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Decline of the Ormondes

Kilkenny castle

I don't know what "Ormonde" means

I'm not at all certain what the term "Ormonde" entails. The
Kilkenny castle was the seat of the "dukes and earls of Ormonde." The Butler family was a principal if not the sole retainer of these titles between the 14th and the 20th centuries.

To start with, I know nothing of dukes and earls — royalty having been rejected at the outset the history of my native United States.

But secondly, the inclusiveness of "Ormonde" seems not at all clear. Whether or not Ormonde is a distinct physical territory seems unclear. The Butlers owned property throughout County Kilkenny, and beyond. The word Ormonde, according to the ladies at Kilkenny city library, relates to north Munster. (Munster is a neighboring region, the southwest of Ireland, and one of the four modern and five ancient subdivisions of the island. The family had some rule there, as well. [Kilkenny is firmly within Leinster, the southeastern province.])

If you could strictly call it a family — I don't know, either, whether the "earls and dukes of Ormonde" refers specifically and only to the Butlers.

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