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Irish Chieftain Shane O Neill meets with Queen Elizabeth I

Irish Chieftain Shane O Neill meets with Queen Elizabeth I


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Irish Chieftain Shane O Neill meets with Queen Elizabeth I

Irish Chieftain Shane O Neill (1530-1567) has an audience with Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), through a translator, in January 1562. O Neill had an ambition to be The O Neill - sovereign of the dominant O Neill family of Tir Eoghain -and thus overlord of the entire province of Ireland.
1562

Mary Evans Picture Library makes available wonderful images created for people to enjoy over the centuries

Media ID 23035186

© Mary Evans Picture Library/Tom Gillmor

1560s 1562 Audience Chieftain Chieftains Greeting Meet Meeting Meets Overlord Ruler Shane Throne Translations Translator Advisors January O Neill


EDITORS COMMENTS
In this intriguing historical image, Irish Chieftain Shane O Neill (1530-1567) is depicted in an audience with the formidable Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) of England, in January 1562. The setting is the heart of the Elizabethan era, a time of political intrigue, power struggles, and cultural exchange between the Old World and the New. Shane O Neill, a charismatic and ambitious leader, held the title of The O'Neill, the sovereign of the dominant O'Neill family of Tir Eoghain, and thus the overlord of the entire province of Ireland. His ambition was to strengthen his position and assert his authority over the land he ruled. In order to achieve this, he sought an audience with the English queen, who held significant influence over Irish affairs. The meeting took place in the grand surroundings of the royal court, with O Neill accompanied by his trusted advisors and chieftains. The queen, who was well-versed in the art of diplomacy, received him with a mixture of curiosity and caution. The language barrier was a significant challenge, as O Neill spoke little English and the queen's advisors acted as translators. Despite the linguistic challenges, the encounter was a pivotal moment in the history of Ireland. The image captures the moment of greeting between the two powerful figures, with O Neill presenting gifts to the queen and engaging in discussions that would shape the future of his people and his land. The meeting marked the beginning of a complex relationship between the Irish chieftain and the English queen, one that would continue to unfold in the years to come. This photograph, taken from the Mary Evans Prints Online collection, offers a glimpse into the past, transporting us back to a time of political intrigue, cultural exchange, and the clash of two powerful leaders. It serves as a reminder of the rich history of Ireland and the complex web of relationships that have shaped its past and continue to influence its present.

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