Contacts and Comparisons in History and Culture
Edited By Gerald Power and Ondrej Pilny
Jiří Brňovják The Integration of Irish Aristocratic Émigré Families in the Czech Lands, c. 1650-19
Jiří Brňovják The Integration of Irish Aristocratic Émigré Families in the Czech Lands, c. 1650–1945: Selected Case Studies1 Until 1526 the Estates of the Lands of the Bohemian Crown were par- ticularly self-contained and reluctant to embrace foreigners into their ranks. After the incorporation of the Czech and Hungarian Lands into the Habsburg monarchy this situation gradually began to change. It was part of a bilateral process: for their part, Czech aristocrats acquired oppor- tunities to pursue careers and participate in cosmopolitan milieus beyond the borders of their homeland. The Czech Lands experienced a boom in the inf lux of foreigners after the suppression of the Estates’ uprising in 1620 and during the Thirty Years War. The new legal system imposed by the Habsburgs after the battle of the White Mountain allowed foreign- ers from Italy, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Austrian Lands to settle, acquire property, and to enter the ranks of the Estates. In the years that followed, members of Irish, Scottish, French and Belgian aristocratic dynasties abandoned their homelands for political or religious reasons and sought asylum or careers in Habsburg service.2 Some of these émigrés, mostly serving in the imperial army, went to the Czech Lands. There, they 1 This essay was completed with the support of the Czech Science Foundation (Project No. P405/11/1450) and the University of Ostrava (project SGS 11/FF/2013 of the Student Grant Competition). 2 Thomas M. Barker, Army, Aristocracy, Monarchy: Essays on War, Society and Government...
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