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"Irish Rebellion Brack of Gelvin" Topic

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707 hits since 27 Nov 2016
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Timbo W27 Nov 2016 11:16 a.m. PST

Hi all, I came across a battle known as the Brack of Gelvin in May 1642 where the O'Cahans were defeated by the Protestant Laggan Army. See this O'Cahan website here link . Has anyone found much more on this? I'm half suspicious that this might be another name for the Battle of Glenmaquin link a month later in June 1642.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2016 3:22 a.m. PST

Tim – The O'Cahan article refers to 1641, a whole year earlier.

GurKhan28 Nov 2016 6:52 a.m. PST

Supercilius – the O'Cahan site mentions fighting started in '41, but doesn't actually say that the battle took place in that year.

Timbo – the pdf at link treats Brack of Gelvin and Glenmaquin as separate battles, but doesn't say much about them:

May 1642 marked a turning point for the British when the Laggan forces of Donegal relieved Limavady on the 13th and marched through Magilligan killing some hundreds of the insurgents. The Lagganers then relieved the garrison at Coleraine on the 16th and the following day inflicted defeat on the Irish forces at the ‘brack of Gelvin', near Drumneechy, Bovevagh. A Scottish force led by Major-General Monroe arrived in Carrickfergus on 15 April and by August had control of the barony of Coleraine.

Despite defeats at Gelvin, in May and Glenmaquin, in Donegal, in June, the Irish remained active in smaller bands, and the countryside was still dangerous around Coleraine into the autumn of 1642.

See also the spreadsheet at

Timbo W28 Nov 2016 7:36 a.m. PST

Hi Gurkhan, thanks very much for digging that PDF out, I feel a bit happier about this now. Im Tim from the BCW wiki so I'm also very glad to see people using the files! I was suspicious as the Gelvin fight was 16th May and Glenmaquin 16th June so thought there was a possibility these were referring to the same thing with a month transcription error thrown in.

It does seem the more you look the more you find these minor battles in Ireland, there was another at Barnesmore Gap in March 42. Also the Catholic sources and Protestant sources do highlight different things unsurprisingly.

I have noticed a big expensive book on the Laggan Army anyone read this?

1ngram28 Nov 2016 3:19 p.m. PST

I read it a few years back when we were fighting the War in Ireland as a Faction Fight campaign using VWQ. I don't think there was much of use to a wargamer in it – lots of lists of settlers etc, if I remember correctly. Horrendously expensive too.

Timbo W28 Nov 2016 4:27 p.m. PST

Thanks 1ngram, doesn't sound like its going to be a future purchase then, this is the one I was thinking of link

By the way GurKhan, I'm always very happy to see any corrections, additions etc to the 'battles' file – :-)



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