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Leinster (English)Timeline: Ninety-Five Theses (Map Game)
Laighin / Cúige Laighean (Irish)
(and largest city)
|Official languages||English, Irish|
|Ethnic groups||Irish, Scots, English, Normans, Nordic|
|-||Lord of Ireland||Henry VIII|
Leinster [Irish: Laighin / Cúige Laighean] refers to the areas of Ireland held by the English crown in Eastern Ireland. Generally, the Lordship of Ireland and Leinster are considered to be synonymous. However, Leinster also refers to the clans in the realm outside of the Pale that are either Anglo-Irish lords or Irish chiefs loyal to the English Crown. While the Lord of Ireland is always the King of England, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland is generally the direct representative to the clans.
Prior to the Anglo occupation, the area that became Leinster was composed of tribes and groups such as Laighin, Meath and Osraige. The name lends itself to the Laighin, which occupied an area of territory smaller than that of medieval Leinster. Traditionally, the ancestry of Laighin is said to be originated from Labraid Loingsech, a legendary 3rd-century High King of Ireland. In the 2nd century AD, the tribe of Leinster was united by Úgaine Mór, 66th High King of Ireland.
After St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland, Laighin converted from Celtic Paganism to Christianity. In the 6th century, the Uí Néill dynasty of Connachta began invading and claiming parts of Ireland, including territory from Laighin. This generally led to the Uí Néill dynasty becoming enemies of Laighin. By the 8th century, there were two dynasties joint-ruling Laighin: mac Brain and mac Colggen of the north and south parts of the tribe respectively. These dynasties controlled Laighin for two centuries before the tribe fell into the hands of clan Uí Ceinnselaig, which ruled Laighin for some time.
During this time, the island of Ireland was under a wave of immigration and invasions by various groups, including the Norse and the Normans. After sustained battle with the kingdom of England under Norman rule, much of Ireland came under the thumb of England as the Lordship of Ireland.
In the late 12th century, the Plantagenet House of England founded the Lordship of Ireland. Intended to rule over all of Ireland, the Lordship of Ireland largely controlled various areas in Western Ireland. During the initial days of Norman rule, the English held a tight grip on Ireland. While many of their statutes, laws, and sayings were heeded by the people of Ireland, others were highly ineffective, such as the infamous Statutes of Kilkenny.
During the 14th and 15th centuries, English power in Ireland waned while the nation was busy fighting the French in the Hundred Years' War. Later on, during the War of the Roses, English power became reduced even more. By 1500, the area referred to strictly as English was called The Pale, a strip of land along the eastern Irish coast composed of Dublin and the area around it.
Despite being occupied by various groups since the Dark Ages, the Irish culture has persevered in Ireland as the dominant culture. The Irish value family and clans in governmental duties. While England has introduced feudalism to the people of Ireland, the island is still largely tribal. As such, Ireland has been very resilient to outside influence and domination by disunity. Tribal relations are fickle and pro-English tribes come and go through the ages. The Irish culture is referred to as Gaelic, a subset of the Celtic culture which has survived since time immemorial.
A large portion of Irish culture is religion. Catholicism has been the dominant religion in Ireland since St. Patrick introduced the Christian religion over a century prior to the PoD. While Ireland is very different from much of Europe, it is a very devout region, unified in much of the Catholic realms in terms of spirituality.
- The Kingdom of England has ruled parts of Ireland since the 12th century. While there are many tribes allied to the English crown, there are many tribes and peoples that strongly dislike the English crown and intend to overthrow the English, making Ireland an independent island. As time progresses, revolts continue to attempt to oust the king and any tribes loyal to the crown.