Map of Ireland (Hibernia in classical Latin) including its administrative division, 1688.
In 1688, Ireland was heading towards a civil war, often called the Williamite war or the Jacobite war in Ireland. The war was a result of the so-called Glorious Revolution in England when King James II attempted to re-establish the Catholic Church as the official religion in Britain. As a consequence, William of Orange invaded England to repress the king’s efforts. However, Jacobitism was widely supported in Catholic Ireland and the king, after being forced to flee England, used the emerald isle as a base to regain the English crown. In a three-year long conflict, various battles took place between the Jacobites and a multi-national army led by William of Orange. The conflict resulted in hundreds of thousands killed and others forced to flee abroad, which caused another large wave of exile from Ireland that continued throughout the next three centuries.
This map shows the administrative division of Ireland in 1840s. There are four provinces depicted: Connacht (marked in green), Leinster (pink), Munster (yellow) and Ulster (orange). This division is based on the historical Irish kingdoms. All of them feature their own unique emblem from medieval times. A concept called “Dindsenchas” emerged in early Irish literature as a poetic description of a place. According to one of these texts, the four kingdoms had the following characteristics:
Connacht is the seat of wisdom and learning; Leinster is the seat of prosperity and hospitality; Ulster is the seat of bravery and valour while Munster is the seat of music and the art.