Submission Strategies: The Irish Submissions to Richard II, 1395

In 1395, at what appeared to be the end of a protracted conflict with Art Óg MacMurrough and his allies, Richard II received the submissions of dozens of Irish lords. The submissions followed a well-established formula: the submitting parties prostrated themselves and paid homage to the king. They then swore an oath, usually in Irish, which was relayed through a trusted interpreter. Finally, they bound themselves to pay fines and other penalties should they break their oaths. While the particulars of the ritual sometimes varied from party to party, the overall consistency of the formula produced an invaluable resource in the accounts of the submissions. Transcribed and translated by Edmund Curtis in 1927, the notarial instruments offer a glimpse of the informal networks that exercised an often invisible influence on the ruling class of fourteenth-century Ireland.

Submission Strategies visualizes the social and spatial networks embedded in the notarial instruments. The project also contextualizes those relationships with authority files on each person and place that link to references in surviving primary sources, antiquarian works, and scholarship. Wherever possible, these authority files link to free and/or public domain sources, in keeping with the project’s commitment to transparency and open access.

The project is in development, and I welcome collaborators! If you’d like to contribute to the project (for instance by writing an entry on a family or place, adding or correcting a georeference, or adding sources to a bibliography), please do get in touch. The project was designed from its inception to account for collaboration, and each page has a section to identify contributors.