Our Norman Welsh of Ireland 
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Our Normans hold in common the land of their ancestors, Normandy in France, and the name involves identification of its inhabitants as North men. Our alpha ancestor among them is a (probably Danish) man named Rollo, who around 911 received the land which would become the duchy of Normandy, and pass through his bloodline. The Norman invasions (the first of which can be considered the Norman Invasion of France ca 911) involve Rollo and his direct descendants (also direct to the Within the Vines genealogical study pages) . 

"The Norman Conquest

                                                 At the beginning of May 1169, three single-masted longships beached at
                                                 Bannow Bay, County Wexford. They had sailed from Milfordhaven in
                                                 Wales, and on board were Normans, Welshmen and Flemings. Their
                                                 leader was Robert FitzStephen, a Welsh warlord, and they made camp
                                                 on Bannow Island, separated from the mainland by a narrow channel
                                                 which has since silted up. A day later, two further ships arrived under the
                                                 command of Maurice de Prendergast, bringing their numbers to around
                                                 600. They were soon joined by 500 Irish warriors led by Dermot
                                                 MacMurrough, King of Leinster. A century
                                                 had passed since the Battle of Hastings,
                                                 when William the Conqueror had
                                                 launched the Norman invasion and
                                                 systematic colonisation of England. Now
                                                 the Norman conquest of Ireland had

                                                 The invasion of 1169 sprang from the
                                                 long-standing enmity of Dermot
                                                 MacMurrough and Tiernan O'Rourke of
                                                 Breifne, a more northerly kingdom.
                                                 Dermot had once abducted Tiernan's wife
                                                 Dervorgilla, and in 1166 Tiernan sought
                                                 revenge. Dermot, forced out of his
                                                 headquarters at Ferns, fled to England.
                                                 He landed at Bristol, and eventually made his way to Aquitaine in France,
                                                 where he appealed to Henry II for help. Although he was King of England,
                                                 Henry was a French-speaking Norman much preoccupied with
                                                 controlling his French territories. However, he had contemplated an
                                                 invasion of Ireland as early as 1155, with the approval of the only English
                                                 Pope, Adrian IV, and he readily authorised Dermot to seek allies among
                                                 the Norman lords in Britain.

                                                 Returning to Bristol, Dermot was initially unsuccessful, so he turned his
                                                 attention to Wales, where the Normans were perpetually engaged in
                                                 warfare against the native Welsh. Richard FitzGilbert de Clare, Earl of
                                                 Pembroke, proved an attentive listener. Pembroke, known as Strongbow,
                                                 was an experienced campaigner, but he had fallen out of favour at
                                                 Henry's court. Ireland offered an opportunity to restore his standing and
                                                 add to his wealth, but he put a price on his assistance. He was to marry
                                                 Dermot's daughter Aoife, and in time succeed to the kingship of Leinster.
                                                 With Strongbow's approval, Dermot won the support of FitzStephen and
                                                 other Welsh-Norman lords, to whom he promised grants of land. He
                                                 returned to Ireland with a small army in 1167, but was defeated by his old
                                                                                                             enemy Tiernan O'Rourke and forced to
                                                                                                             pay one hundred ounces of gold in
                                                                                                             reparation for the abduction of
                                                                                                             Dervorgilla. Two years later, it would be
                                                                                                             a different story.

                                                                                                             From Bannow the combined armies
                                                 headed towards Wexford, a Norse seaport some twenty miles away.
                                                 There was a brief skirmish at Duncormick, before the assault on
                                                 Wexford's walls. After some resistance, the Norsemen acknowledged the
                                                 superiority of the armoured knights and their archers and surrendered
                                                 the town. A year later, in response to a plea from Dermot, Strongbow
                                                 despatched a small force under Raymond le Gros. It landed at Baginbun,
                                                 near Bannow, and immediately routed a strong army of Irishmen and
                                                 Norsemen from Waterford, inspiring the couplet: "At the creek of
                                                 Baginbun, Ireland was lost and won." Strongbow himself arrived with
                                                 1,200 men in August 1170, stormed Waterford, where he married Aoife
                                                 MacMurrough, and within a month had captured Dublin.

                                                 With Dermot's death in May 1171, Strongbow became King of Leinster,
                                                 and his skilful knights and archers continued to defeat larger Irish and
                                                 Norse armies. The arrival of Henry II in October 1171 launched a new
                                                 phase of the conquest. By grants of land , the King encouraged his
                                                 barons to gain control of most of Ireland, marking their advance with
                                                 formidable castles. A justiciar or king's lieutenant was appointed to head
                                                 a central government in Dublin. Irish parliaments were occasionally
                                                 summoned, and from 1297 included elected representatives. However,
                                                 Gaelic resistance to the Norman conquest was never wholly eliminated,
                                                 and the foundations were laid for eight centuries of Anglo-Irish conflict. 

                                                 From the Appletree Press title: A Little History of Ireland, click here for
                                                 more information or here to buy the book from Amazon. Also from
                                                 Appletree: A Short History of Ireland, available from Amazon.com. Click
                                                 here for more information. 

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