Certaine and Good News

from the west of Ireland, and city of Cork. Sent in a letter from John Davis, attendant on Sir Charles Vavasour, who is there resident under the Lord President of Munster, unto his father, Master Nelson, living in the new pallace yard at Westminster. Concerning the taking and besieging of the town of Dungarven, and the overthrow of many hundred of the Irish rebells. With some other skirmishes, as they marcht from Youghall. London 1642

I’ve now found (with some help from Stuart Peachey) that this image was first used in another pamphlet printed in 1642: The iust reward of rebels, or The life and death of Iack Straw, and Wat Tyler, who for their rebellion and disobedience to ther king and country, were suddenly slaine, and all their tumultuous rout covercome and put to flight.

The scene shown is actually a depiction of the Lord Mayor of London William Walworth striking Wat Tyler from his horse with his mace and stabbing him with a dagger. Although this is a 14th century tale, the clothes depicted are actually pretty contemporary to the mid 17th, as was the underlying feeling of revolt in the country generally. What fascinates me about this image is not the murder being enacted in the middle, but the group of peasants, who could easily be seen as 1640s yokel clubmen (or possibly native irish men in the reuse) on the right hand side. They are carrying pitchforks and various implements and at least one is dressed in a long coat or possibly a smock. There are several short tabbed doublets being worn too and what looks like an embroidered cap on the Mayor centre left.

News from the west of ireland 1642

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3 Comments to “Certaine and Good News”

  1. The murderer with the cap looks rather clerical in dress.

    • Outrageous! I don’t think so Mary. I think the embroidered cap is a bit fancy for a cleric, and it’s not one of the weird hats that they used to show the Pope or Jesuits in cartoons. There is a story here but I need to find the original before we know for sure.

  2. Good one, thank you. It does in deed look like a workman’s frock on the right.
    Regards, Keith.
    A Woodsrunner’s Diary.

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