Looking for a Norman Expert

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Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby Maghnus Ó Sionnaigh on Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:10 pm

Or at least someone pretty darn knowledgeable about Normans in Ireland during the 13th century. Someone to answer my randomly timed questions, set right my preconceived notions and listen to my wild theories.

Alright, so it isn't really that exciting, but extra verbs make it sound much more interesting. :D
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Re: Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby the_power on Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:19 pm

I reckon unrestrain yourself...just post questions here, and if nothing else, they'll start an enteraining debate.
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Re: Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby Maghnus Ó Sionnaigh on Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:06 pm

Alrighty. For the sake of all further discussion, assume we are referring to the year 1290 (give or take). Let's start off easy. During this time are there any Norman cities/villages left, living independently from the Irish? I assume that by this time, the majority of them had assimilated themselves into Irish culture, intermarrying and whatnot. I also do not consider the English occupying Dublin at this time to be Normans. Norman decent, yes, but not Normans.

I also theorize that due to the large amount of integration between the Normans and Irish from the 1060s to 1290 there is a good amount of Norman influence seen in Irish culture, both socially and archeologically. Good assessment or not?

Lastly (for now), since the integration of the Normans and Irish, after the English occupied Dublin and other areas, how many Normans (or Irish descendants thereof) converted to the English side? Would you ever have an Irishman (native or Norman) convert to the English side? (Insert a focus on that type of questioning here).
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Re: Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby Kirst on Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:59 pm

Sorry about this but for some reason quotes and letters aren't working for this post so I have to improvise.

Maghnus asked: (1290) are there any Norman cities/villages left, living independently from the Irish?

The only people living in towns and 'cities' were middle class normans/english in what are called burgages. The long strips of houses that still mark property boundaries today, e.g. Northmain st in Cork. (roughly 18 ft x 60/90 ft or more depending on area).


Maghnus: I assume that by this time, the majority of them had assimilated themselves into Irish culture, intermarrying and whatnot.

Not especially. Irish were pretty low class. All English in Ireland, no matter how poor were considered a class above the Irish, no matter how rich they were.

Naturally they took on some of the language (As normans have a tendancy to do), took over the best church sites and the towns, pretty much anywhere they could control an economic base from.

There is no clear record about how much they took on in 1290, which is still pretty early in the english reign of Ireland, but the decendants of the original settlers had a clear Identity of Anglo-irish-normans, given that they were born on different land, fought different fights and controlled in different ways to neighbouring britain, but that was circumstances which forced a culture on them.

Maghnus: I also do not consider the English occupying Dublin at this time to be Normans. Norman decent, yes, but not Normans.

They're still considered Normans in England at 1290. So why not Ireland?

Maghnus: I also theorize that due to the large amount of integration between the Normans and Irish from the 1060s to 1290 there is a good amount of Norman influence seen in Irish culture, both socially and archeologically. Good assessment or not?

No Normans in Ireland in 1060's, that we know of. They came here en-masse in 1169.

Not the best assessment as there was a clear division of who is who. Different settlement patterns etc.

Unfortunately not a lot of Norman sites have been excavated for pure research reasons, because nobody with the money is that interested, and to be honest, a lot of the stuff they have excavated was pretty boring and didn't tell us much about them. And all the documents were burnt by the rebelling irish in the Dublin warehouses. English opression is still big on some peoples minds.

Archaeologically the normans brought us such wonderful things as Castles, Romanesque architecture, Cistertian monastaries, Demesnes, Deerparks, Deer, Rabbits, Church effigies, Hospitallers to beat the crap outta us, roads....

....and took away such things as our passion for living in circles of dirt (ringforts), Kings who shagged horses, Vikings, etc...

Maghnus: Lastly (for now), since the integration of the Normans and Irish, after the English occupied Dublin and other areas, how many Normans (or Irish descendants thereof) converted to the English side?

The Normans were the English. They came from Wales and Flanders in the first waves, then when Diarmuid died and gave the Leinster crown to Strongbow (Richard de Clare) he was forced to give the title to the English crown.

Maghnus: Would you ever have an Irishman (native or Norman) convert to the English side?

Yes.
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Re: Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby claimhteoir on Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:43 pm

Kirst wrote:....and took away such things as our passion for living in circles of dirt (ringforts), Kings who shagged horses, Vikings, etc...


I wouldn't describe ringforts as circles of dirt. Also, the Norman arrival didn't do away with that tradition altogether. 16thC chietain Fiach Mac Aodh O Broin lived in a ringfort in Ballinacor, near Glenmalure in Co. Wicklow. ;)

Kings who shagged horses? I take it you're actually drawing the conclusion that Giraldus wasn't a rascist and propagandist from this one? :shock: That upsets me.

Vikings? How did the Normans take away the Vikings? I thought Norse-Irish remained in their towns for the mostpart, even if they were subject to Norman rule. (I'm not sure if they all were or if the Norse-Irish maintained some power-base in one of their cities/towns.) I know the Viking rulers of Dublin (Ascal MacTurcail etc) were killed or forced to flee in the siege led by Diarmat and the Normans, but did much of the population not remain, subject to new leadership? Dublin aside, I know the Norse of Wexford submitted and remained in the area. Not too sure about Waterford after that initial battle. Can't remember if they submitted.

EDIT: Shouldn't this be moved to the Late Medieval forum?
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Re: Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby claimhteoir on Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:48 pm

Maghnus wrote:Or at least someone pretty darn knowledgeable about Normans in Ireland during the 13th century. Someone to answer my randomly timed questions, set right my preconceived notions and listen to my wild theories.

Alright, so it isn't really that exciting, but extra verbs make it sound much more interesting. :D


Richard Roche's "The Norman Invasion of Ireland" is a good introductary book to the Norman Invasion that helps as a reference book too. Might be worth a read. Hope that article I sent you is coming in handy too.
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Re: Looking for a Norman Expert

Postby Kirst on Tue Dec 23, 2008 4:20 pm

claimhteoir wrote:I wouldn't describe ringforts as circles of dirt. Also, the Norman arrival didn't do away with that tradition altogether. 16thC chietain Fiach Mac Aodh O Broin lived in a ringfort in Ballinacor, near Glenmalure in Co. Wicklow. ;)


Many crannogs and ringforts were re-used in the 15th/16th century for defensive purposes against the english.

Ringforts were not originally defensive features despite the term 'fort'. Some did have more defensive features than others but they were primarily farmsteads of the richer irish.

Crannogs are thought to be status symbols and possible areas of refuge in times of need but there is no clear eveidence yet.

Around the time of the Norman invasion Ringforts did fall out of use. There is no reasons discovered yet nor is it written about. All we know is that there is no dating evidence for the latter half of the 12th century. There is also no evidence for how the Irish lived after this period as well.

claimhteoir wrote:Vikings? How did the Normans take away the Vikings? I thought Norse-Irish remained in their towns for the mostpart, even if they were subject to Norman rule. (I'm not sure if they all were or if the Norse-Irish maintained some power-base in one of their cities/towns.) I know the Viking rulers of Dublin (Ascal MacTurcail etc) were killed or forced to flee in the siege led by Diarmat and the Normans, but did much of the population not remain, subject to new leadership? Dublin aside, I know the Norse of Wexford submitted and remained in the area. Not too sure about Waterford after that initial battle. Can't remember if they submitted.


The Vikings were ousted from Dublin by the Normans, There were several viking areas of settlement in the Dublin hinterlands so most likely they went there and paid taxes and whatnot to the normans.

Normans as I said before came in and took all bases of economic power as they swept through the country. Norman stye houses where built on top of the old Viking settlements mostly in keeping with the original land divisions. Other places they made completely anew.

Most probably the Vikings were forced to rent from the English as were the Irish. But the settlers brought over from Britain got the best houses, best land and lower rent than the native classes.
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