Richard Kane

220px-Richard_KaneJust imagine. You’re from an old Gaelic, Catholic family. But your Mum’s a Presbyterian and you grow up in late seventeenth-century Carrickfergus, with its Protestant ethos and long history as the centre of English power in the north of Ireland. The Williamite Wars intrude on your peaceful, prosperous life and you volunteer for the Army. You do well in the Siege of Londonderry, the Boyne and Aughrim. You follow your King, fighting for 20 years against the spread of Catholic power in Europe, a valiant soldier rising to command Ireland’s premier regiment of foot. Your old adversary, the Sun King, Louis XIV, recognises your prowess with the gift of a priceless atlas. Then your Queen appoints you Governor of a Spanish Island, Menorca. Your job is to take what you need from its Catholic people to sustain the British garrison. But you work tirelessly for the last 24 years of your life to better the lives of the Menorcan people, reforming the coinage, laws, agriculture, transport, water supplies; often using your own (our?) money from your lands back in Carrick, and all paving the way for the island’s lucrative tourist industry. Your name? Richard Kane. What a man!

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