The Confederate War: Timeline 1641-52

An overview of events in Ireland beginning with the Irish Uprising of 1641 through the formation of the Confederate Assembly and Confederate War, and culminating in the conquest of Ireland by Oliver Cromwell from 1649-52.


Oct 22 Outbreak of the Irish Uprising: insurgents capture government forts in Ulster but fail to secure Dublin.
Oct 24 Sir Phelim O'Neill issues a proclamation declaring that the insurgents have taken up arms for the defence and liberty of themselves and the native Irish; the insurgency is not intended to harm the King or any of his subjects in Ireland.
Oct 26-31 Armagh and Dundalk seized by insurgents.
Nov Massacre of Protestant settlers at Portadown.
Nov 02 Sir Charles Coote appointed governor of Dublin.
Nov 09 John Pym claims that the Irish uprising is the result of a popish conspiracy and implies that the conspiracy was favoured by some who are close to the King.
Nov 11 King Charles appoints the Earl of Ormond Lieutenant-General in Ireland.
Nov 12 The Westminster Parliament votes to send troops to Ireland without consulting the King.
Nov 16 Sir Robert Stewart commissioned to raise a Protestant army to defend north-west Ulster (the Lagan Army).
Nov 21 Insurgents besiege Drogheda.
Nov 29 Battle of Julianstown: Rory O'More defeats government troops marching to raise the siege of Drogheda.
Dec The uprising spreads to counties Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo, Kilkenny and Tipperary.
Dec Initial negotiations between the Ulster Irish and "Old English" noblemen of the Pale held at Knockcrofty and Hill of Tara.
Dec 30 Sir Simon Harcourt arrives in Dublin with 1,100 foot raised by Parliament from voluntary subscriptions.


Jan The uprising spreads to counties Antrim, Limerick and Clare. King Charles denounces the insurgents as traitors.
Jan 11 Battle of Swords: Sir Charles Coote defeats insurgents near Dublin.
Feb 03 The Earl of Ormond recaptures Naas from the insurgents.
Feb 21 Colonel Monck arrives in Dublin from England with 1,500 foot and 400 horse.
Mar 10 The Earl of Ormond raises the siege of Drogheda.
Mar 19 Parliament passes the Adventurers Act, pledging land in Ireland to those who invest in the army raised to suppress the uprising.
Apr 03 Major-General Robert Monro lands at Carrickfergus with 2,500 Scottish troops. A further 7,500 Scottish troops cross to Ireland during the spring and summer.
Apr 15 Battle of Kilrush: the Earl of Ormond defeats insurgents in Leinster commanded by his kinsman Viscount Mountgarrett.
Jun 16 Battle of Glenmaquin: the Lagan Army secures Donegal and north-west Ulster.
Jul 08 Owen Roe O'Neill arrives in County Donegal to fight for Ireland and the Catholic faith. O'Neill's rival Thomas Preston arrives in Wexford around the same time.
Aug The outbreak of civil war in England diverts military resources away from Ireland.
Aug 25 (?) Battle of Liscarrol: Lord Inchiquin secures Munster for the King.
Oct 24 The first Confederate General Assembly meets at Kilkenny in Leinster to represent the interests of Roman Catholics in Ireland (the Assembly meets annually until 1648).


Feb 05 Battle of Rathconnel: Viscount Ranelagh and Sir Charles Coote (the younger) defeat General Preston when he attempts to prevent their withdrawal from Connacht to Dublin.
Mar 02 The Marquis of Ormond advances from Dublin into County Wexford.
Mar 18 Battle of Ross (Balinvegga): Ormond defeats the Leinster Confederates when they attempt to block his withdrawal to Dublin.
Jun 13 Battle of Clones: the Lagan Army ambushes and defeats Owen Roe O'Neill's Ulster army.
Jun 24 Treaty negotiations between the Confederates and the Marquis of Ormond begin.
Aug 07 (?) Owen Roe O'Neill defeats Lord Moore and government troops from Drogheda and Dublin at Portlester.
Sep 15 The Cessation of Arms signed by the Marquis of Ormond and Viscount Mountgarret of the Confederates: a one-year cease-fire which allows English troops in Irish garrisons to return to England to fight for the Royalists.
Oct 23 The first English regiments to be released from service in Ireland by the Cessation land at Minehead in Somerset.
Nov 16 Further regiments from Ireland reinforce the Royalist garrison at Chester.


Jan 21 The Marquis of Ormond sworn in as Lord-Deputy of Ireland in place of the Lord-Justices Sir John Borlase and Sir Henry Tichborne.
Feb 10 Lord Inchiquin claims the presidency of the province of Munster, but the King has promised it to the Earl of Portland.
Feb 23 The Earl of Antrim arrives at Kilkenny to negotiate for Irish troops to serve the King against the Parliamentarians in England.
Mar 09 Parliament appoints Major-General Robert Monro commander-in-chief of its forces in Ireland.
Mar 24 Confederate agents arrive at Oxford to negotiate a permanent treaty with the King.
May 14 Major-General Monro seizes Belfast.
May 22 The King delegates negotiations with the Confederates to the Marquis of Ormond. Confederate agents dismissed from Oxford.
Jul 17 Lord Inchiquin abandons the Royalist cause and declares for Parliament.
Aug Stand-off at Charlemont Fort in Ulster between the armies of Major-General Monro and the Earl of Castlehaven.
Sep 06 Peace negotiations resumed between Ormond and Confederate representatives at Dublin.
24 Oct Parliament declares "no quarter" for Irish troops captured in England or Wales.
Dec 01 Ormond and the Confederates agree to renew the Cessation of Arms.


Jan 14 Parliament appoints Lord Inchiquin lord-president of Munster.
Mar 12 The Earl of Glamorgan commissioned by the King to negotiate a secret treaty with the Confederates.
Mar 19 General Preston captures Duncannon Fort, co Wexford.
Apr Scottish infantry withdrawn from Ulster to counter the threat from the Marquis of Montrose in Scotland.
Aug 25 The First Glamorgan Treaty signed in Kilkenny.
Oct 08 Sligo captured by Sir Charles Coote in co-operation with the Lagan army.
Oct 12 Arrival in Ireland of the papal nuncio Archbishop Rinuccini.
Dec 20 Rinuccini and the Earl of Glamorgan sign the Second Glamorgan Treaty.
Dec 26 The Marquis of Ormond disavows the Glamorgan Treaty.


Mar 18 The Earl of Glamorgan learns that the King has repudiated his commission.
Mar 28 The Marquis of Ormond negotiates the First Ormond Peace with the Confederate Supreme Council.
Apr 09 Parliament commissions Viscount Lisle lord-lieutenant of Ireland.
Jun 05 Battle of Benburb: Owen Roe O'Neill's Ulster army defeats British forces under Robert Monro.
Jul 10 General Preston captures Roscommon Castle.
Jul 12 Bunratty Castle surrenders to Confederate forces.
Jul 30 The Ormond Peace proclaimed in Dublin.
Aug 12 Archbishop Rinuccini denounces the Ormond Peace.
Sep 02 Rinuccini pronounces a sentence of excommunication on all those who support the Ormond Peace.
Sep 10 The Marquis of Ormond summons an assembly of Irish nobility at Cashel but is refused admittance to the town.
Sep 26 Rinuccini and the Catholic clergy appoint a new Supreme Council at Kilkenny.
Sep The combined Confederate armies of Leinster and Ulster besiege Dublin.
Nov 14 Commissioners from the English Parliament arrive in Dublin and open negotiations with Ormond.
Nov 15 The Confederates abandon the siege of Dublin.


Apr 10 General Preston and the Leinster army storm and capture Carlow Castle.
Jun 07 Colonel Michael Jones lands near Dublin with 2,000 Parliamentarian troops.
Jun 19 The Marquis of Ormond surrenders Dublin to Colonel Jones.
Jul 15 General Preston captures the fortress of Naas near Dublin.
Jul 17 George Monck appointed commander of all Parliament's forces in Ulster with the exception of Monro's Covenanters.
Jul 23 General Preston captures the fortress of Maynooth then besieges Trim, in preparation for an attack on Dublin.
Jul 28 The Marquis of Ormond surrenders his office of lord-lieutenant of Ireland to Parliament's commissioners at Dublin.
Aug 8 Battle of Dungan's Hill: Colonel Jones defeats General Preston and the Confederate army of Leinster.
Sep 04 Lord Inchiquin storms the Rock of Cashel. His troops massacre the defenders as well as priests and civilians, then desecrate the cathedral of St Patrick.
Oct Jones and Monck campaign against Confederate forces in Ulster and northern Leinster.
Nov 13 Battle of Knocknanuss: Lord Inchiquin defeats Viscount Taaffe and the Confederate army of Munster.


Feb Colonel Barry lands at Cork with instructions from the Marquis of Ormond to open negotiations for an alliance between Royalists and Confederates who oppose Archbishop Rinuccini .
Apr0 3 Lord Inchiquin declares for the King. Officers who will not support his change of allegiance are ordered to leave Ireland.
Apr 04 Major-General Monro and the Scottish army in Ulster declare their support for the Engagement.
May 20 The Inchiquin Truce: a cessation of hostilities signed between Lord Inchiquin and the Confederate Supreme Council at Kilkenny.
May 27 Archbishop Rinuccini excommunicates all supporters of the Inchiquin Truce. Owen Roe O'Neill declares for Rinuccini, but Clanricarde, Preston and Taafe support the Supreme Council.
May 31 The Supreme Council appeals to the Vatican against Rinuccini's sentence of excommunication.
Jun 11 Prompted by Rinuccini, Owen Roe O'Neill declares war on the Supreme Council and marches to attack Kilkenny.
Sep 16 Colonel Monck secures Belfast, Carrickfergus and Coleraine against Scottish supporters of the Engagement. Major-General Monro taken prisoner and sent to England.
Oct 03 The Marquis of Ormond returns to Ireland with instructions to encourage the alliance between Lord Inchiquin and the Confederates in the interests of forming a united Royalist party in Ireland.


Jan 17 The signing of the Second Ormond Peace secures an alliance between the Royalists and the Confederates.
Jan 29 Prince Rupert's naval squadron arrives at Kinsale to co-operate with Ormond and the Royalists in Ireland.
Feb 17 After the execution of King Charles, his successor Charles II renews the Marquis of Ormond's commission as lord-lieutenant of Ireland.
Feb 23 Discouraged by the signing of the Second Ormond Peace, Archbishop Rinuccini leaves Ireland.
Mar Lord Inchiquin and the Earl of Castlehaven campaign against Owen Roe O'Neill, who refuses to join Ormond's coalition.
Mar The Parliamentarian garrison at Londonderry besieged by the Lagan Army of Ulster.
May 08 O'Neill and Colonel Monck sign a three-month cessation of hostilities at Dundalk.
Jun 01 The Marquis of Ormond musters the Royalist-Confederate army at Clogrennan.
Jun 19 Ormond's army arrives on the outskirts of Dublin and prepares to blockade the city.
Jun 22 Parliament formally appoints Oliver Cromwell governor-general of Ireland and commander-in-chief of the army to be sent there.
Jul Sir George Monro with 2,000 Ulster Scots joins the Lagan Army at the siege of Londonderry.
Jul 09 The Marquis of Clanricarde captures Sligo in Connacht.
Jul 11 Drogheda surrenders to Lord Inchiquin, who then besieges Dundalk.
Jul 24 Monck surrenders Dundalk to Lord Inchiquin.
Aug 02 Battle of Rathmines: Colonel Michael Jones destroys Ormond's army before Dublin.
Aug 07 Owen Roe O'Neill's Ulster army arrives before Londonderry, forcing the Scots-Royalist army besieging the city to withdraw.
Aug 12 Ormond appeals to O'Neill to join the Royalists against the Parliamentarians.
Aug 15 Cromwell's army arrives in Dublin.
Sep 11 Storming and massacre of Drogheda.
Sep 12 Cromwell sends Colonel Venables into Ulster to join forces with Sir Charles Coote.
Oct 11 Storming and massacre of Wexford.
Oct 19 Surrender of New Ross to Cromwell.
Oct 20 Owen Roe O'Neill agrees to join forces with Ormond against Cromwell.
Nov 02 Surrender of Carrickfergus to Colonel Venables and Sir Charles Coote.
Nov 06 Death of Owen Roe O'Neill at Cloughoughter Castle near Cavan.
Dec 02 Cromwell abandons the siege of Waterford.
Dec 13 Roman Catholic clergy meeting at Clacmanoise call upon the Irish people to unite against the English invaders.


Jan 29 Cromwell begins his campaign to capture the Confederate capital Kilkenny.
Feb The Marquis of Ormond and the Confederate commissioners flee from Kilkenny to Limerick as Cromwell's forces close in.
Mar 18 The gentry and nobility of Ulster meet officers of the Ulster army to choose a successor to Owen Roe O'Neill. Under pressure from the clergy, Heber MacMohan, Bishop of Clogher, is elected commander.
Mar 25 Bombardment of Kilkenny begins after Sir Walter Butler refuses Cromwell's summons to surrender.
Mar 27 Surrender of Kilkenny.
Mar 31 (?) Lord Broghill and Henry Cromwell defeat Lord Inchiquin at Mallow near Cork.
Apr 26 A treaty signed at Cashel between Cromwell and representatives of the Protestant Royalists. Most Protestants in Leinster and Munster agree to lay down their arms independently of Ormond and Inchiquin. The treaty is also accepted by the Ulster Scots and the Lagan Army.
Apr 27 Cromwell joins his forces at the siege of Clonmel in County Tipperary.
May 17 Cromwell's assault on Clonmel repulsed with heavy losses. Hugh O'Neill's garrison evacuates the town under cover of night.
May 18 The mayor of Clonmel surrenders to Cromwell.
May 27 Cromwell sails for England to deal with the threat of an invasion from Scotland. Henry Ireton takes command of Commonwealth forces in Ireland.
Jun 21 Battle of Scarriffhollis: Sir Charles Coote defeats the last Confederate field army.
Jun 25 Surrender of Techroghan Castle to Colonel Reynolds.
Aug 06 Surrender of Waterford to General Ireton.
Sep 16 General Ireton meets Sir Charles Coote at Athlone but they are unable to force a crossing of the River Shannon to advance on Limerick down the western bank.
Oct 06 Ireton marches to Limerick along the eastern bank of the Shannon.
Oct 19 Ireton abandons the siege of Limerick and disperses his troops into winter quarters. .
Oct 25 Battle of Meelick: Colonel Axtell drives back the Marquis of Clanricarde's offensive across the River Shannon.
Dec 11 The Marquis of Ormond leaves Ireland for France. The Marquis of Clanricarde appointed lord-deputy in his place.


Jan Edmund Ludlow arrives in Ireland to serve as lieutenant-general to Ireton. He is accompanied by three parliamentary commissioners who are to organise the civil government of Ireland.
Jun 01 General Ireton forces a passage over the River Shannon at O'Briensbridge, enabling him to establish forces on both sides of the river.
Jun 14 The siege of Limerick reinstated.
Jun 18 Lord Dillon surrenders Athlone to Sir Charles Coote, who advances to Portumna.
Jun 23 An amphibious assault on Limerick repulsed with heavy losses. Ireton abandons attempts to take the town by storm and prepares to blockade it into submission.
Jun 29 (?) Surrender of Portumna to Sir Charles Coote.
Jul 12 Battle of Knocknaclashy: Lord Broghill routs a relief force marching for Limerick.
Oct 27 Surrender of Limerick to General Ireton.
Nov 26 Death of Henry Ireton at Limerick. Ludlow appointed provisional commander in his place.


Jan 08 Parliament's commissioners in Ireland begin planning the settlement of Irish land.
Feb 14 The Marquis of Clanricarde offers to negotiate a peace treaty in Ireland. The English commander Edmund Ludlow rejects the proposal saying he expects submission not negotiation.
May 12 Major-General Thomas Preston surrenders Galway to Sir Charles Coote. Articles for the surrender of remaining Irish forces signed at Kilkenny.
Jun 22 Viscount Muskerry surrenders his forces in Munster.
Jun 28 The Marquis of Clanricarde surrenders to Commonwealth forces.
Aug 12 Parliament passes the Act for the Settlement of Ireland.