Pros And Cons Of 1641 Depositions

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The aim of this essay is to examine the advantages and disadvantages to using them as a historical source. The 1641 depositions taken from October 1641 up until August 1653 span 31 volumes containing almost 4000 depositions . The earlier depositions were eyewitness accounts taken from Protestant settlers in Ireland who had been targeted by rebels during the uprising in October of 1641. An insurgency planned for the 22nd of October 1641 to take over key strategic locations around Ireland including Dublin Castle failed but as the news was late reaching one of the leaders Sir Phelim O’ Neill the insurgency planned for Ulster still took place. This uprising was a result of English parliament policies and as consequence of other events that had…show more content…
It was this element of hearsay and exaggeration that writers like Lecky and Temple extracted from to form their propagandist opinion on the insurgency. It is evident that they are not the only writers to profiteer from the 1641 Depositions, many of the pamphleteers used the testimonies to support the controversy of a general massacre of Protestants in Ireland . David O’Hara examines the consequence of the literature from this era on the general public and the anti-Catholic sentiment it portrays . An example of this was the deposition of William Clarke the sole survivor to the atrocity carried out in Portadown . Despite Clarke’s testimony being grounded in reality, detailing the awful massacre of Protestant men, women and children at the river Bann in Portadown, his version of events took on a life of their own when passed on by word of mouth. So much so, that his deposition has been developed upon and narrated by other deponents as to what happened on that day, with even more exaggeration and ghostly sightings . An example of this is the nine page testimony of Elizabeth Price . Elizabeth gives some useful information such as rebel names, events which can be pinpointed to factual atrocities but despite the factual information she also tends to side on the realm of the supernatural when she exaggerated about ghostly

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