Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > World History Forum > European History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

European History European History Forum - Western and Eastern Europe including the British Isles, Scandinavia, Russia


Closed Thread
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old March 7th, 2017, 02:39 AM   #11
Scholar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Dublin
Posts: 647

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moros View Post
Apart from hearsay and tradition, what evidence is there that shipwrecked sailors and soldiers from the Spanish Armada of 1588 produced descendants in Ireland or Scotland?

How early are the traditions? Has there been any genetic markers detected? Does archaeology provide any corroborating evidence?
I can tell you that even if all Spanish shipwrecked sailors survived and settled in Ireland their genetic contribution to the Irish gene-pool would be so miniscule as to be wholly undetectable.

The truth is that most of them were either killed or handed over to the English authorities. Some made their way to Scotland - e.g Edinburgh - and hence were helped back to Spain, but these were relatively few. A minute in the Edinburgh archives dated 11th October 1588 mentions the arrival there, from Ireland, of a number of shipwrecked Spanish sailors in great distress. These the authorities resolved to relieve, finding it "expedient that the bowellis of mercie, compassion and christian charity be schawin vopone them." A collection was made throughout the town in order to provide them with clothing and assist them to return to their native country. Two weeks later a deputation was ordered to proceed to arrange for their transportion home. On the 1st November another reference was made to the arrival of a great number of shipwrecked Spaniards, "in maist meserabill estaitt, bayth naiket and famishet," and another collection was ordered to be made for their support. Presumably all were finally helped back to Spain.

Last edited by Harpo; March 7th, 2017 at 02:57 AM.
Harpo is offline  
Remove Ads
Old March 7th, 2017, 04:44 AM   #12
Historian
 
Joined: Jan 2013
From: Brigadoon
Posts: 4,541

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
I can tell you that even if all Spanish shipwrecked sailors survived and settled in Ireland their genetic contribution to the Irish gene-pool would be so miniscule as to be wholly undetectable.

The truth is that most of them were either killed or handed over to the English authorities. Some made their way to Scotland - e.g Edinburgh - and hence were helped back to Spain, but these were relatively few. A minute in the Edinburgh archives dated 11th October 1588 mentions the arrival there, from Ireland, of a number of shipwrecked Spanish sailors in great distress. These the authorities resolved to relieve, finding it "expedient that the bowellis of mercie, compassion and christian charity be schawin vopone them." A collection was made throughout the town in order to provide them with clothing and assist them to return to their native country. Two weeks later a deputation was ordered to proceed to arrange for their transportion home. On the 1st November another reference was made to the arrival of a great number of shipwrecked Spaniards, "in maist meserabill estaitt, bayth naiket and famishet," and another collection was ordered to be made for their support. Presumably all were finally helped back to Spain.
Thanks for this info.
jackydee is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 06:30 AM   #13
Scholar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Dublin
Posts: 647

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackydee View Post
Thanks for this info.
It happens that the primary sources in question - The Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh - were published in 1882 and are available online at the Internet Archive site. See this link: https://archive.org/stream/extractsf...arch/spaniards

Volume 4 provides the information on pages: 531, 532 and 542.

The records stipulate the numbers involved. It appears from another entry dated 18 April that the total amount disbursed by Edinburgh 'vpoun the sustentatioun, clething, and despesching furth of the ****rey of the pure Spayngyarts quha ... wer aupportet vpoun the towns charges ' was £95-8-6. A lot of money back then.

Note: the original spelling of 'country' above is censored! How could anyone be offended by this? It's unbelievable!
Harpo is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #14

Gile na Gile's Avatar
Tame O' Tama Shanterin
 
Joined: May 2008
From: Fireland
Posts: 4,446
Blog Entries: 167

Far from scientific but having spent time (or passed through) most of the large towns in Ireland the only place which strikes me as having an above average preponderance of dark hair is Kilkenny. Real 'jet blacks' everywhere; quite extraordinary, In the country as a whole fair to dark brown dominates, at maybe 85%, with gingers and pure blondes as low as 5% each I reckon. This is an entirely impressionistic native's take and so should be taken with the proverbial pinch. 'Jet blacks' coupled with swarthy Mediterranean complexions are rarer still, but they do exist; my sister-in-law's father for one & my old mate from college - both of whom have old Irish names which predate the Armada.

Then again, many Irish who went to France or Spain to soldier or study after the Nine Years's war, or later, after the Treaty of Limerick, found it convenient to drop the O's and Mac's and nativise their surnames; so a similar process may have happened here, had survivors settled. But, this is unlikely, as the accounts I've read from ship-wrecked Spanish sailors revealed above all a traumatic cultural shock and in most cases a far from welcoming reception.

Ireland was in the midst of Elizabeth's wars to enforce the Henrician programme of 'surrender and regrant'; the mopping up operation of the Munster plantation was in full swing after the second Desmond Rebellion (1579-84?) where a scorched earth policy had been in place which rendered the West - a-la Tacitus -a desolate wasteland. (And this is where most of the wrecks occurred during the year of the Armada if I recall). At this time, many castles and fortresses along the Connaught and Munster coast were abandoned and the native Irish lords with their clansman retinue had taken to forests and mountains to avoid English soldiers; starvation was widespread.

There is at least one account where a wrecked Spanish ship disgorged its crew onto the beach only for the starved populace to race down from the hills and pilfer the bodies; all the Gaelic lords who forged a Counter-Reformation alliance with Imperial Spain in the early 1580's had at this point been either killed or dispossessed - so this was hell on earth for any Spaniard and most of them would have been washed up on Western beaches in the control of English 'heretic' authorities on an unsympathetic war-footing, fully expecting to be hung on sight. Getting home, however they may manage it was their main priority; not settling down with a cute Irish 'cailín'.
Gile na Gile is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 08:21 AM   #15

Gile na Gile's Avatar
Tame O' Tama Shanterin
 
Joined: May 2008
From: Fireland
Posts: 4,446
Blog Entries: 167

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
Note: the original spelling of 'country' above is censored! How could anyone be offended by this? It's unbelievable!


Over-efficient swear-bot, Harpo.
Gile na Gile is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 08:47 AM   #16

Gile na Gile's Avatar
Tame O' Tama Shanterin
 
Joined: May 2008
From: Fireland
Posts: 4,446
Blog Entries: 167

As far as I know, this is the most detailed account from a Spanish survivor of the Armada shipwreck in Ireland, written in Antwerp the following year, 1589:-

Captain Cuellar's Adventures in Connacht and Ulster

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_de_Cuellar

As I say, the worst possible time to sample 'the traditional Irish hospitality'.
Gile na Gile is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 08:52 AM   #17
Historian
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 4,898

Couldn't dark Irish be descended from pre-IndoEuropean peoples of Ireland?
betgo is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 01:06 PM   #18

Gile na Gile's Avatar
Tame O' Tama Shanterin
 
Joined: May 2008
From: Fireland
Posts: 4,446
Blog Entries: 167

Quote:
Originally Posted by betgo View Post
Couldn't dark Irish be descended from pre-IndoEuropean peoples of Ireland?
God only knows; I've black hair myself (what's left of it),

Even into the early 19th century many nationalist Irish writers were referring to themselves as descended from 'proud Milesian stock' which according to the Book of Invasions were a tribe originating in Spain. This is all just oral folk memory imperfectly recorded by monastic scribes a thousand years after the (alleged) event so impossible to prove in the absence of any other evidence. It's conceivable that a Mediterranean derived wave of early Iron Age settlers possibly displaced by Roman expansion in the 2nd and 3rd century BCE contributed to the telling but small proportion of 'dark Irish' but likewise plausible they were, as you say, here all along to begin with.
Gile na Gile is offline  
Old March 7th, 2017, 04:20 PM   #19

Edric Streona's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Feb 2016
From: Japan
Posts: 2,980

Seem implausible to me. If there were enough of them staying in Ireland to leave genetic impacts on the people's appearance I'd imagine they'd leave linguistic and cultural traces too. Surnames, words, phrases, first names etc.
Edric Streona is offline  
Old March 8th, 2017, 02:43 AM   #20
Scholar
 
Joined: Dec 2012
From: Dublin
Posts: 647

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harpo View Post
... The truth is that most of them were either killed or handed over to the English authorities. Some made their way to Scotland - e.g Edinburgh - and hence were helped back to Spain, ...
According to the testimony of a number of eye-witnesses - Juan de Nova and Francisco de Borja - some of these Edinburgh assisted Spaniards were the survivors of the Venetian ship Valencera and were part of the group of 500 that were plundered and massacred after surrendering on terms to English forces under Major John Kelly. 150 survivors escaped and were succoured at great risk by the O'Cahans of Derry and Coleraine, and by the Bishop of Killaloe, before being shipped across to Scotland.

A letter in the archives at Simancas written by Juan de Nova at Paris to Bernardino de Mendoza, the Spanish Ambassador to France, states:

'[Major Kelly] made them many offers and promises, if they would surrender, and in view of this, and that his men were dying with hunger, ... the colonel replied that he would lay down his arms on fair terms of war, if they would keep their promise,... They gave their word ... and the Spaniards laid down their arms. As soon as the enemy had possession of them,... they fell upon the Spaniards in a body and despoiled them of everything they possessed, leaving them quite naked, and killing those who offered the least resistance. The colonel complained of this to the major of the enemy's force, the reply being that it had been done by the soldiery without his orders, but he gave his word that the men should all be dressed on their arrival at a castle where he intended to pass the night, ... '

'... The next morning, at daybreak, the enemy came to separate some other officers who were amongst the soldiers, ... The remaining soldiers were then made to go into an open field, and a line of the enemy's harquebussiers approached them on one side and a body of his cavalry on the other, killing over 300 of them with lance and bullet ; 150 Spaniards managed to escape ... the man who had ordered all the soldiers to be murdered was an Irish Earl named O'Neil.'

'... They (the deponents and their companions) then proceeded on their way, being guided by men sent from one gentleman to another, until they arrived in Edinburgh, where the King was. By his orders they were kept lodged in the town for 30 days, being fed and clothed the while. He then sent them to France, dividing them amongst four Scottish ships ...'.

The king in question was James VI of Scotland (later James I of England). These ships were forced into two English ports and on discovery that there were Spanish survivors of the Armada aboard they were seized. The shipmasters declared they were under orders from their king, under pain of death, to defend and deliver their charges unharmed into France. Elizabeth I gave instruction eventually that the ships were to be allowed to proceed unmolested on their journey to France.
Harpo is offline  
Closed Thread

  Historum > World History Forum > European History

Tags
armada, descendants, ireland, scotland



Search tags for this page
Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
When did English become dominant in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland? Wodz Mikolaj European History 30 October 26th, 2016 04:43 PM
Spanish Armada of 1588 and The English Armada 1589 Balian War and Military History 90 April 26th, 2016 01:49 AM
Why didn't the Romans conquer Ireland or the rest of Scotland? Sage Celestine European History 468 February 28th, 2015 05:45 AM
Best Books on Ireland, Scotland and Wales antonina History Book Reviews 0 June 24th, 2013 09:52 AM
France, Scotland, Ireland and England? And Spain, Portugal and Germany. Kiwi Speculative History 2 April 24th, 2009 04:22 AM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.