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Scots mercenary forces in sixteenth century ireland

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Chapter Summary

?Mercenary? in the Irish sense is very different indeed when compared to the type of ?paid man? that one encounters elsewhere in Europe. Particularly in Ireland, the dynamic between local lords and their ?paid men? played a role in both the military and political life of Medieval Ireland, from the thirteenth through to the sixteenth century, during which time one can observe the evolution of the mercenary from gallowglass to redshank. When looking at the mercenary tradition one must begin by asking why it was necessary to import mercenary forces into Ireland? Irish warfare was not organised along more traditionally recognised lines, as one can observe in the wider Medieval European sense. The political role of the Scots mercenaries in sixteenth century Ireland falls into two groupings. The interaction between the Gaelic Lordships and the crown develops into a more personal relationship between Gaelic Lordship and Scottish Lordship.

Keywords: Ireland; paid men; Scots Mercenary Forces; sixteenth century



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