Early modern historians tend to concentrate on the violent interaction between the Tudor state and the inhabitants of Ireland. And with good reason: the extension of Tudor rule there saw brutality and warfare reach unprecedented levels, resulting in the destruction of the Gaelic political order. But the sixteenth century’s grim outcome has obscured the conciliatory policy pursued by Henry VIII’s government in Ireland. The most conspicuous feature of this policy was the submissions of dozens of Gaelic chiefs and English lords to the crown. Known to historians as “surrender and regrant,” this policy sought to integrate individual Irish lords, both politically and culturally, into the Tudor state. This essay traces interpretations of surrender and regrant, and the wider conciliatory policy of which it was a part, from the sixteenth century to the present, and suggests that this Tudor policy should occupy a more prominent position in the historiography of Ireland and England.
If your library subscribes to the SCJ click here