Historical Scottish Clothing Project
John Derrick's The Image of Irelande

by Sharon L. Krossa

Last updated 28 Jun 2005  

The Image of Ireland, by John Derrick, was published in London in 1581. It contains woodcuts which, as the Edinburgh University Library web site put it, "provide important illustrations of Irish costume and custom and of English military gear of the late 16th century. Like a strip cartoon, the plates tell the story of the subjugation of the Irish rebels by Sir Henry Sidney, Lord-Deputy of Ireland under Queen Elizabeth of England".

As various descriptions of Scottish Gaelic clothing compare it to Irish clothing, information about and illustrations of Irish clothing are useful reference points in the study of Scottish Gaelic clothing.


One of the original copies is held by the Edinburgh University Library. It is unique among surviving copies because it includes a complete set of the woodcut plates.

The library has made high quality images of all twelve woodcuts (including captions) available at their web site:

"The Image of Irelande, by John Derrick (London, 1581) - Plates". WWW: Edinburgh University Library. URL: <http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/Gallery/researchcoll/ireland.html>.

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