October 25, 2014
If we have Columbus Day and Australia Day, why not Henry II Day?
Simon Carswell wrote in the Irish Times: "The arrival of Columbus in the New World led to centuries of exploitation, disease and genocide." For this fact four US states do not mark Columbus Day, instead celebrating Native American Day. President Andrew Jackson whose parents came from Carrickfergus led campaigns against the Creeks and Seminoles during his military career and signed the Indian Removal Act as President. Also in Australia, "Australia Day" celebrates Captain Cook’s arrival there in 1788. Some people now derisively call the holiday "Invasion Day".
I suggested that America celebrating Columbus Day is like Northern Ireland celebrating Elizabeth I Day. She being the Monarch who instructed and instigated the Ulster Plantation. Someone else suggested it be an earlier Monarch, suggesting Henry II Day.
Henry II is the Monarch associated with the Norman invasion of Ireland; a two-stage process which began on 1 May 1169 when a force of loosely associated Norman knights landed near Bannow, County Wexford at the behest of Diarmait Mac Murchada, the ousted King of Leinster, who sought their help in regaining his kingdom.
Part two of the process began on October 18 1171 when Henry II landed a much bigger army in Waterford to ensure his continuing control over the preceding Norman force. In the process he took Dublin and had accepted the fealty of the Irish kings and bishops by 1172, so creating the Lordship of Ireland, which formed part of his Angevin Empire.
Aodhan suggested Laudabiliter Day as the better fit for an Irish equivalent to Columbus Day. Laudabiliter was a papal bull issued in 1155 by Adrian IV, an Englishman, giving the Angevin Henry II of England the right to assume control over Ireland and to enforce the Gregorian Reforms on the Catholic Church in Ireland. After almost four centuries, following the declaration of the independence of the Church of England from papal supremacy and rejection of the authority of Rome, a new basis for the English monarch's legitimate claim to the rule of Ireland was needed: the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 therefore established a sovereign Kingdom of Ireland with Henry being given the title of King of Ireland. There has been some controversy over the authenticity of Laudabiliter.
A point I would like to come back to some day comes from the point made by Jenny Uglo on Radio 4, 'Start the Week, Napoleon', when she said that The contintental blockade "forced empire" on the part of Britain.
My posts in my blog series, 'The Anti-Columbus Movement' here, here and here.