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Teares of Ireland

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The Teares of Ireland is a 1642 illustrated book. James Cranford (1592?-1657), an English presbyterian clergyman, contributed a preface, and the whole text is usually attributed to him. It is an exaggerated account of the cruelties inflicted on Protestants in Ireland during the Irish Rebellion of 1641, designed as a propaganda piece to stir anti-Catholic sentiment in England. The cruelties described were vividly illustrated in a series of twelve prints - etchings rather than finished plates - with each print containing two pictures. The art is often ascribed to Bohemian etcher Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), although older sources note that they show little of his usual skill.

The full preface reads; "Wherein is lively presented, as in a map, a list of the unheard of cruelties and perfidious Treacheries of bloud-thirsty Iesuits and the Popish Faction: as a warning piece to her sister nations to prevent the like miseries, as are now acted on the stage of this fresh bleeding nation reported by gentlemen of good credit living there, but forced to flie for their lives... illustrated by pictures; fit to be reserved by all true Protestants as a monument of their perpetuall reproach and ignominy, and to animate the spirits of Protestants against such bloody villains. London, printed by A.N. for Iohn Rothwell, 1642, 12mo."

"To the reader: Irelands warning to England. To confirme the truth of these ensuing Tragick Stories, you may be pleas'd to reade this Letter, the Copy whereof was read the fourteenth of December, in the Honourable House of Commons, and also read againe before the right Honorable the Lords at a Committee of both Houses, and desired to be entred into the journals of both Houses.

A true Relation of the bloudy Massacre and damnable Treason of the cruell Papists intended against Dublin, October 23, 1641, desperatly acted in most parts of the Kingdom of Ireland, tending to the utter ruine and extirpation of all the Protestants there: With a list of the severall tortures, cruelties, outrages, on the bodies of poore Christians, related by persons of good credit, who are fled from those bloudy men, to tell us what they have seen with their eyes and heard with their eares, on examinattions of divers of the Actors in this Tragedy illustrated by Pictures.

Here begins the bloudie attempts upon the Kingdome of Ireland in the generall, and on Dublin in particular.

Heere followeth a true description or relation of sundrie sad and lamentable collections, taken from the mouthes of verie credible persons, and out of Letters sent from Ireland to this Citie of London, of the perfidious outrages and barbarous cruelties, which the Irish Papists have committed upon the persons of the Protestants, both men, women, and children in that Kingdome. Anno Dom. 1641."


  • Thomas Frognall Dibdin, The library companion; or, The young man's guide, and the old man's comfort, in the choice of a library, Harding, Triphook and Lepard, 1824.
  • Richard Pennington, A Descriptive Catalogue of the Etched Work of Wenceslaus Hollar 1607-1677, Cambridge University Press, 2002.

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