1658 Joan Blaeu Antique Map of The Barony of Idrone, County Carlow, SE Ireland

Cartographer : Joan Blaeu

This beautifully hand coloured original copper-plate engraved antique map of the ancient Barony of Idrone (Udrone) located mainly in County Carlow on the Barrow River, SE Ireland, was published in the 1658 Spanish edition of Joan Blaeus Atlas Novus of Great Britain & Ireland.

This map is centered around the River Barrow with the city of Carlow (Catherlagh) to the north Leighlinbridge (Laghlyn) to the center.

General Definitions:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stable
Paper color : - off white
Age of map color: -
Colors used: -
General color appearance: -
Paper size: - 21in x 12 1/2in (535mm x 320mm)
Plate size: - 15 1/2in x 10in (395mm x 255mm)
Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None

Idrone (Udrone) is a barony in County Carlow, Republic of Ireland, centering on the River Barrow. The early barony of Idrone was split into East and West in 1799.
Idrone takes its name from the ancient name for the tuath, first recorded c. 1100 as Hua Drona in the Latin Vitae sanctorum Hiberniae. The Martyrology of Oengus the Culdee (c. 1150) calls it Huib Dróna in Middle Irish. The ruling family claimed descent from Drona, fourth son of Cathair Mór, a legendary 2nd century AD king.
The Uí Bairrche and Ui Drona are cited early here. The O\'Riain (Ryan) sept was Lords of Idrone. The Ó Dubhghaill (O\'Doyle) clan of Viking origin was said to originate from a 9th-century King of Idrone.

Blaeus fifth map of Ireland seems a strangely remote choice of location for the great cartographer to have singled out for special treatment. For the reasons why this map was engraved in the first place one must go back to power-struggles between the leading Anglo-Irish families in Elizabethan Ireland.
The Butlers wars of the 1560s and 1570s were the struggles between the Fitzgeralds (Earls of Desmond) and the Butlers (Earls of Ormonde) who fought what is thought to have been the last privately pitched battle in the British Isles at Affane in Waterford in 1565.
As if matters were not complicated and volatile enough an English adventurer called Sir Peter Carew (1514-75) arrived on the scene. Carew was a man with a fascinatingly chequered career (he was imprisoned in the Tower of London and later Constable of it!), whose claims to the Barony of Idrone were upheld at Dublin Castle, the seat of English power in Ireland. He also claimed ancient title to half of Cork and found himself at war with both Desmond and Butler. These events seem to have caught Mercators - the original publisher of this map - attention in Antwerp and this detailed map of a small corner of Ireland was engraved and included fin most 16th & 17th century sets of Irish maps. (Ref: Koeman; Tooley; M&B)