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Review: Roddy McCorley

26 Nov 17 - 05:42 PM (#3890561)
Subject: Roddy McCorley
From: GUEST,John O'D

A recently published volume "Rhythms of the Revolt: European Traditions and Memories of Social Conflict in Oral Culture", edited by ?va Guillorel, David Hopkin and William G. Pooley (Routledge, 2017) includes several chapters on folk songs.

In particular, a chapter by the Israeli historian Guy Beiner titled "The Enigma of 'Roddy McCorley Goes to Die': Forgetting and Remembering a Local Rebel Hero in Ulster" (pp. 327-57) is well worth a read.
It sheds new light on the history of the man behind the ballad and how he was repeatedly forgotten and remembered in folk memory.It clarifies how Ethna Carbery's ballad 'Roddy McCorley' became a popular staple of Irish folk singing, while older folk songs on Roddy McCorley became obscure.


27 Nov 17 - 05:19 AM (#3890650)
Subject: RE: Review: Roddy McCorley
From: Keith A of Hertford

Wiki,
"There is uncertainty as to whether McCorley actually actively involved with the predominantly Presbyterian United Irishmen or the predominantly Catholic Defenders"

" In a poem written 100 years after the rebellion by Ethna Carbery, he is claimed to have been one of the leaders of the United Irishmen at the Battle of Antrim, however there is no contemporary documentary evidence to support this claim or prove that he was even active in the rebellion"

"After the rebellion, McCorley joined a notorious outlaw gang known as Archer's Gang, made up of former rebels and lead by Thomas Archer.[3] Some of these men had been British soldiers (members of the Irish militia) who changed sides in the conflict, and as such were guilty of treason and thus exempt from the terms of amnesty offered to the rank and file of the United Irishmen.[3] This meant that they were always on the run in an attempt to evade capture.[3] This "quasi-rebel" group were claimed to have attacked loyalists and participated in common crime.[4] It is believed that McCorley was caught whilst in hiding, having been betrayed by an informer"

This suggests he was not any kind of "rebel hero."


27 Nov 17 - 05:40 AM (#3890656)
Subject: RE: Review: Roddy McCorley
From: GUEST,John Moulden

There is substantial discussion of the songs of Rody/Roddy McCorley/MacCorley elsewhere in Mudcat. It exposes many of the 'facts' of the matter and certainly bears comparison with Guy Beiner's account and interpretation. However, so far as I know, Guy Beiner is Irish, though employed at an Israeli University. His degrees were from Irish Universities, Much of his research has been into accounts of the 1798 rising in Ireland, so he is well equipped to consider the question of William Archer and his 'gang'. There has been at least on other paper that looked into the post-1798 unrest in Co. Antrim. I can post details if there is interest. There is a very long version of 'You tender hearted Christians' in the National Folklore Archive at University College Dublin.


27 Nov 17 - 06:08 AM (#3890663)
Subject: RE: Review: Roddy McCorley
From: Andrez

Yes please Guest John, please post details of the paper re the post 1798 unrest in Co. Antrim.

Kind regards,

Andrez


27 Nov 17 - 07:20 AM (#3890667)
Subject: RE: Review: Roddy McCorley
From: Jim Carroll

Reports of the Archer Gang vary from them being a bunch of murderous outlaws (as were all rebels opposing English rule considered at the time) to rebels on the run and living off the land.
This is an account from a researched family history
"Fearing arrest and hanging Rody again went on the run. He hoped to make it to Derry and then to America. On his way he met an old Defender comrade, Thomas Archer who was a shoemaker from Ballymena. Archer had continued to act as a Defender even after the collapse of the rising. Rody decided to join him and his band. For several months the band raided the farms of the most cruel of the local yeomanry and took part in ambushing militia patrols."
We haven't got it but further information is apparently forthcoming from the Bealoideas Journal 1939,
"Archer Patrick, Fingal [County Dublin] in 1798, in Bealoideas, ix, 2 (1939)"
I have no doubt John has this (hi John - best to R)
Jim Carroll


01 Dec 17 - 08:09 AM (#3891615)
Subject: RE: Review: Roddy McCorley
From: GUEST,John Moulden

"Continued Presbyterian Resistance in the Aftermath of the Rebellion of 1798 in Antrim and Down"
Eighteenth Century Life, November 1998, Vol. 22 no. 3 pp. 45-61
James G. Patterson

Also a book by the same - In the Wake of the Great Rebellion: Republicanism, agrarianism and banditry in Ireland after 1798 (Manchester University Press, 2008)