‘Irish Convent Schools in Spain and the development of an educational infrastructure, 1499-1700’.

Knox, Andrea Elizabeth (2023) ‘Irish Convent Schools in Spain and the development of an educational infrastructure, 1499-1700’. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

[img] Text
knox.andrea_phd by published work (no SITs record).pdf - Submitted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 28 March 2024.

Download (348kB) | Request a copy


At the end of the fifteenth century a group of Irish Dominican sisters travelled from Galway to Bilbao in the Bizkaia region of Spain with the specific purpose of founding a convent there, and to establish a school for girls. This determined action led to a wave of female migration from Ireland to Spain and Portugal. The ambitions of this first group of Irish sisters sparked successive waves of female migration including women who were professed, and those who had an indirect attachment to the Irish Catholic church.

Dominican sisters had a positive, pro-active mission which they successfully introduced into the Iberian Peninsula from the 1490s onwards. Irish Dominican sisters had female education at the heart of their order, and their schools came to be appreciated as excellent models both in terms of structure and curricula. The Dominican order in Ireland had a long tradition migration and settlement in Europe and beyond. The pilgrimage tradition from Ireland was just as prolific as it was to Ireland, with female pilgrims travelling as far as men, including to the Holy Land. What is less well known is the broader history of Irish women who migrated for religious and other reasons, developing permanent roots in several countries, with the express purpose of establishing their own home, culture and mission.

This is a history which has not been written.

What this thesis aims to demonstrate is the migratory experience of Irish women across the Iberian Peninsula from 1499 to 1700, both as distinct groups with shared identities, and as groups or individuals with little common purpose. Irish women chose to migrate as religious groups, family or sept groups and as single women. Their motivations were varied. Their class and status ranged from the most elite Irish women with some autonomous decision- making powers through to middle ranking women with their own finance streams, to Dominican and Poor Clare sisters who intended to establish their order in Europe, and those who were poor, but made the decision to migrate. These women were single, married, widowed, or separated, some had professed, or were novices or pupils, and some were too young to be categorised. Some chose to develop networks with other Irish women, and, or with Spanish and Portuguese women. Others chose to live a more separate existence. The publications which make up this thesis present their history.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: female religious, networks, books, noble female donors, female migration
Subjects: V600 Theology and Religious studies
X900 Others in Education
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy by published work
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 19 Oct 2023 07:26
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2023 08:05
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/51638

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics