Odds and quads

February 11, 2010

The 1641 Depositions, held in the library of Trinity College Dublin, are testimonies of English and Scottish Protestants about their experiences in the 1641 Irish Rebellion.

They were recorded by government-commissioned officials in the years directly after the uprising, and run to about 19,000 pages.

The depositions, unparalleled elsewhere in early modern Europe, are a unique source of information on the events surrounding the rebellion and the social, economic, cultural, religious and political history of 17th-century Ireland, England and Scotland.

The text shown here is taken from the deposition of Philip Taylor, a husbandman from Portadown in County Armagh, which describes the pillaging of the town and other atrocities committed in the area by rebels led by Toole McCann.

It also describes the murder of a pregnant woman, whose belly was cut open.

A similar scene appears in the image from James Cranford's The Teares of Ireland, published in London in 1642.

Send suggestions for this series on the sector's treasures, oddities and curiosities to: matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com.

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