place is in the Land of Enchantment, where the sky is turquoise blue, the fires rage, and there is rain and/or snow without a cloud in the sky.

Lynn wades through the craziness of life in order to write fiction, her true passion. In her spare time-which isn’t much-she loves to hike, camp, read, and sit for hours in hot springs.

Lynn doesn’t have a specific genre that she writes her books in. Characters have a tendency to lead her next story. She follows.

She has two novels out: Blake-A Montana Dayton Novel and Sterling-A Montana Dayton Novel. She also has two short stories books out: Dark Fates and News Worthy.

You can find out more about Lynn on her blog, twitter, or her Goodreads page, but I would like to give you a sneak peek of her upcoming release, due out on Halloween.

Dark Fates – Madness: Short Stories by Lynn Thompson.  Enter a world of love, loss, teenage angst and betrayal.  Click Here if you would like to preorder the book

Live October 31, 2015

Author Spotlight: Shari Sakurai

Every week the Goodreads Paranormal, Fantasy, Dystopia and Romance Readers, Writers and Reviewers Group features one of its authors.  This week, the featured author is Shari Sakurai.

Shari Sakurai

Here’s a little info about Shari:

Shari Sakurai was born in Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom.  After completing secondary school she moved away from further education to work in administration.

Shari is very interested in other countries’ cultures and mythology; in particular Japan. Japanese themes and influences can often be found in her work.

Shari’s debut novel Demon’s Blood was released in ebook format on 25th January 2014. She has participated and won the National Novel Writing Month challenge for the past eight years.

You can visit Shari at Goodreads, on her Amazon Author page or on her blog to find out more.  For now, here’s a little peep at a couple of her books:720764

Demon’s Blood

Where to Buy:

Ebook version
Amazon: US | UK

Print edition
Farnhurst Publishing web store

Immortal blood is precious and Kokawa Taku’s makes him especially unique.

After vampire hunters force them to flee Tokyo, Taku and his lover,  Thane, try to make a new life for themselves in England. But three months later Thane is still tormented by nightmares of the fire that almost cost them their lives. This leads to carelessness and the discovery of one of his victims.

When faced with threats from all sides Taku tries his best to protect them although his actions are met with disapproval and anger from Thane. Unknown to his lover, Taku is also struggling to keep hidden the truth of what really happened three months ago.

However, it is only a matter of time before Taku’s past and bloodline catches up with him.

9815009

Perfect World
(Perfect World series, Book #1)

Where to Buy:

Ebook version
Smashwords.comAmazon: US | UKibooks UKibooks USABarnes & Noble

Print edition
Farnhurst Publishing web store

It is the year 2115 and the world is very different. With climate changes, natural disasters and war shaping the landscape, England has become a nation made up of several super cities and wasteland in between.

Eric Rawlins is a genetically engineered superhero created by the London Security Agency (L.S.A) to defend and protect the city against both national and international threats. With his superior abilities, celebrity status and beautiful girlfriend, Eric appears to have the perfect life. However, it is an illusion created by the L.S.A in order to control him.

Eric’s nemesis is the charismatic Adam Larimore. The only son of billionaire business tycoon Victor Larimore, Adam is gifted with a genius level IQ as well as the same longevity as Eric.

When the actions of the L.S.A throw the two of them together Eric finds himself questioning everything that he has ever known as well as discovering the true course of events that led to Adam turning to a life of crime. As they become closer Eric realises that the L.S.A may be the real threat to London. But can he trust Adam or is he part of Adam’s plan for revenge against those who have wronged him?