Added: February 6, 2016 – Last updated: February 6, 2016


Author: Morgan T.P. Robinson

Title: An act ‘soe fowle and grievous’

Subtitle: Contextualizing rape in the 1641 rebellion

Journal: Irish Historical Studies

Volume: 39

Issue: 156

Year: November 2015 (Published online: December 18, 2015)

Pages: 595-619

ISSN: 0021-1214 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 2056-4139 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 17th Century | European History: English History, Irish History | Types: Wartime Sexual Violence / Irish Confederate Wars


Link: Cambridge Journals (Restricted Access)


Abstract: »This study aims to critically re-evaluate existing explanations for the scale and significance of rape during the 1641 Rebellion in Ireland, using a contextual analysis of the legal testimonies of English Protestant settlers, known collectively as the ‘1641 Depositions’, analysing as far as possible the veracity of reports of rape, the circumstances in which rape occurred, and the identities of - and relationships between - victims and perpetrators. This study considers how women reported rape, comparing the Depositions to similar processes of legal testimony in early modern England. Rape perpetrated by combatants in contemporaneous conflicts is also considered, and the existence of - and adherence to - ad hoc codes of military conduct in Irish rebel ranks is investigated. Most reports of rape during the Rebellion appear highly credible, and almost all perpetrators were known to their victims as members of the same communities. There is a multiplicity of possible motivations for these crimes, with no clear pattern other than opportunism within situations where standards of ethical and military conduct were collectively ignored by rebel soldiers.« (Source: Irish Historical Studies)

Note: This article is an abridged version of: Robinson, Morgan T.P. Rape and stripping in the Irish Rebellion of 1641: a contextual analysis. M.Phil. Thesis, Trinity College, 2011.

Wikipedia: History of Europe: History of England, History of Ireland | Types of rape: Wartime sexual violence | War: Irish Confederate Wars, Irish Rebellion of 1641