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Ireland in Schools

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New KS3 History PoS: Ireland, the Stuarts & Cromwellj

A. Single lessons

B. Study units
C. Other resources
A. Single lessons

3.1. What changes did the Plantation of Ulster bring?
Nottingham Pilot Scheme- Thinking skill exercise

Pupils working individually.
1. Read the extract from Lord Carew, describing Omagh in 1610.
2. Pupils draw the map/picture of Omagh by listening to the description
3. Suggest re-read as in a language listening exercise.
5. Pupils work out strategy themselves-notes, bullet points, rough sketches, etc.

3.2. Why did the English want to control Ireland?
Nottingham Pilot Scheme

1. Why did the English want to conquer Ireland?
2. What happened in Ulster and how did Plantation change Ulster?
3. Assessment based on the organising question.

B. Study units
3.3. Reputations. Sources: Cromwell at Drogheda
Somerset Pilot Scheme

1. Listen to ‘Young Ned of the Hill’ by the Pogues (without the lyrics). Discuss the tone of the song. What sort of music is it? What are they saying?
2. Read through the following two pages of booklet, discussing plantations and studying the maps
3. Study ‘A vicious circle’ diagram and answer the following questions
a. Why did the Irish hate the English? b. Why did the English hate the Irish?

4. Study the English view of the Irish Rebellion (linking in with previous lesson on Trigger 2 of English Civil War):
a. Describe what the picture shows. b. Decipher the ‘olde’ English at the top.
5. Read Cromwell’s own report to Parliament after the events at Drogheda, and examine the map:
a. According to Cromwell, what happened at Drogheda (bullet points).
b. How does Cromwell justify his actions?

6. Listen to ‘Young Ned of the Hill’ again, this time with the lyrics:
a. What do the Pogues think of Cromwell? b. Why do you think they think this?
7. Read Antonia Fraser’s piece on the events at Drogheda. Explain who she is, discuss how she would have obtained information, evidence etc.
a. What does she say about Cromwell?
b. Does she attempt to justify his actions? How? What does she say?

8. Sentiments and accuracy in interpretation:
a Which of the two views of Cromwell would you trust more? Explain in detail.
b. Whose sentiments would you go along with, the Pogues’ or Antonia Fraser’s? (Some explanation of justification and sentiments may be required)

3.4. Cromwell in Ireland
Blackpool Pilot Scheme - Thinking skills exercise

Collective memory & Audience & Purpose
1. Scheme of learning (PlanEasy2)
2. Worksheets
Naked Protestants - image to be enlarged to A3 for group exercise
Naked Protestants - Image with transcription for checking and debrief
Song package, ‘Young Ned of the Hill’
3. What & how have we learned?
4. Notes for teachers: 1641 Rising; Cromwell & Ireland; Background note to ‘Ned of the Hill’

3.5. Battling for Ireland in the 17th century: Drogheda & the Boyne
Northampton Pilot Scheme

1. How different was Ireland in 1700 from 1500?

2. Siege of Drogheda
a. Look at a map to see why there was a battle at Drogheda
b. How easy was it to defend Drogheda?
c. Were Drogheda’s strengths greater than its weaknesses?
If you were Cromwell where would you attack it? In what ways was

Drogheda (i) easy to defend and (ii) weak.

d. The battle of Drogheda.

Split into news reporters for (i) Royalist (Irish) and (ii) Cromwell’‘s side.

When your group gets a new piece of information you have to
i. write down what it says from your sides point of view; and

ii. see that everyone in your group puts a cross on their map to show

the place which each piece of information is describing.

3. Battle of the Boyne

a. Look at each cause and decide whether it was to do with things happening

in Ireland or elsewhere. Tick your decision on the chart - important/very


b. Look at each cause again and showing which of these you think it was

to do with religion; society (the things which people did in their everyday

lives); economics( people’s land or money); politics (power)

c. Which of the causes 1- 6 do you think was the most important to the

people of Ireland?

d. An interpretation of King William at the Battle of the Boyne
Look at the recent wall painting and photograph.
i. What do they tell you about some people’s attitude toward William today?
ii. Do you think that they are the work of Protestants or Catholics?
iii.The people in the these sources believe that William saved them from

Catholics and the Pope. What facts are they ignoring?


3.6. Uniting the United Kingdom
Nottingham Pilot Scheme

1. What was the ‘British Isles’ like in 1500

a. Which enemy of England was allied to Scotland?
b. Name the two regions into which Wales was divided.
c. Which two regions of Wales followed Welsh laws in 1500?
d. Which English King had conquered Wales? In which century had this

e. Who ruled the Irish lordships?
f. Who claimed !Lordship of Ireland’?
h. In which part of Ireland was the power of the English king effective?
g. Colour in the four countries which made up the British Isles in 1500.
Use RED to colour in those areas under TOTAL control of the Tudors.
Use BLUE to colour in those areas were Tudors had SOME control.
Use YELLOW to colour in those areas where the Tudor had NO control.

2. Uniting the United Kingdom

3. Cromwell in Ireland: interpretations - hero or villain?
Read the following information sheet, ‘Cromwell in Ireland', then answer the following questions in FULL SENTENCES:
a. Use the background information to help your describe what happened in the Irish Rebellion.
b. Read Source 2. What is the English interpretation of events?
c. Do any other sources support (back up) this point of view? Explain why.
d. Read Source 4. What is the Irish interpretation of the events?
e. Do any other sources support (back up) this point of view? Explain why.
f. Explain in detail WHY you think there are such conflicting interpretations of the SAME event.
e. From the evidence and your own knowledge, say whether you think Oliver Cromwell was a hero of a villain.
4. Cromwell in Ireland: can Cromwell’s action in Ireland be justified?
Read the ‘Yes’ & ‘No’ arguments, then
a. Draw a table to indicate the two arguments about Cromwell’s actions: for example, Yes No
b. Do you think Cromwell as right in to do what he did? Explain your answer using the evidence from this work sheet. 

3.7. How did Ireland change during the 17th century?
Nottingham Pilot Scheme

1. What was seventeenth century Ireland like?
2. Was Ireland a threat?
3. What happened at Drogheda?
4. Assessment
a. What does source A tell us about what happened at Drogheda in 1649?
b. Does the author of Source B give a similar account of events?
c. In Source C. How does Cromwell justify his actions at Drogheda in 1649?
d. Compare Sources A and C. Why do sources A and C show different views?
e. Is source D an accurate interpretation of the events at Drogheda? (8)
f. Use the sources A-D to help to explain, in detail, what happened at Drogheda in 1649.

3.8. Was the United Kingdom made or forced?
Ireland as a case study

Nottingham Pilot Scheme

1. Why did the Tudors make changes in Ireland?
2. How successful was the Ulster plantation?
3. How did plantation change Ulster?
4. What was the Ulster rebellion and how was it stopped?
5. How did the Cromwellian settlement change Ireland? 8
6. How did the 1688 Revolution affect Ireland?
7. Assessment: Was the United Kingdom made or forced?

C. Other resources
3.9. Stuarts & Cromwell in Ireland: Starters
Nottingham Pilot Scheme

1. Bingo 7. Word search
2. Odd one out 8. Washing line
3. Post it notes 9. Generate words
4. Show me - whiteboards 10. Paired work - write down 5 things learned

5. Card sort last lesson
6. Dominoes 11. Concept loop

3.10. 1641 Rising: Protestant Propaganda PowerPoint

Sir John Temple’s History of the Irish Rebellion (1646), illustrated with woodcuts vividly illustrating horrific scenes of persecution, was perhaps the most lurid of the sensationalist works of propaganda produced in the aftermath of the 1641 rising.


3.11. Loyalist mural celebrating the arrival of Cromwell in Ireland

Shankill Parade, Shankill, Belfast, 2002
‘Oliver Cromwell Born 1599, Died 1658' Portrait of Oliver Cromwell surrounded by ‘Lieutenant General Lord Protector of the Protestant Faith’. One of the text panels says:
‘Catholicism is more than a religion. It is a Political Power therefore I’m led to believe there will be no peace in Ireland until the Catholic Church is Crushed - Oliver Cromwell.’

3.12. Dates as symbols for the people of Northern Ireland

1641 The Rebellion
1649 Cromwell in Ireland
1688 The Glorious Revolution

1689 The Siege of Derry

1690 The Battle of the Boyne

3.13. British Library
Ireland: Propaganda & plantations

Sources & activities
1. Irish priests attacked (1583)

2. An English view of Irish customs (1581)
3. An English view of Plantation (1612)

4. The Munster Rebellion (1599)
5. A Plantation Estate (1598)

6. Massacres of Protestants (1641)


Cromwell in Ireland: an honourable enemy?

Historians disagree on Cromwell’s reputation in Ireland.


Cromwell in Ireland: genocidal maniac, or man of his time?

Today, BBC Radio 4, 3 September 2008 (Flash, 6 mins)
On the 350th anniversary of Oliver Cromwell's death, two historians, Dr Michael O'Siochru* (Trinity College, Dublin) and Professor Martyn Bennett (Nottingham Trent University), agree that Cromwell was a more complex character than is usually allowed but debate whether the brutality of his invasion of Ireland in 1649 should be seen solely in the context of Ireland or in the broader context of the English civil war.

wma version to play or download

(To download the wma file in Firefox, right click on link and go to 'Save link as'.)

* Dr O'Siochru expands on his view of Cromwell in Ireland in 'The Curse of Cromwell?', History Ireland, Vol. 16 No. 5, September/October 2008, pp 14-17.
He concludes that Cromwell 'remains a remarkably modern figure, relevant to our understanding of both the past and the present, somebody to be closely studied and understood rather than revered or reviled'
For further details of the article, please contact IiS.