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Ideal communities and planter women's writing in seventeenth-century Ireland.

From the late sixteenth century, Ireland was a land of opportunity for adventurous, ambitious English men and women. (1) Tudor and Stuart policies endeavoured to entrench English forms of government and religion and proceed with the expropriation of land. The island, however, was a religious, political, and linguistic battleground. It was populated by indigenous, Irish-speaking Catholics (known as native, Gaelic, or 'mere' Irish), by Catholic descendants of the Normans, often bilingual and known as the Old English, and by recently arrived English-speaking, usually Protestant, settlers, known as the New English. Thus, relocation was not without its perils: the ever-present threat of warfare or (worse) displacement, the hostile neighbours that surrounded many plantations. For the planter class--a minority who were often geographically scattered and beleaguered--the imperative was to consolidate community. Rebecca D'Monte and Nicole Pohl have identified three categories of community in the early modern period: the 'spatially specific' community, 'organized into a sovereign socio-political unit' such as the nation, country, or borough; the spatially diffuse 'virtual' community, 'imagined through common political, professional or social convictions and shared pursuits'; and the 'self-conscious and intentional' community, 'congregating within the framework of a specific social or ideological body'. (2) The plantation community conforms to this latter definition. But the heterogeneity of identities in seventeenth-century Ireland problematizes neat categorization; the imagined communities were many. (3)

For Susan Montgomery, the Derry planter and letter-writer who is the primary focus of this article, bonds of community transcended the settler group among which she lived. Julie Campbell and Anne Larsen observe that 'correspondence ... illustrate[s] the ways in which communications travelled transnationally to reach kindred spirits and shape virtual communities'; letters served as the 'basic means of communication for far-flung correspondents'. (4) As a woman who left her home in Somerset because her husband was appointed bishop of Derry, Montgomery wrote to sustain her familial relationships. In this sense, her writing conforms with Pohl and D'Monte's concept of the virtual community. Indeed, her letters--in their persistent exhortations that her relatives join her in Ulster--can be interpreted as products of the third, intentional community that seek to transform it into the first, a spatially united civic unit. Montgomery's letters are persuasions to ideal community. Rosemary O'Day cautions against the interpretation of letters as transparent, reminding us that the letter-writer was 'taking up a position and, in so doing, was constructing and presenting a case and/or an image or version of him or herself for the benefit of the recipient'. (5) In Montgomery's case, her representation of Ireland is coloured by her yearning for the settlement there of her ideal, familial community.

She was not alone in using her writing to construct the ideal planter community, as the example of Anne Southwell shows. Southwell composed verse that identified and courted allies and stimulated others to compose poetry that accorded with her devotional vision. A newly discovered elegy on her correspondent, Cicely, Lady Ridgeway--another Ulster planter--illuminates the ideal community to which she aspired (see below). Judith Herz has argued that literary communities are a construct of literary historians, 'less found objects than artifacts of the discovery process, constructed to serve varied critical, theoretical and historical ends'. (6) In fact, this article argues, in seventeenth-century Ireland ideal communities were the function of a female planter's (rather than critic's) imagination, constructed through her writing --whether letters, as in Montgomery's case, or poetry as in that of Southwell. Such communities served as an enabling apparatus of authorship for women settlers. Moreover, their writing offers insight into the female planter's perspective, adding to recent work on women's texts that has recalibrated our picture of early modern Ireland, hitherto dominated by interest in male writers and administrators. (7)

Susan Montgomery was one of many women who migrated from England to Ireland as the wives and daughters of colonial officials and settlers. She was the daughter of Philip Steynings and Alice (nee Frye) of Holnicott, Somerset. She married the Scottish divine, George Montgomery, in 1597. Her husband, then rector of Chedzoy, Somerset, was an ally of James VI, and became his chaplain at James's accession to the English throne. In February 1605, he was appointed bishop of Derry, Raphoe, and Clogher in the province of Ulster. This was an auspicious moment to be so appointed. The Nine Years' War had concluded in 1603 with the Treaty of Mellifont. In the aftermath, crown officials played off minor Ulster chieftains (Niall Garbh O'Donnell, Cahir O'Doherty) against the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell. The contemporaneous appointment of Sir Arthur Chichester, also from the English southwest, as lord deputy accelerated the policy of colonization. (8) Hugh, first Viscount Montgomery and brother to Susan's husband, emigrated from Scotland in 1606 to found a large plantation in county Down. (9) George Montgomery was to be instrumental in preparations for the plantation of the province, embarking on a detailed survey of lands in his dioceses previously owned by the Catholic Church, with a view to reclaiming them from English and Irish lords for the Protestant church. (10) Hence, Susan arrived in Ulster not as the wife of a lowly New English settler but as the spouse of a powerful official tasked with the redistribution of land.

Her letters survive in the correspondence relating to John Willoughby of Peyhembury, Devon, which is now held at the Somerset Record Office. Willoughby had married Susan's sister, Margaret. As family patriarch and local magnate, he maintained a wide epistolary network that fanned across Britain and Ireland. He controlled the financial purse strings with regard to his family and local dependents and this is reflected in his correspondence, which is replete with requests for loans, negotiations for repayments, pleas from siblings for their share of their father's bequest, and petitions from impoverished neighbours. Willoughby's correspondence also contains numerous letters from relatives and clients who sought a better future in Ireland. Indeed, Susan was not the only member of the family or the region to settle there. In particular, his younger brother, Nicholas, moved to Ulster in 1606. Another brother, William Willoughby, and Susan's brother, Alexander Steynings, regularly travelled back and forth, as evident from many references to them as letter-bearers.

At least nine letters written by Susan are preserved in this collection. (11) They chart the experiences of a settler wife, the extremes of optimism and anguish, and Susan's persistent impulse to build an ideal community. She wrote twice from London in anticipation of the move. On 7 July 1606 she relayed her safe arrival and the delay in their departure due to her husband's business commitments, noting: 'I do scarse see him from morninge to night.' Asking that the Willoughbys take her daughter, Jane, under their wing, she offers advice on William Willoughby's intention to travel with them to Ireland. (12) Her lengthier letter to her sister, dated 21 August 1606, is a prime example of the function of epistolary writing in binding communities that were geographically dispersed and of the spur to authorship generated by such dispersal. Her news included an update on her sister's request for fabrics from London, reportage on a relative's death and the plague's progress. Their departure--further postponed while George Montgomery awaited the King of Denmark's departure and subsequent opportunity to take his leave of King James--was due within two days. She was of the opinion that his Irish posting was a necessary, and temporary, step on the career ladder: 'I hope we shall not longe staye in Irlande but once he must neads goo.' (13) Her epistolary instructions conveyed finality: 'Nowe yet wilbe but in vayne to wryt to vs anye more to Loundon for we shalbe gone before we shall hear ffrom you againe.' But there is no sense here of an irrevocable breach; rather familial and local ties would be reconstituted in Ulster. Margaret's maid, Mary, 'is saflye aryved into Irland wth all the rest of her companye'; Susan hopes to see 'my brother [William] Willoughbye in Irlande shortlye' and assures her that she will 'w[r]ite vnto you howe we like yet ffirst'. (14)

Her first letter from Derry, on 8 October, is focused on her hopes of establishing an ideal community peopled by close family. This motive shapes her representation of her new home, promoted as an attractive destination for her extended family. She emphasizes the English complexion of the town in order to render it familiar: 'We ar setteled in the Derye, in a verye pretye litell house, byldyd after the Indglesh fashone.' This strategy is maintained as she foregrounds cultural continuity: 'I fynde Derye a better plase then we thought we should, for ther we find manye of our countrye folkes both of gentellmen and gentellwomen, and as brave they goo in ther apparrel as in Indgland.' Among these neighbours were a number from home: the Willoughbys' servant, Mary; their cousin, Bess Stevens; and 'a daughter of our cosen Jone Cockesone's'. Her apparently seamless adjustment is rooted in the portrait of a land of plenty with accommodating social support: 'We have our fatte beefes and fate shepe brought in bye our tennantes as fast as we can use them, and we want no good compaynye, as my cosen William can shew you, to helpe eate yet up.' The future outlook is simply optimistic: 'I thanke God I like yet indifferaunt well this fare, and I am made beleve that we shall like yet every daye better then other.' (15)

But Montgomery was cognizant of ethnic and cultural distinctions. She characterized the indigenous Irish in opposition to the English. Where the latter group perform Anglicization and civilization through their clothing and company, the Irish embody poor hygienic practices. Montgomery's facility with the aural possibilities of rhyme is deployed to neuter her sense of menace and hostility. This light-hearted use of language serves to rein in and control the tension that threatens to spill over:
   The most that I do mislyke ys that the Iresh doth often troubell
   our house, and manye tymes they doth lend to us a louse, which
   makes me many tymes remember my daughter Jane, which tould me that
   yf I went into Irlande I should be full of lyse. (16)


In an earlier letter to John Willoughby reporting her husband's preferment, Montgomery had employed rhyme to similar ends. Writing that 'The Kinge hath bestowed one him three Iresh Bushipricks', she made light of the prospect of emigration to an unknown place with a chary reputation: 'the names of them I can not remember, they ar so straunge, except one, which ys Derye: I praye God yt may make us all merye'. (17) The unfamiliar placenames evoke a sense of the exotic and her ear for rhyme domesticates her sense of alienation. It is striking that, on the two occasions where rhyme occurs in her letters, both evince the attempt to familiarize the unknown. Bradshaw, Hadfield, and Maley have argued that 'By playing on proper names, the English colonists were able to gloss over their appropriation of Irish land and expropriation of the Irish'. (18) Montgomery's judicious and selective use of wordplay nuances this view; she normalizes the threat through linguistic play.

It would be easy to interpret her sense of cultural contrast as an instance of the binary othering of Irishness. But the dangers of applying a reductive colonial framework are well attested by historians such as Ciaran Brady and Jane Ohlmeyer, who warn: 'In terms simply of the master narrative of conflict and dispossession alone, scholars have uncovered significant interruptions, disjunctions, and contradictions which, even if they do not override it, substantially complicate the traditional account of conquest.'19 Vincent Carey points out that the reality was closer to a 'hybridized culture' in which settlers--for pragmatic reasons if no other--had to communicate with their neighbours. (20) A later letter from George Montgomery jokes about Susan's efforts at language acquisition: she sends 'particular commendations to yow all three at guydesham by name and to her goddaughter, that hath more lattyn then her godmother hath Irish'. (21) Montgomery was not unique among female settlers in her efforts to learn the Irish language. Elizabeth Cary, who had arrived as wife of Lord Deputy Falkland in 1622, taught herself Irish by using a 1602 translation of the New Testament. (22) As the work of Carey and Palmer has shown, such cross-linguistic intercourse was pragmatic and occurred more widely than is often thought. (23)

But Montgomery's letter downplays such inconveniences, preferring to market her new home as a tabula rasa, awaiting only willing settlers. Her planter sensibility and urge to forge her ideal community underpinned her writing and its representation of opportunity: they have 'manye thousands acres of as good land as anye in Ingland: yf yet were pepeled yet were worth manye hundred pounds bye the year.' She urges them to join her: 'we will make yt bigger if you and Piggie [Margaret] will promise to come and dwell with us. I doute not yf you wear hear but that you would like of the cuntrye well enough.' The extent to which her representation is a construct is hinted in her move to pre-empt dissent: 'Yf my cosen William doth desprase the cuntrye believe him not, for truly it is a very fine country.' The postscript's relation of salutations and messages from their former neighbours in southwest England (Bess Stevens and Nicholas Willoughby) reinforces her portrait of an existing and close community. She signed off reiterating her longing for her kinsfolk to take up residence: 'I hope to see you, my cosen Richard Cullum and my cosen Richard Stevenes there [in Ireland] one daye.' (24) Thus, Montgomery's first impulse was to enlarge the planter community by encouraging her family's migration.

But despite her commitment to building community and to a positive planter mindset, Montgomery's experience of the plantation was not without suffering. Indeed, the urgency of her desire for her ideal community of kin is starkly evident from another letter to her sister and brother-in-law dated 23 July, without a year subscribed. Its heart-rending account of loneliness stands in sharp contrast to her positive portrait of the settlement, representing instead the lot of the lonely bishop's wife as desolate. She begins with a conventional assertion of physical health, immediately contrasted with her mental state: 'though much discontented in mynd for that my lord makes so longe staye in endgland he hath almost made by a yeare since he went out of Irland.' She complains: 'I haue had his compaynye but one three wickes since candlemas was twelfmonth.' Her plight is represented via a series of contrasts. Her gendered sense of physical vulnerability is heightened by comparison to a neighbour, who 'ys happye that she hath her husband bye her syde always to defend her ffrom her enymyse'. This sense of an insecure, even hostile, environment pervades the letter. Her restraint in writing to articulate her distress--Montgomery's last letter had been written more than five months previously--amplifies the isolation. In this particular situation, community intensifies the insult, as she compares herself again: 'nether haue I receved any letters from him Since the second of febuarye yet hath he wrytyn to others dyvers tyms Since wch I take vnkindlye at his hand.' Her grief is then turned inward as she castigates herself for gullibility: I was redye to come a waye as my brother Alecsaunder knows, but I haue manye times byne aungrye wth my selfe Since that I was such a foole to be ruled bye him, he wold needs perswade me that my lord was presentlye to come over.' The depth of disappointment is articulated through a strategic repetition that suggests her despair: 'I haue so longe loked ffor his coming over that I am nowe werye lokinge for him any longere' is transferred to one 'cousin Sedborowe' who 'hath loked so longe for my lords comminge over that he ys werye lokinge for him anye longere & wryteth himself'. (25) Her distress is recast and mirrored in the community.

It is not the fact of living without her husband that is at issue, but the length of time he has been gone, raising fears of exposure and desertion. She writes that Sir Hugh Montgomery, her husband's brother, had invited her to join him. Her competence at managing alone is clear from her inclusion in the letter of a request on behalf of her brother-in-law (likely to be Nicholas) Willoughby, supporting his suit to marry and obtain his share of the paternal legacy. Moreover, the extent of female competence on these plantations is suggested by analogy with her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Montgomery, whose expertise in managing the Down estates during 1606 and 1607 is attested. (26) Susan Montgomery's epistolary self-representation is designed to provoke sympathy and, more importantly, action in getting her husband home. The construction of female vulnerability is both moving and persuasive. In putting pen to paper after almost six months' absence, Montgomery uses her epistolary writing to effect change.

This letter raises questions about the degree of dependence experienced by settler wives and about this particular marital relationship. I have located only one letter each documenting the marital correspondence. That from Susan is a fragment, a now-incomplete request for favour toward Agnes Willoughby dating from 1604. (27) That from George predates their marriage and suggests that it was her sister, Margaret, whom he initially sought to wed. Addressed to Susan Steynings, his loving friend, this letter of February 1594 regrets that 'it was not my hap to meet with my valentine ... commend mee to her'. The postscript, however, unavoidably provokes the conclusion that Susan was not his first choice, with its injunction to 'take sweet sweet sweet mris Margaret in yor armes and delyver her from me a couple of kasses [kisses]'. (28) Notwithstanding that relationships change over time and that Montgomery asserted their mutual affection after her death (see below), it is notable that the intimacy of this pet name is at odds with the modes of address used by the couple. (29) He refers to Susan as 'my wife' and she to him as 'Mr Montgomery' or 'my lord' throughout their letters, evincing none of the intimacy apparent in his postscript of 1594. (30)

But Susan's worst fears regarding the fragility of her situation were realised. Her reference to Hugh Montgomery in the letter above places her in Ulster but it is unclear whether this was written prior to or following the outbreak of Cahir O'Doherty's rebellion in April 1608. O'Doherty's revolt was disastrous for Susan Montgomery. It occurred seven months after the departure of the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell for the Continent in September 1607--the episode commonly known as the 'flight of the earls'. Driven in large part by Bishop Montgomery's policies with regard to land acquisition, this rebellion was the last gasp of Gaelic resistance prior to the formal plantation of Ulster. The bishop was in Dublin on business when O'Doherty and his army took the city of Derry, killing the British governor, Sir George Paulet, and taking the bishop's wife hostage, holding her at Burt Castle, Culmore. (31) In June, British forces arrived under the leadership of Thomas Ridgeway, then treasurer of Ireland and later Earl of Londonderry - whose wife was the literary correspondent of Anne Southwell, discussed below. Montgomery's Irish experience was to take a drastic turn for the worse at Ridgeway's final assault of the castle. (32) Her keepers threatened the English forces that, wherever their cannons made a breach in the castle walls, Mrs Montgomery 'should be put into the breach wheresoever it was made'. But Ridgeway's forces, weighing their military objective against her life, plumped for the former: 'the king's honour was a fairer mark and to be handled more tenderly on their part than any woman in the world.' Luckily for Montgomery, the castle's defenders yielded promptly. Ridgeway's disconcerting disregard for her life is glossed by his listing of the captives, among them 'the poor Lord Bishop's captive wife and Captain Brooke's son. The two last they returned unto their owners'. (33) The patriarchal denigration of Susan Montgomery as a dispensable male possession retrospectively reinforces the strong sense of dependence posited in her previous letter. Most importantly, as the bishop's wife, she was a prime target.

Although no letters about her experience of O'Doherty's rebellion survive, her husband wrote to their in-laws some months later insisting on his efforts to have her join him in England. Writing from London on 13 September 1608 (34), he assured them of her welfare: 'I haue receaved letters from my wyfe whereby I vnderstand of her health I thank god for it.' Her letters included news of Nicholas Willoughby, who had been ill, 'even at deaths dore'. Now recovered, the bishop related his care in Ulster in terms that cannot but evoke his wife's kidnapping: '[Nicholas] was carefully looked vnto by my kynd and loving frends whence he wanted nothing he could desyre.' Surely responding to concerns expressed by her relatives about her isolation, Montgomery, who would be in London until the following spring, explained the delay in Susan's journey. He wrote of his instructions regarding his Irish affairs, relayed to one Mr Heigate, and that he had 'willed [Alex.sup.r] to goe with him to fetch over my wyfe, and left letters with him to her for that purpose. but he sent away the letters and gaue the slip', along with monies advanced for his Irish trip. Perhaps answering to the Willoughbys' impatience, he declared: 'I haue wryten to him agayne to haste him a waye, and haue agayne wryten to my wyfe by him to com over, yf he had gone then she might haue byn here by this.' But this time he takes no chances: 'I haue also sent som of my company from hence in case he fayle agayn.' By 29 November, however, her arrival had not been secured: 'I hope to see my wyfe shortly for [Alex.sup.r] is in Ireland alreadye a sevenight ago that went for her, and the weather is indifferent fayre.' (35) In late May 1609, Montgomery reported that his wife intended to spend the winter in England but return to Ireland, the invitation to join them issued once again: 'my wyfe who shall sojorne here this winter among her frends, and yf in the spring [y.sup.u] will take the paynes to goe over with my sister [y.sup.u] shalbe very welcome.' (36)

Susan's epistolary exhortations to ideal community were--perhaps surprisingly--sustained over time. Her reports that John Tanner had been made bishop of Derry and Christopher Hampton archbishop of Armagh date a later letter, from Dublin on 16 June, to 1613. (37) Here, she reiterated her invitation, although by now in more wishful and less confident terms: 'I thinke you & my sister will never take the paynes to come to see vs yf you could ffynd yet in your harts so to doo you shold be verye welcome.' But the plantation project remains her topic of persuasion. She supplies precedents, English people who have settled in Ireland despite strong prospects in their country of origin: 'heare ar manye good ffrends of our acquentance that ar come over into this Land & yet hath good meanes att home.' Her persuasions are couched in reassurances that a like-minded community already exists. Lest her correspondents surmise that she has eased off in her hopes of winning their permanent undertaking, she muses: 'one two or three sonnes more wid make you to siuke [seek] Irland for them.' (38) Her commitment to creating her ideal community appears unshakeable.

Susan Montgomery died in February 1615 and was interred at Ardbraccan, Meath, to which bishopric her husband had been promoted in 1609. (39) His tribute to her declares his affection and lays bare the sacrifices made by the wives of men on the make in Ireland:
   [She was] the best guyft I ever receaved the greatest losse I ever
   had in this world who was contented to forgoe her kinred and
   contrey to partake with my fortunes and to her last breath
   (enduring patiently for my sake all whatsoever disasters an
   unsettled state and vnreformed people among whom wee lyved made vs
   subiect vnto) kept her true and faythful loue loyally and vnspotted
   vnto mee. (40)


The sentence's parenthetical placement of the challenges to New English colonies implicitly signals his wife's experience of captivity, although this is subordinated to his testimony of her staunch fidelity. Her husband represents colonial settlement as an exercise in grim tenacity. Although Susan's early letters display a cheerful and willing disposition toward plantation, her epistolary writing became a means for her to express distress and solicit support. If her family would not migrate to participate in her ideal community, they could lobby for her better treatment. The primary function of epistolary writing--to maintain social connections--is evident throughout her letters, which consistently articulate her dreams for community just as they sustain relationships in England. Conversely, the rejection inherent in her husband's epistolary desertion highlights the dependency of a settler wife and the insecurity of her situation.

Her aspiration to transform her virtual community into one that would be united on the Ulster plantation was not without success. Her daughter, Jane, joined the ranks of the Dublin Pale nobility, marrying Nicholas St Lawrence, tenth baron of Howth, in 1615. (Her husband's father, reputedly kidnapped by the Mayo pirate, Grainne Ni Mhaille, alias Granuaile, had been a government informer whose allegations in 1607 of a treasonous conspiracy between the Spanish and the Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell hastened their departure from Ulster.) In addition to Hugh Montgomery's large plantation in Down, a farm in Carrow, Fermanagh was settled by Nicholas Willoughby, John's brother. A number of his letters to John survive, many seeking prompt payment of his entitlement from their father's legacy. The postscript to one of these, received in October 1606, resorts to poetry as a mode of persuasion:
   My paper is bad
   My hand is worse
   God send me some monie
   To put in my purse. (41)


George Montgomery wrote happily to John Willoughby from Meath on 20 June 1618 to recapitulate the extended family's success as planters:
   you and your children may happily find in this kingdom a new colony
   of your own kindred in all the four branches and families your
   children are nearest unto: of Steynings, Willoughbyes, Culm[e]s,
   and Fryes; and unto every of them I have given a friendly footing
   for a ground and beginning, if their friends will second and assist
   them. (42)


This is equally, of course, a backhanded method of self-promotion.

The political convulsions of seventeenth-century Ireland were to disrupt such smug predictions. Nicholas Willoughby's branch of the family fell victim to the insurrection of 1641, during which their home at Carrow was destroyed. (43) Nicholas and his family fled to Dublin, where they had relatives in Jane, Lady Howth, and their cousin, Benjamin Culme, Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral. (John and Nicholas Willoughby's mother, Agnes, was a Culme.) There, the family experienced great difficulties, as is attested by a number of letters from Nicholas to his brother, and from Dean Culme on his behalf, petitioning for some level of support. (44) John Willoughby, himself under pressure due to the civil wars at home, was a parsimonious treasurer. His brother's letters, which enclosed signed and witnessed certificates of his losses, attained an increasingly desperate tone culminating, in January 1648, in shocked indignation at the apparent rupture of sibling ties: 'I would have thought never to have had the like from you, you being truly informed in what estate and condition myself and mine are in.' Dean Culme wrote simultaneously on his behalf and again, on 16 June that year, to report the suitor's death, attributed to 'passionate expressions and fits of his miserable condition'. (45)

Susan Broomhall writes of the 'rhetoric of family', whereby missives 'commenced and concluded with reminders of familial identities'--a discourse of kinship to which Nicholas Willoughby appealed unsuccessfully. (46) The next generation deployed that same rhetoric, combined with persuasions grounded in the language of business, to greater effect. Unlike the petitionary writing documented by James Daybell and Lynne Magnusson, which is primarily addressed to high-ranking officials, or that of the Irish and Old English women addressed to both English and Spanish crowns I have discussed elsewhere, here we see the exploitation of extended kinship ties in suits that are carefully framed to the family patriarch, based in another country. (47) Nicholas Willoughby's son (John Willoughby's nephew), Nicholas, and his wife, Elizabeth (nee Mallack), had repatriated to Carrow by 1655. Elizabeth wrote on 1 July 1656 to persuade John to invest in their farm. She had enlisted the support of Susan Montgomery's daughter, Jane, who also wrote on her cousins' behalf. That both women wrote from Raheny, Dublin, on the same day suggests a concerted, joint petitionary effort. Elizabeth addressed her uncle-in-law as 'Deare grandfather', a deferential move and persuasionary tactic. As their nineteenth-century editors suggest, 'perhaps the lady thought the term more endearing when coaxing the old gentleman for the 100 [pounds sterling], for he was then eighty-five years old'. (48) At issue was an investment opportunity. They had been offered land at an excellent price: 'my husbands father would haue offten giuen six hundred pound for it if he might haue had it be fore the wares we haue lately bought it for two hundred & twenty pound.' She petitioned for a loan of 100 [pounds sterling] for the period of a year in order to pay the balance. Lady Howth's letter opened with conventional salutations, yielding to a supportive character reference: 'my cossen nicholas willoughbie your neuie [nephew] is soe good a husband that hee is grone [grown] a purchiser.' She then proceeded to the suit, her rhetoric of cajolery focused on positive consequences: 'I shall intreate you to incorreg hem in this his good beginning and your asistance with all will bee gratfully excepted and carfully repaide.' She presents, as a clinching argument, the novelty of her application: 'this being my furst request I hope you will not denie mee.' Nicholas himself must also have written, as he refers to a letter from Dublin sent with a supporting letter from Lady Howth, in a second petition-letter, dated from Carrow on 25 August the same year. This was accompanied with another from his wife, who reiterated her mode of address and rehearsed her earlier suit in even more deferential terms: 'I formerly presumed a bold request to you which I feare hath not come to your hands.' (49) The assumption of failed delivery was an effective excuse both for the petitioner's recapitulation and the petitionee's recalcitrance. (50) It appears that Willoughby eventually granted their request, as a 1663 letter from Carrow from Elizabeth's brother, John Mallack, to John Willoughby relays their difficulties in repayment. (51)

In her study of the Nassau correspondence, Broomhall argues that women made particular use of letters as 'the principal forum in which they could exchange personal and political news, impose their views and perspectives, and cement their memory in the minds of relatives upon whom they might one day need to rely' whereas men had other outlets for such self-expression. (52) Her argument holds true in the case of Susan and George Montgomery. But the evidence relating to Nicholas Willoughby and the second generation suggests that this is less a gendered issue than one of power and influence. Nicholas Willoughby senior failed to move his brother sufficiently to procure his aid in the years of his greatest need despite, as he reminded his brother, his track record in self-sufficiency. (53) Nicholas and Elizabeth Willoughby prevailed upon their cousin Jane because, as a member of the nobility, her authority and influence was greater than theirs. Neither Nicholas, in either generation, exerted sufficient potency to address John Willoughby as anything other than abject petitioner.

Susan Montgomery was not unique in using her writing to forge an ideal community among the planter class. Like Montgomery, Anne (nee Harris) Southwell arrived with her husband, Thomas, in the early years of the seventeenth century. They settled in Poulnelong, county Cork, during the second phase of the Munster plantation. Southwell remained in Ireland after her husband's death in 1626, remarrying Captain Henry Sibthorpe. The couple returned to London about 1630 although--again, recalling Montgomery--her daughter, Elizabeth Dowdall, married and stayed on, also falling foul of the events of 1641. Southwell's alienation and cultural incomprehension, typical of the New English settler, sharpened her vision of Protestant devotional poetry. Like many in her situation, she sought to establish a network of allies. But unlike Susan Montgomery, Southwell was an accomplished poet. She addressed her writing to members of her own class in Ireland, promulgating her vision of devotional verse as she went about building her ideal community of like-minded poets. (54) Among those she cultivated was another Ulster planter's wife: Lady Cicely, or Cicilia (nee Macwilliam) Ridgeway, wife to Susan Montgomery's unchivalrous emancipator. An undated letter from Southwell to Ridgeway admonishes 'my worthy Muse' for her alleged disavowal of poetry and exhorts her to join Southwell in the composition of Protestant religious verse. (55) The ideal community Southwell sought to establish was a literary community that would concur with her vision of poetry. She pursued Ridgeway again in her metaphysical mock-elegy, the humorous 'An Elegie written by the Lady A: S: to the Countesse of London Derrye. supposeinge hir to be dead by hir longe silence'. Unfortunately, her addressee had actually died: Southwell's second poem to her was a sincere epitaph. (56)

New research allows us to shed further light on Lady Ridgeway's circle and thereby to probe in greater detail both the female planter community in Ulster as well as Southwell's ideal community. The title of Southwell's epitaph--provided by Henry Sibthorpe--mistakenly names Cassandra rather than Cicely Macwilliam: 'An: Epitaph vppon Cassandra Mack Williams wife to [S.sup.r] Thomas Ridgway Earle of London Derry.' Burke has identified two possibilities: Lady Ridgeway's sister and daughter, both of whom were named Cassandra. (57) Lady Ridgeway's letters on her daughter's marriage survive, copied by her great-granddaughter, Cassandra Brydges. (58) These illustrate the efforts made by successful planter families to advance their social status through marrying into English aristocratic families. (59) Cicely's daughter, Cassandra, married Francis Willoughby (son of Sir Percival and Lady Bridget of Warwickshire and Nottinghamshire; no relation to the Somerset Willoughbys) at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, in October 1610. George Wither wrote an epithalamium on the occasion, which was presided over by Lord Deputy Chichester, who walked the bride down the aisle. (60) On the meeting of the betrothed, Cicely Ridgeway, mother of the bride, wrote to both Sir Percival and Lady Willoughby on 26 July 1610. These were courteous letters that functioned as the social glue necessary to cement and consolidate good relations. Lady Ridgeway expressed delight with young Francis, thanked his mother, and assured her that Cassandra would be suitably prepared as a wife: 'Wherefore, sweet Madam, accept my best thanks for your kind assent to his happy motion ... I will not fail by my best endeavours to enrich my daughter with so good parts as may be best pleasing to you, and worthy of so matchless a husband.' (61) Her second pair of letters was written after the wedding, on 6 November 1610, and these were accompanied by a letter from young Cassandra to her new parents.

For the Ridgeways, such a marriage was a means of translating success in the Irish plantation into assimilation to the English peerage: indeed, their new son-in-law was knighted at his wedding. (62) Lady Ridgeway acknowledged this fact, writing to Lady Willoughby: 'let [y.sup.s] match, [w.sup.ch] no doubt was of Gods providence, be an occasion of a firm conjoining of all perfect Love & affection between our Houses.' And to her husband: 'let us all [w.sup.th] prayers to our good God for all blessfull success to [y.sup.t] united Couple, continue in an unremovable well wishing to each other, & in [y.sup.s] Alye comfortably rejoice.' (63) Thomas Ridgeway wrote an account of the wedding to the groom's parents, who could not attend. He recounted how their son 'was well wished unto by many great lords and ladys, and other good friends, heartily; graced by maskings, feastings, fire-works and presents, plentifully'. (64) The Southwells may well have attended; the guest list, unfortunately, does not survive. Henry Sibthorpe, who married Anne in 1626, would not have been present and may have confused mother and daughter when inserting the title for his wife's epitaph into the posthumously compiled manuscript of Southwell's verse.

A recently discovered anonymous elegy on Ridgeway, hitherto unknown to Southwell scholars, sheds new light on the subject of her epitaph and her poetic faux pas. Although the connection is not remarked by its editor, this elegy mitigates Southwell's mis-step, revealing that Ridgeway was 'surpris'd with ... sicknes'. She took ill of the dropsy and died within three months on 14 June 1628. (65) This poem of over three hundred lines, with a short epitaph appended, offers a detailed account of Ridgeway's life. Its title disavows any claim to literary skill but positions its author as an intimate: 'written by no poet (as may well appear) nor for publique view, but for the better venting of some little part of the writer's great greife and love, who knew her best and longest.' (66) As Andrea Brady has argued, the elegy's combination of familiarity with its subject's domestic life and use of textile imagery 'offer the prospect that this text was written by a female friend'. (67)

This comprehensive elegy suggests that Southwell chose well in her identification of a kindred spirit and offers an unusual, firsthand perspective on the life of a woman on the Ulster plantation. Ridgeway is portrayed as a woman whose piety, literary interests, propensity for female friendship, and dislike of female stereotypes sit well with views expounded by Southwell and with her vision of ideal literary community. As an elegy, it is concerned with the exemplary representation of its subject. Her religious practice, each morning and evening, was 'To offer up to God with her best hart and breath | For three howers' space, with zeal and grace, the incence of thanks-giving'. (68) Her time was spent in 'musick, reading, writeing, workeing, moderat gameing'. (69) Reading, in particular, was central to her everyday life; when working, she 'usd her eares all those same howres in heareing her owne reed | Some choyce good bookes'. (70) Southwell's urge to apprenticeship resonates with Ridgeway's desire to learn:
   teachers of most skill
   (Which theyr owne house, the citty, countrie, or the court possest)
   Could her instruct, wherin herselfe to learne did never want
   goodwill. (71)


The range of possible locations for learning outlined here encompass all the places open to a woman whose husband was elevated to the peerage in 1622 and corroborates the viability of Southwell's overtures.

Ridgeway's ideal company was female, if not explicitly literary. She fostered comradeship amongst her circle of women:
   She loved best and made the most of old she-followers all,
   Who trewly attended and tendred her, and did longe since theyr lady
   mistris call.
   Makeing those marryed wives and maydes her comfortary companions,
   And plac't theyr daughters with her owne as handmayds and as
   minyons. (72)


Moreover, her discomfort with prescriptions of wifely obedience--'The word obedyence, to be prest on wyves (though merily), it pleased her not mutch' (73)--chimed with Southwell's convictions. A substantial passage in the Lansdowne manuscript of Southwell's decalogue poems is scathing of male stereotypes of women, particularly the disparagement of women who wrote. Southwell's sardonic advice counsels a sophisticated, but dissembling, response: 'Bee wise as serpents, innocent as Doues | you are borne subiects & you must obey.' (74)

This anonymous elegy to Ridgeway offers remarkable depth of insight into the tribulations of life as a female planter and wife to a colonial administrator. Ridgeway's husband was active in the prosecution of the Ulster plantation. He served as treasurer of Ireland from 1606 to 1616 and as privy councillor from 1606. Like Montgomery, Ridgeway was often left at home but the arrangements are presented as far more satisfactory. Inhabiting a more classical sphere of allusion, Ridgeway is figured as Penelope, occupying herself during her husband's regular absences on state business (and inferring a tacit analogy with Ulysses for the Earl):
   She weave'd by day, undid by night, and thereby nothing gaynd
   But losse of labour and of tyme to keepe herselfe unstaynd.
   Whereas this our Penelope (so knowen-vertuous, and so stayd). (75)


The contrast is one of community; where Montgomery portrays herself as isolated and vulnerable, Ridgeway is represented at the contented centre of a thriving plantation. Where the community functions as contrast for the lonely Montgomery, here it serves as the homely context for the patient Ridgeway.

The author was close enough to the couple to delineate the costs of English state service in Ireland, attributing their economic difficulties to 'too much trust, extortion and usery'. (76) Thomas himself had complained to Star Chamber in 1619 that 'during his time as vice-treasurer [of Ireland, from 1603 to 1606] he had never been able to obtain money needed for the public service unless his demand was accompanied by a bribe'. Nevertheless, he was not above bribery himself: his earldom was obtained by conferring some of his land in Ulster on Sir James Erskine in 1622. (77) Moreover, Ridgeway is identified by Canny as one of a select cohort of Ulster planters who 'had been in the happy position of enjoying continuous income from public office which they could invest in their newly acquired estates'. (78) The last of three stanzas on this topic distinguishes between the erosion of their plantation income from the 'mere', native Irish, on the one hand, and monies owing to Thomas as a colonial administrator, on the other:
   For what seem'd dew from him by death, default, or banckrouptcies of
   servants
   They spared not to lay on over-load, and rob him of his meere natyve
   mayntenance;
   When (on the other side) of full 7000 [pounds sterling] aprovedly
   most dew to him
   Hee yet obtayned not (though with great charges) 700 [pounds
   sterling] to this tyme. (79)


Such grievances about outstanding remuneration were common enough among crown officials. What is most striking here is the balancing of those woes against the failure to retain sufficient income from Gaelic Irish tenants as a result of endemic venality. Here is a counterpart to Montgomery's portrait of an unsanitary, harassing indigenous populace, whose obstructionism is matched by that of the English state. The identity projected here is opposed to both Irish and English, exemplifying Rankin's argument that the Anglophone writing of mid-seventeenth-century Ireland 'complicates our notions of Englishness'. (80)

Southwell's efforts at constructing an ideal community are illuminated by this poem. It depicts a fellow female settler who shared her devout faith, literary concerns, and gender awareness. It contextualizes her mock-elegiac blunder. Moreover, it vividly represents the kind of community desired and constructed by New English settlers, drawing particular attention to the comforts of female company and relating the financial pressures experienced by the planter class. Print culture was exploited by other colonial writers in order to project a vision of the ideal planter community that would reach a wider audience in England. The colonial official and writer, Ludowick Bryskett, composed his Discourse of Ciuill Life in the 1580s. An adapted translation of the Italian Giambattista Giraldi's Tre dialoghi della vita civile of 1565, it was published in 1606. Bryskett's dialogue is presented as the result of a humanist discussion by his New English coterie in Dublin, among them Edmund Spenser. As Andrew Hadfield has recently argued, 'Bryskett's purpose in recording those present at the debate is to show how lively and varied the intellectual culture of the New English in Dublin was ... to illustrate how civilized and sophisticated they were in trying to establish culture in an island best known to an English audience as a violent, savage outpost, and a graveyard for the English forces there'. (81)

More than fifty years later, the Anglo-Welsh poet, Katherine Philips, similarly participated in a print projection of ideal community. The Restoration Dublin court was engaged in a major cultural and political project to reestablish itself, and was therefore responsive to her literary approach. Philips was alert to the moment, building on her reputation and enhancing it through her astute use of poetry to create an ideal, courtly community of supporters. (82) The 1663 publication in Dublin of Poems, by several persons is, as Beal observes, a poetical miscellany designed to imitate the coterie collections more typical of English manuscript culture. (83) The ideal community confidently proclaimed here straddles two kinds of community described by Pohl and D'Monte: the spatially specific unit and the virtual community united through shared literary goals rather than geography. This miscellany advertises the group's affinity with the revered English poet, Abraham Cowley. The first poem praises his Davideis; the second, Orinda (Philips); both are by Roger Boyle, Earl of Orrery. Twelve of the twenty poems are by Cowley. (84) Of the three poems by Philips--coyly identified in the contents list at the back of the volume as 'a Lady'--one is her 'Ode on Retirement', an homage to Cowley; the others (her epithalamium for Mary Butler Cavendish and 'The Irish Greyhound') were prompted by her Irish residence. Peter Pett (who set to music the song for her play Pompey's Third Act) contributed two poems, one a eulogy of Orrery. (85) This volume's identification with Cowley reflects the keen eye maintained on the London scene by both Orrery and Philips. In contrast to the New English statement of literary sophistication entailed in Bryskett's work, this miscellany aims to establish continuity with contemporary English culture. Indeed, Philips made sure to copper-fasten its impact by sending it to Cotterell on 15 May 1663. (86)

For Philips and Southwell, residence in seventeenth-century Ireland provided the spur and space for the evolution of their literary ideas. Both used poetry as a means of fashioning ideal communities. But Montgomery and Ridgeway operated in the more circumscribed atmosphere of the Ulster plantation. Susan Montgomery's letters are a valuable source for the study of women's experiences of plantation in Ireland. But they also demonstrate the exploitation of epistolary culture to enlarge her planter community. She deliberately used her letters to present Ulster as a place worth emigrating to and as a means toward the establishment of her ideal community. The elegy on Lady Ridgeway, with her letters, further elucidates our picture of the female planter community in Ulster and expands our understanding of the ideal community to which Southwell aspired. Their connections speak to pronounced migration patterns from southwest England. Montgomery's family network of settlers included the Willoughbys of Devon, the Steynings and Trevelyans of Somerset. The latter took advantage of their kin relationship to Lord Deputy Chichester--himself, like Anne Southwell and Thomas Ridgeway, a native of Devon. Although Southwell, based in Cork, was ostensibly geographically removed, the Trevelyan correspondence reveals a further, tantalizing connection. The petitioner John Moore wrote to John Trevelyan of Nettlecombe, Somerset, in 1604 offering his patron the pledge of an Irish salmon: 'my poore sonne hath bene in Ireland, this quarter of a yeare with a sister which is marryed ther, [he] brought this for your worshipe but if he had bene provided with any mony, he might have sterred him selfe for your worship bothe with great eelles & sammons, which are taken in a weare of Sir Thomas Southwells three milles frome Kingesall [Kinsale] his place is called Poullnelonge.' (87) If a salmon could travel from the Southwell estate in Cork to the Trevelyan seat in Somerset, the aspiration to ideal community becomes more viable than virtual. The ideal communities of these female settlers were rooted in neighbourly realities but that did not deter them from more utopian aspirations and from imagining the merging of the virtual communities of their writing with their existing, intentional plantation communities.

Marie-Louise Coolahan

National University of Ireland, Galway

(1) I am grateful to the anonymous readers for their comments and suggestions.

(2) D'Monte and Pohl, 'Introduction', in Female Communities 1600-1800: Literary Visions and Cultural Realities, eds D'Monte and Pohl (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000), pp. 1-27 (pp. 3-4).

(3) Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, rev. edn (London: Verso, 2006).

(4) Julie D. Campbell and Anne R. Larsen, 'Introduction', in Early Modern Women and Transnational Communities of Letters, eds Campbell and Larsen (Farnham: Ashgate, 2009), pp. 1-21 (pp. 3, 11).

(5) Rosemary O'Day, 'Tudor and Stuart Women: Their Lives through their Letters', in Early Modern Women's Letter Writing, 1450-1700, ed. James Daybell (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001), pp. 127-42 (p. 129).

(6) Judith Scherer Herz, 'Of Circles, Friendship, and the Imperatives of Literary History', in Literary Circles and Cultural Communities in Renaissance England, eds Claude J. Summers and Ted-Larry Pebworth (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2000), pp. 10-23 (p. 15).

(7) For the literature on this topic, see: Angela Bourke, Siobhan Kilfeather, Maria Luddy, Margaret Mac Curtain, Gerardine Meaney, Mairin Ni Dhonnchadha, Mary O'Dowd, and Clair Wills, eds, The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing: Irish Women's Writing and Traditions, 5 vols (Cork: Cork University Press, 2002); Ruth Connolly, 'Viscountess Ranelagh and the Authorisation of Women's Knowledge in the Hartlib Circle', in The Intellectual Culture of Puritan Women, 1558-1680, eds Johanna Harris and Elizabeth Scott-Baumann (London: Palgrave Macmillian, 2010), pp. 150-61; Ruth Connolly, 'A Proselytising Protestant Commonwealth: The Religious and Political Ideals of Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh', Seventeenth Century, 23 (2008), 244-64; Marie-Louise Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language in Early Modern Ireland (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010); Marie-Louise Coolahan, 'Irish Women's Letters, 1641-1653', in Women and Letters in Early Modern Britain: Gendered Rhetorics and Networks in Renaissance Correspondence, eds James Daybell and Andrew Gordon (Farnham: Ashgate, forthcoming); Naomi McAreavey, '"Paper Bullets": Gendering the 1641 Rebellion in the Writings of Lady Elizabeth Dowdall and Lettice Fitzgerald, Baroness of Offaly', in Ireland in the Renaissance c. 1540-1660, eds Thomas Herron and Michael Potterton (Dublin: Four Courts, 2007), pp. 311-24; Naomi McAreavey, 'An Epistolary Account of the Irish Rising of 1641 by the Wife of the Mayor of Waterford [with text]', English Literary Renaissance, 42 (2012), 90-118; Elizabeth Anne Taylor, 'Writing Women, Honour, and Ireland: 1640-1715', 3 vols (unpublished PhD thesis, University College Dublin, 1999).

(8) See Nicholas Canny, Making Ireland British, 1560-1650 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 165-242; Philip Robinson, The Plantation of Ulster: British Settlement in an Irish Landscape, 1600-1670 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1984); Gerard O'Brien, Derry and Londonderry: History and Society (Dublin: Geography Publications, 1999).

(9) For a detailed account of this plantation's establishment, see George Hill, ed., The Montgomery Manuscripts: (1603-1706) (Belfast: Archer, 1869), pp. 48-68.

(10) See Henry A. Jefferies, 'George Montgomery, First Protestant Bishop of Derry, Raphoe and Clogher (1605-10)', in History of the Diocese of Derry from Earliest Times, eds Henry Jefferies and Ciaran Devlin (Dublin: Four Courts, 2000), pp. 140-66.

(11) Somerset Record Office (hereafter SRO), DD/WO/54/8/6, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, 7.5, 8; SRO, DD/WO/55/2/20. Three of these letters were printed in the nineteenth century, see Walter Calverley Trevelyan and Charles Edward Trevelyan, eds, Trevelyan Papers, Part III (London: Camden Society, 1872), pp. 78-79, 92-94, 99-102 (hereafter Trevelyan Papers). Susan's first letter from Derry, dated 8 October 1606, is reprinted in Field Day, v, 492-93. Where possible, the original letters are cited.

(12) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/7.5.

(13) SRO, DD/WO/55/2/20; Trevelyan Papers, p. 93. Her husband had expressed similar reluctance in a letter that March: 'I can not get my self excused from the Irishe service', see SRO, DD/WO/54/8/3.7.

(14) SRO, DD/WO/55/2/20; Trevelyan Papers, p. 94. Willoughby's endorsement on a letter from George Montgomery dates their departure to 25 August 1606, see Trevelyan Papers, p. 96.

(15) Trevelyan Papers, pp. 100-101.

(16) Trevelyan Papers, p. 100.

(17) Trevelyan Papers, p. 78.

(18) Brendan Bradshaw, Andrew Hadfield, and Willy Maley, eds, Representing Ireland: Literature and the Origins of Conflict, 1534-1660 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), p. 4.

(19) Ciaran Brady and Jane Ohlmeyer, eds, British Interventions in Early Modern Ireland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 6. See also Andrew Murphy, But the Irish Sea Betwixt Us: Ireland, Colonialism, and Renaissance Literature (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1999).

(20) Vincent Carey, '"Neither good English nor good Irish": Bi-lingualism and Identity Formation in Sixteenth-Century Ireland', in Political Ideology in Ireland, 1541-1641, ed. Hiram Morgan (Dublin: Four Courts, 1999), pp. 45-61 (p. 51).

(21) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/3.12; Trevelyan Papers, pp. 105-106.

(22) Heather Wolfe, ed., Elizabeth Cary Lady Falkland: Life and Letters (Cambridge: RTM, 2001), p. 119.

(23) Carey, p. 51; Patricia Palmer, Language and Conquest in Early Modern Ireland: English Renaissance Literature and Elizabethan Imperial Expansion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

(24) Trevelyan Papers, pp. 100-102.

(25) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/7.4.

(26) Hill, ed., Montgomery Manuscripts, pp. 62-66; reprinted in Field Day, V, 493-94.

(27) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/8.

(28) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/1.

(29) James Daybell, Women Letter-Writers in Tudor England (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006). In his discussion of marital correspondence, Daybell argues that men were 'more confident in showing easy affection'. Unfortunately, the Montgomery sample is too small to draw conclusions (p. 210).

(30) For the use of marital pet names, see also Alison Wall, 'Deference and Defiance in Women's Letters of the Thynne Family: The Rhetoric of Relationships', in Early Modern Women's Letter Writing, ed. Daybell, pp. 77-93.

(31) C. W Russell and John P. Prendergast, eds, Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1606-1608 (London: Longman, 1874), pp. 505-06.

(32) For Ridgeway's account, see Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1606-1608, pp. 599-605.

(33) Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1606-1608, p. 603.

(34) See SRO, DD/WO/54/8/3.11.

(35) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/3.12; Trevelyan Papers, pp. 105-06.

(36) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/3.13.

(37) T. W Moody, F. X. Martin, and F. J. Byrne, A New History of Ireland, 9 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984), ix, 394 and 399. Both men were nominated 16 April and consecrated 8 May 1613.

(38) SRO, DD/WO/54/8/7.2. The Montgomerys' 1597 marriage certificate is now glued to this letter, rendering the first nine lines illegible.

(39) Field Day, v, 492, mistakenly supplies 1614 as the year of death. The source for this, Trevelyan Papers, p. 135, is corrected to New Style in the table of contents (Trevelyan Papers, p. lii).

(40) SRO, DD/WO/55/2/26; Trevelyan Papers, p. 134.

(41) Trevelyan Papers, p. 104. Similarly, William Wyderslade of Devon appended a twelve-stanza poem to his petition-letter to Willoughby: SRO, DD/WO/55/2/31. Three stanzas are printed in Trevelyan Papers, p. 147.

(42) Trevelyan Papers, pp. 149-50.

(43) For Nicholas Willoughby's deposition as to his losses and experiences of privation, dated 23 February 1642, see Trinity College Library Dublin, MS 835, fols 184r-186v. This document can be accessed through the Library's '1641 Depositions' website, see <http://1641.tcd.ie/index.php> [accessed 22 July 2012].

(44) Trevelyan Papers, pp. 214-16, 218-21, 245-47, 262-65.

(45) Trevelyan Papers, pp. 262, 267.

(46) Susan Broomhall, 'Letters Make the Family: Nassau Family Correspondence at the Turn of the Seventeenth Century', in Transnational Communities of Letters, eds Campbell and Larsen, pp. 25-44 (p. 33).

(47) Lynne Magnusson, 'A Rhetoric of Requests: Genre and Linguistic Scripts in Elizabethan Women's Suitors' Letters', in Women and Politics in Early Modern England, 1450-1700, ed. James Daybell (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2004), pp. 51-66; Daybell, Women Letter-Writers, pp. 229-64; Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language, pp. 102-40.

(48) Trevelyan Papers, p. 283.

(49) SRO, DD/WO/55/2/44-47; Trevelyan Papers, pp. 281-84.

(50) Magnusson, 'A Rhetoric of Requests', p. 55. Although Magnusson's study of Elizabethan court petitions finds that repetition was necessary to keep the suit on the agenda, it is clear from the reiterated pleas of Nicholas Willoughby senior that repetition was no guarantee of success. For a discussion of the range of epistolary anxieties surrounding delivery, interception, and manipulation, see Gary Schneider, The Culture of Epistolarity: Vernacular Letters and Letter Writing in Early Modern England, 1500-1700 (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2005), pp. 75-101.

(51) Trevelyan Papers, pp. 292-93.

(52) Broomhall, 'Letters Make the Family', p. 44.

(53) Trevelyan Papers, p. 219. Willoughby's persuasion deploys what Magnusson has termed the language of trouble-taking and trouble-making, couched in comparison with his planter peers: 'You know I have not beene mutch troublesome to you hetherto, nor my frends, but had gained a good estate of my owne, able to have mayntayned mee and myne, and a frend or too besyds, had not this generall trouble and rebellyon beene.'

(54) For Dowdall and Southwell, see Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language, pp. 173-79, 180-95, respectively.

(55) Jean Klene, ed., The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger MS. V.b.198 (Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1997), pp. 4-5.

(56) Klene, ed., Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, pp. 24-28.

(57) Victoria Burke, 'Medium and Meaning in the Manuscripts of Anne, Lady Southwell', in Women's Writing and the Circulation of Ideas: Manuscript Publication in England, 1550-1800, eds George Justice and Nathan Tinker (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 94-120 (p. 100).

(58) California, Huntington Library, Stowe Brydges (hereafter HL, STB) Box 2 (10), 'Copies of letters from Thomas Ridgeway Earl of London-derry & Cicilia his lady to Sr Percivall Willoughby and his Lady concerning the Match between my Grandfather & Grandmother, Anno 1610', unfoliated.

(59) The most famous such example is Richard Boyle, first Earl of Cork. See Nicholas Canny, The Upstart Earl: A Study of the Social and Mental World of Richard Boyle, First Earl of Cork, 1566-1643 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982).

(60) For Withers poem, see Andrew Carpenter, ed., Verse in English from Tudor and Stuart Ireland (Cork: Cork University Press, 2003), pp. 135-38.

(61) A. C. Wood, ed., The Continuation of the History of the Willoughby Family by Cassandra Duchess of Chandos (Eton: Shakespeare Head, 1958), p. 74. For Cassandra Brydges, the family genealogist, see Rosemary O'Day, ed., Cassandra Brydges, Duchess of Chandos, 1670-1735: Life and Letters (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2007).

(62) For planter strategies regarding the peerage, see Jane Ohlmeyer, Making Ireland English: The Irish Aristocracy in the Seventeenth Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012).

(63) Huntington Library, STB Box 2 (1).

(64) Wood, ed., The Continuation of the History, pp. 77-78. Cassandra's letter can be found at p. 80.

(65) Andrea Brady, '"Without welt, gard, or embrodery": A Funeral Elegy for Cicely Ridgeway, Countess of Londonderry (1628)', Huntington Library Quarterly, 72 (2009), 373-95 (pp. 382, 391, 393).

(66) Brady, p. 384.

(67) Brady, p. 374.

(68) Brady, p. 384.

(69) Brady, p. 386.

(70) Brady, p. 387; for a recent survey of women's reading practices, see Heidi Brayman Hackel, 'Reading Women', in Caroline Bicks and Jennifer Summit, eds, The History of British Women's Writing, 1500-1610 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), pp. 17-33.

(71) Brady, p. 385.

(72) Brady, p. 388.

(73) Brady, p. 388.

(74) Klene, ed., Southwell--Sibthorpe Commonplace Book, p. 157.

(75) Brady, p. 387.

(76) Brady, p. 390.

(77) Robert Dunlop, 'Thomas Ridgeway, first earl of Londonderry (c. 1565-1632)', rev. Sean Kelsey, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, 2012), available at <http://www.oxforddnb.com> (hereafter cited as ODNB), [accessed 12 August 2011].

(78) Canny, Making Ireland British?, p. 238.

(79) Brady, p. 391.

(80) Deana Rankin, Between Spenser and Swift: English Writing in Seventeenth-Century Ireland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), p. 17.

(81) Andrew Hadfield, Edmund Spenser: A Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), p. 180.

(82) For Philips in Ireland, see Coolahan, Women, Writing, and Language, pp. 195-218; Catharine Gray, 'Katherine Philips in Ireland', English Literary Renaissance, 39 (2009), 557-85; Deana Rankin, '"If Egypt now enslav'd or free A Kingdom or a Province be": Translating Corneille in Restoration Dublin', in Culture and Conflict in Seventeenth-Century France and Ireland, eds Sarah Alyn Stacey and Veronique Desnain (Dublin: Four Courts, 2004), pp. 194-209.

(83) Peter Beal, In Praise of Scribes: Manuscripts and their Makers in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998), pp. 159-60.

(84) A number of these were hitherto unpublished and likely sourced from Orrery. Cowley and Henry Herringman took note and swiftly published corrected versions in Verses, lately written upon several occasions (London, 1663).

(85) Poems, by several persons (Dublin, 1663). The remaining, religious poem by Clement Paman stands out as an oddity in this company.

(86) Katherine Philips, The Collected Works of Katherine Philips: The Matchless Orinda, eds Patrick Thomas, Germaine Greer, and Roger Little, 3 vols (Essex: Stump Cross, 1990-93), ii (1992), Letter XXX, p. 88.

(87) Mary Siraut, ed., The Trevelyan Letters to 1840 (Taunton: Somerset Record Society, 1990), p. 70.
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Author:Coolahan, Marie-Louise
Publication:Parergon
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jul 1, 2012
Words:10152
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