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Still Waters

Bones of 16th centuary Irish lord found?

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Still Waters

Archaeologists in Spain have found part of a skull and a femur (thigh bone) in their search for the remains of Red Hugh O’Donnell, one of the great tragic heroes of Irish history.

O’Donnell died en-route to Valladolid, a city in northwestern Spain, in July 1602 having failed to persuade the Spanish king Philip III to send another army to Ireland to fight against the English.

On day five of the dig in Valladolid’s Constitution Street on Friday, the archaeologists recovered human remains.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/spanish-archaeologists-recover-bones-in-search-for-remains-of-red-hugh-o-donnell-1.4259973

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/27/spanish-dig-closes-in-on-burial-site-of-irish-lord-red-hugh-odonnell

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Roe_O'Donnell

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Ozymandias

It should initially be easy to confirm his remains given that he had neither of his big toes. Hugh spent the latter half of his teen years imprisoned in the Bermingham Tower at Dublin Castle, the centre of English rule in Ireland. He lost his big toes to frostbite when he escaped into the Dublin mountains in the depths of winter in January 1592. His fellow escapee Art O'Neill did not make it and perished of hypothermia. They are the only people known to have ever escaped from Dublin Castle.

Hugh spent the next nine years of his short but eventful life fighting English forces in Ireland before going into exile after his final defeat at Kinsale in 1602. He sought Spanish military aid but died near Valladolid aged 29 years. His will is mentioned (though not quotes) in the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Roe_O'Donnell. In it he says:

" I offer my soul to my God and Lord Jesus Christ, Who bought and redeemed it with His precious and blessed blood … I commend my body to the clay of which it was formed, and I wish and order that it be interred in the church of the monastery of the Lord Saint Francis in Valladolid … now on the point of death, without hope of returning to the world, I say and declare that I take God for witness that I do not say anything here contrary to the truth. I appoint and name my brother trhe Lord Rory O'Donnell as my heir to all my estates, lands, lordships, … and I declare that, as His Majesty [Philip III] knows, peace treaties were agreed between the Irish and the queen of England [Elizabeth I] but I undid them all, in order to serve God and His Majesty and to make me and my heirs his vassals...."

If they turn out to be his remains I wonder what will be done with them?

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Ozymandias

No sooner had I posted the previous message than I checked to see what the progress was on this 'find', and I'm a little dismayed to read that it isn't Red Hugh's skeleton at all because it has all of its toes intact. So that's that, as they say!  

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Still Waters
15 minutes ago, Ozymandias said:

No sooner had I posted the previous message than I checked to see what the progress was on this 'find', and I'm a little dismayed to read that it isn't Red Hugh's skeleton at all because it has all of its toes intact. So that's that, as they say!  

Where did you see that it wasn't him they found? Can you post a link to that please.

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Ozymandias
Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, Still Waters said:

Where did you see that it wasn't him they found? Can you post a link to that please.

Hope this link works:

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/archaeologists-searching-for-remains-of-red-hugh-odonnell-say-unearthing-of-big-strong-man-was-not-irish-rebel-39239670.html

Should we rely on newspaper reports like this for confirmation? This report is a day old and I can't find anything more recent or reliable. 

Edited by Ozymandias

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Still Waters
13 hours ago, Ozymandias said:

Hope this link works:

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/archaeologists-searching-for-remains-of-red-hugh-odonnell-say-unearthing-of-big-strong-man-was-not-irish-rebel-39239670.html

Should we rely on newspaper reports like this for confirmation? This report is a day old and I can't find anything more recent or reliable. 

Thank you for the link. The report says it wasn't him but they're still looking.

Quote

While hopes of finding Red Hugh in the coming days are high the way forward is not simple Burgos explained.

“It is difficult to get inside the chapel because the building that was built a few centuries after in that area has destroyed a part of it.

“Another thing the archaeologists were trying to find is if there is a crypt under the area where all the bodies are appearing. We want to pass through this and go further into the chapel.

“We think if there are the remains of Red Hugh he will be further inside.

“We are not sure, we can’t say for 100 % Red Hugh is going to appear but we are trying our best to know.

https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/archaeologists-searching-for-remains-of-red-hugh-odonnell-say-unearthing-of-big-strong-man-was-not-irish-rebel-39239670.html

 

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hetrodoxly

Why do they want his skeleton?

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Ozymandias
Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, hetrodoxly said:

Why do they want his skeleton?

Why did they want Richard II's? Or the skeleton/remains of any other historical figure? 

From the archaeologists it is obvious, they can easily and readily identify him by his lack of big toes and further their knowledge about a Franciscan church where Christopher Columbus once lay. In particular, from the Spanish perspective, if his remains are identified then they know they have found the location where Columbus was interred.

Edited by Ozymandias

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Cookie Monster
6 minutes ago, hetrodoxly said:

Why do they want his skeleton?

To go in the IRA museum no doubt.

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Ozymandias
9 minutes ago, Cookie Monster said:

To go in the IRA museum no doubt.

The only thing Red Hugh and the IRA had in common was the fact that they were Irish and resisted English/British rule in Ireland, a rule that was prejudicial and destructive to all things Irish, something that continues in evidence even to this day. 

I would like to see his remains returned to Ireland if they are found and reinterred with a suitable memorial. 

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hetrodoxly
4 hours ago, Ozymandias said:

Why did they want Richard II's? Or the skeleton/remains of any other historical figure? 

There was a woman completely obsessed with finding it, also there had always been doubt on him being a hunchback.

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hetrodoxly
4 hours ago, Ozymandias said:

The only thing Red Hugh and the IRA had in common was the fact that they were Irish and resisted English/British rule in Ireland, a rule that was prejudicial and destructive to all things Irish, something that continues in evidence even to this day. 

I would like to see his remains returned to Ireland if they are found and reinterred with a suitable memorial. 

Wasn't his demise linked to his mother hiring mercenaries to kill his step brother her step son.

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Ozymandias
3 hours ago, hetrodoxly said:

Wasn't his demise linked to his mother hiring mercenaries to kill his step brother her step son.

English state papers record that he was poisoned by James Blake with the blessing and encouragement of the Queen's Lord President of Munster, George Carew, and the knowledge of her Lord Deputy in Ireland, Mountjoy, who they despatched to Spain to carry out the deed.

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hetrodoxly
1 hour ago, Ozymandias said:

English state papers record that he was poisoned by James Blake with the blessing and encouragement of the Queen's Lord President of Munster, George Carew, and the knowledge of her Lord Deputy in Ireland, Mountjoy, who they despatched to Spain to carry out the deed.

My post was badly worded, i was referring to his claims in Ireland when i put 'demise', he was assassinated, that's interesting i didn't realize he was considered such a threat.   

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