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Title: Ireland under the Tudors, Volume I (of II) - With a Succinct Account of the Earlier History
Author: Bagwell, Richard
Language: English
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    VOL. I.












_All rights reserved_


'Irish policy,' said Mr. Disraeli in the House of Commons, 'is Irish
history, and I have no faith in any statesman, who attempts to remedy the
evils of Ireland, who is either ignorant of the past or who will not take
lessons from it.' This is most true, and history, if it is to be of any
use, should be written for instruction, and not merely for the
confirmation of existing prejudices. This is especially so in the present
case, for, as Sir George Stanley told Cecil in 1565, 'the practises of
Ireland be great, and not understood to all men that seem to have
knowledge thereof.' The writer who enters the arena as an advocate may
produce an interesting party pamphlet, but he will hardly make the world
either wiser or better. The historian's true office is that of the judge,
whose duty it is to marshal all the material facts with just so much of
comment as may enable his hearers to give them their due weight. The
reading public is the jury.

Starting with this conception of the task before me, I have not attempted
to please any party or school. The history of Ireland is at the best a
sad one; but its study, if it be really studied for the truth's sake, can
hardly fail to make men more tolerant. In Ireland, as in other countries,
a purely Celtic population was unable to resist the impact of the
Teutonic race. First came the pagan Northmen, with power to ruin, but
without power to reconstruct. Then followed the Anglo-Normans, seeking
for lands and lordships, but seeking them under the patronage of the
Catholic Church. For a time it seemed as though the conquest would be
complete; but the colony proved too weak for its work, and the mail-clad
knights failed almost as completely as the Scandinavian corsairs.

The main cause of this second failure was the neglect or jealousy of the
kings. They feared the growth of an independent power within sight of the
English shore, and they had neither means nor inclination to do the work
of government themselves. Little gain and less glory were to be had in
Ireland, and Scotch, Welsh, or Continental politics engrossed their
attention in turn. They weakened the colony, partly of set purpose, and
partly by drawing men and supplies from thence. In short, they were
absentees; and, to use an expression which has gained currency in modern
times, they were generally content to look upon Ireland as a mere

The Wars of the Roses almost completed the ruin of the work which Henry
II. had begun. For a moment it seemed as if the colony was about to
assert its independence. But this could not have been done without an
understanding with the native race, and it does not appear that any such
understanding was possible. The upshot was that Yorkist and Lancastrian
parties were formed in Ireland, that the colony was thus still further
weakened, and that the English language and power seemed on the point of
disappearing altogether.

The throne of Henry VIII. was erected on the ruins of mediæval feudalism,
and guarded by a nation which longed for rest, and which saw no hope but
in a strong monarchy. The King saw that he had duties in Ireland. Utterly
unscrupulous where his own passions were concerned, the idea of a patriot
King was not altogether strange to him. Irish chiefs were encouraged to
visit his court, and were allowed to bask in the sunshine of royal
favour; and it is conceivable that the 'Defender of the Faith,' had he
continued to defend it in the original sense, might have ended by
attaching the native Irish to the Crown. By respecting for a time their
tribal laws, by making one chief an earl and another a knight, by
mediating in their quarrels, and by attending to their physical and
spiritual wants, a Catholic Tudor might possibly have succeeded where
Anglican and Plantagenet had failed. The revolution in religion changed
everything, and out of it grew what many regard as the insoluble Irish

Henry II. had found Ireland in the hands of a Celtic people, for the
intermixture of Scandinavian blood was slight and partial. Henry VIII.
found it inhabited by a mixed race. From the beginning there had been
rivalry and ill-feeling between men of English blood born in Ireland, and
those of English birth who were sent over as officials or who went over
as adventurers. During the fifteenth century England did nothing to
preserve the ties of kinship, and the Celtic reaction tended to swallow
up the interlopers. The degenerate English proverbially became more Irish
than the Irish themselves, but the distinction would scarcely have been
so nearly obliterated had it not been for the change in religion. The
nobles of the Pale, the burghers of the walled towns, and the lawyers in
Dublin were equally disinclined to accept the new model. Neither Irish
chieftains nor Anglo-Irish lords found much difficulty in acknowledging
Henry's supremacy both in Church and State; but further than that they
would not go. The people did not go so far, and, in the words of the
annalists, regarded the Reformation simply as a 'heresy and new error.'

Religion itself was at an extremely low ebb, and only the friars
preserved the memory of better days. Henry may have imagined that he
could lead the people through the bishops and other dignitaries: if so,
he was entirely mistaken. The friars defied his power, and the hearts of
the poor were with them. In Ireland, at least, it was Rome that
undertook the work of popular reformation. The Franciscans and Jesuits
endured cold and hunger, bonds and death, while courtly prelates
neglected their duties or were distinguished from lay magnates only by
the more systematic nature of their oppressions. And thus, as the hatred
of England daily deepened, the attachment of the Irish to Rome became
daily closer. Every effort of Henry to conciliate them was frustrated by
their spiritual guides, who urged with perfect truth that he was an
adulterer, a tyrant, and a man of blood. Holding such cards as these, the
friars could hardly lose the game, and they had little difficulty in
proving to willing ears that the King's ancestors received Ireland from
the Pope, and that his apostasy had placed him in the position of a
defaulting vassal.

Henry's vacillations and the early deaths of Edward and Mary for a time
obscured the true nature of the contest, but it became apparent in
Elizabeth's time. She was an excommunicated Queen. From a Catholic point
of view she was clearly illegitimate. Many English Catholics ignored all
this and served her well and truly, but those who carried dogmas to their
logical conclusions flocked to the enemy's camp. Spain, Belgium, and
Italy were filled with English refugees, who were willing enough that the
Queen should be hurt in Ireland, since England was beyond their reach.
But even here national antipathies were visible, and Irish suitors for
Spanish help came constantly into collision with Englishmen bent upon the
same errand.

Desmond, Shane O'Neill, and Hugh O'Neill seem to have cared very little
for religion themselves. The first was a tool of Rome; the two latter
rather made the Church subservient to their own ambition. But in these
cases, and in a hundred others of less importance, the religious feeling
of the people was always steadily opposed to the English Crown. Elizabeth
was by nature no persecutor, yet she persecuted. Her advisers always
maintained, and her apologists may still maintain, that in hanging a
Campion or torturing an O'Hurley she did not meddle with freedom of
conscience, but only punished those who were plotting against her crown.
The Catholics, on the other hand, could plead that they had done nothing
worthy of death or of bonds, nor against lawful authority, and that they
suffered for conscience' sake. And the Continental nations, who were
mainly Catholic, sided on the whole with the refugees. Ireland, it is
true, was only a pawn in their game, and Philip II. was probably wrong in
not making her much more. At Cork or Galway the Armada might have met
with scarcely any resistance, and a successful descent would have taxed
Elizabeth's resources to the utmost.

The poverty of the Crown is the key to many problems of the Elizabethan
age. The Queen had to keep Scotland quiet, to hold Spain at bay, and to
maintain tolerable relations with France. She saw what ought to be done
in Ireland, but very often could not afford to do it. The tendency to
temporise was perhaps constitutional, but it was certainly much increased
by want of money. Her vacillating policy did much harm, but it was caused
less by changes of opinion than by circumstances. When the pressure at
other points slackened she could attend to her troublesome kingdom; when
it increased she was often forced to postpone her Irish plans. Ireland
has always suffered, and still suffers sorely, from want of firmness. In
modern times party exigencies work mischief analogous to that formerly
caused by the sovereign's necessities.

The dissolution of the monasteries was followed by no proper provision
for education. In the total absence of universities and grammar-schools,
certain monks and nuns had striven nobly to keep the lamp of knowledge
burning, but they were ruthlessly driven from house and home. Elizabeth
was alive to all this, but she could not give Ireland her undivided
attention, and such remedies as were applied came too late. The
oppressed friars kept possession of the popular ear, and the Jesuits
found the crop ready for their sickle. Denied education at home, many
sons of good families sought it abroad, and the natural leaders of the
Irish acquired habits of thought very different from those of English
gentlemen. Archbishop Fitzgibbon, one of the most important champions of
Catholic Ireland, saw clearly that his country could not stand alone. He
would have preferred the sovereignty of England, but she had become
aggressively Protestant, and he turned to Spain, to France, to Rome,
anywhere rather than to the land whence his own ancestors had sprung. The
lineage of the United Irishmen and their numerous progeny may be easily
traced back to Tudor times.

A few words now to the critics whom every writer hopes to have. The
spelling both of Irish names and English documents has throughout been
modernised, from regard to the feelings of the public. Irish history is
already sufficiently repulsive to that great unknown quantity the general
reader, and it would be cruel to add to its horrors. Etymologists will
always go for their materials to originals, and not to modern
compositions. When, therefore, such names as Clandeboye or Roderic
O'Connor are met with in the text, it is not to be supposed that I have
never heard of Clann-Aedha-Buidhe or Ruaidhri O'Conchobair.

Of the first 123 pages of this book, I need only say that original
authorities have as much as possible been consulted. In the third and
four following chapters, much use has been made of Mr. Gilbert's
'Viceroys,' a debt which I desire to acknowledge once for all. In so
succinct a review of more than three centuries, it has not been thought
necessary to quote the authority for every fact.

For the reign of Henry VIII. I have chiefly relied on the second and
third volumes of the 'State Papers,' published in 1834. They are
sometimes cited as 'S. P.' or 'State Papers,' and when only the date of
a letter or report is given it must be understood that this collection is
referred to. The great calendar of letters and papers begun by Dr. Brewer
and continued by Mr. Gairdner contains some items not included in the
older publication; it is referred to as _Brewer_. Other sources of
information have not been neglected, and are indicated in the footnotes.

The account of the reigns of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth is chiefly
drawn from the 'State Papers, _Ireland_'--all documents preserved in the
Public Record Office and calendared by Mr. Hans Claude Hamilton. How
excellently the editor has done his work can only be appreciated by one
who has entered into his labours as closely as I have done. Except where
a document has already been printed, I have nearly always referred to the
original MS. All documents cited by date or number without further
description must be understood as being in this collection. The late Dr.
Brewer's calendar of the Carew MSS. at Lambeth often fills up gaps in the
greater series; it is referred to as _Carew_. Many papers, both in Fetter
Lane and at Lambeth, are copies; but their authenticity is not disputed.
The Carew calendar is on so full a plan that it has not been thought
necessary to consult the manuscripts; indeed, except for local purposes,
it is not likely that they will be much consulted in the future. Other
collections are referred to in their places, but it may be well to
mention specially the journal of the Irish (Kilkenny) Archæological
Society, whose editor, the Rev. James Graves, has done as much as any man
to lay a broad foundation for Irish history.

O'Donovan's splendid edition of the 'Four Masters' has generally been
consulted for the Irish version of every important fact. O'Clery and his
fellow-compilers wrote under Charles I., and are not therefore strictly
contemporary for the Tudor period. They appear to have faithfully
transcribed original annals, but to this one important exception must be
made. The old writers never hesitated to record facts disagreeable to the
Church; the later compilers were under the influence of the
counter-reformation which produced Jesuitism. Making some allowance for
this, the 'Four Masters' must be considered fair men. Michael O'Clery
spent much time at Louvain, but he wrote in Ireland, and had native
assistants. Philip O'Sullivan, on the other hand, was a Spanish officer,
and published his useful but untrustworthy 'Compendium' at Lisbon. The
'Annals of Lough Cé' are preferable in some ways to the 'Four Masters,'
but they do not cover so much ground. All the native annalists are jejune
to an exasperating degree. Genealogy seems to have been the really
important thing with them, and they throw extremely little light on the
condition of the people. We are forced therefore to rely on the accounts,
often prejudiced and nearly always ill-informed, of English travellers
and officials.

The Anglo-Irish chronicles in 'Holinshed' were written by Richard
Stanihurst, who dedicated his work to Sir Henry Sidney, for the reign of
Henry VIII., and after that by John Hooker. Stanihurst, a native of
Dublin, was not born till 1545. He has been thought an unpatriotic
writer, and excited the violent antipathy of O'Donovan; but he appears to
have been pretty well informed. The speeches which he puts into the
mouths of his characters must be considered apocryphal, but as much may
be said of like compositions in all ages. Hooker was an actor in many of
the events he describes. He was a Protestant and an Englishman,
prejudiced no doubt, but not untruthful, and his statements are often
borne out by independent documents. Edmund Campion, the Jesuit, wrote in
Ireland under Sidney's protection; his very interesting work is less a
history than a collection of notes.

Other books, ancient and modern, are referred to in the footnotes. Among
living scholars, I desire to thank Dr. W. K. Sullivan, of Cork, who had
the great kindness to correct the first chapter, and to furnish some
valuable notes. Hearty thanks are also due to the gentlemen at the Public
Record Office, and especially to Mr. W. D. Selby and Mr. J. M. Thompson.

In making the index a few errors were discovered in the text, and these
have been noted as errata. Some mistakes may still remain uncorrected,
but I am not without hope that they are neither many nor of much

    _August 13, 1885_.







    Early notices of Ireland                                           1
    The Celtic constitution                                            2
    The tribal system                                                  5
    The Celtic land law                                                7
    Common origin of Celtic and Teutonic institutions                 11
    The ancient Irish Church                                          12
    Gradual introduction of Roman ecclesiastical polity               14



    First inroads of the Northmen                                     17
    Turgesius                                                         17
    Danes and Norwegians                                              18
    Danish power in Ireland                                           19
    Its limits                                                        21
    Revival of the Celts                                              22
    Brian Borumha                                                     23
    Battle of Clontarf                                                28
    Conversion of the Danes                                           29
    Superiority of their civilisation                                 30
    Brian's monarchy not permanent                                    31
    Danish Christianity in Ireland                                    32
    Conflict between Canterbury and Armagh                            33
    Papal supremacy fully established                                 34



    Ireland given to England by the Popes                             37
    First interference of Henry II.                                   39
    An Anglo-Norman party in Ireland                                  40
    Strongbow                                                         41
    Anglo-Norman invasion                                             42
    Henry II. in Ireland                                              47
    Difficulties of the invaders                                      49
    Henry was unable to carry out his own policy                      52
    An Irish kingdom contemplated                                     54
    Viceroyalty of John                                               55
    No conquest of Ireland under Henry II.                            56



    John Lord of Ireland                                              58
    King John in Ireland                                              59
    Leinster divided after Strongbow's death                          61
    The De Burgos in Connaught                                        61
    The colony declines under Henry III.                              62
    Results of Edward I.'s policy                                     64
    The Bruces invade Ireland                                         65



    Why the Bruces failed                                             69
    Decline of the colony                                             70
    The colonists become _Hibernis ipsis Hiberniores_                 71
    Creation of the great earldoms                                    71
    Irish corporate towns                                             73
    Anglo-Norman families                                             75
    Further decline of the colony under Edward III.                   76
    Dissensions among the colonists                                   77



    Lionel, Duke of Clarence                                          80
    The statute of Kilkenny                                           81
    Its effect in dividing the rival races                            83
    Richard II.'s first visit                                         85
    His second visit                                                  86
    His complete failure                                              87
    Henry IV. and V. neglect Ireland                                  87
    Foreign wars fatal to Ireland                                     89
    Richard of York made Lord-Lieutenant                              90
    A Yorkist party in Ireland                                        91
    The colony reduced to the utmost                                  93



    A close copy                                                      94
    Growth of representative institutions                             95
    The sphere of English law contracted under Edward III.            96
    The Parliament of Kilkenny not representative of Ireland          97
    The peerage                                                       98
    The clergy as an estate                                           99
    The Viceroy                                                      100



    The Fitzgeralds were Yorkists, the Butlers Lancastrians          102
    Lambert Simnel crowned in Ireland                                104
    The Irish Yorkists cut to pieces at Stoke                        105
    Mission of Sir Richard Edgcombe                                  106
    The Irish nobility in England                                    108
    The Butlers and Geraldines                                       109
    Perkin Warbeck                                                   110
    Sir Edward Poynings holds a Parliament at Drogheda               111
    Poynings' Acts                                                   112
    Second visit of Perkin Warbeck                                   113
    Weakness of the Government                                       114
    Third visit of Perkin Warbeck                                    115
    Power of the Kildare family                             115, 117-120
    Battle of Knocktoe                                               120
    Henry VII. wished to separate the two races                      122



    The Kildare family in power                                  124-128
    The Ormonde family much reduced                                  125
    Viceroyalty of Surrey                                        128-139
    The Pale a very small district                                   129
    Misery of the country                                            131
    O'Donnell and O'Neill                                            132
    Desmond and the MacCarthies                                      133
    Policy of Henry VIII.                                            134
    Unsteadiness of English policy                                   136
    The Irish constantly at war                                      140
    The Butlers and Geraldines were scarcely more peaceable          145
    Wolsey's policy                                                  148
    A Viceroy captured by the Irish                                  150
    The rivalry between Ormonde and Kildare                      149-152
    Skeffington Viceroy                                              152
    Overshadowed by Kildare                                          154
    Results of the Kildare power                                 154-158
    Fall of Kildare                                                  161



    The Geraldine rebellion                                          163
    Loyalty of the Butlers                                           164
    Geraldine siege of Dublin                                        166
    Failure of the rebellion                                         169
    Surrender of Kildare                                             177
    The Desmonds and MacCarthies                                     180
    Desmond intrigues with France                                    181
    The Butlers and the Desmond Geraldines                           182
    Desmond intrigues with Charles V.                                184
    State of the South of Ireland                                    189
    Modern spirit of the Tudor monarchy shown by promoting new men   194


    FROM THE YEAR 1536 TO THE YEAR 1540.

    Administration of Lord Leonard Grey                          195-220
    The royal supremacy established by law                           196
    The Act of Absentees                                             197
    The O'Neills                                                     198
    Poverty of the Crown                                             199
    Grey in the West of Ireland                                      200
    Want of money                                                    204
    Grey and the O'Connors                                           206
    Vague good intentions of Henry VIII.                             210
    The O'Neills and O'Donnells                                      212
    Grey and the O'Connors                                           213
    Seizure of the five Geraldines                                   215
    Eclipse of the Kildare family                                    216



    Ormonde proposes to reform his country                           221
    Grey almost constantly engaged in war                            222
    His quarrel with the Butlers                                     223
    The O'Carrolls                                                   223
    The O'Mores                                                      224
    Rash expedition of Grey                                          226
    His dispute with the Butlers                                     229
    The revenue                                                      233
    Cromwell's Irish policy                                          234
    The royal supremacy acquiesced in                                236
    A Catholic movement nevertheless makes itself felt               238
    Grey routs the O'Neills                                          240
    Fall and fate of Grey                                            243


    1540 AND 1541.

    Confusion after Grey's recall                                    247
    Sir Anthony St. Leger Lord Deputy                            249-261
    His policy                                                       250
    Case of the O'Tooles                                             251
    The King will not allow a military brotherhood                   254
    Desmond abjures the Pope                                         255
    Success of St. Leger with the Irish chiefs                       256
    Henry VIII. made King of Ireland by Act of Parliament            259



    St. Leger Lord Deputy                                        262-287
    O'Donnell abjures the Pope                                       262
    O'Neill abjures the Pope                                         264
    Other chiefs follow suit                                         266
    The Munster nobles do likewise                                   267
    O'Neill made Earl of Tyrone                                      268
    O'Brien made Earl of Thomond                                     270
    MacWilliam Burke made Earl of Clanricarde                        271
    The MacDonnells in Antrim                                        271
    Financial dishonesty                                             274
    An Irish contingent in Scotland                                  276
    And in France                                                    277
    Dissensions between St. Leger and Ormonde                        278
    An English party in Scotland                                     279
    The Lord of the Isles in Ireland                                 280
    Abortive attempt to invade Scotland from Ireland                 281
    Intrigues of Irish officials--St. Leger and Ormonde              282
    Ormonde is murdered in England                                   285
    Permanent causes tending to weaken Irish Governments             286



    Points at issue between King and Pope                            288
    See of Armagh                                                    289
    Dublin                                                           290
    Meath                                                            290
    Cashel                                                           291
    Tuam                                                             292
    Remoter sees                                                     292
    King and Pope in Leinster, Munster, and Connaught                293
    Corrupt state of the Church                                      294
    Miserable condition of four sees particularly described          295
    General corruption of the clergy                                 296
    Evils of Papal patronage                                         297
    Many of the religious houses out of order                        298
    Excellent service rendered by others                             299
    Ecclesiastical legislation in 1536                               300
    The Crown could procure the passing of Acts, but the people
        remained unaffected by them                                  301
    Archbishop Browne                                                302
    His quarrel with Bishop Staples                                  303
    Lord Leonard Grey gave general offence                           303
    Images, relics, and pilgrimages                                  304
    The Munster bishops conformed                                    305
    But this does not prove any real conversion                      306
    Origin of a double succession                                    306
    Wauchop made Primate by the Pope                                 306
    First appearance of the Jesuits                                  307
    The friars oppose the royal supremacy                            310
    The Reformation hateful to the Irish                             311
    Henry attacks the monasteries                                    312
    Account of the different orders                                  313
    Cistercian abbeys                                                314
    Hospitallers                                                     315
    Pensions to monks                                                317
    The monks were not really driven out                             317
    Property of the religious houses                                 318
    The mendicant orders                                             319
    Their suppression scarcely decreased the number of friars        320
    The plunder of the monasteries shared by all classes             320
    The educating monasteries not replaced                           321
    Early attempts at an Irish university                            321
    Archbishop Browne                                                322
    Bishop Staples                                                   323



    St. Leger still Deputy                                           325
    Education of Irish nobles at Court                               326
    Sir Edward Bellingham Lord Deputy                            327-345
    His efforts to protect the Pale                                  328
    Pirates on the Irish coast                                       329
    Bellingham puts down the O'Mores                                 331
    And the O'Connors                                                332
    He bridles Connaught                                             333
    A remarkable adventure                                           334
    The Irish mint                                                   335
    Bellingham's haughty bearing towards great men                   337
    He offends his own council                                       339
    He tames Desmond                                                 339
    Ireland quiet                                                    340
    The Reformation--Browne and Staples                              341
    Bellingham and Dowdall                                           342
    The royal supremacy                                              343
    Death and character of Bellingham                                344
    Lord Justice Bryan                                               345
    Lord Justice Brabazon                                            346
    Foreign intrigues                                                347
    St. Leger Lord Deputy                                        348-353
    His conciliatory policy                                          349
    The Reformation hangs fire                                       349
    Causes of this                                                   350
    Want of money                                                    351
    The French discourage the Irish refugees                         352
    English settlers not always a civilising influence               353



    St. Leger Lord Deputy                                        354-359
    Protestantism officially promulgated                             354
    Doctrinal conference                                             355
    Browne and Dowdall                                               356
    Tolerant views of St. Leger                                      357
    Sir James Croft Lord Deputy                                  359-383
    Colonisation projects                                            360
    The Ulster Scots                                                 361
    The O'Neills                                                     362
    Shane O'Neill and his competitors                                363
    Another doctrinal conference                                     365
    The primacy removed to Dublin                                    367
    Church patronage                                                 368
    The coinage                                                      370
    Sufferings from a debased currency                               371
    Attempts at mining                                               372
    French and Scotch intrigues                                      373
    Connaught                                                        374
    Leinster                                                         375
    Ulster                                                           376
    Protestant bishops                                               379
    Bale                                                             381
    Catholic reaction after Edward's death                           382



    St. Leger is again Lord Deputy                               384-396
    The succession                                                   384
    The Queen and the Pope                                           386
    Bishop Bale at Kilkenny                                          386
    The Primacy is restored to Armagh                                391
    Restoration of Kildare                                           392
    The Pope and the kingdom of Ireland                              393
    Mary's notions of prerogative                                    394
    Recall of St. Leger--his accusers                                396
    Sussex (then Lord Fitzwalter) made Lord Deputy                   396
    Ulster                                                           397
    The King's and Queen's Counties                                  399
    The monastic lands not restored                                  401
    Catholicism re-established                                       401
    Military operations of Sussex                                    402
    O'Neills and O'Donnells                                          404
    Sir Henry Sidney Lord Justice                                    405
    General disaffection                                             406
    Mary's ideas on Irish policy                                     407
    Sussex in Munster                                                408
    And in Thomond and Connaught                                     410
    Abortive expedition to the Hebrides                              411
    State of the Protestants under Mary                              413

    INDEX                                                            415


    Page 140,   _for_ Bishop of Kildare _read_ Bishop of Killaloe.
      "  305-6, _for_ Michael Comyn _read_ Nicholas Comyn.
      "  317,   _for_ Nicholas Walsh _read_ Nicholas Fagan.


    IRELAND IN 1172             _To face page_ 37
      "     ABOUT 1300                 "       69
      "       "   1500                 "      124
    IRELAND, ECCLESIASTICAL            "      288




[Sidenote: Scope of the work.]

The main object of this book is to describe in some detail, and as
impartially as possible, the dealings of England with Ireland during the
reigns of Henry VIII. and his three children. As an introduction to the
study of that period, it seemed desirable to give some account of the
course of government during those 340 years which had elapsed since the
first Anglo-Norman set foot upon the Irish shore. And, seeing that
Teutonic invaders had effected a lodgment about three centuries and a
half before Henry II.'s accession, it was hardly possible to avoid saying
something about the men who built the towns which enabled his subjects to
keep a firm grip upon the island. Lastly, it seemed well at the very
outset to touch lightly upon the peculiarities of that Celtic system with
which the King of England found himself suddenly confronted.

[Sidenote: The Roman period.]

Agricola took military possession of south-western Scotland partly in the
hope of being able to invade Ireland. He had heard that the climate and
people did not differ much from those of Britain, and he knew that the
harbours were much frequented by merchants. He believed that annexation
would tend to consolidate the Roman power in Britain, Gaul, and Spain,
and kept by him for some time a petty Irish king who had been expelled by
his own tribe, and to whom he professed friendship on the chance of
turning him to account. Agricola thought there would be no great
difficulty in conquering the island, which he rightly conjectured to be
smaller than Britain and larger than Sicily or Sardinia.

'I have often,' says Tacitus, 'heard him say that Ireland could be
conquered and occupied with a single legion and a few auxiliaries, and
that the work in Britain would be easier if the Roman arms could be made
visible on all sides, and liberty, as it were, removed out of sight.'
Agricola, like many great men after him, might have found the task harder
than his barbarous guest had led him to suppose; and in any case fate had
not ordained that Ireland should ever know the Roman Peace. It was
reserved for another petty king, after the lapse of nearly 1,100 years,
to introduce an organised foreign power into Ireland, and to attach the
island to an empire whose possessions were destined to be far greater
than those of Imperial Rome.

[Sidenote: The Celtic polity.]

Setting aside all ethnological speculations as foreign to the scope of
this work, it may be sufficient to say that the inhabitants of Ireland at
the dawn of authentic history were Celts, of the same grand division as
the bulk of the Scots Highlanders, but differing considerably from the
people of Wales. Their organisation in the twelfth century had not passed
beyond the tribal stage.[1]

[Sidenote: The Irish Monarchy or Pentarchy.]

There was a monarch of all Ireland, who had Meath--the Middle--as his
official appanage, and who reigned originally at Tara. There were
provincial kings of Ulster, Munster, Leinster, and Connaught. A primacy
was given to the race of Niall, who lived presumably in the fourth and
fifth centuries, and from whom the O'Neills, O'Donnells, and others trace
their descent. The theory is thought to have been pretty closely adhered
to until the desertion of Tara in the sixth century of our era. After
that the over-king lived in his own territory; but his authority was
often disputed, especially by Munster, the revolt of which province
finally broke up the old order.[2]

[Sidenote: Weakness of the Brehon law.]

Wars were frequent, and Irish Brehons, who were rather legal experts than
judges, exerted themselves to define rights and liabilities, and to
establish a peaceful polity. Perhaps in laying down the law they
sometimes rather stated their own conception of what it ought to be than
described the actual state of things; much as Brahminical writers
propounded a theory of caste which cannot be reconciled with historical
truth. Neither the Church nor the Law had always original power
sufficient to enforce steady obedience. The Law might be clear enough,
but the central government was often too weak to secure respect for the
opinion of experts. Portia might have argued like a very Daniel, but she
could have done nothing without the Duke behind her. In the absence of
such an overpowering authority, the decisions of the Brehons were little
more than arbitrations which might be, and probably often were, accepted
as final, but on which neither party could be compelled to act.[3]

[Sidenote: Ireland was outside the imperial system.]

In the treatise called the 'Senchus Mór' there is a passage which may be
as old as the fourteenth century, in which it is allowed that the nature
of Irish royalty varied considerably from time to time. 'The King of Erin
without opposition,' says the writer or interpolator, 'received stock
from the King of the Romans; or it was by the successor of Patrick the
stock is given to the King of Erin, that is, when the seaports of Dublin,
and Waterford, and Limerick, and the seaports in general, are subject to
him.' There is here an attempt at once to bring Ireland within the pale
of the Empire, and to show that the Irish Church was independent. It was
natural that the Brehons should seek to introduce their country into the
circle of nations, but we know as a matter of fact that the Empire never
had anything to do with Ireland. The passage quoted may have been
inspired by a wish to deny English supremacy by attorning, as it were, to
the superior lord. It is a tribute to the greatness of the Empire more
than anything else, and it was not thought of until the Brehon law
schools had fallen from their high estate.

[Sidenote: The tribal system. The chief.]

It was by giving stock that an Irish chief showed his power and added to
his wealth. There were lands attached to his office, but his capital
consisted of kine, and he extracted a sort of rent by obliging his
inferiors to give them pasture. The number of cattle which he 'grazed
without loss' upon other people's ground was the measure of his power and
popularity. There were free tribesmen the amount of whose obligation to
their chief was strictly laid down, though a greater quantity of stock
might be voluntarily taken under certain restrictions. But there were
also servile or semi-servile classes whose comparatively unprotected
condition placed them more or less in the power of the chief to whose
sept they were attached. An ambitious chief would always have
opportunities of aggrandisement, and his wealth enabled him to support a
mercenary force, and to grow strong at the expense of his own and other
tribes. Broken men who had lost their own tribal position would always
flock to an ambitious chief, and the disturbing influence of such
retainers was often too strong for Brehons or priests. But the growth of
power by means of mercenaries was not peculiar to Ireland, and was
perhaps less frequent than is commonly supposed.[4]

[Sidenote: Frequency of war.]

Whatever the advantages of a pure Celtic system, it did not secure
general peace. There is no period of which Celtic Ireland may be more
justly proud than that between the death of St. Columba in 597 and the
death of St. Gall about 640. It was the age in which the Irish saint
Columbanus bearded Thierri and Brunehaut, in which Ireland herself was a
noted seat of learning, and in which the monasteries of Luxueil, of St.
Gall, and of Bobbio were founded by Irishmen. Yet, under thirty years out
of forty-four either battle or murder is recorded in the _Chronicon
Scotorum_. In some years there were several battles and several murders.

In 628 Leinster was devastated. Quarrels between near relations were
frequent, and often ended in murder. When we consider that the deaths of
important people only are recorded, we cannot pronounce the Ireland which
sent forth Aidan, and Adamnan, and Columbanus to have been at all a
peaceful country. Christianity was then established, and no Scandinavian
irruption had yet hindered the development of purely native ideas. But
Irish chroniclers, perhaps owing to their genealogical turn, give a
disproportionate space to deaths; and it may be admitted that the number
of homicides was not greater in Ireland than in some parts of Germany in
feudal times.[5]

[Sidenote: Celtic law of succession.]

Primogeniture, which is practically incompatible with the tribal stage of
political organisation, was perhaps formally acknowledged at a very
remote period, but was unknown as a rule of succession to Irish chiefries
in the ages with which this book chiefly deals. In those comparatively
modern times a vacancy was filled from the same family, but the person
chosen was generally a brother or a cousin of the deceased. It seldom
happened, perhaps, that an Irish chief, who was necessarily a warrior,
attained threescore and ten years, and on an average a son would be less
likely to make an able leader than one of an older generation. To avoid
disputed successions, an heir-apparent, called the tanist, was chosen
before a vacancy actually occurred, and sometimes probably against the
wish of the reigning chief. Very often the sons refused to accept the
tanist, and bloody quarrels followed. This system stank in the nostrils
of the Tudor lawyers; but in the twelfth century the true principle of
hereditary succession was not fully understood. It was, perhaps, a
suspicion that his eldest son might not succeed him quietly that induced
Henry II. to crown him in his lifetime. A later and much stronger analogy
may be found in the history of the Empire. Charles V. procured the
election of his brother Ferdinand as king of the Romans, and he was
actually crowned. Many years later Charles wished to substitute his son
Philip; but Ferdinand refused to yield, and he was sustained by the
electors, who had no mind to see the Empire become an appendage of the
Spanish monarchy. The influence of the Irish Brehons probably tended to
prevent chiefries from becoming hereditary. In such cases as the earldom
of Desmond we have a mixture of the two systems; the earls were chiefs as
regarded the Irish; but their succession to the honour, and through it to
the quasi-chiefry, was regulated by feudal rules.

[Sidenote: Tudor view of the Celtic land law.]

As the chief was elected by his tribe from among a limited number, so was
the land distributed among the tribesmen within certain fixed limits. As
it is with England's treatment of Ireland that we have to do, it may be
as well to let Sir John Davies himself say how the matter appeared to the
Tudor lawyers:--

[Sidenote: Septs.]

'First be it known that the lands possessed by the mere Irish in this
realm were divided into several territories or countries; and the
inhabitants of each Irish country were divided into several septs or

[Sidenote: Lord and tanist.]

'Secondly, in every Irish territory there was a lord or chieftain, and a
tanist who was his successor apparent. And of every Irish sept or lineage
there was also a chief, who was called Canfinny, or head of a

[Sidenote: Tanistry and gavelkind.]

'Thirdly, all possessions in these Irish territories (before the common
law of England was established through all the realm as it now is) ran at
all times[6] in course of tanistry, or in course of gavelkind. Every
lordship or chiefry, with the portion of land that passed with it, went
without partition to the tanist, who always came in by election, or by
the strong hand, and never by descent.[7] But all the inferior tenancies
were partible among the males in gavelkind.'[8]

[Sidenote: No estate of inheritance.]

'Again, the estate which the lord had in the chiefry, or that the
inferior tenants had in gavelkind, was no estate of inheritance, but a
temporary or transitory possession. For just as the next heir of the
lord or chieftain would not inherit the chiefry, but the eldest and
worthiest of the sept (as was before shown in the case of tanistry), who
was often removed and expelled by another who was more active or stronger
than he: so lands in the nature of gavelkind were not partible among the
next heirs male of him who died seised, but among all the males of his
sept, in this manner:--

[Sidenote: Partitions of tribal land.]

'The Canfinny, or chief of a sept (who was commonly the most ancient of
the sept) made all the partitions at his discretion. This Canfinny, after
the death of each tenant holding a competent portion of land, assembled
all the sept, placed all their possessions in hotchpotch, and made a new
partition of the whole; in which partition he did not assign to the sons
of the deceased the portion which their father held, but allotted the
better or larger part to each one of the sept according to his

[Sidenote: Effect of frequent partitions.]

'These portions being thus allotted and assigned were possessed and
enjoyed accordingly until the next partition, which, at the discretion or
will of the Canfinny, might be made at the death of each inferior tenant.
And thus by these frequent partitions and the removals or translations of
the tenants of one portion or another, all the possessions were
uncertain, and the uncertainty of possession was the very cause that no
civil habitations were erected, and no enclosure or improvement of lands
made, in the Irish countries where that custom of gavelkind was in use;
especially in Ulster, which seemed everywhere a wilderness before this
new plantation made there by the English undertakers. And this was the
fruit of this Irish gavelkind.'

[Sidenote: Position of daughters and of bastard sons.]

'Also by this Irish custom of gavelkind bastards took their shares with
the legitimate, and wives, on the other hand, were quite excluded from
dower, and daughters took nothing, even if their father died without
issue male. So that this custom differed from Kentish gavelkind in four

[Sidenote: Four points peculiar to Irish gavelkind.]

The four points were the certainty of estate in each share, the exclusion
of bastards, the admission of a widow to one moiety, and the admission of
females in default of issue male. For which reasons, says Sir John, the
Kentish custom was always held good and lawful by the law of England. He
admits, however, that the Irish custom had a counterpart in North Wales,
which had been totally abolished by Henry VIII., along with other usages
resembling those of Ireland. Edward I. had only ventured to exclude
bastards, and to give widows their dowry.[11]

[Sidenote: Sir John Davies did not exhaust the subject.]

Notwithstanding the above decision, it is probable that a description of
tanistry and gavelkind does not exhaust the subject. The theoretical
division among all the males of a sept is not at all likely to have been
carried out, except in very early times. Human nature was against it.
From the twelfth century the example of the Anglo-Normans, which cannot
have been altogether without weight, was against it. The interest of the
chief was everywhere against it, because it would deprive him of the
means of rewarding his friends, and because he was always tempted to
seize lands to his own use. The tendency to private property would be
always asserting itself, but the exact historical truth can never be
known. Before the close of the mediæval period, a great part of Ireland
had been reconquered by the tribes from Anglo-Norman hands. Is it
possible that the Irish land system can have been anywhere restored in
its integrity? On the whole, it is at least probable that English
statesmen in the sixteenth century made as many mistakes about tenures in
Ireland as their representatives in the eighteenth and part of the
nineteenth made about tenures in India. Good faith may be generally
granted in both cases, but the blunders made were no less disastrous. It
is at all events clear that primogeniture was no Celtic usage, that it is
no part of the law of nature, and that the Tudor lawyers treated it as an
end in itself, and almost as a necessary element in the eternal fitness
of things. In the twelfth century Irish practice may have come much
nearer to theory than in the sixteenth; at all events, Henry II.'s grants
to individuals were absolutely opposed to Celtic notions of justice.

[Sidenote: Composition for murder.]

[Sidenote: Celtic usages part of the common Aryan stock.]

[Sidenote: The conflict of laws is the key to Anglo-Irish history.]

The Irish admitted composition for murder. This blood-fine, called an
_eric_, was an utter abomination to the English of the sixteenth century,
who had quite forgotten the laws and customs of their own Teutonic
ancestors. To men long used to a strong central government such a custom
seemed impious. It was nevertheless part of the common heritage of the
Aryan race, and had been in vogue among the peoples from whom the later
English sprung. The Njal Saga illustrates its use among the Icelanders by
many famous cases strictly in point. The feudal system and the canon law
had caused the Teutonic nations to abandon a usage which they once had in
common with the Irish. Celtic Ireland had never had a very strong central
government, and such as it was it had sustained serious damage. Homicide
was still considered a personal injury. The rule was not a life for a
life, but adequate damages for the loss sustained. The idea of public
justice, irrespective of private interests, was far in advance of the
stage which had been reached by the Irish Celts. Irish history cannot be
understood unless the fact is clearly grasped, that the development of
the tribal system was violently interrupted by a feudal half-conquest.
The Angevin and Plantagenet kings were strong enough to shake and
discredit the native polity; but they had neither the power nor the
inclination to feudalise a people which had never gone through the
preliminary stages. When the Tudors brought a more steadfast purpose and
better machinery to the task, they found how hard it was to evolve order
out of the shattered remnants of two systems which had the same origin,
but which had been so brought together as to make complete fusion
impossible. From the first the subjects of England and the natives of
Ireland had been on entirely different planes. Even for us it is
extremely difficult to avoid confusion by applying modern terms to
ancient things. The Tudor lawyers and statesmen could hardly even attempt
to look at jarring systems from the outside. They saw that the common law
was more advanced than that of the Brehons, but they could not see that
they were really the same thing at different stages. In fact, plain
Englishmen in the sixteenth century could not do what only the most
enlightened Anglo-Indians can do in the nineteenth. They were more
civilised than the Irish, but they were not educated enough to recognise
the common ancestor. That there was a common ancestor, and that neither
party could recognise him, is the key to Anglo-Irish history both before
and after the Tudor times.

[Sidenote: Origin of the Irish Church. Patrick and Columba.]

[Sidenote: Exile of Columba.]

[Sidenote: Saint Bridget.]

The early history of the native Irish Church is shrouded in much
obscurity. The best authorities are disposed to accept St. Patrick as the
apostle of Ireland, the fifth century as the period of his labours, and
Armagh as his chief seat. He was not a native of Ireland; so much seems
certain. A more interesting, because a more clearly defined figure, is
that of Columba or Columkille, who was born in Donegal in 521. The
churches of Derry, Durrow, Kells, Swords, Raphoe, Tory Island, and
Drumcliff, claim him as their founder; but it is as the apostle of North
Britain that he is best known. He was religious from his youth, but a
peculiarly serious tinge was given to his mind by a feeling of remorse
for bloodshed which he had partly caused. He had surreptitiously
transcribed a psalter belonging to another saint, who complained of this
primitive infringement of copyright. A royal decision that 'to every cow
belongs her calf' was given, and was followed by an appeal to arms. Exile
was then imposed as a penance on Columba, whose act had been the
original cause of offence. Such was long the received legend, but perhaps
the exile was voluntary.[12] Whether his departure was a penance or the
result of a vow, tradition says that he was bound never to see Ireland
again, that he landed first on Oronsay, but found that Erin was visible
from thence, and refused to rest until he had reached Iona. His supposed
feelings are recorded in a very ancient poem:--

    'My vision o'er the brine I stretch
      From the ample oaken planks;
      Large is the tear of my soft grey eye
      When I look back upon Erin.
    Upon Erin my attention is fixed.'

Columba was the Paul of Celtic Christianity. By him and his disciples a
great part of Scotland was evangelised, and it was to him that the
British Church looked as a founder when the time came to decide between
the relative pretensions of the Celtic and the Norman type of religion.
St. Bridget or Bride, who died four years after Columba's birth, is
scarcely less celebrated. She was born near Dundalk, and her chief seat
was at Kildare. She was the mother of Irish female monachism, and in
popular estimation is not less famous than Patrick, and perhaps more so
than Columba.[13]

[Sidenote: The Irish Church was originally monastic.]

Irish Christianity was at first monastic. A saint obtained a grant of
land from a chief. A church was built, and a settlement sprung up round
it. The family, as it was called, consisted partly of monks and partly of
dependents, and the abbot ruled over all as chief of a pseudo-tribe. Like
a lay chiefry the abbacy was elective, and the abbots wielded
considerable power. These ecclesiastical clans even made war with each
other. Thus, it is recorded that in 763 the family of St. Ciaran of
Clonmacnoise fought with the family of St. Columba of Durrow, and that
200 of the Columbides fell. The head of such a confraternity was called
coarb, or successor of the founder, and Irish writers sometimes called
the Pope 'coarb of Peter.' In course of time the coarb of Patrick
crystallised into the Archbishop of Armagh, and the coarb of Columba into
the Bishop of Derry. Other saints were revered as the founders of other
sees. Very often at least the abbot was chosen from among the founder's

[Sidenote: The early Church was episcopal, but not territorially so.]

Episcopal orders were acknowledged from the first, but it was long before
the notion of a territorial bishop prevailed. In early days there were
many bishops, wanderers sometimes, and at other times retained by the
abbot as a necessary appendage to his monastery. The bishop was treated
with great respect, but was manifestly inferior to the head of a
religious house. St. Patrick was said to have consecrated 350 bishops,
founded 700 churches, and ordained 5,000 priests; a mere legend, but
perhaps tending to show that the episcopal order was very numerous in
Ireland. Travelling bishops without definite duties, and with orders of
doubtful validity, became a scandal to more regularly organised churches,
and drew down a rebuke from Anselm as late as the beginning of the
twelfth century. At an earlier period impostors pretending to be Irish
bishops were not uncommon.[14]

[Sidenote: Ireland gradually conformed to Roman usage.]

The Irish Church long continued to keep Easter on a different day from
that sanctioned by Rome, and to use a different form of tonsure. But the
inconvenience of such dissidence from the general body of Western
Christendom was soon felt. About 630 Pope Honorius I. addressed a letter
to the Irish Church, in which he reminded the clergy that they were a
scanty company inhabiting a remote region, and that it could not be for
their interest to remain isolated. Cummian, afterwards seventh abbot of
Iona, warmly espoused the papal cause. 'Rome errs,' he said with great
scorn, 'Jerusalem errs, Alexandria errs, Antioch errs, the whole world
errs--the Britons and Irish are the only right-minded people.' The
southern Irish followed Cummian, but the northern rejected his advice,
and some even called him a heretic; yet this did not prevent his being
elected to fill Columba's chair. Adamnan, ninth abbot of Iona, and
biographer of the great founder, was no less earnest on the Roman side
than Cummian had been. At the Synod of Whitby in 664 Wilfred discomfited
Colman of Lindisfarne, and settled the question so far as England was
concerned. Adamnan lived till 704, and succeeded in converting nearly all
the Irish churches, except those subject to his own monastery.

[Sidenote: Close of the Paschal controversy, 716.]

In 716, under Duncadh, the eleventh abbot, Iona conformed, and the
Paschal controversy came to an end, after lasting 150 years. The coronal
tonsure was adopted three years later. The supremacy of Rome was thus
acknowledged, but circumstances long prevented the Irish from adopting
the Roman plan of Church organisation.

[Sidenote: Influence of the Scandinavian invasions on the Church.]

[Sidenote: The Eugenian Constitution, 1151.]

The Scandinavian inroads began towards the close of the century which
witnessed the submission of Iona. It is probable that the influx of pagan
Northmen kept Ireland apart from the rest of Christendom. The ninth
century produced Erigena and other eminent Irishmen, but a country in
which Christianity was fighting for bare life was not a promising field
for Church reformers or systematisers. It was not until Clontarf had
finally decided the cause in favour of Christianity that Ireland had
again leisure to think of ecclesiastical polity. Gillebert of Limerick,
an Ostman, was the first papal legate, and as such presided at the synod
of Rathbreasil in or about 1118, where the first serious attempt was made
to divide all Ireland into dioceses. The great influence of Malachi of
Armagh was exerted in the same direction. He was the friend of Bernard of
Clairvaux, and he introduced the Cistercian order into Ireland. Pope
Eugenius III., himself a Cistercian, finished the work, and in 1151
Ireland accepted four archiepiscopal palls from Rome. From that date the
Irish Church must be held to have fully accepted not only papal supremacy
but Roman organisation. That she had not done so long before seems due to
accident more than anything else. From mere remoteness of position
Ireland had escaped the dominion of Imperial Rome. From the same
remoteness she was comparatively slow to feel the influence of Papal
Rome. Still, it can scarcely be doubted that had it not been for the
Scandinavian intrusion, the Ireland which adopted the Roman Easter and
the Roman tonsure before the middle of the eighth century, would have
gladly accepted the palls long before the middle of the twelfth.[15]


[1] As to the divisions and sub-divisions of the ancient Irish people, I
prefer to give the following statement of Dr. Sullivan:--'The unit
territory was the _Tuath_, each of which had a _Ri_, or chief. Three,
four, or even more _Tuatha_ were connected together for military and
other purposes as a _Mór Tuath_; the king or chief of the confederacy,
who acted as Commander-in-Chief, was the _Ri Mór Tuatha_, or great chief.
This group corresponded to the Gothic _Thiuda_, old Norse _Thjoth_. The
Irish unit _Tuath_ corresponded to the Norse _Fylk_, the Teutonic _Gavi_
or _Gau_, the Greek _Phyle_, and the old Latin _Tribus_; it was at first
genealogical, but acquired a geographical and political signification.
The tribe or _Tuath_ consisted in some cases of a _Clann_, the progeny or
descendants of a chief. Sometimes a _Clann_ embraced several _Tuatha_.
_Clann_ was strictly genealogical, _Tuath_ both genealogical and
geographical. The _Clann_ consisted of families or houses called _Fine_,
equivalent to _Cognatio_--the Anglo-Saxon _Maegth_. The head of a _Fine_
was the _Cendfinne_ or chieftain. The _Fine_ was a sept. The _Clann_
therefore consisted of several septs, and the land of the tribe or
_Tuath_ was divided between the septs or _Fine_ composing it. The _Fine_
or sept is one of the most important parts of the Irish organisation, but
the word is used in several senses: thus, the relatives of a chief or
other tribesman to the fifth degree constituted the true _Cognatio_ or
_Geilfine_, i.e. Hand-_fine_. The _Fine_ or sept was in fact an
independent unit, which paid _Erics_ for all its members, and received
_Erics_ or fines for the killing of one of its own members, and also took
possession of the _Dibad_ or property of its deceased members. But when
the sept did not fulfil its obligations, the _Ri_ of the _Tuath_ was
bound to enforce justice. So when the _Tuath_ itself failed in its
obligations and duties, the _Ri Mór Tuatha_ or superior chief was bound
to enforce justice in the recalcitrant tribe. The _Ri Mór Tuatha_, or _Ri
buiden_, or king of companies, corresponded to the Anglo-Saxon _Heretoga_
or Dux. The King of the Great Tribe received hostages from the sub-reguli
of his territory for their _Ceílsine_ or fealty, and he might call upon
them to support him with a levy of their tribes.'

[2] 'The existence of the Irish Pentarchy,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'was as
real as that of any similar confederacy among nations in a tribal stage,
and the means of enforcing the orders of the over-king were not very
different or less effective than in many federal states--ancient,
mediæval, and modern.'

[3] 'It is quite true,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'that the central power was
not always strong enough to enforce rights, and in many instances was
defeated in its attempt to do so. But in what does this differ from other
federal states, ancient and modern? The Emperors of Germany were not
always able to subdue and to enforce their decrees against the princes
and nobles of the Empire, and in numerous instances the decisions of the
imperial chancery might be regarded in precisely the same light--as mere
arbitrations. To say there was no law, properly speaking, seems to me
wholly irreconcilable with actual facts, and _especially with the
existence of a rich and elaborate nomenclature of native terms not
borrowed from Roman law_. This nomenclature implies an equally elaborate
machinery. It was the existence of this legal system which kept out the
canon law, which never, for instance, succeeded in suppressing or even
modifying the marriage customs. In discussing the laws and institutions
of early nations we are liable to go to one or other of two
extremes:--(1) We represent the laws, &c., in terms of modern law, by
which we make inchoate institutions full-grown, while the germs of a
legal system are represented as a fully developed code; or (2) we deny
the existence of all law and legislation. You are right I think as
regards the Church; for owing to the organisation of the old Celtic
Church it was perfectly acephalous. Whatever influence it did exert was
individual and never official, and, therefore, not continuous--it might
be described in fact as sporadic influence.'

[4] 'All through the laws,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'there is ample evidence
to prove that the tribesmen, or _Aires_, were bound to take stock from
the _Ri_, or chief, only. The amount of this stock, called _Saer_, or
free-stock, is strictly laid down, and the amount of the tribute payable
for this stock, called _Bestigi_, or house-refection, or tribute, is also
strictly laid down. But if the _Ri_ were wealthy he might offer more
stock to his _Ceiles_, clients or vassals, on condition of paying him
certain dues, called _Biatad_. The stock so given was called _Daer_, or
base-stock; and its acceptance by a tribesman made a _Daer-ceilé_ of him,
and placed him very much in the power of the _Ri_, or chief. No tribesman
could accept _Daer-stock_ without the consent of his _Fine_, or sept,
which would be bound by the acts of its members. A tribesman, with the
consent of his _Fine_, might accept _Daer-stock_ from any _Flath_, or
lord, in his own _Tuath_, or tribe. All the above applies to the
tribesmen, or _Aires_, who alone constituted the free class. But besides
the _Ceiles_, or clients, or free tribesmen, or _Aires_, there was
another class, called _Fuidirs_. The markland of the tribe and the land
held in severalty of the _Ri_, and the similar land of the _Cendfinne_,
or chieftain (or captain, as he is called in the Scottish Highlands) of a
sept was let out to various classes of _Fuidirs_. Some were _Saer_, or
free _Fuidirs_, and others _Daer_, or base Fuidirs. The _Saer-fuidirs_,
again, were of two sorts--broken tribesmen who went into another _Tuath_
and got stock as well as land from a _Ri_, or _Flath_, and _Saer-fuidirs_
who possessed some stock of their own which they grazed on land of a
chief or of a _Flath_. Some of these free _Fuidirs_ entered into _daer_,
or servitude, by accepting stock under certain conditions. The _Fuidir_
classes were the true tenants at will. The _Aires_ were of the clan, the
_Fuidirs_, _Bottachs_, or cottiers, and other servile classes, _belonged_
to the clan. The giving and taking of _Daer-stock_ depended upon the
impoverishment of a sept through cattle murrain, the levying of
blood-fines on account of the misconduct of some of its members, &c. But
the whole thing was voluntary, and depended on the poverty of a sept and
the wealth and ability of the _Ri_, or _Flath_.'

[5] Dr. Sullivan does not think Christianity was fully established by the
middle of the seventh century. 'The Irish Church organisation,' he says,
'was ill calculated to influence the social habits and the political life
of the people; unlike the diocesan and centralised system of the Latin
Church. Hence a high spiritual life and intellectual cultivation within
the numerous coenobiums was quite compatible with practical paganism and
disorder outside.'

[6] 'At all times' must be understood to refer only to those
comparatively modern ages above mentioned.

[7] 'The election,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'was always from the _Geilfine_,
or relatives within the fifth degree. Should the _Geilfine_ fail, or be
all killed in battle, the _Derbfine_, or relatives from the fifth to the
ninth degree, came in.'

[8] 'This,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'is not right. There was the "joint
undivided family" formed by the _Bo-aire_ class, or freemen possessed of
cattle. The poorer _Flaths_, or heads of septs, did not gavel their
possessions, but either elected a tanist or formed a "joint undivided
family." When the property of an _Aire_ was not sufficient to gavel, so
as to qualify one or more _Aires_, the division of the inheritance did
not take place, but the parties agreed to form a "_joint_ undivided
family." In such a family one was head, and as such was an _Aire_.
_Bo-aires_ of this class, to avoid the gavelling of their property,
elected a _Tanist_--the _Tanaise Bo-aire_. Poor and broken tribesmen, not
having sufficient wealth to qualify them as _Aires_, formed a
"joint-family," or _Congilda_. Every _Flath_, or head of a sept, had a
tanist also. The Irish "joint-family" was an institution of great
importance and of surpassing interest in the comparative history of the
Aryan family.'

[9] 'This account of Davies,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'is entirely wrong. The
law of the distribution of the property of a deceased tribesman was most
carefully laid down. No doubt then as now, and naturally more frequently
then than now, a chief, or head of a sept, or of a _Treb_ (homestead)
might usurp power he did not possess, and do wrong.'

[10] 'Marriages in Ireland,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'were not regulated by
canon law. The Irish marriage customs were in full force long after the
Norman conquest. According to these customs, which appear to have been
wholly uninfluenced by the canon law, bastardy was entirely different
from what that term implied in countries under canon law, and in modern
times. The Irish marriage customs should consequently be taken into
account here, as they sanctioned a kind of polygamy, divorce, &c. See
also the excommunication in 1282, by the Archbishop of Canterbury against
Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, at the request of Edward I., in which the
marriage customs of the Welsh, identical with those of the Irish,
constitute one of the charges.'

[11] _Le Résolution des justices touchant le Irish custome de gavelkind._
Reported by Sir John Davies, A.G., 3 Jac. i.

[12] Dr. Sullivan believes the story of the decision against Columba to
be a mere myth.

[13] 'The Irish Church,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'had undoubtedly two distinct
phases of monasticism: one that of the Patrician period--an obscure but
highly important and interesting phase; the other, that of the sixth and
subsequent centuries, to which the Irish missionaries belonged.'

[14] 'Besides,' says Dr. Sullivan, 'the monastic bishop proper, who
furnished the wandering Scotic bishops of the Middle Ages, there is a
later development of a higher church organisation in the tribal bishop,
who was a close approximation to a diocesan bishop. The tribal bishop was
a bishop who had jurisdiction over the whole of a _Tuath_, and sometimes
even a _Mór Tuath_. The growth of territorial jurisdiction is well marked
by the prestige attached to the office--the bishop ranked in fact almost
on a level with the chief, and was entitled to the same legal retinue.
Many of the ancient dioceses, and some of the existing ones, _e.g._ Ross,
Kilmacduagh, Kilfenora, represent ancient _Tuaths_, or tribe territories.
Several deaneries were former dioceses, and are co-extensive with ancient

[15] Dr. Sullivan warns me not to attribute too much influence to the
Danish Church. 'The tribe-bishop,' he says, 'was a much earlier
development, and proves the growth of diocesan jurisdiction and the
consequent merging of the Irish Church in the Latin Church. The
acceptance of the Roman time for celebrating Easter by the Irish Church
and the constant intercourse between Ireland and the Continent had
brought the Irish Church fully under Roman supremacy three and a half
centuries earlier. What really took place in the early part of the
twelfth century was the more complete adoption of the organisation of the
Western Church, and of the principles of the canon law; and especially
the granting of lands and charters to the Church in the same way as in
feudal lands. The marriage of Irish princes with Saxon and other foreign
princesses, and the growth of towns which helped to relax its rigid
tribal system, did more than the Danish Church.' The chief towns were,
however, of Danish origin.



[Sidenote: First appearance of the Northmen, 795.]

Norwegian ships began to appear on the Irish coast in 795, one year after
the destruction of the church at Lindisfarne. The islands were harried,
Lambay being perhaps the first to suffer; everything of value was taken,
and the hermits and anchorites were killed or carried away. Iona, where
the greatest of Irish saints had founded a new Church, was burned or
plundered in 802 and 806. About twelve years after their first visit the
Scandinavians began to venture inland, sacking the monasteries, which
contained such wealth as Ireland then possessed, and slaughtering the
monks. The famous religious community at Bangor, in Down, was thus
destroyed about 824. The first permanent settlement of the northern
invaders was perhaps in the neighbourhood of Limerick. They had a fort at
Cork before 848, and at Dublin before 852. There were also forts on Lough
Foyle and at Waterford. The flat coast between Dublin and the borders of
Meath lay open to a floating enemy, and early obtained the name of
Fingal, or the land of the stranger.

[Sidenote: Turgesius, 830.]

In or about 830 a chief arrived who pursued a more ambitious policy. He
is called Turgeis or Turgesius by the Irish, and by the Irish only: this
may be a form of Thorkils or Trygve, and may perhaps be a name applied to
the mysterious hero whom the Scandinavians call Ragnar Lodbrok. Turgesius
landed in Ulster, and planned the complete subjugation of Ireland. He
burned Armagh and drove out St. Patrick's successor, and then took up a
central position near Athlone, whence his flotillas could act on Lough
Ree and Lough Dearg. We know that the Northmen dragged ships or boats
overland to Loch Lomond, and similar feats may have been performed in
Ireland. There was another plundering station on Lough Neagh about the
same time.

Turgeis mastered the northern half of Ireland, and made frequent
incursions into the other half. Against the Church he showed peculiar
animosity, and his wife used the high altar at Clonmacnoise as a throne
when she gave audience; perhaps she uttered oracular responses from it.
In the south Turgeis was less powerful, for the dispossessed abbot of
Armagh took refuge at Emly in Tipperary. But the whole coast was attacked
by innumerable corsairs, who sometimes made raids far into the central
districts. Dublin was fortified by the Norwegians about 840, and became
the chief seat of the Scandinavian power. Turgeis did not live to unite
the various bands, but fell into the hands of Malachi, King of Meath, in
845, and was drowned in Lough Owel. The Northmen of Limerick were
defeated in the same year at Roscrea, and their earl, Olfin, was

[Sidenote: A.D. 852.

The Black and White Gentiles.]

Seven years after the death of Turgeis came the Black Gentiles, who are
generally supposed to have been Danes, as the White Gentiles were
certainly Norwegians. Whether the colour of their armour or their
complexion was referred to is doubtful. The new-comers made themselves
masters of Dublin, and of the plunder which the first invaders had
accumulated from all the Irish churches. Before one of the battles fought
to decide whether Black or White Pagans were to enjoy this property,
Horm, or Gorm, the Danish chief, is said to have invoked St. Patrick, a
singular confusion of ideas, which may have resulted from intercourse
with Christians in England. Victory followed. The Black Gentiles seem to
have retained their supremacy; but the distinction becomes partly
obliterated, and the Danes, of whom we read later, were probably
intermingled with Norwegians. It is recorded that Amlaf, son of the King
of Norway, came to Ireland in 852 or 853, that all the foreigners of Erin
submitted to him, and that the Irish also paid tribute. The name of the
Black Gentiles is believed to be preserved in the little town of

[Sidenote: Forty years' peace.]

Amlaf and his sons were not satisfied with the spoils of thrice plundered
churches, but everywhere violated tombs in search of gold ornaments.
Another great chief was Ivar, who appears to have been Ivar Beinlaus, son
of Ragnar Lodbrok, and founder of the Northumbrian kingdom, which was
afterwards closely connected with the Irish Danes. To the Norwegians who
fled to Ireland from the iron rule of Harold Harfager, the King of Dublin
was one of the chief sovereigns on earth. Carrol, lord of Ossory, was in
alliance with Amlaf and Ivar, and ruled Dublin after their deaths; but he
died about 885, and a Norse dynasty was then re-established by force. A
dozen years later another Carrol drove the foreigners across the Channel,
but Sitric, king of Northumberland, regained the fortress in 919, and the
Celts do not appear to have recaptured it. For a period of some forty
years, ending about 916, Ireland is said to have had a little rest. The
enemy may have had enough to do elsewhere, but their predatory
expeditions did not entirely cease. There were perhaps no fresh invasions
in force, but former settlers held their own against the Irish, with whom
they were generally at war.

[Sidenote: Renewed invasions, 916.]

[Sidenote: Severe treatment of the natives.]

Whatever may have caused the period of comparative rest, the Danish
incursions began again with renewed vigour. A great host came to
Waterford in 916, defeated the men of Leinster, and harried all the south
of Ireland; churches, as usual, attracting their special attention.
Ragnal, Ivar's grandson, represented by the Ulster annalists as king of
all the Irish Scandinavians, was the chief leader, and he afterwards led
his men to Scotland, where the great but indecisive battle of Tynemoor
was fought.[17] Sitric, Ragnal's brother, took Dublin from the Irish, who
had, perhaps, held it since 902, and on Ragnal's death succeeded to the
royal title. The natives had occasional successes, but on the whole they
were conspicuously inferior in the field, and Nial Glundubh, King of
Ireland, who headed a great confederacy, fell in the attempt to recover
Dublin. Twelve chiefs or kings of northern and central tribes are said to
have died at the same time. After this reverse all serious attempt to
check the invaders seems to have been given up, and fleet after fleet
brought hordes of oppressors to the ill-fated island. Munster suffered
especially, and the general nature of a Danish invasion cannot be better
apprehended than by transcribing the chronicler's words:--'And assuredly
the evil which Erin had hitherto suffered was as nothing compared to the
evil inflicted by these parties. All Munster was plundered by them on all
sides and devastated, and they spread themselves over Munster and built
earth-works and towers and landing-places over all Erin, so that there
was no place in Erin without numerous fleets of Danes and pirates; so
that they made spoil-land and sword-land and conquered-land of her
throughout her breadth and generally; and they ravaged her chieftainries,
privileged churches, and sanctuaries, and demolished her shrines,
reliquaries, and books. They wrecked her beautiful ornamental temples:
for neither veneration, nor honour, nor mercy for holy ground, nor
protection for church or sanctuary, for God or man, was felt by this
furious, ferocious, pagan, ruthless, wrathful people. In short, until the
sand of the sea, the grass of the field, or the stars of heaven are
counted it will not be easy to recount or enumerate or relate what the
Gaedhil, all, without distinction, suffered from; whether men or women,
boys or girls, laics or clerics, freemen or serfs, young or old;
indignity, outrage, injury, and oppression. In a word, they killed the
kings and the chieftains, the heirs to the crown, and the royal princes
of Erin. They killed the brave and the valiant, the stout knights,
champions, soldiers, and young lords, and most of the heroes and warriors
of all Ireland; they brought them under tribute and reduced them to
bondage and slavery. Many were the blooming, lively women; the modest,
mild, comely maidens; the pleasant, noble, stately, blue-eyed young
women; the gentle, well-brought-up youths; and the intelligent, valiant
champions, whom they carried to oppression and bondage over the broad
green sea. Alas! many and frequent were the bright eyes that were
suffused with tears and dimmed with grief and despair at the separation
of son from father, and daughter from mother, and brother from brother,
and relatives from their race and from their tribe.'[18]

[Sidenote: The Northmen fail to found a permanent kingdom.]

The Irish Danes became strong enough to interfere with effect in English
politics, and Olaf Cuaran, or Sitricson, King of Dublin, was a general of
the great Scandinavian army which Athelstane overthrew at Brunanburgh.
The Danes were much fewer than the Irish, but their general superiority
during the tenth century was incontestable; and had the invaded people
been of kin to them the kingdom of Canute might have had a counterpart in
Ireland. Irish Celts were only too ready to call in Scandinavian allies
in their internal quarrels, but they could never amalgamate with them.
Occasionally a confederation of tribes would gain a great success, as at
the battle of Tara, where King Malachi defeated the Dublin Danes under
Athelstane's old opponent, Olaf Cuaran. After great slaughter on both
sides the Dublin men had the worst, and were forced to release Donnell,
King of Leinster, who was then in their hands. A great part of Ireland
was at this time subject to the Danes, and the battle of Tara has been
called the end of the 'Babylonish captivity of Ireland, inferior only to
the captivity of hell.' King Olaf went on a pilgrimage to Iona, where he
died in the following year. Thirty-seven years had passed since his
acceptance of Christianity, at least in name; yet the Danes plundered the
sacred isle only five years later, in 986, and killed the abbot and
fifteen of his monks. It is to be noted that the Scandinavian treatment
of churches reacted on the Irish, and that many native warriors came to
regard saints and sanctuaries with as little respect as Turgesius

[Sidenote: Their strongest power in Munster.]

Munster seems to have been more completely subdued than any other part of
Ireland. The Danish stations at Waterford, Cork, and Limerick made
invasion at all times easy, and the sons of Ivar bid fair to found a
lasting dynasty at the latter place. There was a tax-gatherer in every
petty district, a receiver to intercept the dues of every church, a
soldier billeted in every house, 'so that none of the men of Erin ... had
power to give even the milk of his cow, nor as much as the clutch of eggs
of one hen in succour or in kindness to an aged man, or to a friend, but
was forced to preserve them for the foreign steward, or bailiff, or
soldier. And though there were but one milk-giving cow in the house she
durst not be milked for an infant of one night, nor for a sick person,
but must be kept for the steward, or bailiff, or soldier of the
foreigners. And however long he might be absent from his house, his share
or his supply durst not be lessened; although there was in the house but
one cow, it must be killed for the meal of the night, if the means of a
supply could not be otherwise procured.'[19]

[Sidenote: Succession to the kingdom of Cashel.]

At last a deliverer arose. According to the will of Olioll Olum, King of
Munster in the third century--such is the theory--the sovereignty of
Cashel, that is of Munster, was to belong alternately to the races of his
two sons, Eoghan Mor and Cormac Cas. The Eoghanachts and Dal Cais are
generally Anglicised as the Eugenians and Dalcassians; the strength of
the former and much stronger tribe being in Cork, Limerick, and
Kerry--that of the latter in Clare. The Eugenian Fergraidh was king in
967, when he was murdered by his own people. Mahon the Dalcassian then
became king, in compliance with the constitutional theory, but not
without a struggle. Urged on by his brother Brian, he attacked the Danish
settlements up and down the country, and became master of Cashel, when
Ivar, finding his supremacy threatened, summoned all that would obey him
to root out utterly the whole Dalcassian race.

[Sidenote: Molloy, Mahon, and Brian.]

The tribes of Western Munster generally were disposed to follow Mahon,
but Molloy, King of Desmond, and some others, adhered to the Dane rather
than admit the supremacy of a local rival. A pitched battle took place at
Solloghead, near Tipperary, in which the foreigners and their allies were
totally defeated. Molloy and other chiefs who had taken the losing side
were forced to give hostages to the victor. Mahon burned Limerick and
drove away Ivar, who returned after a year with a great fleet, and fixed
his head-quarters on Scattery Island, where St. Senanus had so sternly
resisted the blandishments of a female saint.

[Sidenote: Murder of Mahon. Brian succeeds him.]

For some years Mahon reigned undisputed King of Munster, but his
successes only stimulated the jealousies of Molloy and the other Eugenian
chiefs, who saw their race reduced to play an inferior part. They
accordingly conspired with Ivar, and Molloy procured the treacherous
murder of Mahon. The crime was useless, for Brian was left, and he
immediately succeeded both to the leadership of his own tribe and to the
kingdom of Munster, Molloy having certainly forfeited all moral claim to
the alternate succession. Brian pursued the Danes to their strongholds,
slew Ivar and his sons, and carried off the women and the treasure. There
was, however, still a Scandinavian settlement at Limerick, and we find a
grandson of Ivar afterwards in Brian's service as one of the ten Danish
stewards whom he employed. He was ambitious, and he had experience of the
skill of such officers in extorting contributions from unwilling
subjects. Molloy and his chief allies were slain; and Brian, having
reduced the Limerick Danes to insignificance, turned his arm against
those of Waterford, whose territory he ravaged, and whose Celtic allies,
inhabiting the modern county of Waterford, he easily subdued. Brian was
acknowledged as supreme in Munster, and took security from the principal
churches not to give sanctuary to thieves or rebels. As the consequence
of further expeditions Leinster also became tributary; and thus, in eight
years after his brother's death, Brian was admitted to be supreme in the
southern half of Ireland.

[Sidenote: Brian aims at being King of all Ireland.]

In his further expeditions, undertaken with a view of becoming King of
all Ireland, the Danes of Waterford sometimes accompanied Brian; but his
progress towards the desired goal was arrested for a while by a prudent
treaty with Malachi II., head King of Ireland, whom he acknowledged as
undisputed sovereign of the northern half, and by a revolt of the
Leinster men, who were allied with the Danes of Dublin, the united forces
of Brian and Malachi having overthrown the Leinster Danes at Glenmama,
near Dunlavin, Dublin fell an easy prey. The spoils taken are
represented as enormous, and the mention of carbuncles and other precious
stones, of buffalo-horns, goblets, and many-coloured vestures, betoken
some degree of luxury and much commercial activity among the Danes. It is
to be observed that Brian and his followers, though Christians, had no
scruple about making slaves. His panegyrists simply say that the Danes by
their cruelty and oppression had deserved no better treatment. Threshing
and other rough work was done by the male prisoners. Menial work,
including the severe labour of the hand-mill, was done by the women.
'There was not,' we are told, 'a winnowing sheet from Howth to the
furthest point of Kerry that had not a foreigner in bondage on it, nor
was there a quern without a foreign woman.' The fairer and more
accomplished of the Danish women of course underwent the fate of

[Sidenote: Brian and the Danes, Gormflaith.]

Having in vain sought a refuge with the northern Irish, Sitric was forced
to submit to Brian, who reinstated him at Dublin as a tributary king.
Sitric's mother, Gormflaith, or Kormlada, was sister to Maelmordha, King
of Leinster, and her husband, King Olaf, having been dead many years, she
was free to marry Brian, which she did soon after, while Brian's daughter
married Sitric. Wielding thus the whole force of southern Ireland, Brian
called upon Malachi to acknowledge his supremacy. The King of Ireland
sought aid in vain from his kinsmen, the northern Hy Neill, whose king
Aedh, or Hugh, sarcastically remarked that when his clan had held the
chief kingship they had known how to defend their own. No help coming
from Connaught either, Malachi was forced to submit to Brian's power, and
though no formal cession took place the King of Ireland quietly subsided
into King of Meath.

[Sidenote: Brian, King of all Ireland, 1002.]

Brian was henceforth reckoned as monarch of Ireland. He invaded Connaught
with a flotilla on the Shannon and an army marching on land, and the
chiefs of the western province were glad to give hostages. The Ulster
potentates falling out among themselves, the north also was easily
subdued, and Brian became the actual lord paramount of Ireland. After
this he made a tour round the island, starting from the Shannon and
marching through Roscommon and over the Curlew mountains into Sligo.
Hugging the coast by Ballyshannon to Donegal, he crossed Barnesmore Gap
into Tyrone, and then passing the Foyle, near Lifford, he went through
Londonderry, Antrim, Down, and Louth, to the neighbourhood of Kells. In a
previous expedition he had visited Armagh and laid twenty ounces of gold
on the altar. A fleet, manned by the Danes of Dublin, Limerick, and
Waterford, seems to have circumnavigated Ireland while he was making the
circuit by land.

[Sidenote: Brian's supremacy a loose one.]

[Sidenote: Gormflaith's intrigues.]

The supremacy of Brian was no doubt an extremely loose one. He had made
no real impression on the northern tribes, and they only waited a
favourable opportunity to cast off the nominal yet galling yoke. But for
about seven years there seems to have been no serious attempt against
him, and he was able to turn his attention to the building of churches
and bridges. It was during this period that a lone woman is said to have
walked unmolested from the Bloody Foreland to Glandore with a gold ring
at the end of a wand. Peace, however, there was not; for Brian was
engaged in at least two warlike expeditions to Ulster, and there was a
fair amount of murder and private war among the minor chiefs. Brian had
repudiated Gormflaith, Maelmordha's sister and Sitric's mother, and
probably not without good reason, for her moral character was by no means
on a par with her beauty and talents, since she had been married
successively to Olaf Cuaran and to Malachi II., and had been repudiated
by both. 'She was,' says the Saga, 'the fairest of all women, and best
gifted in everything that was not in her power, but it was the talk of
men that she did all things ill over which she had any power.' Brian
afterwards married a daughter of the King of Connaught, and when she
died, Gormflaith may have sought to be reinstated. At all events she was
at Kincora when her brother arrived, bringing with him the tribute of
Leinster. Her taunts, and a quarrel which he had with Murrough, Brian's
eldest son, provoked Maelmordha to leave Kincora in anger, and to raise
the standard of revolt. 'Gormflaith,' says the Saga, 'was so grim
against King Brian after their parting, that she would gladly have him
dead, and egged on her son Sitric very much to kill him.' Sitric readily
agreed to Maelmordha's proposal, and so did the northern Hy Neill, who
had never been really conquered, and who at once invaded Meath. After a
gallant struggle against Leinster and Ulster, Malachi was overpowered,
and called upon Brian for help. The King of Ireland, to whom the men of
Connaught remained faithful, accordingly ravaged the country between his
own district and Dublin, but was obliged to retire from before its walls
for want of provisions.[20]

[Sidenote: Alliance of Sitric and Gormflaith against Brian.]

Sitric and Gormflaith made use of the breathing space allowed them to
organise a powerful confederacy against Brian. Sitric himself went to
Sigurd, Earl of Orkney, who, after many refusals, at last agreed to join,
on condition of receiving the Crown of Ireland and Gormflaith's land.
'All his men,' says the Saga, 'besought Earl Sigurd not to go into the
war, but it was all to no good.' Gormflaith was well pleased at the
prospect before her, and advised large preparations for the inevitable

[Sidenote: Sitric's allies. Sigurd. Brodir.]

Sigurd was nominally a Christian, but he reposed his chief trust in the
raven banner which his mother had woven with mighty spells; and many
Scandinavian warriors were still fanatically attached to Thor and Woden.
The Vikings, Ospak and Brodir, were lying off Man, and to them Sitric
next addressed himself in person. The Norsemen do not seem to have
insisted on youth in their wives, for Brodir was induced to join by the
same promises which had been made to Sigurd, and Gormflaith's first
husband had been dead thirty-three years. 'Brodir,' says the Icelandic
account, 'had been a Christian man and a mass deacon, but he had thrown
off his faith and become God's dastard, and now worshipped heathen
fiends, and was of all men most skilled in sorcery. He had the coat of
mail on which no steel would bite. He was both tall and strong, and had
such long locks that he tucked them under his belt. His hair was

[Sidenote: Conflict between Christianity and Paganism.]

Ospak, who had leanings towards Christianity, refused to attack Brian;
indeed, he went over to him, and, according to Norse accounts, was
baptized. An immense force was, however, gradually collected, and
Scandinavian contingents are mentioned from Northumbria, under two Earls,
from Norway, from Orkney and Shetland, Skye and Lewis, from Cantire,
Argyle, and Galloway. Welshmen from Pembrokeshire and Cornwall,
Frenchmen, that is in all probability French Normans, under Karl and
Ebric, and some Flemings under a knight are also spoken of. Romans even
are mentioned, but this may be mere magniloquence. To oppose this motley
host Brian had the men of Munster, Meath, and South-eastern Connaught,
and the Danes of Limerick and probably of Waterford. He may have had the
numerical superiority, for Sigurd told his mother, the wise woman, that
he expected to be outnumbered seven to one. The eve of the battle of
Clontarf was signalised, according to the annalists, by various
supernatural occurrences. A messenger from St. Senanus appeared to the
king, and prophesied his death as the penalty due for violating the
sanctuary on Scattery Island thirty-seven years before. The interests and
prejudices of monastic chroniclers may account for this story, but it is
not so easy to explain the firm belief in pagan deities, in fairies, in
demons, and in satyrs shown by two independent historians. It is evident
that the oracles of heathenism were not supposed to have been dumb more
than 500 years after the death of Patrick, and 400 after that of Columba.
Nor was there any lack of marvels on the Danish side. Brodir, who had
already been plagued by showers of boiling blood, by supernatural noises,
by deaths among his men, and by ravens with beaks and claws of iron,
'tried by sorcery how the fight would go. And the answer ran, that if the
fight were on Good Friday, King Brian would fall but win the day; but if
they fought before, they would all fall that were against him.'[22]

[Sidenote: Battle of Clontarf, 1014.]

The battle was fought upon the fateful Friday, and Brian refused to take
part in it because the day was holy. He remained in the rear protected by
a ring of soldiers with their shields locked together. It was observed
that the successive bearers of the raven banner all fell, and Hrafn the
red, who was called by Sigurd to the dangerous duty, refused, saying,
'Bear thine own devil thyself.' ''Tis fittest that the beggar should bear
the bag,' answered the Earl, and put the banner under his cloak. Sigurd
fell, and Sitric had to retire before Ospak. Hrafn the red flew to a
river into which the devils wished to drag him, but a spoken spell
dispersed them. 'Thy dog,' he cried, 'Apostle Peter, hath run twice to
Rome, and he would run the third time if thou gavest him leave.' Of
Thorstein we are told that he interrupted his flight to tie his shoe.
Kerthialfad, Brian's foster son, asked him why he lingered at such a
critical moment, and the Northman returned an answer worthy of Sparta's
best days--'Because I can't get home to-night, since I am at home out in

[Sidenote: Death of Brian.]

In the moment of victory Brian was left behind, and Brodir, who had
lingered for a time in a thicket, broke through the line of shields and
hewed off the king's head. The Viking was taken and disembowelled alive,
according to the Norse account, but the Irish writers say that he fell by
Brian's hands. Sigurd being already dead, Gormflaith lost all chance of a
royal husband, and it is only further recorded of her that she died
sixteen years later. Many other chiefs fell, including Maelmordha, and
Murrough, Brian's favourite son, and the fight was followed, as it had
been heralded, by many signs and wonders both in the Celtic and in the
Scandinavian world.

[Sidenote: The Danes were not expelled.]

The popular delusion that the battle of Clontarf caused the expulsion of
the Danes from Ireland must be pretty well dissipated by this time.
Sitric remained with reserves within the fortress, and thus saved his
kingdom; nor do the annalists cease to make frequent mention of the
foreigners. But the defeat was great, and may have had considerable
influence in deciding those who were already hovering between Woden and
Jesus. Fourteen years after Clontarf we find Sitric going to Rome, and
his son Olaf was killed in England when attempting the same pilgrimage.
These facts lend some countenance to the legend that Sitric founded
Christ Church in 1038; for the Roman court well knew how to impress the
rude northern warriors, and to profit in various ways by their simple
faith. We are told that Flosi the Icelander went to Rome to cleanse
himself from the stain of blood-guiltiness, 'where,' says the Njal-Saga,
'he gat so great honour that he took absolution from the Pope himself,
and for that he gave a great sum of money.'

[Sidenote: But they soon accepted Christianity.]

Without actually amalgamating, the Danes seem to have drawn gradually
closer to the native Irish. A royal heir of Ulster received the name of
Ragnal less than half a century after Clontarf, and in 1121 a bishop
seems to have been temporarily appointed at Dublin by the joint election
of Irish and Danes. But quarrels were frequent even after the Danes had
become fully Christianised; and when the men of Munster invaded Fingal in
1133, they burned the church of Lusk when it was full of people and
treasures. Nor did fresh invasions quite cease, for Magnus, King of
Norway, made two expeditions to Ireland, in the latter of which, in 1103,
he lost his life. The separate history of the Irish Ostmen was drawing to
a close, even at the date of the Anglo-Norman invasion; but they have
left indelible traces upon the map of Ireland and on the traditional lore
of her people.

[Sidenote: The Danes were traders.]

Giraldus informs us that the Scandinavians who settled at Dublin,
Waterford, and Limerick, came under pretence of peaceful trading. The
Irish, he says, were prevented by their innate sloth from going down to
the sea in ships, but were ready to welcome those who would trade for
them, and thus allowed the fierce strangers to get a strong footing.
However this may be, it is certain that the Irish are deficient in
maritime enterprise, and equally certain that the Northmen had a constant
eye to trade as well as to war and plunder. Unerring instinct pointed out
the best stations, and on the sites thus chosen the chief cities of
Ireland were reared. The Kaupmannaeyjar or merchant isles, probably
those now called the Copelands, may have been a rendezvous for passing
vessels. Arabic coins, of which more than 20,000 pieces from more than
1,000 different dies are preserved at Stockholm, have been found in
Ireland, and the Irish Northmen certainly had a coinage of their own,
when the native princes had none. Pieces have been found which were
struck by, or at least for, a Scandinavian king of Dublin as early as the
ninth century, and all coins minted in Ireland up to the Anglo-Norman
invasion were perhaps of similar origin. Many such pieces have been found
in the Isle of Man, and some as far off as Denmark.[24]

[Sidenote: They were superior to the Irish in peaceful arts.]

The Irish annalists constantly dwell on the superiority of Norse arms and
armour as a reason for their success in war. Ringmail in particular shows
a high degree of manufacturing skill, and they wore it at Clontarf both
in brass and iron, while none is mentioned in the pompous Irish catalogue
of the arms worn by Brian's troops. Nor was this costly harness worn only
by the Scandinavian leaders, for they are said to have had 1,000 coats of
mail in that one battle. Danish swords which have survived from Brian's
days are of superior workmanship to Irish blades of the same date; and
the Northmen had perhaps a superiority in bows also, though on this point
the annalists are less explicit. The turgid verbosity of these writers
makes it doubtful whether the Danes used poisoned arrows, but no such
thing is mentioned in the Saga.

[Sidenote: They built the first cities. Dublin, Waterford.]

The flotillas which Brian maintained on inland waters, and the sea-going
vessels which attended his army in the North, were all manned by Danes,
and a mercantile marine has in every age been the best nursery of naval
power. No doubt the Irish felt the advantage of having commercial
emporiums on their coast, as other shore-going people profited by Greek
and Phoenician colonies. The analogy might easily be carried further,
and Dublin and Waterford might be represented as standing between the
Anglo-Normans and Celts of Ireland, as Massilia stood between the Romans
and Celts of Gaul. It is at all events clear that the Scandinavians
built the first cities and coined the first money in Ireland.

[Sidenote: Brian's monarchy soon fell to pieces.]

High as Brian towers above other mediæval Celts--one annalist calls him
the Charlemagne of North-western Europe--it cannot be said that he laid
the foundation of an Irish monarchy. He lived to be eighty, yet none of
his work lasted. Malachi received the honorary office of chief king, from
which his rival's personal prowess had driven him, and the years of his
reign are counted by some annalists without noticing Brian's
intervention, as in the modern case of Charles II. Brian was indeed
doubly a usurper, in wresting Munster from the race of Eoghan, and in
wresting Ireland from the race of Nial, in whom royalty had been vested
for centuries. With all his ceaseless exertions he was little more than a
levier of black mail, who left intact the internal government of weaker
princes. Borumha, or the tribute-taker, if that be really the meaning of
the term, describes his position with sufficient accuracy. When he died
Donnchadh, or Donogh, his son by Gormflaith, became head of his tribe,
and claimed the succession to the Irish monarchy. The Eugenians
repudiated his claim, alleging that their turn, which had been wrongfully
passed over, had now come to reign in Munster. Not satisfied with this,
their two principal chiefs fell out among themselves. The Ossorian
followed suit, and thus Brian's creation crumbled at once into dust.

More than 150 years elapsed between the battle of Clontarf and the
landing of the first Anglo-Norman, and they were years of almost constant
war and confusion. Had Ireland been left to herself a prince might in
time have arisen strong enough to establish such a monarchy as Brian
failed to found. The Danes had ceased to be a seriously disturbing
influence, but there is no evidence that any such process of
consolidation was going on, and a feudal system, which had lost none of
its vigour, was at last confronted with a tribal system which had lost
none of its inherent weakness.

[Sidenote: Progress of Christianity.]

It is impossible to fix the exact date when Christianity began to make
head against the Irish Ostmen. When St. Anschar obtained from the Swedes
a place for his God in the northern pantheon, and when Guthrum and his
officers submitted to baptism in Wessex, a foundation had been laid for a
general Scandinavian conversion. But neither Norway nor the Norwegian
colonies in Iceland, Shetland, Orkney, or the Hebrides, yielded so soon.
Irish anchorites spent some time in Iceland about 795, and when Ingulf
and Lief landed in 870 they found that Irish priests had lately been
there, and had left behind them books, bells, and croziers. The second
batch had probably fled from Ingulf's congeners in Ireland. Olaf
Trygvesson, the first Christian king of Norway, was educated at
Athelstane's court, and the nominal conversion of Norway may date from
the year of his accession. Five years later, in 1000, Christianity was
established by law in Iceland. Removed as she was from English or Roman
influences, Ireland remained a stronghold of paganism after the Danes of
England had been generally converted; and the Irish being on the whole
weaker in war, were scarcely in a position to prove that Woden and Thor
had nothing to say for themselves. Olaf Cuaran was baptized in England.
It is clear that the Irish Danes remained generally pagan throughout the
tenth century, and that the confederacy which failed at Clontarf had to a
great extent been formed against Christianity. The story of Ospak and
Brodir shows that some of the fiercest Danes were beginning to waver, the
question at issue being the relative power of two deities, rather than
the relative merit of two systems. After Clontarf Woden seems to have
been looked upon as beaten. He had been tried and found wanting, like
Baal on Mount Carmel, and the defeated party went over to the stronger

[Sidenote: The Danish church of Dublin.]

The connection of the Dublin Danes with their brethren in England had
long been very close, and it was to Canterbury and Rome rather than to
Armagh that they naturally turned. Sitric and Canute were perhaps in the
Eternal City together; their visit was at least almost simultaneous, and
we cannot doubt that every means were taken to prejudice the powerful
neophyte against the pretensions of St. Patrick's successor. An Ostman
named Dunan or Donat is reckoned the first Bishop of Dublin, and is
credited with the foundation of Christ Church. A tradition which may be
true, but which is not supported by contemporary evidence, makes Sitric
the joint founder. From an expression in the celebrated letter of the
Dublin burgesses to Archbishop Ralph d'Eures it may be fairly inferred
that Donat had his succession from Canterbury, and he certainly
corresponded with Lanfranc on the subject of infant baptism. He was
succeeded by Patrick or Gillapatrick, an Ostman, who was consecrated by
Lanfranc in St. Paul's at the instance of Godred Crovan, king of Man, who
was then supreme at Dublin. Godred's reign is rather shadowy, but
Lanfranc's letter to him has always been considered genuine, and it
addresses him as king not only of Dublin, but of Ireland. Lanfranc also
wrote to Tirlogh, who had acquired the supreme kingship, like his father,
Brian Borumha. It is not unlikely that the curious poem which represents
St. Patrick as blessing Dublin and its Danish inhabitants, and cursing
the Hy Neill, was forged at this time, partly in the Munster interest and
partly to prove that Dublin was not subject to Armagh.[25]

[Sidenote: Dublin acknowledges Canterbury and repudiates Armagh.]

In his letters Lanfranc insists much upon Catholic unity. According to
modern ideas, the heaviest of the charges which he brings against the
Irish Church is the levity with which they regarded the marriage tie. It
appears that men even exchanged wives. Bishop Patrick promised
ecclesiastical fealty to the Archbishop of Canterbury, as Primate of the
British Isles. Lanfranc had obeyed the order of his old pupil Alexander
II., who was prompted by the deacon Hildebrand, and had gone to Rome to
receive his pall. But in his dealings with Dublin he acted independently,
and he was ready to give advice to Irish prelates, though without
claiming direct jurisdiction over them. In doctrinal matters he was an
ally of Rome. Himself an Italian, he espoused the dogma of
transubstantiation in opposition to the Irishman Erigena, and the
Frenchman Berengarius; and on the great question of clerical celibacy he
was a follower, though not an extreme one, of the uncompromising
Hildebrand. The ever-watchful Roman Court probably espied the germ of a
Western patriarchate, and was thus moved to annex Armagh as a
counterpoise to the dangerous primacy claimed under a grant of Gregory
the Great by the successors of Augustine. Gregory VII., in addressing the
kings, nobles, and prelates of Ireland, took care to claim absolute
sovereignty by divine right; and here he ran little risk of such a rebuff
as William the Conqueror administered.[26]

[Sidenote: Lanfranc and Anselm.]

Patrick's successor was Donat O'Haingly, an Irishman, but a Benedictine
monk of Canterbury, who was consecrated by Lanfranc, to whom he had been
recommended by King Tirlogh. He was succeeded by his nephew Samuel, a
Benedictine of St. Albans, who was consecrated by Anselm. That great
archbishop was not altogether pleased with his Irish brother, whom he
chid for alienating vestments bestowed on the Church of Dublin by
Lanfranc, and for having the cross borne before him, although he had
never received the pall. A further element of confusion was introduced,
probably in 1118, by the Irish synod of Rathbreasil, which declared
Dublin to be in the diocese of Glendalough; and it seems that the Irish
inhabitants submitted, while those of Danish origin refused to do so.

[Sidenote: Ralph of Canterbury consecrates Gregory, who receives the pall
from Pope Eugenius.]

On the death of Bishop Samuel O'Haingly, the Irish annals inform us that
'Cellach, comarb of Patrick, assumed the bishopric of Ath-cliath,[27] by
the choice of foreigners and Gaeidhil.' If there be any truth in this it
was a bold stroke on the part of Armagh to exercise jurisdiction in
Dublin, and was probably the act of the Irish as opposed to the Danish
party. In the same year, or the next, the burgesses and clergy of Dublin
wrote to Ralph of Canterbury, begging him to consecrate their nominee
Gregory. They reminded him that their bishops originally derived their
dignity from his predecessors, and that the bishops of Ireland were very
jealous of them; and especially he of Armagh, because they preferred the
rule of Canterbury. Ralph consecrated Gregory, and he governed the see
for forty years. To his lot it fell to receive the pall sent by Pope
Eugenius, who was too politic to insist on a visit to Rome. For the
moment it was enough to assert the necessity of the pallium and its papal
origin. The legate Paparo ignored the pretensions of the bishop whose
church in the mountains had the name of city, and divided the diocese
into two parts: the bishop with the Cantuarian succession being made
Metropolitan, and the Irishman at Glendalough being reduced to the
position of a suffragan. St. Lawrence O'Toole, who was the second
Archbishop of Dublin, derived his succession from Armagh, and the
Scandinavian Church of Dublin ceases to have a separate history.

[Sidenote: See of Waterford.]

Of far less importance than that of Dublin, the early history of the see
of Waterford is proportionately obscure. Malchus, a Benedictine of
Winchester, who seems to have been the first bishop elected by the
Ostmen, was consecrated by Anselm; to whom he promised canonical
obedience, and with whom he corresponded. It seems likely that he was
afterwards translated to Lismore, or he may have held both sees together,
as they were held in after years. It is probable that the great Malachi
of Armagh studied under him. Maelisa O'Hanmire appears next in
succession, but we know nothing of him. He may have represented a
reaction against the dominion of Canterbury. The next name preserved is
that of Tosti, who was, of course, a Dane, and who assisted in the
establishment of the papal or Eugenian constitution. Tosti's successor,
Augustine O'Sealbhaigh, was practically appointed by Henry II., and he
attended the Lateran Council in 1179.

[Sidenote: See of Limerick. Gillebert.]

The tradition which connects St. Patrick with Limerick is of the vaguest
kind: practically, the first recorded bishop is Gillebert. He was an
Irishman. Cellach of Armagh acted with the Bishop of Limerick on this
occasion; but while both were anxious to parcel out Ireland into
dioceses, neither ventured to interfere with Dublin, which was under the
powerful patronage of Canterbury. Gillebert resigned both the legatine
authority and his own bishopric before his death, which took place in or
about 1145. His successor Patrick, having been elected by the Ostmen,
was consecrated in England by Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, to whom
he promised canonical obedience. The three following bishops, Harold,
Turgeis, and Brictius, who may be Elbric or Eric, were doubtless all
Ostmen. Very little is known of them, except that the last named attended
the Lateran Council in 1179 and 1180.

[Sidenote: See of Cork.]

Cork was often plundered by the Northmen, and they settled there
permanently early in the eleventh century. But they found themselves
confronted by a strong monastic organisation, under the successor of St.
Finbar, whereas at Dublin, Waterford, and Limerick the field had been
clear. Around the abbey a native town had sprung up, which was strong
enough to maintain itself by the side of the Scandinavian garrison. Once,
with the help of a force from Carbery, they defeated a confederacy of
Danes belonging to Cork, Waterford, and Wexford. The Ostmen were in quiet
possession of Cork for a period long preceding the Anglo-Norman invasion,
but they were probably content to take their Christianity from their
neighbours, for we do not find that any bishop of this see sought
consecration at Canterbury.[28]


[16] The account which Giraldus gives of Turgesius is funny, but

[17] Reeves's Adamnan, p. 332 n.

[18] _Wars of the Gaedhill with the Gaill_, chap. xxxvi.

[19] _Wars of the Gaedhill with the Gaill_, chap. xl.

[20] The quotations are from _Burnt Njal_, chap. cliii.

[21] _Burnt Njal_, chap. cliv.

[22] _Ibid._, chap. clvi. _Wars of the Gaedhill with the Gaill_, chaps.
xcviii. and xcix. _Annals of Lough Cé_, pp. 7-13.

[23] _Burnt Njal_, chap. clvi.

[24] Many details about the Hiberno-Norse coins are to be found in

[25] _Book of Rights_, pp. 225 _sqq._, and O'Donovan's preface.

[26] See Hook's _Lives of Lanfranc, Anselm, and Ralph d'Eures_.
Translations of the letters mentioned in the text may be found in King's
Primer of the Irish Church; most of the originals are printed in Ussher's

[27] The Irish always called Dublin Ath-cliath, or the Ford of Hurdles.

[28] The great mine of knowledge about the Irish Scandinavians is Todd's
_Wars of the Gaedhill with the Gaill_, in the Record series. I have also
used Dasent's _Story of Burnt Njal_, and Anderson's _Orkneyinga Saga_.
Haliday's _Scandinavian Kingdom of Dublin_, edited by Mr. J. P.
Prendergast, is a good modern book. Worsaae's _Danes and Norwegians_ is
said to be somewhat fanciful, but it contains information not readily
accessible elsewhere.

[Illustration: IRELAND IN 1172.

_The principal Danish Settlements are underlined Blue._]



[Sidenote: England lays claim to Ireland, 1155.]

The claims of the Kings of England to Ireland were very vague. They
sometimes acted as patrons of the Irish Ostmen, who were not unwilling to
follow the example of their Northumbrian kinsmen, but they performed no
real function of sovereignty. William the Conqueror and his sons had not
time to attend to Ireland, and this applies in an even greater degree to
Stephen. Henry II. ascended an undisputed throne, and in the first year
of his reign turned his thoughts to the fertile island of the West. Being
badly in want of a title, he sent John of Salisbury to Rome for leave to
conquer Ireland, to root up the saplings of vice there, and to bring the
wild Irish into the way of the true faith. The Pope was Nicholas
Breakspeare, known in history as Adrian IV., the only Englishman who ever
filled the papal chair. The popes were usually ready to grant boons to
kings, if by so doing they could extend their own power, and an English
pope must have felt a double pride in conferring favours on a king of
England. The mission of John of Salisbury was successful. He brought back
the Bull _Laudabiliter_ and a gold ring containing a very fine emerald,
intended to be used in Henry's investiture. Empress Maude objected to an
Irish expedition, and nothing was done until long after Adrian's death.
Henry took the precaution of having the grant confirmed by Alexander
III., and there is ample evidence that he annexed Ireland with the entire
approbation of that Pope.[29]

[Sidenote: Adrian IV grants Ireland to Henry II.]

Irish scholars, torn asunder by their love of Rome and their love of
Ireland, formerly attempted to prove that Adrian's bull was not genuine;
but its authenticity is no longer disputed. The momentous document runs
as follows:--

[Sidenote: Adrian's bull.]

'Hadrian the bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his very dear son
in Christ, the illustrious King of the English, health and apostolic

'Your magnificence praiseworthily and profitably takes thought how to
increase a glorious name on earth and how to lay up a reward of
everlasting happiness in heaven, while you are intent, like a Catholic
prince, on enlarging the bounds of the Church, on declaring the truth to
unlearned and rude peoples, and on uprooting the seedlings of vice from
the Lord's field. The better to attain that end you have asked counsel
and favour of the apostolic see. In which action we are sure that, with
God's help, you will make happy progress in proportion to the high design
and great discretion of your proceedings, inasmuch as undertakings which
grow out of ardour for the faith and love of religion are accustomed
always to have a good end and upshot. There is no doubt and your nobility
acknowledges that Ireland, and all islands upon which Christ the sun of
justice has shone, and which have received the teachings of the Christian
faith, rightfully belong to the blessed Peter and the most holy Roman
Church. We have, therefore, the more willingly made a faithful plantation
among them, and inserted a bud pleasing to God, in that we foresee that
it will require a careful internal watch at our hands. However, you have
signified to us, my dear son in Christ, that you wish to enter the island
of Ireland, in order to reduce that people to law, and to uproot the
seedlings of vice there, and to make a yearly payment of a denarius to
the blessed Peter out of each house, and to preserve the rights of the
churches of that land whole and undiminished.

'We, therefore, seconding your pious and laudable desire with suitable
favour, and giving a kindly assent to your petition, do hold it for a
thing good and acceptable that you should enter that island for the
extension of the Church's borders, for the correction of manners, for the
propagation of virtue, and for increase of the Christian religion; and
that you should perform that which you intend for the honour of God and
for the salvation of that land; and let the people of that land receive
you honourably and venerate you as their lord; the ecclesiastical law
remaining whole and untouched, and an annual payment of one denarius
being reserved to the blessed Peter and to the most holy Roman Church.
But if you shall complete the work which you have conceived in your mind,
study to mould that race to good morals, and exert yourself personally
and by such of your agents as you shall find fit in faith, word, and
living, to honour the Church there, and to plant and increase the
Christian faith, and strive to ordain what is for the honour of God and
the safety of souls in such a manner that you may deserve at God's hands
a heap of everlasting treasure, and on earth gain a glorious name for
ages yet to come.'

[Sidenote: The papal title.]

The right of the Pope to dispose of islands rested upon the donation of
Constantine, which is now admitted to be as certainly spurious as
Adrian's bull is certainly genuine. Adrian may have believed the donation
authentic, but in any case, as Irish scholars point out, Constantine
could not give what he had never possessed. It is true that Ireland never
really formed part of the Roman Empire, but so strong was the idea of an
oecumenical sovereignty that Celtic lawyers imagined a state of things
in which Ireland would be tributary to the King of the Romans. This was a
mere fiction, but it was one of which Rome would readily take advantage,
and the Pope who insisted so sturdily on Barbarossa holding his stirrup
was not the one in whose hands any available weapon would be allowed to

[Sidenote: Henry II. finds a pretext for interference.]

Henry II. was the most powerful prince in Europe, and sooner or later he
was almost sure to have a reason for interfering in Ireland. The
opportunity was at last afforded by Dermod MacMurrough, King of Leinster,
who aspired to reign over all Ireland with the help of Anglo-Norman arms.
As early as 1152 Dervorgil O'Melaghlin, wife of Tiernan O'Rourke, Prince
of Brefny, being ill-treated by her husband, left him, and placed
herself, her cattle, and her furniture under the protection of Dermod.
Dervorgil was forty-four and Dermod sixty-two, so that the affair, in
spite of a beautiful poem on the subject, was not what would be commonly
called romantic. Yet Cleopatra was thirty-nine, when Antonius, at the age
of fifty-three, refused to survive her. O'Rourke felt the insult and the
loss of the lady, or, at least, of her property, and appealed to Tirlogh
O'Connor, King of Connaught and titular King of Ireland. Dermod was
compelled to abandon Dervorgil, who survived her husband eleven years,
and died as late as 1193, during a pilgrimage to Mellifont Abbey. On the
death of Tirlogh O'Connor his son Roderic became a candidate for the
chief sovereignty, but Dermod espoused the cause of the O'Neill
candidate, who was successful. The flight or abduction of Dervorgil was
certainly not the proximate cause of the Norman invasion, but by placing
Dermod in permanent opposition to O'Connor and O'Rourke, it probably
contributed to bring it about.

[Sidenote: Dermod MacMurrough.]

In 1166 Dermod, who had made himself odious by his tyranny, was expelled
from Leinster by O'Connor and O'Rourke, who demolished his stronghold at
Ferns, and transferred his kingship to the next-of-kin. The clergy appear
to have been generally favourable to Dermod; and as Adrian's bull, even
if not published, could hardly be a secret, it may have been their advice
which induced him to go to Henry II. Dermod, though seventy-seven years
old, was still active and enterprising, and he sought the king in
Aquitaine or Guienne. Henry was too busy to think of going to Ireland
himself, but he gave the suppliant a kind of letter of marque in the
following terms:--'Henry, King of England, Duke of Normandy and
Aquitaine, and Count of Anjou, to all his faithful English, Norman,
Welsh, and Scots, and to all nations subject to his jurisdiction,
greeting: When these present letters reach you you will know that we have
received into the bosom of our grace and favour Dermod, prince of the
Leinstermen. If anyone, therefore, within the bounds of our power wishes
to help his restoration as our man and liege subject, let him know that
he has our licence and favour for the purpose.'[31]

[Sidenote: Dermod seeks allies in England.]

Thus armed, Dermod returned to Bristol, which was much frequented by
ships from Leinster, and he appears to have been supplied with money by
his partisans there. His promise of gold and land at first attracted
little attention, but after two or three weeks he was visited by Richard
Fitz-Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Chepstow. Earl Richard, whose father had
lost most of his lands, lent a favourable ear to Dermod, and undertook to
bring an army to Ireland in the spring of 1169. The Irishman promised to
give him his daughter Eva, his only legitimate child. According to Norman
law Eva would bring the kingdom of Leinster to her husband and children.
According to Celtic law the lands belonged to the tribe, and the royal
dignity was elective. In this singular contract between MacMurrough and
Fitz-Gilbert, we have the key to most of the problems which have made
Ireland the despair of statesmen.

[Sidenote: Earl Richard and his friends.]

Dermod, however, did not rest his hopes of success upon Earl Richard
alone. He went to St. David's, so as to be as near Ireland as possible,
and made friends with the bishop, who had two brothers admirably suited
for the work in hand. Nesta, the beautiful daughter of Rice ap Tudor,
Prince of South Wales, is reported to have been the mistress of Henry I.,
and to have had two sons by him. The younger of these had also two sons,
the Robert and Meiler Fitz-Henry who played a prominent part in the
conquest of Ireland. Nesta afterwards married Gerald of Windsor, by whom
she had three sons and one or two daughters, and from one or other of her
children all the Fitzgeralds, Barrys, Carews, and Cogans are descended.
After the death of Gerald, Nesta married Stephen, the castellan of
Abertivy, and by him had one son, the famous Robert Fitz-Stephen.
Giraldus, who must have known, twice states expressly that Fitz-Stephen
had no legitimate child. The historian himself was Nesta's grandson,
through her daughter Angareta, who married William de Barry. Robert
Fitz-Stephen, and his half-brother, Maurice Fitzgerald, listened readily
to MacMurrough, who promised them Wexford and two cantreds of land, if
they would help him conquer Leinster.[32]

[Sidenote: Fitz-Stephen and others land in Ireland, 1169.]

Robert Fitz-Stephen was a desperate man. Betrayed by his own followers,
he had suffered three years' imprisonment among the Welsh, had been
released on promising to serve Rice Fitz-Griffith against Henry II., and
had agreed to hold Abertivy for the Cambrian and not for the Angevin.
Dermod now offered him a loophole to escape from, and he agreed to accept
his offers and to invade Ireland. His half-brother, Maurice Fitzgerald,
consented to accompany him. Dermod then slipped over to Ireland and
sought a refuge among the clergy of Ferns, who entertained him, as the
Archdeacon of St. David's carefully notes, to the best of their small
ability. It was in the winter of 1168 that MacMurrough returned to
Ireland, and in May 1169 Fitz-Stephen and his brother followed with
thirty knights of their own kinfolk, sixty men-at-arms, and 300 archers,
picked, as Giraldus says, from among the youth of Wales. Three ships
carried them all, and they landed safely in Bannow Bay, a shallow inlet
which they had probably mistaken either for Waterford or Wexford. The
brothers were accompanied by Hervey de Montmorency, who was sent by his
nephew, Earl Richard, rather as a spy than as a soldier. On the following
day Maurice de Prendergast, whose name still lives at Haverfordwest,
brought ten knights and a number of archers from Milford, and landed not
far from the same place. As soon as Dermod heard of the adventurers'
arrival he sent his son Donald with 500 men to welcome them, and soon
followed himself. Donald, surnamed Kavanagh, from having been fostered at
Kilcavan, was illegitimate; but that was a matter little considered among
the old Irish, and he became the ancestor of those Kavanaghs or
MacMurroughs who afterwards claimed the kingship of Leinster and even of
Ireland, and who baffled Richard II. and his great army.

[Sidenote: They win Wexford.]

After a smart conflict Fitz-Stephen and MacMurrough mastered Wexford,
which was a Danish town. The Irishman's readiness to grant Wexford to the
adventurers was very probably caused by the fact that the town had never
been really in his power. Perhaps he hoped to get rid of the Normans when
he had used them to subdue his enemies. It was evident that Fitz-Stephen
and his company could do little more than hold Wexford. If Leinster was
to be conquered it could only be by a much larger force. Nevertheless,
Fitz-Stephen decided to advance into the country, and was joined by the
Wexford Danes, who probably were not slow to learn that the Normans were
their kinsmen. With a heterogeneous army of 3,000 men, Dermod and his
allies marched towards Ossory. There was a battle in open ground with the
Ossorians, and the mail-clad stranger had an easy victory. Among the
slain was a personal enemy of Dermod, and we are told that that savage,
'lifting up the dead man's head by hair and ears, cruelly and inhumanly
tore away the nostrils and lips with his teeth.' In the meantime King
Roderic had set his army in motion against the invaders, and easily
penetrated to the neighbourhood of Ferns. The monastery was surrounded by
woods and bogs, and Fitz-Stephen, who was an adept in Welsh warfare,
taught the Leinstermen how to make it impregnable with ditches and
abattis. Neither party were very anxious to fight, and Dermod made a
treaty with Roderic, in which he acknowledged him as chief king, in
consideration of being allowed to enjoy Leinster in peace. Giraldus says
there was a secret understanding that the adventurers should be sent home
as soon as they had pacified Leinster, and that no reinforcements should
be brought over.

[Sidenote: Earl Richard hesitates. His friends take Waterford.]

Whatever understanding he might have with O'Connor, Dermod did not soon
abandon the hope of more help from Wales. 'We have,' he wrote to Earl
Richard, 'observed the storks and swallows; the summer birds have come,
and with this west wind have returned. Neither Favonius nor Eurus has
brought us your much-desired and long-expected presence.' The Earl had
waited for the return of Hervey de Montmorency, and when he brought a
favourable report it was still necessary to make at least some show of
consulting Henry II. The King had forbidden him to go to Ireland, but he
now sought an audience and begged either the restoration of his estates
or leave to carve out a new one for himself. Henry gave an ambiguous
answer, which the Earl chose to interpret in his own favour. In May 1170
he sent out Hervey again, accompanied by Raymond Fitzgerald, called Le
Gros, a creature of Fitz-Stephen and Maurice, with twenty knights and
seventy archers. Raymond landed at the south-eastern angle of the modern
county of Kilkenny, just at the point where the united Nore and Barrow
flow into the Suir. He intrenched himself at once, and was soon attacked
by the Waterford Danes. If Giraldus is to be believed, a panic seized the
assailants, of whom 500 were killed, and many taken. Among Raymond's
followers was a leper named William Ferrand, who performed prodigies of
valour, 'choosing rather to die gloriously than to endure the burden of
his disease.' A question arose as to the disposal of the prisoners.
Raymond was for sparing, Hervey for slaying. 'The opinion of the latter,'
says Giraldus, 'prevailed; the citizens were condemned, and, their limbs
having been broken, they were cast headlong into the sea.'

[Sidenote: Earl Richard lands, 1170.]

Earl Richard landed near Waterford on August 23, 1170. The city was taken
soon afterwards, and Reginald's tower is particularly mentioned as
forming part of the defences. That tower still stands with one of
Cromwell's cannon balls sticking in the wall--a monument of three
distinct invaders: the Pagan Northman, the Catholic Anglo-Norman, and the
Puritan Englishman. 'Earl Strongbow,' say the Lough Cé annalists with
pathetic brevity, 'came into Erin to Dermod MacMurrough to avenge his
expulsion by Roderic, son of Tirlogh O'Connor; and Dermod gave him his
own daughter and a part of his patrimony; and Saxon foreigners have been
in Erin since then.'

[Sidenote: The adventurers take Dublin.]

Waterford and Wexford having fallen, and his daughter Eva having been
married to Earl Richard, Dermod, who now aspired to the crown of all
Ireland, felt himself strong enough to attack Dublin. The Earl had
brought 200 knights and 1,000 other soldiers, so that the allied force
was a considerable one. MacMurrough led the army safely through the
Wicklow mountains, which were the scene of more than one disaster to
Elizabeth's officers. Dermod's auxiliaries had been trained in Wales; and
probably understood mountain warfare much better than those who had
served in the Netherlands, or even on the Scottish border. Lawrence
O'Toole, Archbishop of Dublin, a man revered both by Danes and Irishmen,
attempted to make peace between the citizens and their assailants; but
Raymond and Milo de Cogan, while their elders parleyed, led a chosen band
to the assault. They soon mastered the place; and Hasculph, with a number
of followers and some treasure, escaped to the Orkneys, whence he went to
Norway for help. Meath, which for some unexplained reason was in
O'Rourke's possession, was next invaded, and Roderic then wrote to
upbraid Dermod with having broken his oath by interfering outside the
bounds of Leinster. MacMurrough shortly answered that he meant to be
monarch of Ireland, and Roderic then killed his son, who was with him as
a hostage. The clergy of Armagh assembled in their synod saw or suspected
that the invasion was different from all former invasions. They agreed
that Ireland had brought a curse on herself by keeping Englishmen in
slavery, and they ordered the liberation of all such bondsmen. Henry II.
also saw that something extraordinary had happened. He had no fancy for
having an independent Norman principality within sight of Snowdon, and he
ordered the adventurers to return, strictly forbidding all communication
with them in the meantime. Fitz-Gilbert wrote to the King, who was in
Aquitaine, protesting that he believed he had the royal licence for what
he had done, and that he was ready to be his vassal for all he might gain
in Ireland. Raymond was sent with the letter, but Henry kept him a long
time in suspense.

[Sidenote: The Danes vainly attempt to retake Dublin.]

At Whitsuntide, 1171, while Earl Richard was waiting for the King's
answer, Hasculph returned with sixty ships, containing a well-armed
force, under a berserker called John the Mad. Milo de Cogan had been left
governor of Dublin, and he and his brother Richard succeeded after a
short fight in routing their assailants. John the Mad was killed, and
Hasculph taken while trying to escape across the slob to his ships. The
prisoner annoying him by threats of another and more formidable attempt,
Milo ordered him to be beheaded. He had, however, spoken truth, for
Godred, King of Man, soon appeared with thirty ships, and blocked the
mouth of the Liffey, while Roderic, having collected a great army from
all parts of Ireland, except the extreme north and south, besieged the
city by land. The Earl and his followers being thus shut up in Dublin,
Dermod's local enemies besieged Fitz-Stephen in the castle which he had
built at Wexford. No help, as the Irish well knew, could be expected from
England while Henry II. frowned, and the Normans at Dublin resolved on a
great effort to relieve Fitz-Stephen. A sally was arranged, and Roderic's
army was dispersed. The Irish had trusted entirely to their numbers, and
kept no watch and no order. Such stores of provisions fell into the
victors' hands that there was no need to victual Dublin for a year
afterwards. Fitz-Stephen, however, was not relieved. By force or
stratagem, Giraldus says it was by perjury, the Wexford people obtained
possession of his person, and killed or captured his men. Hearing of the
disaster at Dublin, the victors burned their town and withdrew with their
prisoners to an island in the middle of the harbour. Earl Richard arrived
too late for his immediate purpose, and continued his journey to
Waterford, whence he made his way to the King, whom he met near
Gloucester. Henry was at first obdurate, but it was finally agreed that
Dublin and all other port towns, with the lands adjoining, should be
handed over to the King, and that the Earl and his heirs should hold all
their other conquests of him and his heirs. While preparations were being
made for a royal expedition, O'Rourke once more attacked Dublin, but the
Cogans again surprised the Irish camp, and the city was never again
seriously threatened by the natives.

[Sidenote: Henry II. lands in Ireland, 1171.]

The last attack on Dublin was about September 1, 1171, and on October 16
the King sailed from Milford Haven with 400 ships, containing 4,000 men,
of whom 400 or 500 were knights. He landed next day at Crook, on the
right bank of the Suir, some miles below Waterford, which he entered on
the 18th. The Wexford men saw that the game was up, and brought
Fitz-Stephen to the King, expecting thanks for surrendering the man who
had dared to make war without the royal licence. Henry spoke sharply to
the prisoner, and ordered him to be kept safely in Reginald's tower.
Dermod MacCarthy, chief of Desmond and Cork, did homage at Waterford.
Thence Henry went to Lismore, where he stayed two days. From Lismore he
went to Cashel, where Donald O'Brien, chief of Thomond and Limerick,
followed MacCarthy's example. The minor chiefs of Munster also made their
submission, the only one mentioned by Giraldus being O'Phelan, who ruled
a great part of the county of Waterford. Dermod's old antagonist, Donald
of Ossory, also did homage. Henry placed governors both in Cork and
Limerick, but it is not clear that he visited either of those cities. He
then returned along the Suir to Waterford, where he took Fitz-Stephen
into favour, and restored Wexford to him. During this progress the King
selected three sites for fortresses, which were afterwards built by his
son John--Lismore on the Blackwater, and Ardfinnan and Tibraghny on the
Suir. The first and last were intended to command the upper tidal waters
of the Blackwater and Suir; Ardfinnan secured a passage from the southern
sea-board into Central Ireland, and Cromwell recognised its importance
nearly five hundred years afterwards.

[Sidenote: Henry II. winters at Dublin.]

Leaving a governor in Waterford, Henry then led the bulk of his army to
Dublin, where he received the submissions of O'Rourke and of the chiefs
of Leinster and Uriel. Hugo de Lacy and William Fitz-Adelm were sent to
meet Roderic at the Shannon, and the monarch of Ireland acknowledged
himself a tributary and vassal of the King of England. Ulster still held
out; for the submission of the nominal head king can in no way be held to
bind the chiefs, much less the people, of his own province, and certainly
not those of all Ireland. Giraldus does not venture to advance any such
theory, and yet Hooker, who translated his work in Elizabeth's time,
coolly interpolates the statement that 'by him and his submission all the
residue of the whole land became the King's subjects, and submitted
themselves.' The synod which met at Cashel under the legate's presidency
did what was possible for the Church to do in strengthening Henry's
pretensions. The King held a court at Dublin during the winter of 1171
and 1172. His temporary palace, erected outside the walls on the ground
now occupied by the southern side of Dame Street, was built of polished
wicker-work, after the manner of the country. Here he kept Christmas in
state, and invited the Irish chiefs to share his feast. They admired the
King's grandeur, and were by him persuaded to eat crane's flesh, which
the Normans thought a delicacy, but which the Irish had hitherto loathed.
The winter was so stormy that there was scarcely any communication with
England, and Henry's pleasure in his new acquisition must have been
darkened by the sense of impending retribution for the recent murder of

[Sidenote: Henry's warlike preparations. He distrusts the adventurers.]

From the preparation which he made for the invasion of Ireland, it seems
clear that the King profoundly distrusted the adventurers who had
insisted on winning him a new realm. Vast stores of provisions, a great
number of hand-mills, artisans for building bridges, horses, and tools
for building or trenching, might indeed have been required for a war
against the natives. But the Irish had no fortresses, and wooden castles,
of which we also read, can only have been intended for attacking the
port-towns which Earl Richard had promised to give the King, and which
were already in Norman hands. Henry saw enough of Ireland to know that he
had really nothing to fear from the adventurers. Dermod MacMurrough was
dead before his arrival, and it was clear that Earl Richard would have
enough to do in maintaining his wife's monstrous claim without doing
anything to offend his own sovereign.

When, therefore, shortly before Easter, 1172, news came from Aquitaine
and Normandy that the legates were on their way to inquire into the
Canterbury tragedy, Henry lost no time in appointing Hugo de Lacy his
representative at Dublin, and in arranging for the safe keeping of
Waterford and Wexford. He sailed from the latter port on Easter Monday
1172, having been in Ireland exactly six months.[33]

[Sidenote: Henry leaves Ireland. He grants Meath to De Lacy.]

Before leaving the country Henry granted to Hugo de Lacy all the
territory of Meath, by the service of fifty knights. This included
Westmeath, with parts of King's County and Longford, and was about
800,000 acres in extent. De Lacy, to whom Hoveden gives the title of
justiciar, must be considered as the first Viceroy of Ireland, and he
lost no time in advancing a claim which, if successful, would make him
one of the most important vassals of the Crown. Tiernan O'Rourke, the
one-eyed King of Meath, consented to meet the Pretender at the Hill of
Ward. The conference ended in a quarrel, and O'Rourke was killed.
Giraldus charges treason upon the Irishman, and the Irish annalists
charge it upon the Norman. The important point is that De Lacy was able
to make head against the Irish, and that a powerful Norman colony was
established by him in the fertile central tract of Ireland. Earl Richard
was rather less successfully engaged in fighting for Leinster, which
Henry had granted him by the service of one hundred knights, when he was
summoned to Normandy, where he did such good service that the King made
him Viceroy in De Lacy's room. This was in 1173. It was in the next year,
or perhaps in 1175, that Henry had the bulls or privileges of Adrian IV.
and Alexander III. promulgated in Ireland. We can hardly suppose that
they were previously unknown to the clergy, who so manifestly favoured
the Anglo-Normans all through. Perhaps the King's main object in
publishing them at this time was to make his own peace with Rome, by
ostentatiously announcing that he held Ireland of the tiara, and not in
right of his own sword.

[Sidenote: Difficulties of the adventurers.]

When Earl Richard returned to Ireland he found that he had lost ground.
The Irish were beginning to recover confidence, and Hervey and Raymond
were quarrelling bitterly. The latter was the favourite of the soldiers,
who insisted on having him for leader, and he gained some successes over
the Danes of Cork and over the MacCarthys. Believing himself worthy of
the highest rewards, Raymond asked for the Constableship of Leinster, and
for the hand of Basilia, the earl's sister. The new Viceroy was
disinclined to grant these terms, and Raymond, whose father had just
died, went over to Wales to look after his old inheritance. Hervey thus
became second in command, and planned a campaign in concert with the
Dublin garrison. Earl Richard accompanied him to Cashel, but the intended
junction was not effected. Donald O'Brien's homage to Henry II. did not
prevent him from hindering his representative, and at Thurles he
surprised and totally defeated the Dublin division. No less than 400
Danes are said by Giraldus to have fallen, which shows that a portion of
that nation had accepted the alliance of their Teutonic kindred. The
O'Briens were aided by a large contingent from Connaught, but it does not
appear that Roderic was himself present. The immediate result of this
defeat was the recall of Raymond and his marriage to Basilia. He easily
put down a partial revolt of the Waterford and Wexford Danes; and,
finding himself indispensable, remained at Wexford until his bride was
brought to him. The honeymoon was scarcely begun when news came that
Roderic was wasting Meath, and had penetrated nearly to Dublin. Raymond
hastened thither, and the Connaught men retired before him. Castles,
according to Giraldus, were already built at Trim and Duleek; but they
had not proved strong enough to resist Roderic, and Raymond's first care
was to restore and strengthen them. The adventurers, most of whom were
already nearly related, were still more closely united by the marriage of
Hervey to Raymond's sister Nesta, and of Earl Richard's daughter Aline to
William Fitzgerald.

[Sidenote: The adventurers fail to hold Limerick. William Fitz-Adelm made

[Sidenote: Death of Strongbow, 1176.]

Donald O'Brien was not left long to enjoy his victory. Limerick was taken
by a sudden onslaught under Raymond, and the bounds of the colony were
advanced as far as they had yet been. Raymond still lingered on the
Shannon, where he received a loving letter from his wife, in which she
informed him 'that the great molar tooth, which had been hurting her so
much, had now fallen out.' He could not read, but his chaplain secretly
imparted the contents of the paper, and he guessed that Basilia alluded
to the death of her brother, who had been for some time ill. He hurried
to Dublin, and found that Earl Richard was indeed dead. Deprived of their
leader, and probably hard pressed by the Irish, the Normans thought it
prudent to evacuate Limerick. It was surrendered to Donald O'Brien, who
set fire to the city in four places as soon as they were gone. When the
King heard of this he remarked that the abandonment of Limerick was the
only wise thing that had been done concerning it. The Normans chose
Raymond their governor in Earl Richard's room; but he was quickly
superseded by William Fitz-Adelm de Burgh, whom Henry sent over as
Viceroy with large powers.

[Sidenote: Fitz-Adelm depresses the adventurers.]

According to Giraldus, the new governor did all in his power to depress
the adventurers of Nesta's stock. Raymond came to meet him with a chosen
band of his relations and friends finely mounted and armed. Instead of
being conciliated, the Viceroy muttered to his suite, 'I will soon cut
short this pride and disperse these shields.' According to the same
authority, he took advantage of the death of Maurice Fitzgerald to
defraud that leader's children. Giraldus is partial, but it is easy to
see that official governors were from the first jealous of the local
magnates, and were disposed to engross all influence. Fitz-Adelm did
little or nothing to increase the Norman power in Ireland, and he was
recalled in 1177.

[Sidenote: Treaty between Henry II. and Roderic O'Connor.]

In October 1175, not long before the death of Earl Richard, Henry II.
made a treaty with Roderic O'Connor, which must be understood as a kind
of declaration of policy. The commissaries who attended at Windsor on
Roderic's part were Catholicus, or Keyly O'Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam, the
Abbot of Ardfert, and the King of Connaught's Brehon, whom Giraldus calls
his Chancellor. The Archbishop of Dublin, St. Lawrence O'Toole, was among
the witnesses to the instrument by which Henry granted 'to his liege man
Roderic, King of Connaught, as long as he should serve faithfully, to be
King under him, ready to serve him as his man, and to hold his land well
and peacefully, as he held it before the King of England's entry into
Ireland, paying him tribute.' Should he be unable to maintain his
authority, the King's forces were to help him. The tribute was to be one
in every ten marketable hides. Roderic was not to meddle with those lands
which the King held in his own hands, or in those of his barons: that is
to say, Dublin with its appurtenances; Meath with its appurtenances, in
as ample a manner as Murchat O'Melaghlin had held it; Wexford with its
appurtenances, and all Leinster; Waterford and Dungarvan with its
appurtenances, and all the lands between the two places. Irish fugitives
willing to return into the King's land were to have peace on paying the
aforesaid tribute, 'or by performing the ancient accustomed services for
their lands.' Those who would not return were to be coerced by the King
of Connaught, who was to take hostages from all whom the King granted to
him, and to give hostages on his own part wherever the King required him.
No refugees from the King's lands were to be entertained by Irishmen
under any pretence. At the same time, as if to mark the fact that
Irishmen were his own subjects as well as Normans, Henry appointed
Augustine O'Sealbhaigh to the bishopric of Waterford, and sent him, in
charge of the Archbishop of Dublin, to be consecrated by the Archbishop
of Cashel. This was a confirmation of the Eugenian constitution, and put
an end to the succession of the Danish bishops through Canterbury. Henry
had no wish to have future Beckets interfering in Ireland. Canterbury was
near and Rome was far.

[Sidenote: Henry's original policy frustrated by De Courcy.]

The treaty with Roderic, if we accept it as Hoveden and Benedict have
handed it down, shows that a full conquest of Ireland was not intended by
Henry II. The possession of the port-towns gave him the command of St.
George's Channel, and a control over the trade of the island. He had seen
enough to know that a permanent conquest was beyond the power of a feudal
army, and his policy was to balance the adventurers, his own creation De
Lacy, and the native princes against each other. Fitz-Adelm, a subtle
intriguer with an eye for money, probably seemed a fitter instrument for
his purpose than any enterprising soldier. But Fitz-Adelm brought with
him to Ireland one of those restless and unscrupulous men of action, who
sometimes disconcert the best laid plans of statesmen. John De Courcy is
represented by Giraldus as a tall, fair man, of immense strength and
extraordinary audacity, an experienced warrior, though often more of a
partisan than a general; but religious in his way, and ever ready to
ascribe to God the glory of any successful exploit. He was the patron of
the monk Jocelin, who wove such a tangled web about St. Patrick, and he
carried with him everywhere a tract of St. Columba, which was supposed to
point him out as the destined conqueror of Ulster. Seeing that neither
gain nor glory could be had under the Viceroy, De Courcy, in January
1177, boldly marched into Ulster with twenty-two knights and 300 chosen
men. Among the knights were Almaric St. Lawrence, ancestor of the Howth
family, and Roger le Poer, apparently a collateral ancestor of the Powers
and Eustaces. In the course of a year or two, though by no means always
successful in battle, De Courcy made himself supreme in eastern Ulster.
Where they had the advantage of the ground, the natives were too much for
the adventurers; but in a fair field a hundred Normans, at least under
such a leader as De Courcy, were more than a match for 1,000 Irish.
Discipline and steadiness soon gave them the coast, and the castles which
they built everywhere enabled them to make war or peace as they pleased.
Downpatrick was John de Courcy's capital.

[Sidenote: De Courcy and De Lacy. Castle-building.]

O'Donlevy, chief king of Uladh, or that part of Ulster now comprised in
Antrim and Down, had done homage to Henry II., and imagined that he would
be thus secured from invasion. But the King evidently understood the
matter differently, for De Courcy had a grant from him of such northern
lands as he could conquer. Fitz-Adelm having failed as a Viceroy, Henry
now fell back upon Hugo de Lacy, who perhaps dreamed of making himself
independent. He distinguished himself by good government from 1177 to
1181, and by showing favour to the Irish; and he married a daughter of
Roderic O'Connor without the King's consent. Henry accordingly sent for
De Lacy to England, and gave the viceregal authority to John, Constable
of Chester. The Lord of Meath succeeded in making his peace, and was soon
restored to the government; Robert of Salisbury, a priest, being sent as
a spy upon him. De Lacy covered his own district with castles, Trim being
his capital. Delvin he granted to William Nugent, his sister Rose's
husband, who became the ancestor of the Earls of Westmeath. Other estates
he gave to his friends and followers, who founded many of the families of
the Pale. The Flemings, Lords of Slane, became the most important of
these. Other barons followed the example of De Lacy; and Giraldus
mentions that by the year 1182 castles were built at or near Newtown
Barry, Castle Dermot, Leighlin, Timahoe, Athy, Narragh, and other places.
The Meath castles, says the chronicler, were too many to mention by name.

[Sidenote: John designated as King of Ireland.]

As early as 1177 Henry had nominated his son John King of Ireland. For
this he had the leave of Alexander III., and in 1186 Urban III. actually
sent a crown of peacock's feathers set in gold for the King to crown one
of his sons, the choice being left to him. The intervening Pope, Lucius
III., had opposed the plan, and this may have been the reason why it was
never carried out. Or the King may have hesitated to repeat even in
John's favour an experiment which had succeeded so ill in the case of his
eldest son. The Oxford nomination of 1177 was allowed to take effect only
so as to constitute John Lord of Ireland, and this title was afterwards
assumed by the Kings of England. In the sixteenth century it was by some
taken as evidence that the crown in Ireland was subject to the popes. But
the idea of a separate, though subordinate, kingdom was very nearly
realised. The acts of the colony were from the date of the Oxford Council
executed in the name of 'John, Lord of Ireland, son of the King of
England,' and the first Anglo-Norman coinage bore his face.

[Sidenote: John sent to Ireland as Viceroy.]

On March 31, 1185, the King knighted John at Windsor, and on April 24 the
latter, who was in his nineteenth year, sailed from Milford Haven, with
300 knights and a large body of troops. The expedition reached Waterford
in safety next day, and the neighbouring chiefs flocked to do honour to
the King's son, and to give him the kiss of peace. The Anglo-Norman
courtiers--young men mostly--pulled their long beards, and they at once
departed to the hostile chiefs, Roderic O'Connor, Donnell O'Brien, and
Dermod MacCarthy. All chance of conciliating the more powerful and
distant potentates was thus taken away. Giraldus Cambrensis was present
at Waterford, and he likens John to Rehoboam. The Irish, who had adhered
to the invaders since Fitz-Stephen's first landing, were deprived of
their lands; the castles were given up to favourites, who did nothing but
eat, drink, and plunder; the worst officers were put in the best places,
and the men, as a natural consequence, were as bad as their masters,
devoted to Venus and Bacchus, but neglectful of Mars. Hoveden adds that
John put all the profits of government into his own pocket, and that his
soldiers being unpaid were useless in war. The three castles projected by
his father were built; but he lost many to the Irish, and De Lacy was
suspected of intriguing against him. It is clear that there could be no
confidence in a prince whose chief care was to rob and displace the men
who had won his principality for him. The disastrous experiment lasted
only eight months, when John returned to England, leaving the government
to John de Courcy, who retained power until the death of Henry II. The
Lough Cé annalists, who wrote beyond the Shannon, give the following
account of John's expedition:--'The son of the King of the Saxons came to
assume the sovereignty of Erin ... afterwards he went across to complain
of Hugo de Lacy to his father; for it was Hugo de Lacy that was King of
Erin when the son of the King of the Saxons came, and he permitted not
the men of Erin to give tribute or hostages to him.' To the Irish
bordering on Meath no doubt De Lacy seemed a veritable king. The Four
Masters, who were better acquainted with the English theory of
government, repeat this; but soften Hugo's title of king into that of the
King of England's deputy.

[Sidenote: Murder of Hugh de Lacy. The colony continues to extend.]

In or out of office, De Lacy continued to increase his dominion in Meath,
but his career was cut short not long after John's departure. Having
encroached upon the lands of the O'Caharneys, he was murdered while
building a castle at Durrow by a foster-relation of the injured clan. His
death was a great blow to the colonists, but his son Hugo succeeded to
scarcely diminished power, and is accused by Giraldus of systematically
thwarting De Courcy. Fitz-Stephen meanwhile was carving out a
principality in Munster, where he would be tolerably free from official
interference. He and Milo de Cogan were joint grantees of Cork, and the
latter married his daughter Catherine to Maurice, son of Raymond le Gros,
to whom Dermod MacCarthy had given a portion of North Kerry. From this
alliance the Fitzmaurices sprung. It is probable that in granting the
land of the O'Connors to a stranger, Dermod gave that over which he had
no real authority. The territory immediately round the city of Cork was
divided between Fitz-Stephen and Cogan, the former taking that lying to
the east, and the latter that lying to the west. Fitz-Stephen's share
passed to his sister's son, Philip de Barry. Before the death of Henry
II. the country about Cork was studded with castles, but it is impossible
to say how far it was really conquered. Intermarriages with the Irish
were no doubt common from the first. The example set by Strongbow and by
Hugo de Lacy was not likely to want imitators.

[Sidenote: No conquest of Ireland under Henry II.]

The conquest of Ireland by Henry II., as it used to be called, amounts on
the whole to this. The coast from Larne to Cork harbour was, at the date
of the King's death, strongly held by the invaders, all the ports being
in their hands, and the principal points being defended by castles. They
were also pretty firmly established on the south side of the Shannon
estuary. The rivers of Leinster were in their hands, and the central
plain almost, if not quite as far west as the Shannon. De Courcy had
begun to assert his dominion over Monaghan and Armagh. All the Danish
towns except Limerick were fully possessed by the conquerors. On the
other hand, the Irish were not expelled from any part of the island. The
mountains which extend almost uninterruptedly from Dublin to Waterford
still sheltered the O'Tooles, the O'Byrnes, the MacMurroughs, the
O'Nolans, and other clans. Fitz-Stephen had begun the conquest of what is
now the county of Cork, but the Irish were still in force on all sides of
the city. The natives generally had recovered in some degree from their
first alarm. The first invaders had been trained in mountain warfare, but
those who succeeded them were often quite unfit to dispute the possession
of hills and woods with the light-armed natives. And there were
jealousies between Normans, English, and Welsh, which went far to
neutralise the strength of the colony. Had it not been for the
dissensions of the Irish themselves, it is probable that they would have
confined the invaders to the east coast. It was a quarrel between Dermod
MacCarthy and his son which brought the Geraldines to Kerry; disputes
among the O'Connors introduced De Cogan, De Lacy, and De Courcy into
Connaught; and, though they effected nothing, they paved the way for the
De Burgos, to whose founder, William Fitz-Adelm, Henry granted the whole
of the western province. The King's troubles with his own sons, with the
Holy See, and with France, prevented him from attending to Ireland. It
would have been better for the peace of mankind had he made a real
conquest, instead of leaving it to barons, who lost much of their old
civilisation, and who disdained to learn anything from the weaker people
whom they oppressed.[34]


[29] Matthew Paris calls the Irish 'bestiales.'

[30] See the _Senchus Mór_, ii. 225.

[31] Giraldus, _Ex. Hib._ lib. i. cap. 2.

[32] In Webb's _Compendium of Irish Biography_ is a carefully compiled
catalogue of Nesta's children and grandchildren. I have generally
followed it, noting, however, that Fitz-Stephen's children cannot be held
legitimate in the face of Giraldus' distinct statement.

[33] The details of Henry's preparations may be studied in Sweetman's
_Calendar of Documents_.

[34] In narrating the events of Henry II.'s reign, I have generally
followed Giraldus Cambrensis, checking him by references to Hoveden and
Regan. The _Expugnatio_ may be considered a fanciful book in some ways.
But if we eliminate everything supernatural, and make some allowance for
the writer's prejudices, I see no reason to question his good faith. Of
the native Irish he knew little, but the invaders were his neighbours,
friends, and relations. Fitz-Stephen and the other descendants of Nesta
may be unduly praised, Fitz-Adelm perhaps unduly blamed; but, after all,
this is no more than may be said against most historians of their own
times. Giraldus was undoubtedly an observer of first-rate power.



[Sidenote: John acts as lord of Ireland under his father and brother.]

Richard I. did not interfere with his brother's jurisdiction over
Ireland, and this may be the reason why the records of the colony during
his reign are so scanty. The invaders, though they fought a good deal
among themselves, continued to extend their power, and gained a firm
footing in Connaught. Some years before the death of Henry II., Roderic's
sons had invited the Anglo-Normans into his kingdom, and in 1183 the last
monarch of Ireland retired to the abbey of Cong, where he died in 1198.
His brother Cathal Crovdearg, or Charles of the Red Hand, about whom many
marvellous stories are told, ultimately made himself supreme; but not
without the help of William Fitz-Adelm, who lost no opportunity of
advancing the claim given him by Henry's thoroughly unjustifiable grant.
Fitz-Adelm, who had made himself master of Limerick, at first opposed
Cathal Crovdearg, but joined him in 1201 and enabled him to triumph over
all competitors. The accession of John to the crown of England put an end
to the separate lordship of Ireland, but his successors, until the time
of Henry VIII., continued to call themselves only lords of Ireland. If
Berengaria had had children, it is possible, and even probable, that
Ireland would have passed to John's issue as a separate, or at the most a
tributary kingdom. The early years of John's reign were much disturbed by
a violent feud between the De Lacies and De Courcy. The King favoured the
former party, and in 1205 created the younger Hugo Earl of Ulster and
Viceroy. He proved an oppressive governor, over-taxing the King's
subjects to provide means for his foreign enterprises. The southern
colonists, in alliance with some of the natives, defeated the Viceroy
near Thurles, and the King began to fear that he had given too much power
to one family; for Walter de Lacy continued to rule Meath, while his
brother was all-powerful in the north and east. A royal army was
accordingly levied, and John prepared to revisit the lordship where he
had so signally failed twenty-five years before.

[Sidenote: King John visits Ireland.]

The excommunicated King sailed from Milford Haven with a motley army of
mercenaries, under command of Fair Rosamond's son, William Long-sword,
and landed on June 20, 1210, at the same place as his father had done.
Among his train were John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, whom Innocent III.
had refused to make Archbishop of Canterbury, and John de Courcy, who had
been captured and given up by the De Lacies, and who had suffered a
rigorous imprisonment, but was now again in favour with the King. John
did not let the grass grow under his feet. On the eighth day after his
arrival he was at Dublin, having travelled by Ross, Thomastown, Kilkenny,
and Naas. The first effect of his presence was to separate the two De
Lacies, and the Lord of Meath sent him the following message:--'Walter
salutes the King as his liege lord, of whom he holds all he possesses;
and prays the King to relax his ire, and suffer Walter to approach his
presence; Walter will not plead against the King, but places all his
castles and lands in the hands of the King as his lord, to retain or
restore as he pleases.' The messenger added that Walter had lost much by
his brother Hugo, and that he left him to the King's pleasure. It is
possible that this was said in consequence of an arrangement between the
two brothers. John was not pacified, and prepared to invade both Meath
and Ulster. Trim was reached by July 2, and Kells by the 4th, and the
Kings of Connaught and Thomond were summoned to take part in the
expedition to Ulster. Cathal Crovdearg and Donough O'Brien both obeyed
the King's order, and the royal army proceeded by Dundalk, Carlingford,
and Downpatrick to Carrickfergus. The latter place was taken and
garrisoned. Hugo de Lacy had already fled into Scotland. The King stayed
eight or nine days at Carrickfergus, where he was visited by Hugh
O'Neill, who does not appear to have made any real submission, and then
marched by Holywood, Downpatrick, Banbridge, and Carlingford to Drogheda.
From Drogheda he again entered Meath, visited Duleek and Kells, and seems
to have penetrated as far west as Granard. He was in Dublin by August 18,
and back to England before the end of the month, having spent sixty-six
days in Ireland. On his return from Ulster he had summoned Cathal
Crovdearg a second time, bidding him bring his son 'to receive a charter
for the third part of Connaught.' Over-persuaded by his wife, Cathal went
to the King alone. John's object may have been to make a hostage of the
boy, and he seized instead MacDermot of Moylurg, O'Hara of Sligo, and two
other men of importance in Connaught. Carrying these chiefs with him to
England, the King left the government of Ireland to Bishop de Grey, who
signalised his advent to power by building a castle and bridge at
Athlone. William de Braose, who had enormous estates in Ireland, was
driven into exile by John, who starved his wife and son to death, and
gave his castle of Carrigogunnel on the Shannon to Donough O'Brien.

[Sidenote: The Anglo-Normans flock to the King. He erects twelve shires.]

The Anglo-Norman barons of Ireland flocked to Dublin while John was
there, and swore to obey the laws of England. The King divided their
country into twelve counties: Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Uriel or Louth,
Carlow, Kilkenny, and Wexford in Leinster; and Waterford, Cork, Kerry,
Limerick, and Tipperary in Munster. Every knight's fee was bound to
supply a well-armed horseman, and inferior tenants were bound to provide
foot-soldiers. The Viceroy was to give a notice of forty days when the
feudal array was to muster at Dublin, and serve against the King's
enemies for forty days in each year. Ulster and Connaught were not
shired, but were afterwards sometimes regarded as counties. Perhaps the
nobles of these provinces were supposed to be constantly employed against
the Irish. The native chiefs were considered as tributary subjects, but
not as tenants. In 1215 John ordered the Archbishop of Dublin to buy
enough scarlet cloth to make robes for the Kings of Ireland; and it is
clear that they were expected to serve, though the exact measure of the
aid rendered may have been left to themselves.

[Sidenote: Leinster is divided after Earl Richard's death.]

When Strongbow died without a son the principality of Leinster fell to
his eldest daughter Isabel, who became a ward of the Crown. In 1189 the
minor was given in marriage to William Earl Marshal, who thus became Earl
of Pembroke and Strigul, and lord of a territory in Ireland,
corresponding nearly to the counties of Wexford, Kildare, Carlow,
Kilkenny, and part of the Queen's County. He built a castle and
incorporated a town at Kilkenny, and died in 1219, transmitting his
honours and great power to his son William. The younger William was
Viceroy in 1224, and depressed the De Lacies, allying himself generally
with Cathal Crovdearg O'Connor. He died in 1231, leaving all to his
brother Richard, who made good his position, although Henry III.'s
foreign advisers plotted his destruction. Strongbow's grandson was killed
in 1234 by the feudatories who were bound to defend him, and the colony
never recovered the blow.

[Sidenote: The De Burgos in Connaught.]

Fitz-Adelm's son, Richard de Burgo, generally called MacWilliam by the
Irish, married Una, Cathal Crovdearg's grand-daughter, and procured from
Henry III. a grant of all Connaught, except five cantreds reserved for
the support of the post at Athlone. From the first the position of the
Anglo-Normans in Connaught differed from their position in other parts of
Ireland. They were there rather as allies of the native chiefs than as
conquerors, and the easy lapse of their descendants into Irish habits is
the less to be wondered at. Richard de Burgo obtained a confirmation of
his grant in 1226, through the favour of his kinsman, the great
justiciar, Hubert, and he soon afterwards made himself master of Galway,
which he fortified strongly, and made the chief place of Connaught. After
his time the O'Connors never regained possession of it, and the
importance of the royal tribe steadily diminished during the whole of the
thirteenth century. Richard de Burgo's eldest son Walter married Maud,
daughter and heiress of the younger Hugo de Lacy, who died in 1243, and
he thus became Earl of Ulster as well as Lord of Connaught. His son
Richard, commonly called the Red Earl, advanced the power of the
Anglo-Norman state to the furthest point which it ever attained.

[Sidenote: Poverty of the colony under Henry III.]

Constant war is not favourable to the production of wealth, and it seems
probable that no very considerable progress was made in the arts of
peace. Tallage was first imposed on Ireland in 1217, in the name of Henry
III., but it seems to have yielded little, and a generation later there
was equal difficulty in collecting a tithe for the Pope. Innocent IV.
ordered that a sum should be so raised for the liberation of the Holy
Land, and very stringent letters were sent to Ireland in 1254; but
collector Lawrence Sumercote declared that the difficulties were
insuperable. The Irish, he explained, never saved anything, but lived
riotously and gave liberally to all, and he professed that he would
'rather be imprisoned than crucified any longer in Ireland for the
business of the Cross.' The plan of drawing upon Ireland for English or
Continental wars was, however, largely practised during the reign of
Henry III., and it tended to sap the strength of the colony. Ready money
might be scarce, but there were men, and they could be ill-spared from
the work of defending their lands against a native race who were ever on
the watch to take advantage of their absence or neglect.

[Sidenote: Edward I. had not time to attend to Ireland personally.]

A vast number of documents remain to show that Edward I. took great pains
about Ireland. Phelim O'Connor, who died in 1265, may be regarded as the
last King of Connaught. His son Hugh did indeed assume the title, and,
according to the annalists, 'executed his royal depredations on the men
of Offaly, where he committed many burnings and killings;' but his
kingship does not appear to have been officially recognised, and the De
Burgos were the true rulers. The Red Earl was supreme in the northern
half of Ireland; but O'Neill was recognised as King of Tyrone, while his
claim to be head of all the Irish in Ireland was denied. O'Cahan was also
sometimes given the title of king. O'Donnell was treated with less
respect, and a price was set upon his head, which appears to have been
actually brought to Dublin in 1283. In 1281 Hugh Boy O'Neill, whom the
annalists call 'royal heir of all Erin, head of the hospitality and
valour of the Gael,' sided with the English against Donnell Oge
O'Donnell, who is called 'King of the north, the best Gael for
hospitality and dignity; the general guardian of the west of Europe, and
the knitting-needle of the arch sovereignty, and the rivetting hammer of
every good law, and the top-nut of the Gael in valour.' A battle was
fought near Dungannon, and O'Donnell, who had under him the O'Rourkes and
MacMahons, and 'nearly the majority of the Irish of Connaught and
Ulster,' was defeated and slain. Two years later Hugh Boy was killed by
the MacMahons. The story of this contest is a good illustration of the
hopeless incapacity of the natives for anything like a national
combination. If Edward I. had been able to attend to Ireland personally,
it is at least probable that he would have conquered the country as
completely as Wales.

[Sidenote: Frequency of quarrels among the colonists.]

In 1275, Edward granted the whole of Thomond to Thomas de Clare, who took
advantage of the dissensions among the O'Briens, and built the strong
castle of Bunratty to dominate the district. The conquest of Thomond was,
however, never completed, or nearly completed, nor did the De Clares
succeed in establishing themselves like the De Burgos. They might have
done so had they not come so late into the field, and their failure was
certainly not owing to any exceptional power of combination shown by the
Irish. It was rather due to quarrels among the colonists, whose strength
was being constantly sapped by taking part in Edward's Scotch wars, and
who were not recruited by any considerable immigration. In 1245, the male
line of the Earl Marshal was finally extinguished, and the inheritance of
Strongbow fell to five sisters, the great grand-daughters of Dermod
MacMurrough. Matilda, the eldest, obtained Carlow and carried the
hereditary office of Earl Marshal to her husband, Hugh Bigot, Earl of
Norfolk. Joan, the second, received Wexford. Isabella, the third, had
Kilkenny, which her descendants sold to the Ormonde family. Sibilla, the
fourth, had Kildare for her share. Eva, the youngest sister, married
William De Braose; and through her daughter, who was married to Roger
Mortimer, became ancestress of most of the royal houses of Europe. As
the five daughters of William Earl Marshal were all married, and had all
children, the history of Leinster becomes very confusing. Had it remained
in one strong hand the Irish would hardly have recovered their ground.
But, as Giraldus points out, the 'four great pillars of the conquest,
Fitz-Stephen, Hervey, Raymond, and John de Courcy, by the hidden but
never unjust judgment of God, were not blessed with any legitimate
offspring.' A similar fatality attended many others, including Earl
Richard, to whom, and not to Fitz-Stephen, common fame, more true in this
case than contemporary history, has attributed the real leadership among
the Anglo-Norman invaders of Ireland.

[Sidenote: Edward I. weakens the colony by drawing men and supplies from

In his great campaign of 1296 Edward had much help from Ireland. The Earl
of Ulster was among those who led contingents to Scotland, and the names
of Power, Butler, Fitzthomas, Wogan, Rocheford, Purcell, Cantoke, and
Barry appear among the leaders. The whole force from Ireland consisted of
310 men-at-arms, 266 hobelers or horsemen with unarmoured horses, and
2,576 foot, including many archers and cross-bowmen. All who went
received pardons, but some refused or neglected to obey the royal
summons. In 1298 Edward drew provisions from Ireland. His requisition
included 8,000 quarters of wheat, chiefly fine flour in casks; 10,000
quarters of oats; much bran, bacon, salt beef, and salt fish; and 10,000
casks of wine. If so much wine could not be got in Ireland, then the
Viceroy was to agree with some merchant to bring it from Gascony as quick
as possible. Edward used Ireland as a base for operations, or as a
recruiting ground, but he never had time to give it much of his personal
care. First Wales, then Gascony, then Palestine, then Scotland engrossed
his vast energies; but Ireland was left to herself. Without the means to
keep order themselves, Viceroys found it necessary to preserve the colony
by stirring up dissensions among the Irish. The justiciar, Robert
d'Ufford, was sent for by Edward and charged with this evil policy. He
answered, that to save the King's coffers, and to keep the peace, he
thought it expedient to wink at one knave cutting off another. 'Whereat,'
says an old author, 'the King smiled, and bade him return to Ireland.'

[Sidenote: Disorders after the death of Edward I.]

John's imperfect partition of Ireland into shires was still more
imperfectly carried out. At the death of Edward I. four out of his
grandfather's twelve counties--namely, Meath, Wexford, Carlow, and
Kilkenny--were liberties or exempt jurisdictions in the hands of what
Davies calls 'absolute palatines,' claiming and exercising almost every
attribute of sovereignty. The Fitzgeralds had acquired similar authority
over a portion of Desmond, and the De Clares over a portion of Thomond.
Connaught and Ulster were under the De Burghs, in so far as they had been
reduced at all, and Roscommon was a royal castle and the head of a
separate county. At Randon on Lough Ree was another royal castle, and
these were almost the only strongholds of the Crown in Connaught; for
Galway was quite subject to the De Burghs. Within their palatinate
jurisdictions, the great nobles made barons and knights, appointed
sheriffs, and executed justice. The King's writ only ran in the Church
lands, and was executed by a separate sheriff. So complete was the
distinction, that in the mediæval parliaments knights were separately
returned for the counties and for the 'crosses,' as the ecclesiastical
jurisdictions were called. The inherent weakness of such a polity was
probably aggravated by the suppression of the Templars, who always kept a
strong armed force. In 1308 Edward II. called for an account of their
lands and revenues, and the barons of the exchequer answered that they
could make no proper inquisition. 'On account,' they wrote, 'of the long
distances, and of the feuds between certain of the magnates of Ireland,
we do not dare to visit the places named, and jurors of the country
cannot come to us for the same reason.'

[Sidenote: Reasons why the colony declined. The Bruces invade Ireland.]

Dissensions among the barons, caused by the weakness and absence of the
Crown, were one great cause of the decline of the colony. Another was the
policy of Edward I., which left him little time to attend to Ireland, and
tempted him constantly to draw supplies of men from thence. A third was
the battle of Bannockburn, which allowed victorious Scotland to compete
with England for the dominion of the neighbouring island; and the Irish
themselves were not slow to adopt the principle that England's difficulty
is Ireland's opportunity. In 1315 Edward Bruce landed near Larne with
6,000 men, including some of the best knights in Scotland. Having been
joined by O'Neill and the chiefs depending on him, Bruce twice defeated
the Red Earl of Ulster, occupied the strongholds of Down and Antrim, and
wintered in Westmeath. In the spring he overthrew the Viceroy, Sir Edmund
Butler, at Ardscull, for the Earl of Ulster disdained to serve under the
King's representative, and the English armies were therefore beaten in
detail. Bruce gained another battle at Kells, wasted all northern
Leinster, and then returned to Carrickfergus, where he was joined by King
Robert with reinforcements. The Scots went almost where they liked, and
Robert Bruce is said to have heard mass at Limerick on Palm Sunday, 1317.
They did not cross the Shannon, and seem not to have gone further south
than Cashel. Dublin was not attacked, though the invaders came as near as
Castleknock. On Easter Thursday, 1317, Roger Mortimer landed at Youghal
with 15,000 men and full viceregal powers, and the Bruces retired before
him into Ulster. They had devastated the country, and lost many men from
the famine which they themselves had caused.

[Sidenote: The Bruces fail to conquer Ireland.]

The Bruces were descended from Strongbow and from Dermod MacMurrough, and
Robert's wife was descended from Roderic O'Connor. The true principles of
hereditary succession were not fully accepted, and they might pretend
some right to interfere in Ireland. They had been invited by the De
Lacies of Meath, who for want of male heirs saw their territory divided
between De Verdon and De Mortimer. In the first flush of his victorious
advance from the south, Roger Mortimer called the De Lacies before him.
They refused to appear, and were proclaimed traitors, but continued to
adhere to Edward Bruce's fortunes. The invader, after his brother's
departure, remained for more than a year at Carrickfergus, in hopes of
being able to take the offensive again, and still retaining the title of
King, which he had assumed after his first successes. He had been so
often victorious in battle that he despised the colonists, and, against
the advice of his Irish allies, resolved to fight once more without
waiting for reinforcements from Scotland. John de Bermingham, at the head
of an army which greatly outnumbered the Scots, forced an engagement
between Faughard and Dundalk, and Bruce and most of his officers were
killed. The remnant of his army, with Walter and Hugo de Lacy, managed to
escape to Scotland. The sovereignty of the English Crown in Ireland was
never again seriously disputed; but the feudal organisation was shattered
by Bruce's invasion, which did nothing to compose the differences already
existing among the colonists. John de Bermingham received a grant of
Louth with the title of earl, but his great services were soon forgotten,
and eleven years after the battle of Dundalk he was murdered by the
English of his own earldom.

[Sidenote: Horrible cruelties of the Bruces.]

English and Irish are agreed as to the cruelty and ferocity of the
Bruces. Clyn the Franciscan records, in terse and vigorous Latin, that
'Robert Bruce, who bore himself as King of the Scots, crossed Ireland
from Ulster, where he landed, almost to Limerick, burning, killing,
plundering, and spoiling towns, castles, and even churches, both going
and returning.' Clyn was an English partisan, but the same cannot be said
of the Lough Cé annalists, who record that 'Edward Bruce, the destroyer
of all Erin in general, both foreigners and Gaels, was slain by the
foreigners of Erin, through the power of battle and bravery at Dundalk;
and MacRory, King of the Hebrides, and MacDonnell, King of Argyll,
together with the men of Scotland, were slain there along with him; and
no better deed for the men of all Erin was performed since the beginning
of the world, since the Formorian race was expelled from Erin, than this
deed; for theft, and famine, and destruction of men occurred throughout
Erin during his time for the space of three years and a half; and people
used to eat one another, without doubt, throughout Erin.'

[Sidenote: The Irish fail to give the Bruces effectual support.]

There can, however, be no doubt that Edward Bruce came to Ireland on the
invitation of the Irish. Donnell O'Neill, claiming to be the true heir to
the chief kingship, and the other chiefs, in the famous remonstrance
which they addressed to John XXII., informed that Pope that they felt
helpless for want of a leader, but were determined no longer to submit
like women to Anglo-Norman oppression, and that they had therefore
invited over 'the brother of the most illustrious Lord Robert, by the
grace of God King of the Scots, and a descendant of the most noble of
their own ancestors,' and that they had by letters patent constituted him
king and lord. The blood of Roderic O'Connor and of Eva evidently went
for something, but the chiefs also believed that Edward Bruce was 'a
person of piety and prudence, of a chaste and modest disposition, of
great sobriety, and altogether orderly and unassuming in his demeanour.'
Scottish historians are not entirely of the same opinion. It is indeed
probable that Bruce had no other idea than to carve out a kingdom with
his sword, like a genuine Norman as he was. He had the memory of Earl
Richard, of Fitz-Stephen, and of De Courcy to guide him; and if a more
modern instance was required, there could be none better than that of his
brother Robert.

[Illustration: IRELAND ABOUT 1300.]



[Sidenote: The Irish never united. The O'Connors are almost destroyed by
the De Burgos.]

The Irish invited Bruce, but they made no regular or general effort in
his favour. Their total incapacity for anything like national
organisation had forbidden the idea of a native sovereign, and perhaps
the majority of them thought one Norman baron no better than another. The
year 1316, in which Bruce landed, witnessed the almost total destruction
of the O'Connors, the tribe which had last held the chief kingship. Their
relationship with the De Burgos, Berminghams, and other Anglo-Normans may
be traced in great detail in the annalists. Felim O'Connor, whom the
Connaught historiographers call undisputed heir presumptive to the
sovereignty of Erin, formed one of those great confederacies which occur
so frequently in Irish history, and which so seldom had any results. The
O'Kellys, MacDermods, O'Maddens, O'Dowds, O'Haras, O'Kearneys,
O'Farrells, MacMahons, and many others were represented; and the
Anglo-Normans, who also mustered in great force, were commanded by the
Red Earl's brother, Sir William de Burgo, and by Richard Bermingham,
fourth baron of Athenry, at the gate of which town the decisive struggle
took place. The Irish were defeated with the loss of something like
10,000 men. Felim O'Connor fell, and his tribe never recovered its
position in Connaught. In late times we have O'Connor Don and O'Connor
Roe in Roscommon, O'Connor Sligo, O'Connor Kerry near the mouth of the
Shannon, and O'Connor Faly in what is now the King's County, but the De
Burgos became supreme in Connaught.

[Sidenote: The Irish recover ground under Edward II. and his successors.]

In other parts of Ireland the Celts were more successful. In 1317 or 1318
the O'Carrolls gained a victory over Sir Edmund Butler, but Clyn places
his loss at about two hundred only. More important was the battle of
Disert O'Dea, in which Richard de Clare was defeated and slain. This
fight destroyed the pretensions of the De Clares, and the O'Briens
remained supreme in Thomond as long as such supremacies lasted anywhere.
In Leinster, too, the Irish became more and more troublesome, and Clyn
unwillingly records successes of the O'Nolans and O'Tooles over the Poers
and other settlers. The dissensions of the colonists were yet more fatal
than the prowess of the natives. Eva's descendants were for ever fighting
among themselves, and it was the Red Earl's jealousy of Sir Edmund Butler
which prevented a united effort from being made against Bruce. 'After
having violently expelled us,' wrote the Irish to John XXII., 'from our
spacious habitations and patrimonial inheritances, they have compelled us
to repair, in the hope of saving our lives, to mountains and woods, to
bogs and barren wastes, and to the caves of the rocks, where, like the
beasts, we have long been fain to dwell.' The close of Edward II.'s reign
saw them everywhere ready to descend from their hills, and to emerge from
their woods. For nearly two hundred years the history of Ireland is in
the main a history of Celtic gains at the expense of Anglo-Normans and
Englishmen; if, indeed, anarchy can rightly be accounted gain to any race
or community of men.

[Sidenote: The last Earl of Ulster is murdered, 1333. The De Burgos and
other Anglo-Normans assume Irish names and habits.]

In 1326 the Red Earl of Ulster retired into the monastery of Athassel,
where he died soon afterwards. His great power descended to his grandson
William, who was murdered at or near Carrickfergus in 1333 by the
Mandevilles and other Ulster colonists. By his wife, Maud Plantagenet,
great-grand-daughter of Henry III., he left one child, Elizabeth, who was
only a few months old at the date of his murder. Twenty years afterwards
she married Lionel Duke of Clarence, and became ancestress of the Tudors
and Stuarts. The Earldom of Ulster thus ultimately merged in the Crown.
But the Irish De Burgos refused to acknowledge a baby, who, as a royal
ward, would be brought up independently of them; and they preferred to
follow the sons of Sir William, the Red Earl's brother. William the
elder assumed the title of MacWilliam Uachtar, or the Upper, took all
Galway for his portion, and became ancestor of the Clanricarde family.
His brother, Sir Edmund, as MacWilliam Iochtar, or the Lower, took Mayo,
and founded the family which bears that title. They threw off their
allegiance to England, and became more Irish than the Irish. They
reappear in the sixteenth century under the modern name of Burke. About
the same time several other Anglo-Normans assumed Irish names. The
Stauntons became MacAveelys; the Berminghams MacFeoris; the D'Exeters,
MacJordans; the Barretts, MacAndrews, MacThomins, MacRoberts, and
MacPaddins; the Nangles, MacCostelloes; the Mayo Prendergasts,
MacMaurices. The De Burgos themselves had many subordinate branches, each
with its peculiar Irish name, as MacDavid, MacPhilbin, MacShoneen,
MacGibbon, MacWalter, and MacRaymond. Nor was the practice confined to
Connaught. Some of the Leinster Fitzgeralds became MacThomases and
MacBarons; and some of the same house in Munster were transfigured into
MacGibbons, MacThomaisins, and MacEdmonds. Many other Anglo-Normans or
English families were more or less completely transformed in the same
way. It is only necessary to mention that the Wesleys or Wellesleys, who
gave England its greatest captain, were sometimes called MacFabrenes; and
that the Bissetts of Antrim, whose connections in Scotland gave the
Tudors such trouble, may still be traced as Makeons. In the district near
Dublin, which got the name of the English Pale, some Irish residents took
English names, and the practice was encouraged by a statute of Edward IV.
There is probably no country in Europe where the population is so
thoroughly mixed as it is in Ireland.

[Sidenote: Edward III. creates three great earldoms: Kildare, Desmond,
and Ormonde.]

As the Earls of Ulster disappear, other families attain prominence, and
the earlier Tudor history is mainly occupied with the struggles of three
earldoms, created in the first half of the fourteenth century. The name
Geraldine, to which Giraldus Cambrensis gave a more extended
signification, was in later times confined to the descendants of Maurice
Fitzgerald, one of Nesta's many sons. One branch was firmly settled in
Kildare before the death of Henry II., and in the reign of Edward I. the
head of it was John Fitz-Thomas, whose dissensions with William de Vesci,
Lord of Kildare, ended in an appeal to the King, and a challenge to the
trial by combat. Fitz-Thomas was the challenger, and on his adversary
failing to appear, he received a royal grant of De Vesci's lands. In 1316
Edward II. created him Earl of Kildare, and the Duke of Leinster is
descended from him. During most of the fifteenth century, and for the
first third of the sixteenth, this was on the whole the most powerful
family in Ireland. The Earls of Kildare commanded the whole strength of
that county, and its proximity to Dublin often enabled them to control
the government. Meath was too much divided for its proprietors to act as
a counterpoise, and the strength of the rival house of Ormonde lay at a
distance from the capital, and was exposed to attacks from another branch
of the Geraldines, whose chief was created Earl of Desmond in 1329. The
Desmonds first rose at the expense of the MacCarthies in Kerry. A
marriage with the heiress of Fitz-Anthony brought them the western half
of the county Waterford and other large estates. This lady's son married
the heiress of the Cogans, and her great property in Cork was added to
the rest. The Desmonds never became quite so completely Hibernicised as
the De Burgos; but they attained something very like independence, and
more than once proved too strong for the government. The third great
earldom was founded in the person of Edmund Butler, who was created Earl
of Carrick in 1315; the better known title of Ormonde being conferred on
his son James in 1328. The founder of the family was Theobald
Fitz-Walter, who accompanied Henry II. to Ireland, and was by him made
hereditary butler with a grant of the prisage of wines. The name of
office was adopted by his descendants, who derived great advantage from
the grant. Ormonde is properly the northern part of Tipperary, but the
earls became palatine lords of nearly all the county, and owners of vast
estates in Kilkenny and Wexford. Their principal castles were Kilkenny,
Gowran, Carrick-on-Suir, and Arklow. The possession of the latter place
gave them ready access to England, and through all turns of weal and woe
they ever remained faithful to the Crown. If regard be had to the length
of time that it retained eminence, or to the average ability of its
chiefs, or to its comparative civilisation in rude times, the House of
Ormonde must be accounted the most distinguished of the Anglo-Norman
families of Ireland.

[Sidenote: Towns in Ireland: Dublin and Drogheda.]

The native Irish had no regular towns. The Anglo-Normans took possession
of those founded by the Ostmen, which were all on the coast, and founded
many others, of which only three or four, and those not the most
important, were at a distance from navigable rivers. Athassel in
Tipperary is sometimes called a town, but it never became a municipality,
and can have been little more than an aggregation of poor houses about
the great monastery, and there may have been other similar cases. Dublin
obtained its first charter from Henry II. in 1171 or 1172, and Drogheda
from Henry III. in 1229.

'Dublin and Drogheda,' says the historian of the Irish capital, 'were
neither distinctly English nor Irish. Their citizens, as tax-contributing
and acknowledged subjects of England, relied on her for protection
against oppressive Anglo-Norman nobles and hostile natives. The
Irish--unless Anglicised--had no legal part in these communities, but
continuous mutual intercourse was sustained by the advantages derived
from traffic.' 'In our documents,' adds the same writer, 'Scandinavians
or Ostmans but rarely appear, although in 1215 the latter people were of
sufficient importance to have been associated with the English of Dublin
by King John as parties to an inquiry held there by his justiciary. The
proportion of the various national elements cannot be absolutely
determined by the forms of names;' for many names originated in personal
peculiarities, many were translated from one language to another, and
many Irishmen became denizens, and adopted an English patronymic. The
'Irish town' which exists outside the old bounds of Dublin, Limerick,
Kilkenny, Clonmel, and other places, doubtless perpetuates the memory of
a time when the natives congregated in the neighbourhood of civic
communities to which they did not belong.[35]

[Sidenote: Other towns: Limerick, Waterford, and Cork the chief.]

What has been said of Dublin and Drogheda applies to the other cities and
towns of Ireland. Limerick received its first charter from John in 1197,
Waterford from the same prince in 1206, and Cork from Henry III. in 1242.
These were the chief centres of trade and of English law in the south of
Ireland. The less important municipalities owed their origin generally to
some great noble, the Crown afterwards adopting them and granting fresh
privileges. Kilkenny received a charter from the Earl Marshal between
1202 and 1218. New Ross, well situated at the junction of the Nore and
Barrow, belonged to the same great man, and excited the jealousy of
Waterford at least as early as 1215. Clonmel was included in a grant made
by Henry II. to Otho de Grandison. It passed into the hands of the De
Burgos, who probably incorporated it, and who received a royal grant to
hold a fair there in 1225. Fethard, Callan, Gowran, and other inland
towns were of less consequence, but were still distinctly English in
origin and character. Youghal and Kinsale were also corporate towns. The
latter received a charter from Edward III. in 1333, and the former, which
had been long identified with the Desmond family, seems not to have been
regularly incorporated till 1462. The Kinsale charter recites that the
town was surrounded by Irish enemies and English rebels, and that the
burgesses were worn out in repelling the same. The mediæval kings
commonly granted the customs and tolls of loyal towns to be expended by
the inhabitants in repairing their walls.

[Sidenote: Galway.]

Galway has a history of its own. The O'Connors had a fortified post there
before the Anglo-Norman invasion, and it soon attracted the attention of
the invaders. In 1232 it was for the first time taken by Richard de
Burgo, who lost it once, but recovered it and made it the capital of his
province. The building of the walls was begun about the beginning of the
reign of Edward I., and murage charters were granted probably by that
king, and certainly by Edward III. and Richard II. A charter of
incorporation was granted in 1396, but the names of certain chief
magistrates, provosts, portreeves, and sovereigns, are preserved from
1274 to 1485, when the first mayor took office. Fourteen English
families, afterwards known as the tribes of Galway, engrossed civic
power, and from 1485 to 1654 every mayor, with a single doubtful
exception, was chosen from among them. When the De Burgos turned Irish
and renounced their allegiance, the loyal citizens soon learned to treat
them as enemies, and in 1518 the corporation resolved that no inhabitant
should receive into his house 'at Christmas, Easter, nor no feast else,
any of the Burkes, MacWilliams, the Kellys, nor no sept else, without
licence of the mayor and council, on pain to forfeit 5_l._ that neither O
nor Mac shall strut nor swagger through the streets of Galway.' Their
great enemies were the O'Flaherties of Iar-Connaught, and it is said the
prayer 'from the ferocious O'Flaherties, good Lord, deliver us,' was once
inscribed over the west gate of the town. Athenry, which was built by the
Bermingham family, was long and closely connected with Galway. It
received a murage charter in 1312.[36]

[Sidenote: Anglo-Norman families of importance.]

Besides the three great earldoms, there were several Anglo-Norman
families who continued to have considerable importance in Tudor times.
Robert le Poer, or De Poher, received a grant from Henry II., which made
his descendants, now generally called Power, supreme in the eastern half
of the county Waterford. In the middle ages they were often at war with
the citizens of Waterford. Their chief seat was Curraghmore, and they are
represented, through a lady, by the Marquis of Waterford. The western
half of the same county, which came by marriage to the Desmonds, fell to
the descendants of the seventh earl's second son, known as the
Fitzgeralds, of Decies, and seated at Dromana. The Fitzmaurices,
descended from Raymond le Gros, occupied that part of north Kerry which
is still called Clanmaurice. They became Barons of Lixnaw, and are
represented by the Marquis of Lansdowne. The family of the White Knight
was descended from Gilbert, eldest son of John More Fitzgerald by his
second wife, Honora O'Connor; his half brother by Margery Fitz-Anthony
being the first Earl of Desmond. The White Knights were called Macgibbon
and Fitzgibbon, and their memory is preserved by the barony of
Clangibbon, in the county of Cork. From John, the second of Honora
O'Connor's sons, is descended the Knight of the Valley, or of Glin on the
Shannon. Maurice, the third brother, was the first Knight of Kerry.
Another branch of the Fitzgeralds, known as hereditary seneschals of
Imokilly, were settled in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries at Castle
Martyr. The Barrys, descendants of Nesta as well as the Geraldines, were
settled in that part of the county of Cork called Barrymore; and the
Roches were established soon after the first invasion about
Castletown-Roche, and Fermoy. Of the families who obtained portions of De
Lacy's great territory, the most important were the Nugents, Barons of
Delvin, and the Flemings, Barons of Slane on the Boyne. The Plunkets, who
are supposed to be of Danish origin, were in the middle ages settled
chiefly in Meath; and there they are still. They became Barons of
Killeen, Dunsany, and Louth. The Prestons, Viscounts of Gormanston, and
the Barnewalls, Barons of Trimleston, may also be noticed; but all the
families of the Pale were overshadowed by the House of Kildare.

[Sidenote: The colony steadily declines under Edward III.]

So far as the English colony in Ireland is concerned, the long reign of
Edward III. must be regarded as a period of decay. The murder of the last
Earl of Ulster in 1333, and the consequent secession of the De Burghs,
hastened the destruction of a fabric which had always hung loosely
together. The sons of Hugh Boy O'Neill, who was killed in 1283,
established themselves firmly in Eastern Ulster, and undid nearly all the
work of De Courcey and his successors. They gave to Antrim the name of
Clan-Hugh-Boy, or Clandeboye, as it is now written. Only the Savages
maintained themselves in Ardes; and the MacQuillins, a family of Welsh
origin, between the Bush and the Bann, in the district afterwards called
the Route. The three royal fortresses which bridled Connaught, Athlone,
Roscommon, and Randon, all fell into the hands of the Irish. In Leinster
also the natives rapidly gained ground. Lysaght O'More formed a
confederacy of nearly all the midland tribes, and expelled the settlers
from the district between the Barrow and the Shannon. His career was
short, but his work was lasting. 'In 1342,' says Clyn, 'he was killed
when drunk by his own servant. He was a rich and powerful man, and
honoured among his own people. He expelled nearly all the English from
his lands, and burned eight of their castles in one evening. He destroyed
Roger Mortimer's noble fortress of Dunamase, and usurped the lordship of
his own country. He was a servant, he became a lord; he was a subject, he
became a prince.' Bunratty Castle in Clare was dismantled by the O'Briens
and Macnamaras, and a branch of the former established themselves in
Tipperary. Of William Carragh O'Brien, of Aherlow, one of the chiefs of
this sept, Clyn gives a very unflattering account. 'He was,' he declares,
'a bad and perverse man who lived ill and died ill, passing all his time
in waylayings, thefts, spoils, and murders.'

[Sidenote: Dissension rife among the colonists.]

The constant quarrels of the colonists, and the corruption of their
officials, laid them open to the attacks of the natives, and the state of
Ireland attracted so much attention that the Parliament held at
Westminster in 1331 advised the King to cross the Channel himself. Edward
III. never had much time to attend to Ireland, but he seems to have been
aware that he had duties in the matter. In 1338 he decreed that none but
Englishmen born should fill legal offices; but this did not mend matters,
and the administration of justice continued to be as corrupt as ever. The
new comers married in Ireland, and were as ready to job for their
children as if they had been descended from the first colonists. In 1341
the King ordered that Englishmen with estates in England should be
preferred, but the supply of such men was necessarily limited. The main
cause of the corruption prevalent was no doubt the poverty of the Crown.
Officials were ill paid, or not paid at all, and they supported
themselves by embezzling funds or by selling justice. An unjust proposal
to increase the revenue by resuming royal grants naturally aggravated
every evil, and the English by blood were arrayed against the English by
birth. Sir John Morris, the deputy who was ordered to carry out the new
policy, summoned a Parliament to meet at Dublin in October, 1341. But
Maurice Fitz-Thomas, first Earl of Desmond, persuaded a large section of
the nobility to ignore the writs, to attend a rival assembly at Kilkenny,
and to draw up a remonstrance addressed to the King. The malcontents
wished to be informed how a governor without military skill could rule a
land where war never ceased, how an official could become quickly rich,
and how it came about that the King was never the richer for Ireland?
Edward abandoned the intention of resuming the grants, but subsequent
events show that he did not really forgive Desmond.

[Sidenote: D'Ufford's futile attempts to recover the Earldom of Ulster.]

Ralph d'Ufford had married Maud Plantagenet, widow of the murdered Earl
of Ulster, and in 1344 he was sent over as Viceroy with very large
powers. One of his objects was to resume possession of Ulster for the
benefit of his step-daughter, the royal ward; but he totally failed in
obtaining rent out of the lands, or in ousting those who had seized them.
After chastising the Irish in the neighbourhood of Dublin, d'Ufford
resolved to invade Ulster with a regular army. The MacArtanes attacked
him at the Moyrie Pass, and he narrowly escaped annihilation. Having cut
his way through with the help of the settlers in Louth and Monaghan, he
made his way into the northern province, but no permanent results
followed. Desmond and others having refused to attend his Parliament, the
Viceroy went to Kerry, took Castle Island, and hanged its principal
defenders. He imprisoned the Earl of Kildare and seized his estates, and
then took action upon a bond executed in 1333, by which twenty-six of the
chief men of the colony became bound for Desmond's good behaviour. Many
of the sureties had aided the Viceroy, but he, nevertheless, seized their
lands. The Earl of Ormonde and two more were the only exceptions. The
ruin caused by this policy was out of all proportion to the good, and in
the history of the English in Ireland no one has a worse name than Sir
Ralph d'Ufford, except perhaps his high-born wife, whose resentments were
supposed to guide him. His hand was as heavy against the Church as
against the temporal nobles. The annalist Pembridge, who was a
contemporary, declares that he brought bad weather to Ireland, and that
it lasted all his time. 'On Palm Sunday,' says the same writer, 'which
was on April 9, 1346, Ralph d'Ufford died, whose death was very much
lamented by his wife and family; but the loyal subjects of Ireland
rejoiced at it, and both the clergy and laity for joy celebrated a solemn
feast at Easter. Upon his death the floods ceased, and the air again grew
wholesome, and the common people thanked God for it.'


[35] The quotations are from Gilbert's _Historic and Municipal Documents
of Ireland_, pp. xxviii. and xxx.

[36] Hardiman's _History of Galway_ contains as much as most readers will
care to know about that town. The following distich makes it possible to
remember the tribes:--

    Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, Deane, Darcy, Lynch,
    Joyce, Kirwan, Martin, Morris, Skerrett, French.

To which Ffont or Faunt must be added.



[Sidenote: Lionel, Duke of Clarence, is not more successful than

[Sidenote: Lionel holds a Parliament at Kilkenny, 1367.]

The Crown did nothing for Ireland. Torn by intestine quarrels, and denied
a just government, the colony grew yearly weaker. Many of the settlers
found their position intolerable, and, in spite of severe ordinances,
absenteeism constantly increased. In 1361 Edward summoned to Westminster
no less than sixty-three non-resident landowners, including the heads of
several great abbeys, who derived revenues from Ireland and gave nothing
in return. They were ordered to provide an army suitable for the King's
son Lionel, Duke of Clarence and Earl of Ulster by marriage, who
proceeded to Ireland as Viceroy. He was accompanied by his wife, but
failed, as D'Ufford had done, to obtain any profit from her lordship of
Ulster, and was scarcely successful even against the clans near Dublin.
The O'Byrnes and O'Tooles cut off many of his English soldiers, and the
Duke was obliged to seek aid from the more experienced colonists. Like
many governors who have come to Ireland with great pretensions, Lionel
found his position most humiliating, and he spent a great part of his
time in England. His authority was delegated to deputies, and the feuds
between English by blood and English by birth ran higher than ever. In
1367 he returned and summoned a Parliament, whose enactments gave legal
sanction to the fact that the King was no longer lord of more than a
comparatively small portion of Ireland.

The statute of Kilkenny contains a great many rather heterogeneous rules.
What makes it of such great importance is its formal recognition of the
existence of an English Pale, and of a hostile Irish people outside it.
The word Pale may not have been in use for a century later, but the
thing was fully established.

[Sidenote: Composition of the Parliament of Kilkenny.]

The Parliament of Kilkenny did not, however, confine its attention to the
narrow limits of the 'four obedient shires.' The distinction between
English and Irish land was conceded, but it was still hoped that most of
the shireland would be preserved to English law. The sheriffs or
seneschals of ten counties or liberties, comprising all Leinster, except
the modern King's and Queen's Counties, as well as Tipperary and
Waterford, were required to produce their accounts at Dublin; but those
of Connaught, Kerry, Cork, and Limerick were excused on account of
distance, and were required only to attend commissioners of the exchequer
when they came to their bailiwicks, and to render an account to them.
Ulster, the Duchess of Clarence's patrimony, is not even mentioned by her
husband's Parliament. Of the composition of that assembly we have no
record, but it was attended by the Archbishops of Dublin, Cashel, and
Tuam, and by the Bishops of Waterford and Lismore, Killaloe, Ossory,
Leighlin, and Cloyne. The Archbishops of Cashel and Tuam and the Bishop
of Killaloe were Irishmen; the rest were of English race, and some of
them born in England.

[Sidenote: The Statute of Kilkenny endeavours to separate the two races.]

The statute begins by reciting that for a long time after the conquest
the English in Ireland spoke English, and in general behaved like
Englishmen; but that of late years many had fallen away and adopted the
Irish language and habits, whereby the King's authority and the English
interest were depressed, and the Irish enemy 'against reason' exalted. In
order to remedy this marriage, fosterage, gossipred, and even concubinage
with the Irish was declared high treason. Supplying horses and armour to
Irishmen at any time was visited with like penalties, and so was
furnishing them with provisions in time of war. Englishmen and even
Irishmen living among the English were to speak English, to bear English
names only, and to ride and dress in the English fashion, on pain of
forfeiture until they should submit and find security. If they had no
lands they might lie in prison till security was forthcoming. Special
penalties were provided for offenders who had 100_l._ a year in land.
The English born in Ireland and in England were to be in all respects
equal, and were not to call each other English hobbe or Irish dog, on
pain of a year's imprisonment and a fine at the King's pleasure. War with
the Irish was inculcated as a solemn duty, and the practice of buying off
invasions was condemned. The end aimed at was that Irish enemies should
be finally destroyed, and many minute rules were made for arming the
colony properly. The rude Irish game of hurling was discountenanced, and
the borderers were enjoined to make themselves fit for constant war by
practising such gentlemanlike sports as archery and lance-play.
Imprisonment and fine were to follow a neglect of these precepts.
Provision was made to prevent the Irish from forestalling the markets by
establishing fairs of their own, and from grazing their cattle in the
settled districts. Very severe regulations were made against Irish
hangers-on--pipers to wit, story-tellers, babblers, and rhymers, all of
whom acted habitually as spies. The keeping of kerne and idlemen, armed
or unarmed, at the expense of other people, was sternly forbidden, and
qualified as open robbery. It became, nevertheless, the greatest and
commonest of all abuses. Private war among the English was to be punished
as high treason, and so was the common practice of enticing friendly
Irishmen to acts of violence.

[Sidenote: The Statute of Kilkenny respects the Church, but makes

The rights and privileges of Holy Church were jealously guarded by the
Parliament of Kilkenny. Persons excommunicated for infringing her
franchises were to be imprisoned by the civil power until restitution was
made. Tithes were specially protected, and the excommunicated were not to
be countenanced by King or people. But the distinction between the
hostile races was maintained in matters ecclesiastical. No Irishman was
to be admitted by provision, collation, or presentation among the
English. Such preferments were declared void, and the next presentation
was to lapse to the Crown. Religious houses situated among the English
were strictly forbidden to receive Irishmen, but Englishmen by birth and
by blood were given equal rights. The Irish prelates present probably
found no difficulty in accepting these principles, for they might, and
did, retaliate by refusing to receive English clerks in Irish districts.
The Archbishops and Bishops assembled at Kilkenny lent a special sanction
to the statute by agreeing to excommunicate all who broke it, and they
declared such offenders duly excommunicated in advance.

[Sidenote: Effects of the Statute of Kilkenny.]

Sir John Davies, with less than his usual accuracy, has declared that
'the execution of these laws, together with the presence of the King's
son, made a notable alteration in the state and manners of the people
within the space of seven years, which was the term of this prince's
lieutenancy.' Now, the Statute of Kilkenny was not passed till 1367, and
Lionel died in 1368. The Act of Henry III., on which Davies chiefly
founded his statement, says the land continued in prosperity and honour
while the Kilkenny laws were executed, and fell to ruin and desolation
upon their falling into abeyance. But the annalists tell a different
story, and it is not easy to say what those fat years were. In 1370, only
three years after the passing of the much vaunted statute, the Earl of
Desmond and others were taken prisoners by the O'Briens and Macnamaras,
and the deputy, Sir William de Windsor, was obliged to leave the O'Tooles
unchastised in order to hurry to the defence of Munster. Newcastle,
within a day's ride from Dublin, was taken and dismantled. The judges
could not get as far as Carlow. In 1377 the O'Farrells gained a great
advantage over the English of Meath. The general result of the fighting
during the ten years which followed the Parliament of Kilkenny was that
the Irish retained possession of at least all which they had previously
won. What the statute really did was to separate the two races more

[Sidenote: Edward III. weakens the colony by drawing men from it.]

Edward III. repeated his grandfather's mistake, and drew away many of the
colonists to his Scotch and Continental wars. An Anglo-Irish contingent
fought at Halidon Hill, and it was while making preparations for that
campaign that the Earl of Ulster lost his life. Ireland was also well
represented at Creçy, and many brave men fell victims to disease at
Calais. The Viceroys sent over from time to time seem to have been
regarded as licensed oppressors, and it is recorded of many that they
left Dublin without paying their debts. Sir Thomas Rokeby, who was Deputy
in 1349 and 1356, is praised by the contemporary chronicler Pembridge for
beating the Irish well, and for paying his way honestly. 'I will,' he
said, 'use wooden cups and platters, but give gold and silver for my food
and clothes, and for the men in my pay.' That this golden saying, as
Davies calls it, should have been thought worth recording shows what the
general practice was. The three great pestilences which ravaged England
ran their course in Ireland also. It was to the first of these
visitations that the annalist Clyn succumbed. 'I have,' he records, 'well
weighed what I have written, as befits a man who dwells among the dead in
daily expectation of death; and lest the writer should perish with the
writing, and the work with the workman, I leave parchment for a
continuation, if by chance any of the race of Adam should escape this
plague and resume my unfinished task.' On the whole, the reign of Edward
III. must be regarded as one of the most disastrous in the annals of the
English in Ireland.

[Sidenote: Richard II. determines to visit Ireland.]

[Sidenote: His first visit, 1394.]

The reign of Richard II. is mainly remarkable for the King's two visits
to Ireland. But that step was not taken until many others had failed.
James Butler, third Earl of Ormonde, was Viceroy when the old King died.
He continued in office, and held a Parliament at Castle Dermot, whose
deliberations were interrupted by an invasion of Leinster on the western
side. The O'Briens were bought off with 100 marks, but there were only
nine in the treasury, and the residue was supplied by individuals who
gave horses, a bed, or moderate sums of money. Ormonde resigned an office
which there was no means of supporting properly, and the Earl of Kildare
refused the post. In 1380 Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, who claimed
Ulster through his wife Philippa, the daughter of Duke Lionel, agreed to
accept the burden for three years. He covenanted for 20,000 marks and for
absolute control over the revenue of Ireland. The Irish scarcely ventured
to oppose him openly; and he recovered Athlone, built a bridge at
Coleraine, put down rebels in southern Leinster, and might have extended
his power still further had he not died of a chill, caught in fording a
river near Cork. Ormonde and Desmond refused to accept the vacant
government, and the Irish continued to enlarge their borders. In 1385
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, the King's favourite and grandson of
Ralph d'Ufford and the Countess of Ulster, was appointed Viceroy for
life, and created first Marquis of Dublin, and then Duke of Ireland. All
the attributes of royalty, such as the right to coin money and issue
writs in his own name, were conferred on him, and he undertook to pay the
King 5,000 marks a year, which the latter agreed to remit until the
conquest of Ireland was complete. De Vere did not visit Ireland; but the
government was carried on in his name for some years, during which the
colony grew weaker and weaker. Nor did his disgrace make any more
difference than his appointment had done. Limerick and Cork could
scarcely defend themselves. Waterford was harassed by the Le Poers and
their Irish allies. Towns in Kildare were burned, and the English Bishop
of Leighlin was unable to approach his diocese. Galway threw off its
allegiance, and sought the protection of MacWilliam. In 1391 the Earl of
Ormonde was again persuaded to undertake the government with a salary of
3,000 marks; but he could do little more than temporise. Payments to the
Irish were frequent, and as they constantly advanced the dispossessed
settlers carried the story of their woes to England. Proclamations
against absentees were of small effect, and at last the King determined
to go himself. He landed at Waterford on October 2, 1394, with 4,000 men
at arms and 30,000 archers. As soon as Art MacMurrough, whom the Leinster
Irish accepted as their king, heard of Richard's arrival, he attacked New
Ross, 'burned its houses and castles, and carried away gold, silver, and

[Sidenote: Richard has but little success.]

Richard II.'s army, augmented as it was by the forces of the colony, was
the largest seen in Ireland during the middle ages, and has hardly been
exceeded in modern times. William III. had about 36,000 at the Boyne.
Nothing was performed worthy of so great a host or of the King's
presence. One division of the royal army was defeated with great loss by
the O'Connors of Offaly, and another by the O'Carrolls. Richard saw that
his troops were unfit for war in bogs and mountains, and could not but
confess that the natives had many just causes of complaint. He adopted a
conciliatory policy, and induced O'Neill, O'Connor, MacMurrough, and
O'Brien, as representatives of the four royal Irish races, to do homage
and to receive the honour of knighthood at his hands. These four, and a
great number of other chiefs, bound themselves to the King by indenture;
but no money was actually paid, and for all practical purposes Caligula's
shells were quite as good a badge of conquest. The German princes had a
right to say that Richard was not fit for empire, since he had been
unable to subdue his rebellious subjects of Ireland. He remained nine
months in the island, and left the government to Roger Mortimer, Earl of
March, heir-presumptive to the Crown, and claiming to be Earl of Ulster
in right of his mother, the only child of Lionel, Duke of Clarence.

[Sidenote: The Irish grow continually stronger. Richard's second visit,

Besides the earldom of Ulster, Mortimer claimed enormous estates all over
Ireland, but possession had been completely divorced from feudal
ownership. He attacked the Wicklow clans, but was defeated with loss. In
1398 he made a final attempt to recover some portion of his Leinster
inheritance, but was defeated and slain in Carlow by the O'Tooles,
O'Nolans, and Kavanaghs. In the following year Richard again visited
Ireland in person. His army was nearly as large as on the first occasion,
and vast quantities of stores had been collected. The Crown jewels were
carried with the King, as was a yet more precious flask of oil which had
been transmitted straight from heaven to Archbishop Becket while praying
at the shrine of Columba. But neither arms, nor gems, nor even the sacred
chrism had any effect upon Art MacMurrough. The King again landed at
Waterford, and after a few days' rest moved forward to meet the
redoubtable Irishman, who was posted in a wood with 3,000 men. An open
space having been secured by burning houses and villages, Richard
knighted young Henry of Lancaster, the future victor of Agincourt, and
ordered a large number of labourers to fell the wood which sheltered the
enemy. Aided by the ground, MacMurrough held the royal army in check for
eleven days. The communications were cut, and the men at arms had nothing
but green oats for their horses. It was early in July; but the weather
was wet, and the whole army suffered from exposure and hunger. A convoy
which arrived at Waterford rather added to the disaster. 'Soldiers,' says
a contemporary chronicler, 'rushed into the sea as if it were straw.'
Casks were broached, and more than 1,000 at a time were seen drunk with
the Spanish wine. Abandoning the hope of attacking the Kavanaghs in their
fastnesses, Richard made his way to Dublin, the Earl of Gloucester having
failed to treat with MacMurrough.

[Sidenote: Richard's failure.]

The Leinster chieftain had married an Anglo-Norman heiress, and through
her claimed the barony of Narragh in Kildare. He demanded to be put in
full possession of his wife's lands, and to be left unmolested to enjoy
his chiefry. Otherwise he refused to come to any terms with the King.
Richard threatened, but his Irish plans were interrupted by the news that
Henry of Lancaster had landed in England. He lingered for some weeks in
Ireland, and that delay was fatal to him. He reached Milford only to find
that he had no longer a party, and thus Art MacMurrough may be said to
have crowned the House of Lancaster. The Irish chief continued
irreconcilable, and defied the Government until his death in 1417.

[Sidenote: Ireland neglected by Henry IV.]

With a bad title and an insecure throne Henry IV. could not be expected
to pay much attention to Ireland. The strength of the colony continued to
decline during his reign. He made his second son, Thomas, Viceroy, but a
child in his twelfth year was not the sort of governor required. The
treasury was empty, and the young prince's council had soon to announce
that he had pawned his plate, and that not another penny could be
borrowed. The soldiers had deserted, the household were about to
disperse, and the country was so much impoverished that relief could
scarcely be hoped for. The settlement was only preserved by paying black
mail to the Irish. The towns defended themselves as they best could, and
sometimes showed considerable martial enterprise. Thus Waterford was
several times attacked by the O'Driscolls, a piratical clan in West Cork,
who habitually allied themselves with the Le Poers. In 1413 the citizens
assumed the offensive, and armed a ship, in which the mayor and bailiffs
with a strong band sailed to Baltimore, where they arrived on Christmas
Day. A messenger was sent to say that the Mayor of Waterford had brought
a cargo of wine, and admission was thus gained to the chief's hall. 'The
Mayor,' we are told, 'took up to dance O'Driscoll and his son, the prior
of the Friary, O'Driscoll's three brethren, his uncle, and his wife, and
having them in their dance, the Mayor commanded every of his men to hold
fast the said persons; and so, after singing a carol, came away bringing
with them aboard the said ship the said O'Driscoll and his company,
saying unto them they should go with him to Waterford to sing their carol
and make merry that Christmas; and they being all aboard made sail
presently, and arrived at Waterford, St. Stephen's day at night, where
with great joy received they were with lights.'

This exploit seems to have tamed the O'Driscolls for a time, but they
invaded Waterford in 1452 and 1461. On the first occasion the citizens
had the worst, but on the second they gained the victory, and took the
chief with six of his sons.[37]

[Sidenote: Henry V. makes Talbot Viceroy.]

In the first year of his reign Henry V. made the famous Sir John Talbot
Viceroy. He was entitled to lands in Westmeath in right of his wife, and
the lordship of Wexford had devolved upon his elder brother. He adopted
the plan by which Bellingham and Sidney afterwards reconquered the
greater part of Ireland. The array of the counties was called out under
heavy penalties, and Talbot remained six days in Leix, which he so
ravaged as to bring O'More to his senses. The bridge of Athy, which had
been of use to none but the assailants of the Pale, was rebuilt and
fortified, so that the cattle of loyal people might graze in safety,
which they had not done for thirty years. Passes were cut in the woods
bordering on the settled districts, and there seemed some hope for the
shrunken and shattered colony. But Talbot's salary of 4,000 marks fell
into arrear, and his unpaid soldiers became a worse scourge than the
Irish had been. The Viceroy and his brother, the Archbishop of Dublin,
were constantly at daggers drawn with the White Earl of Ormonde, and the
feud continued nearly till the Earl's death in 1450. It was, however, due
both to Sir John Talbot and to Ormonde, his antagonist, that the Irish
were kept at bay. Shakespeare's hero was the bugbear with which French
mothers quieted naughty children, and he was no less feared in Ireland.
With the colonists he was not popular, because the Crown refused him the
means of paying his debts, and Irish writers stigmatise him as the worst
man who had appeared in the world since the time of Herod.

[Sidenote: Drain of colonists to the English civil wars.]

'France,' says Sir John Davies, 'was a fairer mark to shoot at than
Ireland, and could better reward the conqueror.' The latter part of his
statement is questionable, but such was the view taken by the kings of
England from Henry II. to Henry VII. Thomas Butler, Prior of Kilmainham,
who ought to have been engaged in the defence of the Pale, took 1,500 men
to help Henry V. at the siege of Rouen in 1418. The contemporary
chronicler, Robert Redman, says they did excellent service with very
sharp darts and crossbows. Trained in the irregular warfare of Ireland,
they easily outran the Frenchmen, to whom they showed extraordinary
animosity, but were less honourably distinguished by their practice of
kidnapping children and selling them as slaves to the English. James,
Earl of Ormonde and Wiltshire, also raised troops in Ireland for foreign
service, and it is probable that many other contingents were furnished of
which no record has been preserved. These forces consisted of
Anglo-Irish, or at least of Irishmen settled in obedient districts, and
their absence from home must have had a constant tendency to weaken the

[Sidenote: Richard of York made Lord-Lieutenant for ten years, 1449.]

In 1449 Richard of York visited Ireland as Viceroy. He accepted the
office for ten years, in consideration of 4,000 marks for the first, and
2,000_l._ for each succeeding year, and of the whole local revenue.
Richard was Earl of Ulster, but he preferred conciliation to any attempt
at reconquest, and was, consequently, able to command the services of
many Irish clans, including Magennis, MacArtane, MacMahon, and O'Reilly.
The O'Byrnes were put down with the help of the Northern chiefs, O'Neill
himself sent presents to the Duke, and most of the central districts
became tributary. The Anglo-Normans of Munster, who had partially
degenerated, renewed their allegiance, and it was generally supposed that
the task of making Ireland English would at last be accomplished. The
Viceroy's son George, the 'false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,' of later
years, was born in Dublin, and his sponsors were Ormonde and Desmond. But
very soon the fair prospect was clouded. The stipulated salary was not
paid. The Irish discovered that Richard had no greater force than his
predecessors, and the MacGeohegans, who had submitted, openly defied his
power. He left Ireland suddenly in the autumn of 1450, and did not return
for nine years.

[Sidenote: Richard is popular, and creates a Yorkist party. Ireland
almost independent.]

Richard had not done much to increase the King's power in Ireland, but he
created a Yorkist party there. At the time he was accused of prompting
Cade's rebellion, and Jack himself was said to be a native of Ireland.
The fact that both Simnel and Warbeck afterwards found their best support
among the Anglo-Irish seems to show that the Kildare and Desmond
partisans were already familiar with the notion of a Yorkist pretender.
It is very probable that the adherents of the White Rose saw their
opportunity in the fact that the Earldom of Ulster belonged to their
chief, and Cade must have had an object in calling himself Mortimer. All
this is plausible conjecture; but about the significance of Richard's
second viceroyalty there can be no reasonable doubt. In 1459, after
Salisbury's defeat at Blore Heath, the Duke of York was forced to fly,
and he took refuge in Ireland, where he seized the government in spite of
the Coventry Parliament. The local independence of Ireland was now for
the first time seriously attempted. Richard held a Parliament, which
acknowledged the English Crown while repudiating the English Legislature
and the English Courts of Law. The Duke of York's person was declared
inviolable, and rebellion against him was made high treason. The royal
privilege of coining money was also given to him. William Overy, a squire
of the Earl of Ormonde, who was already acknowledged as head of the Irish
Lancastrians, attempted to arrest the Duke as an attainted traitor and
rebel; but he was seized, tried before Richard himself, and hanged,
drawn, and quartered. After the victory of his friends at Northampton the
Duke returned to England. He took with him a considerable body of
Anglo-Irish partisans, and he committed the government to the Earl of

[Sidenote: The Yorkist faction headed by the Earl of Kildare.]

Richard of York fell at Sandal Hill, but the popularity which he had
gained in Ireland descended to his son. In the bloody battle of Towton
the flower of the Anglo-Irish Lancastrians fell, and their leader, the
Earl of Ormonde, was taken and beheaded. His house suffered an eclipse
from which it was destined to emerge with greater brilliancy than ever,
and the rival family of Kildare became for a time supreme in the Pale.
The native Irish everywhere advanced, and English law rapidly shrunk
within the narrowest limits. A Parliament, held by the Earl of Desmond in
1465, enacted that every Irishman dwelling among the English in Dublin,
Meath, Louth, and Kildare, should dress in the English fashion, shave his
moustache, take the oath of allegiance within a year, and assume as a
surname the name of a town, of a colour, or of a trade. In the Parliament
of 1480, held by the Earl of Kildare, all trade between the Pale and the
Irish was forbidden by law. The Parliament of Drogheda in 1468 had
already passed an Act which declared that the castle of Ballymore
Eustace, 'lying between the counties of Dublin and Kildare, among the
O'Byrnes and O'Tooles, Irish enemies,' should be garrisoned by Englishmen
only. The Eustaces, it was explained, had given it in charge to 'one
Lawrence O'Bogan, an Irishman both by father and mother, who by nature
would discover the secrets of the English.' Other Acts to a similar
effect might be cited, and it may be said that the main object of Edward
IV.'s government in Ireland was to separate the two races more

[Sidenote: George, Duke of Clarence, twice Viceroy.]

[Sidenote: Execution of Thomas, Earl of Desmond, 1467.]

George, Duke of Clarence, was Viceroy from 1461 to 1470, and again from
1472 till his mysterious death in 1478. Though born in Dublin, he never
visited Ireland as a man, and the government was administered by a
succession of Deputies. The fate of one of these Deputies, Thomas, eighth
Earl of Desmond, deserves particular mention. John Tiptoft, Earl of
Worcester, whose beautiful Latinity had moved Pope Æneas Sylvius to
tears, was entrusted with the government in 1467, and he assembled a
Parliament in which Desmond and Kildare were attainted. Kildare escaped
to England, and procured a reversal of the attainder, but Desmond was
enticed to Drogheda, and there beheaded. The ostensible cause for this
severity is declared by an unpublished statute to have been 'alliance,
fosterage, and alterage with the King's Irish enemies, and furnishing
them with horses, harness, and arms, and supporting them against the
King's loyal subjects.' The Anglo-Irish tradition attributes it to the
vengeance of Queen Elizabeth Woodville, whose marriage Desmond had
opposed. According to Russell, he told Edward that Sir John Grey's widow
was too mean a match for him, that he needed allies sorely, and that he
had better cast her off and link himself with some powerful prince. By
this account the Queen stole the royal signet, and transmitted a secret
order for the Earl's death to Ireland. Three years later Worcester was
taken and beheaded during the short Lancastrian restoration; and this
quite disposes of Russell's statement that King Edward 'struck his head
from his neck to make satisfaction to the angry ghost of Desmond.' What
is historically important in Desmond's execution is that it gave his
successors an excuse for not attending Parliaments or entering walled
towns. Their claim to legal exemption was not indeed allowed, but it may
have had considerable effect on their conduct.[38]

[Sidenote: Under Edward IV. and Richard III. the House of Kildare is
all-powerful. The Butlers overshadowed.]

After the death of Clarence, Edward made his sons, George and Richard,
Viceroys, and Richard III. conferred the same office on his infant son
Edward. The government was carried on by Deputies, and during the last
twenty years of the Yorkist dynasty almost all real power centred in the
House of Kildare. It was the seventh Earl who established the brotherhood
of St. George for the defence of the Pale. The thirteen members of this
fraternity were chosen from among the principal landowners of the four
obedient shires, thus excluding the Butlers, who formed a small Pale of
their own about Kilkenny. The brothers of St. George had rather more than
200 soldiers under them, who were paid out of the royal revenue; and that
constituted the entire standing army. The cities and towns maintained a
precarious existence by themselves. In the charter which Richard III.
granted to Galway it was specially declared that the Clanricarde Burkes
had no jurisdiction within the town which their ancestors had taken and
fortified. An Act passed in 1485 declares that various benefices in the
diocese of Dublin were situated among the Irish, that English clerks
could not serve the churches because they could not be understood or
because they refused to reside, and that it was therefore necessary to
collate Irish clerks; and power was given to the Archbishop to do so for
two years. The statute of Kilkenny and the Acts subsidiary to it had had
their natural effect. The English, in trying to become perfectly English,
had shrunk almost to nothing; and the Irish, by being held always at
arm's length, had become more Irish and less civilised than ever.


[37] The quarrels of Waterford with the O'Driscolls are given in the
_Calendar of Carew MSS._, _Miscellaneous vol._ p. 470. Smith refers to a
MS. in Trinity College.

[38] Besides those in the Statute Book many Irish Acts of Edward IV.'s
reign may be studied in Hardiman's _Statute of Kilkenny_.



[Sidenote: The Irish Parliament a close copy.]

The history of the Irish Parliament in the middle ages corresponds pretty
closely with that of England. The idea of the three estates is plainly
visible as early as 1204, when John asked an aid from the archbishops,
bishops, abbots, priors, archdeacons, and clergy, the earls, barons,
justices, sheriffs, knights, citizens, burgesses, and freeholders of
Ireland. The Common Council of the King's faithful of Ireland is
afterwards often mentioned, and in 1228 Henry III. ordered his justiciary
to convoke the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls and barons,
knights and freeholders, and the bailiffs of every county, and to read
Magna Charta to them. 1254 has been fixed as the date at which two
knights from each shire were regularly summoned to the English
Parliament. In the confusion which followed, the precedent slept for a
while, but in Simon de Montfort's famous Parliament in 1264 burgesses as
well as knights had seats. The evidences of regular election in Ireland
are scanty at this early period; but legislative enactments and pecuniary
aids were more than once made by the whole community of Ireland before
the close of Henry III.'s reign. The germs of a Parliamentary
constitution were not planted in purely Irish districts; but it is
probable that ecclesiastics attended Parliament even from them, and that
the natives were thus in some degree represented. In 1254 the King called
by name upon the Kings O'Donnell, O'Neill, O'Reilly, and O'Flynn, upon
MacCarthy of Desmond, O'Brien of Thomond, O'Phelan of Decies, and
fourteen other Celtic chiefs, to help him against the Scots. He confides
in their love for him to furnish such help, and promises them thanks;
pointedly separating their case from that of his lieges of Ireland.[39]

[Sidenote: Growth of representative institutions.]

Accepting 1295 as the date at which English Parliamentary representation
settled down into something like its modern shape, we find that the great
Plantagenet was not unmindful of Ireland. In that same year the
justiciary Wogan issued writs to the prelates and nobles, and also to the
sheriffs of Dublin, Louth, Kildare, Waterford, Tipperary, Cork, Limerick,
Kerry, Connaught, and Roscommon, and to the seneschals of the liberties
of Meath, Wexford, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Ulster. The sheriffs and
seneschals were ordered to proceed to the election of two good and
discreet knights from each county or liberty, who were to have full power
to act for their districts. It does not appear that cities and boroughs
were represented on this occasion; but in 1300, Wogan being still
justiciary, writs were directed to counties for the election of three or
four members, and to cities and boroughs for the election of two or
three. The King's principal object was to get money for his Scotch war;
and, with this view, Wogan visited Drogheda and other places and extorted
benevolence before the Parliament met. A certain supremacy was not denied
to the English Parliament, for in 1290 a vast number of petitions were
made to the King in Parliament at Westminster. Among the petitioners was
the Viceroy, John Sandford, Archbishop of Dublin, who begged the King to
consider the state of Ireland, of which he had already advised him
through Geoffrey de Joinville, a former Viceroy, who was sitting in
Parliament with others of the King's Council in Ireland. Edward I.
answered that he was very busy, but that he had the matter much at heart,
and that he would attend to it as soon as he could.[40]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1295.]

Of the Parliament of 1295 a particular record has fortunately been
preserved. Each sheriff was ordered to make his election in the full
county court, and each seneschal in the full court of the liberty, and
they were to attend Parliament in their proper persons--to verify the
returns no doubt. The personal attendance of the sheriffs was required in
England until 1406. The magnates who were summoned to Wogan's Parliament
behaved as we might expect to find them behave. The Bishops of the South
and East came. The Archbishop of Armagh and his suffragans sent proctors
with excuses for non-attendance. The Archbishop of Tuam and his
suffragans neither came nor apologised. The absence of Hugo de Lacy, one
of those elected by the county of Limerick, is particularly noted, whence
we may infer that the other shires and liberties were duly represented.
Richard, Earl of Ulster, was present. This Parliament principally
occupied itself with making regulations as to the treatment of the Irish,
and in devising means for checking their inroads upon the colonised
districts. The descendants of the first conquerors were already beginning
to adopt Celtic customs.[41]

[Sidenote: Parliaments of Edward II. and Edward III.]

Under Edward II. Parliaments were frequent; and writs are extant which
show that he, as well as Edward III., intended them to be held annually.
Cases occur of bishops, priors, and temporal peers being fined for
non-attendance in this reign, and there is good reason to believe that
those who were summoned to Parliament generally came. In 1311 writs for a
Parliament to be held at Kilkenny were issued by the justiciary Wogan to
Richard, Earl of Ulster, and eighty-seven other men of name, to the
prelates and ecclesiastical magnates, and to the sheriffs. The sheriffs
were ordered to summon two knights from every county, and two citizens or
burgesses from every city or borough, who were to have full power to act
for their several communities in conjunction with the magnates, lay and
clerical. Owing probably to the shape which Bruce's invasion gave to the
English colony, the Parliaments of Edward III. are more strictly confined
to the districts where the King had real as well as nominal authority.
The murder of the last Earl of Ulster in 1333, and the conversion of the
De Burghs into Irishmen, almost completed the work of destruction which
Bruce had only just failed to effect. To the Parliament of 1360, the
Archbishops of Dublin and Cashel, the Bishops of Meath, Kildare, Lismore,
Killaloe, Limerick, Emly, Cloyne, and Ferns, and the Abbots of St. Mary's
and St. Thomas's at Dublin were the only prelates summoned. The Earls of
Kildare and Desmond and eight knights were called up by name. Writs for
the election of two knights were issued to the sheriffs of the counties
of Dublin, Carlow, Louth, Kildare, Waterford, Limerick, and Cork, and of
the crosses of Meath, Kilkenny, Wexford, and Tipperary; and to the
seneschals of the liberties of Kilkenny, Meath, Tipperary, and Wexford.
Writs for the election of citizens and burgesses were no longer directed
to the sheriffs, but the mayor and bailiffs of Dublin, Drogheda, Cork,
Waterford, and Limerick, the sovereign and bailiffs of Kilkenny and Ross,
and the provost and bailiffs of Clonmel and Wexford were ordered to
return two members each. The sheriff of Kildare and the seneschal of the
liberty of Kilkenny were told what individuals they were expected to see
elected. The House of Commons was then supposed to consist of
twenty-eight knights and twenty-four citizens and burgesses; but the
counties of Dublin and Carlow were 'justly excused' on account of the
war, and the members for Drogheda, who omitted to come, were summoned
before the Council under a penalty of 40_l._[42]

[Sidenote: Parliament of Kilkenny.]

The famous Parliament which Lionel, Duke of Clarence, held at Kilkenny in
1367 was probably attended by representatives from a very limited
district; for there were but forty members of the House of Commons in
March 1374, and of these four came from the county of Dublin. But in
November 1374 the number was fifty-four; in 1377 it rose to sixty-two;
and in 1380 and 1382 it was fifty-eight. We may, therefore, take the
number of county and borough members at the close of the fourteenth
century as about sixty. The counties generally represented were Dublin,
Kildare, Carlow, Meath, Louth, Waterford, Cork, Limerick, and Wexford,
the liberties of Ulster, Meath, Tipperary, Kerry, and Kilkenny, and the
crosses of Ulster, Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Kerry. The cities were
Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, and Limerick, and the towns were
Drogheda, Youghal, Ross, Wexford, Galway, and Athenry. Longford was a
county in 1377, but was not maintained as shire ground. Many Parliaments
met during the fifteenth century, but their action was more and more
confined to the district round Dublin, which about the middle of the
century came to be called the Pale.[43]

[Sidenote: Hereditary peers.]

1295 will probably be accepted as the date when English barons who had
once sat in Parliament claimed an hereditary right to their writs of
summons. It would seem that the origin of the Irish peerage, using the
word in its modern sense, must be referred to a somewhat later date; for
eighty-seven persons, who were perhaps all tenants of the Crown, were
summoned by name to the Kilkenny Parliament in 1311. The subject is not
of great historical importance, because the period of transition
coincides with that in which the encroachments of the natives reduced
feudal Ireland to its lowest estate. In the sixteenth century the title
of baron was still popularly given to the heads of some families who had
formerly been barons by tenure, but who had lost all Parliamentary
rights. As in England, the knights of the shire had become the proper
representatives of the gentry, and peerage grew to be the special
creation of the Crown. In the Parliament of 1560 there were twenty-three
temporal peers, and of these eight had been created within the century.
It will be safe to assume that the number of temporal peers sitting in
the Irish Parliament at any time during the one hundred years preceding
Elizabeth's accession was well under thirty.[44]

[Sidenote: Spiritual peers.]

The number of spiritual greatly exceeded the number of temporal peers.
There were four archbishops from the first sending of the palls in 1151.
If we take the year 1500, after some unions had been effected and before
the great quarrel between King and Pope, we find that there were
twenty-six bishops in Ireland. Some of the more distant ones were perhaps
never summoned to Parliament, and long before the close of the fifteenth
century we cannot doubt that many had ceased to attend the shrunken
legislature of the Pale. In 1293 John, Bishop of Clonfert, an Italian and
the Pope's nuncio, was fined for non-attendance; and similar penalties
were imposed on Bishops of Ferns, Ossory, Cork, Ardfert, Limerick, Down,
and Emly, during the reigns of Edward II., Edward III., and Richard II.
There were thirteen mitred Abbots of the Cistercian order, ten mitred
Priors of Augustinian canons; and the Grand Prior of Kilmainham, who
represented the wealth and importance of the proscribed Templars as well
as of the Hospitallers, had always a seat in Parliament. The Prior of
Kilmainham was so important a person that upon the suppression of the
order of St. John, Henry VIII. made its last chief a peer. The Abbot of
St. Mary's and the Prior of St. Thomas's were always summoned, but it is
clear that in earlier days all the mitred heads of houses were considered
real as well as nominal spiritual peers. The Prior of Athassel was fined
for non-attendance in 1323, the Abbot of Owney in 1325, and the Abbot of
Jerpoint in 1377. Much obscurity hangs over the mediæval House of Lords
in Ireland; but it must generally have rested with the Viceroy whether
the temporal or spiritual peers should be most numerous in any particular

[Sidenote: The clergy as a separate estate. Proctors.]

The existence of the clergy as a separate estate in Ireland is less clear
than in England; but they had the right of taxing themselves, for in 1538
the Lords Spiritual were thanked by Henry VIII. for granting him an
annual twentieth of all their promotions, benefices, and possessions.
Proctors of the clergy attended the Lower House, and when Henry VIII.
undertook his ecclesiastical innovations, they claimed the right to veto
bills. It was, however, easily shown that their consent had not formerly
been held necessary; and in 1537 an Act was passed declaring the
proctors to be no members of Parliament. The preamble states that two
proctors from each diocese had been usually summoned to attend
Parliament; but that they had neither voice nor vote, and were only
'counsellors and assistants upon such things of learning as should happen
in controversy to declare their opinions, much like as the Convocation
within the realm of England.' Their pretensions to a veto were formally
pronounced baseless, and it was declared once for all that the assent or
dissent of the proctors could have no effect on the action of

[Sidenote: The Viceroy.]

The representative of the King in Ireland was generally styled justiciar
for a long time after the first invasion. His powers were analogous to
that of the great officer of State in England who had the same title, and
who acted as regent during the frequent absences of the kings. The title
of justiciar continued to be given to the Irish viceroys long after the
English justiciarship changed its character--that is, about the close of
Henry III.'s reign. The first person who had the title of Lord
Lieutenant, if we except the early case of John de Courcy, appears to
have been Lionel, Earl of Ulster and Duke of Clarence, who was sent to
Ireland in 1361. Afterwards it became a common practice to make one of
the royal family Lord Lieutenant, the duties being usually performed by a
deputy. But the title of Lord Lieutenant, though considered higher than
any other, was not confined to princes. In time the title of Deputy was
given to Governors of Ireland, even when no Lord Lieutenant intervened
between them and the King. Richard of York was the last Lord Lieutenant
of royal blood who actually ruled at Dublin. After his time the real
government was in the hands of the Earls of Kildare, who were Lords
Deputy, with but brief intervals, from 1478 to 1526. During that period
the title of Lord Lieutenant, but the title only, was enjoyed by Edward,
Prince of Wales, by John de la Pole, Earl of Lincoln, by Jasper, Duke of
Bedford, and by Henry VIII. before his accession to the Crown. In the
meantime, the word justiciar, or Lord Justice, had come to mean a
temporary substitute for the Deputy or Lieutenant. When a sovereign died,
or when a viceroy suddenly left Ireland, it became the business of the
Council to elect some one in his room. When giving leave to a governor to
leave his post, the sovereign sometimes named the Lord Justice. Lord
Capel, who was appointed in 1695, was the last chief governor who had the
title of Deputy. Since the Revolution, the head of the Irish Government
has always been a Lord Lieutenant, and during his absence one, or two, or
three Lords Justices have been appointed by the Irish Privy Council.[47]


[39] Stubbs's _Const. Hist._, chap. xv.; Lynch's _Feudal Dignities_,
chaps. iii. and xi.

[40] Sweetman's _Calendar of Documents_, 1289; Lynch, _supra_.

[41] The record is printed from the Black Book of Christ Church, in the
_Miscellany_ of the Irish Archæological Society.

[42] Lynch, _ut supra_.

[43] Lynch, _ut supra_; Lodge's _Register_; Hardiman's _Statute of

[44] The names of those summoned to the Parliament of 1311 are printed by
Lynch, chap. ii.; the names of those who attended in 1560 are in _Tracts
Relating to Ireland_, vol. ii., Appendix II.

[45] Cotton's _Fasti_; Alemand's _Histoire Monastique_; Lynch, chaps.
iii. and vii.

[46] _Irish Statutes_, 28 Hen. VIII. cap. 12.

[47] See the list of chief governors in Harris's Ware; Borlase's
_Reduction of Ireland_; Lodge's _Patentee Officers_; and Gilbert's



[Sidenote: Accession of Henry VII., 1485.]

Ireland was destined to give the victor of Bosworth much trouble, but his
accession made little immediate difference to the Anglo-Irish community.
Kildare continued to act as Chief Governor, and on the nomination of
Jasper, Duke of Bedford, to the Lord Lieutenancy, he was formally
appointed Deputy under him. His brother Thomas was allowed to retain the
Great Seal. While thus leaving the administration of the island to the
Yorkist Geraldines, Henry lost no time in restoring the rival House,
which had suffered in defence of the Red Rose. Sir Thomas Butler was by
Act of Parliament at once restored in blood, became seventh Earl of
Ormonde, and was taken into high favour. The practical leadership of the
Irish Butlers was, however, never held by him, and the disputes
concerning it had no doubt great effect in consolidating Kildare's power.

[Sidenote: The Ormonde family. Sir Piers Butler.]

John, sixth Earl of Ormonde, who never lived in Ireland, appointed as his
deputy his cousin, Sir Edmund Butler. Earl John dying in Palestine, his
brother Thomas succeeded him, and continued Sir Edmund in the custody of
the Irish estates. Sir Edmund by will granted to his son Piers the same
power as he had himself held, but it does not appear that this curious
bequest was acknowledged either by the Earl of Ormonde or by the people
of Kilkenny and Tipperary. Sir James Ormonde, as he is called, a bastard
son of the fifth Earl, became the real chief of the Butlers, and is often
called Earl by Irish writers; the rules of legitimate descent being then
very lightly regarded in Ireland. Sir James received a regular commission
from Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, as his deputy, supervisor, 'and general and
special attorney' in Kilkenny. Strong in the confidence of the rightful
Earl and in the estimation of the people, Sir James became Kildare's
chief opponent; who to weaken him espoused the cause of Sir Piers, to
whom he gave his daughter Lady Margaret in marriage. 'By that means and
policy,' says the 'Book of Howth,' 'the Earl of Wormond (_i.e._ Sir
James) was so occupied in his own country that he could not attend to do
any damage to the Earl of Kildare nor any of his friends.' And the
chronicler Stanihurst, a Geraldine partisan, would have us believe that
the successful career of Sir Piers was wholly due to the 'singular
wisdom' of his wife. An eminent modern antiquary tells us that her fame
still lives among the peasantry of Kilkenny, while the Red Earl is
forgotten; that she is remembered as Magheen, or little Margaret, and
that she is the traditional castle-builder of the district.[48]

[Sidenote: Kildare suspected of plots. Lambert Simnel.]

It has been generally stated that Henry, before he had been a year on the
throne, heard that Kildare was plotting against him. From what happened
later, it is likely that such a report would not have been without
foundation. Perhaps there was some evidence of his complicity in Lord
Lovel's abortive insurrection, and it is highly probable that he was a
party to the plot which the Duchess of Burgundy was hatching against the
King of England.[49] Except on the supposition that he had already been
admitted to the conspirator's confidence, it is hard to see how Kildare
can have received Lambert Simnel and his promoter, a young and
undistinguished priest, without hesitation or inquiry. There was no
Lancastrian party in Dublin, and Henry's politic exhibition of the real
Earl of Warwick had no effect upon men who were determined to accept the
counterfeit. In common with almost every temporal grandee, the
Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishops of Meath and Kildare espoused the
pretender's cause; but Octavian, Archbishop of Armagh, a Florentine, and
well informed, remained firm, and was supported by the Bishop of Clogher.
Henry afterwards asked the Pope to excommunicate the prelates who had
favoured the pretender, and it is remarkable that he mentions the
Archbishop of Armagh as one of them. Among the temporal peers, Lord Howth
had the sense to see that Henry would be victorious, and he kept him well
informed of all that went on in Ireland.[50]

[Sidenote: Simnel is crowned King.]

Simnel remained in Ireland, and published acts were done in his name as
King until the arrival of Lincoln and Lovel, with Martin Swart, an
experienced German leader, and 2,000 veterans of his nation, sent by
Margaret of Burgundy. Lambert was crowned in Christ Church with a diadem
borrowed for the occasion from a statue of the Virgin, and was shown to
the people borne aloft on the shoulders of Darcy of Platten, the tallest
man of his time--details which bespeak the poverty of the country. A
coronation sermon was preached by the Bishop of Meath.[51]

Kildare ordered the citizens of Waterford to join him with all their
forces, but the mayor, who was a Butler, filled the town with the vassals
of the House of Ormonde, and the clans depending on it, and returned for
answer that they held all as traitors who had taken any part in the mock
coronation. Kildare hanged the poor groom who had brought this message,
an act of barbarity with which the Archbishop was much offended, and then
repeated his summons. The herald, who bore the Geraldine arms on his
tabard, was refused admission to Waterford, and summoned the citizens
from a boat, ordering them instantly to proclaim King Edward VI. on pain
of being hanged at their own doors. With becoming spirit the chief
magistrate replied, that they would not give the Earl so much trouble,
that they looked on all his partisans as traitors, and that they were
ready to give him battle thirty miles away. Kilkenny, Clonmel, Callan,
Fethard, and other towns followed the example of Waterford.[52]

[Sidenote: Battle of Stoke, 1487.]

There was some division of opinion between the partisans of Simnel as to
whether England should be immediately invaded. Two reasons in favour of
this course prevailed over those for establishing a separate government
in Ireland. The country was too poor to support 2,000 German mercenaries,
and the Irish followers of Kildare, who cared little for either rose,
promised themselves much pleasure from fighting and plundering in hated
England. Accordingly, just a month after the mock coronation, Lambert and
his friends left Dublin and landed at Foudray in Lancashire, where they
were joined by Sir Thomas Broughton and some of his tenants. 'But their
snowball,' in Bacon's phrase, 'did not gather as they went,' and they
advanced as far as Newark without materially increasing their force. The
popularity which Henry had gained during his late stay at York, and the
general pardon which he had given, went far to break up the Yorkist party
in the North, 'and it was an odious thing to Englishmen to have a King
brought in to them upon the shoulders of Irish and Dutch.' At Stoke, the
pretender's motley host came into collision with the far more numerous
royal army. The Germans fought well, and so did their few English allies;
'neither did the Irish fail in courage or fierceness, but being almost
naked men, only armed with darts and skeans, it was rather an execution
than a fight upon them.' At least 4,000 of the pseudo-Yorkists fell,
including Martin Swart, the Earl of Lincoln, and Kildare's brother, the
Irish Chancellor, Thomas Fitzgerald. Lord Lovel and Sir Thomas Broughton
may have escaped for a time, but they were never heard of again. It
appears from a passage in the 'Annals of Ulster,' where Henry VII. is
contemptuously mentioned as 'the son of a Welshman,' that the native
Irish believed Simnel to be what he pretended to be--the last prince of
the blood royal.[53]

[Sidenote: Loyalty of Waterford.]

The loyalty of Waterford deserved special thanks, and Henry sent a letter
to the mayor and citizens, in which he expressed his hearty gratitude. To
show his perfect confidence he commanded them to pursue and harass the
Earl of Kildare and the citizens of Dublin, both by sea and land. The
trade of the Irish capital was placed at their mercy, and they were
exhorted not to desist from hostilities until 'our rebel, the Earl of
Kildare,'--who was also our Deputy--and his Dublin allies were brought to
due obedience. Kildare sent messengers to England to make his peace, and
the citizens of Dublin did likewise. 'We were daunted,' said the latter
plausibly enough, 'to see not only the chief governor, whom your Highness
made ruler over us, to bend or bow to that idol whom they made us to
obey, but also our Father of Dublin, and most of the clergy of the
nation.' After some hesitation, Henry resolved to pardon all the Irish
conspirators, and even allowed Kildare to remain in the office of Deputy.
In return for their pardons the nobility were required to take the oath
of allegiance; and to secure its proper administration the King resolved
to send a special commissioner to Ireland. Sir Richard Edgcombe,
Controller of the Household, whom he had already employed on a diplomatic
mission to Scotland, was the person chosen for this delicate duty.[54]

[Sidenote: Mission of Sir Richard Edgcombe, 1488.]

Sir Richard sailed from Fowey with a squadron of four vessels containing
500 men; and having tried in vain among the Scilly Islands and in the
Bristol Channel to surprise certain pirates who infested those seas, he
reached Kinsale on the fifth day, where he again failed to apprehend a
notable pirate. Lord Barry Oge came on board to take the oath of
allegiance. Edgcombe then landed, was met by Lord Courcy and the townsmen
of Kinsale, received the keys of the town, and administered the oath to
all persons of importance. Having granted a royal pardon, he sailed for
Waterford, where he was loyally welcomed. Hearing that he had brought a
pardon for Kildare, the citizens reminded him that the Earl was their
bitterest enemy, and begged to be exempted from any jurisdiction which he
or any other Irish lord might claim as Deputy. Sir Richard promised to
advance the interests of Waterford at Court, and then went on to Dublin.
Kildare kept the royal commissioner waiting for eight days, during part
of which time he was entertained at Malahide, by a lady of the Talbot
family. At last the Earl came to Thomas Court with 200 horse, and sent
the Bishop of Meath and the Baron of Slane to conduct Sir Richard
thither. On entering the room Edgcombe made no bow to the Lord Deputy,
but bluntly delivered the King's letters. Five days more were given for
the rest of the lords to make an appearance, and Kildare retired to
Maynooth to digest the letters and verbal messages. On the fourth day Sir
Richard came by pressing invitation to Maynooth, and the Earl promised
that he would do everything required of him; but he continued to
interpose delays in coming to any official decision. Sharply reprimanded
by the royal commissioner, the lords at last agreed to take the oath of
allegiance; but refused to enter into recognisances for the forfeiture of
their estates in case they should again lapse from their duty, plainly
declaring that they would rather become Irishmen, every one of them. With
an oath of allegiance Sir Richard was fain to be content, and he drew one
in very stringent form, Henry being specially described as the 'natural
and right-wise' King of England. To prevent tricks, the host, upon which
the oath was taken, was consecrated by Edgcombe's own chaplain. The
nobility present, and the principal ecclesiastical dignitaries about
Dublin, were sworn or did homage, and particularly bound themselves to
support and execute the censures of the Church, as pronounced by the Bull
of Innocent VIII. upon those who should rebel against the King of
England. In that instrument the Pope had declared his belief that the
Crown belonged to Henry by inheritance, by conquest, and by election,
independently of, and in addition to his claim in right of Elizabeth of
York. Among the commoners whom it was thought necessary to swear
specially was Darcy of Platten, the tall man who had borne Lambert on his
shoulders. The civic authorities of Dublin, Drogheda, and Trim, having
been sworn before him in their own towns, Sir Richard embarked at Dalkey
on the thirty-fourth day after his arrival at Kinsale. Of all Simnel's
partisans, Keating, Prior of Kilmainham, was the only one who did not
receive a pardon.[55]

[Sidenote: The Irish nobility summoned to England, 1489.]

Kildare sent the Bishop of Meath to England to watch his interests, and
Octavian also sent an agent to procure for him the custody of the Great
Seal. The Primate complained that Kildare, despite his recent oath, had
begun plotting against him before Edgcombe had reached the English shore.
'I know,' he said, 'for certain that if the said Earl of Kildare obtains
the government of Ireland by royal authority, and has the Chancellor of
Ireland also at his back, that I have no hope of quiet in Ireland.' Henry
did not give the seal to the Archbishop, but he summoned all the Irish
nobility to Court; and all obeyed except Desmond and Fitzmaurice of
Kerry. 'My masters of Ireland,' said the King, when giving them audience,
'you will crown apes at length.' Afterwards at dinner he gave point to
this remark by ordering Lambert Simnel to hand wine to those who had so
lately crowned him King. 'None would have taken the cup out of his hand,
but bade the great devil of hell him take, before that ever they saw
him.' 'Bring me the cup if the wine be good,' said the Lord of Howth,
being a merry gentleman, 'and I shall drink it off for the wine's sake,
and mine own sake also, and for thee, as thou art, so I leave thee, a
poor innocent.' Henry kept the lords at Court long enough for them to
feel the expense burdensome, and then despatched them, making Lord Howth,
who had alone remained loyal, a present of 300_l._ in gold, and the robe
which he wore at the reception. Some of the others had expected little
less than the axe for their reward.[56]

[Sidenote: Kildare Deputy till 1492. Butlers and Geraldines.]

The influence of Kildare was not much shaken by his complicity in
Simnel's adventure, and it was not till 1492 that he was deprived of the
office of Deputy. It was conferred on Walter Fitz-Simons, Archbishop of
Dublin. About the same time Rowland Fitz-Eustace, Baron of Portlester,
the Earl's uncle, who had been Lord Treasurer for thirty-eight years, was
suddenly removed and threatened with a hostile inquiry into his accounts
during the whole period. Sir James Ormonde, knighted by Henry in person,
for his services against Lambert, was appointed in his room, and another
Butler was made Master of the Rolls. The quarrel between the two Houses
blazed up fiercely; and Kildare, to reassert his influence, summoned a
great meeting of citizens on Oxmantown Green.

The two factions came to blows, some lives were lost, and Kildare
attempted to seize the city by a sudden movement. The gates were,
however, shut in time; but Ship Street, then outside the walls, was
burned. The Geraldines wasted the Butler territory, and the Butlers in
their turn ravaged Kildare and encamped in great force on the southern
side of Dublin. A meeting of the two chiefs in St. Patrick's Cathedral
was then arranged. A riot took place in the church, a flight of arrows
was discharged, and Sir James, suspecting treason, barred himself into
the Chapter-house. The Earl came to the door with offers of peace, and a
hole was cut in the timber through which the rivals might shake hands.
Sir James hesitated to risk his hand, but Kildare settled the question by
putting in his own. The door was then opened, they embraced each other,
and peace followed for a time. To make amends for the desecration of the
church, the Pope ordered that the mayor should go barefoot through the
city on Corpus Christi day, and this practice was continued till the
Reformation. The door with the hole in it is still preserved, or was so
until very lately.[57]

[Sidenote: Perkin Warbeck lands 1491, but leaves the next year.]

'Ireland at this time,' says Ware, 'was as it were a theatre or stage on
which masked princes entered, though soon after, their visors being
taken off, they were expulsed the stage.' Perkin Warbeck landed at Cork
late in 1491, or early in 1492, and was entertained by John Walters, an
eminent merchant and future mayor. The citizens from the beginning
insisted on regarding him as a royal personage, first as a son of
Clarence, afterwards as a bastard of Richard III., and finally as
Richard, Duke of York, Edward IV.'s younger son. Having adopted the
latter character, Perkin wrote letters, extant in Ware's time, in which
he sought help from the Earls of Desmond and Kildare. The former at once
espoused his cause; the latter, according to his own account, would have
nothing to do with 'the French lad.' Desmond joined Perkin in soliciting
the aid of James IV. of Scotland, and he remained for about a year at
Cork, learning English, but apparently without exciting any anxiety in
England. Towards the close of 1492 he withdrew to France, where Charles
VIII. received him as a prince, and where he was joined by disaffected
Yorkists. Henry having made a successful campaign in France, Perkin was
dismissed and went to Flanders, where Margaret of Burgundy acknowledged
him as her nephew, and no doubt instructed him how to fill the part.[58]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1493.]

In 1493 the Archbishop of Dublin held a Parliament, where many things
were done unfavourable to the Geraldine faction; and on August 12, John
Walters and other accomplices of the pretender were summoned to
surrender. The Archbishop shortly went over to England, where he made
Henry clearly acquainted with the state of affairs in Ireland, and was
followed by Kildare, who had an opportunity of telling his own story. In
consequence of what he had learned, the King resolved to appoint a Deputy
unconnected with any Irish party; and fixed upon Sir Edward Poynings,
whom he had already employed as envoy to the Archduke Philip, when
remonstrating against the countenance given to Perkin in Flanders. While
Archbishop Fitz-Simons was in England, Viscount Gormanston filled the
office of Deputy, and even ventured to summons a Parliament; but the
Duke of Bedford having in the meantime resigned the lieutenancy, his
substitute's action was afterwards declared null and void.

[Sidenote: Sir Edward Poynings Deputy, 1494.]

Poynings landed at Howth on October 13, 1494, with 1,000 men. He was
accompanied by Henry Dean, Bishop of Bangor and afterwards Archbishop of
Canterbury, as Chancellor, by Sir Hugh Conway as Treasurer, and by three
other Englishmen appointed to the chief places in the three common law
courts. Joining his forces with those of Kildare and of Sir James
Ormonde, Poynings immediately undertook an expedition to Ulster, with a
view of chastising O'Donnell, who had lately been honourably received in
Scotland, and was probably implicated in Perkin's project. When the army
reached O'Hanlon's county, Sir James Ormonde persuaded the Deputy that
Kildare was plotting with the Irish against his life, and some colour was
given to the charge by the conduct of the Earl's brother James, who
seized Carlow Castle, mounted the Geraldine banner, and refused to
surrender when summoned in the King's name. Having with difficulty
reduced Carlow, Poynings repaired to Drogheda, where he held a
Parliament, whose legislation was destined to have a momentous effect on
Irish history. The invasion of Ulster was abandoned, and Bacon, with the
experience of the next century, summarily disposes of it as 'a wild chase
on the wild Irish.'

[Sidenote: Parliament of Drogheda, 1494.]

The Acts of this Parliament of 1494 are numerous, many of them being
intended to make the administration more directly dependent on the Crown.
Thus, the judges and other high officials were made to hold at the King's
pleasure, instead of by patent as had been customary heretofore. It was
made illegal for great men to retain free citizens and burgesses in their
pay, or for anyone to make war without the governor's licence, or for
anyone to stir up the Irish against the English. It was made unlawful to
keep firearms without the Deputy's licence. The Statutes of Kilkenny were
confirmed or re-enacted, with the exception of those against using the
Irish language and those obliging every subject to ride in a saddle.
Family war cries, such as 'Butleraboo' and 'Cromaboo,' were strictly
prohibited. Coyne and livery were visited with severe penalties; but
advantageous terms were fixed, upon which the King might obtain
provisions for his soldiers. All Acts against papal provisions
theretofore made, either in England or Ireland, were declared to be in
full force, though the Government had no means whatever of preventing
them, or of making other arrangements for the vast majority of Irish

[Sidenote: Poynings' Acts.]

The statutes known in after days as Poynings' Acts were two in number. By
the first it was enacted that no future Parliaments should be held in
Ireland, 'but at such season as the King's Lieutenant and Council there
first do certify the King under the great seal of that land (Ireland),
the causes and considerations, and all such acts as them seemeth should
pass in the same Parliament.' Should the King in Council approve them,
then the Irish Parliament should be summoned under the great seal of
England, and not otherwise. By the second Act it was provided that all
public statutes 'late made within the said realm of England' should be in
force in Ireland. The lawyers decided that this applied to all English
Acts prior to the tenth year of Henry VII. And thus the dependence of the
Irish Parliament on that of England was established in the fullest

[Sidenote: Attainder of Kildare.]

Kildare was attainted by the Drogheda Parliament, the Act stating that he
had provoked Irish enemies and English rebels to levy war against the
King, that he had conspired with O'Hanlon to kill the Deputy, that he had
caused his brother James to seize Carlow and hold it against the King,
that he had used coyne and livery, and that he had conspired with the
King of Scots and the Earl of Desmond for an invasion of Ireland. The
Earl was arrested and sent to England, there to await Henry's own
judgment on these and other matters. The chief of the southern Geraldines
had in the meantime again given his adhesion to the cause of Perkin

[Sidenote: Second visit of Perkin Warbeck. Siege of Waterford, 1495.]

Less than three weeks after his disgraceful failure in Kent, Perkin was
with Desmond in Munster. Eleven ships, of which some were Scotch,
attacked Waterford from the river, while Desmond and his Irish allies
with 2,400 men threatened the city from the southern side. Poynings
marched against the invaders in person; but the real work was done by the
mayor and citizens, who dammed the stream called John's River, so as to
prevent Desmond from joining Perkin: while they battered the fleet with
cannon planted on Reginald's Tower. They made several sallies, killed
their prisoners, and stuck their heads on stakes in the market-place.
When the siege had lasted eleven days one of Perkin's ships was sunk by
the fire from the town, and the adventurer then fled precipitately. At
least three vessels fell into the hands of the besieged or their allies,
and the citizens followed Perkin to Cork, where his friends protected
him. Afterwards he made his way to Scotland, where James IV. received him
with the honours due to a prince, and gave him the hand of his cousin,
Lady Catherine Gordon. James, who was of an ambitious and visionary turn
of mind, may perhaps have thought it possible to restore the days of
Bruce, and to conquer some part of Ireland for himself. Two successive
O'Donnells acknowledged themselves his subjects, and with their help and
that of sailors like the Bartons, Scotland might have disputed with
England the possession of Northern Ireland at least. The elder Hugh
O'Donnell, who died in 1505, was a man of considerable ability, the
annalists, with their usual magniloquence, styling him the 'Augustus of
the North of Europe;' and with more truth asserting that he was the most
powerful person in the North of Ireland.[62]

[Sidenote: Poynings leaves Ireland, 1496.]

Poynings quitted Ireland in January 1496, leaving the government in the
Bishop of Bangor's hands. Important as was the recent legislation, it
cannot be said that Henry had made any real change in the system of
government. His great idea, like that of his descendants, was to make
Ireland pay her own expenses, and for that purpose he sent over two able
officers, with instructions to overhaul the entire system of government.
Plenty of zeal seems to have been shown, but the result was not
encouraging. No year passed in Ireland without some small war, and the
established custom of hiring native mercenaries tended to prevent any
improvement. Sir James Ormonde and other leaders found their account in
constant disturbance, and expense always more than kept pace with

[Sidenote: Friars employed by the Government.]

The accounts of Vice-Treasurer Hattecliffe, to whom Henry committed the
control of Irish finance, seem to show that Poynings and others found a
difficulty in obtaining the aid of subordinate officers. They had,
however, a resource which Elizabeth lacked, in the power of employing
priests and friars. Thus we find a Franciscan of Dublin sent to spy out
the manners of the people inhabiting the marches of the Pale, and again
acting as a messenger between the Council in Dublin and the Deputy in the
field. A canon named John Staunton was sent to act as a spy 'in Munster
and elsewhere about the Earl of Desmond, Perkin Warbeck, and other
rebels.' On another occasion a Carmelite was the means of communication
between the Government and Sir James Ormonde, and it is probable that
many more of the messengers were clergymen, though the fact is not so

[Sidenote: Turbulence of the Geraldines. Restoration of Kildare, 1496.]

That there was no peace, and consequently no diminution of expense, is
not to be altogether attributed to the rapacity of Sir James Ormonde and
other leaders of kerne and gallowglasses. The Geraldines took care that
the country should be disturbed during the Earl's absence, as we find by
the following significant entry:--'Two shillings to Philip Messanger for
carrying the Lord Justice's letters directed to Richard Paynteneye of
Carbury, Edward Dowdall of Slane, to the sovereign of Athboy, and others,
ordering them to have sundry fires made on sundry mountains--viz. the
mountains of Tara, Lyons, Athboy, and Slane, to warn the King's lieges
in case James, the Earl's son, and others the King's Irish enemies,
should bring a power to invade the English districts.' Several other
payments were made to the same messenger for services in connection with
these Geraldine inroads, and Henry came gradually to think that Kildare
did more harm as a prisoner than he could possibly do if he were at
liberty. Whether the account of the Earl's behaviour at Court, which has
been copied from the 'Book of Howth' into most histories, be true or not,
there can be little doubt that Henry thought it better that he should
rule all Ireland, than that he should have further opportunities of
showing that all Ireland could not rule him. The gravest charge against
him was that of conspiring with O'Hanlon to murder Poynings, and this was
disposed of by the evidence of O'Hanlon. Prince Henry became titular
Lord-Lieutenant, the attainder was reversed by the English Parliament,
and Kildare received a commission as Lord Deputy under the King's son.
His first wife, Alison Eustace, is said to have died through the
agitation caused by his imprisonment, and he now added to his influence
by marrying Elizabeth St. John, the King's first cousin. Leaving his son
Gerald as a hostage at the English Court, he returned to Dublin as soon
as possible, received the sword from Deane, successfully invaded the
O'Briens and Macnamaras, and was fully reconciled to the Archbishop of
Armagh. The Great Seal was given to Fitzsimons, Archbishop of Dublin, a
prelate who had the courage to tell Henry that a certain courtly orator
flattered him too much. 'Our father of Dublin,' replied the King, 'we
minded to find the same fault ourselves.'[65]

[Sidenote: Warbeck's third visit, 1497.]

On July 20, 1497, Perkin Warbeck again made his appearance at Cork. He
got no help this time from Desmond, who had been pardoned, and who had
perhaps made up his mind that the adventurer was an impostor. Sir James
Ormonde was accused of favouring him. The citizens of Waterford at once
gave Henry notice, and with four ships fitted out by themselves gave
chase to Perkin, who found no encouragement in Ireland, and lost no time
in going to join the Cornish malcontents. Narrowly escaping capture at
sea, he managed to raise a force of 6,000 or 7,000 men, besieged Exeter
and Taunton unsuccessfully, and then ran away without striking a blow,
and took sanctuary at Beaulieu in Hampshire. The inglorious close of his
career is unconnected with Ireland, and he seems on this last occasion to
have had no Irish allies. The citizens of Waterford received from the
King a cap of maintenance to be borne on certain occasions before the
mayor, and the title of _Urbs intacta_, in which the city still glories.
The sum of 1,000 marks which he had promised for the capture of Perkin
was not, strictly speaking, earned by the Waterford men; and their loyal
and, doubtless, very costly exertions, received no money recompense from
the frugal King.[66]

[Sidenote: Considerations as to Simnel and Warbeck.]

The modern historian, whose fortune it has been to clear up all doubts
about Perkin Warbeck, takes Lord Bacon to task for overrating the
excellence of the pretender's acting. But Bernard Andreas, the principal
if not the only contemporary writer, certainly gives one to understand
that he played his part very plausibly.

'Carried to Ireland by a fair wind he suborned with his very cunning
temptations a great part of the barbarians of that island. For he
unfolded and retold from his ready memory all the times of Edward IV.,
and without book repeated the names of all his familiars and servants as
he had been taught them from a boy. He habitually added circumstances of
time, place, and person, with which he very easily persuaded the levity
of those men. And with the help of such figments the matter grew so
important, that men of prudence and high nobility were induced to believe
the same. What followed? Certain prophecies concerning him were scattered
far and wide by false prophets, which completely blinded the mental
perceptions of the common people.'

It must be admitted that Lord Bacon did not speak without considerable
authority. A contemporary French poem, which was probably also written by
Bernard Andreas, gives a very unflattering account of Ireland as a cave
of robbers, 'where is neither peace, love, nor concord, but only treasons
and the foulest deeds.' Such material help as the pretender received was
entirely among the Anglo-Irish. The native annalists do not mention him,
whereas Simnel is, at least by one writer, spoken of as an undoubted
prince of the blood royal.[67]

[Sidenote: Sir Piers Butler kills Sir James Ormonde, 1497.]

Sir James Ormonde, whose mother was an O'Brien, used the help of his
Irish connections to oppress Sir Piers Butler, whom he imprisoned, but
afterwards released at Desmond's request, 'upon trust that he should have
married the Earl's daughter.' One of Kildare's first acts after his
restoration was to summon Sir James to Dublin, and to proclaim him outlaw
on his refusal. But this scarcely lessened his power in the Butler
country, and did not even prevent him from assuming the title of Earl of
Ormonde. Driven to great straits, Sir Piers asserted that his rival had
imprisoned him 'contrary to his oath and promise made upon the holy cross
and other great relics ... and that the same Sir James, not pondering his
said oath and promise, showed openly that wheresoever he would find me he
would kill me.' After this Sir James, for the second time, refused to
appear before the King. The two Butlers met accidentally in the open
field between Dunmore and Kilkenny, and after a short struggle Sir James
was slain.[68]

[Sidenote: Consequent peace between Butlers and Geraldines.]

According to some accounts this encounter or murder, whichever it may be
thought, was caused by Lady Margaret Butler's complaint that she could
get no wine, though in delicate health. 'Truly, Margaret,' he answered,
'thou shalt have store of wine within this four and twenty hours, or else
thou shalt feed alone on milk for me.' One writer says that there were
desperate odds against Sir Piers; and if this be true, and considering
the then state of Ireland, the guilt of murder can hardly attach to him.
The death of Sir James was decidedly beneficial to Ireland, for it made
peace between the Houses of Kildare and Ormonde.[69]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1498.]

In 1498 Kildare received a commission to hold a Parliament which was not
to last for more than six months. The first Act of this Parliament was to
confirm the reversal of the Lord Deputy's attainder, who by a singular
anomaly thus exercised viceregal authority, notwithstanding the
corruption of his own blood; the last to attaint Lord Barrymore and John
Waters for their dealings with Perkin Warbeck. Waters was caught, found
guilty by a Westminster jury, and hanged at Tyburn, alongside of the
pretender. Lord Barrymore escaped arrest, but was murdered by his
brother, the Archdeacon of Cork. Kildare visited and garrisoned Cork,
forcing the chief inhabitants to take the oath of allegiance to Henry,
and to give bonds for future good behaviour. Of the other Acts passed,
the most important was one for the discouragement of Irish habits and
weapons. Henceforth dwellers within the Pale were enjoined to wear only
English dress, and to wield only 'English artillery,' such as swords,
bucklers, pavesses, bows, arrows, bills, crossbows, guns, or such hand
weapons--darts and spears being prohibited; and they were to ride in
saddles in the English fashion.[70]

[Sidenote: Kildare's wars in Ulster. Cannon are used.]

It was Kildare's fortune not only to give trouble himself, but to be the
progenitor of those who were to give trouble in future. The rebellion of
his grandson Thomas Fitzgerald was to cause the eclipse of his house. The
descendants of his daughter Alice were to be the chief disturbers of the
Elizabethan monarchy in Ireland. She had married Con More O'Neill, who
was naturalised by Act of Parliament, and this gave her father a fair
excuse for interfering in the affairs of Ulster. Con More had been
treacherously killed by his brother Henry in 1493, and the murderer
fought for supremacy with his brother Donnell. Henry was at first
successful, and Donnell, whom Lady Alice appears to have favoured, could
only keep up a desultory opposition. In 1497 a peace or truce was made,
but in the following year Tirlough and Con, Lady Alice's two young sons,
killed Henry in revenge for their father's death, and invited Kildare to
come himself into Ulster. Besides his grandsons, the Lord Deputy had the
help of Donnell O'Neill, of Maguire, of O'Donnell, and of most of the
neighbouring clans against Henry O'Neill's sons and partisans. Cannon
were brought against Dungannon, which soon surrendered. Omagh was
afterwards taken, and Donnell was established as chief of Tyrone.
Firearms were perhaps first brought to Ireland in 1483, when six muskets,
considered a great rarity, were sent from Germany as a present to
Kildare, and were borne by his guards more for show than for use. In 1487
an O'Donnell was killed by a cannon or musket shot in a local broil, and
in the following year Kildare brought ordnance against Balrath Castle. In
1495, as we have seen, heavy guns were successfully used for the defence
of Waterford, and the mention of firearms in the Act of 1498 shows that
their importance was quickly recognised. Cannon came in time to be the
peculiar weapons of the King, their great expense putting them out of the
reach of private combatants, and no doubt it was gunpowder that caused
the downfall both of the feudal and of the tribal systems.[71]

[Sidenote: Kildare's wars in Connaught and Ulster.]

In 1499 the Lord Deputy, who acted pretty much as if there were no King
in England, made an excursion into Connaught, and garrisoned certain
castles. About the same time Piers Butler was defeated in battle by the
O'Briens, but the causes of neither quarrel have been handed down to us.
It was the policy of the Anglo-Norman nobles in Ireland to make
themselves allies among the Irish, and in pursuance of this idea the Earl
gave up his son Henry to be fostered by his late ally, Hugh Roe
O'Donnell, who came to visit him in the Pale. Kildare afterwards held a
Parliament at Castle Dermot; but its acts had no political significance,
unless the punishment of certain nobles for not wearing Parliament-robes,
and for not using saddles, be considered an exception.

Donnell O'Neill and his nephews did not long remain at peace, and
O'Donnell, siding with the latter, expelled Donnell from Dungannon.
Kildare again invaded Tyrone, in conjunction with O'Donnell, and took
Kinard Castle, which he handed over to his grandson Tirlough; but six
weeks later it was retaken by Donnell O'Neill. For more than two years
after this no event of any importance is recorded; there were ceaseless
wars among the Irish, but the Lord Deputy does not seem to have
interfered with them.

[Sidenote: Kildare in England, 1503.]

In 1503 Kildare visited England by the King's orders, and remained there
three months. Having licence from Henry to appoint a substitute, he
selected his old antagonist the Archbishop of Dublin to act as Lord
Justice in his absence. The Earl remained three months in England, and
was allowed to bring back his son Gerald, who had been a hostage for
eight years. Gerald, who was accompanied by his bride, Elizabeth Zouche,
received his appointment as Lord Treasurer of Ireland a few months

[Sidenote: Battle of Knocktoe, 1504.]

In 1504 a quarrel arose between Kildare and Ulick MacWilliam Burke, Lord
of Clanricarde, who had married his daughter, Lady Eustacia. The only
cause assigned by any of the authorities is, that MacWilliam ill-treated
his wife. He had, however, seized the town of Galway, and that might be
provocation enough for a Lord Deputy. Two great armies were
collected--MacWilliam having the O'Briens and Macnamaras, the Connaught
O'Connors, and the MacBriens, O'Kennedys, and O'Carrolls on his side.
With the Deputy were a portion at least of the O'Neills, O'Donnell,
MacDermot, Magennis, O'Connor Faly, O'Ferrall, MacMahon, O'Reilly,
O'Hanlon, and some of the Mayo Burkes, the Mayor of Dublin, the Earl of
Desmond, and the Lords Gormanston, Slane, Delvin, Killeen, Dunsany,
Trimleston, and Howth. Notwithstanding this formidable array of names,
Kildare's army was far inferior to MacWilliam's in point of numbers. Both
bishops and lawyers appeared at the council of war which preceded the
battle: Art O'Neill objecting to the former and O'Connor Faly to the
other. The one declared that the bishops' duty was 'to pray, to preach,
and to make fair weather, and not to be privy to manslaughter;' and the
other expressed great contempt for pen and ink and for 'the weak and
doubtful stomachs of learned men.' 'I never,' he said, 'saw those that
were learned ever give good counsel in matters of war, for they were
always doubting, and staying, and persuading, more in frivolous and
uncertain words than Ector or Launcelot's doings.' Lord Gormanston was
unwilling to risk so much without first knowing the King's pleasure; but
Lord Howth, as represented by the family chronicler, saw that good advice
might come too late, and that being in the field they must fight. He
proposed that they should conquer or die, having first placed their sons
in safety, so as to secure vengeance in case of defeat. This plan was
frustrated by young Gerald's refusal to retire. MacWilliam's army made
certain of victory, and spent the night drinking, playing cards, and
arranging about the custody of prisoners. The battle took place at
Knocktuagh or Knocktoe, now generally written Knockdoe, a hill near Clare
Galway. Kildare is said to have reminded his followers that the enemy,
though very numerous, were ill-armed, many with one spear only and a
knife, and 'without wisdom or good order, marching to battle as drunken
as swine to a trough.' When the fighting began 'Great Darcy'--the man who
had borne Lambert Simnel on his shoulders--appeared as one of the chief
champions on the Deputy's side. Kildare gained a complete victory. The
'Book of Howth' represents the gentry of the Pale as sustaining the brunt
of the battle, while the 'Four Masters' tell the story as if both armies
consisted of aboriginal Irishmen only. According to the former authority,
Lord Gormanston made the following speech to the Lord Deputy:--'We have
done one good work, and if we do the other we shall do well. We have for
the most number killed our enemies, and if we do the like with all the
Irishmen that we have with us, it were a good deed.'

Galway and Athenry were occupied without difficulty after the battle, and
the Lord Deputy's Irish allies withdrew to their own countries. The
arduous task remained of persuading Henry VII. that all had been done in
his interest. Kildare sent his old antagonist the Archbishop of Dublin to
Court, who performed his mission so well that the King professed himself
quite satisfied, and soon afterwards made his Deputy a Knight of the
Garter. Perhaps Henry was not really deceived, but thought it good policy
to make his great subject's victories his own. Sixty years afterwards,
when Sir Henry Sidney solicited a garter for another Earl of Kildare, he
urged his suit in these words:--'King Henry VII. made his grandfather,
and wist full what he did when he did so; he enlarged the Pale, and
enriched the same more than 10,000_l._ worth.'[73]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1508.]

Of the remaining years of Henry VII.'s reign but little seems to be
recorded, except that the chronic war among the native tribes did not
cease. Kildare held a Parliament in 1508, in which a subsidy of 13_s._
4_d._ was granted out of every ploughland, whether lay or clerical. About
the same time a party of the O'Neills took Carrickfergus Castle, and
carried off the mayor. In 1509 Kildare again invaded Tyrone in the
interests of his grandsons, and demolished Omagh. When the King died he
was in full possession of the government, and without a rival in those
parts of Ireland which were in any real sense subject to the English

[Sidenote: Henry endeavoured to separate the two races.]

It was the decided policy of Henry VII. to act in the spirit of the
Statute of Kilkenny, and to separate the English and Irish districts.
The well-known name of the Pale, or the English Pale, seems to have come
into general use about the close of the fifteenth century. A great number
of ordinances remain to prove how necessary it was for the Englishry to
bear arms, and the practice of fortifying the home district against the
Irish became a subject of legal enactment at least as early as 1429. An
Act of the Parliament of 1475 declares that a dyke had been made and kept
up from Tallaght to Tassagard, at the sole cost of four
baronies--Coolock, Balrothery, Castleknock, and Newcastle--and provision
was made by statute for its future maintenance. This was an inner line
for the defence of Dublin only, but the Parliament of Drogheda made a
similar provision for the whole Pale. It was enacted that every
inhabitant of the marches or inland borders of Dublin, Meath, Kildare,
and Louth, should, under a penalty of 40_s._, make and maintain 'a double
ditch of six feet above ground, at one side, which meareth next unto
Irishmen,' the landlord forgiving a year's rent in consideration of this
work. The legal provision was afterwards enforced by writs addressed to
the sheriffs and justices, and the name of Pale was perhaps first given
to the district so enclosed. The building of this Mahratta ditch may be
considered to mark the lowest point reached by the English power in


[48] _History of St. Canice_, by Graves and Prim, especially pp. 187 and
193; also Mr. Graves's _Presentments_, p. 79; Archdall's _Lodge's
Peerage_, art. 'Mount Garrett.'

[49] It is hard to say whether the instructions for John Estrete,
attributed by Mr. Gairdner to the very beginning of Henry's reign, are by
him or by Richard III. Henry would hardly have promised to make Kildare
Deputy for ten years on condition of his going to Court, and the
allusions to Edward IV. are more likely to have been made by
Richard.--_Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII._, vol. i. p. 91. The
three letters in the Appendix cannot be earlier than 1488.

[50] Writing to Morton or Fox, Octavian says, 'Profano coronationis pueri
in Hiberniâ sceleri, me solo excepto, nullus obstitit manifeste.' This
hardly gives due credit to the Bishop of Clogher.--_Letters of Richard
III. and Henry VII._, vol. i. p. 383. Henry's letter to Pius II. is at p.
94. 'Armachanensis' must be a mistake on the King's part.

[51] Lambert was crowned May 2, 1487.

[52] _Book of Howth_, and an account in _Carew_ (followed by Smith), iv.
p. 473.

[53] Bacon; _Book of Howth_; O'Donovan's _Four Masters, ad ann._ 1485.
The battle of Stoke was fought June 16, 1487.

[54] Henry's letter to Waterford is in Smith's _Waterford_; the letter of
the Dublin people in Ware's _Annals_.

[55] Sir Richard Edgcombe's voyage, in Harris's _Hibernica_.

[56] _Book of Howth_; _Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII._, vol. i.
p. 384.

[57] _The Earls of Kildare_; Harris's _Dublin_; _Four Masters, ad ann._

[58] Ware; Gairdner's _Life of Richard III._; _Letters of Richard III.
and Henry VII._, ii. 55.

[59] _Irish Statutes_, 10 Henry VII., Dec. 1, 1494.

[60] _Ibid._, chaps. iv. and xxii.

[61] Gilbert's _Viceroys_, p. 454, and Ware. The Act is not in the
printed statutes.

[62] _Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII._, vol. ii. pp. lxxvi. 237,
242, 299; _Histories of Waterford_, by Smith and Rylands; _Four Masters
and Annals of Lough Cé ad ann. 1505_.

[63] _Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII._, vol. ii. pp. 64 and 67.

[64] Hattecliffe's accounts in _Letters of Richard III. and Henry VII._,
vol. ii. pp. 297-318.

[65] Ware; Hattecliffe's _Accounts_; _Earls of Kildare_.

[66] Gairdner's _Richard III._; Smith's _Waterford_, where is given the
correspondence between Henry and the city; _Carew_, vol. v. p. 472, where
the events of 1487, 1495, and 1497 are mixed up; Sir Piers Butler to the
Earl of Ormonde, in Graves's _St. Canice_, p. 193.

[67] _Four Masters_, with O'Donovan's notes, under 1485. The 'Annals' of
Andreas and the 'Douze triomphes de Henri VII.,' are in _Memorials of
Henry VII._, ed. Gairdner.

[68] Sir Piers Butler to the Earl of Ormonde, in Graves's _St. Canice_,
p. 193. Stanihurst says Sir Piers waylaid his enemy.

[69] All the authorities bearing on this event are collected in Graves's
_St. Canice_, pp. 193-198.

[70] The Acts of this Parliament (supposed lost) are printed by Mr.
Gilbert in his _Facsimiles of Irish National MSS._, vol. iii., from the
English Patent Rolls. Ware; _Four Masters_.

[71] _Four Masters_ and O'Donovan's notes, under 1487, 1488, and 1498.

[72] Ware; _Four Masters_.

[73] Sidney to Leicester, March 1, 1566, in the _Irish State Papers_. The
account of the battle of Knocktoe is made up from Ware, Stanihurst, the
_Four Masters_, and the _Book of Howth_. The _Four Masters_ seem to have
thought that the forces of the Pale were not engaged, and O'Donovan
rather countenances them, but the _Annals of Lough Cé_ say Kildare
mustered 'all the foreigners and Irish of Leinster and of Northern
Ireland.' (_Ad ann. 1504._) The details in the _Book of Howth_ may not be
all correct, though there is nothing antecedently improbable in Lord
Gormanston's truculent speech.

[74] _Irish Statutes_, 24 Hen. VII.; _Letters and Papers of Henry VIII._,
Oct. 7, 1515.

[75] The statutes referred to are printed in Hardiman's _Statute of
Kilkenny_. See Gilbert's _Viceroys_, p. 459.

[Illustration: IRELAND ABOUT 1500.

_London: Longmans & Co._]



[Sidenote: Accession of Henry VIII., 1509. Kildare remains in power.]

Henry VIII. was proclaimed without opposition, and amid great rejoicings
in all the principal towns, but his accession made no immediate
difference to Ireland. Kildare prepared to go to the new King, but the
Council, who felt their helplessness without him, chose him Lord Justice,
and constrained him to stay. His patent as Lord Deputy was not long
withheld, and other official men were for the time continued in
authority. The Earl was summoned to Court, but excused himself on the
grounds that he could not be spared, and, as the Council sustained him,
the King made no objection. Attended by the chief men of the Pale he
invaded Munster, and, being joined by O'Donnell, penetrated into Desmond
and took Castlemaine, as well as the so-called palace of the MacCarthies
near Killarney. He met with scarcely any resistance, and seems to have
had no higher object than plunder. Near Limerick, Kildare was joined by
Desmond's eldest son with the main force of the southern Geraldines and
the MacCarthies of Carbery and Muskerry. The Lord Deputy passed into
Clare by a wooden bridge which the O'Briens had erected near
Castleconnell, and which he broke down behind him. Here he was met by
Tirlough O'Brien, the chief's son, accompanied by the Macnamaras and the
Clanricarde Burkes. The hostile armies bivouacked at such close quarters
that they could hear each other talking at night. At daybreak Kildare
retired along the right bank of the Shannon, and reached Limerick in
safety with the bulk of his plunder. The Munster Geraldines, with their
Irish auxiliaries, marched in the van as not being over trustworthy.
In the rear, the post of honour in a retreat, were the O'Donnells and the
men of the Pale. Such was the settlement of differences between
Geraldines and De Burgos, which the chief governor had alleged as the
main obstacle to his attendance upon his sovereign. It was indeed his
interest to be always at war, for he had obtained a grant in tail of all
such possessions as he could recover from any rebel in Ireland.[76] This
method of paying a viceroy with letters of marque cost the Crown nothing,
but the greatest ingenuity could hardly have devised a plan more fatal to
an unfortunate dependency.

[Sidenote: Activity of Kildare, 1512, 1513.]

During the next year Kildare kept pretty quiet, but was soon again in the
field. Crossing the Shannon at Athlone he plundered and burned all before
him to Roscommon, where he placed a garrison, and then prolonged his
destroying course to Boyle. Here he met O'Donnell, who came to him over
the Curlew Mountains. This chief had lately made a pilgrimage to Rome,
and spent four months in London going and as many more on his return. He
was well received by Henry VIII., but we have unfortunately no details.
In this same year Kildare invaded Ulster, took the castle of Belfast, and
spoiled the land far and wide. In the following summer he marched against
Ely O'Carroll, but while watering his horse in a stream near his own
castle of Kilkea he was shot by one of the O'Mores, and died soon
afterwards.[77] His son Gerald was at once chosen Lord Justice by the
Council, and the King continued him in authority[78] on the same terms,
and with a similar grant of all lands he could recover from the rebels.

[Sidenote: The Earldom of Ormonde in abeyance.]

The rival house of Ormonde was at this time depressed by the loss of its
head without male issue. Early in 1515 died Thomas, the seventh Earl, the
only Irish peer whom Henry VII. or Henry VIII. called to the English
House of Lords, who was reputed the richest subject of the Crown, and is
said to have left the enormous sum of 40,000_l._ in money, besides
jewels. He had two daughters, who inherited his personal property and
seventy-two manors in England. Ann, the eldest, was married to Sir James
St. Leger, Margaret, the younger, to Sir William Boleyn, by whom she had
Sir Thomas, who became grandfather to Queen Elizabeth. Sir Piers Butler,
a descendant of the third Earl, was heir male to the title and to the
settled Irish estates, which at once became matters of dispute between
him and the ladies St. Leger and Boleyn. With the full approval of the
Irish Butlers, Sir Piers at once assumed the title of Earl. He had
married Lady Margaret Fitzgerald, sister of the new Lord Deputy Kildare,
a woman of lofty character and stature, to whom Irish tradition, with an
endearing irony, has given the name of Magheen or Little Margaret. In
compliance with letters from the King, Sir Piers was ordered to appear
before his brother-in-law and the Irish Council; but he sent his wife
instead, to urge that he was busy fighting. The lady, who must have had a
delicate task between her husband and her brother, procured an
adjournment, and it was stipulated that no rents should be paid in the
meantime. The late Earl's daughters appeared by counsel in due course,
and it is evident that Henry leaned strongly to their side. They offered
evidence of title, but Sir Piers staid away and left all to his wife and
his lawyers. The latter contented themselves with practically demurring
to the jurisdiction, and prayed to have the case tried at common law;
which would probably have secured a decision for their client. The Lord
Deputy referred all back to the King, and the tenants continued to pay no
rent. Kildare wished to command Sir Piers on his allegiance to appear
before the King in England on a certain day; but he was overruled by the
Council, who believed that this would drive Butler into rebellion; and as
its acknowledged chief, he could command all the forces of his family. He
chanced, moreover, to be at peace with the reigning Desmond, and he had
strengthened himself by alliances among the Irish. These considerations
prevailed with the King or with Wolsey, and the case remained in
abeyance; but it had gone far enough to cause an irreparable breach
between Kildare and the rival chief.[79]

[Sidenote: Kildare visits England in 1515. His restless policy.]

Meanwhile, the Lord Deputy trod in his father's footsteps. He made
successful raids on the O'Mores and O'Reillys, and for slaying many of
the latter had a grant of the customs of Strangford and other places in
Down. A visit to England in 1515 resulted in permission to hold a
Parliament in the following year, but it produced no legislation of
importance. He took and dismantled Leap Castle, the stronghold of the
O'Carrolls, which his father had failed to gain, and he surprised Clonmel
by a sudden march, though we know not what offence that town had given
him. When he was busy in the north, where he destroyed O'Neill's castle
at Dungannon and stormed Dundrum, which was defended by Magennis, the
O'Carrolls rose again and invaded Meath. Again Kildare visited Ely and
destroyed another castle. The history of two viceroyalties may indeed be
told in a single sentence. Every year or two the Earl of Kildare harried
some Irish country, and then reported such and such execution done upon
the King's enemies. There was no attempt to keep the peace among the
natives, the highest policy being the setting of one chief against
another. The O'Neills and O'Donnells continued their everlasting feuds,
and nearly every tribe was constantly at war. Occasionally they made
foreign alliances, as in the case of O'Donnell, who was a travelled man.
A French knight coming on a visit to St. Patrick's Purgatory was
hospitably received by the chief, and offered to recover Sligo from the
O'Connors. The offer was accepted, and in due course an armed vessel
appeared in Killybegs Harbour. Sligo was battered from the sea, the
O'Donnells co-operating by land, and the castle surrendered. We hear no
more of the mysterious Frenchman.[80] Ware says that Ireland was
peaceable during the year 1518, but the Irish annalists tell a very
different story.[81]

[Sidenote: Miserable state of the country.]

The chiefs of English race were almost as restless as the Celts whom
they affected to despise, and the state of the Pale was as bad as bad
could be. John Kite, a Londoner, who had been promoted to the throne of
Armagh by Wolsey's influence, informed his patron that he tried to
comfort the people by promising that the King would soon come to reform
the land. He insisted very reasonably that the King was as much bound to
maintain order and justice in Ireland as in England herself. The sea was
no safer than the land, and the ship which brought the Archbishop from
Chester had been attacked by two pirates; but the men of Drogheda--no
thanks to the Government--had captured the rovers. Even the Countess
Dowager of Kildare, who was the daughter of an English knight, complained
that her stepson allowed O'Neill to levy tribute on her lands, and that
her property and that of her dependents was laid waste. Portions that had
escaped the Irish were seized by the Earl's own steward. Kildare had many
other accusers, and was at length summoned over to give an account. He
was allowed to appoint a Deputy, and nominated his cousin, Maurice
Fitzgerald of Lackagh, who was soon afterwards killed by the O'Mores. But
the cry of the land had been heard at last, and Henry resolved to send
over a governor whom he could trust. The lot fell upon Thomas, Earl of
Surrey, the son and companion in arms of the victor of Flodden, whose
influence at Court probably made his absence desirable to Wolsey.[82]

[Sidenote: Thomas Earl of Surrey, Lord-Lieutenant, 1520. Anarchy.]

The first thirty pages of the printed State Papers are taken up with a
report to the King on the state of Ireland, founded on an earlier
document, but corrected and brought down nearly to the date of Surrey's
appointment. It discloses a state of things calculated to try the ablest
governor. In Ulster and Connaught, in the counties of Waterford, Cork,
Kilkenny, Limerick, Kerry, Carlow, Westmeath, and Wicklow, and in parts
of Kildare and Wexford, there was neither magistrate nor sheriff.
Districts wholly or partially peopled by men of English race were under
black-rent to the native chiefs. This odious tax was paid by the Savages
of Lecale in Down to the O'Neills of Clandeboye. The great chief of
Tyrone levied his dues in Louth. Meath and Kildare were tributary to
O'Connor Faly, Wexford to the Kavanaghs, Kilkenny and Tipperary to
O'Carroll, Limerick to the O'Briens, and Cork to the MacCarthies.
MacMurrough Kavanagh, who in the eyes of the natives represented the
ancient royalty of Leinster, actually received eighty marks out of an
almost empty exchequer. The sum of the several black-rents amounted to
740_l._, and this was at a time when a soldier received fourpence a day.
Dublin was in constant danger, and one of Henry's first acts was to grant
20_l._, a year to the citizens for repairing their walls, which had
crumbled through decrease of population, pestilence, and Irish violence.
A line drawn from Dundalk to Kells, from Kells to Kilcullen Bridge, and
thence by Ballymore Eustace, and Tallaght to Dalkey, enclosed the whole
actual Pale, upon which fell all the expenses of an establishment
intended to meet the wants of all Ireland. The King's taxes had to be
paid, coyne and livery were extorted, horses and carriages were
requisitioned for the public service; and with all this the Government
could give no protection, no judge went circuit, and black-rent was
perforce paid in addition. 'The King's army in England,' said Henry's
informant, 'is the commons, the King's army in Ireland is such as oppress
the commons.' The nobility and gentry copied the Government, and it was
more than suspected that they dreaded any reform which would force them
to obey the law; 'for there is no land in all this world that has more
liberty in vices than Ireland, and less liberty in virtue.' The Church
showed no better example than the lay magnates; 'for there is no
archbishop nor bishop, abbot nor prior, parson nor vicar, nor any other
person of the Church, high or low, great or small, that useth to preach
the Word of God, saving the poor friars' beggars.' Some Irish chiefs kept
better order than the Government; 'but not to the intent that his
subjects should escape harmless, but to the intent to devour them by
himself, like as a greedy hound delivereth the sheep from the wolf.'

[Sidenote: Remedies suggested.]

Ireland has never lacked physicians, though she has often been nothing
bettered by them. The most obvious means to strengthen the English power
was to make the men of the Pale keep arms and practice their use; and
this had been the constant cry of governors and legislators for many
generations. Henry had directed Kildare to get an Act passed obliging
every merchant trading from England to Ireland to bring a pound's worth
of bows and arrows for every 20_l._ of wares, so as to prevent the King's
subjects from applying themselves to Irish archery. Patrick Finglas,
Baron of the Exchequer, was less sanguine than the writer of the State
Paper which has been so largely quoted. That reformer ventured to
prophesy that if his advice were taken the war of Ireland would cease for
ever, the King would recover Constantinople and die Emperor of Rome, and
Ireland once reduced to order would be 'none other than a very paradise,
delicious of all pleasance.' But Finglas admitted that reform must
necessarily be gradual, and advised the King to confine himself at first
to the reclamation of Leinster. He recommended that the chief abbeys and
castles should be entrusted to Englishmen, from Bray Head round the coast
to Dunbrody on the Suir, and inland from Baltinglass and Carlow along the
Barrow to Ross. The Wicklow Highlanders would be thus bridled and unable
to attack Kildare. Athy and other places were to be held against the
O'Connors and O'Mores. The Butlers seem to have been thought able to take
care of themselves. It would not do to give up the castles to men who had
great possessions in England, and who would never encourage English
farmers to become their tenants. At first settlers would have to be
protected, but in time would take care of themselves. There would be no
difficulty about tilling the soil, 'for there be no better labourers than
the poor commons of Ireland, nor sooner will be brought to good frame, if
they be kept under a law.'[83]

[Sidenote: Irish exactions.]

Besides the payment of black-rent, the commons of Ireland were oppressed
by innumerable exactions, of which the principal may be described once
for all. Bonaght was a tax imposed by a chief for the support of his
mercenary horsemen, gallowglasses, and kerne. The name was often
transferred from the tax to those who were maintained by it, and Bonaght,
or Bony, became the generic name for an Irish mercenary or for one from
the Scotch isles. Sorohen was an obligation on certain lands to support
the chief with his train for twenty-four hours once a quarter, or,
according to another account, as often as once a fortnight. Coshery was
the chief's right to sponge upon his vassals with as many followers as he
pleased. Cuddies, or night-suppers, were due by certain lands upon which
the chief might quarter himself and his train for four days four times a
year. Shragh and mart were yearly exactions in money and kine
respectively, apparently imposed at the will of the chief. Worse than any
of these was coyne and livery--that is, the taking of horse-meat and
man-meat from everyone at the will of the chief; in other words, the
right of the strongest to take what he liked. Coyne and livery were not
the invention of an Irish chief, but of one of those Anglo-Normans who
knew how to better native instruction. Maurice Fitz-Thomas, Earl of
Desmond, is said to have begun it under Edward II. as the only available
means of coping with Edward Bruce. Originally a contrivance for carrying
on war at the enemy's expense, it came to be used by all great men at all
seasons. James, the ninth Earl of Desmond, has the credit of first
imposing it on loyal subjects, but the Crown was primarily to blame for
neglecting to keep order. Lords Deputies showed no better example than
private oppressors.[84]

[Sidenote: Surrey finds all in confusion.]

Surrey landed with his family at Dublin on May 23, bringing 100 men of
the royal guard as a peculiar mark of favour. He found the country in
rather more than its usual confusion. He sent Archbishop Rokeby to
Waterford, who succeeded in preventing Sir Piers Butler from fighting
with Desmond, and he himself marched into Leix with his English soldiers,
120 Irish mercenaries, and 300 kerne. The English of the Pale, who, from
love or fear of Kildare, usually mustered so strong on these occasions,
contributed only forty-eight horse and 120 foot. Surrey made war in the
usual Irish fashion, and burned Connell O'More's country. He was joined
by Sir Piers Butler, who brought a strong contingent, including Mulrony
O'Carroll, whom he induced to take the oath of allegiance. O'Carroll had
latterly done great harm in the Pale, and he was considered the best
leader among the Irish. He refused to take the oath until Surrey rashly
promised that Kildare should never be Deputy again. On being pressed
about a letter which the Earl was said to have written to him, he at
first said that he would not inform even were he to receive the viceregal
pavilion full of gold; but in spite of all this bravado he allowed his
brothers to be examined, and they both swore that they had stood by and
heard the letter read. Surrey never saw the document itself, nor has it
been preserved. According to the report which we have, Kildare had
directed O'Carroll to keep the peace till the arrival of an English
Deputy, and then to make war on all Englishmen except the writer's
friends. The object was to make all government but his own

[Sidenote: O'Donnell is friendly.]

On his return to Dublin, Surrey found O'Donnell waiting for him. That
chief had probably pleasant recollections of his visit to the English
Court, and was not unwilling to strengthen himself against his rival
O'Neill. He told Surrey that his powerful neighbour had urged him to make
war on the Pale, and had declared his own intention of doing so, in
compliance with Kildare's directions. O'Donnell promised to invade Tyrone
if the Lord-Lieutenant would do likewise from the opposite quarter, and
remarked emphatically that if the King ever set Kildare in authority
again he might as well convey Ireland to him and his heirs for ever.

[Sidenote: O'Neill temporises.]

Early in August, Surrey, accompanied by Sir Piers Butler and his forces,
entered Farney and punished MacMahon for the assistance given to O'Neill
in his attacks on the Pale. O'Neill made some sort of verbal submission,
and the Lord-Lieutenant returned to Dublin, where he detected a
conspiracy among his soldiers, some of whom found life intolerable in
Ireland. Their plan was to seize a small vessel in the river, and by her
means a larger one on the high seas, and so to become rovers. The Irish
lawyers held that the Viceroy could not hang them; for they had committed
no overt act, and his patent did not authorise him to proceed by martial
law. It is clear that the Crown was held capable of dispensing with the
common law, at least in the case of soldiers.[86]

[Sidenote: Desmonds and MacCarthies.]

In September an important private war was waged in Munster. James, Earl
of Desmond, according to the usual practice of his family, made a
perfectly unprovoked attack upon Cormac Oge MacCarthy, the chief of
Muskerry. Having secured the assistance of Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, the
Earl's uncle and his own sister's husband, and of his kinsman MacCarthy
Reagh, Cormac Oge defeated Desmond in a pitched battle near Mourne Abbey,
to the south of Mallow. The messenger who brought the news to Dublin
reported that the Earl had lost 1,500 foot and 500 horse. The
Lord-Lieutenant was not sorry, for he had straitly charged Desmond to
leave the MacCarthies alone. The fate of the Desmonds has excited much
not very well directed sympathy: it would better become Irishmen to
remember that they were the worst oppressors of their Celtic neighbours.

When Surrey visited Munster soon after, Desmond met him at Clonmel, and
was as loyal in words as Sir Piers Butler had been in deeds. At Waterford
he met MacCarthy Reagh and Cormac Oge, who were adherents of Sir Piers,
and who had come on his invitation. They spoke fairly, bound themselves
to keep the peace and professed themselves loyal, so that they might be
protected. Surrey wished to make Cormac Oge a Privy Councillor and a
Baron of Parliament, and he calls him a 'sad wise man.' Cormac produced a
charter under the Great Seal, a copy of which was sent to England with an
assurance that it comprised no lands to which the King was entitled.[87]

[Sidenote: Henry speaks boldly to the Irish.]

It was probably to Cormac Oge that Henry wrote a remarkable letter, which
shows his intentions at this time. The Irishman, whether Cormac Oge or
another, was willing to surrender his lands and take an estate tail from
the Crown at a fair rent. It was the interest of native chieftains to do
this, because it secured them as against the Government, while it enabled
them to transmit to their children a property which was not theirs at
all, but held in trust for the clan at the election of the clansmen. The
one fear of Henry's correspondent was that he should after all be
abandoned to Kildare's vengeance, and he counselled the employment of a
large army. To this the King answered that he had no intention whatever
of giving up his plans for the reduction of Ireland, that he would not
remove Surrey, and that he would not reinstate Kildare in the government.
When peaceful means failed it would be time to put forth his strength. In
language which reminds us of the royal speech in the ballad of 'Chevy
Chase,' he remarked that this Irish enterprise was a trifle compared with
those which he had in hand against France and Scotland. This was politic
language in dealing with a half-civilised MacCarthy, but Henry spoke very
differently to his own servants. There was talk of an alliance between
Argyll and O'Neill, and of a Scotch descent upon Ireland. The Continent
was disturbed, and the burden of three armies would be intolerable. And
yet he would try to do justice to Ireland. He was an absolute monarch and
above legal trammels, but might even condescend to consider himself
bound, if by so doing he could induce Irish chiefs to live by law. If
that of England proved too strong for weak stomachs, they might even
retain some of their native customs. The Earldom of Ulster was legally
his own, but he would not willingly take it by force. If clemency failed,
in the last resort he would try the strength of his hand, for realms
without justice were but tyrannies, communities of beasts rather than
reasoning men. Brave words! but woefully belied in action.[88]

[Sidenote: Surrey is not sanguine.]

Surrey was not to be deceived, and steadily refused to prophesy smooth
things. He believed that Ireland could only be reduced by conquest, and
that the easiest method was to master one district at a time, gradually
pushing forward the frontier until the whole country was obedient. A
permanent army of 500 men might perhaps effect this, while at least 6,000
would be required for a rapid conquest. Edward I. had taken ten years to
subdue Wales, and that great king had given almost constant personal
attention to the work. Yet Wales was unprotected by the sea, and was not
a fifth part the size of Ireland. All artillery and munitions of war
would have to be brought from England, and fortresses must be built to
bridle each tract of country successively occupied. Nor could a military
occupation endure unless accompanied by a large plan of colonisation.
Thus only could the natives be brought to labour and settled order. We
can see, though Henry VIII. could not, how justly Surrey estimated the
magnitude of England's task in Ireland.[89]

[Sidenote: Activity of Surrey.]

In July 1521 the Irish bordering on the Pale took their usual advantage
of the season. O'Connor, O'More, and O'Carroll, the latter all unmindful
of his last year's oath and of more recent promises, collected a great
host and prepared to attack the Pale. Surrey, who had lately prorogued
his Parliament after a ten days' session, was in Dublin, and by his
promptitude averted the danger. O'Connor's castle, near Edenderry, was
soon in his hands, being unable to resist the fire of three pieces of
heavy ordnance for a single day. It became an axiom in Irish warfare that
the Government could always make its way with artillery. Surrey proposed
to hold O'Connor's stronghold permanently, and to use it against the
Irishry as Berwick was used against the Scots. He destroyed all the corn
far and wide, the people with their cattle flying before him, while Sir
Piers Butler played the like part in Ely O'Carroll. The vigour shown by
the Lord-Lieutenant had the effect which vigour generally has in Ireland,
and the confederacy gave him little further trouble. Meanwhile, the North
was in a blaze. O'Donnell professed loyalty, but was not trusted by
Surrey, who, however, thought it wise to humour him. O'Neill was willing
to be on good terms with the Government, and was on his way to Dundalk
accompanied by Magennis and a large force, when the O'Donnells attacked
him in the rear. Fifteen hundred cows were driven off and seventeen of
the Magennis' villages burned, so that the allies were forced to retrace
their steps. The chief of Tyrconnell feared that if his great neighbour
were once at peace with the Pale he would be too strong for him in the
everlasting private war of Northern Ulster.[90]

[Sidenote: Uncertainty of English policy.]

It is not the least of Ireland's misfortunes that her rulers have ever
been subject to hot and cold fits. In the autumn of 1521 Henry suddenly
changed his mind. Disgusted at the apparently almost fruitless expense,
he not only relieved Surrey at his own earnest request, but also
abandoned his policy. War broke out between Charles and Francis, and the
reformation of Ireland, which had but lately seemed so necessary a work
for a Christian king, was lightly postponed to a more convenient season.
Surrey is the first of a long series of able men whose efforts, generally
very ill seconded at home, in the end brought Ireland under the English
sceptre. His means were inconsiderable. In the expedition against O'More,
which he undertook very soon after landing, his whole force seems not to
have exceeded 700. He then asked the King for eighty horsemen from the
North of England, and for leave to discharge as many of the guardsmen as
he might think fit. Many of these were well-to-do householders, and liked
Ireland so little that they were content to leave it on receiving
twopence, or even a penny, a day. One hundred horsemen were accordingly
sent, under the command of Sir John Bulmer, who was Surrey's personal
friend, and fifty more were added from Wales. The captain received
half-a-crown and the lieutenant eighteenpence a day. On their arrival 117
guardsmen were discharged upon a penny a day. Fourpence appears to have
been a soldier's ordinary pay in Ireland, and Surrey maintained that this
was not enough. Neither Welshmen nor Northumbrians proved to his taste,
most of them being mounted archers and not spearmen. He thought better
men might be had in the country, and Henry was willing to give him much
latitude, though he cautioned him against employing too many Irishmen,
lest the sword should hurt his hand. The King gave his Viceroy the power
of life and death, reserving noble personages, and the right of making
knights. A golden collar was sent for O'Neill, and it was supposed that
such cheap defences would avail against a chief who could easily raise
1,600 men. Of two evils Surrey chose the less; he discharged most of
Bulmer's men, whom he pronounced ill-looking, worthless rascals, and took
Englishmen of the Pale in their places. The difficulty of buying forage
was thus obviated, as native horsemen could find it for themselves.[91]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1521.]

A Parliament sat in Dublin for ten days in June 1521, and after many
prorogations was not finally dissolved till March 1522, when Surrey had
left Ireland. There appears to be no record of the peers who attended, or
of the places represented, and so little mention is afterwards made of
this Parliament that the interest attaching to it was probably slight.
Acts were passed making arson treason, forbidding the exportation of
wool as the cause of a 'dearth of cloth and idleness of many folks,' and
providing against the failure of justice through lack of jurors.[92]

[Sidenote: Want of money.]

The Irish Government had no command of money, the judicious employment of
which might enable them to dispense with troops. Surrey's expedition to
Munster was near failing for want of means to pay his men. Before the end
of August the exchequer was habitually empty; no taxes were due till
Michaelmas, nor leviable till Christmas; and nothing was to be had except
for ready money.[93] The King sent 4,000_l._, but would not face the
necessities of the case. It seemed to him monstrous to have to spend
1,600_l._ or 1,700_l._ a year merely for the defence of the Pale. His
remittances were mere palliatives, and Surrey was in difficulties during
his whole term of office.

[Sidenote: Surrey recalled at his own request, 1521.]

Surrey had to cope with disease as well as poverty. It was scarcely
possible to find healthy quarters for soldiers, and the people fled
everywhere into the fields, leaving unburied bodies behind them. No place
in Ireland was safe, and the Lord-Lieutenant, who lost three of his
servants, was anxious about his wife and children. Sir John Bulmer never
had a day of health in Ireland, and was glad to get home safe without
having seen any service. In the second year of his government, Surrey
himself was affected with the fever and diarrhoea which have often been
fatal to the English in Ireland, but his prayers were heard at last, and
he was recalled in time to save his life. He was much regretted by the
inhabitants of the Pale, who recognised his good nature, integrity, and
ability. Those who best knew the subject believed that he really saw how
the country might be reduced to order, and it was hoped that he would
return with sufficient means. Meanwhile, the Irish Council entreated
Wolsey to be guided by his advice.[94]

[Sidenote: He leaves a great reputation.]

Beloved by the King's subjects and feared by rebels, Surrey left one of
the fairest names among those who have ruled Ireland. He paid in full for
everything, so that the market followed him wherever he went, and he
declared that he would rather eat grass than feast with the curses of the
poor. His retinue had orders to behave in Ireland as they would at home.
So generous was he that the common people thought him the King's son. Nor
was he less just, for he gave full notice of his intended departure, and
discharged all debts due by him or his. It was thought that he never
offended within the compass of the seven deadly sins during his stay in
Ireland; tradition, with a fine contempt for facts, adds that 'in his
time was corn, cattle, fish, health, and fair weather, that the like was
not seen many years before.' We know from his own letters that corn was
dear and sickness prevalent, and we may be very sure that the weather was
not always fair.[95]

[Sidenote: Sir Piers Butler is made Lord Deputy, 1522.]

Henry had too much respect for Surrey's opinion to hand back Ireland at
once to Kildare; but he had resolved to reduce expenses, and was
therefore obliged to place the government in the hands of someone who had
the strength to make authority respected. No one satisfied this condition
except Sir Piers Butler, and Surrey was allowed to appoint him Deputy,
retaining the office of Lord-Lieutenant himself. There were objections to
Sir Piers, as to every Irish governor. The Butlers would not take the
field except under him or his eldest son, and he was generally laid up
with gout all the winter. Lord James, as the heir was called, was active
enough, but young and inexperienced. The choice, however, lay between
Ormonde and Kildare, and Sir Piers was so cautiously handled, that he
abstained from driving a hard bargain.

[Sidenote: The experiment is not successful.]

[Sidenote: O'Neills and O'Donnells.]

The experiment was not very successful; for the Geraldines were
all-powerful in the Pale, and the new Lord Deputy, when in Dublin, was
separated from his own country by his rival's dominions. He took the
oath on March 26, 1522, but the O'Mores, who had heard that Kildare was
on his way to restore the good old times, soon began to threaten the
Pale. In the North a war broke out on such an unusually large scale as to
make it probable that O'Neill had promised Kildare to give the new Deputy
as much trouble as possible. Indeed, when Kildare did actually return, he
at once went to O'Neill's aid. The chief of Tyrone may have required
little persuasion to attack his hereditary foes, but the number of his
allies was very uncommon. MacWilliam of Clanricarde, Tirlough O'Brien,
Bishop of Killaloe, with many of his clansmen, O'Connor Don and O'Connor
Roe, MacWilliam of Mayo, and MacDermot of Moylurg, all agreed to assemble
on the southern border of Donegal. O'Neill brought to the trysting place
Magennis, O'Rourke, and MacMahon, and many Scottish mercenaries in the
hereditary service of his family. 'Great numbers,' we are told, 'of the
English of Meath, and the gallowglasses of the province of Leinster, of
the Clan-Donnell and Clan-Sheehy, also came thither, from their
attachment to the daughter of the Earl of Kildare, who was O'Neill's
mother.' To oppose this vast host, O'Donnell had only the clans
immediately subject to him, O'Boyle, O'Gallagher, O'Dogherty, and the
three septs of MacSwiney, hereditary gallowglasses of Tyrconnell. He
mustered his forces near Trim, on the Tyrone side of the Finn, and there
awaited the onset. But O'Neill adopted tactics very usual in Irish
warfare, passed by the northern shore of Lough Erne, reached Ballyshannon
without fighting, and slaughtered the garrison of MacSwineys there.
O'Donnell retaliated by sending his son Manus to ravage the nearest
districts of Tyrone, and himself hurried in pursuit of O'Neill across the
pass now called Barnesmore Gap. Again declining battle, O'Neill turned
back, spoiled the country between Donegal and Letterkenny, and encamped
on the hill which overlooks Strabane. O'Donnell returned very quickly
over Barnesmore, and, having been rejoined by his son, faced the enemy
near Lifford. There he held a council of war, and his followers in
desperation resolved on an immediate fight. Leaving their horses behind,
the O'Donnells crept up unperceived, drove in the outposts, and entered
the camp pell-mell. In the darkness and confusion faces could not be
distinguished, and many O'Neills fell by the hands of their brethren.
Nine hundred dead bodies were counted in the morning, including many of
the Leinster men who had come for the love of Kildare. Celtic war always
presents the same features, and the victorious O'Donnells quickly
disbanded with the horses and armour, the strong liquors and the rich
drinking vessels of the vanquished.[96]

[Sidenote: O'Donnell is stronger than O'Neill.]

When he had again collected his men, O'Donnell recrossed Barnesmore,
passed between Lough Melvin and the sea, and encamped at the foot of
Benbulben, the bold hill which tourists admire from Sligo. The Connaught
men were besieging that place when they heard of O'Donnell's victory, and
of his near approach. They offered to negotiate, and, having thus gained
time, they broke up from Sligo and retreated rapidly to the Curlew
mountains, where they separated. The panegyrists of the O'Donnells sing
pæans over two victories obtained without the help of English or Scotch
allies, and remarkable in Irish warfare, the one for its slaughter, the
other for its bloodlessness. Next year O'Donnell carried the war into
Tyrone, which he ravaged as far as Dungannon. At Knockinlossy he
destroyed a beautiful herb-garden, which must have been a rare thing in
those days, and from Tullahogue, where he established a temporary camp,
he spoiled the land far and wide. All the plunder was carried off safely,
and the invaders then returned for more; but peace was made instead, and
they turned their arms against O'Rourke. Fermanagh was wasted as Tyrone
had been, and we cannot be surprised that chiefs who thus preyed on each
other should fail to make head against the English Government.[97]

[Sidenote: Sir Piers Butler is thwarted by the Geraldines.]

During his short tenure of office, Sir Piers Butler undertook but one
warlike expedition. He chastised the O'Briens, and killed one of their
leaders at the ford of Camus on the Suir. But Kildare had returned to
Ireland, and was active in the field, acting at first in apparent unison
with the Lord Deputy. Supported by O'Neill, to whose arbitration
differences were submitted, he reduced to quiet the clans on the border
of the Pale. With both Butlers and Geraldines, the main object was to
enlarge and secure their hereditary territories; but the former sought
support in England, the latter among the wild tribes of Ulster. Lady
Kildare, a daughter of Grey, Marquis of Dorset, whom the Earl had married
during his late visit to England, complained bitterly to Wolsey that Sir
Piers oppressed her husband, spoiled his tenants and friends, and made
alliances with the wild Irish. She attributed this to Kildare's refusal
to act partially in the dispute with the Boleyn family. Sir Piers Butler
had married Kildare's sister, and he might not unreasonably count upon
his brother-in-law's assistance; but throughout the contests of this
century personal considerations were of little power compared with those
of clanship and family pride. Kildare's brother James killed Robert
Talbot of Belgard, on his way to Kilkenny, and it seems that the
Geraldines regarded all gentlemen of the Pale who opposed them as no
better than spies. But Sir Piers was naturally incensed at the outrage on
his friend and visitor.[98]

[Sidenote: Kildare in Ulster.]

The general lawlessness is well shown by an expedition which Kildare
undertook against O'Neill of Clandeboye, partly, as he owned, in revenge
of the damage done to his property there, and partly, as he told the
King, to punish attacks upon English merchants. At Carrickfergus he found
a Breton ship which had just landed a cargo of Gascon wine. England and
France were at peace, but the foreigners were fain to avoid capture by
putting to sea without having been paid for their goods. The taste for
claret was early developed in Ireland, and this relief from payment may
have had a charm like the exemption from legal duties in more modern
times. A Scotch vessel laden with provisions, which lay out in Belfast
Lough, was attacked by the Geraldines in boats and forced ashore. Hugh
O'Neill, who had 1,500 Scots with him, rescued the crew, and in revenge
Kildare destroyed Belfast and two other castles, and burned the country
for twenty-four miles round. The Mayor of Carrickfergus and three of the
chief townsmen were sent prisoners to England for trading with the French
and Scots. If we are to believe Kildare's account, the Lord Deputy took
the opportunity of handing over his castles to the O'Connors, of making a
league with O'Carroll, and of carrying off 500 stud mares and colts from
the county of Kildare.[99]

[Sidenote: Kildare is restored.]

It became evident at last that Sir Piers Butler was not strong enough to
govern without Kildare's help, and Henry reverted to his father's policy
of entrusting all Ireland to the man whom all Ireland could not govern.
One more effort was made to reconcile the rivals by sending over royal
commissioners, who prevailed upon them to make an agreement under seal as
the basis of mutual concession. Kildare's stud mares had been taken by a
namesake of his own, but Sir Piers covenanted to give them up if they
came within his power. The subsidy payable by Tipperary to Kildare when
he was Deputy was forgiven, as was half the subsidy paid by the county of
Kildare to Butler during his tenure of office. In general, everyone was
to behave well, to keep the peace, and not to make friends with Irish

[Sidenote: Arrangements for local government.]

Butler and Kildare, and the principal gentlemen living on the marches of
the Pale, were bound at this time to adopt a certain order in their
countries, the two greater chiefs under penalties of 1,000 marks each,
and the others in sums varying from 200 marks to 40_l._ They made
themselves liable in general for their own acts and for those of their
sons and brethren, covenanting not to use the Brehon law nor those Irish
exactions which usually accompanied it, and to repress crime as far as
their power reached. Kildare, on his appointment as Deputy, covenanted
with the King not to make war or peace with Irishmen at the public charge
without consent of the Council. This was intended to prevent another
Knocktoe. Coyne and livery for the public service were to be reduced to
fixed rules. Householders were to be allowed to compound by paying
twopence a meal for a footman, and threehalfpence for a horseman or
groom; twelve sheaves of oats for a trooper, and eight for a draught
horse was to be the allowance, and not more than one boy was to accompany
each horse. If the Earl travelled on private business, or on his way to
attend Parliament, he was not to take coyne and livery save from his own
tenants; and in no case except for the actual use of soldiers, nor for
more than one night in one place, nor for successive nights within a
distance of nine miles. It had been the custom to charge the farmers for
'black men,' that is, for soldiers who only existed in name and as a
means of extortion. Treaties with Irishmen were not to be made to
prejudice the Crown, nor were pardons to be given without the consent of
the Council. The King's castles were to be kept in repair, and the Earl
was to do his best to make the people of the Pale speak, dress, and shave
like Englishmen. The salaries of the judges were to be paid; and Kildare
promised if possible to have sheriffs, escheators, and coroners appointed
in Meath, Dublin, Louth, Wexford, Kilkenny, Tipperary, and Waterford, and
to provide for the holding of Quarter Sessions in due course.[101] It is
noteworthy that the counties of Kildare and Cork are not mentioned, and
that Tipperary is; the probability being that the two former were
purposely excluded as being under Geraldine influence. As to the Butler
Palatinate of Tipperary, it is possible that only the ecclesiastical
portion or cross was intended, but it is more likely that Kildare
purposely placed his rival's district in a worse position than his own or
those of Desmond. On the other hand, he promised not to go to war with
the Butlers, or with their allies the Darcys and Nugents, without the
consent of the Council. The new Lord Deputy promised not to purchase
during his tenure of office any lands of which the title was in dispute.
James Fitzgerald was carried to England to answer for the death of
Talbot, and led through the streets of London with a halter round his
neck; but was pardoned in defiance of Wolsey's opinion at the
intercession of Denton, Dean of Lichfield, who had been one of the
commissioners lately sent to Ireland.[102]

[Sidenote: The Butlers and Geraldines still quarrel.]

In spite of all precautions, the perennial quarrel of Butlers and
Geraldines was not stopped by the appointment of Kildare. Sir Piers sent
his son James to London to watch the family interests there, in which
task he was to be guided by Robert Cowley. Kildare even asserted that Sir
Piers had given a signet to his trusty adherent, with the aid of which he
might attest any written statement he chose to make. James Butler was
either really too much occupied with the pleasure of the Court, or was
crafty enough to appear so, while waiting for an opportunity. 'Surely,'
his father wrote, 'unless I see your time better employed in attendance
of my great business, than ye have done hither, I will be well advised or
I do send you any more, to your costs.' A chief part of the business was
the prisage of wines, especially at Waterford, which had always formed an
important part of the Butler revenue. Kildare, as Lord Deputy, had
insisted that an account should be given into the Exchequer, and Sir
Piers argued that this was done merely to annoy him, and not at all out
of regard to the King's revenue. He declared that the indentures which
the new Deputy had executed were 'in no point observed,' and, in
particular, that coyne and livery were ruthlessly exacted, two villages
in Kilkenny having to maintain no less than 420 gallowglasses. The Butler
tenants were so impoverished that they could pay no rent and, moreover,
the Deputy had not paid the half-subsidy of 800_l._ as he had bound
himself to do. The King peremptorily ordered payment, but the claim was
still disputed, and it does not appear that the money was ever handed
over. Meanwhile, Lord Leonard Grey, the Deputy's brother-in-law, pressed
many grave complaints upon the royal attention. Sir Piers was accused of
levying coyne and livery for craftsmen as well as soldiers, and for his
hunting establishment. There were separate packs for hare, stag, and
martin, and no less than sixty greyhounds; the whole charge on Kilkenny
and Tipperary amounting to 2,000 marks.[103]

[Sidenote: Recriminations. Great disorders.]

Sir Piers was further accused of illegally occupying Callan and other
royal manors in Kilkenny and Tipperary, but these lands were soon
afterwards specially granted to him and his wife, and to their heirs
male. Kildare charged his rival with helping O'Carroll and lending him
cannon to defend Leap Castle against him. The fact was hardly disputed,
but it had occurred as far back as 1516, and it was alleged in answer
that the attack on O'Carroll was wanton and unprovoked. There were also
accusations of intriguing with the O'Mores, of spoiling a village in
Kildare and slaughtering the people even at the altar, of using the
Castle of Arklow to rob the lieges by land and sea, of levying illegal
taxes, and, in short, of behaving as Anglo-Irish noblemen generally did.
A far graver charge against Sir Piers was the not having punished certain
of his servants who were present at the barbarous murder of Maurice
Doran, Bishop of Leighlin. The murderer was Maurice Kavanagh, his own
Archdeacon, whom the Bishop had reproved for his crimes. It was said,
moreover, that the churches in Tipperary and Kilkenny were ruinous, and
that Sir Piers was in all things under the influence of his wife, the
Lord Deputy's sister. It is satisfactory to know that the Bishop's
tonsured assassin did not escape, for Kildare had him hanged and
disembowelled at the scene of the murder: he was a near relation of Sir
Piers Butler, which may account for the Lord Deputy's anxiety to do
justice in this particular case.[104]

[Sidenote: Kildare again in Ulster, 1524.]

Kildare never ceased to harass such Irish chiefs as he chose to consider
his enemies. In the autumn of 1524 he led an army to help his kinsman
O'Neill against O'Donnell, and encamped near Strabane. Manus O'Donnell,
who had just returned from Scotland, wished to attack at once with his
strong force of Macdonnells; but he was overruled by his father, who
feared the Deputy's artillery. Flights of arrows were directed against
the intrenchments all night, and in the morning Kildare thought it
prudent to make peace and to depart without fighting. His old enemy Hugh
O'Neill attempted to intercept him, but was killed in the skirmish which
ensued. After this Kildare seems to have kept quiet for some months, and
to have endeavoured to make peace among the Ulster clans. O'Neill and
O'Donnell, or O'Donnell's son Manus, visited Dublin; but all efforts to
reconcile them were ineffectual, 'so that they returned to their homes in
strife, and the war continued as before.'[105]

[Sidenote: Butler goes to England, 1526. Kildare sent for the next year.]

In September 1526 Sir Piers Butler went to England to press his various
suits, and to complain of Kildare's conduct. At Bristol he was in great
danger of his life, the citizens having quarrelled with his retinue, who
were probably for the most part Irish in speech and habits. According to
Sir Piers the townsmen were the aggressors, and no provocation was given
to the 600 men who surrounded his lodgings and threatened to set the
house on fire. In spite of the interposition of the mayor and of some of
the King's officers, Sir Piers was obliged to surrender certain of his
men and to find securities for the rest. A grant of considerable
possessions in Ireland rewarded him for the troubles and dangers of the
journey to Court. He accused Kildare of conspiring with Irish enemies to
help Desmond in the foreign intrigues which he was undoubtedly carrying
on, and of neglecting to arrest him when ordered to do so by special
letters from the King. It was said that he entered Munster for the
ostensible purpose of effecting this arrest, but sent private word to
Desmond to avoid him, and to plead his privilege not to attend Parliament
or enter walled towns. It was scarcely fair to expect that the head of
one branch of the Geraldines should willingly imprison the head of the
other; but Kildare was also accused of employing Irish enemies to oppress
the Butlers, was summoned to London, and was at once committed to the
Tower. He was soon brought before the Council, and Wolsey is said to have
assailed him in a violent speech, calling him King of Ireland, a king who
was able to bring back his own from the furthest edge of Ulster, but who
would do nothing against a rebellious lord who had defied the Crown of
England. After a time Kildare interrupted the Cardinal, saying that he
was no orator, and that if he did not answer each charge in detail as it
was uttered, his memory would fail him and his case would thus be
prejudiced. This was considered reasonable, and the Earl hastened to
ridicule the notion that Desmond's liberty depended on him. 'Cannot,' he
asked, 'the Earl of Desmond shift, but I must be of counsel? Cannot he
hide him except I wink?' Then he turned round upon Wolsey, whom he
averred to be quite as much king in England as he was in Ireland. Indeed,
he would willingly change places for one month, and would engage to pick
up more crumbs in that time than could be bought with all the revenues of
his Irish earldom. 'I slumber,' he continued, 'in a hard cabin, when you
sleep in a soft bed of down; I serve under the King his cope of heaven,
when you are served under a canopy; I drink water out of my skull, when
you drink wine out of golden cups; my courser is trained to the field,
when your genet is taught to amble; when you are begraced and belorded,
and crouched and kneeled unto, then find I small grace with our Irish
borderers, except I cut them off by the knees.' Wolsey broke up the
Council in high dudgeon, and sent the Earl back to the Tower until
further evidence should arrive from Ireland. Before leaving Dublin,
Kildare had taken the precaution of seeing each Councillor separately and
binding him by oath to write in his favour.[106]

[Sidenote: Wolsey accused of plotting Kildare's death.]

Wolsey is said to have taken it upon himself to send a death-warrant to
the Governor of the Tower, which arrived while that officer was playing
shovel-board with his prisoner. On reading it the Lieutenant sighed, and
Kildare remarked, 'By St. Bride, there is some mad game in that scroll,
but fall how it will this throw is for a huddle.' On learning the
contents of the paper he begged his gaoler to go straight to the King and
ask his real pleasure. Unwilling to offend Wolsey, but still more
unwilling to obey him, the Lieutenant repaired to Whitehall and was at
once admitted, though it was ten o'clock at night. The King immediately
respited the execution, and is said to have used strong language, calling
Wolsey a saucy, over-officious priest, and threatening him with
unpleasant consequences.[107]

[Sidenote: But the Cardinal has perhaps been misrepresented.]

Such is the received story. Yet Wolsey, who is represented as thirsting
for Kildare's blood, was not even disposed to remove him from the
viceroyalty. This forbearance arose from no love for the troublesome
Earl, but it was thought that if he were detained in England and treated
with some show of favour, his Irish adherents would be afraid to move. In
case the King should nevertheless resolve to remove Kildare, then Wolsey
advised that Sir Piers should again be made Deputy, the real government
being in the hands of his son. Henry, however, thought that James Butler
was too young for so great a charge, and that the noblemen of Ireland
would disdain to be led by one who was junior to them all.[108]

[Sidenote: The Earldom of Ormonde.]

While Kildare's fortunes were thus clouded, his rival was at Court
looking after his own interests. The Earldom of Ormonde, to which he was
the true heir male, had been conferred, together with that of Wiltshire,
on Sir Thomas Boleyn, grandson, through his mother, of the late Earl. Sir
Piers, who was too prudent to oppose the father of Anne and Mary Boleyn,
and who perhaps thought one earldom nearly as good as another, was
content to accept the title of Ossory. Five years before, Henry had
thought to reconcile the rival claimants by marrying James Butler to Anne
Boleyn, but the negotiation had come to nothing, and the King now
destined the lady for himself.[109]

[Sidenote: Sir Piers Butler is created Earl of Ossory.]

The new creation was made at Windsor with great pomp. Arriving late in
the evening from London, Sir Piers, who was in delicate health, lay at
his own lodgings in the town, as being warmer and more comfortable than
the rooms of the Lord Chamberlain, with whom he breakfasted next morning.
We are particularly told that good fires were lit after mass. The Marquis
of Exeter and the Earl of Oxford led the new peer into the presence
chamber, the Earl of Rutland bearing the sword. The grandees dined
together at the King's expense after the investiture, and then, having
changed his dress, the Earl was again conducted into the royal presence
by the Marquis of Exeter. Having taken leave of Henry and of the Queen
and Princess, and having duly feed the waiters, Ossory returned to
London, where he paid a parting visit to Wolsey, and then returned into
his own country.[110]

[Sidenote: The Vice-Deputy Delvin is captured by the O'Connors, 1528.]

Leaving Kildare in the Tower, we must now go back to Ireland, where
Richard Nugent, seventh Baron of Delvin, had been acting as Vice-Deputy,
Sir James Fitzgerald, whom Kildare had left in charge, having been
superseded by the Irish Council. When Archbishop Inge and Chief Justice
Bermingham heard of Kildare's imprisonment, they wrote to Wolsey
regretting the Earl's absence, and expressing their doubts as to whether
he was guilty of any such practices as were charged against him. They
considered Delvin incompetent, for he had no great fortune of his own to
eke out the scanty revenue of Ireland. The people were more heavily taxed
than ever, and they were not defended; for the armed bands which were
always at Kildare's beck and call would serve no one else. As the Pale
was desolated by the absence of one Earl, so were Tipperary and Kilkenny
by the absence of another; and the worst was to be feared unless they
both speedily returned. These gloomy forebodings were soon fulfilled; for
Delvin, against the advice of the Council, withheld the black-rent which
O'Connor, Kildare's son-in-law, had been used to receive from Meath. The
aggrieved chief surprised the Vice-Deputy on the march, killed most of
his men, and took him prisoner. Lord Butler, who was present, had
prudently provided himself with a safe-conduct; he lodged that night with
the victorious O'Connor, and was allowed to have an interview with his
distinguished prisoner. The chief and his brothers were present, and the
two noblemen were not allowed to speak English nor to confer in private.
Speaking in Irish, O'Connor insisted on having his black-rent again, or
being paid a ransom for the Vice-Deputy, and on receiving a distinct
promise that the men of the Pale should not avenge his overthrow. But
Butler's diplomacy was not yet exhausted. By the advice of a Mr. White,
who was among O'Connor's guests, he sought a private interview with
Cahir, the chief's brother, who of course had a party of his own among
the clansmen. Cahir readily agreed to escort Lord Butler out of his
brother's country, and was afterwards persuaded to visit Lord Ossory at
Kilkenny. He professed loyalty and was ready to prove it by his actions,
if only he could be sure that Kildare would not sooner or later return
and have his revenge--that was his only fear.[111]

[Sidenote: The Geraldines still in the ascendant.]

While his son was thus by policy undermining the Irish enemies of his
house, Ossory was busy looking about for Irish allies. Hard pressed by
the Desmonds and O'Briens, he wished to avoid a rupture with the
O'Connors, and tried the efficacy of smooth speeches. As the price of an
alliance against this possible foe O'Carroll demanded 40_l._, besides
anything that the King or Deputy might give. O'More claimed the help of
the Butlers against Kildare, and a money reward also. MacGilpatrick
stipulated that Ossory should release him from debts amounting to 400
marks. The Earl agreed to these terms; but his immediate object was not
attained, for Delvin remained a prisoner until early in the following
year. In the meanwhile Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, Kildare's brother, acted
as Deputy, and the Geraldine policy was practically successful.[112]

[Sidenote: Kildare is accused by Cowley and others, 1528.]

The late Lord-Lieutenant, now Duke of Norfolk, attributed all the woes of
Ireland to the quarrel between Butlers and Geraldines, and he was on the
whole in favour of maintaining the latter faction in power. Ossory and
his son were loyal enough, but they could scarcely hold their own against
the Desmonds and O'Briens, and could do nothing in the Pale, where they
had no natural authority and where public opinion was against them. They
would be entirely dependent on their own followers, who would eat more
than their services were worth. On the other hand, Robert Cowley,
Ossory's faithful agent, was always at hand to prevent Henry and Wolsey
from yielding too completely to Norfolk's advice. It is said that on one
occasion he complained of Kildare to the Council, and that he shed tears
in the course of his speech 'for pity,' as he said, 'upon his father's
son.' 'He is,' retorted the Earl, 'like the plover taken in setting his
snares, and waiting for his desired purpose, his eyes being against the
wind and the water dropping out. So many plovers as he taketh he knocketh
their brains out with his thumb, notwithstanding his watery tears of
contemplation. Even like doth Mr. Cowley with me; his tears cometh down;
he layeth shrewd matters or articles to my charge.'[113]

[Sidenote: The Duke of Richmond Lord-Lieutenant, 1529. His Deputy, Sir
William Skeffington.]

If this story be true we must assign it to the autumn of 1528, when
Cowley was certainly in London. O'Connor had just invaded the Pale, and
evidence afterwards came to light which connected Kildare with his
son-in-law's proceedings. Early in August, Kildare's daughter Alice, the
wife of Lord Slane, came to Ireland and went straight to O'Connor's
house. Sir Gerald MacShane Fitzgerald afterwards swore before the Irish
Council that Melour Faye had revealed to him a secret agreement between
himself and Kildare, and that Lady Slane's arrival was the preconcerted
signal that her father was detained in England. Ossory was at war with
Desmond when O'Connor made his attack, but abandoned his expedition and
hurried off to defend the Pale. He took occasion to remind Wolsey of the
hereditary policy of the house of Kildare. By stirring up rebellion in
Ireland when he was detained at Court the late Earl had made himself
chief governor for life; his son had followed suit, and the Pale had
practically transferred its allegiance from the King of England to the
Earl of Kildare. Henry thought it prudent to give the Earl his liberty,
but resolved to have a Viceroy who should hold Ireland for the Crown
only. He made his son, the Duke of Richmond, Lord-Lieutenant, thereby
giving the Emperor great offence, and assigned him as Deputy Sir William
Skeffington, a Leicestershire man, who had been long in the public
service. Meanwhile the sovereign had frowned. In the month following that
in which Skeffington was appointed, Wolsey saw Henry at Grafton for the
last time, and three weeks later he was indicted in the King's Bench.
Kildare remained in London, for he was one of those who signed the famous
letter to Clement VII., in which the English notables reproached the Pope
for his partiality, and laid upon him the responsibility of a disputed
succession, with all its terrors and troubles.[114]

[Sidenote: Skeffington's instructions.]

Skeffington had long served as Master of the Ordnance, whence the Irish,
who may have been offended at the appointment of a commoner, gave him the
name of 'the gunner.' He was accompanied by Edward Staples, a
Lincolnshire man, whom the King had appointed Bishop of Meath, and
brought with him 200 horse and a sum of money. He was instructed in the
first place to reconcile, if possible, the conflicting interests of the
Earls of Kildare, Ossory, and Desmond. He was not to make any serious
attack on the wild Irish without the consent of the majority of the
Council, especially when it would involve charging the country with the
support of an army. The established custom of taking provisions for the
ordinary movements of troops was, however, allowed. Skeffington was to
hold a Parliament, but was to get all the money he could by way of
subsidy before it met, and to pay the gross levy into the
Vice-Treasurer's hands. Kildare's loyal promises were to be taken as
sincere, and the Deputy was enjoined to help him in his enterprises as if
they were undertaken in the King's name. The Earl might retain half the
proceeds, provided the remainder were handed over to the

[Sidenote: The O'Tooles chastised, 1530. Ulster invaded, 1531. Submission
of O'Donnell.]

Kildare returned to Ireland some months after Skeffington's arrival, and
his first exploit was to chastise the O'Tooles, with the help of 200
archers supplied by the city of Dublin. Next year Ulster was invaded. A
treaty had already been concluded at Drogheda, by which O'Donnell
promised the King allegiance, and bound himself to assist Skeffington
against all his Majesty's enemies. He covenanted for O'Reilly, Maguire,
and MacQuillin, as well as for himself, and Skeffington bound himself to
give them such help and protection as was due to the King's subjects. In
pursuance of this agreement Skeffington, accompanied by Kildare and
Ossory, ravaged Tyrone on both sides of the Blackwater, from Clogher to
Caledon, and penetrated to Monaghan, which was undefended. There
O'Donnell and some malcontent O'Neills met them, but they did not venture
to meet the tyrant of the North in the field, a measure of the weakness
of government at that time.[116]

[Sidenote: Skeffington is overshadowed by Kildare.]

It clearly appeared that the Lord Deputy was in a false position as
regards Kildare. When the Butlers were out on a foray, the Geraldines
attacked their camp, killed the officer on guard, and carried off horses,
arms, and provisions. It was even said that the Earl of Kildare
displayed his banner openly, and led his men to the attack. With great
difficulty and at Skeffington's earnest request, Ossory prevented his
followers from retaliating, but he poured complaints into Cromwell's
attentive ears. Kildare allowed his adherents to seize the titular Baron
of Burntchurch in Kilkenny, while passing through Castledermot, on his
way to attend Parliament. The Baron was a Fitzgerald, but on friendly
terms with Ossory, who would have rescued him in spite of Kildare but for
the Lord Deputy's express prohibition; as it was, the poor man lost his
horse, money, and apparel without redress. 'This,' said Ossory, 'is a
good encouragement to malefactors to commit spoils, having the advantage
thereof without punishment or restitution.' It was not the first nor the
last time in Ireland that the friends of law and order have been less
safe than its enemies, and that the Government has hampered those whom it
could not protect. Indeed, the Kilkenny borough members fared no better
than their neighbours, for they were seized at the gate of Athy by
Murtagh MacOwney, who wished that he had the King in the end of a
handlock, and the Deputy in the other end, as surely as he had the worthy
burgesses. In fact, Skeffington had scarcely any power. Kildare detained
the hostages of the natives, in spite of direct orders to send them to
Dublin, and thus let it be clearly seen that the King's representative
was a mere instrument in his hands.[117]

[Sidenote: Kildare goes to England, 1532, and regains favour.]

It was commonly said in Ireland that all the parchment and wax in England
would not bring the Earl of Kildare thither again; but this saying turned
out not to be true. So well had the Earl managed his affairs, that he
ventured across the Channel early in 1532, and, after a six months'
residence at Court, returned with the legal as well as the real power of
a Chief Governor. Sir John Rawson, Prior of Kilmainham, and Chief Justice
Bermingham, supported Kildare's counter-charges against Ossory, and
accused Skeffington of partiality in his favour. There was an attempt to
show that Ossory's hostility arose from the fear that Kildare would
support Wiltshire's claims upon the Ormonde estates. But Ossory
maintained that he had long since compromised all claims against his
property, that Kildare's advocacy of Wiltshire's pretensions was
collusive and fraudulent, and that the King would be the real loser of
the possession, if such castles as Arklow and Tullow were given to the
too powerful Geraldine under colour of another man's sham title. Anne
Boleyn's star was now at its zenith; her father was fond of money, and
perhaps saw a chance of extorting it from opposite quarters. It is clear
that any claim of his was likely at this time to be favourably regarded,
and it may be in this way that the lately waning influence of Kildare was

[Sidenote: Kildare again Deputy.]

Having secured the much-coveted patent, Kildare hastened to Dublin and
relieved Skeffington, who, having arrears of business to transact, was
allowed to dance attendance among other suitors in his successor's
ante-chamber. On the very day of his arrival, the new Lord Deputy took
the Great Seal from his enemy Archbishop Alen, and gave it to the Primate
Cromer. As a sop to the opposite faction, Lord Butler was made Lord
Treasurer by the King; but the Deputy was supreme in the Council, and
those who were not his friends thought only of saving themselves from his
anger. Thus relieved from all restraint, and perhaps thinking himself
indispensable, as indeed he well might, the Earl turned upon his
hereditary enemy. While his brother Sir John Fitzgerald was helping
O'Neill to ravage Louth, the lawful guardian of the Pale devastated
Kilkenny; his men were allowed to plunder the peaceable folk resorting to
Castledermot Fair, and to murder a due proportion. He used the sword
which the King had committed to him 'utterly to extinguish the fame and
honour of any other noble man within that land ... shadowed with that
authority, so that, whatever he did, it should not be repugned at.'[118]

[Sidenote: The O'Carrolls.]

There was at this time a fierce dispute as to who should succeed Mulrony
O'Carroll, who among southern chiefs in his time 'destroyed most in
regard to foreigners and improved most in regard to Gaedhill.' A brother
would in the usual course have succeeded to these glories; but there was
always a strong tendency to substitute the hereditary for the elective
principle, and a claim was advanced on behalf of Mulrony's son
Fergananim, to whom Kildare, choosing his time, had just given his
daughter. Ossory of course espoused the cause of the brothers, but was
defeated with the loss of several small pieces of cannon. On the same day
the old chief died, and, as he favoured his son's pretensions, this was
numbered among his victories. Having been a man of blood, and having
lavished some of his plunder upon the clergy, he was rewarded after death
with hyperbolical praises. 'He was,' the 'Four Masters' inform us, 'a
protecting hero to all; the guiding firm helm of his tribe; a triumphant
traverser of tribes; a jocund and majestic Munster champion; a precious
stone; a carbuncle gem; the anvil of the solidity, and the golden pillar
of the Elyans.' Fergananim was at first acknowledged as chief, but his
uncle soon occupied Birr and other castles, and ravaged the country from
thence. The Lord Deputy came in person before Birr, and received a bullet
wound in the side. As he groaned with the pain, a kerne is reported to
have encouraged him by saying that he himself had three bullets in him,
and felt none the worse. 'I wish,' replied the Earl, 'you had this one
along with the others.'[119] He was less fortunate than his follower, for
the bullet, which came out of itself some months later, lamed him for
life, and affected his speech. Birr Castle was, however, taken.[120]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1533. Miserable state of the country.]

Kildare held a Parliament in Dublin in 1533, but we know nearly as little
about it as about that held by Surrey. The most important law passed
appears to have been one for the punishment of those who stole corn under
colour of taking wages for harvest work in kind. This meeting of
Parliament gave rise to a renewal of the old dispute about precedency
between Armagh and Dublin. Alen could no longer rely upon the patronage
of Wolsey, and it is certain that Kildare's influence would be exerted
against him. But the Deputy had been making so many enemies, that the
increased hostility of Alen would not count for much. A heavy reckoning
had been scored up; and John Dethyke, or Derrick, a prebendary of St.
Patrick, gave voice to the prevailing discontent. With bitter irony he
assured Cromwell that the people were excellently disposed and full of
abstinence. Their accustomed ceremony was to abstain from flesh on
Wednesday, but their devotion had so much increased that they now
abstained likewise on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. 'I trust to
Jesu,' he continued. 'Ye shall hear that there shall be many saints among
them; but they play the fox's part, shy of hens when he could not reach
them.' All the butchers in Dublin had not as much meat between them as
would make a mess of broth, and those who owned no cattle were driven to
dry bread. Marauders entered the suburbs of Dublin, and one butcher had
lost 220 beasts. No one could safely ride a mile out of town, and it was
useless to complain; for the Deputy was visited with that distressing
form of deafness which affects those who do not wish to hear. The poor
butchers had accordingly shut up their shops, and taken to making leather
breeches, as if it were perpetual Lent. And not only did the Viceroy do
nothing, but he took the opportunity of removing the King's artillery
from Dublin to his own castles. Meanwhile, the O'Byrnes actually entered
Dublin Castle, and carried off prisoners and cattle, 'insomuch as nightly
since great watch is in the city of Dublin, fearing that the same should
be pilfered, prostrate, and destroyed, whereof they never dreaded so
much.' Even Sir James Fitzgerald complained that his brother oppressed
him cruelly for having done good service under Skeffington, and Norfolk's
tenants in Carlow were in no better plight.[121]

[Sidenote: Charges accumulate against Kildare.]

The Council did not directly attack Kildare; but they sent over Sir John
Alen, the Master of the Rolls, to enlighten Henry upon the true state of
affairs. They directed Alen to report that English laws and customs were
unknown except within twenty miles of Dublin, and that unless something
were done they would soon be driven even from that contracted area.
Various errors of policy, such as the practice of entrusting viceregal
power to Irish lords and of giving away Crown lands, had so strengthened
the Irishry and weakened the Pale, that the King would soon not have
revenue enough to maintain a Deputy. Two archbishops, two bishops, four
of the great regular ecclesiastics, two temporal peers, and three judges
signed the document embodying these severe strictures, and they reminded
Henry that unless he looked the better to it, Ireland might be used
against him by any enterprising foreign enemy. Even more outspoken was a
native of Ireland, closely associated with the Master of the Rolls, who
declared that loyal subjects had been ill requited, and that people had
come to look upon the viceroyalty as part of Kildare's inheritance.
Everyone who opposed him suffered for it, and all his offences were
passed over. 'Always after the malice of the Geraldines was resisted and
the land staid, the King withdrew his aid from thence, putting the
malefactors in his authority; whereas, if he had continued the same
there, and suppressed the others, undoubtedly a marvellous profit and
commodity should have issued thereby.... What subjects under any prince
in the world would love, obey, or defend the right of that prince, which
(notwithstanding their true hearts and service toward him) would
afterwards put them under the governance of such as should daily practise
to prosecute and destroy them for the same?' The question has often been
asked in Ireland since then.[122]

[Sidenote: The Geraldines become intolerable.]

The confusion between the Earl of Kildare, in his own character, and in
that of Lord Deputy, was not at all conducive to good government. Private
opposition to the subject was easily represented as treason to the King
in his representative's person, and was indeed likely enough to grow into
it. It was believed that the recent murder of Ossory's son Thomas by
Dermot Fitzpatrick was not altogether the work of Irishry. Kildare and
his sons and brothers provoked attacks on every side. The moral effect of
O'Byrne's raid had of course been disastrous, and no one felt himself
safe. The principal remedies suggested were the appointment of a Deputy
for a long term, Norfolk being preferred, and after him Skeffington, the
abolition of Irish customs, and the education of young noblemen and
chiefs' sons at the English Court. Local presidencies were also
recommended, but the first thing was to get rid of Kildare. The
Geraldines indeed did not conceal that their interests were not those of
the Crown. 'Thou fool,' said Sir Gerald MacShane to the Earl's brother
Thomas, who had some legal scruples, 'thou shalt be the more esteemed in
Ireland to take part against the King; for what hadst thou been if thy
father had not done so? What was he set by until he crowned a King here;
took Garth, the King's captain, prisoner; hanged his son; resisted
Poynings and all Deputies; killed them of Dublin upon Oxmantown Green;
would suffer no man to rule here for the King, but himself? Then the King
regarded him, made him Deputy and married thy mother to him; or else thou
shouldst never have had foot of land, where now thou mayst dispend 400
marks by year, or above.'[123]

[Sidenote: Kildare is forced to go to England, 1534.]

As the result of Alen's efforts, Kildare was summoned to Court. The Earl
doubtless felt that his chances would be small if once the Tower gates
closed upon him, and he sent his wife over to get the order revoked, on
the old ground that he could not be spared. Lady Kildare's diplomacy
failed, and her husband was summoned a second time; but was allowed to
appoint a Vice-Deputy. This may, or may not, have been a bait to induce
him to go quietly, for nothing less than an army could have taken him by
force. Skeffington had been working hard against his enemy, and was in
constant communication with Cromwell, watching the port of Chester, so as
to be in London as soon or sooner than the Earl. He reported that Lady
Kildare's servants delayed the King's letters purposely, and that he was
most anxious for the moment when he should at last be able to prove his
charges against the Lord-Deputy.[124]

[Sidenote: His eldest son remains as Deputy.]

Kildare had now no choice but between obedience and open rebellion.
Before embarking at Drogheda he delivered the sword to his eldest son in
the presence of several members of Council. Thomas Lord Offaly, better
known as Lord Thomas and Silken Thomas, was about twenty years old, and
his father advised him to be guided in all things by his uncle, Sir James
Fitzgerald; his cousin, Sir Thomas Eustace; his great-aunt, Lady Janet
Eustace, and her husband and son, Walter and James Delahide. It is
impossible to pronounce on the genuineness of the speech which the
chronicler puts into Kildare's mouth, but the advice contained in it
would have been well suited to the occasion. He told his son that his
youth should be guided by age; his ignorance by experience. He was, he
said, putting a naked sword into a young man's hand, and urged him to
defer to the Council, 'for albeit in authority you rule them, yet in
counsel they must rule you.'[125]


[76] See his patent of Nov. 8, 1510. Council of Ireland to the King, June
8, 1509, in _Brewer_; _Four Masters_; _Annals of Lough Cé_.

[77] _Earls of Kildare_, p. 69; Ware; _Four Masters_. Kildare died Sept.
3, 1513.

[78] See the grant in _Brewer_, Dec. 2, 1513, and again, March 24, 1516.

[79] Kildare to the King, Dec. 1, and Archbishop Rokeby to Wolsey, Dec.
12, 1515, both in _Brewer_.

[80] _Four Masters_, 1516.

[81] _Ibid._

[82] Kite to Wolsey, May 1 and June 7, 1514, R.O.; Lady Kildare's
_Articles of Complaint_, 1515, R.O.; Ware's _Annals_.

[83] The tract by Finglas is in _Carew_, under 1515.

[84] For further details of Irish exactions see Ware's _Antiquities_, and
_Presentments of Irish Grand Juries in the Sixteenth Century_, ed. Hore
and Graves, p. 266, _sqq._ Articles by Sir William Darcy, June 24, 1515,
in _Carew_.

[85] The paper printed by Leland, ii. 132, contains only Donogh
O'Carroll's recollections. Surrey to Wolsey, September 6, 1520.

[86] The Lord-Lieutenant and Council to the King, August 25; Surrey to
Wolsey, August 27; Surrey to the King, July 29, 1521.

[87] The Lord-Lieutenant and Council to the King, October 6; Surrey to
Wolsey, November 3; Surrey to Wolsey, April 27, 1521.

[88] The King to Surrey, No. 12 of the printed State Papers; the King to
an Irishman, No. 14 of the same; Instructions for Sir John Petchie, No.
18 of the same.

[89] Surrey to the King, July 31, 1521.

[90] Stile to Wolsey, July 30, 1571; Surrey to the King, July 29 and
September 14; Ware.

[91] The King to Surrey, May 1520; Surrey to Wolsey, September 6 and 25;
the King to Surrey, S.P. No. 12; Surrey to Wolsey, November 3; Surrey to
the King, September 14, 1521.

[92] _Irish Statutes_, 13 Henry VIII.

[93] The Lord-Lieutenant and Council to the King, August 25, 1520. The
King to Surrey, Nos. 12 and 19 in the printed S.P.

[94] Surrey to the King, September 16, 1521; to Pace, December 2. The
latter letter was written in bed. Surrey to Wolsey, August 2 and November
3, 1520.

[95] The Council of Ireland to Wolsey, December 21 and February 28, 1522;
Dowling's _Annals_, 1519; Sir John Davies' _Discovery_; the _Book of

[96] _Four Masters_; _Annals of Lough Cé_, 1522. Stile to Wolsey, April
25, 1522.

[97] _Four Masters_, 1522; _Annals of Lough Cé_.

[98] Ware; Lady Kildare to Wolsey, May 25, 1523.

[99] Kildare to the King, May 24, 1523.

[100] Indentures between Kildare, Ormond (_sic_), the King's
Commissioners, and others, July 28, 1524. The Commissioners were Sir A.
Fitzherbert, Ralph Egerton, and James Denton, Dean of Lichfield. Kildare
to the King, May 24, 1523.

[101] Indentures as above; Recognisances for the Marchers, July 12, 1524.

[102] Indentures between Kildare and the King, August 4, 1524.
Recognisances for the Marchers, July 12, 1574. Ware.

[103] The King to Kildare, May 20, 1525; Articles on behalf of Kildare,
No. 42 in printed _State Papers_; _Presentments of the County and City of
Kilkenny_, 1537, ed. Hore and Graves; Sir Piers Butler to his son, April
22, 1524.

[104] Articles on behalf of Kildare, No. 42 in the printed _State
Papers_; Dowling's _Annals_, 1522-1524; _Hibernia Dominicana_. Bishop
Doran, 'eloquentissimus prædicator,' was killed in 1525.

[105] _Four Masters_, 1525 and 1526; Ware, 1526.

[106] Stanihurst; Lord James Butler to his father, Dec. 27, 1527, in
_Brewer_; Ware; Russell.

[107] Stanihurst; Russell.

[108] Consideration by Vannes and Uvedale, No. 52 in the printed _State

[109] See _Brewer_, introduction to vol. iv., p. 238, where there is a
confusion between Sir Piers and his son.

[110] _Carew_, Feb. 22, 1528.

[111] Inge and Bermingham to Wolsey, Feb. 23, 1528; to Norfolk, May 15;
the Council of Ireland to Wolsey, same date; Lord Butler to Inge, May 20.

[112] The Council of Ireland to Wolsey, May 15; Ossory to Inge, May 21;
to the King, June 10.

[113] Cowley had been in the service of the late Earl of Kildare. _Book
of Howth_.

[114] Instructions for the Lord Cardinal, No. 56 in the printed _State
Papers_; Ossory to Wolsey, Oct. 14, 1528; Instructions by Charles V. to
Gonzalo Fernandez in _Carew_, Feb. 24, 1530 (should be 1529). The letter
to the Pope was July 30, 1530.

[115] Instructions to Skeffington, No. 57 in the printed _State Papers_.
He landed near Dublin, August 2, 1529.

[116] Submission of O'Donnell, May 6, 1531. O'Donnell 'publice proposuit
et fatebatur dominum suum fuisse et esse fidelem et ligeum subditum
Domini Regis;' _Four Masters_, 1531. In his Instructions for Cromwell,
Jan. 2, 1532, Ossory notes that his contingent was better than Kildare's,
and that he bore the whole cost himself.

[117] Ossory to Cromwell, January 2, 1532.

[118] Report to Cromwell, No. 64 of the printed _State Papers_; Lodge's
_Peerage_ by Archdall, art. 'Duke of Leinster.' Ware; Stanihurst.

[119] 'Cui quidam turbarius jocose dixerat, "Domine, cur gemis tam dire,
cum ego semel habui iii bulletos in me, et vides, domine, quam sanus sum
ad præsens?" Cui comes mite respondit (in agonia) quod hunc etiam
bulletum vellet ipsum in se una cum cæteris habuisse.'--Dowling's
_Annals_, wrongly placed at 1528.

[120] _Four Masters_, 1532. _Annals of Lough Cé._

[121] _Jus Primatiale Armachanum_, Part I. No. 361; Dethyke to Cromwell,
Sept. 3, 1533; Report to Cromwell, No. 64 of the printed _State Papers_;
Sir James Fitzgerald to the King, August 31.

[122] Report to Cromwell, printed _State Papers_, vol. ii. p. 174.
Instructions to Sir John Alen, No. 63 in same.

[123] Report to Cromwell, quoted above.

[124] Skeffington to Cromwell, October 25 and November 4, 1533.

[125] Stanihurst.



[Sidenote: Kildare is sent to the Tower.]

Among the letters which Alen brought with him from England was one of
thanks for past services to Connor Maguire, chief of Fermanagh. Maguire
belonged to the party in Ulster which opposed O'Neill, and consequently
Kildare; and he seems to have been in some degree under Alen's influence.
He now wrote to the King, adding to the already overwhelming case against
Kildare, and praying for the appointment of Skeffington. This despatch
probably reached London about the same time as the Earl, who was examined
by the Council and at once sent to the Tower. The heaviest charge against
him was that of fortifying his own castles with the King's artillery; and
it was in fact this which enabled his son to make head for a time against
the Crown. He could only answer that he had intended to defend the Pale
against the Irish: perhaps the hesitation caused by his wound was taken
for the confession of guilt. He was no longer the man who had bearded
Wolsey in his pride; and, unfortunately, his old power of repartee had
descended to his son, who annoyed with his taunts those whom he should
most have conciliated. The young Vice-Deputy made no secret of his
dislike to the King's policy, sought alliances with O'Brien and Desmond,
and gave the enemies of his House plausible grounds for stigmatising him
as a traitor from the very first.[126]

[Sidenote: His death prematurely reported.]

Early in the summer of 1534 a report reached Ireland that Kildare was to
be beheaded, and his son and brother arrested. A poor retainer of his
house living near Kilcullen is said to have brought to Lord Offaly from
London a little silver-gilt heart and a pair of black dice, with a verbal
message from his father bidding him not to trust the Irish Council, but
to keep out of the way lest he should lose life and liberty. About the
same time a private letter from Thomas Cannon, who had been in
Skeffington's service, confirmed the sinister rumours already afloat. In
days when there were no newspapers such letters were handed about freely,
and this one fell into the hands of a priest who read English with
difficulty, and who put it aside until he had time to spell out its
meaning. A retainer of Offaly's, who chanced to stay the night in the
priest's house, used the letter as a shoe-horn, and forgot to withdraw
it. Undressing in the evening he found the paper, read it out of
curiosity, and found to his dismay that it announced Kildare's death. He
at once took the fatal missive to James Delahide, who carried it to the
Vice-Deputy. Delahide was one of those whose advice Kildare had directed
his son to take: he now counselled him to rebel and to avenge his
father's death.[127]

[Sidenote: His son rebels.]

Though his death was at hand Kildare still lived, and there is no reason
to suspect foul play: he was old and suffering from wounds, and
confinement or anxiety may well have hastened his end. But his impetuous
son assumed the worst, and at once prepared for war. His Irish
connections O'Neill and O'Connor approved his resolution; but the Earl of
Desmond, Sir Thomas Eustace of Baltinglass, Fitzmaurice of Kerry,
Fleming, Lord of Slane, and most of the Anglo-Irish well-wishers of his
House, counselled prudence. Lord Chancellor Cromer, a grave and learned
divine, gave similar advice. But Rehoboam would not be persuaded. On St.
Barnabas' Day he rode through Dublin with 140 armed retainers, each
wearing a silken fringe on his helmet, a mode of decoration which gave
Offaly the name by which he is best remembered. Passing through Dame's
Gate the Geraldines forded the Liffey and rode to St. Mary's Abbey, where
he had summoned a meeting of the Council. No sooner had the Deputy taken
the chair than his armed followers invaded the council-chamber, and
waited with ill-concealed impatience while their leader made a speech, in
which he declared himself no longer King Henry's officer, and called on
all who hated cruelty and tyranny to join him in open war. He then
tendered the sword of state to the Primate, who besought him with tears
in his eyes not to do so mad and wicked an act. 'They are not yet born,'
he said, 'that shall hereafter feel the smart of this uproar.' The
Chancellor's speech was probably unintelligible to most of the intruders;
and the effect of it was at once dispelled by an Irish bard named Nelan,
who recited a long heroic poem in honour of Silken Thomas, and upbraided
him with lingering too long. Stung by this taunt, Offaly replied that he
was much obliged to the Archbishop for his advice, but that he came to
announce his own intention and not to seek counsel: he then threw down
the sword and left the room. He was now a subject, and the Council at
once ordered his arrest; but the Mayor had no force at his command, and
the rebel was allowed to rejoin his forces on Oxmantown Green. Archbishop
Alen, who had good reasons for fear, took refuge in the castle, and the
Chief Baron, who accompanied him, wrote to Cromwell for help.[128]

[Sidenote: The Butlers remain loyal.]

It was rumoured that Offaly would destroy everything in the Pale, so that
no support might remain for a royal army: he gave out that he would kill
or banish everyone born in England, and declared forfeit the goods of all
who remained loyal. He wrote to his cousin Lord Butler, offering to
divide Ireland with him if he would help to conquer it; but Butler, one
of the ablest of his race, declined with proper indignation. He refused
to barter his truth for a piece of Ireland, and was not at all disposed
to hang for good fellowship. 'Were it so,' he wrote '(as it cannot be),
that the chickens you reckon were both hatched and feathered; yet be thou
sure, I had rather in this quarrel die thine enemy than live thy
partner.' Ossory had left the King but a few days before, having
undertaken for himself and his son to assist to their utmost power the
due course of law, and above all strenuously to resist the usurped
jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome. Skeffington was again Deputy, and
Ossory promised to maintain his authority. The Government was in fact
placed to a great extent under the protection of the House of Ormonde. In
return for these promises, and in consideration of the singular
confidence and trust which the King had conceived in the Earl and his
son, and in respect of the truth which always had continued in them and
their blood to the Crown of England, and as a token of confidence in
their ability, the Government of Tipperary and Kilkenny, and of other
districts at the Deputy's discretion, were granted to Ossory and his son.
They were not the men to renounce such solid advantage for the shadowy
realm which their rash kinsman offered.[129]

[Sidenote: Murder of Archbishop Alen.]

It would have been well for Archbishop Alen had he adhered to his first
resolution of remaining inside the castle walls, which, as it turned out,
were quite able to protect him. Six weeks after the first outbreak, and
while the rebels were threatening Dublin, he put himself under the
guidance of Bartholomew Fitzgerald, a confidential servant, who brought a
small boat to Dame's Gate. The Archbishop embarked, but the wind was
contrary and perhaps the boatmen hostile; at all events, the boat stuck
fast on the sands at Clontarf. The fugitive took refuge in a gentleman's
house at Artane; but Offaly appeared at the door next morning and ordered
two of his followers, John Teeling and Nicholas Wafer, to bring out the
Archbishop. They dragged the old man out of bed, and brought him before
their leader. Alen begged for mercy, acknowledging that his captor had no
reason to wish him well, but claiming regard for his office if not for
his person. Offaly turned away contemptuously, and, speaking in Irish,
ordered his men to 'take away the churl.' Teeling and Wafer immediately
dashed out the Archbishop's brains. Robert Reyley, who, if not actually
an eye-witness, must have been close at hand, was at once sent off to
Maynooth with a casket which was found on Alen's person, and he
afterwards swore that he did not know whether Offaly ordered the murder
or not. The rebel chief always maintained that his intention was to
detain and not to kill; but he thought it necessary to send his chaplain
to Rome to seek absolution.[130]

[Sidenote: Dublin is threatened.]

The sword of state which should have protected them having been exchanged
for a rod to scourge them, the citizens of Dublin were left to their own
slender resources. Instigated by Offaly, and assisted by John Burnell of
Balgriffin, a gentleman of the Pale, the O'Tooles descended from their
mountains and ravaged the flat country to the north of the city. In an
attempt to intercept the raiders on their return, the citizens were
defeated with great loss near Kilmainham. Assuming that they were at his
mercy, Offaly offered the citizens their lives if they would let him
enter to besiege the castle. John White, the Constable, who was
afterwards knighted for his services, made no objection provided he were
allowed time to victual. A spirited Alderman, John Fitzsimons, furnished
a great part of the provisions[131] at his own expense, and also employed
a smith in his own house to forge a chain for the drawbridge. To such a
state of destitution had Geraldine ascendency brought the principal royal
fortress in Ireland. Another Alderman, Francis Herbert, was sent off to
beg help from the King.[132]

[Sidenote: Defence of Dublin.]

White having announced himself ready, the citizens admitted about 100 of
the rebels under the command of James Field of Lusk, who had with him
Teeling and Wafer, the Archbishop's murderers, and three noted pirates,
named Brode, Rookes, and Purcell. The ordnance at Field's command, part
of that which had been entrusted to the late Earl of Kildare for the
defence of the realm, was too light to make any great impression on the
castle, upon whose walls it ought to have been mounted; and in the
meantime Ossory was sweeping away the cattle from Kildare. The temptation
to retaliate was too strong for Offaly, or perhaps for his men, and he
turned aside from Dublin to punish the Butlers. Tullow Castle delayed him
for five precious days, after which he had the satisfaction of
slaughtering the garrison, and five more days were spent in inaction on
the Barrow. Again did Offaly offer to divide Ireland, including even his
own inheritance, with Ossory; but the Earl refused as his son had done,
and only consented to a truce which would leave him free to defend
Tipperary against a threatened attack from Desmond. The Butler forces
being thus divided, and help having come from O'Neill, Offaly broke the
truce and began to plunder Kilkenny. At Thomastown Lord Butler was
wounded in a skirmish, and had to retire to Dunmore until cured; while
Offaly, who had possession of Athy, Kilkea, Carlow, and Castledermot,
collected a great host of O'Mores, O'Connors, Kavanaghs, and O'Byrnes.
But these auxiliaries do not seem to have been of much use; for Ossory
had still men enough to burn and spoil the northern part of Carlow,
though not to attempt the relief of Dublin.[133]

[Sidenote: The rebels are beaten off.]

Francis Herbert returned very speedily from the King, bringing letters in
which Henry promised immediate succour. Despairing of success, Field
anticipated the action of Rosen at Londonderry, and threatened to expose
the citizens' children on the trenches, so as to prevent the garrison
from using their guns. Indignant at this breach of faith, and encouraged
by the near prospect of relief, the citizens shut their gates and seized
most of those who were besieging the castle. A few escaped across the
river, and brought the news to Offaly, who returned to Dublin only to
find it bent upon the most desperate resistance. Having summoned the city
in vain, he cut the leaden pipes which supplied it with water; but there
must have been wells also, for no effects followed. He then besieged the
castle from Ship Street, where there was cover for his men, but White
had some fireworks, which enabled him to burn down the thatched houses of
the suburb and give his guns full play. Herbert distinguished himself by
shooting twenty-four of the enemy, including one of their chief leaders.
Being thus driven from the castle, Offaly attempted the city wall from
Thomas Street, demolishing the party walls of the houses so as to make
two covered galleries leading up to the New Gate. One of his shots
pierced the gate and killed a man who was trying to get water at a pipe
in the middle of the Corn Market. A remarkable feat is recorded of
Staunton, the gaoler or warder of New Gate. Having galled the rebels by
his sharp-shooting, he had become a particular mark for their fire, and
he saw a musketeer trying to cover him. He not only shot him in the
forehead, but, notwithstanding the hail of bullets issued from the gate,
stripped the dead man, and brought his gun and clothes into the town. The
Geraldines then tried to burn the gate; but a sally of the besieged
through the smoke and flame made them suppose that the city had been
relieved, and they withdrew precipitately, leaving a piece of artillery
and 100 dead behind them. Offaly lingered for the night in the precincts
of the Grey Friary, from which Francis Street takes its name, and next
day rejoined his men, who had believed him dead. He made no attempt to
renew the siege.[134]

[Sidenote: The citizens refuse to help the rebels.]

In this, as in so many other Irish insurrections, there was no want of
double traitors; of men who had neither the constancy to remain loyal nor
the courage to persevere in rebellion. Many of the arrows shot over the
walls were headless, and some bore letters which revealed to the garrison
every plan of the besiegers. The children of the citizens, whom he had
hitherto detained as hostages, could now be of no use to Offaly, and he
exchanged them for some of his own men who had been captured. He tried to
get money, ammunition, and other help from the citizens in return for
raising the siege; but the men of Dublin knew their advantage, and
answered that they had no money to spare. They argued that if his
intentions were loyal he had no need of warlike stores, and that to
supply him might be to make a rod for their own backs. They were,
however, willing to supply him with enough parchment to engross his
pardon upon, and to join him in begging humbly for it. Having neither
powder nor shot, Offaly could not retort to any purpose, and he withdrew
to put his ancestral castle of Maynooth in a posture of defence.[135]

[Sidenote: Reinforcements arrive from England.]

Besides retaining some of the citizens' children, the rebels had captured
Chief Justice Luttrell and Lord Howth. A truce was therefore concluded
for six weeks, but Offaly broke it within twenty-four hours by burning
corn belonging to the Prior of Kilmainham. Meanwhile Skeffington had
sailed from North Wales. The bulk of his fleet and army were intended for
Waterford, but Sir William Brereton and Captain Salisbury were detached
with 400 men for the relief of Dublin. Brereton took command of the city,
and saw that proper watch was kept. Shortly afterwards eighty Northern
spearmen under Musgrave and Hamerton landed or were driven ashore at
Clontarf, where the rebels met them in great force. They were perhaps
picked men, for their white coats and red crosses are particularly
mentioned: at all events, they made a gallant resistance, and Offaly was
wounded. Musgrave and Hamerton were both killed, and the rebel chief is
said to have mourned deeply for the former, who was his cousin. The main
force of the insurgents hung about the Hill of Howth in hope of
preventing other English troops from landing, and Brode, Purcell, and
Rookes cruised in the offing with their piratical vessels.[136]

[Sidenote: Arrival of Skeffington.]

Although the wind served well for Ireland, Skeffington, who was old and
delicate, delayed long at Beaumaris. The North-countrymen, on whom he
placed his chief reliance, chafed at the delay; and many of their horses,
which were perhaps not very well stowed, died from being cooped up on
board ship for three weeks. At last, on the very day on which the siege
of Dublin was raised, the Lord-Deputy sailed. The fleet was driven by a
gale under Lambay, where a report reached it that Dublin had fallen. The
news was not believed, but Brereton and Salisbury were detached. They
reached the Liffey without any difficulty; and there was no reason why
Skeffington should not have done so, but that he had made up his mind to
go to Waterford. As it was, he was able to lie close to Skerries and to
send in his boats, which burned four Geraldine vessels at anchor in the
roads. The fleet then made sail again, and was again driven under Lambay,
whence two ships made chase after Brode, the pirate, and drove him ashore
near Drogheda. At last the Lord Deputy was persuaded to take the obvious
course, and landed safely at Dublin more than a week after Brereton.
Other troops from Bristol, under Sir John St. Loo, reached Waterford
about the same time. Messengers were at once sent to Drogheda, and Brode
and his crew were brought by sea to Dublin.[137]

[Sidenote: Offaly is proclaimed a traitor.]

Driven from Dublin, Offaly threatened Drogheda with some 400 horse, but
Skeffington, with unwonted energy, marched the whole distance in one day,
and the rebels did not venture to attack him. The Geraldine chief was
proclaimed traitor at the market-cross, and the gentlemen of Louth and
Meath, finding that there was again something in the shape of a
government, came in fast to the Lord-Deputy. Meanwhile Ossory and St. Loo
were at work in the south, and agreed to meet Skeffington at Kildare's
castle of Kilkea. The Earl and the English knight kept their appointment,
but the Deputy was again ill, and without artillery nothing could be
done. Ossory had enough to do to keep the O'Mores and Kavanaghs in check,
but he gained one important ally in the person of Sir Thomas Eustace, of
Baltinglass, who brought forty of his kinsmen and left hostages in the
Earl's hands. Eustace kept his word, and received a peerage for his
services, an honour forfeited in Elizabeth's time for a rebellion,
which, if one of the most foolish, was also one of the least selfish of
the many recorded in Irish annals.[138]

[Sidenote: The rebellion continues.]

During the greater part of the winter Offaly ranged up and down the Pale,
not sparing the Kildare estates, which he was not likely ever to enjoy in
peace. On one occasion he came into collision with Brereton near Trim,
and lost 150 men; but when a garrison of forty men were left in the town
he had no difficulty in recapturing it, and a garrison of twenty men
failed to hold Kildare against him. His following was reduced to 100
horse and 300 kerne, who had scarcely a dozen muskets among them; but
with this band he wandered where he pleased, even to the walls of Dublin.
Skeffington again fell sick, and the army was detained doing nothing in
Dublin; he could not, according to Sir John Alen, do anything himself,
and he would not let anyone else have the credit. A truce for three weeks
was concluded with the rebel, and after the New Year some of the troops
were allowed to leave the capital. Sir Rice Maunsell with 500 men
occupied Trim--Brereton and Salisbury lay at Newcastle; and preparations
were made for assuming the offensive as soon as the Lord-Deputy should be
able to mount a horse. But there was great want of money, and the
ill-paid soldiers took little interest in any service which did not bring
them profit. They took it on themselves to find men guilty of treason and
to seize their goods, 'whereas,' as Alen grimly suggested, 'the King
might have them by another mean.' Munitions of war were as scarce as
money, and the bows which were sent from Ludlow Castle snapped when the
archers tried to bend them.[139]

[Sidenote: The Archbishop's murderers are excommunicated.]

[Sidenote: Death of Kildare.]

In the meantime the ecclesiastics who administered the vacant see of
Dublin pronounced sentence of excommunication in its most tremendous form
against the murderers of the Archbishop. Offaly himself, his uncles John
and Oliver, Captain Rookes, James Delahide, and Teeling and Wafer, who
seem to have been the actual murderers, were mentioned by name. Leprosy
and madness, hunger and thirst were invoked upon them in this life, and
eternal damnation in the life to come. No house was to shelter them, no
church to give them sanctuary, no kind Christian to bestow on them a
morsel of bread when starving, nor a cup of cold water when dying of
thirst, on pain of being considered accessories to their crime and
accursed like them. They were to be partakers with Pharaoh and Nero,
Herod and Judas, Dathan and Abiram; and stones were cast towards their
dwellings, as by Moses when he called down Divine wrath upon the last
named. It is said that a copy of this curse was cruelly shown to the old
Earl in the Tower, and that the shock snapped the enfeebled thread which
still bound him to life. The fate of the seven excommunicated persons was
nearly as bad as the most vindictive priest could wish. The three
Geraldines were hanged at Tyburn, Rookes was hanged at Dublin, Teeling
and Wafer died at Maynooth of a horrible disease, James Delahide escaped
to Spain and gave the Government some further trouble, but he died an
exile in Scotland.[140]

[Sidenote: The new Earl seeks help from Emperor and Pope,]

The new Earl--for Earl he was in spite of Stanihurst's statement to the
contrary--took advantage of the breathing space allowed him by the
Deputy's inaction to cast about for allies. He sent Dominick Power to the
Emperor, armed with gifts, and with documents going to prove that Ireland
was a fief of the Holy See and that it was forfeited on account of
Henry's heresy. Kildare was ready to hold the country of Pope or Emperor
and to pay tribute, in consideration of being protected against the
English schismatics. Twelve hawks and fourteen hobbies, or Irish
palfreys, were thought suitable presents for the second Charlemagne.[141]

[Sidenote: and from the Irish.]

More immediate help was sought from the O'Briens of Clare and the
O'Kellies. The latter were induced to threaten Westmeath, and Con
O'Brien, chief of Thomond, was already in communication with Charles V.,
but Con's son Donogh had married Lady Ellen Butler, and Ossory had enough
influence with his son-in-law to keep him to his allegiance. Donogh, as
was usual with the sons of Irish chiefs, had a strong party of his own,
and prevented the clan from stirring. Ossory contrived to make the Burkes
threaten the O'Kellies, and they also were neutralised.[142]

[Sidenote: Many rebels executed.]

Skeffington, having awoke to the fact that Ireland could not be subdued
by an army which never left Dublin, allowed Maunsell and Brereton to
divide their forces and to burn most of the Geraldine villages, including
Maynooth. While gaining strength himself he had the satisfaction of
ordering several executions in Dublin. Brode, who was called the
traitor's admiral; Rookes, who was captured near Wexford with some of the
royal ordnance in his possession; a third rover named Purcell, who had
been bold enough to cut a vessel out of the Thames; and Travers,
Chancellor of St. Patrick's, who had been an agent in the attempted
reduction of Dublin, were all duly hanged, drawn, and quartered on
Oxmantown Green.[143]

[Sidenote: Maynooth Castle summoned. The siege.]

Brereton summoned Maynooth Castle, proposing to let the garrison depart
with bag and baggage, and offering pardons and rewards. But they trusted
in their walls, and answered only with taunts and jeers. At last
Skeffington left Dublin and encamped before the castle, which he invested
closely the next day. He pronounced it to be the strongest fortress which
had ever been in Ireland since the English first set foot there. No
detailed account of the armament has been preserved, but there were
several pieces of cannon and a garrison of over 100, of whom about
one-half were gunners. Christopher Paris, the Earl's foster-brother,
commanded within the castle. Skeffington's batteries opened on the third
day after his arrival, and soon silenced the guns on the north-west side
of the keep. The guns were then pointed against a new work on the
northern side, and after five days' bombardment the breach was
pronounced practicable. Paris, who probably despaired of maintaining his
post, now thought it time to make separate terms for himself, and shot
out a letter in which he offered to sell his post for money. The garrison
were accordingly allowed to sally forth and to capture a small piece of
artillery. Paris pretended great satisfaction, and served out abundant
liquor to his men, who proceeded to celebrate their triumph by getting
drunk. In the first grey light of morning the outwork was occupied almost
without resistance, and the warders were aroused from their slumbers by
shouts of 'St. George! St. George!' Ladders were quickly planted against
the walls of the keep, and the storming party began to ascend. Captain
Holland, who was one of the first to reach the parapet, jumped down into
a tub of feathers, but Brereton's company had scaled the walls at another
place, and the Geraldines, completely surprised and only half sober, made
but a short stand. An arrow was discharged at Holland, the weight of
whose armour kept him fast in the feathers, but it missed him, and he was
released in time to take an active part in the final struggle. Brereton
himself ran up to the highest turret and hoisted a flag, which told the
Lord-Deputy that all was over.[144]

[Sidenote: Maynooth taken. Story of Paris.]

When Skeffington entered in the evening two singing-men of the Earl's
chapel prostrated themselves before him, plaintively chanting a hymn or
song called 'Dulcis amica,' which affected the victors as the verses of
Euripides affected the Dorians at Syracuse. They were pardoned, and Paris
then came forward to claim his reward. Skeffington allowed that he had
been useful, and promised that the King would not let him starve; he then
asked what confidence the Earl of Kildare placed in his foster-brother,
and Paris enumerated the benefits which he had received from the fallen
family. 'Couldst thou,' said the Deputy sternly, 'find in thine heart to
betray his castle who has been so good to thee? Truly, thou that art so
hollow to him wilt never be true to us.' Then turning to his officers he
ordered them to pay down the stipulated price, and to execute the
traitor forthwith. 'My lord,' said the wretched man, 'had I wist you
would have dealt so straitly with me, your lordship should not have won
this fort with so little bloodshed as you did.' Among the bystanders was
James Boys, formerly Constable of Maynooth, who had resigned his office
at the breaking out of the rebellion, but who may have sympathised with
his old employers, and who muttered 'too late' in Irish, a saying which
became proverbial for an ineffectual repentance. Paris was executed, and
it does not appear that he had been promised pardon, but Skeffington's
action was neither honest nor politic. He had profited by the treason,
and to kill the traitor could only tend to make other rebels desperate.
About forty other prisoners were taken, of whom twenty-five were
executed, including the Dean of Kildare and another priest named Walsh.
It appeared from the depositions of one prisoner, a priest, that there
had been negotiations with the Emperor, who held out hopes of 10,000 men,
and also with the King of Scots. The 'pardon of Maynooth' became a
proverbial expression for the gallows.[145]

[Sidenote: The Irish fall away from Kildare.]

Kildare had in the meantime succeeded in raising an army of 7,000 men
among the O'Connors of Offaly and in Connaught, but the news that
Maynooth had fallen almost dispersed it. With the men who remained he
advanced to Clane, where he came into collision with Skeffington, who
took 140 prisoners and put them to the sword, on a renewal of the fight
being threatened. Kildare then went into Thomond, intending to sail for
Spain, but sent James Delahide and Robert Walsh, the parish priest of
Loughseedy, in his stead. These messengers joined Power at Cadiz, but did
not obtain an interview with Charles until after their chief's execution.
Power was pardoned at the Emperor's request, but the others were
attainted by name. Kildare's allies now gradually dropped away. O'More
and MacMurrough gave security to Ossory, and the Earl's followers
dwindled daily, though he continued to roam about in the neighbourhood of
his ancestral estates. Maynooth was too strong to attempt, but he twice
took Rathangan, so that no Englishman would take charge of it; and
Skeffington was forced to entrust it to Sir James Fitzgerald. After this,
Kildare drove a herd of cattle under the walls, and by the hope of booty
drew out a great part of the garrison, whom he cut to pieces. On one
occasion, he destroyed part of the garrison of Trim by putting forward
some English troopers, who pretended to be Salisbury's men; and on
another, he almost succeeded in capturing a large convoy near Naas. But
such stratagems could not long delay the end, and the Irish saw that the
game was up. O'Neill came to Skeffington at Drogheda, and took the oath
of allegiance. It was agreed among other things that any O'Neill who did
wrong within the obedient districts might be tried by English law, and
that homicides should not be compounded by money payments;[146] but the
King's subjects taken in O'Neill's country were to be reserved for the
royal consideration, and not punished capitally by the chief. O'Neill was
to receive his customary black-rent, but none of his clans were to levy
Irish exactions,[147] or to graze cattle in the English districts. All
Englishmen were to enjoy free trade with Tyrone, and O'Neill undertook to
help Skeffington in his hostings in as ample a manner as any of his
predecessors had helped any previous Lord-Deputy or Lord-Lieutenant.[148]

[Sidenote: But Skeffington makes little progress.]

O'More, an able man, who was anxious to deserve well of his new friends,
accompanied Brabazon into the wastes of Allen, where Kildare was lurking.
After the usual plundering, he advised the Englishmen to turn as if in
full retreat, but, in reality, to occupy all the passes, while the
O'Mores engaged the Earl's party in the plain. But the Northumberland
moss-troopers under Dacre and Musgrave had not forgotten their old
habits, and made off with the booty, leaving an unguarded pass, through
which the Geraldines escaped.[149] The O'Mores would not kill Kildare's
men, but were very active against the O'Connors; indeed, the Earl was
believed to have been in O'More's hands for a time, and to have been
purposely released. But Brabazon took Burnell of Balgriffin, one of the
original advisers of the rebellion, and William Keatinge, captain of the
Keatinge kerne, who had hitherto been the rebels' chief strength. The
latter was released on giving security, but Burnell was reserved for the
scaffold. The remarkable unfitness of Skeffington for the post in which
Henry maintained him was strikingly shown at this time. He was unable to
stir from Maynooth, and seemed half dead if he rose before ten or eleven
o'clock. Marauding bands came with impunity to the castle gates, and
stole the Deputy's horses; and he allowed the army to lie in the open
country without orders, and to consume provisions instead of fighting.
The sick man was jealous of Lord Leonard Grey, the marshal of the army,
whom rumour had designated as his successor; he was himself incapable of
action, and was unwilling to let others act in his stead.[150]

[Sidenote: Surrender of Kildare.]

Before his release Keatinge undertook to drive the Geraldine chief out of
Kildare. The wretched peasants crept back to their fields to save what
was left of the harvest; and Cahir O'Connor, who saw how things were
likely to end, came to Grey and Brabazon, and took an oath to defend the
King's interests against Kildare, and against his own brother. The Earl
had a stronghold in a boggy wood near Rathangan, fortified with
earthworks and wet ditches, and almost impregnable had it been well
manned and armed. Not being defended it was easily taken, and whatever
would burn was burned. At last Skeffington felt well enough to take the
field, and advanced with Grey and Butler to the borders of Offaly.
Despairing of the cause, and anxious to save his harvest, O'Connor came
in and submitted to the Lord Deputy at Castle Jordan; and Kildare,
finding himself alone, then surrendered to Butler and Grey in the
presence of three witnesses. Skeffington positively asserts that no
condition was made, 'either of pardon, life, land, or goods;' and this is
confirmed by a despatch from the Council sent three days later and signed
by Lords Butler and Delvin, Rawson, Prior of Kilmainham, Saintloo,
Brabazon, Aylmer, Salisbury, and Sir Rice Maunsell, the last two having
been present at the surrender. But the councillors admitted that
'comfortable words were spoken to Thomas to allure him to yield,' and
begged the King to spare his life according to the comfort of those

[Sidenote: The surrender was unconditional.]

A great effort was made to cause a belief in England that the surrender
was conditional, but it does not appear that the prisoner himself made
any such assertion. He wrote to his connection Grey, confessing himself a
rebel, but urging that he had done all by the advice of Thomas Eustace
and Sir Gerald MacShane. He begged intercession for his life and lands:
failing the efficacy of such aid, he had, he said, only to shift for
himself as he best could. Writers favourable to the Geraldines have
nevertheless stated that he was promised his life, and this has been
copied into a long succession of popular manuals. Even at the time, the
legal mind of Lord Chancellor Audeley refused to believe that the Irish
Council had so dealt 'with so errant and cankered a traitor.' 'If this,'
he added, 'be intended that he should have mercy, I marvel much that
divers of the King's Council in Ireland have so largely told the King,
afore this time, that there should never be good peace or order in
Ireland till the blood of the Garrolds were wholly extinct. And it was
also said that the Irishmen spared their effectual diligence in the
persecution of him, because they heard that he should have pardon, and
then he would revenge; and now it seemeth they would procure him mercy.
They be people of a strange nature and much inconstancy.'[152]

[Sidenote: Kildare is sent to England;]

In writing his thanks to Skeffington the King regrets that Kildare's
capture had not been 'after such a sort as was convenable to his
deservings'--alluding to the report that conditions had been made with
him. The letter is worthy of Elizabeth at her best, and very creditable
to Henry, who declares his unabated confidence in Skeffington, and
promises to make every allowance for his age and infirmities. As to the
disposal of the prisoner, not only Audeley but Norfolk, who spoke from
the fulness of his Irish experience, thought he should be sent to the
Tower and executed in due course, 'except it should appear that by his
keeping alive there should grow any knowledge of treasons, or other
commodity to the King's grace.' The Duke advised a long respite, lest
Lord Butler and Lord Leonard Grey should lose all their credit in
Ireland. The Chancellor wished to proceed in the King's Bench under the
new Statute of Treasons, by which he considered that such offences,
though committed in Ireland, might be tried in an English shire. Had this
opinion finally prevailed, modern Ireland might be easier to govern than
it ever seems likely to be. Both Norfolk and Audeley allude to the report
that Kildare had been promised his life, but neither they nor the King
confirm it.[153]

[Sidenote: and harshly treated in the Tower.]

An account is extant showing that twenty shillings a week were allowed
for Kildare's maintenance in the Tower, but intercepted letters tell of
great harshness. His object in writing was to borrow 20_l._ from O'Brien,
who had his plate, and he urged that chief to help the Deputy as the best
means of helping him. 'I never,' he wrote to a trusty servant, 'had any
money since I came into prison but a noble, nor I have had neither hosen,
doublet, nor shoes, nor shirt but one; nor any other garments, but a
single frieze gown, for a velvet furred with budge, and so I have gone
woolward, and barefoot and barelegged, divers times (when it hath not
been very warm), and so I should have done still, and now, but that poor
prisoners, of their gentleness, hath sometimes given me old hosen, and
shoes, and old shirts.' For sixteen months the rash young man endured
this misery, and then, an Irish Act of attainder having passed in the
meantime, he and his five uncles were carried to Tyburn and there duly
hanged, drawn, and quartered.[154]

[Sidenote: The Desmonds and MacCarthies.]

Having followed the fortunes of the House of Kildare until their great
eclipse, we may now turn to the southern Geraldines, who had also entered
upon the slippery paths of rebellion. The dispute between Desmond and
Ormonde was of old standing, the real cause of it being the fact that
Munster was not large enough to hold two such families. In 1520 Surrey
brought about a meeting at Waterford between James, the eleventh Earl of
Desmond, and Sir Piers Butler. They were solemnly sworn to keep the peace
and to help each other on lawful occasions. Cormac Oge MacCarthy, Lord of
Muskerry, and MacCarthy Reagh, who had allied themselves with the Butlers
as a defence against their great neighbours' oppressions, were parties to
this agreement. Surrey took hostages from them, and reported that they
were wise men and more conformable than some Englishmen. If the King
would undertake to protect them, he thought that they and many other
Irishmen would be content to hold their lands of him. The peace was
short; for Desmond no sooner got back to his own country than he
proceeded to waste Muskerry with fire and sword. The two MacCarthies
joined their forces, and a pitched battle was fought at Mourne Abbey,
near Mallow. Cormac Oge placed the cavalry under the command of his
sister's husband, Thomas Moyle Fitzgerald, who was Desmond's uncle and
heir presumptive; and to his charge the Geraldine partisans of course
attribute the result. The Earl was totally defeated: 'and of this
overthrow,' wrote the family historian more than a century later, 'the
Irish to this day do brag, not remembering how often both before and
after they received the like measure from the Geraldines.'[155]

[Sidenote: Desmond intrigues with Francis I., 1523.]

Two years after the fight at Mourne Abbey Desmond was in secret
communication with Francis I., the Constable Bourbon having at the same
time similar relations with Henry VIII. The French King sent two agents
to Ireland--Francis de Candolle, Lord of Oisy, who afterwards appears as
having a relationship or connection with Desmond, and Francis de
Bergagni. They met the Earl at Askeaton, and made a convention with him.
Desmond agreed to make war on the King, provided that his father-in-law
Tirlough O'Brien and others of that clan should be included in any peace
made between England and France. Francis rather oddly undertook to send
ships to help Desmond in collecting tribute from his subjects. The Earl
and his seneschal David MacMorris were promised French pensions, and both
Geraldines and O'Briens were encouraged to expect French help in any
emergency. Richard de la Pole, Edward IV.'s exiled nephew, was to be set
up against Henry, and Desmond undertook to support the Pretender with 400
horse and 10,000 foot, which were to remain under his command. If he
succeeded in raising 15,000 foot Francis agreed to pay two angelots a
month for every fully armed man, and one angelot for every kerne.
Kinsale, Cork, or Youghal was to be held by the French, and Desmond
promised to use his exertions in providing them with horses. The
convention was ratified at St. Germain-en-Laye, but nothing whatever came
of it. Had there been any good understanding between Desmond and the
Scots who were threatening Ulster, a powerful diversion might have been
effected; but the Earl seems to have had no higher object than the
enhancement of his own local authority. Some years later a bill was
prepared for the attainder of Desmond in the Irish Parliament, which
recited his treason in giving aid and comfort to Frenchmen while France
and England were at war. But no Parliament was then held, and Desmond
died unattainted.[156]

[Sidenote: The Butlers and the Desmond Geraldines.]

During his short administration after Surrey's departure Sir Piers
Butler, who had heard of Desmond's dealings with France, invaded his
country with the consent of many loyal Geraldines. The port towns closed
their gates to the rebellious Earl, who turned upon Tipperary, and
occupied the strong castle of Cahir, the same which afterwards delayed
Essex and thus contributed to his fall. The Deputy hastened to the spot,
and seized the bridge leading to the fortified island; but the bridge on
the other side remained open and Desmond escaped. After this the
O'Briens, whom many supposed to be instigated by Kildare, laid a trap for
Sir Piers very like that in which his famous grandson was long afterwards
caught. A parley was proposed at the ford of Camus on the Suir, and
thither, according to his own account, Butler repaired with a slender
escort and the most pacific intentions. The O'Briens, who were hidden in
a wood, suddenly rushed out and attacked him, but his men fought bravely
and killed Teig O'Brien, the chief's son, 'of all men of his age the most
dreaded by his enemies.' The Ormonde district at this time lay open on
account of a bridge which the O'Briens had lately built over the Shannon,
and one of the complaints against Kildare was that he had not helped Sir
Piers to destroy this bridge.[157]

[Sidenote: Their disputes about Dungarvan.]

A war without much plan or apparent purpose continued to rage for years
between the Butlers and the southern Geraldines. In 1527 James Butler
wrote to his father, who was then in England, giving him an account of
certain intrigues and disturbances, and telling him plainly that it was
folly trying to look after Irish affairs in London. He who would do the
King service must do it on the spot. Sir John Fitzgerald of Decies, who
had taken part against the head of his house, and had in consequence lost
much cattle and seen many farm-houses in flames, watched his opportunity,
and shut up Desmond in Dungarvan. Here he was joined by Butler, and by
the Earl's cousin, Thomas Fitzgerald of Decies; but the castle defied
anything short of a regular siege. Butler had a horse shot under him, but
a sally was unsuccessful, and Desmond thought it prudent to take the sea
with forty men. He sailed into Youghal upon the flood-tide, and Dungarvan
then offered to surrender to Sir Thomas Fitzgerald. Butler refused to
allow this, and Sir Thomas then joined his cousin, who had begun to
ravage his lands about Youghal. The prey having escaped, Dungarvan was
not thought worth any further immediate trouble; but a grant of the
offices of governor, constable, and steward of the place was soon
afterwards passed to Sir Piers Butler on his being created Earl of
Ossory. The condition was imposed that the new Earl should seek to
recover Dungarvan out of Desmond's possession.[158]

[Sidenote: Desmond immigration into Wales.]

The rebel seems to have been a man of large ideas. He had the Archbishop
of Cashel, a natural son of Ossory, to watch over his interests at Court,
and something amounting almost to an Irish invasion of England took place
under his auspices. In twelve months the almost incredible number of
20,000 Irishmen are said to have landed in Pembrokeshire--that little
England beyond Wales whence the ancestors of the Geraldines had first
sailed to Ireland. They spread themselves over the country about Milford
Haven and between St. David's and Tenby, and the very corporation of the
latter town came under Irish influence. A townsman had two large heavily
armed ships manned by Irishmen: he was himself Welsh, but he would have
neither Welshman nor Englishman on board. Throughout the country side
Irishmen outnumbered the natives in the proportion of four to one, and
many Irish vessels frequented the coast, and were employed in trade or
piracy, or in a mixture of both. Nearly all the men they brought were
from Desmond's country, and it is probable that he had a share of the
profits, and that he was thus enabled to keep up the contest on

[Sidenote: Desmond intrigues with Charles V.]

The adventurous Earl had gained nothing by his alliance with France; but
he did not abandon the hope of foreign intervention in Ireland, and sent
a present of Irish hawks and wolf-hounds to Charles V. The gifts were in
charge of a trusty messenger, who landed at St. Sebastian and hastened to
the Imperial Court at Toledo. Wolsey's emissaries were accurately
informed of these movements, and one who lived at Renteria recommended
that a royal cruiser should be sent to intercept the ambassador on his
return. The man himself lacked discretion, for he showed his despatches
to the papal collector at Valladolid, and their contents thus became
known to the English agents. Desmond's great wish was for artillery,
which would have placed nearly every castle in Munster at his mercy. Glad
to find any means of annoying a King who desired to repudiate his aunt,
Charles sent a gold cup to Desmond, and soon afterwards despatched his
chaplain Gonzalo Fernandez to Ireland. Fernandez, who spoke very good
English, was instructed to make himself thoroughly acquainted with
Desmond's resources, and to offer help if he thought it advisable. He was
authorised to promise that the Earl should be included in any treaties
which might be made between the Emperor and Henry VIII., and to explain
that his master had always been most anxious for the English King's
friendship. Notwithstanding his former good offices Henry had made an
alliance with France, and now sought to divorce his Queen and to give the
Duchy of Ireland to his bastard in disparagement of the Princess Mary.
Such proceedings Charles was determined firmly to resist.[160]

[Sidenote: Mission of Gonzalo Fernandez to Ireland, 1529.]

Fernandez left Toledo on March 3, the Spanish Government giving out that
he had gone to England to recover debts due to the Emperor. He had
returned by April 28. On his way out he touched at Cork, where many
persons visited his ship, and he gathered from their conversation that
Desmond was not popular there. After this he was driven into Berehaven,
whence he wrote to the Earl; and in four days he received an answer
directed to him as chaplain to 'our sovereign lord the Emperor,' Desmond
striving to assume the position of an Imperial feudatory, instead of that
of an English subject. Fernandez then sailed to Dingle, and before he
could land Desmond sent six gentlemen on board to ask his help in
capturing certain English and French vessels which lay near, probably at
Ventry or Smerwick. Desmond had already sent his galleys, and was going
with 500 men to support them by land. The Spaniard, with a more exact
idea of an ambassador's duties than the potentate to whom he was
accredited, prudently excused himself. Desmond evidently did not wish
Fernandez to visit any of his castles, and preferred to meet him at the
water's edge. Anxious to appear a powerful independent prince, he was
probably unwilling that the Spaniards should see the nakedness of the
land and his own rude way of life; and perhaps he shrunk from
accumulating evidence against himself in case submission to his lawful
sovereign should after all become expedient.[161]

[Sidenote: Fernandez in Munster with Desmond.]

On April 21 Fernandez disembarked. He was well received by the
inhabitants and by Desmond himself, who had 500 horse and as many
gallowglasses with him. The Earl asked after the Emperor's health, and
again called him his sovereign lord. Fernandez read his commission first
in English. Desmond then requested that it might be repeated in Latin for
the benefit of his Council, and when it was finished he took off his cap
and thanked the Emperor for his gracious condescension, adding the
reflection that his Majesty was placed on earth to prevent one prince
from injuring another. His evident design was to acknowledge the
supremacy of the Empire over all the kingdoms of the world, and at the
same time to place himself on a level with the King of England, from whom
he held his lands, his title, and his jurisdiction. Desmond then
discharged the congenial duty of magnifying himself and his ancestors. He
was, he said, descended from Brito, who lawfully conquered the great and
the small Britain, and reduced Ireland and Scotland under his yoke. It
had been prophesied that an Earl of Desmond should conquer England, and
this kept the English in a constant state of tremor. The fear of its
fulfilment had caused the beheading of Earl Thomas by Lord Deputy
Tiptoft, and Richard, 'son of the King of England,' had invaded Ireland
on account of his father's enmity with the reigning King. Afterwards that
Earl had conquered all Ireland, 'some few towns only excepted.' The King
of England caused the Earl of Kildare to be destroyed in prison, until
his kinsman of Desmond forcibly liberated him and made him Viceroy of
Ireland. In twenty-four years, during which he had been stirring up both
English and Irish, first to kill Desmond's father and afterwards to make
war on himself, the King of England had gained no advantage. The Earl's
servants trading in France and Flanders had been imprisoned and despoiled
of 9,000_l._ by the English King's orders. Fernandez prudently demanded
that this extraordinary farrago should be written down. It is very
fortunate that he was unable to retain it in his memory, for no amount of
mere English evidence could give us such a measure of a Desmond's pride,
or of the nonsense which rhymers or Brehons could venture to put into a
Desmond's head.[162]

[Sidenote: Desmond's proposals to the Emperor.]

The Geraldine addressed Charles V. as most invincible and most sacred
Cæsar, ever august; and described himself as Earl of Desmond, Lord of
Decies, of O'Gunnell, and of the liberty of Kerry. He first asked for
four vessels of 200 tons each, and six smaller ones, all well armed, and
for 500 Flemings to work them. Fernandez objected that no consideration
was offered for so great a gift, and that Desmond could give no security
out of Ireland; but ultimately an article was made out in which the Earl
avowed himself the Emperor's subject, and promised to help him in all his
enterprises. Knowing that no guarantee could be given, the Spaniard
wisely asked for none but his host's word of honour. The Earl declared
his fixed intention--and here at least he spoke quite sincerely--to use
all his strength and that of his friends in prosecuting the war against
Piers Butler, the King's Deputy, and against the cities of Limerick,
Waterford, and Dublin. He begged the Emperor's help, and renewed his
request for cannon; as for men, he could bring 16,500 foot and 1,500
horse into the field, and his allies could furnish 9,000 additional foot
and 300 additional horse. In enumerating his allies Desmond again drew
upon his imagination, for he included O'Donnell, Prince of Ulster, with
his 4,000 foot and 800 horse, Maguire and Magennis in the distant north,
as well as the MacCarthies with whom he was at war, and who, about this
time, defeated him in a pitched battle. He also represented himself as
firmly allied and frequently communicating with the King of

[Sidenote: Fernandez is unfavourable to Desmond.]

Fernandez told his master that Desmond had treated him well, and supplied
his ship with fresh beef and venison. He had found him full of animosity
against Wolsey, and quite ready to forget his French connections and his
former compact with Francis. But the Earl acknowledged that Dublin was
the chief town of Ireland, and that he had no interest there, and that
his kinsman of Kildare, whom he called the ruler of the capital, had been
imprisoned in the Tower. That he had been arrested partly on Desmond's
account was obviously of less importance than the fact that he could be
arrested at all. As to Cork, Limerick, and Waterford, Desmond had some
friends there, but many more enemies. On the other hand, the Earl
certainly had ten castles, and Fernandez was made to believe that the
King of England had lately failed to take Dungarvan--a version of the
facts which strained them considerably. The Spaniard could not doubt that
Desmond had many tributary knights, and much influence among the wild
Irish; but he did not form a high opinion of the Earl's soldiers, among
whom executions for theft and murder were very frequent. They performed
wonderful feats of horsemanship without saddle or stirrups, but they had
no military skill. There were some gallowglasses with halberts, but the
great mass had only bows and arrows. Fernandez allows that the Earl kept
good justice, but it is clear that his general impression was

[Sidenote: Desmond sends messengers to Spain. The English agents are well

Desmond sent John Aslaby, Archdeacon of Cloyne, and another messenger
with Fernandez, and they found their way to Spain. The English agents
there continued to be well informed, and they learned from one Gwyn,
living at Ballinskellig, in Kerry, and trading to St. Sebastian, that
Desmond had sent for 4,000 men to teach the Irish war. Gwyn truly
reported that Cormac Oge was warring against the Earl, but that he would
probably soon acknowledge himself beaten. There is reason to believe that
a Spanish expedition to Ireland was really contemplated, but that the
Biscayans intended for the service refused to go, alleging, with a fine
perception of the realities of Celtic diplomacy, that the Irish would be
sure to deceive the Emperor. At all events nothing was done, and Spanish
intervention in Ireland was put off for half a century. Desmond was
proclaimed a traitor, but he died soon afterwards, and his successor
followed him in a few months, leaving his heritage in dispute. The
mission of Fernandez had no direct effect upon Ireland, but it may have
had a good deal to do with Wolsey's fate, and with the crooked diplomacy
of the divorce question. He was heir to De Puebla, who had negotiated
Catherine of Arragon's marriages, and probably knew more than any one
about the brief which Julius II. was said to have sent to Ferdinand the
Catholic, and which, if genuine, would have precluded Clement VII. from
granting a divorce on the ground of affinity. If the brief was forged,
its spuriousness could not be proved in the absence of Fernandez, and the
delay was fatal to the English Cardinal.[164]

[Sidenote: Stephen Parry's tour in the south of Ireland. Siege of

Lord Leonard Grey was sent to England in charge of Kildare, but he left
his company of 100 men, under a Welsh officer named Parry, with orders to
attach himself to Lord Butler. Parry's despatch to Cromwell is one of the
very few contemporary documents which throw light on the state of the
country. He and his men entered Ossory's district at Leighlin Bridge,
where the people were glad to see them, and went on to Callan, where they
found English fashions generally followed. They were so well received at
Callan that they stayed there nine days, and they made a further halt of
three days at Clonmel, which also entertained them hospitably. Thomas
Butler, a man of great local influence, who had married Ossory's
daughter, and was afterwards created Lord Cahir, met the troops at
Clonmel and led them over the mountains to Dungarvan. He spoke very good
English, and made himself most agreeable. Gerald MacShane Fitzgerald of
Decies, who was also Ossory's son-in-law, joined them on the road. This
gentleman could not speak a word of English, but he was very civil,
professed great loyalty, and bound himself by hostages to act under the
advice of the Council. Reaching Dungarvan about the middle of September,
they met Skeffington, who had made up his mind to take the place, and who
brought the artillery which was henceforth to play so great a part in
Irish politics. The accidental presence of a Devonshire fishing fleet
enabled the Lord Deputy to invest the castle completely. On being
summoned the commandant answered boldly that he held the place for his
master, and that he would do the best for him, as he was sure Skeffington
would in like case do for his master. Two days were spent in preparing
the battery, and at five o'clock on the morning of the third the
cannonade began. A breach was made by eleven, and Sir John Saintloo
wished to storm it at once, but Skeffington's practised eye detected an
inner barricade. Lord Butler, who was a suitor for the castle, and had no
mind to be at the expense of rebuilding it, here interfered to prevent a
renewal of the fire. He sent in two of his men as hostages for the
constable's safety, and the latter then came out. Partly by coaxing and
partly by bullying, Butler persuaded him to surrender, and he and his
men took the oath of allegiance and swore to maintain the succession of
Anne Boleyn's child. The castle was handed over to Ossory's men.[165]

[Sidenote: Desmond dies in 1529. Disputed succession. Parry's journey.]

The Earl of Desmond whom Gonzalo Fernandez visited died in 1529, leaving
no male issue, and his uncle and successor Thomas Moyle soon followed
him. Thomas Moyle's son Maurice died before his father, having married
Joan Fitzgerald, daughter of the White Knight, by whom he left one son,
generally called James Fitzmaurice. James would have succeeded of course,
but that the validity of his mother's marriage was disputed. Failing him
the next heir would be his grand-uncle, John Fitz-Thomas, who was at this
time a very old man. To settle this question, if possible, and also, as
Skeffington wrote to the King, 'to execute the succession of your
Highness and of your most excellent Queen' Anne Boleyn, the Lord-Deputy
issued commissions for all the southern and western counties, and in each
Lord Butler was named chief commissioner. But the old artilleryman would
not give Butler a single gun, and he continued his journey without the
means of taking castles. At Youghal the townsmen received him well, and
Parry, who evidently liked good living, notes that claret sold there for
fourpence a gallon. Next day they encamped near Midleton, where the
Butlers mustered 202 horse, 312 gallowglasses, and 204 kerne, besides a
due proportion of the rabble which invariably accompanied Irish armies.
Parry's contingent consisted of 78 spearmen, 24 'long boys,' and 5
musketeers--all well horsed. The next day they reached Cork, and Cormac
Oge appeared with his host on a hill less than a mile from the city.
Drawing up his main body on rising ground fronting the MacCarthies,
Butler descended into the hollow with a few followers, and the chief of
Muskerry met him there similarly attended. The mayor and aldermen, all in
scarlet gowns and velvet tippets, after the English fashion, were very
glad to see so many Englishmen, and 'made us,' says Parry, 'the best
cheer that ever we had in our lives.' Next day Cormac Oge came into the
town accompanied by the young Earl, who had married his daughter, and
who, having been brought up in England, dressed and behaved in approved
fashion. He acknowledged that he held all from the King, whom he had
never offended; and as a true-born Englishman he was quite ready to go to
England and try his title before his Majesty in council, provided his
grand-uncle Sir John would do the same. Earl or not, he was at the King's
disposal for any service, and to all this Cormac Oge agreed.[166]

[Sidenote: Journey of Parry and Lord Butler. The O'Briens.]

The youthful Lord Barry, who spoke very good English and was full of
complaints against the MacCarthies for keeping him out of his lands, also
came to Lord Butler at Cork. Cormac Oge was anxious to have all disputes
referred to the Lord-Deputy; but his son-in-law MacCarthy Reagh, the
chief of Carbery, who came in upon safe-conduct, said that he would do
nothing of the kind, but would hold by the sword what he had won by the
sword. Butler was very angry and told him he should repent, but MacCarthy
doubtless knew that, however good the will, the power to pursue him into
his own country was wanting. Mallow and Kilmallock, which Parry found a
very poor town, were next visited; and as the army approached Limerick,
O'Brien evacuated two castles in the neighbourhood and obstructed the
passes into Thomond with felled trees. Hearing that the invaders had no
cannon he restored his garrison, and encamped with a large force three
miles from the city walls. At Limerick Parry also found very good cheer,
'but nothing like the cheer that we had at Cork.' They then encamped at
Adare, where Donogh O'Brien, the reigning chief of Thomond's eldest son
and the husband of Lady Helen Butler, came to meet his brother-in-law.
The speech attributed to Donogh seems genuine, and is not without a rude
pathos:--'I have married your sister; and for because that I have married
your sister, I have forsaken my father, mine uncle, and all my friends,
and my country, to come to you to help to do the King service. I have
been sore wounded, and I have no reward, nor nothing to live upon. What
would ye have me to do? If that it would please the King's grace to take
me unto his service, and that you will come into the country, and bring
with you a piece of ordnance to win a castle, the which castle is named
Carrigogunnell, and his Grace to give me that, the which never was none
Englishman's these 200 year, and I will desire the King no help, nor aid
of no man, but this English captain, with his 100 and odd of Englishmen,
to go with me upon my father and mine uncle, the which are the King's
enemies, and upon the Irishmen that never English man were amongst; and
if that I do hurt or harm, or that there be any mistrust, I will put in
my pledges, as good as ye shall require, that I shall hurt no Englishman,
but upon the wild Irishmen that are the King's enemies. And for all such
land as I shall conquer, it shall be at the King's pleasure to set
Englishmen in it, to be holden of the King, as his pleasure shall be; and
I to refuse all such Irish fashions, and to order myself after the
English and all that I can make or conquer. Of this I desire an answer.'

That Donogh in offering his services was going directly against his own
family is plain from a letter which his father had written to Charles V.
not much more than a year before. 'We have,' he had then said, 'never
been subject to English rule, or yielded up our ancient rights and
liberties; and there is at this present, and for ever will be, perpetual
discord between us, and we will harass them with continual war.' The
O'Briens had never sworn fealty to anyone, but he offered full submission
to the Emperor, with 100 castles and 18,000 men.[167]

[Sidenote: The Desmonds and the Irish.]

Old Sir John of Desmond, the rival claimant to the title, also came to
Adare and spoke plainly in very good English. 'What should I do in
England,' he asked, 'to meet a boy there? Let me have that Irish horson,
Cormac Oge, and I will go into England before the King.' Parry thought
him as full of mischief as ever; but he agreed to meet the young Earl at
Youghal, and also the obnoxious Cormac. It is curious to see how proud
these Desmonds were of their Norman blood, and how they despised the
Irish; while often straining every nerve against Henry II.'s successor,
offering their allegiance to foreign princes, and boasting to them of
their Irish allies.

[Sidenote: Parry's observations.]

Returning to Clonmel by Kilmallock and Cashel, Parry was despatched to
bring Vice-Treasurer Brabazon and Chief Justice Bermingham to a
conference with Ossory and his son at Youghal. During the whole long
journey from Dungarvan he had met no one who had ever seen an English
soldier in those parts. Some days they rode sixteen miles at a stretch
over what had once been really, and still remained nominally,
Englishmen's ground. The woods, the rivers, and the rich grass lands
about them excited his admiration. Nor was there any want of ground
suitable for corn, and the ridges showed that it had once been tilled,
but not a blade of oats had grown there for twelve years. Parry, who had
evidently been very well treated by him, seems to have formed a high idea
of Lord Butler's qualifications. If the King would give him artillery
there was scarcely any limit to his possible services; for his own
marriage with a daughter of Desmond and the marriages of his sisters, no
less than his personal character, gave him great influence throughout the
South of Ireland.[168]

[Sidenote: Lord Leonard Grey made Marshal of the army. He and Skeffington

Having determined to continue Skeffington in the government of Ireland,
notwithstanding his age and bad health, Henry took means to supply him
with efficient subordinates. First among them was Lord Leonard Grey, who
had returned with a new commission as marshal and with the title of
Viscount Grane, which, however, he never chose to assume. The others were
Sir John Saintloo, a brave soldier; the Vice-Treasurer Brabazon, who was
already well tried; and John Alen, Master of the Rolls, who had been
pushing his own interests at Court, and who was entrusted with the royal
despatch. Honest musters leading to a reduction of expenses were the
King's great object at this time; for Kildare was safe in the Tower, and
it seemed that a great army was no longer necessary. Special care was
taken to define Grey's position, and Skeffington, whose supremacy as
Henry's representative was fully acknowledged, was reminded that royal
blood flowed in the marshal's veins. Discipline had been much relaxed in
Ireland, and no doubt reform was wanted; but Grey seems to have used his
military authority with undue severity. Thomas Dacre, a member of the
great northern family, who came in charge of some spearmen, was
imprisoned for eight days, though nothing had been proved against him.
Another Dacre was confined for seven weeks without any apparent reason,
and during a fortnight he had irons on both arms and legs. Such
proceedings certainly gave some grounds for supposing that Grey was not
disposed to favour those who had helped to overthrow his rebellious

[Sidenote: Death and character of Skeffington, 1535.]

Skeffington died about two months after Grey's return. Though not very
brilliant, he had been on the whole successful, and had shown that a
private gentleman armed with the King's commission could be more than a
match for the greatest of Irish nobles. It was indeed part of Henry's
policy, as it had been his father's, to rely much upon persons of far
humbler birth. Fox and Wolsey were Churchmen, and the tonsure had been
always powerful to counteract plebeian extraction; but Empson the
pettifogger, Cromwell the clothier, Stile the scribe, and Tuke, who
speculated in kerseys, with many others of no higher original
pretensions, were often preferred for important affairs to the chiefs of
the English aristocracy. The business was often better done, and the
power of the Crown was brought into more prominent relief. Skeffington
may be regarded as the first of that long line of able public servants
who reduced Ireland to a tardy and unwilling obedience. 'He was,' said
Brabazon, 'a very good man of war, but not quick enough for Ireland, and
somewhat covetous.' The charge was made by others also, and is easier to
make than to refute. But it is certain that Skeffington died in
difficulties, and one fact may be set against many opinions.[170]


[126] Conossius Maguire to the King, Feb. 20, 1534, in _Carew_. Letter
from the five Alens, May 17, 1534. R.O. _Ireland_.

[127] Examination of Robert Reyley, Aug. 5, 1536, in _Carew_. Stanihurst.

[128] Stanihurst. Finglas to Cromwell, July 21, 1534. Dowling says Offaly
was commonly called 'Thomas sericus.'

[129] The King to the Earl of Ossory, No. 72 in the printed _State
Papers_. Butler's letter is in Stanihurst.

[130] Examination of Robert Reyley in _Carew_, Aug. 5, 1536; Sir John
Rawson to the King, Aug. 7, 1534; Dowling's _Annals_. Rawson says 'divers
of his chaplains and servants' were killed with the Archbishop, and that
the murder was in Offaly's presence and 'by his commandment.'

[131] Wine, 20 tuns; beer, 20 tuns; powdered beef, 16 hogsheads; 2,000
dried ling, &c. &c.

[132] Stanihurst.

[133] Stanihurst. Ossory to Walter Cowley, No. 93 in the printed _State

[134] Stanihurst. Brereton and Salisbury to the King, Nov. 4, 1534.

[135] Stanihurst.

[136] _Ibid._; Dowling. According to Stanihurst, Salisbury and Brereton
did not land until after the fight in which Musgrave fell, but their own
letter seems to contradict this.

[137] John Alen to Cromwell, Oct. 4; Brereton and Salisbury to the King,
Nov. 4; Skeffington to the King, Nov. 11; Ossory to Mr. Cowley, No. 93 in
the printed _State Papers_.

[138] Brereton and Salisbury to the King, Nov. 4; Skeffington to the
King, Nov. 11; Ossory to Mr. Cowley, as above.

[139] John Alen to Cromwell, Dec. 26, 1534, and Feb. 16, 1535;
Vice-Treasurer Brabazon to Cromwell, Feb. 16, 1535; Skeffington to Sir
Edmund Walsingham, March 13.

[140] The sentence of excommunication is printed in the _State Papers_,
No. 81; see No. 84; Stanihurst. Kildare died Dec. 12, 1534.

[141] Stanihurst; Alen to Cromwell, Dec. 26, 1534.

[142] Ossory to Skeffington, Jan. 17, 1535.

[143] Alen to Cromwell, Feb. 16, 1535; Stanihurst.

[144] Stanihurst; Lord Deputy and Council to the King, March 26.

[145] Ware; Stanihurst; the Lord-Deputy and Council to the King, March
26. The official despatch does not mention the negotiation with Paris,
but I see no reason to disbelieve Stanihurst. 'Too late, quoth Boys,'
became proverbial.

[146] 'Quæ vulgariter dicitur a saulte.'

[147] Coyne and livery, cuddies, kernaghts, 'vel talia poculenta.'

[148] The indenture is dated July 26, 1535.

[149] Aylmer and Alen to Cromwell, Aug. 21.

[150] Grey to Cromwell, August 15. Aylmer and Alen to Cromwell, Aug. 21
and 26.

[151] Skeffington to the King, Aug. 24; the Council of Ireland to the
King, Aug. 27.

[152] Audeley to Cromwell, i. S.P., p. 466; Stanihurst; _Four Masters_.

[153] The King to Skeffington, ii. S.P., p. 280; Audeley to Cromwell, i.
S.P., p. 146; Norfolk to Cromwell, September 9, 1535.

[154] Feb. 3, 1537. The letter to Rothe (enclosing that to O'Brien) is in
S.P. ii., p. 402.

[155] Surrey to Wolsey, Nov. 3, 1520; Russell; O'Daly, chap. ix. The
latter writer is hopelessly wrong, and makes Thomas Moyle fight on
Desmond's side.

[156] He is generally stated to have died June 18, 1529, but he was alive
Sept. 12 in that year. For his intrigues with Francis see Wise to
Cromwell, July 12, 1534, and the Cotton MS. quoted there; _Brewer_, vol.
iii., No. 3118. The abortive Bill of attainder is calendared under Oct.

[157] Articles alleged by Ormonde against Kildare, _Brewer_, vol. iv.,
No. 1352 (2). Ware; _Four Masters_, 1523.

[158] James Butler to his father, _Brewer_, vol. iv., No. 3698; to the
King, _ib._ 3699. Cormac Oge to the King, _ib_. 5084; to Wolsey, _ib._
4933. Sir Thomas Fitzgerald to ---- _ib._ 3922. Archbishop Inge to
Wolsey, Feb. 23, 1528.

[159] R. Cowley, ii. S.P., 141; R. Griffiths to Wolsey, in _Brewer_, vol.
iv., Nos. 3372 and 4485.

[160] J. Batcock to ---- in _Brewer_, vol. iv., No. 4878; Sylvester
Darius to Wolsey, _ib._ 4911; Ghinucci and Lee to Wolsey, _ib._ 4948; Lee
to Henry VIII., _ib._ 5002. The instructions to Fernandez are in _Carew_,
Feb. 24, 1529 (wrongly calendared under 1530).

[161] Fernandez to Charles V. in _Brewer_, vol. iv. No. 5323; Ghinucci
and Lee to Wolsey, _ib._ 5423; Lee to Wolsey, April 19, 1529, _ib._ 5469;
Desmond's Memorandum for the Emperor, April 28, _ib._ 5501; Froude's

[162] Same authorities. Writing later to Charles V. (Sept. 2, _Brewer_,
iv. 5938) Desmond increases his loss by Henry's malpractices to
100,000_l._, and says he holds the chief power in all Irish harbours from
the furthest point of Kerry to Waterford.

[163] In the _Pilgrim_ Wexford is substituted for Waterford. The lists of
chiefs in the _Pilgrim_ and in _Brewer_ (vol. iv. No. 5501) are not quite

[164] _Brewer_, vol. iv. No. 5620; Lee to Henry VIII., July 4, 1529,
_ib._ 5756. For the question of the brief see Brewer, Introd. to vol. iv.
pp. ccccxxiii. and ccccxliv., and an excellent article in the _Quarterly
Review_ for January 1877.

[165] Stephen Ap Parry to Cromwell, Oct. 6, 1535; Skeffington to the
King, Oct. 16.

[166] Stephen Ap Parry to Cromwell, Oct. 6; Lord Butler to Cromwell, Oct.

[167] Parry to Cromwell as before. Con O'Brien to Charles V., July 21,
1534, printed in Froude's _Pilgrim_, from the Brussels Archives.

[168] Parry to Cromwell, as before.

[169] The King to Skeffington, No. iii. in the printed S.P. Thomas Dacre
to Cromwell, Jan. 5, 1536, printed in the _Irish Archæological Journal_,
N.S., ii., 338. Skeffington died December 31.

[170] Brabazon to Cromwell, Sept. 10, 1535. Alen to Cromwell, Feb. 16,



[Sidenote: Lord Leonard Grey Deputy, 1536.]

Grey was immediately chosen Lord Justice by the Council, and his patent
as Deputy was not long delayed. He began badly, his temper involving him
in one of those personal difficulties which led to his ruin. He had never
been on good terms with his predecessor, and was at no pains to make a
decent or politic show of regret. Less than a month after her husband's
death Lady Skeffington wrote to Anne Boleyn, declaring that she was
overwhelmed with debt through his liberality in advancing money for the
public service. She had already complained to Cromwell of Grey's
harshness, and her son-in-law Anthony Colley went so far as to accuse him
of shortening the late Deputy's life. Aylmer and Alen, afterwards Grey's
most unrelenting enemies, were included in Lady Skeffington's complaint.
The Council now sustained Grey, but it was not in official documents that
the politicians of Dublin were wont to assail a chief governor whose hand
might after all be heavy against them. Verbal messages and innuendoes
contained in private letters seldom failed to undermine a man whom it
might be neither safe nor decent to accuse openly. Grey now contented
himself with saying that the late Lord Deputy had died in debt, and that
his property was held in pledge for his creditors. But Lady Skeffington
replied, and no doubt truly, that the official salary had never been
paid, and that she could do nothing without it. Cromwell at least
believed her, for he gave orders that her goods should be delivered to
her, and that she should be sped on her homeward journey. Grey complied
in the most ungracious manner, and had all the luggage and furniture
turned out of Maynooth Castle before carts could be provided to carry it
away. It was stored in a church, and there further detained by the new
Deputy for a debt to the Crown. Lady Skeffington was unable to leave for
eight or nine months after her husband's death, and obstacles were placed
in her way to the last. There may have been faults on both sides, but had
Grey been either a good-natured or a politic man he might have found
means to smooth matters for a widowed lady whose chief desire was the
very general one of wishing to get out of Ireland as quickly as

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1536.]

Grey was commissioned to summon a Parliament, which accordingly met on
Monday, May 1, the day before Anne Boleyn was sent to the Tower. In less
than three weeks a number of important bills were passed, of which drafts
carefully settled by Audeley himself had been sent from England. The
succession was secured to the issue of Anne Boleyn, as Brabazon wrote
only two days before that unfortunate lady's execution. Before the letter
reached London Jane Seymour had already been Queen a full fortnight, and
Cromwell's concern was, if possible, to stop the passing of an Act which
would have to be repeated so soon. It was too late to do this, but the
Parliament made no difficulty about enacting the same stringent rule of
succession for the third as they had done for the second wife. They thus
achieved the unique distinction of passing two contradictory Acts of
Settlement within eighteen months. This remarkable performance does not
adorn the printed statute book, because that compilation was made when
Elizabeth was firmly seated on the throne.[172]

[Sidenote: The royal supremacy.]

The bill declaring the King to be supreme head of the Church encountered
some opposition from the proctors of the clergy, two of whom were
summoned to Parliament from each diocese. The proctors had only
consultative voices, but they now claimed not only to be full members of
Parliament, but to form a separate order whose consent would be necessary
to every change in the law. An Act was passed declaring them no members
of the body of Parliament, as they had 'temerariously assumed and
usurpedly taken upon them to be.' In spite of their opposition and of
much secret discontent, a series of Acts were passed to emancipate the
Irish Church from Roman influences, or rather for subjecting her to King
Stork instead of to King Log. All dues hitherto paid to Rome were
forbidden, and the election and consecration of bishops were withdrawn
from papal control. Appeals were transferred from the Pope to the King.
The payment of first-fruits was imposed on all secular dignitaries and
beneficed clergymen, abbots and priors being for the time exempted. The
abrogation of this heavy and oppressive tax was reserved for the energy
of Swift or the piety of Anne. By Audeley's advice the English heresy
laws were not copied in Ireland. An Act was passed to validate the
proceedings of this Parliament, though it had been held contrary to
Poyning's law, but the spirit if not the letter of that famous measure
had been observed by preparing the bills in England. Indeed, the
Parliament was as subservient as any official could wish. 'The Common
House,' wrote Brabazon, 'is marvellous good for the King's causes, and
all the learned men within the same be very good; so that I think all
causes concerning the King's grace will take good effect.'[173]

[Sidenote: The Act of Absentees.]

The weakening of the English power in Ireland by the non-residence of
great proprietors had long been recognised. Edward III., on the occasion
of his son Lionel's mission, announced by proclamation that the lands of
absentees would be granted to Englishmen willing and able to defend them
against the Irish. An English Parliament under Richard II. provided that
in case of absenteeism the Viceroy and Council might divert two-thirds of
the rents and profits to the defence of the country in ordinary cases;
one-third in the case of students, of persons absent on the King's
service, or of those who had leave of absence under the great seal.
Whether or not this English law was ever re-enacted or obeyed in
Ireland, forfeiture was considered an incident of non-residence, and
special Acts were passed to protect those who left Ireland on the public
service. Henry VI. made a law ordering his subjects of Ireland to return
to their own country. By Poyning's Act the statute of Richard II.
obtained full force in Ireland, and it was shortly afterwards provided
afresh that all licences of absence should be under the great seal of
England, exceptions being made in favour of the religious orders and of
students. The momentous Act now passed declared that many great
proprietors had notoriously failed to defend their lands, whereby the
King was forced to incur great expense in bringing an army to Ireland.
The persons specially mentioned were Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, and
his coparcener Lord Barkley, who claimed and held the seigniories and
lordships of Carlow, Old Ross, &c.; George Talbot, Earl of Waterford and
Salop, who held the seigniory of Wexford; and the heirs general of the
Earl of Ormonde, who held divers possessions and lands. To these were
added the Abbots of Furness, Bristol, Osney, and Bath; the Priors of
Canterbury, Lanthony, Cartmel, and Keynsham; and the master of St. Thomas
of Acon in London. All this property was resumed to the Crown, saving the
rights of residents in Ireland, who held under the dispossessed lords.
Wexford was at once placed under a royal seneschal, and was so governed
till the reign of James I. The Crown thus became one of the greatest of
Irish landlords, and the foundations of a reconquest were laid.[174]

[Sidenote: The O'Neills.]

While Parliament was sitting Phelim O'Neill, chief of Clandeboye, came to
Dublin and covenanted with the Lord Deputy to attend all great hostings
and to make war upon all enemies of the Government within a day's march
of his own country. He promised not to aid or harbour rebels, and to
submit all differences between his people and the King's subjects to
peaceful arbitration. The great Leinster chief, Cahir MacEncross
Kavanagh, also came to terms, agreed to supply twelve horsemen and twenty
kerne in all hostings, and to employ his whole force on journeys of not
more than three days' duration. He promised to submit disputes to the
arbitration of Ossory and his son. Redmond Savage, the chief of an
English family in Down which had long conformed to Celtic usages, made a
similar agreement, and also promised to pay the Lord Deputy for his
friendship 100 fat cows and a good horse, or fifteen marks Irish. Grey
went himself to Dundalk, where Con O'Neill met him. The chief of Tyrone
renewed the promises made to Skeffington, binding himself to attend all
hostings and do his best against Scotch intruders, but he gave no
hostages, and an invasion of his country was not believed to be
practicable. The Lord Deputy then returned to Dublin, where a new and
very serious danger demanded his presence.[175]

[Sidenote: Want of money. Mutiny.]

'Lack of money,' as Grey expressed it, 'after the late robbing and
spoiling,' was the great difficulty of the English in Ireland during the
whole Tudor period. The King now sent 7,000_l._, but that sum still left
the soldiers' pay three months in arrear. There were many differences
among the members of Council, but they all agreed in demanding more
money. The northern spearmen, on the report that they were not to be paid
in full, mutinied openly, declaring that they would have all or none.
They refused to hear the King's letter read, threatened the lives of the
Vice-Treasurer and Chief Justice, declared that they would not serve
without wages, and that if they were not paid they would 'board with the
Council at their houses, in spite of their hearts.' The astute borderers
carried their point, for they received full payment, while Grey's own
retainers were sent empty away. Saintloo's men at Waterford also showed a
mutinous spirit, but they were silenced for a time by receiving part of
what was due to them.[176]

[Sidenote: Grey travels southward.]

Parliament having adjourned to Kilkenny, Grey followed it thither, the
army being victualled for a month. Having made arrangements for restoring
the fortifications at Powerscourt, Woodstock, and Athy, Grey left the
defence of the Pale to Brabazon, adjourned the Parliament to Limerick,
and himself set out for Desmond's country. Besides Ossory and his son and
the usual force of the four shires, O'Carroll, MacMurrough, O'Byrne, Lord
Roche, and the gentlemen of Wexford and Waterford, accompanied the Lord
Deputy. He was also attended by William Body, a confidential servant whom
Cromwell had sent over to gather information, and whom he afterwards
mentioned in his will. Body travelled to Ireland with George Browne, the
new Archbishop of Dublin, and first busied himself in trying to arrange
Grey's dispute with Lady Skeffington. He had particular instructions to
inquire as to the possibility of increasing the Irish revenue.[177]

[Sidenote: The Desmond country. Carrigogunnell.]

Marching unopposed across the central plain, Grey found the great Desmond
stronghold on Lough Gur undefended, the doors and windows having been
carried off and the roof purposely burnt. It was handed over to Lord
Butler, who undertook to repair and garrison it at his own expense. Grey
then marched to Carrigogunnell, an immense fortress standing in a
commanding position over the Shannon. Matthew O'Brien surrendered the
place on condition, as was alleged by Body, that it should be garrisoned
only by Englishmen. An order was nevertheless given to hand it over to
Donogh O'Brien, Ossory's son-in-law. This chief came to Grey and renewed
the offers made to Butler. He was ready to serve the King against his
father and all others, provided he might have Carrigogunnell; and the
Council considered his services more important to them than the castle
could be to him. But the English guard restored the place to Matthew
O'Brien. Donogh was certainly not an Englishman, and George Woodward, 'an
honest and an hardy man,' may have thought himself bound in honour to
restore the original situation, or he may have thought one O'Brien as
good as another. Grey merely says that Matthew held out boldly until the
battering train was in position, when he was content to depart with bag
and baggage.[178]

[Sidenote: Grey attacks the O'Briens, August, 1536.]

The next undertaking was an attack on O'Brien's Bridge, which had long
laid Limerick and Tipperary open to attack. The bridge was of wood, with
a castle at each end built in the water. That near the Limerick shore was
the strongest, and was of hewn limestone or marble, twelve or fourteen
feet thick, and armed with an iron gun carrying shot as big as a man's
head, and two small pieces, of which one belonged to some ship, and the
other was of Portuguese make. The garrison had also some muskets and
hand-guns, and the work was skilfully strengthened with wooden barriers
and with hogsheads full of sand. Under Donogh O'Brien's guidance the Lord
Deputy marched along the hilly bank of the great river by devious paths,
untravelled hitherto, as he believed, by Englishmen or by wheels. The
four land-arches had been broken down, and the castle was thus surrounded
by water. The royal artillery consisted of one culverin, six falcons, and
one half-saker, but these were not heavy enough. In a day and a half all
the shot had been fired away, and the walls were almost as sound as ever.
No baggage train had been brought, provisions were scarce, and two nights
had been spent on the bare ground; it was necessary to retire or to take
the castle. Brushwood was abundant, and Grey set his men to make fascines
and to throw them into the channel. Ladders were also made, but it became
unnecessary to use them; for Saintloo's men advanced along the frail and
shifting path and carried the castle with a rush. The garrison ran out at
the other side, and the bridge was then broken down with such tools as
were at hand. The army then returned to Limerick, and Lord Butler went to
Carrick-on-Suir for more cannon before undertaking the recovery of
Carrigogunnell, which the Irish had again seized by stratagem.[179]

[Sidenote: William Body. His report to Cromwell.]

Body, with the insolence of a great man's favourite, had throughout this
expedition assumed the character of a Royal Commissioner, to which he had
not a shadow of title. He associated with the loosest of boon companions,
who disturbed the camp by night and day and swore, with the truth born of
alcohol, that he was no Commissioner. At O'Brien's Bridge he blamed Grey
for not providing sapping tools, which must have tired out the soldiers,
and which would have been quite useless. He was very indignant at having
to sleep on the ground 'from Friday inclusive until Tuesday exclusive,'
but no one else was better off. Grey, a thorough soldier, was at no pains
to conceal his contempt:--

'I desired him to be contented, for I had seen better men than he was, or
should be, or any that was there, lodged worse. He was displeased
therewith, desiring me not to judge what his fortune might be. Then I
said, I was sure he should never be so good as the Duke of Norfolk, and
Suffolk, and my lord my brother (the Marquis of Dorset), whom I had seen
lodged worse. Whereat he took a great fume for that I should judge any
impossibility what he might be; and thereupon leaving us at our coming to
Limerick, departed towards Dublin in a great anger. But of his gests by
the way the folly of it is such, I will not commit to writing, but, I
assure you, like no Commissioner.'

This short experience of Irish campaigning was enough for Body, who
returned to Dublin and busied himself in undermining Grey's influence.
Few seem to have had his good word, except Ossory and his son, who took
care to be civil to Cromwell's confidential man. But Body was perhaps a
better judge of a country than of a general's qualifications. 'As far as
I have seen it,' he wrote, 'that is to say the counties of Dublin,
Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Ormond, Ossory, Desmond, Limerick,
and Thomond, if there be any paradise in this world, it may be accounted
for one among them, both for beauty and goodness.'[180]

[Sidenote: The soldiers refuse to go beyond Shannon.]

The army which Grey had at Limerick did not much exceed 2,000 men,
including the Butlers and their not very trustworthy Irish allies. The
Pale had been much exhausted by the Kildare rebellion, and it was
purposely spared, much to the indignation of Body, who, like many other
casual visitors, fancied he understood Ireland better than men who had
studied it for years. The Lord Deputy had only 700 men of his own and had
no money to pay them. Saintloo's company had received some part of their
money at Waterford, but broke out again soon after leaving that city; and
it was supposed that two subalterns, Gerbert and Powell, were the true
ringleaders. Grey's gunners stood firm, and by threatening to use the
guns he kept the mutineers quiet for a time. They behaved, as we have
seen, with great gallantry at O'Brien's Bridge; but they refused to go
beyond the Shannon, and the idea of a pursuit into Clare was therefore
given up. The Council thought Grey's person in danger, and he owned to
more peril from his soldiers than from the Irish enemy. He could depend
only on his own immediate followers, 100 horse and as many foot, and upon
one officer, that Stephen Parry whom we have met before. Whenever the
bulk of the troops were called upon to perform a service they all
answered together, 'Let us have money, and we will do it.'[181]

[Sidenote: The Butlers and O'Briens. Carrigogunnell.]

The troops being pacified for the moment and Lord Butler having arrived
with another battering piece, the garrison of Carrigogunnell, consisting
partly of Desmond men and partly of O'Briens, were summoned to surrender
on promise of their lives, and warned that if the castle had to be taken
by force no quarter should be shown to man, woman, or child. They
detained the messenger and returned no answer. A breach was soon made,
and, after more than one failure and the loss of thirty men killed and
wounded, the castle was taken by storm. Seventeen of the defenders were
killed in the fight, and of forty-six survivors all were put to death on
the spot, except certain gentlemen of the O'Briens, for whom large
ransoms were refused, and who were taken to Limerick, tried for high
treason, and immediately executed. Chief Justice Aylmer accompanied the
army for such purposes. The castle was handed over to Lord Butler, who
placed it in his brother-in-law's charge, and Donogh, having gained his
great object, became a scourge to the citizens of Limerick.[182]

[Sidenote: Grey cannot pay his army.]

The troops positively refused to go into Clare without receiving their
arrears, and Grey had nothing to give. He therefore proposed to leave
them at Limerick, Cork, and Kilmallock; giving his own and the Council's
security for their victualling until the King should think proper to send
money. They refused; and Butler's men, after twenty days' trial of Lough
Gur, would stay there no longer unless the towns had English garrisons.
James Fitz-Maurice, whom the King acknowledged as Earl of Desmond, and
who had a party in the country, was not at hand, and as no one could take
his place the castle was abandoned. The artillery was left at Limerick
and Clonmel, and the Lord Deputy went back to meet Parliament at Dublin.
His expedition had shown that a small army well led and well paid could
go anywhere and do anything in Ireland, and that feudal castles could do
nothing against a proper siege train; but it had also shown that the
necessary conditions were not likely to be fulfilled under a King who
gave away priories while crossing passages, and who staked one of the
finest peals of bells in London upon a single throw of the dice.[183]

[Sidenote: The Duke of Richmond dies, 1536.]

The death of the Duke of Richmond, whom his father no doubt intended to
advance and whom Charles V. even thought, or professed to think, destined
to succeed him, made no difference to the country which he nominally
governed. It was indeed at first supposed that Acts of Parliament passed
after his death would be invalid, but the lawyers seem to have decided
that this was not the case.[184]

[Sidenote: The revenue. Abuses.]

The actual revenue of Ireland, derived partly from forfeitures and partly
from a parliamentary grant, amounted at this time to about 5,000_l._, of
which 1,000_l._ was not paid. Henry, who was of course obliged to
supplement this, complained that he got very little for his money, and
wished to reduce the Irish establishment. He declared that he valued an
increase of income less for himself than for the common good of Ireland.
'A great sort of you,' he wrote to the Lord Deputy and Council (we must
be plain), 'desire nothing else but to reign in estimation and to fleece
from time to time all that you may catch from us.' He announced therefore
that he was about to send an independent person with ample powers to
inquire into Irish affairs. He gave Brabazon detailed instructions for a
survey of marsh lands, and bade him go to war no more but apply himself
wholly to financial affairs. No salary was to be paid to any officer who
acted by deputy, and none but customary fees exacted. Henry said he was
determined to reform Ireland, and would value his servants there
according to their merits in that behalf. 'If anyone,' he wrote,
'directly or indirectly devised and practised the let, hindrance, or
impeachment of this our purpose for any respect, whereunto we will not
fail to have a special eye, we shall so look upon him what degree soever
he shall be of, as others shall, by his example, beware how they shall
misuse their Prince and sovereign Lord, and transgress his most dread

[Sidenote: Ireland cannot be governed without money.]

To this formidable letter Grey and his Council answered that the army had
never been properly paid, and had in consequence often mutinied, that
they had spent every farthing of revenue on public objects, and had
raised large additional sums on their own credit, that credit was now
quite exhausted, and that without money to pay off the men it was
impossible further to reduce the military establishment. Brabazon had
accounted or was ready to account for every penny, 'and as to our desire
to reign in estimation, it is to be thought that among civil people there
can no name of dignity or honour be in estimation, unless thereunto be
annexed rule and riches. Would to God his Majesty did know our gain and
riches, which is so great that we of the mean sort of this Council,
being his Grace's officers among us all, we suppose be not worth in money
and plate 1,000_l._ Irish, which is a small substance for us all, being
in the rooms that we be under his Grace. We be no such purchasers of
possessions, builders, dicers, nor carders, neither yet pompous
householders whereby we should consume our profits and gain if we had

[Sidenote: Grey attacks the O'Connors, 1537.]

Those best acquainted with the country at this time believed that the
necessary precedent to its reduction was a thorough conquest of Leinster.
The overthrow of the Kildare Geraldines was necessary, but had its
inconveniences. They had been a standing menace to the Government, but
they had kept the Irish at bay, and their fall left the marches quite
open. Without security either of life or title no one would work the
forfeited lands, and the margin of waste grew broader every day. Grey's
temper and talents made him prefer war to diplomacy, and he resolved to
strike at O'Connor, whose hostages were in his hands, and who was under
recognizance to deliver 800 cows to the King, but who had regained
complete possession of Offaly. His brother Cahir had suffered the not
uncommon fate of those who support Irish governments, and had been an
exile for two years. Grey, Brabazon, and Aylmer took fourteen days'
provisions from Dublin, and were joined on the march by Lords Delvin,
Slane, and Killeen, and by William Saintloo, now seneschal of Wexford,
with his own company and 100 kerne. They passed along the southern edge
of Westmeath to MacGeohegan's country, the modern barony of Moycashel,
and took hostages from that chief and from O'Molloy, whose district lay
further south. On the same day Brabazon got possession of Brackland
Castle through the treachery of an inmate, who acted in Cahir O'Connor's
interest, and who was pardoned while the rest of the garrison were
beheaded. The soldiers destroyed all that lay in their path, and on the
fifth day arrived before Dangan, afterwards Philipstown, which had been
fortified with some skill. The march was only of five or six miles, but
the ground was boggy, and a road had to be made with fascines and
hurdles. The ditches about the castle were filled in the same way, and
the courtyard was forced before nightfall. Three days were spent in
waiting for one large and two small pieces of artillery, and on the
bright May morning following their arrival fire was opened upon the keep.
After four hours' cannonade, resulting as usual in those days with the
disabling of the principal gun, a breach was made and the castle at once
stormed. The walls were dismantled, and the heads of their twenty-three
defenders set on poles 'for a show to the O'Connors.' On the next day
Ossory's second son Richard, afterwards created Viscount Mountgarret,
came to excuse his father, who had been kept away by ill-health. O'Connor
in the meantime had fled into O'Carroll's country, 'which O'Carroll,'
Grey carefully notes, 'is the Earl of Ossory's friend.' The punishment of
O'Carroll for harbouring the fugitive was nevertheless entrusted to
Richard Butler, partly to punish his tardiness, and partly because Grey's
fifteen days' provisions were almost gone. It was an absurd expedient,
and before the end of the year O'Connor was back and Cahir had fled the
country. The sole result of the expedition was to show the force of
artillery; yet Henry, unless his language be thought ironical, calls it a
notable exploit. 'If, however,' the King added, 'he should be suffered to
enter again, it should but add a further courage to that traitorous
malice which by all likelihood is so entered, that it will not be

[Sidenote: Grey makes many enemies.]

Grey had many enemies, for he was not conciliatory, and his relationship
to the Geraldines laid him open to the suspicions of all who had risen on
the ruins of the House of Kildare. With Brabazon, the ablest man about
him, he had long been on cold terms, and many supposed that the
Vice-Treasurer thought he ought to have been Deputy himself. Thomas
Agard, Vice-Treasurer of the Mint, a sour but apparently honest Puritan,
hated Grey for his attachment to old religious forms, and Archbishop
Browne lost no opportunity of attacking him on the same grounds. Alen,
Master of the Rolls, a useful public servant, but with an inborn love of
intrigue, gave trouble to every successive chief governor. Robert Cowley
and his son were devoted to the House of Ormonde, which Grey thought too
powerful. The Deputy did not favour the innovations in religion, and took
no pains to hide his dislike to Browne and Agard; but with the rest he
was always ready to co-operate. The King, however, found it hard to
reconcile conflicting accounts, and resolved to send over Commissioners
unconnected with Irish factions to report upon the actual state of
affairs. The persons selected were Anthony St. Leger, of Ulcombe in Kent,
one of the wisest statesmen who ever represented the English Crown in
Ireland; George Paulet, a younger brother of the astute courtier who is
best known as Marquis of Winchester, but not equally endowed with
prudence; Thomas Moyle, of Gray's Inn, Receiver-General of the Court of
Augmentations, and afterwards Speaker of the English House of Commons;
and William Berners, auditor of the same court. The Irish Government was
directed to treat them with as much deference as if the King were
present; and they were ordered to treat Grey with much consideration, and
to take his advice when possible. The latter instruction, so well
calculated to soothe the Lord Deputy's wounded pride, was not directly
made known to him. The Commissioners were ordered to present their
credentials to the Lord Deputy as soon as they reached Dublin, and then
to summon the Council and read the King's letter, in which he promised to
remember their good services. 'If, on the other side,' he added, 'we
shall not find you now faithful officers, ministers, and good
councillors, but men given more to your own affectes, commodities, and
gains, than earnestly bent to our satisfaction, we shall again so look
upon the best of you so misusing himself for it, as shall be little cause
to rejoice at length of his doings in that behalf.'[188]

[Sidenote: The King sends a special Commission.]

The first duty imposed on the Commissioners was the reduction of
expenditure and the increase of revenue. As a cheap defence to the Pale,
hostages were to be generally taken, and the army was, if possible, to be
cut down to 340 picked men, inclusive of garrisons. Horsemen were to
receive 8_l._ yearly, footmen 4_l._, constables of castles 13_l._ 6_s._
8_d._, gate-keepers 6_l._ 13_s._ 4_d._, under-warders 4_l._ 13_s._
4_d._--all in Irish currency, or about two-thirds of the sterling
amounts. The Vice-Treasurer was in future to visit all garrisons
quarterly, to see that deserving men received commands, and to provide
for frequent musters of all borne on the books. All soldiers in excess of
the new establishment were to be paid off with money specially provided,
and the King, with a touch of his daughter's temper, gave orders that
they should be induced if possible to take less than their due. The
Commissioners were to survey waste lands and were authorised to give
leases for twenty-one years, with a clause of forfeiture for
non-observance of the laws as to English dress and for alliance with
Irish rebels--the penalties provided by law being also enforced. After
this all offices and officers were to be subjected to rigid scrutiny,
with a view to increased efficiency and reduced expense. Detailed
instructions were given as to public accounts, and Brabazon was to be
repaid all he had spent in annoying the King's rebels.

[Sidenote: Powers of this Commission.]

The control of legislation was also given to the Commissioners, who were
to see various Acts for the establishment of royal authority in Church
and State duly passed. They were to inquire as to the claims of clerical
proctors to interfere in Parliament, were themselves to have a right of
entry as the King's councillors, and were to expound the royal policy
'with all their wit and dexterity, and with such stomach, where they
shall perceive any man frowardly, perversely bent to the let and
impeachment of the King's purpose in the same, as they may the rather by
their wisdom both conduce the thing to effect and reconcile the parties
that before would show themselves so wilful and obstinate.' Messages to
this effect were sent to both Houses, both Wolsey and Cromwell relying
upon a species of intimidation of which Charles I.'s attempt on the five
members is the last recorded example. The Commissioners afterwards
exercised the power of dissolving Parliament.

[Sidenote: The King has vague good intentions.]

The Commissioners were to examine charges of taking money from the rebels
which were brought against many men highly placed in Ireland; Henry
rightly supposing that many nominal subjects connived at treason, as in
the case of O'Brien's Bridge, which had cost much to take and to
demolish, and which was now as strong and as troublesome as ever. But he
did not choose to see that want of money was the chief cause of this
failure. He was indeed, he said, determined to make a full reformation
some day, and the information now collected would be very useful when the
convenient season arrived. In the meantime, the Commissioners were to
reduce the garrison to 340 men.

[Sidenote: The Commissioners arrive in Ireland, 1537. Grey's activity
against the Irish.]

St. Leger and his companions set out early in August, but were detained
by adverse winds about Holyhead, and did not arrive at Dublin till the
middle of September. Grey had unusually strong reasons for exertions, and
he begged hard for money and artillery. The pay of the army was twelve
months in arrear. O'Connor was coshering among his friends 'more liker a
beggar, than he that ever was a captain or ruler of a country,' and
making vain suits daily to the Government. But Grey had not caught him,
and he could be submissive enough until what was left of his corn had
been saved; his neighbours, English and Irish, thinking it more prudent
to shelter an enterprising rebel than to run risks for a Government which
could not protect its friends. Grey, who habitually used strong language,
characterises these prudent people as 'having as much falsehood remaining
in them as all the devils of hell.' Having, as he supposed, made O'Connor
'as low as a dog were for the bone,' he applied himself to the Kavanaghs,
whose chief, Cahir MacArt, had married a Geraldine. It had been often
proposed to extirpate them and to colonise the country. The Lord Deputy
now entered Carlow, burned some castles of the O'Nolans between
Newtownbarry and Tullow, forced Cahir MacArt to give hostages, and then
turned sharply upon Ely O'Carroll, where O'Connor had first found a
refuge. He had now the help of Ossory, who was always glad to weaken a
neighbour, and of Cahir O'Connor, who was as anxious as his brother to
divert attention from the Offaly corn. He passed unopposed through the
lands of the Fitzpatricks, O'Mores, O'Molloys, and MacGeohegans, received
O'Carroll's submission, and then entered Tipperary, where he took a
castle belonging to O'Meagher, the chief of Ikerrin. O'Connor came in on
safe-conduct, and paid 300 marks for his son, who was given up to him.
Grey refused to trust him, and begged Cromwell never to allow his
restoration; and the event proved Grey right, though he soon forgot his
own advice. He now announced to the minister that he was beginning to
understand the Irish nature, and that the King needed only to be in
earnest. He was right in blaming constant changes of policy, but like
most soldiers he failed to see the real difficulties of the Irish

[Sidenote: The O'Donnells. Death of Hugh Oge, 1537.]

It was now just a quarter of a century since Hugh Oge O'Donnell, then on
his return from Rome, had been received with honour at the Court of Henry
VIII. Deeply impressed by what he saw there, and aware of the
impossibility of uniting all Irish tribes against the stranger, he had
always striven to keep English intruders at bay by remaining on good
terms with the Government, and had exerted his strength only to subdue
his neighbours on the side furthest removed from the Pale. He had thus
extended his sway over the modern counties of Roscommon and Sligo, and
over great portions of Fermanagh, Mayo, and Galway, and even of Down and
Antrim. He had forced or persuaded the O'Neills to acknowledge his claims
to the disputed sovereignty over Innishowen, Raphoe, and Fermanagh; and
the Irish generally were so much impressed by his wisdom and prowess that
they supposed him to be Hugh the Valiant, the promised Celtic Messiah,
who was to redress or avenge the wrongs of Erin. When it seemed clear
that this was not so, the dreamers of dreams declared that as he had
failed the deliverer would never come. His panegyrists reckon among his
titles to fame that 'the seasons were favourable, so that sea and land
were productive:' it is more to the purpose that he executed strict
justice and repressed thieves. Like most Irish chiefs, he had
difficulties with his children, and his valiant son Manus was discarded
at the instance of a mistress whom the old chief had brought into his
house. For this and for other sins he made such reparation as he could by
a late repentance, donned the cord and cowl of St. Francis, and died in
the odour of sanctity. He was buried in his religious dress in the
monastery which his father had built at Donegal for friars of the strict
observance; and Manus was at once acknowledged both by the tribesmen and
by O'Neill, and was inaugurated at Kilmacrenan with the usual

[Sidenote: Disturbances in the North.]

The new chief at once took up the thread of his father's policy by
invading Connaught, and at the same time making loyal professions to
Grey. He had, he wrote, been tempted to rebellion by all the disaffected
lords in the South and West, but was determined to take no advice but
that of the King and his Deputy. As soon as he heard of Hugh O'Donnell's
death, Grey at once repaired to the borders of Ulster. The galleys of
O'Neill and his Scotch allies had threatened a fortified settlement at
Ardglass on the coast of Down, and the Deputy burned to invade Tyrone;
but the Council dissuaded him, and the receipt of Manus O'Donnell's
letter gave hopes of settling the North by peaceful means. Some thought
Grey too fond of making aimless raids, and Alen made some sensible
remarks on the subject. 'I would not,' he wrote to St. Leger, 'have the
Deputy representing the King's Majesty's person and estate be a common
skurrer for every light matter; but, when he should begin a war, begin it
upon a just good ground, and when it were so begun, to be so profoundly
executed, that all other should take example thereby.' But the King
thought only of increasing the revenue and diminishing the army.[191]

[Sidenote: Grey is baffled by the O'Connors.]

Grey had been sanguine enough to believe that his work in Offaly would be
lasting, but, as Henry had partly foreseen, O'Connor's return had undone
it all. Cahir was a fugitive, and the floods protected Offaly, where the
corn had been safely garnered in. At last the waters subsided, and Grey
reached Brackland by the old road through Westmeath. O'Connor escaped
into O'Doyne's country, the modern barony of Tinnahinch, which Grey and
Richard Butler proceeded to ravage. While thus employed the scattered
troops were surprised by O'Connor, and some were killed. The Lord Deputy
was just able to destroy or carry away the corn stored at Geashill, and
to return to Dublin without having seen the enemy. To gain time till the
season of long days came round again, Grey gave a safe-conduct to
O'Connor, who proposed to visit Dublin. 'But shortly herein to conclude,'
as Brabazon puts it, 'the said traitor and his brother Cahir fell to
agreement and concord, so that at this presents they both remain in
Offaly.' St. Leger, who had a cooler temper than Grey, saw the
impossibility of subduing even a single clan by desultory hostings. 'The
country,' he said, 'is much easier won than kept.' To overrun Offaly was
a small thing, but it could only be united to the Pale by the costly
expedient of fixed garrisons. O'Connor had got back his son, and indeed
neither he nor any Irishman had much regard for promises or for the fate
of hostages.[192]

[Sidenote: He continues to attack them.]

The O'Connors were weakened by repeated blows, and Alderman Herbert, who
had long advised a colonising policy, proposed that Offaly should be
peopled with Englishmen once for all. Grey again invaded the doomed
district with 800 men, and O'Connor at once declared himself willing to
treat, though he utterly refused to trust himself within the Pale. Grey
halted at Kinnafad, where a castle built by the Berminghams still
overhangs the ford of the Boyne. Having taken precautions against
treachery, the Lord Deputy passed about half his men over the river, and
then advanced with twelve horsemen to an open field about a quarter of a
mile off, where O'Connor met him similarly attended. The chief submitted
to the King's clemency, begged Grey's intercession, and promised to come
to Dublin in three days. Cahir sent word that he would come too, but
broke his promise. O'Connor kept his tryst, acknowledged himself the
King's liegeman, abjured the authority of the Pope for himself and his
tribesmen, renounced all Irish exactions, and gave up his black-rents,
including a pension of sixty marks from the King. Thanks were in future
to be his only reward for service; and he offered to hold legally of the
King 'that portion of lands in Offaly which he held by partition after
his country's fashion,' undertaking that his brothers and other holders
of land there should become entitled in the same way. These lands were to
be subject to impositions at so much per ploughland, as if they were
situated in the Pale, assessments for the defence of the King's subjects
being made as occasion might arise at the Lord Deputy's discretion. For
himself he solicited the honour of Baron of Offaly, and begged for such
protection as the Government habitually gave to Englishmen. He agreed
that the Lord Deputy and all the marchers might cut passes where they
pleased, and gave up his son again pending the King's final decision. The
crafty Cahir was hunted down, apparently with his brother's help, and
brought to Dublin, where he agreed to similar terms and also gave up his
son. Yet many sceptics thought the O'Connors would slip the yoke at the
first opportunity, and it is evident that nothing had occurred to change
their nature, or to attach them to English habits or to English

[Sidenote: Seizure of the five Geraldines.]

A main object of Grey's attack both on the O'Connors and the O'Briens may
have been to get possession of the heir of Kildare, whose half-sister was
married to the chief of Offaly. It is difficult to avoid the thought that
Grey had a private as well as a public object in persecuting to the death
all members of the fallen family except the children of his own sister.
The rebel Earl had five uncles, all men of fair ability and great
influence, and Brabazon seems first to have suggested that they ought to
be kept in England. Grey asked Sir James Fitzgerald and his brothers
Walter and Richard, all of whom had opposed the rebellion, to dine with
him at Kilmainham, and in the middle of dinner they were all seized and
handcuffed. Sir John and Oliver were arrested before they had heard of
their brothers' capture, and the five were lodged in the castle. Grey
always plumed himself on this exploit, though he admitted that some of
the prisoners were innocent. The Irish Council approved the deed and
applauded its secret handling, but none of the Irish officials knew that
they were sending these men to the scaffold; the guilt of that must rest
on Henry and Cromwell. Aylmer and Alen accompanied them to England, and
the chronicler tells us that Richard, who had literary tastes, relieved
the tedium of a sea-voyage by singing songs and repeating apophthegms.
When he heard that the ship was called 'The Cow,' he was much dismayed,
for there was a prophecy that five Earls' brethren should be carried to
England in a cow's belly, and should never return. 'Whereat,' says
Stanihurst, 'the rest began afresh to howl and lament, which doubtless
was pitiful, to behold five valiant gentlemen, that durst meet in the
field as sturdy champions as could be picked out in a realm, to be so
suddenly terrified with the bare name of a wooden cow, or to fear like
lions a silly coxcomb, being moved (as commonly the whole country is)
with a vain and fabulous old wives' dream.' On reaching London they were
at once sent to the Tower, and left it only to take the last sad journey
to Tyburn.[194]

[Sidenote: Survivor of the Kildare family. The 'Fair Geraldine.']

But the family was not destined to extinction. Lady Kildare had
accompanied her husband to England, and had her three daughters with her.
The eldest was deaf and dumb, and of the youngest nothing particular is
recorded, but the second, Lady Elizabeth, has by a strange chance been
immortalised as the 'Fair Geraldine.' While yet a child she became maid
of honour to the Princess Mary, at whose house at Hunsdon Henry, Earl of
Surrey, saw her. She was then only twelve. Four years later she was
married to Sir Anthony Browne, Master of the Horse and Knight of the
Garter, but also a widower of sixty, whose daughter by his first marriage
became her brother Gerald's wife. The unequal match was solemnized in the
presence of the King and of the Lady Mary, and Ridley preached on the
occasion which drew forth Surrey's sonnet. The situation of the bride's
family and the apparent sacrifice of herself sufficiently account for the
poetry, and there is no reason to suppose that the poet, who was married,
had any regrets for himself. The study of Italian models would naturally
lead to rather high-flown language, and poets were always privileged. The
romantic fable of the magic mirror in which Cornelius Agrippa, an
alchemist living at Florence, showed him the fair one reclining on a
bridal couch and reading his sonnet, would not be worth noticing but that
it found its way into the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel.' It is refuted by
the fact that Surrey never was in Italy. After the death of Browne, who
outlived Surrey, Lady Elizabeth was married to the Lord Admiral Clinton,
who had been twice a widower. She left no children by either marriage,
but her influence at Court may have had much to do with her brother's
restoration. A portrait remains to show that she had a sweet face, and
that she was not fairer than many who have had no poet. But canvas, and
especially the canvas of Holbein's school, seldom preserves the charm of
grace and motion. Three letters remain, creditable so far as they go, and
written in a clear, bold hand which contrasts strikingly with the crabbed
characters often affected by public men, characters which drew a sarcasm
from Shakespeare, and still trouble the historian. A portrait, three
letters, and fourteen pretty lines would have hardly preserved the fair
Geraldine's memory had it not been for the tragic fates of her father,
her brother, and her poet.[195]

[Sidenote: Edward Fitzgerald.]

Less than two years after her husband's death, and while her rash stepson
was lying in the Tower, Lady Kildare came to live at her brother
Leonard's house at Beaumanoir in Leicestershire. She found there her son
Edward, aged eight, who had been brought by some devoted but unknown
friends 'without word, token, nor letter.' With touching humbleness she
begged to be allowed the custody of him 'because he is an innocent, to
see him brought up in virtue.' The prayer was granted, and the child thus
strangely rescued lived to be Lieutenant of Queen Elizabeth's pensioners,
and ancestor of the Dukes of Leinster.[196]

[Sidenote: Gerald Fitzgerald.]

The King was most anxious to get Lady Kildare's eldest son into his
power, and St. Leger avers that the King had no object 'but to cherish
him as his kinsman in like sort as his other brother is cherished with
his mother in the realm of England.' Having disposed of all who were old
enough to be dangerous, it was doubtless Henry's intention to bring up
the children in English ways and in dependence on him. But Lady Mary
O'Connor had other views, and the adventures of Gerald show how
inextricably the Geraldines were intermingled with Celtic families. He
was ten years old when his half-brother was taken, and was then lying in
small-pox at Donore in Kildare. As soon as he could be moved his tutor,
Thomas Leverous, who was his father's foster-brother, carried him off in
a basket and brought him safely to his sister in Offaly. Lady Mary
procured him a three months' shelter among the O'Doynes, and he was then
removed to Clare and placed under the charge of James Delahide. O'Brien,
who had the Kildare plate and jewels as well as the heir in his power,
refused all offers of the Government; and Leverous and Delahide were
allowed to take Gerald to Kilbrittain Castle, and give him up to his
aunt, Lady Eleanor MacCarthy, widow of the late and mother of the actual
chief of Carbery. Had James Fitzjohn of Desmond wished to surrender the
boy MacCarthy could hardly have resisted; but they agreed to amuse the
Government with evasive answers, while Gerald employed himself in
visiting the old tenants of his family about Adare and Croom. James
Fitzjohn offered to take those manors on lease, the real object being to
keep off grants to strangers. But Lady Eleanor feared the issue of this
unequal contest, and agreed to marry Manus O'Donnell, whom she had
rejected some years before. The marriage was desired by the whole
Geraldine connection, and Lady Eleanor, accompanied by Leverous,
Delahide, and the chaplain Walshe, brought her nephew safely through
Thomond, Clanricarde, and Mayo, into Tyrconnell. All the O'Briens and
Burkes welcomed and sped them on their journey. As the travellers
approached Sligo they were joined by a rhymer named M'Cragh, a native of
Tipperary, who was studying his craft in those parts, and through him
many details became known to Ormonde. After her marriage with O'Donnell,
Lady Eleanor busied herself in forming a confederacy of the Northern
chiefs with Desmond and her friends in Leinster and Munster.[197]

[Sidenote: Gerald escapes to France, 1540.]

But Irish plots are commonly woven in sand, and Grey's activity
disconcerted her schemes. Fearing that O'Donnell might be bribed, as
Brabazon suggested, to give up the boy, she determined to send him to
France. Allen Governor, an English shipowner of St. Malo, happened to be
trading in Donegal, and agreed to take the precious passenger. A contract
was drawn up before a notary, in which Governor bound himself to land
Gerald and his companions safely in France. Bareheaded, and wearing only
the saffron shirt of a humble native, Gerald stole out in a small boat by
night and committed himself and his fortunes to the chances of the sea.
His aunt had provided him with 140 moidores, and he had also some plate,
with part of which his passage was paid. His companions were Leverous,
Robert Walshe, a faithful ally but a stern disciplinarian, who did not
even spare the rod in the interests of his noble charge, and a young
gentleman whose name is not recorded. They arrived safely at Morlaix,
where the military governor received Gerald and led him through the town
by the hand, taking especial care that no English trader should come near
him. Henry's ambassador was nevertheless well informed as to the boy's
movements. He re-embarked on the same vessel with a pilot named Jacques
Cartier, who brought him to St. Malo, where he was hospitably treated by
the Lieutenant-Governor.[198]

[Sidenote: Gerald abroad, 1540.]

When Chateaubriand, the Governor of Brittany, heard the news, he sent a
special messenger to bring the refugees to Rennes. The gossips there
would have it that Gerald was the rightful King of Ireland, and that
Henry was a mere usurper; and neither he nor his friends could correct
them: for they spoke no French. Chateaubriand treated his guest well and
forwarded him to Court, where Wallop demanded his surrender as a treaty
obligation. Francis did not deny this, but quietly removed the boy to the
imperial town of Valenciennes. The faithful Leverous still attended him
to watch against English kidnappers who were hanging about, and for
greater security sent him to the Emperor at Brussels. But English
diplomacy was importunate, and Charles transferred him to the
Prince-bishop of Liège, with an allowance of one hundred crowns a month.
After six months' residence with the Bishop, his kinsman Reginald Pole
sent him to Italy, pensioned him, and provided the best education the
peninsula afforded in the houses of the Bishops of Verona and Mantua, and
of Gonzago, Duke of Milan, who gave him a further pension. His last
patron in Italy was Cosmo de' Medici, who allowed him three hundred
crowns annually; and a three years' residence at Florence doubtless made
him a proficient in the arts of courtly dissimulation. Leverous was
admitted to the English monastery at Rome, and in Mary's reign became
Bishop of Kildare; Robert Walshe went back to Ireland, but I do not find
that his attainder was reversed or that he was ever pardoned.[199]

[Sidenote: Geraldine pride.]

O'Donnell soon made his submission, and was restored to favour. Lady
Eleanor had some reason to be afraid, for Alen had proposed to invade
Tyrconnell by sea and land with all the forces at the King's disposal.
But she had now secured her nephew, and cared nothing for her new husband
or his dangers. She called him traitor and many other hard names, said
that the only object of her marriage was now gained, and that she had no
further occasion for his company. She returned to her son's relations in
Munster, but was not pardoned till 1545, seemingly because she did not
ask sooner. The Irish Government refused to plead her cause as long as
she remained obstinately among the MacCarthies. She came therefore to
Malahide on safe-conduct, and thence forwarded a petition to which, as if
the Geraldine pride scorned the Irish strain, she affixed her maiden
name. After this the frequent reports of a Geraldine invasion ceased, but
the head of the family thought it prudent to remain abroad until the
death of Henry VIII.[200]


[171] Lady Skeffington to Anne Boleyn, Jan. 26, 1536; to Cromwell, Aug.
1. Anthony Colley to Cromwell, in _Carew_, Feb. 13, 1536; Lord Deputy and
Council to Cromwell, Nov. 23.

[172] 28 and 29 Henry VIII. The contemporary Schedule of Acts is in the
S.P. ii. 526. Brabazon to Cromwell, May 17, 1536; Cromwell to the Lord
Deputy and Council, June 3.

[173] _Irish Statutes_, 28 and 29 Henry VIII. Brabazon to Cromwell, May
17; Grey to Cromwell, May 21.

[174] 25 Henry VI., c. 5 and c. 9, and see Hardiman's _Statute of
Kilkenny_, p. 129; 17 Henry VI., see _Carew_, vol. iv. p. 457; 12 and 13
Henry VII. For the earlier legislation, see Gilbert's _Viceroys_, pp.
216, 244. The Act of Absentees is 28 Henry VIII., cap. 3. For the
preparation of Bills in England, see Audeley to Cromwell, S.P. vol. ii.
p. 439.

[175] Grey to Cromwell, June 24, 1536, for the treaty with Con O'Neill.
The other treaties are in _Carew_, May 4, May 12, and May 31.

[176] Lord Deputy and Council to Cromwell, June 1, 1536; Council of
Ireland to Cromwell, June 30; William Wise to Cromwell, July 12.

[177] The Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Aug. 9; Grey to Cromwell, Aug.

[178] The Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Aug. 9; William Body to
Cromwell, Aug. 9, in _Carew_; Grey to Cromwell, Aug. 10.

[179] Same authorities; also Lord Butler to Cromwell, Aug. 11.

[180] Body to Cromwell, Aug. 1536, in _Carew_; Grey to Cromwell, Nov. 24;
Lord Butler to Cromwell, Aug. 11.

[181] Grey to Cromwell, Aug. 10; Body's letter, as above; Lord Deputy and
Council to Cromwell, Nov. 23; Grey to Cromwell, same date.

[182] Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Aug. 22, 1536, and the notes; Grey
to the King, Aug. 19.

[183] Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Aug. 22. This session of Parliament
began Sept. 15, 1536.

[184] See the _State Papers_, vol. ii. pp. 366, 367. The Duke of Richmond
died Aug. 22, 1536.

[185] The King to the Lord Deputy and Council, Feb. 25, 1537.

[186] Lord Deputy and Council to Cromwell, April 20, 1537; to the King,
same date.

[187] Grey and Brabazon to Cromwell, June 11, 1537; Council to Cromwell,
June 26; Thomas Alen to Cromwell, June 12, in _Carew_.

[188] The King to St. Leger and others, with the Commission of July 31,
1537; to the Lord Deputy and Council, same date; to Grey, same date.

[189] Lord Deputy and Council to Cromwell, Aug. 12. Grey to Cromwell,
Aug. 16, 1537, wrongly printed under 1539 in the S.P.; same to same,
Sept. 1.

[190] _Four Masters_ and _Annals of Lough Cé_, 1512 and 1537. Manus
O'Donnell to Grey, Aug. 20, 1537. Ware says that Donegal Friary contained
a famous library.

[191] Grey to Cromwell, Sept. 1, 1537; J. Alen to St. Leger and others,
No. 183 in the printed S.P.

[192] Brabazon to Cromwell, Dec. 31, 1537. St. Leger to Cromwell, Jan. 2,

[193] From the light it throws on the land question O'Connor's prayer is
worth transcribing:--

'Humiliter petit, quatenus Dominus Rex, ex suâ gratiâ, dignetur concedere
sibi, per literas suas patentes, quod ipse, et exitus sui, sint liberi
status, et homines legales, more Anglicorum; et quod sit Baro de Offaly,
atque habeat sibi et heredibus suis ex regia donatione portionem terrarum
in Offaly, quas nunc illic possidet per partitionem, more patriæ,
tenendam de Domino Rege secundum leges Anglicanas; ac quod simili
auctoritate, fratres sui, et alii possessionarii terrarum ibidem, terras
quas nunc possident habeant sibi et heredibus suis; ipse et omnes alii et
heredes sui, reddendo Dominio Regi, annuatim, de qualibet carucata terræ,
tres solidos et quatuor denarios; et quod carucatæ terræ in Offaly,
quotiens Domino Deputato visum fuerit, ac necessitas emergerit, onerantur
et assidentur belligeris pro defensione subditorum Domini Regis, eodem
modo sicut cæteræ carucatæ terræ inter regios subditos onerantur et
assidentur. Igitur humiliter petit, quod Dominus Rex, et Deputati sui,
pro tempore existentes, suscipiant suam protectionem et defensionem
contra omnes alios, prout suscipiant defensionem Anglicorum.' Submission
of O'Connor, March 6, 1538.--Grey to Cromwell, March 17, 1538; Francis
Herbert to Cromwell, March 21, 1536, to Norfolk, Jan. 24, 1538; Grey to
Cromwell, April 1, 1538.

[194] Brabazon to Cromwell, Sept. 10, 1535; Council of Ireland to
Cromwell, Feb. 14, 1536; Stanihurst; Ware; _Four Masters_, 1535.

[195] Nearly all that is really known about her is contained in a memoir
by the Rev. James Graves. See also Hallam's _History of Literature_ and
Lodge's _Lives of the Earls of Surrey and Kildare_.

[196] Lady Kildare to Cromwell, July 16, 1536. Articles by St. Leger and
others, Dec. 10, 1537.

[197] St. Leger and others to Cromwell, Jan. 2, 1538; Ormonde to the
Irish Council, S.P., vol. iii. p. 44; Stanihurst.

[198] Brabazon to Cromwell, May 26, 1539; Stanihurst.

[199] Sir John Wallop to Essex, April 18, 1540, S.P., vol. viii.; Lord
Deputy and Council to the King, July 12, 1542, and Henry's unfavourable
answer; Bartholomew Warner to Wallop, May 22, 1540.

[200] Lady Eleanor O'Donnell to the King, May 4, 1545.



[Sidenote: Ormonde proposes to reform his country.]

The O'Connors having been quieted for the moment, Ormonde, who had
private as well as public reasons for his advice, proposed a temporising
policy towards O'Neill and O'Reilly on the north, and towards O'Byrne and
O'Toole on the south, side of the Pale. The Government might then easily
subdue the Kavanaghs, who were surrounded by settled districts. Their
chief, Cahir MacEncross, who has been called the last King of Leinster,
had till lately been Constable, and his acceptance of the office seems to
have been thought a condescension. Ormonde's son Richard had now
succeeded him, and with the aid of Saintloo and his Wexford men might
hope to reduce the whole country. To strengthen Kilkenny against a
possible counter attack from the O'Mores, Ormonde secured the services of
Edmond MacSwiney, a powerful hereditary chief of gallowglasses, whom
O'Connor had brought from Donegal. The Earl thought it cheaper to outbid
O'Connor than to have MacSwiney's band thrown into the scale of
rebellion. Desmond and the rest excused their slowness to reform by
saying that they waited for him to begin; and he was anxious to wipe out
this reproach, regretting only that he had not the same powers in
Kilkenny as in Tipperary. Though not disinterested, Ormonde's was
probably the best available plan, and his reforming zeal was certainly
serious. 'I have proclaimed,' he said, 'over all the county of Tipperary,
that no caines, allyiegs, errikes, Irish Brehons, neither that law,
rahowns, and many like exactions and extortions shall cease, with
reformation for the grey merchants, and the Liberty court to be duly
continued, as the King's laws require.' In Kilkenny he could only exhort;
'howbeit,' he added, 'I have often persuaded many of them to be
converted, which to do I can scarcely have their assents, for the lust
they have to caines and other abuses, turning to their profit, as it doth
to mine.'[201]

[Sidenote: Grey goes to Ulster, 1538.]

Taking advantage of O'Connor's quiescent state, Grey cut passes on the
borders of Offaly wide enough for several carts abreast. He then turned
his eyes to the North, where the MacMahons of Ferney had for three years
neglected to pay their tribute of 10_l._ The borderers of English race
were opposed to Grey's raid, and gave the MacMahons warning, but he
managed to capture 500 cows, and as many pigs and goats. The expedition
was as useless as it was inglorious, for Louth was invaded within a week,
and O'Neill, who complained that his black-rent was unpaid, plundered the
borders of the Pale and threatened to burn Drogheda. The men of that town
and of Dundalk and Ardee rallied at the Lord Deputy's summons, and
O'Neill then became quieter in his behaviour. But nothing could keep Grey
quiet. He lent soldiers to one Chamberlayne of Athboy, to revenge a
private quarrel against O'Reilly. That chief had hitherto been at peace
with the Pale; but he lost his brother in this aimless brawl, and a
general alliance of the Northern chiefs was with difficulty averted. The
MacMahons had done far more harm to Louth than Grey had done to them, and
he could gain little reputation by enterprises which had no apparent
object but plunder.[202]

[Sidenote: The O'Tooles.]

While the Lord Deputy was driving cattle in Ulster, the other side of the
Pale was in a blaze. John Kelway, Constable of Rathmore, saw some
servants of Tirlogh O'Toole eating meat, assumed that it was stolen, and
incontinently hanged them. This seems to have been thought unusual even
among borderers, and Kelway's conduct found no defenders. But the
O'Tooles were willing to consider the question of compensation in Irish
fashion, and a meeting took place for the purpose. Kelway brought a
considerable force, and, on the parley being dissolved without an
agreement, he followed the Irish into their mountains. The mountaineers
turned to bay on advantageous ground, and drove the English into a small
tower. Its thatched roof burned readily, and the whole party had to
surrender. The O'Tooles killed Kelway, who deserved nothing better, but
held the gentlemen of the Pale to ransom. Chief Justice Aylmer's son was
present but escaped, while his brother, Richard Aylmer of Lyons, was
taken prisoner. About sixty of the marchers, all householders, fell in
this wretched business, and so great a panic followed that an Irishman in
Judge Luttrell's service was afraid to travel from Glendalough to Dublin.
It is ever thus between races of different degrees of civilisation; if
the backward people are beaten it is thought quite natural, but the
slightest check is of importance when experienced by members of the
higher organisation.[203]

[Sidenote: Grey falls out with the Butlers.]

The Lord Deputy and the Butlers had never been very good friends, and the
dissension now reached such a height as to disturb the whole country. 'I
was never,' exclaimed Brabazon, 'in despair in Ireland until now,' and
others were not more hopeful. 'My Lord Deputy,' said Lord Butler, 'is the
Earl of Kildare born again?' and Luttrell, a keen observer, thought
Ormonde hated Grey worse than he had hated Kildare. The Butlers
complained that the Lord Deputy systematically slighted their party and
favoured the Geraldines; he retorted that they intrigued with Irishmen
against his government. One or two of the matters in dispute call for
more particular notice.[204]

[Sidenote: Ormonde and the O'Carrolls.]

After many struggles Fergananim O'Carroll was the acknowledged chief of
Ely. His wife was daughter to Kildare and sister-in-law to O'Connor, and
he was ready to submit to Grey as the best means of opposing Ormonde. He
promised to hold his land of the King at a rent of twelvepence for every
ploughland, to attend the Lord Deputy with a fixed contingent, and to
give free quarters for a limited number of the gallowglasses in the royal
service. He also undertook to open up his country by cutting passes.
O'Carroll at first stipulated that Grey should help him to recover all
his father's strongholds; but all those castles were already vested
legally in the Crown, and some of them had been granted to Ormonde. The
Council therefore objected, and Fergananim seems to have waived his claim
without demanding any corresponding concession. The prudence of the
Council had prevented the Lord Deputy from concluding an offensive
alliance; but he acted as if he had done so, and proceeded to take Birr
and Modreeny, both of which Ormonde claimed under a royal grant, and to
attack Ballynaclogh. The latter place was held by an O'Kennedy who paid
rent to the Earl, and it is within the bounds of Tipperary. O'Carroll
boasted that Nenagh and Roscrea would soon be his, and these castles,
though long in Irish hands, were part of the old Ormonde inheritance, and
had been lately confirmed to the Earl by a new grant.[205]

[Sidenote: Grey and the O'Mores.]

Connell O'More, chief of Leix, died in 1537, and the inevitable dispute
followed between the tanist, his brother Peter, and his sons, Lysaght,
Kedagh, and Rory. Grey espoused the cause of the sons, rather, as it
seems, because Ormonde sided with Peter than from any preference for
hereditary succession. Peter was, however, acknowledged as chief, and met
Parry, Grey's confidential man, at Athy. Rory, who was present, assaulted
his uncle, and the latter was then seized by Parry and carried to Dublin.
Nothing was proved against him, and he was restored on agreeing to pay an
annual tribute of twenty marks, and to receive a certain number of
soldiers at free quarters. The young O'Mores resisted the levying of the
tribute, and Lysaght, the eldest, was killed in a fray. They had all
taken part in the murder of Ormonde's son Thomas five years before, and
Kedagh and Rory now plundered one of his villages. Their party consisted
of only eight men, but the neighbours pleaded that they dared not resist,
because the assailants were aided and abetted by one of the Lord Deputy's
servants. The O'Mores pleaded that the Earl had first attacked them, and
he rejoined that he had done so in self-defence. There was never a want
of excuses for violence on any side. Grey forbade the Earl to retaliate,
and it was even said that he shared the plunder. The young O'Mores then
attacked Tullow, but the Lord Deputy still held Ormonde's hand, and even
sent guns to help his enemies. Hoping to make peace, the Council summoned
both uncle and nephews to Dublin. The chief came on Ormonde's advice and
practically under his protection, and Kedagh also attended. O'More was at
once sent handcuffed to Maynooth, though the whole Council protested, and
Kedagh was suffered to depart unhurt. The blow to the Earl's credit was
serious, and was not deadened by Grey, who led his prisoner in chains
about his own part of the country, much as the Thane of Fife threatened
to lead Macbeth. Grey's servants took the cue, and openly in the streets
called the Butlers traitors. Lord Butler vowed that unless absolutely
forced by his duty he would never wear armour under Grey until he had
seen the King, and he cited the example of Count de Roeux, who had made
a like vow when the Imperial lieutenant Van Buren had forced him to make
peace with France. Even the old Earl meditated a journey to London,
though he was so infirm that he could only be carried in a litter. The
Irish Council condemned Grey's treatment of O'More; and moreover, said
they, 'it is no good policy for the King our master, having no more
obedient subjects in this land like unto the said Earl and his son, of
reputation in honour, force, and strength, both to preserve and defend
the parts where they dwell, and to succour other his subjects in all
events, to suppress them which, with all their ancestors, have ever
continued their truths to the Crown of England, either upon the
accusation of those which for the most part have always done the
contrary, or yet in hope to have them now from henceforth true, which
hitherto were never true'--remarks which have their practical value in
modern Irish politics, as they had in the days of Henry VIII.[206]

[Sidenote: Sudden departure of Grey.]

Though not too wise in council, Grey was prompt in action, and was never
so happy as on horseback surrounded by armed men and free from
interference. Perhaps he wished to show how much he could do without
Ormonde's help. He left Dublin suddenly, without warning the Council, and
attended only by a small force, his companions being under the impression
that he was bound only for an eight days' journey into O'Carroll's
country. Among them was Lord Gormanston, a son of Lord Delvin, John
D'Arcy, William Bermingham, O'Connor, Rory and Kedagh O'More, and several
other Irishmen of note, with a due proportion of kerne and gallowglasses.
Of English soldiers Grey had no more than one hundred, and of these the
greater part were without armour. A hosting had been proclaimed against
the O'Tooles, who still kept some of the prisoners taken in Kelway's
raid, and Grey promised to be back in time to lead the expedition. He
failed to do so, and a truce was with much difficulty concluded with the

[Sidenote: His rash march into Western Munster,]

Grey made his first halt at Monasteroris, where O'Connor entertained him
in the Franciscan friary. Next day he took Eglish Castle near Birr from
the O'Molloys, and was joined by Kedagh O'More, O'Molloy, MacGeohegan,
and MacGillapatrick, each of whom brought a few men with him. On the
third day he entered Ely, and received the adhesion of Fergananim
O'Carroll, who bound himself by indenture on the usual terms, and gave
his son into the Lord Deputy's hands. Grey spent three days in reducing
the lands of Birr and Modreeny, the latter of which had to be taken by
assault. Ormonde had provided the garrison with arms; but, as he alleged,
these were intended only for use against Irish enemies. Grey then entered
Tipperary, and on three successive days received the submissions of
Dermot O'Kennedy, chief of Ormonde, of MacBrien Arra, and of Dermot
O'Mulryan, chief of Owny. Ulick de Burgh, captain of Clanricarde, and
Theobald, head of the Clanwilliam Burkes, also submitted; and James
Fitzjohn of Desmond, to whom Grey gives the title of Earl, though he was
not acknowledged by the Crown, brought a large contingent to the Deputy's
help, but refused to enter the gates of Limerick. He had not only
procured a safe-conduct, but had solemnly bound O'Connor and others in
Grey's train to take his part if any attempt were made against him. The
Lord Deputy spent a week in Limerick, where the Mayor and Corporation and
the Bishop took the oath of supremacy. Connor O'Brien, the chief of
Thomond, met Grey on the Shannon, ten miles from Limerick, and agreed,
after a long wrangle, to put his son Tirlogh into the Deputy's hands. He
also promised to do all in his power to promote the capture of the
castles held by his brother Murrough, the tanist of Thomond. O'Brien's
Bridge was once more demolished, Connor led the army through the tanist's
district, and everything was destroyed as far as Clare Castle. Here Grey
and Desmond had a quarrel about the custody of O'Mulryan's hostages, and
there was very near being a pitched battle; but Sir Thomas Butler of
Cahir, Ormonde's son-in-law, managed to patch up a truce. Grey was, in
fact, quite at O'Brien's mercy, but the family politics saved him. The
chief had lately married a second wife, Lady Alice Fitzgerald of Desmond,
and Tirlogh, the child of the marriage, was pledged to Grey; but Murrough
the tanist and Donough, the chief's eldest son, were both afraid that the
issue of the second marriage would be preferred before them. O'Connor, in
whom Grey now placed implicit confidence, 'and all sage men of his band,
both English and Irish,' begged him not to venture among the O'Briens,
and Edmund Sexton, a noted royalist of Limerick, even conjured him on his
allegiance not to cast away the citizens' company, on whom all depended.
Grey refused to take advice, and escaped all dangers, chiefly through
Donough O'Brien's influence. Donough's loyalty might not have been enough
by itself, but he dreaded the aggrandisement of Murrough more than
possible dangers from a half-brother who was still in his infancy. Guided
by a single gallowglass, who bore a silver axe adorned with silken
tassels, the army marched safely into Clanricarde. Ulick de Burgh blamed
Grey for his rashness, but he pointed to the guide and said, 'Lo! seest
thou not yonder standing before me O'Brien's axe for my protection?' A
modern traveller among Arabs must often be content with some such outward
sign of invisible allies, but his trust in O'Brien's axe was made an
article in Grey's impeachment.[208]

[Sidenote: And into Connaught, 1538.]

Ulick was fully acknowledged as chief of Clanricarde, to the prejudice of
his uncle Richard. He was believed to be illegitimate, and the De Burghs,
however much Hibernicised, had hitherto preserved the English law of
succession. The precedent was therefore thought bad by many experienced
men, but the relationships of this family are so inextricably confused
that it is very hard to say who was legitimate and who was not. The
citizens of Galway remembered their origin, and would take no money from
the Lord Deputy, and Ulick, who was knighted, took hospitable care of his
Irish allies. As at Limerick, the Mayor and Corporation took the oath of
supremacy, and so did the Archbishop of Tuam. Grey made several forays
into Clanricarde, with the apparent object of strengthening Ulick; and
O'Flaherty, two O'Maddens, and Bermingham of Athenry, made their
submissions. The Lord Deputy then went towards the Suck in O'Kelly's
country, and met O'Connor Roe, who rode with him to Aughrim. Fording the
Shannon at Banagher, the army passed through the countries of O'Melaghlin
and MacCoghlan, from whom securities were exacted, and returned
unmolested to Maynooth, after an absence of thirty-eight days.[209]

[Sidenote: Effects of this journey.]

As a military exploit Grey's journey was by no means contemptible, but
his critics seem to have been right in thinking it useless. The settled
policy had long been to reduce the tribes bordering on the Pale, and not
to overrun districts which there was no hope of holding. Many chiefs had
come to the Lord Deputy with loyal professions, but they had required
safe-conducts, had refused to enter walled towns, and had given children
for hostages. They had thus saved their harvest, and the Government could
scarcely take vengeance on infants. Grey's supposed partiality for the
Geraldines was probably the chief reason that he got back safely. He had
no sooner turned his back than James Fitzjohn of Desmond seized Croom and
Adare and threatened Ormonde's country. No difficulty had been lessened
by an exploit which was obviously open to the reproach of extreme

[Sidenote: Grey's dispute with the Butlers.]

Having got back their chief governor, the first care of the Council was
to reconcile him with the Butlers. The old Earl's appearance plainly
foretold his approaching end, but he came to Dublin and left his son to
front the Desmonds and O'Carrolls. Grey wrote to the latter to keep the
peace, and Lord Butler at once came to Dublin; but both father and son
refused to go to Maynooth, where they would be in the Lord Deputy's
power. Kilmainham was at last fixed on as the place of meeting, and Grey
took the chair of state, but shook hands with none of the Council, and
smiled on no one. The two Butlers offered to abide by the Council's
decision, but Grey had already produced a paper reflecting on them for
receiving O'Connor after his defeat in the summer of 1537. A Latin
confession said to have been made by O'Connor in the presence of Paulet
and Berners was relied on, but the chief was secretly cross-examined by
the Council, and so modified his statement as to exonerate the Butlers
completely. It was said, for instance, that O'Connor had hired Edmond
MacSwiney and his free axes immediately after a conference with Ormonde.
O'Connor admitted the hiring, but explained that the gallowglasses were
not bound to levy war against the King, and that Ormonde knew nothing at
all about the matter. Again, he was charged with retaining Scotch
mercenaries, who were allowed a fortnight's free quarters in Ormonde's
country. He admitted having brought in the Scots; but the Earl had known
nothing of it, and the free quarters had not been given. Ormonde allowed
that he had harboured O'Connor, but pleaded the instructions of Grey, who
waited for orders from the King, and who was afraid of driving the chief
into fresh combinations with Irish enemies. The probability is that
O'Connor had at first been ready to confess anything, because absolution
was sure to follow, and he is not likely to have been overflowing with
Latin, which was his only means of communicating with the English

[Sidenote: They accuse each other.]

Both Grey and Ormonde gave in long written statements. The Council
desired to consider them in the Deputy's absence, and to this he with
some hesitation consented. They found that Grey's charges contained
nothing new, but only general accusations of slackness; while Ormonde
plainly accused Grey of treasonable practices, of shaping his policy to
suit young Gerald of Kildare, and of systematically depressing all who
opposed the Geraldine faction. The indictment is summed up in the
comprehensive statement that 'My Lord Deputy cannot find in his heart to
love or favour any man that is preferred, favoured, or put in trust by
his Majesty within this his land, and would have none of them, though
they be all ready at his commandment, to be toward, or about him, be they
never so trusty nor so well meaning; but wholly adhereth to those that
were the counsellors, servants, and followers of the disloyal Geraldines,
and no men so nigh about him as they, which either of his own prepensed
mind, or being seducted by them, is like to bring this land to perdition
again.' On being pressed for proof, Ormonde said that the facts were too
notorious to require any.[212]

[Sidenote: The Council patch up a reconciliation.]

The Council prudently resolved not to let either litigant see the other's
charges, and Mr. Justice St. Lawrence having been called in, the
originals were burned in his presence. Copies already taken were
transmitted to London. Ormonde and his son then swore to serve the Lord
Deputy loyally. Grey swore not to use them spitefully nor ask them to
perform impossibilities, to deliver Modreeny to the Earl unless O'Carroll
could show a better title, and to cause the young O'Mores to restore the
plunder of Ormonde's villages, or at least to refer all to the Council.
The Council did not believe the agreement would be lasting. 'Neither,'
they added, 'can we perceive (whereof we be sorry) that my Lord Deputy is
meet to make long abode here, for he is so haughty and chafing that men
be afeard to speak to him, doubting his bravish lightness. Nevertheless,
it is much pity of him, for he is an active gentleman.'[213]

[Sidenote: The Kavanaghs. The O'Reillys.]

It was not long before the Butlers had an opportunity of co-operating
with Grey. The Kavanaghs threatened the Wexford colony, negotiations
failed, and it became necessary to chastise them. Grey entered Carlow in
person, and was joined by Saintloo, who, whatever his shortcomings as a
governor, was not a bad soldier, and who brought 800 men. After fourteen
days' burning and plundering, MacMurrough and his clansmen sued for
peace, and agreed to hold their lands of the King. Grey then moved
northwards, and provisions for eight days were prepared for a raid
against O'Reilly, to be used otherwise by the Deputy in case O'Reilly
should make timely submission. O'Reilly did submit, and Grey went to
Dundalk with a view of meeting O'Neill, who was now young Gerald
Fitzgerald's protector. O'Neill broke his appointment, and he did wisely,
for Grey says he was determined to take Gerald if possible, 'and if not,
by the oath that I have made to my sovereign lord and master, I would
have taken the said O'Neill and a kept him till he had caused the said
Gerald to be delivered to my hands.'[214]

[Sidenote: The Savages in Down.]

Foiled in this attempt, which can hardly be described as otherwise than
treacherous, Grey determined to chastise the Savages, who had refused to
pay rent to Brabazon, the King's tenant in Lecale. This old English
family had become quite Hibernicised, and were now bringing Scotch
mercenaries into the country. Various castles were taken and delivered to
Brabazon, who also took charge of Dundrum, an important stronghold
belonging to Magennis, which commanded the entry to Lecale on the land
side. The Scots fled, leaving corn, butter, and other rural plunder
behind. Grey was much struck by the fertility of the district, which is
still famous. 'I never,' he said, 'saw a pleasanter plot than Lecale for
commodity of the land, and divers islands in the same environed in the
sea, which were soon reclaimed and inhabited, the King's pleasure

[Sidenote: Labours of St. Leger's Commission.]

Sir Anthony St. Leger and his brother Commissioners arrived in Ireland
early in September 1537, and lost no time in endeavouring to carry out
the King's plan. By November they had surveyed most of the King's lands
in Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Dublin, and Kildare. The
general result of their observations was that they had seen 'divers
goodly manors and castles, the more part of them ruinous, and in great
decay, the towns and lands about them depopulate, wasted, and not
manured; whereby hath ensued great dearth and scarcity of all manner
victuals.' But few applications were made for leases, because there was
no security, and they saw the necessity of placing a few castles in a
defensible state. Within reach of the walls there was no difficulty in
getting tenants. By Christmas the survey was finished, and an increased
desire to take leases was quickly manifested; but some lands were still
unlet. Two thousand marks in money and securities had been collected for
the King, 'and much more,' the Commissioners reported, 'would have been
levied, in case that men had not of late been sore charged with service
doing to his Highness here, whereby we be constrained to look on them
with more favourable eye.'[216]

[Sidenote: The public accounts.]

Brabazon reported that the Commissioners had done their work well. The
passing of his own three years' account was a yet more difficult matter.
They found it tedious and intricate, both from its nature and from the
fact that there were no records of the King's ancient inheritance, or of
escheats. Brabazon's own arrangements were good, but all before his time
was chaos. 'Every keeper,' said the Master of the Rolls, 'for his time,
as he favoured, so did either embezzle, or suffer to be embezzled, such
muniments as should make against them and their friends, so that we have
little to show for any of the King's lands or profits in these parts: it
is therefore necessary that from henceforth all the rolls and muniments
to be had be put in good order in Bermingham's Tower, and the door
thereof to have two locks, and the keys thereof one to be with the
Constable, and the other with the Under-Treasurer, which likewise it is
necessary to be an Englishman born; and that no man be suffered to have
loan of any of the said muniments, nor to search, view, or read any of
them there, but in the presence of one of the keepers aforesaid.' The
accounts were nevertheless put in order by March; and having received
very gracious thanks from the King, St. Leger and his colleagues returned
to England, 'not,' as they were careful to note, 'for that we be weary to
serve his Grace, but for because we be very loth to spend any more of his
treasure, than we see time to serve him.' Aylmer and Alen, by the King's
especial orders, accompanied the High Commissioners to England.[217]

[Sidenote: Cromwell and the Irish service.]

The official politicians of Ireland generally took care to be on good
terms with the virtual ruler of England, and to watch for every sign of
change in the distribution of royal favours. Cromwell was therefore well
bespattered with flattery; but there were murmurs, some at least of which
reached his ears. St. Leger the discreet may or may not have glanced
obliquely at the Lord Privy Seal when he said of himself that 'he had too
long abstained from bribery to begin now.' But his colleague George
Paulet was more outspoken, and declared openly that 'the Lord Privy Seal
drew every day towards his death, and that he escaped very hardly at the
last insurrection, and that he was the greatest briber in England, and
that he was espied well enough.' Cromwell had given orders that the
Commissioners should not interfere with castles in Lord Butler's
possession, and to this Paulet objected, hinting that Butler's head as
well as Cromwell's might easily be disposed of. His reading of Henry's
character was exactly the same as Wolsey's. 'I will,' he said, 'so work
matters that the King shall be informed of every penny that he hath spent
here; and when that great expense is once in his head, it shall never be
forgotten; there is one good point. And then I will inform him how he
hath given away to one man 700 marks by year, and then will the King
swear "By God's Body, have I spent so much money and have given away my
land." I will find the means to put the matter in the King's head, after
that wise as shall be to his displeasure; and yet shall he not know which
way it came.' Paulet gave Alen a most amusing description of the fashion
in which Henry treated the minister to whom he gave such power. 'The King
beknaveth him twice a week and sometimes knocks him well about the pate;
and yet when he hath been well pommelled about the head, and shaken up as
it were a dog, he will come out into the great chamber shaking of his
bush with as merry a countenance as though he might rule all the roast.'
The appointment of the High Commissioners was a 'flym flawe to stop the
imagination of the King and Council' as to Cromwell's object in promoting
great grants to Lord Butler. The suggestion of course is that Cromwell
was bribed by Butler, and the fact that Paulet was not punished shows
that there were limitations to the minister's power. Paulet said as much,
or nearly as much, to Grey as to Alen and Aylmer, and Grey repeated it
to the King with some softening of the words. Paulet was evidently
hostile to the Butlers; so was Grey, and the fact that they had been on
friendly terms was thought evidence of their conspiring in the Geraldine

[Sidenote: Charges against Grey. Circuit of the Council in the South,

Aylmer and Alen were less than two months in London, but they left behind
them a mass of accusations against Grey which in time brought forth
fruit. Alen soon afterwards received the Great Seal, and during the last
days of 1538 proceeded on a tour in the South with the general view of
establishing the King's supremacy, of improving the revenue, and of
providing for the administration of justice. Archbishop Browne, Brabazon,
and Aylmer accompanied the new Chancellor. At Carlow the party enjoyed
Lord Butler's Christmas hospitalities, and the old Earl treated them well
at Kilkenny, where they spent New Year's day, and where Browne preached
to a large congregation. English translations of the Pater Noster, Ave
Maria, Articles, and Ten Commandments were published, and copies given to
the Bishop and other dignitaries, who were ordered to promulgate them
wherever they had jurisdiction. Next morning several felons were hanged,
and certain concealed lands sequestrated to the King's use; neither of
which proceedings were calculated to increase his Majesty's popularity.
The councillors then went to Ross, which they found much decayed through
the rivalry of Waterford and the disorders of the Kavanaghs. Here the
Archbishop preached again. At Wexford there was another sermon, and the
Kilkenny ceremonies were repeated, including the execution of divers
malefactors. The Councillors were dissatisfied with Saintloo's conduct as
seneschal, and accused him of converting fines and forfeited
recognizances to his own use. Badly armed and badly horsed, the soldiers
appeared to do the people less good by their protection than they did
harm by their extortion. The evils inherent to all palatinate
jurisdictions were greatly aggravated by the seneschal's lax
administration. It was doubtful whether he had the right to appoint a
deputy at all. He had nevertheless made such an appointment by parole and
without any formal record, and his irregular substitute had arrogated all
the powers of a Judge of Assize.[219]

[Sidenote: The royal supremacy. The Munster Bishops.]

From Wexford Alen and his companions went to Waterford, where Browne
preached to a great audience, and where the new formularies were again
published. The usual hangings followed. Four felons suffered,
'accompanied with another thief, a friar, whom, among the residue, we
commanded to be hanged in his habit, and so to remain upon the gallows,
for a mirror to all other his brethren to live truly.' The assizes or
sessions were attended only by the inhabitants of Lord Power's portion of
the county of Waterford. The other and larger division of the shire
belonged to Gerald MacShane of Decies, who pretended to hold of the
Desmonds, and altogether ignored his tenure of the royal honour of
Dungarvan. The Lord of Decies, James Fitzjohn of Desmond, the White
Knight, and Sir Thomas Butler of Cahir were summoned with several others.
Butler came to Clonmel and made a favourable impression, but the
Geraldines sent only 'frivolous, false, feigned excuses, not consonant to
their allegiance.' Browne preached again at Clonmel in the presence of
two archbishops and eight bishops, all of whom afterwards, before the
whole congregation, took the oath of supremacy, and swore to maintain the
succession as established by law.[220]

[Sidenote: Taxation of southern counties.]

After much pressing, the inhabitants of Wexford, Waterford, Kilkenny, and
Tipperary consented to pay a yearly subsidy to the King; 100 marks for
Wexford, and 50_l._ for each of the other three. This source of revenue
was quite new, and the Council were very proud of inventing it; but they
confessed to doubts as to its substantial value, especially in
Waterford, where Sir Gerald MacShane had power to pay or to withhold.
From Clonmel the councillors returned to Dublin by Kilkenny, where they
hanged one man more and levied some further fines. They had been absent
from the capital five weeks.[221]

[Sidenote: Grey in Ulster. The Scots, 1539.]

About the time that the Chancellor and his companions were turning
homewards, Grey undertook another expedition against O'Neill. Again the
ostensible object was to catch young Gerald of Kildare, and in this the
Lord Deputy failed. But he very nearly caught O'Neill himself, actually
carried off his 'housewife,' and ravaged much of his country. O'Donnell
was present, or at least some of his people, for the horse which his
standard-bearer rode was taken. James Fitzjohn of Desmond was in alliance
with the two great northern chiefs to protect the 'naughty boy,' as Alen
called Gerald, and if possible to force the King to restore him. The
bastard Geraldines of the Pale were ready to help their natural leader,
who grew more dangerous as he grew older. The Antrim Scots were always
available for service against the English Government, and Brabazon wished
to cripple them by a naval expedition. O'Neill and O'Donnell now sent
Roderick O'Donnell, Bishop of Derry, to Scotland for 6,000 Redshanks. In
the meantime they professed themselves ready to treat with Grey, and
promised to bring young Gerald to meet him on the last day of April at
Carrick Bradagh, near Dundalk. They never came, and Grey penetrated to
Armagh in spite of bad weather and foul ways. O'Neill still refused to
show himself or to give any hostage, but he professed peaceable
intentions. The weather made it impossible to advance further, and Aylmer
was sent to Blackwater, where he succeeded in making a truce. Again, Grey
says that he had intended to seize his nephew by fair means or foul. 'If
they had kept pointment with me having young Gerald with them, howsoever
the thing had chanced by the oath that I have made unto your Grace, they
should have left the young Gerald behind them quick or dead. If it were
the pleasure of God I would that I might once have a sight of him whom as
yet I never saw with my eyes.'[222]

[Sidenote: The O'Tooles.]

The O'Tooles had never been punished for their victory over Kelway, and
Grey, who had for the moment no worse enemy than a gouty foot, resolved
to chastise them. They proposed to parley near Ballymore Eustace, but did
not come. Though in great pain, Grey rode to Powerscourt in a day,
entered the mountains and penetrated to Glenmalure, cutting the woods on
both sides as he went. 'Before my coming thither,' he said, 'I think
there never was Deputy with carts there.' He had some skirmishing with
the natives, but took no man of importance, and returned to Maynooth
without having improved his gout.[223]

[Sidenote: Intrigues concerning Gerald of Kildare.]

A confederacy had at this time been formed in favour of young Gerald. His
own claims might not have been enough, in spite of Lady Eleanor
O'Donnell's efforts, but Henry's ecclesiastical policy was beginning to
bear its natural fruit. Priests passed from chief to chief, and
communications with Rome were frequent. The Irish said all Englishmen
were heretics, and the King the 'most heretic and worst man in the
world,' in which perhaps they were not far wrong. They considered Henry a
disobedient Papal vassal, and a mere usurper in Ireland. 'When Dr.
Nangle, my suffragan,' says Archbishop Browne, 'showed the King's broad
seal for justifying of his authority, MacWilliam little esteemed it, but
threw it away and vilipended the same.' The plan was that O'Toole, to
whom Gerald promised to restore Powerscourt, should harass the Pale from
the south, while James Fitzjohn of Desmond, with some Scotch mercenaries,
attacked it from the west and O'Neill from the north. If Tara could be
reached O'Neill might be proclaimed King of Ireland, and Gerald restored
to his own in Kildare. Besides her own friends, Lady Eleanor commanded
the services of a Bristol captain named Kate, or Cappys, who spoke Irish
fluently and owned his own ship. John Lynch, a Galway merchant, met him
at Assaroe, on the Donegal coast, and warned some of the confederates
that Grey would be too strong for them, and that he was active enough to
surprise them when they thought he was amusing himself. But Delahide,
Leverous, and others, answered that they had perfect intelligence, that
Grey could not ride twenty miles in the Pale without their knowledge,
that his army consisted chiefly of churls and ploughmen, of which 300
might easily be vanquished by 100, and that he had no good officers under
him. These are the arguments with which the foes of order in Ireland have
always deluded their adherents, and sometimes themselves.[224]

[Sidenote: Catholic movement.]

Wherever Lynch went he found the priests preaching daily 'that every man
ought for the salvation of his soul fight and make war against our
sovereign lord the King's Majesty and his true subjects; and if any of
them which so shall fight against his said Majesty or his subjects, die
in the quarrel, his soul that so shall be dead shall go to heaven as the
soul of St. Peter, Paul, and others, which suffered death and martyrdom
for God's sake.' 'And forasmuch,' Lynch adds, 'as I did traverse somewhat
of such words, I was cast out of church and from their masses during a
certain time of days for an heretic; and I was greatly afraid.' The
result of all this preaching was an invasion of the Pale in the month of
August. Lord Butler's policy had kept the O'Briens quiet, and nothing was
done on that side. But O'Donnell and O'Neill entered Meath with the
greatest army, as some thought, that had ever been seen in Ireland. There
was a large contingent of Scots, both from the mainland and the islands,
and most of the Northern chiefs added their quotas to the host. O'Neill
of Clandeboye, O'Rourke, Maguire, MacQuillin, O'Cahan, Magennis, and
MacDermot are among those mentioned. Tara was reached, but no restoration
of the ancient kingdom followed. Much damage was done to the modern
kingdom, including the burning of Ardee and of Navan, which was the best
market town in the county. The invaders set fire to the standing corn,
carried off every portable article of value, and, sweeping all the cattle
before them, turned in high spirits northwards. They had met with no
enemy, and had probably attained their object of providing funds for a
general rising, which was fixed for September 1, and which James of
Desmond was expected to join.[225]

[Sidenote: Grey routs the O'Neills at Bellahoe, 1539.]

Grey summoned the men of Dublin and Drogheda, those citizen soldiers whom
the Irish dreaded so much, and hurried after O'Neill. Out of a nominal
350 he could muster no more than 140 of his own men, but he had some help
from the gentlemen of the Pale. The marchers, like Rob Roy at
Sheriffmuir, waited to see which was the winning side. 'I must help the
King,' said Fitzgerald of Osbertstown, to Gerald's messenger, 'but if ye
be the strongest we must go with you.' Without waiting for such
Laodiceans, the Lord Deputy dashed forward, and, as Lynch had foreseen,
caught the Ulstermen quite unprepared. They were encamped at Bellahoe,
the ford which divides Meath from Monaghan, on the Farney side of the
water, and he routed them before they had time to form. The Irish leaders
who knew the country escaped, with the exception of Magennis, whose post
was near the ford. He fell into the hands of the Louth men, who were
bribed by some of his own clan to kill him, and did so. The only person
of note killed on the English side was a gentleman named Mape, who
charged up the river bank by Lord Slane's side, and who was carried by
his runaway horse into the midst of the Irish. According to Stanihurst,
whose account of this affair is at least highly coloured, the mayors of
Dublin and Drogheda and Thomas Talbot of Malahide were dubbed knights on
the field by the Lord Deputy. He also says that Black James Fleming,
Baron of Slane, led the attack, and called on his hereditary
standard-bearer to do his duty in the front. But the standard-bearer,
whose name was Robert Halpin or Halfpenny, thought the service
desperate, and refused to advance his banner, preferring 'to sleep in an
whole sheepskin his pelt, than to walk in a torn lion his skin.' Calling
him a dastardly coward, the Baron ordered Robert Betagh to supply his
place, which he cheerfully did: Mape, though he had refused to lead, was
fain to follow, and fell fighting in the first rank.[226]

[Sidenote: Grey is accused of favouring the Geraldines.]

After this great success, which shattered the Irish or Catholic
confederacy for a time, Grey remained in the North. A fleet had been
collected at Carlingford to chastise the Scots, and the crews had taken
part in the fight or pursuit at Bellahoe; but not much could be done
against the islanders. The old Earl of Ormonde had just died, and his son
was too busy to visit Ulster. He had incurred vast expense in subsidising
the O'Briens and the Clanricarde Burkes, who were ready to serve the King
with 800 gallowglasses, 800 kerne, and some horse. James Fitzjohn of
Desmond was growing daily stronger, while his rival was basking in Court
sunshine; and Ormonde attributed this state of affairs to the Lord
Deputy, who favoured all Geraldines and depressed all who owed their
promotion to Cromwell. James Fitzjohn had seen the Earl's brother, the
Archbishop of Cashel, and had promised to meet Ormonde also, but he
failed in his appointment, and threatened at every moment to attack

[Sidenote: The Desmond heritage. Grey goes to Munster, 1539.]

The English Government had in the meantime declared that James
FitzMaurice was right heir to the earldom of Desmond. He had been a royal
page, and was provided with a force sufficient to guard against any
sudden attack. He landed at Cork or Youghal in August, but three months
elapsed before any serious effort was made to put him in possession of
his own. Leaving Dublin early in November, Grey joined Ormonde near
Roscrea, about which there had been fierce dissensions. The castle was
now in the hands of the O'Meaghers, but they gave it up peaceably to the
Lord Deputy, and he handed it over to Ormonde. Modreeny, which the Earl
now acknowledged as O'Carroll's, was also surrendered. Taking hostages
from O'Carroll, MacBrien Arra, O'Kennedy, O'Mulryan, and O'Dwyer to be
faithful and pay the King tribute, Grey and Ormonde cut passes through
the woods near the Shannon, the inhabitants of which had guided the
O'Briens in their raids. They halted two days at Thurles, where Sir
Gerald MacShane and the White Knight thought it prudent to submit
themselves, and victualled their troops about Cashel and Clonmel. At
Youghal they delivered all the castles of Imokilly to the young Earl of
Desmond, and two nephews of former Earls accepted him as the head of
their House. At Cork Lord Barry, who had held aloof for years, came in
and gave security. Hither also came the sons of Cormac Oge, and it was
probably on this occasion that their sister Mary MacCarthy married the
young Earl. The union was not fated to last long, nor to give an heir to
the House of Desmond. The barony of Kerrycurrihy was taken possession of
at Kinsale, and MacCarthy Reagh, in whose castle of Kilbrittain Gerald of
Kildare had lately found a home, consented to come to Cork and to give
his brother as a hostage. He hesitated to sacrifice his cattle, and was
easily persuaded by Ormonde, who was now on unusually good terms with
Grey. Barry Roe and Barry Oge also gave security. The army then shifted
to O'Callaghan's country, and near Dromaneen James Fitzjohn came to the
other side of the flooded Blackwater and defied Grey. He would, he said,
conclude nothing without the advice of O'Brien, who could dispose of all
the Irishry of Ireland. Grey could not pass the river, and returned to
Cork. John Travers, a native of Ireland who had learned the art of war
elsewhere, had lately been appointed Master of the Ordnance, and
accompanied this expedition, in which only 800 men were employed. Travers
said that he would go anywhere in Ireland with 2,000 men, and Grey's
exploits, no less than Sidney's later, show that he was right: the
difficulty was not to take but to keep. 'Six thousand good men,' Travers
added, 'divided in three places as I could give instruction, with certain
craftsmen to inhabit the places they win, might make a general
reformation in one summer.' The advice was sound, but the Crown could not
afford to take it.[228]

[Sidenote: Grey's last raid into Ulster.]

Once more before young Gerald had left Ireland did Grey turn his
attention to the North. For the third time O'Neill promised to meet him,
and for the third time he failed to appear. Without victuals, and
trusting to plunder for the support of his men, the Lord Deputy then rode
'thirty-four miles of ill way' to Dungannon, and again nearly caught the
troublesome chief. But the guides, perhaps intentionally, delayed the
soldiers on their night march, and daybreak found them still five miles
from Dungannon. O'Neill had time to escape. Six days were spent in
promiscuous burnings, during which the soldiers had no bread and lived on
freshly killed beef: it is no wonder that disease was rife in the ranks.
This was Grey's last warlike expedition; successful in a certain sense,
but quite useless as a matter of policy.[229]

[Sidenote: Recall of Grey. Consequent confusion.]

Grey had often asked leave to go to Court and lay the state of Ireland
before the King, begging that his adversaries might not be allowed to
ruin him behind his back. His request was now to be granted in an
unexpected manner. One of his last acts in Ireland was a quarrel with the
Council, in spite of whose remonstrances he sent over Travers, the Master
of the Ordnance, with despatches, though he seems to have agreed with
them that a man who could be better spared would have done the business
just as well. Sir William Brereton, Marshal of the Army, had lately
broken his leg, an accident from which he seems never to have fully
recovered; Edward Griffiths, another useful officer, was dying of
diarrhoea; Travers was the only available officer, and his own
department was in bad order. Yet Grey sent him, perhaps because he
thought his talk would be favourable to him. The immediate result of
Travers's journey was that the King sent for Grey, professing his anxiety
to see him and to send him back to Ireland in time for the fighting
season at the end of May. Brereton was to act as Lord Justice during his
absence. Henry declared himself willing to raise the wages of soldiers in
Ireland, which had been fixed three years before at 5_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._ a
year for horsemen and half that sum for footmen, and which had been found
quite inadequate. Deplorable disorders had resulted from the necessities
of the men. Henry expressed his intention of keeping the troops on the
Irish borders instead of in Dublin. Coming events cast their accustomed
shadow before, and Grey's recall, for recall it was understood to be, was
known to the public sooner than to the officials. It was of course
suggested that Grey purposely concealed the truth in order to embarrass
the Council; and he refused their prayer to stay until arrangements had
been made for the defence of the Pale. His activity had evidently
inspired respect, for he had no sooner crossed the Channel than the
O'Tooles made a raid towards Dublin. O'Byrne warned the citizens, and
they had time to make ready. The Kavanaghs attacked the Wexford settlers.
The O'Connors burned Kildare. Alen and Brabazon had also been called to
England, but they were obliged to wait for a fitter time. 'The country,'
wrote Brereton in excusing their absence, 'is in very ill case, being
assured of no Irishman's peace.'[230]

[Sidenote: Trial and execution of Grey.]

An enormous number of charges were brought against Grey. He was accused
of maintaining the King's enemies and depressing the King's friends, of
injustice to Irishmen and others, of violence towards Councillors and
others, and of extortion. There is no reason to suppose that he could
have taken young Gerald, with whom, in Stanihurst's quaint language, he
was accused of 'playing bo-peep;' but no doubt he had been guilty of much
injustice, as his unprovoked invasion of Ferney and his treatment of
O'More sufficiently prove. He cannot be called a man of scrupulous
honour, or he would not have arrested the Geraldines at dinner, or
professed his intention to capture his nephew by fair means or foul. But
Henry VIII. knew how to pardon such conduct, though he could punish his
instruments when it suited him. The Irish chiefs felt that they could not
trust Grey, and therefore kept no faith with him. He was accused on all
sides of greed, and especially of making useless expeditions for the sake
of plunder. The usual inquisition made after his arrest shows that he had
some private hoards. He was violent in Council, and no doubt it was often
hard for a Viceroy, especially for one who suffered from gout, to deal
with the Dublin officials, who were independent of him and sometimes
spies on his conduct. 'I think,' says Walter Cowley, 'there is not one of
the King's Council there but my Lord Deputy successively have sore fallen
out with them.' But he was rude and tyrannical to others also, as to Lord
Delvin, whose life he was accused of shortening by insults, and
especially by calling him traitor, 'which,' says the old Earl of Ormonde,
'shall never be proved.' In any case and whatever his actual guilt, a
cloud of witnesses appeared to denounce Grey.[231] He pleaded guilty,
rather in hopes of mercy than acknowledging his faults; but no pardon
followed. That he had any treasonable intention is more than doubtful,
but there was more against him than against Buckingham; he suffered a
year's imprisonment in the Tower, and then underwent the fate to which
his treacherous compliance with a tyrant's wishes had condemned his
Geraldine kinsmen.


[201] Ormonde to St. Leger, March 12, 1538. See also the 'Fall of the
Clan Kavanagh,' by Hughes, _Irish Archæological Journal_, 4th series,
vol. ii., 1873. Erics were compositions for murder, caines for other
felonies. Rahownes may be the same as 'sorohen.' I do not understand
allyieg, unless it be 'allying' with the Irish.

[202] _Four Masters_, 1537; Brabazon to Aylmer and Alen, Whitsuntide,
1538; Council of Ireland to Cromwell, June 10, 1538.

[203] Grey to the King, June 4, 1538; Brabazon to Aylmer and Alen,
Whitsuntide; Luttrell to Aylmer, June 5; Council to Aylmer, June 10. All
the accounts make out that Kelway was quite wrong.

[204] Justice Luttrell to Chief Justice Aylmer, June 5, 1538; Ormonde's
instructions to R. Cowley, June; Lord Butler to his father and to R.
Cowley, June.

[205] Lord Butler to his father, June 19, 1538; Ormonde to the Irish
Council, June; to R. and W. Cowley, July 16; to R. Cowley, July 20; to
the Privy Council, S.P., vol. iii., p. 77; Grey to the King, June 4 and
July 26; Council of Ireland to Cromwell, June 10, July 24, and August 22.

[206] Brabazon, Aylmer, and Alen to Cromwell, Aug. 24, 1538. For the
treatment of O'More see Ormonde to R. Cowley, June 1538; Aylmer and
Alen's articles against Grey, June. Lord Butler to R. Cowley, June 20.
Articles alleged on the part of O'More, S.P., vol. iii. p. 26. Council of
Ireland to Cromwell, June 10. Luttrell to Aylmer, June 5. The ten years'
truce between Charles V. and Francis I. was concluded June 28, so that
Lord Butler must refer to some earlier negotiations.

[207] Brabazon, Aylmer, and Alen to Cromwell, July 24, 1538.

[208] Grey to the King, July 26, 1538. Brabazon, Aylmer, and Alen to
Cromwell, Aug. 22. Information against Lord Leonard Grey, Oct. 1840, in

[209] Grey's account has been pretty closely followed; see his letter to
the King, July 26, 1538.

[210] For unfavourable strictures on Grey's journey see Brabazon, Aylmer,
and Alen to Cromwell, Aug. 22; articles by the Earl of Ormonde in S.P.,
vol. iii. p. 77; Thomas Agard to Cromwell, July 25, 1538. Agard blames
Grey for taking cannon with him; he risked them of course.

[211] Brabazon, Aylmer, and Alen to Cromwell, Aug. 22.

[212] Articles by the Earl of Ormonde, S.P., vol. iii. p. 80.

[213] Brabazon, &c., as above.

[214] Grey to Cromwell, Oct. 31, 1538, in _Carew_.

[215] _Ibid._ The 'islands' referred to seem to be the peninsula of Ards,
subsequent attempts to colonise which did not meet with much success. The
islets in Lough Strangford are very small.

[216] St. Leger and others to Cromwell, Nov. 15, 1537, and Jan. 2, 1538.

[217] J. Alen to St. Leger, S.P., vol. ii. p. 486, 1537. St. Leger and
others to Cromwell, Jan. 2, 1538; to Wriothesley, Feb. 11. The King to
St. Leger and others, Jan. 17. The Commissioners sailed from Dublin in

[218] Interrogatories, with Aylmer and Alen's answers, as to Paulet's
conversations, are printed in the S.P., vol. ii. pp. 551-553.

[219] Alen and others to Cromwell, Jan. 18, 1539. In his letter to
Cromwell of Sept. 8, 1539, R. Cowley says Saintloo did no service, but
kept in a corner like a King, used every kind of extortion, and took no
notice of the universal outcry against him. 'Such a liberty,' says
Cowley, 'is more like to induce them to plain rebellion than to any civil

[220] Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Feb. 8, 1539, and also the letter
of Jan. 18, and Browne to Cromwell, Feb. 16. The letter of Jan. 18 says
'all the Bishops of Munster' were summoned.

[221] The Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Jan. 18 and Feb. 8. Both
letters are signed by Alen, Aylmer, and Brabazon; the second by Browne

[222] Grey to the King, May 9, 1539; Walter Cowley to Cromwell, Feb. 18,
1539; Thomas Wusle, Constable of Carrick Fergus, to Laurans, Constable of
Ardglass, March 1539, in _Carew_; confession of Connor More O'Connor,
servant to young Gerald, April 17, 1539; Brabazon to Cromwell, May 26;
Gerot Fleming to Cromwell, April 27.

[223] Grey to Cromwell, June 30, 1539.

[224] Alen to Cromwell, July 10, 1539, and the documents printed in the
notes; Robert Cowley to Cromwell, Sept. 8; Archbishop Browne to Cromwell,
Feb. 16, 1539.

[225] _Four Masters_, 1539; R. Cowley to Cromwell, Sept. 8.

[226] _Four Masters_ and _Annals of Lough Cé_, 1539; _Book of Howth_; R.
Cowley to Cromwell, Sept. 8, 1539. In a letter to Cromwell, dated April
20, 1540 (in _Carew_), the Dowager Countess of Ormonde mentions the
service of her niece's husband Gerald Fleming. In his note to the _Four
Masters_ O'Donovan says roundly that Stanihurst's account is
'fabricated;' but it is corroborated by an Irish MS., for which see
Shirley's _History of Monaghan_, p. 36.

[227] R. Cowley to Cromwell, Sept. 8, 1539; James, Earl of Ormonde, and
Ossory to Cromwell, Oct. 19; to Wriothesley, Oct. 21.

[228] Ormonde to Cromwell, Dec. 20, 1539; Travers to Mr. Fitzwilliam,
same date. Dromaneen is five miles above Mallow.

[229] Lord Deputy and Council to the King, Feb. 13, 1540.

[230] Brereton to Essex, May 17, 1540 and May 7; Council of Ireland to
Essex, April 30; Ormonde to Essex, May 1; Alen and Brabazon to Essex, May
8; the King's letter to Grey and Brereton is dated April 1. For the
dispute about Travers, see Council of Ireland to Cromwell, March 14.

[231] The charges against Grey may be gathered from the Articles, &c., by
Aylmer and Alen in S.P., vol. iii. No. 237, and their letter to St.
Leger, June 27, 1538; Ormonde to Cowley, July 16 and 20; the Council of
Ireland's Articles, Oct. 1540; Stanihurst. The Articles of the Council
seem to have been carefully scrutinised by Wriothesley. In his letter to
the King of July 20, 1540, O'Neill says Grey, 'guerras et contentiones in
partibus istis seminavit sui lucrandi causâ.' On June 20, 1538, Lord
Butler writes to Cowley that 'our governor threatens every man after such
a tyrannous sort, as no man dare speak openly or repugn against his
appetite;' and on July 20, his father says, 'the Lord Deputy is occupied
without the advice of the Council, for his own private lucre and gain.'
On the trial of Strafford Oliver St. John--the man who said that
'stone-dead hath no fellow'--cited Grey's case as a precedent for trying
in England treasons committed in Ireland. Grey was Viscount Grane in
Ireland, but he was declared no peer, and tried as a commoner in England;
see Howell's _State Trials_. As to Grey's private hoards, see a letter
from R. Cowley to Norfolk, printed by Ellis, second series, No. 126, and
wrongly placed under 1538; it belongs to 1540.


1540 and 1541.

[Sidenote: The O'Neills. Scottish intrigues.]

With the usual plundering inroads on the Pale Brereton was able to cope;
and the greater chieftains were quiet, for Gerald of Kildare was safe.
O'Donnell, who may have resented his treatment by Lady Eleanor, readily
reverted to his father's policy, and no difficulty was made about his
pardon. O'Neill held aloof, but again professed himself ready to come to
Carrick Bradagh. Again he failed to appear, and pleaded that he dared not
approach Dundalk through fear of Grey's manifest treachery. He offered to
come to Magennis's Castle at Narrowater, a beautiful spot near the mouth
of the Newry river and the foot of the Mourne Mountains. Brereton agreed,
and a meeting at last took place. O'Neill declared his readiness to
perform all that he had promised to Skeffington, to send a trusty
messenger to the King, and to leave pardon or punishment for the past to
the royal discretion. Till the answer came he was content to be at peace
with the Government, and to keep his neighbours quiet. He was at this
time intriguing with Scotland, and his secretary was actually at
Edinburgh. Cromwell had received information that eight Irishmen had been
with the Scottish King, to whom they had brought sealed letters from the
principal chiefs, containing offers to take him as their lord and to do
homage to him. It was even said that James meditated an invasion of
Ireland in person. O'Neill probably waited for the result of these
negotiations before sending a confidential servant with a letter to
Henry. He begged the King not to send his enemies into his country, where
Grey had, as he affirmed, sowed dissensions from selfish motives. He was
willing to do anything he was asked unless the new Lord Deputy should
prove very extortionate, and he advised the King not to waste his money
in Ulster. Henry answered graciously, and acknowledged some trifling
presents which accompanied the chief's letter. Future royal favours, his
Majesty was careful to point out, must depend on performance and not on
promises. Pardon in the meantime would be granted for the heinous
offences committed.[232]

[Sidenote: Murder of James FitzMaurice, Earl of Desmond, 1540.]

With the sea at hand, and Ormonde ever ready to help him, it was supposed
that James FitzMaurice would be able to maintain himself as Earl of
Desmond. At first he confined himself to Kerrycurrihy and Imokilly, but
after three months he was tempted to go inland towards the Limerick
district, in which James Fitzjohn's strength lay. Near Fermoy he was set
upon and murdered by his rival's brother, who had earned the title of
'Maurice of the Burnings.' James Fitzjohn, who now believed himself to be
undisputed Earl, at once repaired to Youghal, where he was well received
and joined by all the chiefs who had lately made such professions to Grey
and Ormonde. The garrison had, through over-confidence, withdrawn to
Waterford. Gerald of Kildare had just escaped to France, and the web of
policy which the English Government had cast over both branches of the
Geraldines was torn to pieces for the time.[233]

[Sidenote: James Fitzjohn is allowed to succeed him.]

There was no evidence of James Fitzjohn's complicity in his cousin's
murder, and Ormonde received the King's authority to pardon him, if he
could be brought to promise good behaviour. He preferred to ally himself
with O'Brien, and pleaded that Irish confederacies were too strong for
him to withstand. To gain his confidence Ormonde risked his own person in
the Desmond country for two nights, and passed right through it to parley
with O'Brien, who refused to listen to anything. But Desmond would not
show himself, and Ormonde then went for a few weeks to England. On his
return he found that little harm had been done, and this he attributed
solely to O'Brien having been out of his mind. But Desmond claimed the
credit of holding his hand. 'In like,' he wrote to Ormonde, 'I desire
you, according to my full trust, for to bring me in the King's favour the
best ye can; and in case that his Grace will so accept me, I trust we
shall both be able to do his Grace acceptable service according to our
duty.' On his return from England Ormonde at once resumed negotiations,
and St. Leger had been scarcely a month in Ireland before he received
friendly letters both from Desmond and O'Brien.[234]

[Sidenote: Fall of Cromwell. St. Leger is made Deputy, 1541.]

In the meantime Cromwell's head had fallen on the scaffold to which he
had sent so many better men. Grey was in the Tower, and Henry found time
to appoint a new Lord Deputy. He chose Sir Anthony St. Leger, who already
knew much of Ireland, and whose temper would at least save him from his
predecessor's chief faults. Sir Patrick Barnewall of Fieldston, an
eminent lawyer, had lately enumerated the qualities desirable in a chief
governor, and in so doing had drawn a heavy indictment against the last
holder of that high office. The King, he said, should provide a Deputy
'faithful, sure, and constant in his promise, and in especial to any
concluding of peace; and that he shall be such a person that shall have
more regard to his own honour and promise than to any covetous desire of
preys or booties of cattle; and that he shall make no wilful war, and
when war is made upon a good ground, that the same be followed till a
perfect conclusion thereof be taken, and not left at large, nor yet to
take a faint peace; and that the said Deputy shall not be in weighty
causes counselled nor guided by such persons as be openly known to be
ill-doers, or apt adherents of the ill-doers in their ill-doings against
the King's Majesty and his Grace's subjects in time past, for the same
hath and may hinder.' In selecting St. Leger, Henry was probably actuated
in part by such motives, and in part by hopes of an increased income.
With him were associated as Revenue Commissioners Thomas Walsh, Baron,
and John Mynne, Auditor of the English Exchequer, and William Cavendish,
Treasurer of the Court of Augmentations; but the viceregal authority was
not in any way impaired.[235]

[Sidenote: St. Leger's policy. The Kavanaghs.]

St. Leger seems clearly to have grasped the idea so often put forth and
so often neglected, that the pacification of Ireland must begin with the
neighbourhood of the Pale, and that distant expeditions were neither
lightly to be undertaken nor abandoned without attaining their object. He
resolved at once to punish those who had attacked the Pale at Grey's
departure, and he turned first to the Kavanaghs. Ormonde had lately
ravaged Idrone for a week and taken hostages, reporting that all the
mischief was done by Donnell MacCahir, 'who, having nothing to lose,
adhereth to Tirlogh O'Toole.' St. Leger now ravaged the territory far and
wide, and at the end of ten days the chief came in and submitted. He
renounced the name of MacMurrough, and agreed to hold his lands of the
Crown by knight-service. After the manner of Deputies in their early days
of office, St. Leger believed that he had really made a final settlement.
The Kavanaghs were ready enough to make promises, and even to boast their
descent from the man who first brought the English to Ireland; but St.
Leger was destined to have plenty of trouble with them.[236]

[Sidenote: The O'Mores and O'Connors, and their neighbours.]

Offaly had been so often devastated that the new Lord Deputy could have
little to do in that way; but the adjoining district of Leix had been
more fortunate, and its turn now came. The O'Doynes, O'Dempseys, and
others were separated by St. Leger's policy from O'Connor, whom it was
proposed to bridle by establishing fortified posts at Kinnegad in
Westmeath, at Kishevan in Kildare, at Castle Jordan in Meath, and at
Ballinure in what is now the King's County. A letter arrived from the
King with orders to expel O'Connor from his country and to give it to his
brother Cahir, if he would behave in a civilised manner, as he had often
promised to do. The incorrigible rebel should be made an example to all
Ireland by his perpetual exile and just punishment. But this could not be
honourably done, for Brereton had made a peace during the difficult days
that followed Grey's recall, and O'Connor, whose submission was of the
humblest, had done no harm since then. St. Leger indeed showed some
inconsistency in the matter, for he thought in September that O'Connor
could never be trusted, and in November he advised his restoration to
favour. Not only was it proposed to give him a grant of his land, but
also to raise him to the peerage as Baron of Offaly, an ancient honour in
the eclipsed family of Kildare.[237]

[Sidenote: The O'Tooles.]

No tribe had hurt the Pale more than the O'Tooles, who could boast of
giving a famous saint to Irish hagiology. Originally possessed of the
southern half of Kildare, they had been driven into the Wicklow Mountains
by Walter de Riddlesford in the early days of the Anglo-Norman
occupation. They were afterwards known as lords of Imaile, a small
district between Baltinglass and Glendalough, and at one time held nearly
all the northern half of Wicklow. The Earls of Kildare expelled them from
Powerscourt, and latterly they had led a very precarious life. True
children of the mist, they either bivouacked in the open or crept into
wretched huts to which Englishmen hesitated to give the name of houses.
They cultivated no land, but levied 300_l._ a year from their civilised
neighbours, partly in black-rent and partly in sheer plunder. The actual
chief was Tirlogh O'Toole, who professed himself anxious to mend his
ways, and offered to go to England and beg his lands of Henry himself.
There was something chivalrous in Tirlogh; for when Grey was hard pressed
by the northern confederacy he sent him word that 'since all those great
lords were against him he would surely be with him, but whensoever they
were all at peace, then he alone would be at war with him and the English
Pale.' This simple-minded warrior had kept his word, and he now begged
St. Leger to write to Norfolk, in the belief that the Duke would let him
want nothing 'when he knew that he had become an Englishman.' In return
for his undertaking to forego his exactions and to wear the English
dress, he asked for a grant of the district of Fercullen, comprising
Powerscourt and about twenty square miles of land, chiefly rocks and
woods, but with some fertile spots. St. Leger was anxious to grant
Tirlogh's terms, for the lands actually held by him were worthless and
would never pay to reclaim, while the O'Tooles were obliged to live on
the Pale. The hardy mountaineers had nothing to lose, and they prevented
land enough to support 2,000 inhabitants from being cultivated at all.
The Lord Deputy accordingly sent over the wild man with a special
recommendation to Norfolk, whose Irish experience made him a natural
mediator. Tirlogh was so poor that St. Leger had to lend him 20_l._ for
his journey, and he could not even afford decent clothes. 'It shall
appear to your Majesty,' wrote the Irish Government, 'that this Tirlogh
is but a wretched person and a man of no great power, neither having
house to put his head in, nor yet money in his purse to buy him a
garment, yet may he well make 200 or 300 men.'[238]

[Sidenote: Tirlogh O'Toole at Court.]

Tirlogh remained nearly a month at Court, where he was very well
treated; perhaps Henry remembered how well Hugh O'Donnell had requited
the kindness shown to him long since. The grant was authorised, and care
was taken to make such a fair division among the clansmen as would
prevent internal dissensions. Tirlogh became the King's tenant by
knight-service at a rent of five marks yearly, and his brother Art Oge, a
man of some ability, was gratified with a grant of Castle Kevin. Henry
desired that this case should form a precedent, and that in future chiefs
received to peace and favour should be treated with on the same basis as
the O'Tooles. In doing this he followed the advice of some of his wisest
councillors at home. Cranmer, Audeley, and Sadleir did not believe in the
possibility of a thorough conquest, and rightly considered that Ireland
would be best gained by fair dealing. Pedants and flatterers might argue
that the King was actually entitled to most of the land, that the Irish
were intruders, and that grants to them were derogatory to the royal
dignity. To this it was answered that the intrusions were of very old
date, that future rebellions would be more easily punished when they
involved a breach of contract, and that the Crown must gain by the mere
acknowledgment of its title. The O'Tooles at all events seem to have
given up plundering the Pale, and they make little further figure in
history. But they could not give up fighting among themselves. The
favoured Tirlogh had a grudge against one of his clansmen, and pursued
him daily in spite of orders from the Government. At last the threatened
man caught his persecutor asleep, and in the early morning killed him and
all his companions; 'and we think,' wrote the Lord Deputy and Council,
'the other would have done to him likewise, if he might have gotten him
at like advantage.' Tirlogh left no legitimate children, but St. Leger
nevertheless recommended that his son Brian should be allowed to succeed

[Sidenote: Proposed military order. The King vetoes it.]

Finding Leinster in an unusually promising state, the Irish Council hit
upon a strange device for keeping it permanently quiet. In the previous
century Thomas, Earl of Kildare, had established the Brotherhood of St.
George, an armed confraternity, whose thirteen officers, chosen from
among the loyal gentlemen of Dublin, Kildare, Meath, and Louth, elected
their own captain annually, but were paid by the State. It was found
necessary to dissolve this body by an Act of Parliament, passed in 1494.
Its object had been the defence of the Pale against Irish enemies and
English rebels. It was now proposed to erect a new order, not named after
St. George, but holding its great ceremony on St. George's day. It was to
consist of a Grand Master and twelve pensioners, with salaries amounting
in the aggregate to 1,000_l._ The majority were to be Irishmen of family,
who might be kept out of mischief by fear of losing their pensions. After
seven years, promotion was to depend on knowing English, or having spent
two years in the public service in England; the object being to induce
Irish gentlemen to cross the Channel and learn manners. As vacancies
occurred the persons chosen were to be bound 'not to have any wife or
wives.' The Council nominated Brabazon to be first Grand Master; but
Ormonde put forth a list of his own, and preferred his brother Richard to
the highest place. The Council also proposed to make a pensioner of Lord
Kilcullen, and to place him in the castle of Clonmore, which had belonged
to his family, but which the King had granted to Ormonde. The Earl
naturally ignored this claim, and there were other differences in the
rival lists. The Council suggested elaborate machinery by which the Order
might be made to work for the reformation of Leinster; but St. Leger does
not appear to have been a party to the scheme, and perhaps opposed it
quietly. The King, who had just abolished the great military Order, had
no idea of creating another, though its patron saint should be St. George
instead of St. John. 'We do in no wise,' he said, 'like any part of your
device in that behalf.' By minding their business and doing what they
were told his Majesty hoped that they would ultimately succeed in
reforming Leinster 'without the new erection of any such fantasies.'[240]

[Sidenote: An arrangement is made with Desmond.]

James Fitzjohn being now necessarily acknowledged Earl of Desmond, one of
St. Leger's first cares was to obtain his submission. Satisfied at last
that no treachery was intended, Desmond agreed to meet the Lord Deputy at
Cashel. Passing through Carlow and Kilkenny, St. Leger was joined by
Ormonde, who took care that the viceregal retinue should be well treated
on the journey; but Desmond at first held aloof, and demanded that the
chief of the Butlers should give himself up as a hostage before he
trusted himself in English hands. This was refused; but Archbishop
Browne, Travers, the Master of the Ordnance, and the Deputy's brother
Robert consented to run the risk. Desmond then appeared, and said he was
ready to do all that loyalty demanded. The proceedings were adjourned to
Sir Thomas Butler's house at Cahir, and there Desmond signed a solemn
notarial instrument, by which he fully acknowledged the King's supremacy
in Church and State. 'I do,' he said, 'utterly deny and forsake the
Bishop of Rome, and his usurped primacy and authority, and shall with all
my power resist and repress the same and all that shall by any means use
and maintain the same.' He renounced the pretensions of his family not to
attend Parliament or enter any walled town. He agreed to abide by and to
enforce the King's decision as to the Kildare estates, and to pay all
such taxes as were paid in the territories of Ormonde, Delvin, and other
noblemen of like condition. He constituted himself the defender of the
corporate towns, and gave up all claims to the allegiance of the Munster
Englishry, with a partial reservation as to men of his own blood, who
held their lands under him or his ancestors. Finally, he agreed to send
his son to be educated in England. This was Gerald, the ill-starred youth
whose folly and vanity were destined to work the final ruin of his House.
The Archbishop of Cashel and the Bishops of Limerick and Emly witnessed
the instrument, and the manner of the submission was as satisfactory as
a Tudor could wish. 'In presence,' wrote St. Leger to the King, 'of
MacWilliam, O'Connor, and divers other Irish gentlemen, to the number of
200 at the least, he kneeled down before me and most humbly delivered his
said submission, desiring me to deliver unto him his said pardon, granted
by your Majesty; affirming that it was more glad to him to be so
reconciled to your favours, than to have any worldly treasure; protesting
that no earthly cause should make him from henceforth swerve from your
Majesty's obedience. And after that done, I delivered to him your said
most gracious pardon, which he most joyfully accepted.' He was
immediately sworn of the Council, and St. Leger asked the King's
indulgence for having done this without warrant. Care was also taken to
prevent a renewal of the quarrel between the new Privy Councillor and
Ormonde, who had married the heiress-general of a former Earl of Desmond,
and had thus large and indefinite claims on the family estates. The
rivals bound themselves in 4,000_l._ to promote cross-marriages between
their children, and to keep the peace. The claims of Ormonde through his
wife were nevertheless destined in the next generation to deluge Munster
in blood.[241]

[Sidenote: Dutiful attitude of Desmond and O'Brien.]

Desmond accompanied St. Leger to Kilmallock, 'where, I think, none of
your Grace's Deputies came this hundred years before,' and treated him
hospitably, openly declaring that he was ready if the Deputy wished it to
go to London to see the King. O'Brien came peacefully to Limerick,
complaining chiefly that he was not allowed to bridge the Shannon nor to
exercise jurisdiction over friendly tribes on the left bank. St. Leger
promised him perpetual war unless he would yield on both points,
believing that he could do little harm without the concurrence of
Desmond, of the Clanricarde Burkes, or of Donogh O'Brien. He was given
till Shrovetide to consult his friends, and at last decided to keep quiet
and to send agents to watch over his interests in Parliament. A pardon
was issued under the Great Seal of Ireland, and towards the end of the
year O'Brien spontaneously addressed a very dutiful letter to the King,
begging personal as well as official forgiveness for his many sins. 'My
mind,' he said, 'is never satisfied till I have made the same submission
to your Grace's own person, whom I most desire to see above all creatures
on earth living, now in mine old days; which sight I doubt not but shall
prolong my life.'[242]

[Sidenote: MacWilliam Burke and MacGillapatrick.]

MacWilliam Burke of Clanricarde and MacGillapatrick professed anxiety for
the royal favour, and accompanied St. Leger on his tour. He prescribed an
earldom for the former, a barony for the latter, and Parliament-robes and
other fine clothes for both; in the belief that titles and little acts of
civility would weigh more with these rude men than a display of force. He
himself had given MacWilliam a silver-gilt cup, and in Limerick Desmond
had from vanity or policy worn 'gown, jacket, doublet, hose, shirts,
caps, and a velvet riding coat,' from the Lord Deputy's wardrobe. It was
very important to conciliate MacWilliam, who could always prevent a
junction of the O'Briens and O'Donnells. MacGillapatrick soon afterwards
covenanted with the King to live civilly, to act loyally, and to hold his
lands of the Crown by knight-service. MacWilliam wrote a letter to Henry
confessing and lamenting that his family had degenerated, and belied
their English blood, 'which have been brought to Irish and disobedient
rule by reason of marriage and nurseing with those Irish, sometime
rebels, near adjoining to me.' He placed himself and all his possessions
unreservedly in the King's hands, but seems to have let it be known that
he would like to be an Earl. Henry refused this unless the repentant
Norman would come to Court, but he offered a barony or viscounty without
any condition.[243]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1541.]

Early in 1541 St. Leger received authority to summon a Parliament. The
composition of the House of Commons is uncertain, for no list of members
is extant between 1382 and 1559. In the former of those years eighteen
counties or districts and eleven towns were represented. In the latter,
ten counties and twenty-eight cities and boroughs returned two members
each. Through the action of the royal prerogative the number was
progressively increased until the 300 of the eighteenth century was
reached. In St. Leger's time the Upper House was the more important of
the two, and was attended by four archbishops, nineteen bishops, and
twenty temporal peers, of whom Desmond was one. Among the temporal peers
was Rawson, late prior of Kilmainham and chief of the Irish Hospitallers,
who had just been created Viscount Clontarf. There were four new
Barons--Edmund Butler Lord Dunboyne, MacGillapatrick Lord Upper Ossory,
Oliver Plunkett Lord Louth, and William Bermingham Lord Carbery. Richard
le Poer had been created Baron of Curraghmore six years before. Besides
the peers there were present in Dublin Donough O'Brien, MacWilliam Burke,
O'Reilly, Cahir MacArt Kavanagh, Phelim Roe O'Neill of Clandeboye, and
some of the O'Mores. O'Brien sent agents or deputies. These and other
important persons were present at the passing of the Bill which made
Henry King of Ireland; but they had no votes and were not considered as
members of Parliament.

[Sidenote: Henry VIII. is made King of Ireland.]

Parliament met on Monday, June 13; but the Munster lords had not yet
arrived, and the solemn mass was postponed until Thursday, the feast of
Corpus Christi. By that day all had assembled, and they rode in state to
the place of meeting. Most of the peers wore their robes. On the morrow
the Commons chose a Speaker in the person of Sir Thomas Cusack, a rising
lawyer, who afterwards obtained the highest professional honours. He made
a set speech at the bar of the Lords, praising the King for many things,
but especially for having extirpated the Bishop of Rome's usurped power.
Ormonde then gave the substance of what had been said in Irish, to the
'great contentation of those lords who could not understand English.' At
the sitting of the House of Lords on the following day, St. Leger
proposed that Henry VIII. should be King of Ireland. A Bill to that
effect was read a first time in English and Irish, and was received with
acclamation. It was then and there read a second and a third time, and
all the Lords subscribed it, lest they should thereafter be tempted to
deny their consents. The Bill was then sent down to the Commons and read
three times, and on the morrow, in presence of both Houses, St. Leger
pronounced the royal consent--'no less,' he wrote, 'to my comfort, than
to be risen again from death to life, that I so poor a wretch should, by
your excellent goodness, be put to that honour, that in my time your
Majesty should most worthily have another Imperial Crown.' This rapid
action is in striking contrast to the long and acrimonious discussion
excited by a change of the royal style in our own times.[244]

[Sidenote: King and Pope. The royal style.]

The question of style was one of considerable practical importance, for
the friars had sedulously encouraged the popular notion that the real
sovereignty rested in the Pope, and that the King of England was only a
sort of viceroy. Alen had recommended the assumption of the royal title
four years before; and both Staples and St. Leger had given the like
advice. Parliamentary sanction had now been given to the change, and
those who acknowledged English law could hardly dispute the principle
involved. In the later struggles of Irish parties the contest between the
Crown and the Tiara was constantly revived, and the ghost of the
controversy is sometimes seen even in our own times. Less than two months
before the meeting of St. Leger's Parliament, Paul III. had written to
prepare O'Neill for the arrival of a detachment of the Company of Jesus,
and before its dissolution the first Jesuits had landed. But for the
moment no opposition was visible. The proclamation of the new style was
joyously celebrated by the citizens of Dublin. Salutes were fired.
Bonfires were lit. Wine casks were broached in the streets; and there was
much feasting in private houses. An amnesty was granted to criminals,
except traitors, murderers, and ravishers; but prisoners for debt were
not released, lest any creditor should be defrauded. There was some fear
lest it should be supposed that the Irish Parliament had elected their
King instead of merely declaring his just hereditary right; and many
letters were exchanged on the subject. Finally the new style was settled
as follows:--'Henry VIII., by the Grace of God, King of England, France,
and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and of the Church of England, and
also of Ireland, in earth the Supreme Head.' A new Great Seal had to be
sent from England, since there was no competent engraver in Dublin. And
thus, after the lapse of nearly four centuries, did Henry II.'s successor
repudiate all obligations to Rome, and declare himself King of Ireland by
right divine.[245]

[Sidenote: Regulations for Munster.]

The other Acts passed had no political significance, but followed pretty
closely recent domestic legislation in England. After a session of little
more than five weeks, Parliament was prorogued with the intention of
convoking it again at Limerick. Before the two Houses dispersed,
elaborate regulations, which were not embodied in an Act of Parliament,
were drawn up for Munster, Thomond, and Connaught. There was no chance of
enforcing these ordinances, but some of them are very good. Laymen and
minors were disabled from holding ecclesiastical benefices; kernes were
ordered to be treated as vagabonds, unless some lord would give bail for
them; heads of families were declared responsible for damage done by
younger members. Highway robbery and rape were pronounced capital; but by
a strange anomaly robberies of above fourteen pence were made punishable
by the loss of one ear for the first offence and of the other ear for
the second, while death was fixed as the penalty for the third. A system
of fines was promulgated for homicides, invasions, and spoils. The Irish
jurisprudence was thus acknowledged, but only as a matter of fact, for
the chiefs who indulged in open lawlessness were generally beyond the
reach of the law. Saffron shirts were forbidden under penalties, and the
permissible quantity of linen was carefully prescribed for each rank. A
lord might have twenty cubits, his vassals eighteen, and his servants
twelve. A kerne was allowed sixteen and an agricultural labourer ten.
Stringent but useless limitations were imposed on coyne and livery, the
fact being that great men had usually no other means of protecting their
districts. Ormonde was appointed chief executor of these ordinances for
Tipperary, Waterford, and Kilkenny, and Desmond for the other counties of
Munster. Both were to command the assistance of the Archbishop of Cashel
and to be entitled to one-third of all fines levied by them, two-thirds
being payable to the King. The regulations for Thomond and Connaught were
the same as for Munster, but they were probably even less regarded.[246]


[232] For the intrigues with Scotland, see Brereton to Essex, May 17,
1540, and the note, S.P. vol. iii., and Layton to Essex, S.P. vol. v. p.
178; O'Neill's letter to Henry was dated July 20; the King's letter to
O'Neill is dated Sept. 7--'literas vestras unà cum _munusculis_ grato
animo accepimus.' For O'Donnell's submission, see Henry's letter to him
of Aug. 20, acknowledging his letters 'per dilectum nobis Johannem
Cappis, mercatorem Bristoliensem.' St. Leger brought over O'Neill's

[233] In a letter to Cromwell of December 23, 1539, in _Carew_, William
Wise, of Waterford, almost foretold the murder, which (according to Mr.
Graves's pedigree in the _Irish Archæological Journal_) took place on
March 19 following. The pedigree says the murder was in Kerry, but other
accounts, which are evidently correct, point to the neighbourhood of
Fermoy or Mitchelstown. Council of Ireland to the King, April 4, 1540;
Archdall's _Lodge_; Russell. O'Daly (chap. xii.) admits that the murder
was premeditated.

[234] Ormonde to Brereton from Kilkenny, May 14; to the King, July 26,
from Waterford. He had been to England and back between these dates.
Desmond to Ormonde, July 8; Lord Deputy St. Leger to the King, Sept. 12,

[235] P. Barnewall to Essex, May 19; Instructions to St. Leger and the
others, and to St. Leger alone, S.P., Aug. 16 and 20. St. Leger landed
Aug. 12, 1540.

[236] Walter Cowley to St. Leger, March 15, 1541, 'from the border of
Cahir, MacArt's country.' St. Leger to the King, Sept. 12; Council of
Ireland to the King, Sept. 22.

[237] Council of Ireland to the King, Sept. 22, 1540; the King to the
Lord Deputy and Council, Sept. 7 and 8; Lord Deputy and Council to the
King, Nov. 13.

[238] For the O'Tooles, see O'Donovan's _Book of Rights_, and his notes
to the _Four Masters_, 1180 and 1376; and Lord Deputy and Council to the
King Nov. 14, 1540, with the notes. These people had suffered from the
Kildare family as much as the Macgregors did from the Campbells. This may
partly explain Tirlogh's unwillingness to aid in restoring Gerald.

[239] The King to the Lord Deputy and Council, No. 332 in the S.P., and
his very important minute of March 26, 1541; Lord Deputy and Council to
the King, Dec. 7, 1542, and May 15, 1543.

[240] For the scheme see S.P., vol. iii. No. 330; the King's answer is
No. 337.

[241] St. Leger to the King, Feb. 21, 1541. The submission was signed at
Cahir, Jan. 16. For the names of the notaries and of the chief
spectators, see _Carew_, vol. i. No. 153.

[242] St. Leger to the King, Feb. 21, 1541; list of those who attended
Parliament, 1541, in S.P., vol. iii. p. 307; O'Brien to the King, vol.
iii., No. 352.

[243] St. Leger to the King, Feb. 21, 1541; MacWilliam to the King, March
12, 1541; MacGillapatrick's submission, &c., S.P., vol. iii., No. 336;
the King to MacWilliam, May 1.

[244] St. Leger to the King, June 26, 1541; Lord Deputy and Council to
the King, June 28; printed _Statutes_, 33 Henry VIII.; Lodge's
_Parliamentary Register_; Parliamentary lists in _Tracts Relating to
Ireland_, No. 2.

[245] Alen to St. Leger in 1537, S.P., vol. ii., No. 182; Staples to St.
Leger, June 17, 1538; Lord Deputy and Council to the King, Dec. 30, 1540.
The proclamation of the King's style is in _Carew_, vol. i., No. 158. The
author of the _Aphorismical Discovery_, who wrote about 1650, says Henry
'revolted from his obedience to the Holy See' by assuming the royal
title. There is an abstract of the King's title to Ireland in _Carew_,
vol. i., No. 156; Adrian's grant is mentioned as one of seven titles,
some fabulous, some historical. For the proceedings in Dublin, see St.
Leger's letters already cited, June 26 and 28, 1541; for the style
itself, see the King's letter in S.P., vol. iii., No. 361; for the Seal,
see Lord Deputy and Council to the King, June 2, 1542, and Henry's

[246] See the ordinances in _Carew_, vol. i., No. 157.



[Sidenote: The O'Carrolls.]

The attendance of Irishmen during the session of Parliament was not
altogether barren of immediate results. Fergananim O'Carroll, chief of
Ely, having become blind, was murdered in Clonlisk Castle by Teige, the
son of his old rival Donough, with the help of some of the Molloys. The
claimants to the vacant succession voluntarily submitted to the
arbitration of the Lord Deputy and Council, and a curious award was
given. According to Irish law John O'Carroll, as the eldest, would have
been the natural chief. He was set aside as unfit to rule, but received
his lands rent free and forty cows annually out of the cattle-tribute
payable to the chief. Fergananim's son Teige was also pronounced
incompetent, but was nevertheless established as ruler of half the
country by way of propitiating Desmond, who was his uncle by marriage.
Calvagh or Charles O'Carroll was made lord of the other half, and it was
provided that if either procured the other's death he should forfeit all
to the sons of the deceased.[247]

[Sidenote: Submission of O'Donnell, 1541.]

Soon after the prorogation St. Leger went to Cavan to meet O'Donnell.
Leaving his boats on Lough Erne, the chieftain came boldly to the
appointed place with a dozen followers, and made little difficulty about
the terms of peace. He agreed to serve the King on all great hostings, to
attend the next Parliament or send duly authorised deputies, to hold his
land of the Crown, and to take any title that might be given him. He not
only renounced the usurped primacy and authority of Rome, but promised
industriously and diligently to expel, eject, and root out from his
country all adherents of the Pope, or else to coerce and constrain them
to submit to the King and his successors. He more than once asked to be
made Earl of Sligo, and to have Parliament-robes as well as 'that golden
instrument or chain which noblemen wear on their necks.' Henry was
willing to create O'Donnell Earl of Tyrconnell, but the creation was
deferred until the reign of James I.[248]

[Sidenote: St. Leger chastises the O'Neills.]

O'Neill still refused to come to Dundalk, or in any way to submit to the
Lord Deputy. He was, he said, waiting to hear from the King, and he made
the curious complaint that St. Leger would not let him send hawks as
presents to his Majesty. Diplomacy failing, the Lord Deputy prepared for
an invasion of Ulster. He was joined by O'Donnell, O'Hanlon, Magennis,
MacMahon, who had lately made submission in the usual form, Phelim Roe
O'Neill and Neill Connelagh O'Neill, nephews and opponents of the chief
of Tyrone; by the Savages of Ards; and by many others, both English and
Irish. Twenty-two days were spent in destroying corn and butter; but no
enemy appeared, and the cattle had been driven off into the woods.
Meanwhile O'Neill tried the bold but not uncommon experiment of attacking
the Pale in the absence of its defenders. The new Lord Louth handled the
local force so well that the invaders were ignominiously routed, while
O'Donnell ravaged not only Tyrone but a great part of Fermanagh, the very
islands in Lough Erne being ransacked by his flotilla.[249]

[Sidenote: Success of a winter campaign.]

After a month's respite St. Leger made a second raid, and this time
captured some hundreds of cows and horses. Another month elapsed, and
then a third attack brought O'Neill to his knees. He sent letters to
Armagh in which he threw himself on the King's mercy, which he preferred
to the Lord Deputy's, gave a son as hostage, and offered to come in
person not only to Dundalk but to Drogheda. O'Neill had never been known
to give a hostage before, and great importance was attached to this.
Three thousand kine besides horses and sheep were taken in spite of the
natives, but not without much suffering on the part of the soldiers, who
had to lie without tents on the wet ground. Many horses died, and many
more were lamed. The pastime, as St. Leger called it, of a December
campaign can never be very pleasant, but he proved, as Sidney proved
afterwards, that it was the right way to subdue the O'Neills. There was
not grass enough in the woods to keep the cattle alive, and when they
came into the fields the soldiers easily captured them.[250]

[Sidenote: Submission of O'Neill.]

Ultimately O'Neill made a complete submission. He agreed to behave like
the Earls of Ormonde and Desmond, praying only that he might not be
forced to incur the danger and expense of attending any Parliament
sitting to the west of the Barrow. He not only renounced the Pope, but
promised to send back future bulls, if ecclesiastics already provided
from Rome would do likewise.[251]

[Sidenote: The Council advise the King to accept it.]

The Council advised Henry to accept O'Neill's submission, seeing that his
country was wide and difficult, and now so wasted as to be incapable of
supporting an army. It might perhaps be possible to expel Con, but he
would certainly be succeeded by a pretender as bad as himself, and
extreme courses might lead to despair, and to a universal rebellion. They
admitted that the winter war had been proved to be 'the destruction of
any Irishmen,' but the loss of men and horses was great, and might lead
to risings in other places.[252]

[Sidenote: Henry's ideas about Ireland.]

The King disliked the wholesale grants of land for small consideration,
which were favoured by St. Leger. He rebuked his servants in Ireland for
thinking too much of Irish submissions, and here he saw more clearly
than they did. He was now King in Ireland, and required a revenue in
proportion. For that purpose he divided Irishmen into two classes, those
who were within easy reach of his arm, and those who were not. The former
were to be treated sternly, but the latter tenderly, 'lest by extreme
demands they should revolt to their former beastliness.' The near
neighbours were to be brought to the same terms as Tirlogh O'Toole. A
proper rent was to be exacted, and knight-service insisted on for the
sake of the wardships and liveries. In the obedient districts monastic
lands were to be let on lease for the best possible rent. In more distant
quarters the chiefs were to be coaxed into suppressing the religious
houses by promising them leases on easy terms.[253]

[Sidenote: Ireland at peace, 1542. Submission of many chiefs.]

At the beginning of the year 1542 the Council were able to make the
strange announcement that Ireland was at peace. They praised St. Leger
for his diligence, patience, and justice, and for his liberal
entertainment of those on whom, for the public good, it was necessary to
make favourable impression. Following up his Dublin success, he now met
Parliament again at Limerick, where the principal business was to make
terms with the O'Briens. Murrough agreed to give up all claims to the
territory of Owney Beg, a poor district lying under Slieve Phelim, which
retains its reputation for turbulence to the present day. The possession
of this tract had made him master of the western part of Limerick, whence
he exacted a black-rent of 80_l._, and of Tipperary as far as Cashel. The
whole country was waste through plunder and extortion, and no one could
travel peaceably from Limerick to Waterford through fear of a gang of
robbers called the 'old evil children,' who held a castle near the
Shannon. Desmond expelled these brigands and handed over their hold to
MacBrien Coonagh, who held it at his own expense for two years. St.
Leger's observations during the session at Limerick led him to believe
that little rent or tribute could be got out of the Irish. The sums
promised to Grey were withheld on the ground that promises had been
forcibly extorted. By holding out hopes of gentler treatment, St. Leger
brought them to accept his own much easier terms. Tipperary was assessed
at 40_l._ yearly, Kilkenny at 40_l._, and Waterford at 10_l._ MacBrien
Arra agreed to pay sixpence a year for each ploughland, and to furnish
sixty gallowglasses for a month. MacBrien of Coonagh promised 5_l._,
O'Kennedy and MacEgan in Ormonde 10_l._ each, O'Mulryan forty shillings
and sixty gallowglasses for a month, and O'Dwyer eightpence for each
ploughland and forty gallowglasses for a month. These sums are small, but
seem larger when we reflect that the Government gave no consideration,
either by keeping the peace or administering justice, and that the people
were extremely poor.[254]

[Sidenote: Further submissions.]

Several months passed in negotiations with Irish chiefs with the general
object of inducing them to submit, to pay rent, and to hold their lands
by knight-service; forswearing Irish uses and exactions, and promising to
live in a more civilised manner. These terms were accepted by Rory
O'More, who had become chief of Leix by the death of his brother Kedagh,
by MacDonnell, captain of O'Neill's gallowglasses, by O'Rourke, and by
O'Byrne. All except the last named abjured the Pope, as did the
MacQuillins, a family of Welsh extraction long settled in the Route, a
district between the Bush and the Bann. The MacQuillins were always
oppressed by the O'Cahans, who were supposed to be instigated by
O'Donnell, and the valuable fishery of the Bann was a perennial source of
dissension. Travers, who soon afterwards became lessee of Clandeboye,
held this fishery on a Crown lease with the goodwill of the MacQuillins;
but in spite of the O'Cahans, who annoyed his fishermen, St. Leger
ordered him to help the weaker tribe. Coleraine was taken by Travers, and
after a time the neighbours were reconciled, a pension of 10_l._ being
given to each on condition of not molesting those who fished under royal
licence. A curious submission was that of Hugh O'Kelly, who seems to have
been chief of his sept as well as hereditary Abbot of the Cistercians at
Knockmoy, near Tuam. He renounced the Pope, promised to aid the Lord
Deputy with a considerable force in Connaught, and with a smaller one in
more distant parts, and to bring certain of his kinsmen to similar terms.
In return he was to have custody of the monastic lands and of the rectory
of Galway at a rent of 5_l._, paid down yearly in that town. As if to
complete the anomaly this abbot-chieftain gave his son as a hostage for
due performance.[255]

[Sidenote: Desmond in favour at Court.]

Desmond continued to behave loyally. St. Leger received him hospitably in
Dublin, and advised the King to do the same. But Alen cautioned his
Majesty not to be too free of his grants, especially in such important
cases as Croom and Adare. The Chancellor preferred to give the Earl
monastic lands in the Pale, by accepting which he would give hostages to
the Crown, or among the wild Irish, who would thus certainly be losers
though the King might be no direct gainer. Desmond did not linger long in
the Court sunshine, for he took leave of the King in little more than a
month from the date of his leaving Ireland. Either he really gained the
royal goodwill, or Henry thought it wise to take St. Leger's advice, for
he gave him money and clothes, made him the bearer of official
despatches, and, after due inquiry, accepted his nominee to the bishopric
of Emly.[256]

[Sidenote: The Munster nobles submit. They abjure the Pope.]

With a view to establish order in those portions of Munster under
Desmond's influence, St. Leger visited Cork, where the notables readily
obeyed his call. They abjured the Pope, and agreed to refer all
differences to certain named arbitrators. Henceforth no one was to take
the law into his own hands, but to complain to Desmond and to the Bishops
of Cork, Waterford, and Ross, who were to have the power of summoning
parties and witnesses, and of fining contumacious persons. Difficult
cases were to be referred to the Lord Deputy and Council, and legal
points reserved for qualified commissioners, whom the King was to send
into Munster at Easter and Michaelmas. This was part of a scheme for
establishing circuits in the southern province, but it was very
imperfectly carried out during this and the three succeeding reigns. The
state of the country seldom admitted of peaceful assizes, and martial law
was too often necessary. The Munster gentry now promised to keep the
peace, and to exact no black-rents from Cork or other towns. The
Anglo-Norman element was represented by Lord Barrymore and his kinsmen,
Barry Roe and Barry Oge, by Lord Roche, and by Sir Gerald MacShane of
Dromana. The Irish parties to the contract were MacCarthy More, MacCarthy
Reagh, MacCarthy of Muskerry, MacDonough MacCarthy of Duhallow,
O'Callaghan, and O'Sullivan Beare. St. Leger himself, Desmond, Brabazon,
Travers, and Sir Osborne Echingham, marshal of the army, represented the

[Sidenote: An Earldom for O'Neill.]

O'Neill was at last induced to go to Court to receive the Earldom of
Tyrone, the title chosen for him by the Irish Government. He would have
preferred that of Ulster, but it was in the Crown, and the King refused
to part with it. St. Leger did what he could to conciliate O'Neill by
attention and hospitality while in Dublin, and rightly attached great
importance to the fact that he was the first O'Neill who had ever gone to
the King in England. He advised that he should be received with the
greatest distinction.

'O'Neill,' say the 'Four Masters,' 'that is, Con the son of Con, went to
the King of England, namely, Henry VIII.; and the King created O'Neill an
Earl, and enjoined that he should not be called O'Neill any longer.
O'Neill received great honour from the King on this occasion.' The
acceptance of a peerage was universally considered a condescension, if
not a degradation, for the head of a family who claimed to be princes of
Ulster in spite of the Crown. The Irish Government were willing that he
should have Tyrone, 'but for the rule of Irishmen, which be at his
Grace's peace, we think not best his Highness should grant any such thing
to him as yet.'[258]

[Sidenote: His submission.]

It may be doubted whether O'Neill fully understood the scope of a
document which was written in English, and which he signed with a mark;
but the form of his submission to his 'most gracious sovereign lord' was
as ample as even that sovereign lord could wish:--

'Pleaseth your most Excellent Majesty, I, O'Neill, one of your Majesty's
most humble subjects of your realm of Ireland, do confess and acknowledge
before your most Excellent Highness, that by ignorance, and for lack of
knowledge of my most bounden duty of allegiance, I have most grievously
offended your Majesty, for the which I ask your Grace here mercy and
forgiveness, most humbly beseeching your Highness of your most gracious
pardon; refusing my name and state, which I have usurped upon your Grace
against my duty, and requiring your Majesty of your clemency to give me
what name, state, title, land, or living it shall please your Highness,
which I shall knowledge to take and hold of your Majesty's mere gift, and
in all things do hereafter as shall beseem your most true and faithful
subject. And God save your Highness.'[259]

[Sidenote: He is created Earl of Tyrone. Special remainder.]

One week after the delivery of this submission O'Neill was created Earl
of Tyrone, with remainder to his son Matthew in tail male: Matthew being
at the same time created Baron of Dungannon, with remainder to the eldest
son of the Earl of Tyrone for the time being. This patent afterwards gave
rise to infinite bloodshed. Con O'Neill certainly acknowledged Matthew as
his heir apparent; but it was afterwards stated, not only that he was
illegitimate, which might not have mattered much, but that he was not
Con's son at all. There was no doubt about the legitimacy of Shane, and
that able savage consistently refused to acknowledge the limitations of
the patent. Henry dealt liberally with the new Earl, paying 60_l._ for a
gold chain such as O'Donnell had asked for, 65_l._ 10_s._ 2_d._ for
creation fees and robes, and 100 marks as a present in ready money. 'The
Queen's closet at Greenwich was richly hanged with cloth of Arras, and
well strewed with rushes'--no more was then thought of even in a
palace--and Tyrone was led in by the Earls of Hertford and Oxford, the
latter of whom was summoned specially for the purpose. Viscount Lisle
bore the new Earl's sword. Kneeling in the rushes, the descendant of
Niall of the Nine Hostages submitted to be girt by the hands of Henry
II.'s descendant. The King then gave him his patent, and he gave thanks
in Irish, which his chaplain translated into English. Two of his
neighbours, Donnell and Arthur Magennis, were knighted and received gifts
from the King. A great dinner followed, to which the lords went in
procession with trumpets blowing; and Tyrone carried his own patent. At
second course Garter proclaimed the King's style and that of the new
Earl. The herald who tells the story is careful to note that Tyrone gave
twenty angels to Garter, 10_l._ to the College of Arms, and 40_s._ to the
trumpeters, with other fees 'according to the old and ancient custom.'
Next day Con was taken to pay his respects to the young Prince Edward,
and he soon afterwards returned to Ireland.[260]

[Sidenote: O'Brien created Earl of Thomond. Special remainder. MacWilliam
Earl of Clanricarde. Knights.]

Murrough O'Brien, his nephew Donough, MacWilliam of Clanricarde, and many
other Irish gentlemen of note, went to Court during the summer of 1543.
The three first were raised to the peerage in the same place and with the
same ceremonies as O'Neill. Murrough O'Brien was created Earl of Thomond,
with remainder to Donough, and Baron of Inchiquin in tail male. Donough's
right to succeed as tanist thus received official sanction. Donough was
made Baron of Ibracken in tail male, and, curiously enough, the same
patent created him Earl of Thomond for life in case he should survive his
uncle. MacWilliam was created Earl of Clanricarde and Baron of Dunkellin.
The Earls were introduced by Derby and Ormonde, the Barons by Clinton and
Mountjoy, and the King gave a gold chain to each. The presence of the
Scottish ambassadors, who had just concluded the abortive treaty of
marriage between Edward and Mary Stuart, added to the interest of the
ceremony; and no doubt Henry was glad to display his magnificence to the
representatives of the poor northern kingdom. Macnamara, the most
important person in Clare after the O'Briens, was knighted at the same
time; as were O'Shaugnessy, chief of the country about Gort, and his
neighbour O'Grady. Many other favours were conferred on these reclaimed
Irishmen, and they all agreed to hold their lands of the King.[261]

[Sidenote: The MacDonnells in Antrim.]

The relations between England and Scotland were at this time much
strained. The miserable and mysterious death of James V. left the
northern kingdom a battle-field for contending factions, and the restless
Beaton had full scope for his intrigues. The Hebridean settlers on the
Ulster coast had always been troublesome, since they were ever ready to
sell their swords to the highest bidder; and they now became really
important. These settlements originated with the Bysets or Bissets,
sometimes called Missets, who were said to be of Greek origin and who
accompanied the Conqueror to England. They afterwards settled in
Scotland, whence they were expelled in 1242 on suspicion of being
concerned in the murder of an Earl of Athole, and condemned to take the
cross. Preferring Ireland to Palestine, the exiles bought the island of
Rathlin from Richard de Burgo, Earl of Ulster. About the close of the
fourteenth century, Margaret, the heiress of the Bysets, married John
More MacDonnell, a grandson through his mother of Robert II. of
Scotland. This lady is said to have known Richard II. during his second
visit to Ireland, and to have recognised him afterwards, crazed and a
refugee, in the island of Isla. By Margaret's marriage the estates of the
Bysets passed to the MacDonnells, and a close intercourse was thenceforth
kept up between the Western Isles and Antrim, which are never out of
sight of one another in clear weather. Matrimonial alliances with
O'Neills, O'Donnells, and O'Cahans were frequent, and the islemen
established themselves so firmly that Rathlin was as late as 1617 claimed
as part of Scotland. It has an assured place in Scottish history; for,
among the rocks of black basalt and white chalk which give Rathlin its
curious piebald look, stand the ruins of the castle where Robert Bruce is
said to have learned the lesson of perseverance from a spider. In Henry
VIII.'s time the head of the Irish MacDonnells was Alexander or Alaster,
whose influence at Court had been great enough to drive Argyle from the
western government, but whose common place of residence was on the shore
of Ballycastle Bay. Many other Hebrideans were settled in Antrim, but the
MacDonnells were always the leading clan.[262]

[Sidenote: Contemporary description of them.]

John Edgar, a reforming priest of the violent kind which Western Scotland
has produced, gave Henry VIII. a graphic account of the islemen in his
day. They spent much time in hunting and manly exercises, going
barelegged and barefoot though the snow should be waist deep, 'wherefore
the tender and delicate gentlemen of Scotland call us Redshanks.' Against
exceptional frosts they protected themselves with moccasins made of fresh
red-deer hide, secured with thongs and full of holes to let the water in
and out. The hairy side being exposed gained them the name of
'rough-footed Scots,' and the whole description recalls a well-known
nursery rhyme. The people of the Irish isles of Arran still use cowhide
coverings exactly similar, to protect their feet from the sharp
limestone rocks which are too slippery for soled boots. Edgar is careful
to mention that the perones worn by the ancient Latines in Virgil were
shoes of the same kind. Travers, who saw a great deal of the Hebrideans,
was less struck by their poetic aspect, and simply describes them as
'most vile in their living of any nation next Irishmen.' 'Nevertheless,'
says Edgar, who anticipated such criticism, 'when we Redshanks come to
the Court waiting on our lords and masters, who also for velvets and
silks be right well arrayed, we have as good garments as some of our
fellows which give attendance at Court every day.' These hardy islanders
were in great request as mercenaries even in the South of Ireland, and it
was a far cry to Mull or Isla, where, and where only, the English or
Irish Government could seriously injure them.[263]

[Sidenote: Fears of Scotland and France, 1543.]

St. Leger was uneasy lest a combined Scotch and French attack should be
made on Ireland. Two French ships in company with some Scotch galleys
were seen off Carrickfergus. There was an English squadron off Lambay,
and its appearance had at first had a good effect, but it could not even
guard the sixty miles of water between Howth and Holyhead. Frenchmen and
Bretons frequented the Irish coast, and even sold Spanish prizes at Cork;
for that city claimed the strange privilege of dealing with the King's
enemies in time of war. James Delahide was in O'Donnell's country with a
servant of the Earl of Argyle, and young Gerald of Kildare might at any
moment be made the instrument of fresh disturbances. James MacDonnell,
Alaster's eldest son, had been brought up at the Scottish Court, and,
alone of his race, had learned to write: he was married--or perhaps only
handfasted--to Lady Agnes Campbell, Argyle's sister, and Beaton might at
any time turn the connection to account.[264]

[Sidenote: St. Leger is successful in Ulster.]

In the first flush of the matrimonial treaty Henry announced that he
would have Scotsmen treated as friends. But against Frenchmen he had
declared war, and he and the Emperor had bound themselves not to make a
separate peace. Yet in thirteen months Charles suddenly came to terms
with Francis, leaving Henry to get his army out of France as he best
could, and to see the English coast insulted by a French fleet. Whatever
the designs of the French party in Scotland, no invasion of Ireland in
fact took place. Tyrone, O'Donnell, and some of their neighbours were
induced to visit Dublin and to submit their differences to the Lord
Deputy. There was a standing dispute as to whether O'Dogherty, chief of
Innishowen, owed service and tribute to O'Donnell or to O'Neill. The
former established his title, but agreed to pay sixty cows yearly if
O'Neill would prevent his men from molesting Innishowen. The contention
that O'Donnell himself owed suit and service to O'Neill was not accepted,
and both were confined to their own districts. Both made extravagant
pretensions, but their documents were worthless, and proceeded for the
most part from the imagination of Irish bards and story tellers who would
do anything for money, or for love, or from a lively sense of favours to
come. St. Leger managed to bring about an amicable arrangement, and even
to lay the foundation of an increased revenue in Ulster.[265]

[Sidenote: Henry's financial dishonesty.]

The reckless extravagance of Henry, his venal courtiers, and useless
wars, had sunk him in debt. The plunder of the Church was gone, and there
seemed no limit to the calls on the generosity or fears of his subjects.
A king who could seek the help of a subservient Parliament to repudiate
his debts was not likely to be scrupulous about contract obligations, and
he seems to have contemplated resuming by Act of Parliament all Irish
lands which had been leased by his authority. St. Leger protested in the
strongest manner against thus confiscating the improvements of tenants,
who had paid their rent and spent their money on the faith of royal
grants. Discontent was already prevalent, for the pay of the soldiers was
in arrear. Their number was reduced to 550, but they had not been paid
for months, and a sum of less than 2,500_l._ was all that the King would
send. A full pay was impossible, and the Irish Government were afraid
even to make payments on account, lest an invasion or other sudden
emergency should find them penniless. They urged the folly of not paying
punctually, and their reasoning applies to the frugal Elizabeth as well
as to her spendthrift father. The Tudor monarchy had already outgrown the
feudal exchequer. 'We assure your Highness your affairs hath often been
much hindered in default of money, which being paid at last is no
alleviating of charge; and yet by default of monthly payments, half the
service is not done that might and should be done. In which case if it
might please your Majesty, of your princely bounty, to furnish us for
your army beforehand for one whole year, your Highness shall perceive
your affairs thereby to be highly advanced.'[266]

[Sidenote: St. Leger leaves Ireland, 1544.]

Like every other Deputy, St. Leger soon grew heartily sick of Ireland. 'I
beseech you,' he wrote to the King, 'to remember your poor slave, that
hath now been three years in hell, absent from your Majesty, and call me
again to your presence, which is my joy in this world.' Four months after
sending this touching appeal he received leave of absence; but he could
not then be spared, and he remained in Ireland until the beginning of
1544. Brabazon, who became Lord Justice, remembered what had happened
after Grey's departure, and stood well upon his guard. The veteran
O'Connor and the new Baron of Upper Ossory were discovered to be in
league. They avowed designs against O'More; but Brabazon was not to be
deceived, and preserved the peace by imprisoning the Baron. Clanricarde
enjoyed his Earldom only a few months, and his life had not been such as
to ensure a peaceful succession. 'Whether the late Earl,' the Irish
Government wrote, 'hath any heir male, it is not yet known, there were so
many marriages and divorces; but no doubt he married this last woman
solemnly.' His son Richard by Maude Lacy was ultimately acknowledged as
second Earl, and became a considerable personage; but his morality or
fidelity was not more conspicuous than his father's.[267]

[Sidenote: An Irish contingent for the Scotch war, 1544.]

Beaton had outwitted Henry, annulled the marriage treaty from which so
much had been hoped, and brought his countrymen back to the French
alliance. Breathing threatenings and slaughter, the King of England
determined to raise an Irish contingent as his predecessors had done. As
his object was to destroy the greatest possible quantity of property, he
could hardly have done better. One thousand kerne were required for
Scotland and 2,000 for France. The order to raise the men only reached
Ireland about the beginning of March, and Henry's impatience expected
them to be ready in a few days. The Irish nobility were not unwilling to
meet the King's views, but they thought six months' notice would have
been little enough. Even in England such a sudden levy would have been
very difficult, and in Ireland, the King was reminded, 'the idle men were
not at such commandment, that willingly they would in such case forthwith
obey their governor, nor gladly depart the realm, being never trained to
the thing, without some nobleman of these parts had the conduct of them.'
Great exertions were made, the Council dividing into a northern and
southern recruiting party; but the King was at last obliged to content
himself with 1,000 kerne, the proportions to be furnished by different
chiefs and noblemen being fixed by Henry himself. Ormonde, who was asked
to give 100, sent 200, and Desmond provided 120 instead of 100. The Lords
Power, Cahir, and Slane also did more than they were required; but the
Irish chiefs were all under the mark, and the O'Briens and others sent
none at all. Tyrone, O'Reilly, and O'Connor were pretty well represented,
and the deficiencies were supplied from various sources. In Irish warfare
every two kerne used to have a 'page or boy, which commonly is
nevertheless a man.' That allowance was diminished by one-half, and when
all deductions had been made, more than 1,000 fighting men were sent. The
ship which brought treasure for this expedition was chased by the Breton
rovers, who then commanded the Channel. There was some difficulty in
finding a commander, 'Earls being unwieldy men to go with light kerne,'
and the choice of the Council lay practically between Lord Power and Lord
Dunboyne. The former, who was Ormonde's nephew, was chosen. The Council
were afraid of offending the chiefs by refusing any quotas which might be
furnished after the departure of the main body, and they resolved to take
all who came. In any case, they said, 'if any ruffle should chance, we be
discharged of so many.' They begged Henry to see that they were properly
treated for an encouragement to others. The kerne were good soldiers in
their way, but the King was warned that they would require some training
for regular warfare. The proportion of officers was excessive; but the
Council advised their retention, lest disappointment should quench the
smoking flax of Irish loyalty.[268]

[Sidenote: Irish troops at the siege of Boulogne.]

Lord Power's men mustered 700 men in St. James's Park, the rest having
been perhaps diverted to the Scottish borders, and they served at the
siege of Boulogne, burning all the villages near the beleaguered town,
and foraging as much as thirty miles inland. Their plan was to tie a bull
to a stake and scorch him with faggots. The poor beast's roars attracted
the cattle of the country, 'all which they would lightly lead away, and
furnish the camp with store of beef.' They treated Frenchmen no better
than their bulls, preferring their heads to any ransom. The French sent
to Henry to ask whether he had brought men or devils with him, but he
only laughed; and they retaliated by mutilating and torturing every
Irishman that they could catch. The Irish gained a more honourable
distinction from the valour of Nicholas Welch, who, when a French
challenger defied the English army, swam across the harbour and brought
back the boaster's head in his mouth.[269]

[Sidenote: Apprehensions from France.]

Rumours were afloat at this time about great preparations at Brest for
the invasion of Ireland in the interest of Gerald of Kildare. It was
supposed that the blow would fall in Cork, Lady Eleanor MacCarthy not
having yet been pardoned, and her influence being very great. The Council
thought that they could resist 10,000 men with the help of the natives,
who would all stand firm against Frenchmen. But if young Gerald once set
his foot in Ireland, they could answer for nothing. It was true that he
had left Italy and Reginald Pole, but only to serve with the Knights of
Malta against the Moslems; and it does not appear that he visited France
at all. But the very sound of his name, coupled with Scots one day and
with Frenchmen the next, kept the Irish Government in hot water for more
than a year. Lady Eleanor received a pardon, and her nephew, who was now
nineteen, returned about the same time to Italy. From the time that he
entered Cosmo de' Medici's service the rumours in Ireland ceased.[270]

[Sidenote: St. Leger returns to Ireland. He falls out with Ormonde.]

St. Leger returned to Ireland in August 1544, after the kerne had sailed,
and it was probably their absence which kept the island quiet for a time.
Like his predecessor, St. Leger found Ormonde's power embarrassing. He
knew him to be loyal, and personally both liked and admired him, but
could not help being uneasy at his overgrown power. His influence in the
Council was so great that St. Leger reported him as having 'the great
part of all those that daily frequent the Council here, of his fee.' The
King's interest had small chance against the Earl's, 'and as I am true
man,' St. Leger wrote, 'I see no man having learning that will plainly
speak in such a case but poor Sir Thomas Cusack.' Ormonde now claimed for
his palatinate of Tipperary a larger meaning than had lately been given
to it. The undefined boundaries he stretched to the utmost, and
throughout the whole district claimed every sovereign right, except
treasure trove and the right of punishing rape, arson, and coining. Men
feared to speak openly against him. Cusack was maligned for his
independence, and Lord Upper Ossory begged St. Leger to keep his
communications secret. The palatinate jurisdiction and the prisage of
wines had been taken from the House of Ormonde by Poyning's Parliament;
but the Earl could show later documents under the Great Seal, some of
which St. Leger suspected to have been forged during the time that Sir
Piers Butler was Lord Deputy. St. Leger also complained that Ormonde put
obstacles in the way of reforming Leinster, unless he might do it himself
and in his own way. He recommended that this mighty subject's wings
should be clipped a little, and that he should have no more grants of
land in Ireland; he had no objection to the King giving him as much as he
pleased in England. To make things pleasant he recommended a garter.
After all this he strangely proposed to entrust the Irish Government to a
succession of Irish noblemen for two or three years at a time, and to
make Ormonde the first Deputy of the new series. The suggestion met with
no favour, and seems not to have been thought worthy of an answer. No
Irish nobleman received the sword during the remainder of the Tudor
period; but when Charles I. was slipping from the throne he committed his
interests in Ireland to the charge of another and more famous

[Sidenote: Scotch politics. The Lord of the Isles takes Henry's side,]

Donnell Dhu, calling himself Earl of Ross and claiming to be Lord of the
Isles, having escaped from his almost lifelong imprisonment, was received
with open arms by the Hebrideans, who still sighed for their ancient
independence. Donnell and seventeen of his principal supporters bound
themselves solemnly to be at the command of Lennox, who had declared for
Henry VIII. against the regent Arran and the French party, which at this
time was also the Scotch party. The confederates gave full treating
powers to Rory MacAlister, Bishop-elect of the Isles, and to Patrick
Maclean, Bailie of Iona and Justice Clerk of the South Isles.

[Sidenote: and sends agents to Dublin.]

A few days after this treaty the bishop and the bailie came to Dublin and
asked for 1,000_l._ Half of this sum, with 100_l._ worth of provisions,
was as much as St. Leger could afford to give them. In the meantime
Donnell Dhu had appeared at Carrickfergus with 4,000 men and 180 galleys,
having left another force of 4,000 behind him to keep Argyle and Huntley
in check. In writing to the King of England he expressed great joy that
his Majesty had deigned to look upon so small a person, and either he, or
the priest who prompted him, found an extraordinary analogy between the
fishers of the Western Isles and those of the Galilean lake, and between
Henry VIII. and their Master. At Carrickfergus Donnell Dhu and his
friends again bound themselves to do the bidding of Lennox, and 'to
fortify after their power the King's Majesty touching the marriage of the
Princess of Scotland, and in all other affairs as is commanded them to do
by my Lord Earl of Lennox.'[272]

[Sidenote: His agreement with St. Leger.]

Having done their business in Dublin, Donnell's ambassadors hurried to
England and made their terms with the Council. They bound their chief and
his friends to be Henry's liege subjects, and to furnish him with 8,000
auxiliaries, who were to co-operate with Lennox and Ormonde, and, if
possible, to harry Scotland as far as Stirling. While Lennox remained in
Argyle's country all the islemen were to be employed in destroying it; in
other places 6,000 were to follow him, but there were never to be less
than 2,000 occupied in persecuting the sons of Diarmid. In consideration
of this undertaking Henry promised to pay 3,000 of Donnell's men, and to
send a force of 2,000 Irish under Ormonde, who was to be subordinate to

[Sidenote: The whole project ends in failure.]

St. Leger had considerable difficulty in raising 2,000 men at short
notice. Money was scarce with him, and he was not told what pay he might
offer. Recruiting was hindered by rumours of casualties among the kerne
who had taken part in Hertford's second raid, when they had been
specially employed to burn and waste East Teviotdale 'because the
borderers would not most willingly burn their neighbours.' The required
number was, however, got together by great exertions, one-half being
raised by Ormonde. The force when complete consisted of 100 of the Dublin
garrison, 400 gallowglasses, and 1,500 kerne. Two hundred and fifty had
muskets, or were to some extent trained in the use of artillery, of which
there were several pieces. Shipping was collected in the Irish and Welsh
ports, and great quantities of munitions put on board. Lennox himself
came to Dublin, and sailed with Ormonde for the Clyde. Dumbarton Castle
was in the hands of Lord Glencairne, and was to be taken if possible.
Should this attempt fail, the plan was to effect a landing in Argyle's
country, and to do all the damage possible there. The fleet left Dublin
on November 17, and was unlucky from the first, being caught in a storm
off Belfast Lough and much damaged. On reaching the Clyde the country was
found to be up in arms, the attitude of the islemen was uncertain, a
French squadron was on the coast, and Lennox, against the advice of
Ormonde, resolved to turn back. Donnell Dhu died at Drogheda just at the
critical moment, and was buried in St. Patrick's, Dublin, where an
epitaph recorded the mournful fact that he had escaped an exile's life
only to die an exile's death.[274]

[Sidenote: James MacDonnell offers his services, 1545.]

James MacDonnell, the son of Alaster, became Lord of the Isles by general
consent. He had been educated at the Scottish Court, and his politics had
thus lost something of their insularity. At all events he had learned to
write, and that was a rare accomplishment for one of his family in those
days. Lady Agnes Campbell had perhaps excited doubts in his mind as to
the desirability of destroying the Argyle power; and others in the isles
may have doubted the power of Henry VIII. to protect them against the
Campbells and Gordons. But James still professed his readiness to do the
King of England's bidding, suggested St. Patrick's day--nearly two months
off--for a meeting with Lennox in the island of Sanda, and in the
meantime asked for shipping to transport his men. Ragged Scotchmen
continued to flock to Dublin, all asking for money; and the Irish
Government soon formed an opinion that while the cost of maintaining them
was certain, the expectation of service was more than doubtful.[275]

[Sidenote: Dissensions between St. Leger and Ormonde.]

St. Leger and Ormonde were now at open war. When leaving Gowran for
Scotland the latter received an anonymous letter warning him that he was
sent there only that he might be the more easily caught and put into the
Tower. The writer affirmed that Lennox had said as much, and that the
boasting of the Lord Deputy's servants had been to the same effect. The
pretext was that the Earl obstructed Irish reforms. Ormonde seems to have
partly believed the letter, for he sent a copy to Russell, and begged him
to procure an impartial inquiry. He then went to Scotland, declaring that
his loyalty was not of that timorous sort which fears inquiry or shuns
danger. 'If,' he wrote, 'I saw all the power of the world upon a hill
armed against his Majesty, I would rather run to his Grace, though I were
slain at his Majesty's heels, than to leave his Highness and save

[Sidenote: They both go to England, 1546.]

After his return from Scotland Ormonde wrote several letters to Privy
Councillors in England, in which he attacked St. Leger's administration
as expensive and wasteful. A graver accusation against a servant of Henry
VIII. was that he concealed much which it imported the King to know. The
letters were seized on ship-board by the Lord Deputy's brother, and
detained for some time in Dublin. Ormonde refused to state his
grievances before the Irish Council, as being necessarily under St.
Leger's influence, but preferred to run all the risks of a voyage to
England. The Irish Government left all to the Privy Council. St. Leger
accordingly went over to state his own case, having first secured
certificates of character from the Irish Council, from Desmond, Tyrone,
Thomond, and Upper Ossory, and from several Irish chiefs, all of whom
willingly came to Dublin at his summons, and 'wept and lamented the
departing of so just a governor.'[277]

[Sidenote: Intrigues of Irish officials.]

Lord Chancellor Alen was not favourable to St. Leger. He quarrelled
regularly with every deputy; but there may be some truth in his
allegations, which are little more than a statement of the insoluble
problem of Irish government. The King's writ did not run much further
than in former days. The revenue was almost stationary, and was
supplemented annually by 5,000_l._ of English money. Leinster was not
reformed. Irishmen were quiet, but might not long remain so. The chiefs
continued to wage private war, and were not to be tamed with abbey-lands
in their own countries, or farms in the Pale. 'I cannot,' said Alen,
'learn that ever such barbarous people kept touch any while, or were ever
vanquished with fair words. Let Wales be example.' Interrogatories were
sent to Irish councillors on these and similar points, and as to whether
either St. Leger or the Chancellor had been corrupt in any way. Questions
were asked as to the demeanour of every councillor, as to whether Alen's
account of St. Leger's overbearing conduct at the Council Board was true,
as to the behaviour of Ormonde and others there. In replying to Alen's
charges, St. Leger complained of their vagueness, and detailed his
strenuous exertions to overcome the inherent difficulties of his task,
and here most people will sympathise with him. He thought that Irishmen
on the whole kept their word as well as Englishmen, 'and if Irishmen use
their own laws, so doth the Earl of Ormonde, and all the Lords Marchers
in Ireland.' We have here a line of argument very common in our own day,
but very rare in that of Henry VIII., and St. Leger must be credited
with unusual breadth of view. The Irish customs were in truth necessary;
for there was then no way of enforcing English law, and the difficulty of
applying it fully has not disappeared even in the reign of Queen
Victoria. As to mismanagement of the revenue, St. Leger gave Alen the lie
direct, and accused him of conspiring with Walter Cowley to defame him;
but this the Chancellor positively denied. The Lord Deputy begged that he
might not be wearied with interrogatories, but called before the Council,
and confronted with his accusers. 'Then,' he said, 'let me be rid of this
hell, wherein I have remained six years, and that some other may serve
his Majesty as long as I have done, and I to serve him elsewhere, where
he shall command me. Though the same were in Turkey, I will not refuse

[Sidenote: St. Leger exonerated from blame. Alen and Cowley imprisoned.]

The English Government came to the conclusion that St. Leger deserved no
blame. Alen could not be quite acquitted of factious conduct; but he was
a faithful servant, and hardly to be spared from Ireland, which had the
quality of transmuting wisdom into foolishness and honesty into
self-seeking. He suffered a short imprisonment in the Tower, and had to
surrender the Great Seal, which, after being refused by two other
lawyers, was given to Sir Richard Rede. But his property was restored to
him immediately after Edward's accession; he became Lord Chancellor
again, and received the constableship of Maynooth, and many other
favours. In 1550 he seems still to have been grumbling against St. Leger,
who could then afford to speak of him as his old friend. Walter Cowley,
the Irish Solicitor-General, was also sent to the Tower. It appears that
one William Cantwell held a lease for life of three farms in Kilkenny,
and that others had seized them while he was learning English at Oxford.
There may have been a question of title, for it was not uncommon in Henry
VIII.'s time to grant the same property to several people at once.
Believing that he had been kept from his own by Ormonde, St. Leger
espoused Cantwell's cause; and it was to get the Earl out of the way that
Cantwell wrote the Gowran letter, and another found at Ross. Cowley, who
was more or less under Alen's influence, declared in the Tower that his
report against St. Leger had been revised by the Chancellor; but this was
solemnly denied. 'I was,' said Alen, 'never of counsel with article of
it. God is my Judge, I would be ashamed to be named to be privy to the
penning of so lewd a book;' and years afterwards he told Paget that
Cowley had confessed the truth of this disclaimer. Perhaps he spoke in
fear of the rack; in any case, the Privy Council or the King decided that
he was a liar, and he was certainly a plotter like his father before him.
The old man was deprived of the office of Master of the Rolls, and the
young one of that of Solicitor-General. Both were employed again in the
next reign. St. Leger was reconciled to Ormonde, and in spite of his
prayers was restored to his government with increased honours and an
hereditary pension.[279]

[Sidenote: Murder of Ormonde.]

Ormonde never saw Ireland again. He kept fifty servants in London, who
invited him to sup with them at Limehouse. After supper the whole company
sickened, and seventeen in all died. The Earl was carried to Ely House in
Holborn, where he lingered for several days, but at last succumbed. There
seems to have been no inquiry into this tragedy, and one might suspect
that the Government took this means of releasing themselves from a man
who had become inconveniently powerful, and whose services were too
eminent to attack openly. Henry had no particular scruples about
assassination, when, as in Cardinal Beaton's case, he could not reach his
enemy by other means; but he would hardly have been likely to poison a
subject against whom he could always compass an Act of Attainder. The
fact that Ormonde's loyalty was above suspicion may have rendered this
course difficult, and Henry may have seen in him a possible Earl of
Kildare. He was ambitious, very powerful, impatient of interference, and
by no means tamely subservient to the ruler of the hour. There is no
reason to suppose that Hertford or Wriothesley were capable of such a
crime. Warwick was capable of anything; but if he had suspected the
Seymours, he would hardly have allowed the matter to be hushed up. An
anecdote of Ormonde's son, the famous tenth Earl, perhaps points to a
suspicion against Leicester's father; but it is not likely that the
mystery will ever be cleared up. The 'Four Masters' say St. Leger had
boasted that either he or Ormonde should never return to Ireland; but
this is not mentioned by older annalists, nor in the official
correspondence, and it is just the sort of story that would have been
concocted afterwards. Ormonde's vast estates passed quietly to his heir,
a boy of fourteen, who became the most famous and powerful man of his age
and country. The boy was educated at the English Court, and 200 marks a
year out of his lands in Ireland were assigned for his support.[280]

[Sidenote: All Deputies had difficulties with the Butlers and the
permanent officials.]

Scarcely any Deputy could escape collison with the head of the Butler
family, whose influence rested on lasting foundations and not on the
favour of the Dublin Government. Moreover, permanent officials, who had
powerful connections in the county, knew how to thwart their nominal
superior; and, unless he happened to be a man of great tact, difficulties
were sure to arise. Grey and Bellingham quarrelled with the Council.
Sidney viewed the Ormonde of his day with unconcealed jealousy and
suspicion. Strafford was at war with the Lord-Treasurer Cork and with the
Vice-Treasurer Mountnorris; and his treatment of the latter contributed
to his fall. Lord Fitzwilliam was beaten by a revenue commissioner, Lord
Townsend by the boroughmongers; and the lawyers have often been able to
make combinations enabling them to dictate their own terms. Australian
governors can best appreciate the difficulties of Ireland's rulers in
past times.

[Sidenote: Henry's Irish policy; why it failed.]

Henry VIII.'s plan for the government of Ireland was very different from
that which his children pursued. Evidently he did not desire to plant
colonists in the country, but rather to civilise the people as they were.
By creating some of the great chiefs Earls, and by insisting on their
going to Court for investiture, he hoped gradually to convert them into
supporters. Such cases as that of Tirlogh O'Toole show that he knew how
to be both gracious and just. On the other hand, the ferocity of his
character was exemplified by his treatment of the five Geraldine
brethren. He was a thoroughly selfish man, but in matters which did not
concern him personally he had many of the qualifications of a statesman.
Had England remained in communion with Rome, his tentative and patient
policy might have succeeded in Ireland. The Reformation caused its
failure, for there never was the slightest chance of native Ireland
embracing the new doctrines. The monasteries had not weighed heavily on
Ireland, and their destruction made many bitter enemies and few friends.
By upsetting the whole ecclesiastical structure, Henry left the field
clear for Jesuits and wandering friars; and his children reaped the
fruits of a mistake which neutralised every effort to win Ireland.


[247] Indenture in O'Carroll's case, July 2, 1541, in _Carew_.

[248] Submission of O'Donnell, Aug. 6, 1541; O'Donnell to the King, April
20, 1542: 'Iterum Vestram Majestatem exortor, mittatis mihi instrumentum
illud aureum, quo colla nobilium cinguntur, aut katenam, vestesque
congruentes, quibus vestirer decenter, quoties accederem (data
opportunitate) ad Parliamentum.'

[249] Lord Deputy and Council to the King, Aug. 28, 1541; _Four Masters_,
1541: 'he left them without corn for that year.'

[250] St. Leger to the King, Dec. 17, 1541.

[251] Articles binding Con Bacagh O'Neill, in S.P., vol. iii., No. 356:
'Regem recognosco Supremum Caput Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ et Hibernicanæ
immediate sub Christo; et imposterum, in quantum potero, compellam omnes
degentes sub meo regimine, ut similiter faciant; et si contingat aliquem
provisorem aut provisores aliquas facultates sive bullas obtinere de
prædicta usurpata auctoritate, illos sursum reddere dictas bullas et
facultates cogam, et semetipsos submittere ordinationi Regiæ Majestatis.'

[252] Council of Ireland to the King, S.P., vol. iii., No. 357.

[253] The King to the Lord Deputy and Council, S.P., vol. iii., No. 348.

[254] The session was from Feb. 15 to March 7 or 10; see Lord Deputy in
Council to the King, March 31, 1542; for the robbers, see same to same,
Nov. 25, 1544.

[255] See the submissions in _Carew_--MacBrien Coonagh, March 18, 1542;
Rory O'More, May 13; MacQuillin, May 18; MacDonnell, May 18; Hugh
O'Kelly, May 24; O'Byrnes, July 4; O'Rourke, Sept. 1; MacQuillin and
O'Cahan, May 6, 1543. Lord Deputy and Council to the King, July 12, 1542,
and Aug. 24.

[256] Desmond's visit to Court was between June 2 and July 5, 1542. Lord
Deputy and Council to the King, June 2; J. Alen to the King, June 4; the
King to the Lord Deputy and Council, July 5; St. Leger to the King, Aug.

[257] Indentura facta 26 die Septembris, 1542, in S.P. The signatories
promised jointly and severally 'usurpatam primatiam et auctoritatem
Romani Episcopi annihilare, omnesque suos fautores, adjutores, et
suffragatores, ad summum posse illorum precipitare et abolere ... omnes
et singulos provisores ... apprehendere et producere ad Regis communem
legem,' &c.

[258] Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Sept. 1, 1542; _Four
Masters_, 1542.

[259] Submission made at Greenwich, Sept. 24, 1542.

[260] The creation was Oct. 1, 1542. The patent is in Rymer; the Herald's
account in _Carew_, Oct. 1. O'Neill was back in Ireland before Dec. 7,
when the Irish Government wrote of him to the King. Tyrone's style
was--'Du treshaut et puissant Seigneur Con, Conte de Tyrone, en le
Royaulme d'Irlande.'

[261] The heraldic account is printed in S.P., vol. iii. p. 473, from the
Cotton MSS.; the O'Brien and Burke patents are in Rymer, Conatius being
by mistake printed for Donatus; see the King to the Lord Deputy and
Council, July 9, 1543; MacWilliam submitted much in the same terms as

[262] Hill's _MacDonnells of Antrim_, chaps. i. and ii.; Archdall's
_Lodge's Peerage_, Earl of Antrim and Baron MacDonnell; Burton's _History
of Scotland_, vol. iii. p. 149. For the antiquarian controversy in 1617,
see _Carew_, vol. vi., Nos. 183, 188, 189, 190. 191.

[263] Hill, p. 37; John Travers's Devices in S.P., vol. iii. p. 382.

[264] Hill, p. 41; St. Leger to the King, June 4, 1543; Lord Deputy and
Council to the King, June 5.

[265] St. Leger to the King, July 18, 1543, and the notes; see also
_Carew_, July 15 and 16.

[266] Lord Deputy and Council to the King, May 15, 1543; same to same,
Dec. 7, 1542, and the King's answer.

[267] St. Leger to the King, April 6, 1543; the King to the Lord Deputy
and Council, Aug. 9; Lord Justice Brabazon and Council to St. Leger,
March 24, 1544.

[268] Lord Justice Brabazon and Council to the King, May 7, 1544; same to
St. Leger, March 24, where the kerne are first mentioned in the S.P.;
Privy Council to Lord Justice and Council, March 30; Ormonde to the King,
May 7. In a letter to the King printed in S.P., vol. iii., No. 437,
O'Reilly complains that his contingent cost him 600_l._, that eight weeks
of their wages remained unpaid, and that his chaplain had been taken
prisoner in Scotland, and had paid eight nobles for his ransom. This
shows that some of the 1,000 kerne went to Scotland.

[269] Stanihurst.

[270] For these rumours, see the S.P. from May 20, 1544, till May 11,
1545, vol. iii., Nos. 407, 408, 411, 414, 415.

[271] St. Leger to Wriothesley, Feb. 26, 1545, with Lord Upper Ossory's
letter in a note; to the Privy Council, April 14.

[272] Hill, p. 43. In a letter printed in S.P., vol. v. p. 483, Donnell
Dhu speaks of himself as 'in materno utero inimicorum jugo et captivitati
astricti, et in hoc pene tempus carceris squalore obruti, et
intolerabilibus compedibus truculentissime ligati.' The notarial
instrument between the islemen is in S.P., vol. v. p. 477. Lord Deputy
and Council of Ireland to the King, Aug. 13, 1545.

[273] Privy Council to Lord Deputy and Council of Ireland, in S.P., vol.
iii., No. 422. See S.P., vol. v. pp. 505-7.

[274] Ormonde to Russell, Nov. 15, 1545; Lord Deputy and Council to the
King, Nov. 19. Donnell Dhu died before Jan. 20, 1546, the date of a
letter from James MacDonnell in S.P., vol. iii. p. 548. Dowling.

[275] Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Feb. 15, 1546, and a
letter in a note from 'Ewyne Allane of Locheld.' James MacDonnell is
called Lord of the Isles 'by consent of the nobility,' 'apparent heir,'
'worthy to succeed,' and 'Lord elect.'

[276] Ormonde to Russell, Nov. 15, 1545.

[277] Cusack to Paget, March 28, 1546. See the S.P. from Feb. 20 to March
28, vol. iii., Nos. 431, 433, 434, 435, 438, 439, and 440.

[278] See S.P. 1546, vol. iii., Nos. 441 to 448. No. 439 is a letter from
certain Irish chiefs to the King in St. Leger's favour, and they make the
reflection, 'Oh si majoribus nostris tales contigissent moderatores.'

[279] Alen's Answer to St. Leger in S.P., vol. iii. No. 446, and W.
Cowley's Letter to the Privy Council, No. 448; Alen to Paget, April 21,
1549; St. Leger to Cecil, Dec. 5, 1550.

[280] Stanihurst; Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, p. 168.

[Illustration: IRELAND




[Sidenote: King and Pope.]

During the quarter of a century which elapsed between Henry's accession
and his final breach with Rome, the King showed great submission to the
papal chair. The wishes of such a faithful son could not be lightly
regarded, and royal nominations to English bishoprics were invariably
confirmed by the Pontiff. Capitular elections still took place; but they
had ceased to be free, and preferment was really given by the joint fiat
of the Crown and the Tiara. In Ireland the King was less absolute. The
popes had not forgotten their original gift of the island; and the
clergy, more especially in remote regions, would naturally look to them
for promotion, rather than to a King whose power was uncertain and to
whom they had a national antipathy. In the year 1520 the united sees of
Cork and Cloyne became vacant. Surrey, then Lord-Lieutenant, was besieged
with applications, but preferred the claims of Walter Wellesley, head of
the great Augustinian house of Conal in Kildare. In right of his priory
Wellesley had already a seat in the Irish House of Lords, and Surrey
recommended him to Wolsey as 'a famous clerk, noted the best in the
land--a man of gravity and virtuous conversation and a singular mind
having to English order.' Wellesley was not nominated on this occasion,
either because he preferred his priory to a bishopric, or because the
Cardinal had other views. In the following year the Bishop of Limerick
died, and the Lord-Lieutenant and Council again strongly recommended the
Prior of Conal; but the Pope nevertheless provided John Quin, a Dominican
friar, and Wellesley did not become a bishop till 1529. He was then at
last consecrated to Kildare, and allowed to keep his monastery, as in
that situation he might very fairly do.[281]

[Sidenote: Case of Clonfert.]

The points at issue between King and Pope are well illustrated by the
case of Clonfert, which fell vacant at the moment of separation. Clement
provided the Dean, Roland de Burgo, and Henry appointed Richard Nangle
Provincial of the Irish Austinfriars. Nangle was consecrated and took
possession of his see. Relying on his family influence, and probably
upheld by popular opinion, the Papal prelate, who was armed with the
power of granting indulgences and dispensations, defied the royal
nominee, and Nangle was afraid to appear in public. It was proposed to
bring the Burkes to their senses by laying an embargo on the trade of
Galway, but this does not seem to have been done. Ten years after his
original provision, and probably after the death of Nangle, De Burgo was
confirmed by the King and allowed to hold his deanery and other
benefices, of which he had all along kept possession, on condition of
renouncing the Pope's bulls and acknowledging that he held from the
Crown. The Bishop, who must have had an elastic conscience, died in
harness in 1580.[282]

[Sidenote: Armagh.]

The more important bishoprics were generally given to men whom the
English Government could trust, and it is not likely that they were ever
filled up in defiance of the King until after his rupture with Rome.
Armagh, Dublin, and Meath were rarely entrusted to any but men of English
birth. In 1513 John Kite, a Londoner, was appointed by provision to
Armagh, but the nomination was certainly agreeable to Henry, who had
before employed Kite as a diplomatist in Spain. The temporalities of the
diocese were almost immediately restored to him, and he was soon
afterwards present in London at the grand reception of Wolsey's red hat.
Kite, who received many tokens of royal favour, was translated by the
Pope to Carlisle. The Holy See claimed very full rights in the case of a
translation; but George Cromer, an Englishman, was appointed to Armagh
at the King of England's supplication. Such was the form preferred by the
Pope, but the supplication was in fact a nomination.[283]

[Sidenote: Dublin.]

William Rokeby, a Yorkshireman, was translated from Meath to Dublin in
1512. Henry made him his chancellor, and he also was present at the hat
ceremony. After his death a Somersetshire man, Hugh Inge, was translated
by the Pope from Meath to Dublin. There can be little doubt that this was
done with the King's full consent, for Inge acknowledged that he owed all
to Wolsey. As a special favour the tax on this occasion was reduced from
1,600 to 1,000 florins, on the suggestion of Campeggio, who reported that
certain noblemen had intruded into the diocesan lands and greatly
diminished the income. Inge also held the office of chancellor, which at
this time was almost invariably given to an archbishop. When Inge died,
John Alen, one of Wolsey's chaplains, was provided to Dublin at the
King's instance, or supplication as the Pope called it, and immediately
received the Great Seal. Alen had been employed by the Cardinal in the
suppression of the lesser monasteries, and had incurred great odium in
that office.[284]

[Sidenote: Meath.]

The see of Meath, which has the singular distinction of having never
possessed a cathedral, was from its position of especial importance.
After being successively filled by Rokeby and Inge, it was given by the
Pope, but probably at Wolsey's instigation, to Richard Wilson, Prior of
Drax in Yorkshire. It is remarkable that Wilson, who does not seem ever
to have resided in his see, fully acknowledged that the Cardinal's
legatine authority extended to Ireland. This was vehemently denied by
Primate Cromer and his suffragans, who were able to make their objections
good; the whole province of Armagh, except Meath, being situated among
the Irishry. On the resignation of Wilson, Edward Staples, a Lincolnshire
man, was provided by Clement on the King's nomination. He was allowed to
hold St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, and other benefices, along
with his bishopric, and he had a special Papal dispensation for filling
offices with incompatible duties. Staples fully embraced the Reformation,
and was a principal instrument in carrying out the changed religious
policy of the English Crown.[285]

[Sidenote: Cashel.]

In 1524 Edmund Butler, Prior of Athassel, a natural son of Sir Piers
Butler, was appointed by the Pope to Cashel, and by him recommended to
the King, who addressed letters in his favour to the Irish Government.
Kildare alleged that Butler was opposed by his father, and there was
certainly a contest between them. The Archbishop's object was to prevent
his father, as acting Earl Palatine of Tipperary, from raising a revenue
in that county, the larger part of which was in his diocese. The citizens
of Waterford complained that his Grace used every kind of Irish
extortion, and his opposition to the palatinate jurisdiction clearly
arose from no wish to leave the people untaxed. In one respect indeed the
prelate bettered the instruction of the temporal magnates, for he
'retained Dermond Duff for his official and counsellor or commissary,
which so entertaineth the King's people by colour of canon law that there
can be no more extortion committed by any Irish Brehon, and polleth the
King's subjects as he lists, and taketh for fee of sentence of a divorce
10_l._ or more.' He openly robbed a boat laden with merchandise, and held
the owners to ransom. Butler's consecration was delayed for three years:
it is not easy to say why, as there is no trace of a dispute between the
Crown and the Pope. Ultimately he became a very important person, and
generally acted with the other Butlers in support of the King's
authority. He accepted the royal supremacy, and surrendered his monastery
when called on to do so.[286]

[Sidenote: Tuam.]

The western province was so entirely Irish that the King could hardly
have interfered effectually with Papal nominees. On the death of the
learned Maurice O'Fiehely in 1513, Thomas O'Mullally was provided to
Tuam, and lived unmolested by Henry till 1536. But Christopher Bodkin,
who had been preferred to Kilmacduagh at the King's request, was
translated purely by royal authority to Tuam. The breach with Rome had at
this time become irreparable; and Bodkin, whom the Vatican regards as a
schismatic but not as a heretic, acknowledged the royal supremacy and
held the temporalities of both his sees, as well as the minor ones of
Enaghdune and Mayo, until his death in 1572. His astuteness far exceeded
that of the Vicar of Bray, for he seems to have kept his preferments and
his opinions as well. A rival archbishop was appointed by Clement in
1538, and is now considered the true one by writers on the Papal side.
The double line has continued ever since.[287]

[Sidenote: Remoter sees.]

To the less important and more distant bishoprics appointments were
probably very often made by the popes without the King's interference,
and even without his notice. But when he did make a recommendation it is
hardly likely to have been neglected at Rome. Thus the sees of
Clonmacnoise, Clogher, Ardagh, and Kilmore were on particular occasions
filled by the King, and the appointments confirmed by the Pope at his
request. The case of Clogher is the more remarkable in that a provision
of Julius II. had lately declared that church to be immediately subject
to the Holy See. In the yet more remote districts of Down, Dromore,
Raphoe, and Derry, the King does not seem to have interfered at all. In
providing Edmund O'Gallagher to the see of Raphoe, Clement VII. observed
that the diocese was vacant because the King had neglected to nominate
any one for seventeen years.[288]

[Sidenote: Leinster.]

In Leinster the King must generally have had power to prevent any bishop
from enjoying the profits of his see. The patronage was very laxly
managed, for Kildare lay vacant from 1513 to 1526. In 1523 the Earl of
Kildare tried to get the preferment for the dean, Edward Dillon, whom he
recommended to Wolsey as of virtuous living and of English name and
condition. The application failed, but Thomas Dillon was at last
appointed both by King and Pope. This promotion was probably effected in
Kildare's interest; for Cowley, a partisan of the Butlers, called Dillon
an Irish vagabond, without learning, manners, or other good quality, and
not fit to be a holy water clerk. This Irish vagabond had, however, been
educated at Oxford. Thomas Halsey was persuaded by Wolsey to accept the
bishopric of Leighlin, and Maurice Doran was, at the King's request,
provided to the same see. There may be no positive evidence as to Ossory
and Ferns, but there is no reason to doubt that the persons appointed
were acceptable to the Government.[289]

[Sidenote: Munster.]

In Munster it is not likely that bishops would be appointed without the
consent of the Crown, except perhaps to the remote sees of Killaloe and
Kilfenora, in which the succession at this period is almost hopelessly
confused. In filling the scarcely less completely Irish bishopric of
Ross, the King took a direct part. He called upon the Pope to accept the
resignation of Edmund Courcey, and to appoint as his successor the
Cistercian John O'Murrilly, with leave to hold the Abbey of Maur in
addition. Leo X. complied in every particular; but when O'Murrilly died
two years later, the Pope took the strong step of uniting Ross with
Dromore in the distant north. We may infer from this that Henry did not
always choose to interfere, but that when he did the Pope paid the
greatest attention to his wishes; and that this rule applied to Munster
generally. At Waterford and Cork, the strongholds of English law, it was
hardly possible for a bishop to enjoy his revenues in defiance of the

[Sidenote: Connaught.]

In Connaught the popes seem to have provided bishops as a general rule;
but they generally avoided a collision when the King's wish was openly
expressed. As late as 1533 Christopher Bodkin was appointed to
Kilmacduagh at Henry's request; and this is a very strong case, because a
purely papal nominee seems to have resigned in his favour. In Elphin John
Max was appointed by the Pope; but as he held the abbeys of Welbeck or
Tichfield, or both, along with his bishopric, he can hardly have been
distasteful to Henry. The case of Burke and Nangle, already mentioned,
shows King and Pope openly at variance. But even at the beginning of that
contest the schism was almost complete.[291]

[Sidenote: Bad state of the Irish Church.]

In the 'Description of Ireland,' written early in Henry VIII.'s reign,
there is a story of St. Brigid, who inquired of her good angel of what
Christian land most souls were damned. He showed her a land in the west
part of the world, where was continually root of hate and envy, and vices
contrary to charity, for lack of which souls kept continually falling
down into hell as thick as hail showers. It is inferred that the angel
spoke of Ireland, 'for,' says the writer, 'there is no land in this world
of so long continual war within himself, nor of so great shedding of
Christian blood, nor of so great robbing, spoiling, preying, and burning,
nor of so great wrongful extortion continually as Ireland.' Among the
various causes of this state of things the bishops and clergy are blamed,
'for there is no archbishop nor bishop, abbot nor prior, parson nor
vicar, nor any other person of the Church, high or low, great or small,
English or Irish, that useth to preach the Word of God saveing the poor
friars' beggars ... Also the Church of this land use not to learn any
other science but the law of Canon, for covetyce of lucre transitory; all
other science whereof grows none such lucre, the parsons of the Church
doth despise. They hold more by the plough rustical than by lucre of the
plough celestial, to which they have stretched their hands, and look
always backwards. They tend much more to lucre of that plough, whereof
groweth slander and rebuke, than to lucre of the souls, that is the
plough of Christ. And to the transitory lucre of that rustical plough
they tender so much, that little or nought there chargeth to lucre to
Christ, the souls of their subjects, of whom they bear the cure, by
preaching and teaching of the Word of God, and by their good ensample
giveing; which is the plough of worship and of honour, and the plough of
grace that ever shall endure.'[292]

[Sidenote: State of Ardagh, Ross, Clonmacnoise, and Enaghdune.]

This is a heavy indictment, but it is sustained by very many facts which
have come down to us. The state of many important churches shows how ill
religion was supported. A report to Leo X. on Ardagh Cathedral states
that there was no sacristy, no bell nor belfry, no proper appliances for
service; and that the walls of the church itself were but just standing.
There was only one altar, which was exposed to the weather. Mass was
rarely celebrated, and then by a single priest, and the scanty vestments
and utensils were kept in a chest in the church. The town consisted of
four thatched cabins; and there were few inhabitants, owing to continual
wars caused by the conduct of the late Bishop, William O'Ferrall, who had
excited the animosity of his neighbours by attempting to exercise
temporal power. The bishopric of Ross was in rather better case. The town
of 200 houses was walled, and the cathedral church was built of stone in
regular cruciform fashion, and with a tiled roof. There was decent
provision for the mass. On the other hand, the church was unpaved, and
the income of the see no more than sixty marks. At Clonmacnoise, one of
the most famous ecclesiastical places in Ireland, things were scarcely
better than at Ardagh. The town could boast but twelve houses, built of
wicker and straw. The church was roofless, and half ruined; with a single
altar protected by a thatched shed, one vestment, and a cross made of
brass. Mass was rarely celebrated, but the body of St. Ciaran was
preserved and reverenced. The Pope's informant was an Irishman, but the
saint's name was unknown to him. The ancient see of Enaghdune or
Annaghdown on Lough Corrib was in a deplorable state. The church was in
ruins, the clergy far out of order, and the revenue not more than 20_l._,
which could only be collected by a steward who had the favour of the

[Sidenote: Corruption among dignitaries.]

The above cases are all of bishoprics situated in remote parts among the
Irishry. The state of the Church in the Pale and other obedient districts
was of course better, but even in Dublin the metropolitan crozier
remained in pawn for eighty years, from 1449 until Archbishop Alen
redeemed it by paying one hundred ounces of silver. The clergy were
charged with seeking money more than souls; and many acts of violence and
extortion are reported on oath against the Archbishop of Cashel and the
Bishops of Ferns, Ossory, Leighlin, Waterford, and Limerick; against the
Abbots of Tintern, Jerpoint, Kilcooley, Holy Cross, Dusk, and
Innislonagh; against the Priors of Kilclogan, Knocktopher, Inistiogue,
Kells, Cahir, and Lady Abbey; and against the Prioress of Moylagh. In
general bishops and heads of houses were not less extortionate than other
gentlemen. They exacted coyne and livery and the other multifarious Irish
imposts with neither more nor less severity than the laity. But it should
not be forgotten that these ecclesiastical dignitaries were also great
landowners, and that they were forced to provide the means of defence in
the only possible way. The Archbishop of Cashel and the Bishops of
Waterford and Ossory had other means of taxing the people peculiar to
their offices; they took excessive fees in all matrimonial and probate
cases, and appropriated a portion of every dead man's goods. The
Archbishop's lowest charge for a divorce was 5_l._, and it was generally
double that or more. The citizens of Waterford declared that the
canonists were as burdensome as the Irish Brehons.[294]

[Sidenote: Parochial clergy no better.]

The parochial clergy were no better than the dignitaries. They made
charges varying from sixpence to two shillings for all weddings,
christenings, churchings, and burials; and at the death of any married
person, man or wife, they exacted five shillings, or one-fifth of the
personalty, or the best article of apparel, from the survivor. In many
places divine service was neglected or was only performed at irregular
intervals. The Earl of Kildare, who was not impartial but who probably
spoke truly, declared that the churches in Tipperary and Kilkenny were
generally in ruins through the system of Papal provisions, 'so as, and if
the King's Grace do not see for the hasty remedy of the same, there is
like to be no more Christianity there, than in the midst of Turkey.'
Henry was just beginning to quarrel with the Pope, and would be ready
enough to believe that provisions had ruined the churches. No doubt many
bad appointments were thus made, but it may have been impossible to get
fit men; for Browne reports the clergy as unlearned persons, who repeated
the Latin offices like parrots and without understanding them.[295]

[Sidenote: Evils of Papal patronage.]

Piers, Earl of Ossory, also adopted the doctrine that the Papal system of
patronage had been the chief cause of the utter ruin and destruction 'of
cathedral churches, monasteries, parish churches, and all other regular
and secular.' Murderers, thieves, and 'light men of war' obtained
provisions, ousted the rightful incumbents, ignored the rightful patrons,
held livings by force, and wasted them in riotous living. Violence indeed
was the rule. John Purcell, Bishop of Ferns, was in close alliance with
the dangerous rebel and freebooter, Cahir MacArt Kavanagh, was present
when his men sacked the town of Fethard, and himself called loudly for
fire to burn the houses. Milo Baron, Bishop of Ossory, was said to be as
bad as the Bishop of Ferns, and to 'have no virtuous quality nor
obedience to any good laws.' Archbishop Butler was accused of riotous
conduct and of at least one highway robbery, a richly laden boat having
been plundered by him on the Suir within four miles of Waterford. Amid
the general corruption a bright example was shown by the Franciscan
Maurice Doran, Bishop of Leighlin, a learned theologian, an eloquent
preacher, and a man of blameless life. Being advised to increase the
burdens of his clergy, he replied that he had rather shear his sheep than
flay them. Doran was allowed to tend his flock for twenty months only.
Having corrected the irregularities of his Archdeacon Maurice Kavanagh,
he was treacherously murdered by him. It is some satisfaction to know
that Kildare afterwards caught the Archdeacon and his accomplices, and
hanged them in chains on the scene of the Bishop's murder.[296]

[Sidenote: The Regulars not exempt from censure.]

The Regulars by no means escaped censure. The Prior of the Hospitallers
of Kilclogan in Wexford was as bad as Bishop Purcell, and 'kept fire in
the steeple door of St. John's, until such time as he had out the ward
that was within.' James Butler, Cistercian Abbot of Innislonagh and Dean
of Lismore, attained a bad eminence. The citizens of Waterford
represented him as a man of odious life, who neglected every duty, gave
himself up to voluptuosity, and wasted the property of his house to
provide for his open and scandalous immoralities. The people of Clonmel
repeat the charge, and extend it to the other monks. The Augustinian
Canons, in the great monastery of Athassel, of which Archbishop Butler
was Prior, were no better. Nor were the mendicants blameless. The
Carmelite Prior of Lady Abbey, near Clonmel, which was a parish church,
kept a mistress and provided no divine service. The Prior of Knocktopher,
also a Carmelite, and the Cistercian Abbot of Dusk, had sons. That
secular priests should be fathers of families was of course common both
in England and Ireland; and they may be defended on the ground that they
were really married, and that such unions, though condemned by the
Church, were not repugnant to the public feeling of the age. But this can
hardly be pleaded in favour of monks, and perhaps still less of friars.
The Prior of Cahir neglected divine service, but was not accused of
immorality. Many enormous crimes were objected against the Abbess of
Kilclehin. The canons of St. Catherine's at Waterford had fallen out
among themselves, and divided the revenues. All these houses were in
south-eastern Ireland, but from what has been said of the state of
cathedral churches in Irish districts it may be inferred that
proportional irregularities existed elsewhere. The fact that priests were
often the sons of priests rests upon less partial evidence than that of
Bale, and it was condoned by the Holy See. Leo X. even showed special
favour to a monk of Monasterevan, notwithstanding that he was a priest's
son. Dispensations on account of defective birth are very common in the
Papal correspondence, and were a source of income to the Curia.
Archbishop Browne believed that in the Irishry not one parson in five was
of legitimate birth. He cannot be considered impartial, but legitimacy
was little regarded by the Irish.[297]

[Sidenote: The good side of the monastic system.]

That some monks were immoral or useless is doubtless true. There were
critics who represented them as in every way worse than their English
brethren, but some of these were men who desired the destruction of the
abbeys that they might divide their lands, and whose indignation had not
been excited by abuses until the wishes of the English Court were known.
Robert Cowley, for instance, accused them generally of loose living and
of 'keeping no hospitality save to themselves.' There is ample evidence
that the monks were not all bad. The education of children was almost
entirely in their hands. Six houses in Dublin, Kildare, and Kilkenny are
mentioned as the only places where the rising generation might be
brought up in virtue, learning, and good behaviour. The boys were cared
for by the Cistercians of St. Mary's, Dublin, and of Jerpoint, and by the
Augustinian canons of Christ Church, Dublin, and of Kells and Conal. The
girls were brought up by the canonesses of Gracedieu, near Swords. St.
Mary's was also noted for its hospitality, being the only inn fit for men
of rank; and the doors of Christ Church were always open for Parliament,
Council, or Conference. To escape dissolution all the monks of these
houses were ready to don secular habits. As to the services of the friars
in holding stations, in visiting the sick, and in preaching, there can be
no doubt whatever. Religion in Ireland was in fact only maintained by
them. Most of the friaries had been founded or beautified by great
families, who still continued to befriend them, and who reserved a last
resting-place within their walls. The Franciscans were especially
favoured in this way. Thus, the MacDonnells of Antrim were buried at
Bunamargy, the Desmonds at Youghal and Tralee, the O'Briens at Ennis, the
O'Donnells at Donegal, the Macnamaras at Quin, the Burkes at Athenry, and
the MacCarthies at Irrelagh or Muckross. The Franciscan dress was often
assumed in death and burial, and was thought to bespeak the favours of
heaven. The Dominicans were planted and cherished in the same way. The
Augustinian hermits and the Carmelites had many houses, but were much
less important than the other two orders.[298]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1536.]

When the Irish Parliament met for the despatch of business in May 1536
many important bills passed without any great difficulty. The proctors of
the clergy, who had voices and claimed votes in the Lower House, objected
to the King being declared supreme head of the Church; but their
opposition was little regarded. Appeals to Rome were forbidden, the
jurisdiction of the Pope abolished, and first-fruits vested in the Crown.
Grey then prorogued Parliament, first to Kilkenny, and afterwards to
Dublin again. In the meantime Archbishop Browne had landed, and lost no
time in recommending the royal supremacy to the people. He had but little
success, and incurred some personal danger. Primate Cromer, who was in
communication with Rome, took the other side, laying a curse on all who
should accept the new system, and reminding his clergy that Ireland was
the Pope's gift to England. Browne is said to have made a speech to
Parliament, in which he appealed to the example of Christ, who paid
tribute to Cæsar, and of the earliest popes, who acknowledged the
supremacy of emperors and kings. A bill was then brought in for the
suppression of twelve religious houses, and for giving the King a
twentieth of all ecclesiastical revenues. A formidable opposition at once
arose in both houses, and particularly in the Commons under the
leadership of the King's sergeant, Sir Patrick Barnewall, who declared
openly that the King's supremacy gave him power to reform abbeys but not
to secularise them. He then went to England to lay his views before
Henry, and Parliament was again prorogued for nearly four months.[299]

[Sidenote: The Reformation makes no progress.]

After eighteen months residence in Ireland Browne could report scarcely
any progress. The new Head of the Church, by the mouth of his Archbishop,
gave the people orders for their spiritual conduct; but they were not
well received. All true Christian subjects were ordered to repudiate the
Bishop of Rome, and to erase him from their service-books and manuals;
but this was never done unless Browne sent his own servants to see to it.
The power of binding and loosing and the system of indulgences were
called juggling, and the people were reminded that God only could forgive
sins. There was no Mediator but Christ, and the so-called Pope's 'great
thunderclap of excommunication' could hurt nobody. These exhortations
were in vain, while a conditional general indulgence was eagerly taken
advantage of. A copy of the paper was even hung up openly in Kilmainham
Church. Pilgrimages to Rome were never commoner, and bishops and priors
appointed by provision were received with open arms. The circular which
spoke so contemptuously of the Holy See was Browne's composition, but it
inculcated at least two doctrines which all modern Protestants
reject--the invocation of the Virgin and prayers for the dead.[300]

[Sidenote: Troubles of Archbishop Browne.]

Lord Deputy Grey was opposed to doctrinal changes, and made no secret of
his dislike to Browne, whom he suspected of traducing him. The Archbishop
had little help from other officials, and the lawyers opposed him
strongly. Lord Butler, Brabazon, Alen, and one or two others of small
importance, constituted the whole innovating party. They arrogated to
themselves the title of Catholic; they were the right Christians, and
their opponents were sectaries. But Browne's antagonists were active and
numerous. The Observants took the lead everywhere, and they relied on the
support of Grey to defy the Archbishop's authority. Browne had imprisoned
one of his own prebendaries. 'Howbeit, spite of my beard, whiles that I
was at an house of Observants, to swear them, and also to extinct that
name among them, my Lord Deputy hath set him at liberty. I think the
simplest holy water clerk is better esteemed than I am.' Most of the
clergy were unwilling to acknowledge the royal supremacy, or to denounce
the Pope's authority, and they refused to preach at all. The most active
preachers now contented themselves with holding forth in corners to
select knots of sympathisers, and took no notice either of threats or
exhortations. The oath of supremacy had as much effect as oaths taken
under pressure usually have. Now and then some bold spirit would openly
defy Browne. James Humfrey, the prebendary whom he imprisoned and Grey
released, officiated at High Mass in St. Andrew's Church, and omitted to
read the Archbishop's circular. The parish priest ascended the pulpit,
and began to read the paper; but Humfrey gave a signal to the choir, and
the reader's voice was drowned by those of the singers.[301]

[Sidenote: He cannot agree with Bishop Staples.]

By the admission of so zealous a reformer as Brabazon, Staples promoted
the Word of God; but the effect of his eloquence was much lessened by the
ill-feeling existing between him and the Archbishop. A report of one of
Browne's sermons, which, as he alleged, was fabricated by Humfrey, had so
excited the wrath of Staples that he denounced it from the pulpit. The
Archbishop himself was present, and thought 'the three-mouthed Cerberus
of hell could not have uttered it more viperiously.' The scene was in the
church of Kilmainham, which was an exempt jurisdiction under the sole
charge of Rawson the Prior. Browne also accused Staples of indulging in
other 'rabulous revilings' against him, of denying that men should search
the Scriptures, and of allowing his suffragan to pray first for the Pope,
then for the Emperor, and lastly for the King, in the words, 'I pray God
he never depart this world, until that he hath made amends.' Browne
imprisoned the suffragan, whom Grey seems to have released without trial.
Staples, on the other hand, reported that everyone was weary of the
Archbishop's demeanour, and that he himself had never said a word against
the King's supremacy, or in favour of the Pope. After an inquiry by
Paynswick, Prior of Christ Church, and two others, the quarrel was
patched up; but the relations existing between the two chief supporters
of the Reformation were not at all conducive to its success.[302]

[Sidenote: Lord Leonard Grey obnoxious to both parties.]

It was bad enough to be called a heretic by the Bishop of Meath, but
worse to be called a poll-shorn knave friar by a Lord Deputy who had
soldiers and prisons. Browne said it was no safer to speak against Papal
usurpations before Grey than if the Pope had been present. Lord Butler
agreed with the Archbishop that Grey had a special zeal for popery,
allowed the new system to be openly impugned in his presence, and in fact
headed the reactionary party. According to Browne, he went so far as to
maintain a bishop appointed by the Pope against the King's nominee; but
this is scarcely credible. Grey, however, had the Corporation of
Limerick, and the Bishop and clergy there solemnly sworn to maintain the
new order, and renounce the usurpations of Rome. He is said to have
burned Down Cathedral, and defaced the tombs of the three saints there;
and he was accused on his trial of turning the church into a stable, of
pulling down the tower, and of sending the famous peal of bells to
England: 'had not God of His justice prevented his iniquity by sinking
the vessel and passengers wherein the said bells should have been
conveyed.' Grey has himself recorded his proceedings at the Franciscan
friary of Killeigh, whence he carried off the organ, the glass windows,
and other valuable things. On the other hand, he spared Armagh; and,
being at Trim shortly before the destruction of the miraculous Virgin
there, 'very devoutly knelt before the idol, and heard three or four
masses.' This may have been done from devotional feeling, or through
sheer inconsistency, or to annoy Browne, Brabazon, and Alen, who were
present, and who refused to enter the chapel, by way of showing an
example to the people.[303]

[Sidenote: Images, relics, and pilgrimages.]

Browne had a conscientious hatred to images, which he called idols, and
destroyed them wherever he could. In this case coming events had cast
their shadow before, and he at one time thought it prudent to disclaim
iconoclasm. 'There goeth,' he wrote in June 1538, 'a common bruit among
the Irishmen, that I intend to pluck down our Lady of Trim, with other
places of pilgrimages, as the Holy Cross, and such like, which indeed I
never attempted, although my conscience would right well serve me to
oppress such idols.' Even more celebrated than the miraculous Virgin was
the crozier with which St. Patrick had banished the snakes, and which had
been brought from Armagh to Dublin. This wonder-working staff was said to
have been delivered by Christ Himself to a hermit in a Mediterranean
island, with directions to take it to Ireland, and hand it over to the
saint. It was compared to the rod of Moses, and was the chief of a large
tribe of croziers upon which people swore in preference to the gospels.
The staff was burned publicly, and so was the Virgin of Trim, and a
crucifix of peculiar sanctity kept at Ballibogan in Westmeath. The holy
cross of Tipperary was probably spared for a time. Browne and his
successors nearly put an end to relics, which are now so scarce that a
learned member of Parliament in our own times is said to have imported
the bones of a more or less authentic foreign saint. But it was beyond
the power of Government to put down pilgrimages, which were numerous down
to the present century. Of the holy places still remaining, Croagh
Patrick in Mayo is probably the most remarkable.[304]

[Sidenote: Conformity of Munster Bishops.]

When the four Protestant members of Council--Browne, Brabazon, Alen, and
Aylmer--visited Clonmel early in 1539, two archbishops and eight bishops
took the oath of supremacy before them. The archbishops were Butler of
Cashel and Bodkin of Tuam--the first regularly appointed, the second not
acknowledged at Rome, but both in undisputed possession. Of the eight
bishops, Milo Baron or Fitzgerald of Ossory, Nicholas Comyn of Waterford
and Lismore, John Coyne or Quin of Limerick, Thomas Hurley of Emly,
Matthew Sanders of Leighlin, and James O'Corrin of Killaloe, appear to
have been regularly appointed. The submission of O'Corrin seems to have
been resented at Rome; for a Papal administrator was appointed to oust
him eighteen months afterwards. He found it necessary to make his peace,
and his resignation in 1542 was accepted by the Pope. No attempt was
made to displace Baron, Comyn, Quin, Hurley, or Sanders. The remaining
prelates present at Clonmel were probably Dominick Tirrey of Cork and
Cloyne, and Richard Nangle of Clonfert. Tirrey was the King's nominee,
and continued to hold the temporalities till his decease in 1556. Lewis
Macnamara, a Franciscan, was set up against him at Rome, but he soon
died, and the Pope did not again interfere for a long time. Nangle, being
kept out of Clonfert by his rival, whom Grey was accused of favouring, at
this time acted as Browne's suffragan or coadjutor. It is expressly
stated that all the Bishops of Munster were present at Clonmel, and all
have been mentioned but three. Ross was vacant, and probably Kilfenora.
Young James Fitzmaurice, who had been lately provided to Ardfert, may
have kept away in Kerry, or very probably he was not in Ireland at all.
We must guard against hastily supposing that all, or even any, of these
prelates were Protestants. Like Gardiner, Bonner, and Tunstal, they
accepted the formulation of the old English principle of national
independence, but they had not therefore necessarily any sympathy with
the doctrines of Luther.[305]

[Sidenote: The Pope makes Wauchop Primate.]

Primate Cromer opposed the royal supremacy, but he was none the less
accused of heresy at Rome, and Robert Wauchop, a priest of St. Andrews,
was appointed to administer the see until the Archbishop should purge
himself. Wauchop was a noted theologian, and, in spite of his imperfect
sight, had the singular reputation of riding post better than any man in
Europe. He had lived chiefly at Rome, and was employed by the Holy See on
many missions, including attendance at the diets of Worms, Ratisbon, and
Spires. The choice of a purblind man to persuade the sharp-eyed Germans
gave rise to a proverb, and the reputation for riding post may have been
gained by the rapidity with which he went from place to place. After
Cromer's death Wauchop received the pall, and bore the title of Primate
at the Council of Trent, where he attended for eleven sessions, and where
he shared with the Archbishop of Upsala the distinction of having never
seen his church. In the meantime George Dowdall was appointed by the King
on St. Leger's recommendation, and it must be supposed that he took the
oath of supremacy. In spite of Dowdall's zeal against the reformed
doctrines, he was never acknowledged by the Pope until after Wauchop's
death. The latter does not appear to have landed in Ireland, and his
bolts were shot from Scotland or France. When preparing at last in 1551
to visit his diocese, he met a most edifying death in the Jesuit Church
at Paris.[306]

[Sidenote: The Jesuits sent to Ireland, 1542.]

It was by Wauchop's advice that the disciples of Loyola began their work
in Ireland. Paul III. addressed a brief to Con O'Neill, as prince of the
Irish of Ulster, acknowledging the receipt of letters which he had sent
to Rome by the hands of Raymond O'Gallagher, 'by which letters,' wrote
the Pope, 'and by his fuller verbal communications, our mind has been
variously affected; for we have learned with the pain it calls for how
that island is cruelly ravaged by the present King, and to what a pitch
of impiety he has brought it, and with what savage ferocity he has
spurned the honour of God Almighty. But when, on the other hand, we
learned from thy letters and Raymond's words that there existed in thy
person a champion of God, and of the Roman Church and of the Catholic
religion, we rejoiced greatly in the heavenly Father's love. We praise
thee then, beloved son, as thou hast deserved, and commend thee in the
Lord; and we give Him thanks for granting thee to us and endowing thee
with such virtue and piety for the preservation of that island at the
present time, and we pray Him long to prosper thee, and to preserve thee
to us unchanged. We have taken such care as we were bound, and as thou
hast asked us to take for thee and for the other champions of the
Catholic Faith. We therefore exhort your lordship, and all the peoples of
Ireland who follow your authority and piety, to preserve you all as
becomes faithful servants of the True Christ, in the Catholic Faith which
you have received from your fathers, and preserved with the greatest
constancy to this day. For we who embrace that island with singular
affection and desire to preserve it in its ancient attachment to the Holy
Faith, will never be wanting to your lordship or to your followers in

[Sidenote: The first Jesuit missionaries.]

John Codure and Alphonso Salmeron were selected by the Pope as nuncios to
Ireland, and another brief was sent to the clergy of Ireland exhorting
them to receive the Jesuits with honour and goodwill. Codure died before
he could visit Ireland, and Paschal Broet accompanied Salmeron in his
stead. Francesco Zapata, not yet admitted to the society, was their
secretary. Broet, whom Loyola called the angel of his society, was a
native of Picardy. Salmeron was a Spaniard, and one of the original seven
companions who took the momentous vow upon the hill of Montmartre.
Ignatius himself gave directions to the mission:--

[Sidenote: Loyola's instructions to them.]

1. They were to use caution in talking, especially with inferiors and
equals, to 'take each man's censure but reserve their judgment.' When
they could not avoid expressing an opinion, it was to be delivered
briefly and with a careless air, so as to avoid further argument.

2. They were to be all things to all men, like St. Paul. An angry man was
to be treated with great circumspection.

3. The precept of Basilius was to be observed, that the devil must be
fought with his own weapons. To gain favour at first they were to praise
virtues rather than denounce vices. Medicine might then by degrees be
administered. Morose men might be won by cheerfulness.

4. In public and private, and especially when performing the duty of
peacemakers, they were to remember that 'all their words and deeds might
become known, and that the things done in darkness would be brought to

5. Appointments were to be anticipated rather than deferred, so that
there might be plenty of time for the business in hand.

6. In money matters they were to meddle as little as possible. Even the
fines which they took for dispensations should be given in alms by the
hands of others, so that they might be able to swear that they had not
touched one penny.

7. Paschal was to be chief speaker in dealing with great men. In doubtful
cases there was to be a consultation, and the opinion of two was to bind
the other.

8. They were to correspond with Rome frequently on their journey,
immediately on their arrival either in Ireland or Scotland, and at least
once a month afterwards.[307]

[Sidenote: Their adventures in Scotland and Ireland.]

After narrowly escaping imprisonment in France, the three emissaries
reached Scotland and saw James V., who gave them a commendatory letter to
the Irish nobility and a special one to O'Neill, whom he exhorted so to
receive the strangers that they might feel the advantage of his
introduction. A brother of Bishop Farquharson of the Isles accompanied
them to Ireland, where they found nothing to their liking, either civil
or ecclesiastical. The people were savage and the clergy negligent, and
neither bishoprics nor parishes were properly served. All the chiefs but
one were not only sworn to the royal supremacy, but had declared their
readiness to burn the Pope's letters and to deliver his messengers bound
to the King or his Deputy. The single exception was about to follow the
general example. The Irish chiefs were all afraid to confer with the
nuncios, or even to secure them a safe passage out of the island. The
Jesuits also complained that the Scottish King had not performed his
promises. But if Paschal and his companions could do nothing with the
chiefs, they were successful with the people. They changed their place of
abode constantly, exhorting men everywhere in private, hearing
confessions, and celebrating the Mass as often as possible. Indulgences
were sparingly granted, but they gained goodwill by varying burdensome
vows, and by remitting fines and dues. Their personal virtue was evident;
they never spared themselves, and they asked for nothing. Any money that
came within their reach they diverted through the debtor himself, or
through the bishop, to such good work as the repair of churches, the
relief of widows, and the care of unprotected girls. After thirty-four
days thus spent the pursuit waxed too hot. Rewards were offered for their
apprehension, and they escaped to Scotland, where they vainly hoped to
find a quieter people. The Scotch chiefs seemed as bad as the Irish, and
the foreigners were fain to sail to Dieppe, whence they reached Paris on
foot. Zapata remained there for study, and the two Jesuits pursued their
journey to Rome in rags, and almost penniless. They were arrested as
spies at Lyons, but rescued by Cardinals Tournon and Gaddi, who were
passing through and who recognised them. Thus, in apparent, but only
apparent, failure ended the first descent of the Jesuits upon

[Sidenote: The royal supremacy opposed by the friars.]

In the days of Henry VIII. the majority of Irish chiefs seem to have
cared greatly for land, much less, but still a great deal, for titles and
gold chains, and very little for religion. They were, therefore, ready
enough to accept the King's ecclesiastical polity; the rather that they
hoped to go on exactly as they had done before. But with the people it
was different. It was not for their interest that tribal lands should be
turned into private estates, nor could they hope for special marks of
royal favour. They were barbarous, but they could appreciate virtue, and
in the austere self-denial of some friars they could discern glimmerings
of a higher light. Against the friars Henry had no available weapon; they
could not even be prevented from preaching. Under the very shadow of
Dublin Castle the King could give no peace to his reformed Church, of
which the only sincere supporters were a few new comers from England.
Except Browne and Staples, who, as we have seen, did not agree, there was
no one to preach what Henry wished the people to learn. And neither of
them could speak a word of Irish. The lawyers in Dublin heard and
disliked the expounders of the new ideas, but the great mass of the
population did not even hear them. The friars had it all their own way,
and every feeling, national and sentimental, predisposed the Irish to
believe their statement of the case. The people were told that Ireland
was a fief of the Holy See, and that the vassal had forfeited all by
treason to his sovereign lord. The Defender of the Faith had become its
assailant, and he was manifestly no longer a Catholic. These were the
arguments used daily and never answered. 'In the Irishry,' Staples
reported, 'the common voice runneth that the supremacy of our sovereign
lord is maintained only by power, and not reasoned by learning.' He
recommended that all Irish clerks should have safe-conduct to come and
go, and to dispute with himself. 'I trust then,' he added, perhaps with a
side cut at the Archbishop, 'to do my master good service, without
railing or "frasing," which doth well nowhere, but least in a good
cause.' And he strongly urged the assumption of the royal title, as at
least one means to disabuse the popular mind. In the meantime the counter
reformation had begun. The official Church was to be defended mainly by
power, by a few English-speaking ecclesiastics, and by the self-seekers
who sought preferment where the sceptre was strong enough to protect
them. On the side of Rome was ranged every popular feeling and prejudice,
and it was to have the support of crowds of devoted men who could exhort
the people in their own tongue, and whose example was sometimes more
eloquent than their words.

[Sidenote: Irish view of Henry's innovations.]

The 'Four Masters' describe Henry's reformation as 'a heresy and new
error in England, through pride, vain-glory, avarice, and lust, and
through many strange sciences, so that the men of England went into
opposition to the Pope and to Rome. They at the same time adopted various
opinions and the old law of Moses, and they styled the King the chief
head of the Church of God in his own kingdom. New laws were enacted by
the King and Council according to their own will. They destroyed the
orders to whom worldly possessions were allowed ... and the four poor
orders ...; and the lordships and livings of all these were taken up for
the King. They broke down the monasteries, and sold their roofs and
bells, so that from Arran of the Saints to the Straits of Dover there was
not one monastery that was not broken and shattered, with the exception
of a few in Ireland, of which the English took no heed. They afterwards
burned the images, shrines, and relics of the saints of Ireland and
England.... They also appointed archbishops and sub-bishops for
themselves; and though great was the persecution of the Roman emperors
against the Church, scarcely had there ever come so great a persecution
from Rome as this; so that it is impossible to narrate or tell its
description, unless it should be narrated by one who saw it.' There can
be no doubt that these were the ideas prevalent in Ireland in the
sixteenth century, and they remain essentially unchanged in the
nineteenth. That the annalists tell but a small part of the whole truth
must be plain to candid students; but it is the only part which the
native Irish have ever accepted. In England Anglicanism was the outcome
of national independence; in Ireland it was the badge of conquest.

[Sidenote: The King resolves to dissolve the religious houses.]

Barnewall's mission failed; but he did not lose the King's favour, and
was soon promoted: had he been an English lawyer he would have lost his
head. While denying the King's right to dissolve monasteries, he made no
objection to receiving a grant of their lands, and accepted that very
nunnery of Gracedieu where all the young ladies of the Pale had been
educated. When the houses met again the clergy opposed all legislation,
being perhaps excited by rumours of a Geraldine restoration. The proctors
insisted on their right to vote as an estate, and the bishops and abbots,
who formed a majority in the Lords, declined to entertain any business
until the point was decided. The Council gave a decided opinion that the
claim of the proctors was unfounded, and the spiritual peers at last
agreed to proceed to business with or without their consent. The Lords
threw out the Bill for confirming the King's title to certain abbeys,
most of which had already been suppressed; making an exception only in
the case of St. Wolstan's. The Bill for giving the King a twentieth part
of all spiritualities was also rejected. After a further prorogation for
four months this resistance was at length overcome. An Act was passed
declaring the proctors to be no members of Parliament, the first-fruits
of abbeys were given to the King, the suppressions were confirmed, the
much desired twentieth was granted, and the questions of faculties and
testamentary dispositions were arranged in a sense hostile to Rome. As
far as an Act of Parliament could do it, the Church in Ireland was now
placed on the same footing as the Church in England.[309]

[Sidenote: First convent dissolved, 1535. Relative strength of different

The first Irish religious house dissolved by Henry VIII. seems to have
been the nunnery of Grane, which gave a title to Lord Leonard Grey; but
the nuns were quartered on other houses: this was in 1535. In the latter
half of 1536 a commission under the Great Seal not now extant was issued
for the suppression of eight Irish abbeys named therein. The earliest
victim of the batch was probably St. Wolstan's near Leixlip, a house of
canons of the congregation of St. Victor, which was granted to John Alen,
the Master of the Rolls. The necessary inquiries into the condition and
property of the doomed institutions were too slow for Henry, who chided
the Irish Council for remissness. They promised to proceed as speedily as
was consistent with his Highness's profit. Before the end of 1537 fifteen
more houses had fallen, all within the Pale or in the immediate
neighbourhood of walled towns. After this the process of surveying and
suppressing went on rapidly, so that by 1541 all, or very nearly all, the
houses in Dublin, Kildare, Meath, Louth, Carlow, Kilkenny, Wexford,
Tipperary, Waterford, and Limerick city had been surrendered. A careful
calculation makes the whole number about seventy-eight, of which
thirty-eight were Canons Regular, eleven Crutched Friars, fifteen
Hospitallers, two Benedictines, and twelve Cistercians. Only ten of the
number were nunneries, all belonging to Regular Canonesses. To these may
be added a few in other districts, such as Aghmacarte in
MacGillapatrick's country, and Midleton in the county of Cork.[310]

[Sidenote: The Cistercians. Mellifont.]

Some monasteries deserve particular mention, and of these Mellifont, the
oldest of the Cistercian houses, is perhaps the most famous. It is said
to have contained 140 monks, and was called Monastermore, or the Great
Monastery. The Cistercians were introduced about 1142 by Donough
O'Carroll, Prince of Oriel, at the instance of Malachy, the friend of
Bernard of Clairvaux, who wrote his life and in whose arms he died. St.
Bernard supplied the new foundation with monks from his own monastery,
under the leadership of Christian O'Conarchy, afterwards Bishop of
Lismore and papal legate, who presided in that synod of Cashel where the
Irish Church was first formally subjected both to Rome and to England.
King John afterwards confirmed all grants made before the conquest, and
several later sovereigns were benefactors of Mellifont. The abbot was
always summoned to Parliament, where he took precedence of all his mitred
brethren, and ranked immediately below the bishops. The buildings, of
which there are still some remains, are said to have greatly resembled
those of Clairvaux. The rich estates were granted by Elizabeth to Lord
Drogheda's ancestor as a reward for defending the northern border of the
Pale against the Ulster Irish.[311]

[Sidenote: Holy Cross.]

Another famous Cistercian abbey was that of Holy Cross on the Suir, whose
beautiful ruins recall, though they do not rival, Fountains, Furness, and
Rivaulx. This monastery was founded by Donald O'Brien, King of Limerick,
shortly before the Anglo-Norman invasion. A fragment of the true cross
preserved here attracted many pilgrims, and is thought by some to have
been contained in a richly sculptured shrine which still stands. Long
after the dissolution pilgrimages continued, and Sir Henry Sidney noted
the 'detestable idolatry used to an idol called the Holy Cross, whereunto
there is no small confluence of people daily resorting.' The abbots had
seats in Parliament, and from the extent of their territorial power were
sometimes called Earls.[312]

[Sidenote: Dunbrody and Tintern.]

Two Cistercian abbeys near one another in Wexford are remarkable from the
circumstances of their foundations. Dunbrody was built by the ruthless
conqueror, Hervey de Montmorenci, who sought to expiate his cruelties by
becoming its abbot and endowing it with all his property. Tintern was
founded in fulfilment of a vow made during a storm at sea by William
Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, who brought monks and a name from Wales.
Tintern was the only Irish abbey which retained the original black dress
of Citeaux, thus acknowledging the foundation of Stephen Harding rather
than that of Bernard.

[Sidenote: Hospitallers. Kilmainham.]

Strongbow founded a preceptory for Templars at Kilmainham in 1174, and it
became rich and powerful. Under Edward II. the order was suppressed in
Ireland with as little pretence of justice as elsewhere, and its
possessions granted to the Hospitallers, who showed less charity to the
really poor, though their doors were always open to strangers and
travellers of importance. The priors of Kilmainham were often chosen
from the greatest families--Talbots, Butlers, and Fitzgeralds--were
always summoned to Parliament, and became very important personages.
Being exempt from episcopal jurisdiction they sometimes acted almost like
independent princes. In 1444 the Prior, Thomas Fitzgerald, espoused the
cause of Archbishop Talbot in his quarrel with the White Earl of Ormonde,
and he challenged the latter to trial by combat. The fight was appointed
to take place at Smithfield, and both champions were kept in close
custody; the Earl being confined in the Tower, of which the Duke of
Exeter, inventor of the rack and other gentle instruments, was then
constable. The Duke was authorised to allow his distinguished prisoner
exercise enough to keep him in good fighting condition, his swordsmanship
being evidently thought adequate. The representative of the Church
militant was considered wanting in skill, and was detained in the city to
receive instructions at the royal expense from Philip Treherne,
fishmonger and fencing master. Ormonde's friends cleared his character,
and the combat never took place. Many acts of turbulence were charged
against Fitzgerald; but he was far outstripped by James Keating, who
became prior in 1461, and who defied the King, the Deputy, and his own
Grand Master for thirty years. Marmaduke Lumley was sent to supersede
him, but died of the ill-treatment which he received. In 1511 Sir John
Rawson, the last prior, was appointed. He was an able man and a chief
supporter of the Government, but did not think it necessary to observe
his vow of chastity. At the dissolution Rawson was created Viscount of
Clontarf, where there was a cell of his house, and enjoyed a pension of
500 marks till his death in Edward VI.'s time. Sir William Weston, the
English Provincial, was less fortunate, for he was forced to leave his
priory and died the same day. The great possessions of Kilmainham were
granted to different persons, and the site of the commandery is now fitly
occupied by a military hospital, which owes its foundation to the great
Duke of Ormonde.[313]

[Sidenote: Pensions to monks.]

Pensions were generally granted to the heads of the dissolved houses and
sometimes to the other monks. Thus the Abbot of Mellifont received
40_l._, and several of the monks from 3_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._ to 20_s._ The
Prior of Fower in Westmeath and the Abbot of St. Mary's, Dublin, received
each 50_l._; the Prior of St. Thomas's, Dublin, 42_l._; and others were
paid in proportion to the importance of their convents. In a few cases
priors received as little as 3_l._, and monks as little as 13_s._ 4_d._
The ejected brethren often got other preferment. Edmond O'Lonergan, Prior
of Cahir, who received a pension of 3_l._ 6_s._ 8_d._, was made vicar of
the parish, and William Walsh, Prior of Ballydrohid, had a pension of
6_l._ 8_s._ 4_d._ till he should receive a benefice of greater value.
Hugh Doyne, one of the monks of Conal, who had received a pension of
40_s._, surrendered it on being presented by the Crown to a vicarage.
Pensions were charged on the lands of the dissolved houses, and power of
distress was sometimes given. The absence of complaints may justify a
supposition that payments were pretty regularly made. Great numbers of
monks doubtless withdrew to the Continent. Mary herself grumbled at the
numerous pensions payable to clerks, and directed her Deputy to make them
the first objects of his patronage, so that the pensions might be
gradually absorbed.[314]

[Sidenote: Titular abbots still appointed. Cistercians.]

In the case of the Cistercians at least titular abbots were sometimes
appointed for many generations. Alemand, the French historian of Irish
monasteries, says that the learned Nicholas Fagan, Bishop of Waterford,
was Abbot of Innislonagh, and was buried in the abbey in 1617. According
to the same author, who wrote towards the end of the seventeenth century,
there were in his time Abbots of Mellifont, Tintern, and Boyle, living in
the neighbourhood of their abbeys, but dressing like laymen. They were
probably chiefly occupied in receiving novices for education in foreign
convents. An important paper drawn up at Waterford in 1646 bears the
signature of one prior of Augustinian canons, and of four Cistercian
abbots, to say nothing of Jesuits and mendicants, but some of these may
have been appointed after the breaking out of the rebellion. In the reign
of James I. some Cistercians certainly lurked in Ireland. The nuncio
Rinuccini, who had the charge of Irish patronage from 1645, apologised
for preferring so many regulars on the ground that men of family seldom
became secular priests.[315]

[Sidenote: The dissolution not carried out in remote districts.]

In 1541 a commission was issued to the Earl of Desmond and others to
survey and dissolve all religious houses in Cork, Limerick, Kerry, and
Desmond. In these districts and in the purely Irish regions of Connaught
and Ulster, the process of dissolution was slow and uncertain. The title
of the Crown was theoretically acknowledged, but in some cases nothing
was done for many years. As the native nobility were subdued or
reconciled, Henry VIII.'s policy was gradually carried out. In the
wildest parts of Ulster the consummation was delayed until after the
flight of the Earls in the reign of James I.[316]

[Sidenote: Number and wealth of religious foundations.]

[Sidenote: Many are losers by the dissolution.]

Without counting the mendicant orders, about 350 religious houses can be
traced in Ireland. Many of these had disappeared before the reign of
Henry VIII., having become parish churches, or been absorbed in episcopal
establishments. Others were dependent on English foundations, and were
destroyed by the Act of Absentees; others, again, were cells to more
important houses, and followed their fortunes. A yearly income of
32,000_l._, with personalty to the amount of 100,000_l._, has been
attributed to the Irish monasteries, and their possessions must certainly
have been considerable. The monks, and especially the Cistercians,
generally chose fertile situations near a river or on the coast, for the
sake of fish and water carriage. The most beautiful and convenient sites
were in their hands, and their system of cultivation was much superior to
that of lay proprietors. The ceaseless wars of Ireland did not entirely
spare the religious houses, but they escaped better than other kinds of
property. The spoiling of the Church could never have been considered a
great or glorious work. The wealth of the monks is not to be measured by
the extent of their lands. It is in the vast number of their houses,
orchards, gardens, fishing-weirs, and mills, that we must seek the
evidence of accumulated capital. The immense circuit of the walls at
Kells or Athassel seems to show that great numbers of artificers and
labourers were sheltered within the enclosures, and that the monks knew
how to defend their own. The system of corrodies or resident pensions
probably reconciled the great nobles, and opposition to the dissolution
came partly from those who were impoverished by their abolition. It is to
these pensions, which were perhaps often abused, that Cowley probably
alludes when he accuses the monks generally of immorality and of showing
no hospitality save to themselves and 'certain bell-wedders, which
ringleaders have good fees, fat, profitable farms, the finding of their
children, with other daily pleasures of the abbeys, and fearing to lose
the profit thereof, repugn and resist the suppressing of abbeys,
surmising it should be prejudicial to the common weal, which is

[Sidenote: The Friaries suppressed. Not before 1541.]

In 1541 a commission was issued to Sir Anthony St. Leger and others to
survey and suppress all the friaries in Ireland. The total number was
rather under two hundred, of which the Franciscans had more than half,
the Dominicans forty-three, the Augustinian hermits twenty-four, and the
Carmelites twenty-one. As in the case of the older monasteries, the
houses within reach were at once dissolved, and the rest were perforce
respited. Their possessions were not large, and the friars managed to
exist without them. The Dominican historian says there were about six
hundred members of his order in Ireland just before Cromwell's conquest,
and the Franciscans were probably much more numerous. The houses of Grey
Friars had been very generally reformed by the Observants, and it is with
these stricter votaries that we generally meet. They swarmed everywhere,
and to them is due the preservation of the Roman tradition until the
Jesuits made head in Ireland. Archbishop Browne is never tired of
testifying against them, and Thomas Agard, his enthusiastic supporter,
calls them crafty bloodsuckers. Almost the only open opposition to the
dissolution came from a Franciscan, Dr. Sall, who boldly preached against
it at Waterford. During the Cromwellian war and subsequent persecution
the Franciscans claim thirty-one martyrs, which shows that they must have
been very numerous. In 1645 the Carmelites reckoned twenty-seven houses
in Ireland, but most of these were doubtless desecrated and deserted. No
candid Protestant can altogether sympathise with Browne and Agard, for we
have the most overwhelming proof that but for the friars a large part of
the population would have been altogether debarred from the exercise of

[Sidenote: All kinds of men share the plunder.]

Most of the men who had been useful in carrying out the suppression
received a share of the spoils. Brabazon, St. Leger, Sir John Alen, Chief
Justice Luttrell, Edmund Sexton, Sir Thomas Cusack, and Robert Dillon,
were all enriched in this way. Prime-serjeant Barnewall denied the King's
right to dissolve the monasteries, but profited largely by the measure.
Celts, Normans, and Saxons, Papists and Protestants alike, showed a fine
appetite for the confiscated lands. Desmond had a lease of part of St.
Mary Abbey, perhaps to induce him to spend some of his time in Dublin.
Three at least of the new peerages--Upper Ossory, Carbery, and Cahir,
were partially endowed from similar sources. Edward Power, bastard
brother of the first baron of Curraghmore, was granted the possession of
Mothel, of which he had been prior. In some cases, as in Clanricarde and
Thomond, the Government made a virtue of necessity, and gave monastic
lands to lords or chiefs who would have had the power to seize them in
any case. It is scarcely necessary to say that the House of Ormonde
profited enormously by the dissolution. Sometimes the plunder was too
small to excite much cupidity, and then the monks might be spared. Thus
the Austinfriars of Dunmore in Galway, who had 'neither land nor profit,
but only the small devotion of the people,' were respited during the
King's pleasure, on condition of assuming a secular habit. A like
indulgence was given to the canons of Toem in Tipperary, which the
O'Meaghers had been able to prevent the Royal Commissioners from
visiting. Many houses were reasonably granted to the founders' kin, for
the dissolution must have been a heavy loss to some families. Most of the
corporate towns had founded or fostered monasteries, and Waterford,
Drogheda, Kilkenny, Galway, Limerick, Clonmel, and Athenry received a
portion of the spoils. All Saints was specially granted to the citizens
of Dublin in compensation of their loss during the Geraldine siege. As a
general rule, monastic lands were at first let only on lease, and in
succeeding reigns large fines were obtained by the Crown. At the first
threat of dissolution some houses hastened to let their lands for long
terms, and to cut down their woods and sell their jewels, and thus the
plunder actually realised often fell below expectation. I have met with
but one case of a charitable foundation being laid immediately upon the
ruins of a monastery, and that was owing to private liberality. Henry
Walshe, son of a Waterford merchant, bought the Grey Friars from the
King, and founded a hospital for sixty or more sick persons. This
institution received a royal charter, and still exists on a reduced

[Sidenote: No university in Ireland.]

No care was taken to supply the place of the monasteries which were
devoted to education. There had been three attempts to found a university
in Ireland before the reign of Henry VIII. In 1310 John Lech, Archbishop
of Dublin, obtained a bull from Clement V., who ordered the establishment
of the desired institution, which would, he hoped, 'sprinkle the said
land, like a watered garden, to the exaltation of the Catholic faith, the
honour of the mother church, and the profit of all the faithful.' Lech
died soon after, and his project was buried with him; but his successor,
Alexander de Bicknor, actually made a foundation in connection with St.
Patrick's Cathedral, and under the patronage of John XXII. Bicknor's
University maintained a very precarious existence till the time of Henry
VII., when it finally disappears. The institution was not crushed by the
weight of its endowments, for it does not seem to have had any. In 1465
Bicknor's work was ignored by the Parliament of Drogheda, which founded a
new university on the ground that there was none in Ireland. But it was
not enough to declare that Drogheda should be as Oxford: there was no
endowment and no popular support, and this scheme also failed. Very near
the end of his reign Henry VIII. made up his mind that one cathedral was
enough for Dublin, and he suppressed St. Patrick's. Christ Church had
already been acknowledged as the metropolitan church. But it was not till
the next reign that Archbishop Browne propounded his abortive plan for
restoring the University which had once faintly glimmered.[320]

[Sidenote: Archbishop Browne.]

The principal instrument by which Henry carried out his ecclesiastical
revolution was George Browne, Provincial of the English Austinfriars, who
was appointed Archbishop of Dublin in 1535 after regular election by the
two chapters. He was consecrated by Cranmer, Fisher, and Shaxton of
Salisbury, who were significantly commanded to invest him with the pall.
Browne's appointment is ignored at Rome, but no rival prelate was at
first set up. He had already distinguished himself by preaching strongly
against the invocation of saints, and, whatever his faults were, he was
certainly a sincere Protestant. 'The common voice goeth,' said Staples,
who had not quite made up his own mind, 'that he doth abhor the Mass.'
Browne was married, but whether before or after his consecration does not
appear. He zealously promoted the King's supremacy and the destruction of
images, and complained bitterly of being thwarted by his colleague of
Armagh, by the Irish generally, and even by Lord Deputy Grey. Cromer was
in communication with Rome, and circulated a sort of Papal oath of
allegiance among the clergy, in which obedience to heretical powers was
denounced and all their acts declared null and void. The old jealousy
between Armagh and Dublin may have had something to say to this; for
Browne, if we may believe Staples, claimed authority over all the clergy
of Ireland. The new Archbishop did not bear himself meekly in his great
office, and he received a stinging rebuke, which the writer was pleased
to call a gentle advertisement, from the King himself. Henry accused his
nominee of neglecting the instruction of the people and the interests of
the Crown. 'Such,' he added, 'is your lightness in behaviour and such is
the elation of your mind in pride, that glorying in foolish ceremonies,
and delighting in _we_ and _us_, in your dreams comparing yourself so
near to a prince in honour and estimation, that all virtue and honesty is
almost banished from you. Reform yourself therefore ... and let it sink
into your remembrance that we be as able for the not doing thereof to
remove you again and to put another man of more virtue and honesty in
your place, both for our discharge against God, and for the comfort of
our good subjects there, as we were at the beginning to prefer you.' Well
might Browne answer that the King's letter made him tremble in body for
fear. He defended himself at length, and invoked the fate of Korah should
he fail to advance the King's service. His defence seems to have
satisfied Henry, but he continued to make many enemies and to excite much
criticism. 'His pride and arrogance,' said Staples, 'hath ravished him
from the right remembrance of himself.'[321]

[Sidenote: Bishop Staples.]

Edward Staples, originally a Cambridge man, and afterwards parson of
Tamworth and a canon of Cardinal College, was appointed to the see of
Meath in 1530 by Papal provision. Either as Bishop or Privy Councillor he
incurred the hatred of the Geraldine faction, and fled to England on the
breaking out of the rebellion in 1534. Early next year he returned, and
was one of the commissioners for suppressing the nunnery of Grane.
Staples did not at first fully embrace the reformed doctrines, for he
accused the Archbishop of Dublin of heresy, and appears to have been
attached to the Mass; but he was as zealous as Browne for the royal
supremacy, and his conversion to thorough Protestantism was gradual like
Cranmer's. Staples was a noted preacher, and was promoted for that
reason; but the King at one time accused him of slackness and threatened
to remove him.[322]


[281] Surrey to Wolsey, Sept. 6, 1520, and the notes; Pace to Wolsey,
April 7, 1521, in _Carew_; Stubbs, _Const. Hist._ ii. 317.

[282] Ware's _Bishops_; Richard Culoke to Brabazon, Nov. 10, 1537; the
King to the Lord Deputy and Council, July 10, 1543.

[283] Ware.

[284] Brady's _Episcopal Succession_, vol. i. p. 325; Ware. Roy's satire
against Wolsey, printed in the 9th vol. of the _Harleian Miscellany_, has
the following:

      _Wat._ And who did for the show pay?

      _Jeff._ Truly many a rich abbaye
    To be eased of his visitation.

      _Wat._ Doth he in his own person visit?
    No, another for him doth it,
      That can skill of the occupation.
    A fellow neither wise nor sad,
    But he was never yet full mad,
      Though he be frantic and more.
    Dr. Alen he is named,
    One that to lie is not ashamed
      If he spy advantage therefore.

      _Wat._ Are such with him in any price?

      _Jeff._ Yea, for they do all his advice,
    Whether it be wrong or right.

[285] As to the legatine authority, see _Brewer_, vol. iii., No. 2838,
and iv., No. 5131; John Alen to Wolsey, June 1, 1523, in S.P.

[286] Clement VII. to Henry VIII., Oct. 21, 1524, in _Brewer_ and in
_Rymer_; Kildare's Articles against Ormonde in S.P., vol. ii. p. 123; and
see _Brewer_, vol. iv., No. 4277; R. Cowley to Wolsey in 1528, S.P., vol.
ii. p. 141; _Presentments of Grievances_, edited by Graves, p. 203;
Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Feb. 8, 1539.

[287] _Brady_, vol. ii.; Council of Ireland to Cromwell, Feb. 8, 1539.

[288] Theiner's _Vetera Monumenta_, pp. 515, 516, 521; _Brady_, Arts,
Kilmore, Clogher, and Raphoe.

[289] Kildare to Wolsey, Feb. 8, 1522; R. Cowley to Wolsey, S.P., vol.
ii., No. 53; Ware.

[290] For the Ross case, see _Theiner_, p. 520; for the union of Ross and
Dromore 'propter tenuitatem utriusque ecclesiæ,' see _Brady_, vol. ii. p.

[291] See _Brady_, under Elphin and Kilmacduagh.

[292] S.P., vol. ii. pp. 11, 15, and 16.

[293] For Ardagh, see _Theiner_, p. 521; for Ross, p. 529; for
Clonmacnoise, p. 518. For Enaghdune, see Ossory to Cromwell in 1532,
_Carew_, vol. i. No. 37.

[294] _Presentments of Grievances_, ed. Graves; particularly pp. 192 and

[295] Kildare's Articles against Ormonde in 1525, S.P., vol. ii. p. 123;
his statement is partially confirmed by the _Presentments of Grievances_,
and see Ossory's own statements in 1534, _Carew_, vol. i. p. 55; Ware's
_Life and Death of Archbishop Browne_.

[296] Indenture of Remembrance for the Earl of Ossory and Lord Butler,
May 31, 1534, in _Carew; Presentments of Grievances_, pp. 48 and 204;
_Four Masters_, 1525; Dowling's _Annals_, 1522:--'Mauritius Doran
episcopus in jocando ejus adventu quibusdam persuadentibus duplicari
subsidium cleri respondit: melius radere oves quam destruere.'

[297] _Presentments of Grievances_, especially pp. 100, 202, 204, and
248; for the sons of clergy, &c., see Kildare's Articles in S.P., vol.
ii. p. 122. In _Brewer_, Feb. 25, 1521, Leo X. authorises a priest's son
to govern the Cistercian Abbey of Rosglas; Browne to Cromwell, Nov. 6,
1538, in S.P.; for Kilclehin (wrongly calendared as Kilcullen), see
_Hamilton_, Oct. 9, 1539.

[298] For the educating monasteries, see Lord Deputy and Council to
Cromwell, May 21, 1539, and the petition from St. Mary's, July 31. The
value of the friars appears from the whole history of the time. See in
particular _Presentments of Grievances_, p. 130; R. Cowley to Cromwell,
Oct. 4, 1536.

[299] Browne to Cromwell, July 15, 1536 (?), in Browne's _Life and
Death_, in _Ware_, p. 148, and in the _Phoenix_; R. Cowley to Cromwell,
Oct. 4, 1536.

[300] Browne to Cromwell, Jan. 8, May 8, and Aug. 10, 1538. The Form of
the Beads in S.P., vol. ii., No. 214; R. Cowley to Cromwell, July 19,
1538 and Aug. 5.

[301] James White to Cromwell, March 28; Lord Butler to the King, March
31; again to Cromwell, April 5; Brabazon to Cromwell, April 30; Browne to
Cromwell, Jan. 8, May 8 and 20, 1538.

[302] This quarrel may be traced in detail in the _State Papers_. Browne
to J. Alen, April 15, 1538; to Cromwell, May 8 and 21, and June 20 and
27; Staples to St. Leger, June 17; to Cromwell, June 10 and Aug. 10;
Thomas Alen to Cromwell, Oct. 20; Brabazon to Cromwell, April 30.

[303] Grey to Cromwell, Dec. 31, 1537; J. Alen to Cromwell, Oct. 20,
1538; Browne's Letters in S.P. from 1538 to 1540; R. Cowley to Cromwell,
July 19, 1538; Lord Butler to Cromwell, Aug. 26. Butler says that at the
Lord Deputy's table the vicar of Chester said the King had commanded
images to be set up, worshipped, and honoured as much as ever. 'We held
us all in silence to see what the Lord Deputy would say thereto. He held
his peace, and said nothing; and then my Lord of Dublin, the Master of
the Rolls, and I said that if ... he were out of the Deputy's presence,
we would put him fast by the heels.... His lordship said nothing all the
while. Surely he hath a special zeal to the Papists.' For Down Cathedral,
see Stanihurst.

[304] Ware places the destruction of relics in 1538: it was perhaps a
little later. For Our Lady of Trim and the Baculum Jesu, see the _Four
Masters_, under 1537, and O'Donovan's notes; also Giraldus Cambrensis,
_Top._ Dist. iii. cap. 33 and 34, and _Expug._ lib. ii. c. 19, Record
Edition. The notice in Campion is perhaps only an echo of Giraldus.

[305] The above paragraph is founded on a careful comparison of the data
in Ware, Cotton, and Brady. R. Cowley to Cromwell, Aug. 5, 1538; and see
S.P., vol. iii. pp. 110, 117, and 123. A letter from Staples to St.
Leger, June 17, 1538, throws some light on Henry's relations with Rome
before the divorce question arose: 'Appoint some means how that such
bishops as had their bulls of the Bishop of Rome by our sovereign lord's
commandment may bring in their bulls, cancelling the same, and to have
some remembrance from his Highness, which shall stand them in like effect
with the same.'

[306] There are notices of Wauchop in Ware, Brady, Sarpi, ii. 34 (French
translation and Courayer's notes), and Moran's _Spicilegium Ossoriense_,
vol. i. p. 13. Twelve letters of Wauchop printed in the last-named work
have nothing particular to do with Ireland. He must be regarded as
founder of the titular hierarchy in Ireland.

[307] Abstracted from Hogan's _Hibernia Ignatiana_, p. 4, where Paul's
letter may be also read in the original Latin.

[308] Hogan's _Hibernia Ignatiana_, pp. 3-9. Paul III.'s letter to Con
O'Neill is dated April 24, 1541. The Jesuits were in Ireland in February
and March, 1542. O'Sullivan Beare, lib. iii. cap. 8. James V. to the
Irish chiefs, in S.P., vol. v. p. 202; Paget to Henry VIII. from Lyons,
July 13, 1542, in S.P., vol. ix. p. 106.

[309] _Calendar of Patent Rolls_, p. 73; Grey to Cromwell, Feb. 4, 1537.
The last session began Oct. 13, 1537; a detailed account is given by
Brabazon in a letter to Cromwell in S.P., vol. ii. p. 524, and in the
note there.

[310] Grey and Brabazon to Cromwell, May 18, 1537. The King to the Lord
Deputy and Council, S.P., vol. ii. p. 425. Harris's _Ware_ under Staples,
Bishop of Meath. For the names of the dissolved houses, see the Statute,
28 Henry VIII. cap. 16, and _Calendar of Patent Rolls_, p. 38. There were
twenty-five mitred abbots and priors in Ireland, ten of Canons Regular,
one of Benedictines, one of Hospitallers, and thirteen of Cistercians.
Ware, in his _Annals_, says the heads of St. Mary's and St. Thomas's,
Dublin, of Kilmainham, and of Mellifont were regularly summoned to
Parliament--the more distant ones very seldom. The Augustinians were the
most numerous and probably the richest of the sedentary orders. Their
rule was adopted by most of the ancient Irish monasteries, the small
residue becoming Benedictine. Alemand, who was originally a Huguenot and
who was Voltaire's countryman, remarks that in order to become quickly a
bishop in Ireland, it was necessary first to be a Regular Canon.

[311] Chiefly from Alemand; the words of John's grant are 'ante adventum
_Francorum_ in Hiberniam.' For the final grant, see Archdall's _Lodge_.
Art. Earl of Drogheda.

[312] Alemand. Sidney to Queen Elizabeth, April 20, 1567, in the _Sidney

[313] Alemand and Archdall. As to the intended combat, see _Carew_,
miscellaneous vol., pp. 446, 447.

[314] Most of the pensions mentioned in the text are traceable in
Morrin's _Calendar of Patent Rolls_. For Cahir, see Archdall's
_Monasticon_. Queen Mary's instructions to Lord Fitzwalter, April 28,
1556, in _Carew_.

[315] Alemand, _passim_; Documents in the supplementary volume of _King's
Primer_, No. 66; the Waterford document is in Brennan's _Ecclesiastical
History_, p. 459.

[316] Sir John Davies's _Discovery_.

[317] In Mant's _Church History_ is an estimate of the monastic property
founded on the Loftus MS.; but such calculations must be very rough. R.
Cowley to Cromwell, Oct. 4, 1536.

[318] Agard to Cromwell, April 4, 1538. James White to Cromwell, March
28. _Spicilegium Ossoriense_, vol. i. p. 437. _Hibernia Dominicana._

[319] In recommending a grant of Dusk to Ormonde the Council say they
'cannot perceive, as it is situated, that any man can keep it for the
King, but only the said Earl or his son.' For Toem and Dunmore, see
_Calendar of Patent Rolls_, pp. 73 and 84. Browne to Cromwell, May 21,

[320] Ware's _Antiquities_, by Harris, chap. xxxvii., sec. 3. Lord L.
Grey to Cromwell, Jan. 19, 1538.

[321] The King to Browne in S.P., vol. ii. p. 174; Browne's answer, Sept.
27, 1537; Staples to St. Leger, June 17, 1538; Ware's _Life and Death of

[322] Ware's _Bishops_; Staples to St. Leger, June 17, 1538; Devices by
Travers for the Reformation in 1542, S.P., vol. iii., No. 382. The King's
rebuke was in 1537, see S.P., vol. ii. p. 174, note.



[Sidenote: Accession of Edward VI. Ormonde and Desmond.]

The death of Henry VIII. made no immediate difference to Ireland, for St.
Leger continued to govern as before. There was such a tendency to depress
the Ormonde interest that the widowed countess thought it wise to go to
London, where she pleaded her own cause with much success. She was
supposed to have designs upon the heir of Desmond's hand, and the English
statesmen, who naturally dreaded such an alliance, encouraged her to
marry Sir Francis Bryan, who was in favour with Somerset as he had been
with Henry VIII. The new government directed their attention to economy
and the repression of jobbery among the Dublin officials. It was
discovered that many who drew the King's pay were serving in the houses
of councillors, 'some in the place of a cook, some of a butler,
housekeeper, and other like,' so that they were practically useless when
called to arms. This was strictly forbidden for the future. The Irish
Council were earnestly charged finally to put down 'that intolerable
extortion, coyne and livery, having always respect to some recompense to
be given to the lords and governors of our countries for the defending of
the same.' Desmond was thanked for his services, and the young king
offered to have his eldest son brought up as his companion, 'as other
noblemen's sons whom we favour are educated with us in learning and other
virtuous qualities, whereby hereafter, when we come to just age, we, in
remembrance of our childhood spent together, may the rather be moved to
prosecute them with our wonted favour, and they all inclined to love and
serve us the more faithfully. We shall consent and right glad to have him
with us, and shall so cherish him as ye shall have cause to thank us,
and at his return to think the time of his attendance on us to be well
employed.' If this offer had been accepted, and if the same results had
followed as in the cases of the young Earl of Ormonde and of Barnaby
Fitzpatrick, the unspeakable miseries of the Desmond rebellion might have
been avoided.[323]

[Sidenote: The bastard Geraldines.]

The Pale was at this time much disturbed by the depredations of a gang of
freebooters, headed by some of the bastard Geraldines who had lost their
lands. They overran the southern half of Kildare and the northern half of
Carlow, plundering and burning Rathangan, Ballymore Eustace, and
Rathvilly. At first they acted with O'Connor, but he was forced to go to
Connaught to look for reinforcements, and the MacGeohegans and others
were induced by St. Leger to kill his men and drive his cattle. The
Fitzgeralds, after defying the Government for a year, were crushed at
Blessington in the autumn of 1547. The O'Tooles sided with the English,
and thus justified Henry VIII.'s policy towards them. The Irish generally
fell away from O'Connor and O'More, to whom they feared to give food and
shelter; and the chiefs were obliged to make such a peace as was possible
with the Government. The annalists dwell strongly on the strength of the
English at this time, on the unexampled bondage in which they held the
southern half of Ireland, and on their complete victory over the man who
had been 'the head of the happiness and prosperity of that half of
Ireland in which he lived, namely, Brian O'Connor.'[324]

[Sidenote: Bellingham's first visit to Ireland, 1547.]

Sir Edward Bellingham, a gentleman of the bedchamber, was sent over for
the first time in the summer of 1547, in charge of reinforcements. This
able soldier had been Governor of the Isle of Wight, and had served at
Boulogne in 1546. He had also held diplomatic appointments in Hungary,
and at the Emperor's Court. The Privy Council, who expressed themselves
satisfied of his military ability, directed the Irish Government to be
guided by his advice, and to pay him the unusual salary of forty
shillings sterling a day. He was employed by the borderers of the Pale
against the O'Mores and O'Connors, and seems to have made his mark from
the first. After a short stay Bellingham with difficulty obtained leave
to return to England. He must have succeeded in impressing his views on
Somerset, to whose religious party he belonged, for St. Leger was
recalled in the following spring, and Bellingham was appointed in his

[Sidenote: Butlers and Kavanaghs. Bellingham Deputy, 1548.]

Bellingham landed at Dalkey on May 18, 1548, and the state of Leinster at
once engaged his attention. Moryt Oge Kavanagh had taken a horse and
other property from a neighbour, and Bellingham called upon Cahir MacArt
to restore it, and to punish the thief. The chief denied all
responsibility, on the ground that the culprit was in Sir Richard
Butler's suite, and that he could not in any case hang a man for
stealing, but only enforce restitution according to the Brehon law. We
can now see that in this at least Cahir MacArt was more nearly right than
the English lawyers. Moryt Oge had grievances, and said that he was
oppressed by one Watkin Powell, but he restored the horse, subject to the
Lord Deputy's opinion as to whether he had a right to it as a set off
against his own losses. He came to Carlow to plead his own cause, but Sir
Richard Butler, who had promised to meet him, did not appear. Butler was
accused of showing a bad example in the country by plundering houses,
wounding men, and taking gentlewomen prisoners. If this, or even a small
part of it, were true of the Earl of Ormonde's brother, it is not
surprising that robberies should have been things of every-day

[Sidenote: The Pale constantly threatened.]

The defenders of the Pale were fully occupied. Having consulted such men
in England as understood Irish affairs, the Privy Council concluded that
the principal damage was done 'skulkingly in the winter's nights.' If the
Lord Deputy's presence near the border was not enough to prevent
incursion, soldiers accustomed to the country were to be quartered there
permanently, and nightly watch to be kept, especially on O'Connor's side.
Truces were not to last beyond the winter. This border service must have
been very disagreeable. John Brereton, who held the office of seneschal
of Wexford, of which the duties were very ill discharged by Watkin
Powell, was stationed at Kildare, and complained bitterly that he was
harassed to death. He could get no leave because he had no second
captain, and even in May and June he could scarcely enjoy an undisturbed
night. At one time he was roused from his bed by shouts, at another by
the announcement that some alarm beacon was blazing. On foot or on
horseback he had to march at once, and yet he was unable to answer every
summons. A proprietor at Rathangan, who is called Raymond Oge, had his
haggard burned by some of the O'Connor kerne. Two English troopers were
with him by chance and helped to defend his castle, but the fires which
they lit on the roof were not answered. Horses left out in a bog near a
wood were carried off and the keepers killed. Nothing was safe unless
shut up in a bawn, or fortified courtyard. Owen MacHugh O'Byrne, who was
retained permanently by the Government as a captain of kerne, was
inclined to do good service, but his men would not advance beyond Lea
Castle, saying that 'if Captain Cosby wanted wilfully to lose his life,
they did not set so little by their lives.' Cosby was a man of great
personal courage. The Constable of Lea, the same James Fitzgerald whose
allegiance in Grey's time had been so elastic, required a letter from
Bellingham to encourage him. The Lord Deputy himself spent some time at
Athy, where eighteen beds were provided for him and his suite; but the
border was never quiet for a moment. Fitzgerald and Cosby had no official
authority, and their orders carried no weight. If a cow strayed an alarm
was raised, and while soldiers were sent on a fool's errand in one
direction, the rebels or brigands had their time to themselves. O'More
came to the Barrow and carried off horses and sheep. Owen MacHugh
skirmished with him, but the hostile chief, 'like a jolly fellow,'
offered the royal kerne 6_s._ 8_d._ a fortnight to serve him, and pay to
their leaders in proportion. Before Cosby could get his men together the
O'Mores had vanished.[327]

[Sidenote: Lord Dunboyne.]

Other loyal and half loyal partisans were less energetic than Cosby. Lord
Dunboyne complained that his manor of Fishmoyne in Tipperary had been
plundered by the O'Carrolls and O'Meaghers, and this because he had
discharged his men by the Lord Deputy's orders. Bellingham retorted that
his lordship lied in his throat; for he had bidden him to entertain true
men instead of rebels, and to discharge no one unless it could be done
safely. He had particularly cautioned him against 'rashly discharging
such as have been malefactors as your gallowglasses were, and naturally
as their captains were.'[328]

[Sidenote: Pirates.]

While the frontiers of the Pale were harassed by robbers, the loyal ports
of the south were in constant dread of pirates. A rover named Eagle
blockaded Kinsale, which was half depopulated by an epidemic, and
another, named Colley, established himself in a castle belonging to Barry
Oge, whose aunt he married, so that the poor town was quite shut up.
Cork, the citizens told Bellingham, was so well defended by marshes and
waters, 'besides walls and towers which we do build daily, that we do not
fear all the Irishmen in Ireland and English rebels also, if there be any
such, until such time as your wisdom would repair hither for our refuge.'
John Tomson, a noted rover, visited both Cork and Waterford. According to
the authorities of the latter city he had 'one saker of 16-foot long,
having four chambers, so that we do not see how he may be apprehended.'
In an affray between the citizens and an armed French vessel Tomson took
part with the foreigner, and the pursuit of them cost Waterford 1,000_l._
This formidable water-thief was taken by O'Sullivan Bere, who made him
pay a large ransom. Afterwards Bellingham rather oddly allowed the Cork
men to trade with Tomson, because it seemed possible that he had received
pardon, and because the goods then on board did not appear to be stolen.
Wine, figs, and sugar were, however, the wares offered by Tomson and his
ally Stephenson, and it is most likely that they had been stolen at sea
from the Portuguese. Tomson used the occasion to refit and to repair his
weapons, and the Waterford men called upon the Mayor of Cork to apprehend
the pirates; but that prudent official refused to do so without special
orders from Bellingham. Pirates were unpleasant people to deal with. A
gang confined at Waterford broke their gyves, nearly murdered a
fellow-prisoner, and with many 'cracks' and menaces threatened to burn
the gaol.[329]

[Sidenote: Their daring outrages.]

A pirate named Smith sailed into Youghal, but seems to have taken nothing
but loose rigging and spars. He had long infested these waters, seemingly
with no more than six men, armed with guns and bows. The Youghal
fishermen took heart, and by a combined attack succeeded in capturing
Smith. Other pirates named Cole, Butside, and Strangwych are mentioned as
active about this time. They were all English, but the trade was by no
means confined to any one nation; for Sir Philip Hoby, the English
ambassador at the imperial court, was instructed to apply for help to
suppress a squadron of twenty sail, manned by lawless desperadoes of all
countries, who infested the Irish coast, and robbed the Emperor's
subjects. Logan, a Scotch professor of the art, and a survivor from
Lennox's expedition, haunted the coast about Howth, and took several
vessels. Power and Gough, who robbed a Portuguese ship in Waterford
harbour, and ruined the foreign trade of that port, were probably of
Irish birth. Desmond, on whom the honorary office of Lord Treasurer, held
by the late Earl of Ormonde, had already been conferred, received a
commission from Lord Admiral Seymour to exercise his jurisdiction along
the coast from Dungarvan to Galway. The men of the latter town said they
could defend themselves against all Irishmen coming by land, but that
they had not a single piece of artillery to resist attacks from the sea.
They professed unswerving loyalty, as did their neighbours of Limerick,
and Bellingham thanked the latter for their efforts to keep the Burkes
quiet, 'in whom,' he said, 'the obstinacy is found to break this order,
you the King's our own most dear sovereign lord's and master's subjects,
the mayor, brethren, and council of Limerick shall proceed to the first
and lawful redress and punishment thereof.'[330]

[Sidenote: Bellingham's campaign in Leix, 1548.]

Before Bellingham came to Ireland a hosting into Leix had been
proclaimed, and he carried it out promptly. The men of Drogheda were
required to furnish a strong contingent, having 'caused to be mustered
all such as are meet for the war without partiality.' They had also to
furnish carts, of which it seems the town could only boast three, and
there were complaints of the stringency of Bellingham's requisitions; but
he said he would rather they were unfurnished than he. The Drogheda men
did very good service, and the carts, which were duly paid for, were
employed to carry pioneers' tools. The soldiers were thus enabled without
excessive fatigue to cut passes through woods, and make causeways over
bogs. After a thirty days' campaign in Leix, Bellingham resolved that a
town should be built in Leix, and in the meantime was erected Fort
Governor or Protector, in the place where Maryborough now stands. The
citizens of Dublin were required to assist in making it practicable for
soldiers to act upon the border of Kildare; but they made excuses, saying
that men could not carry arms and tools as well. Bellingham
sarcastically refuted their argument, 'in which your experience bitterly
condemneth my ignorance.' Let them send carts as the Drogheda men had
done, and then one man could do the work of two.[331]

[Sidenote: Bellingham routs the O'Connors.]

In August 1548 Cahir O'Connor, who still kept some force about him,
invaded Kildare. Nicholas Bagenal, Marshal of the army, fell in with the
marauders, and rescued the cattle taken, though his men were in the
proportion of one to sixteen. Cahir retreated with his troop, and with a
multitude of camp followers and 'slaves,' who carried their food to what
was considered an unassailable position. Bellingham was not far off, and
he ordered Saintloo to attack them wherever he could find them.
Accompanied by Travers, Brereton, and Cosby, Saintloo tracked them to a
spot surrounded by a bog. The soldiers struggled manfully through the
moss until they reached hard ground, and a great butchery followed. The
oldest man in Ireland had, as Bellingham supposed, never seen so many
wood-kerne slain in one day. Such was the slaughter, says this precursor
of Cromwell, that none escaped but by mistake, or hiding them in ambush,
'such was the great goodness of God to deliver them into our hands.' The
Old Testament in English was beginning to make its mark upon language and
upon habits of thought.[332]

[Sidenote: Disturbances in Munster. Foreign rumours.]

Munster was much disturbed. Edmund Tyrry, the King's bailiff at Cork, had
a dispute with some of the Barries about land. The Earl of Desmond was
appealed to, and he took Tyrry to Lord Barrymore, desiring the latter to
do him justice. Barrymore took the bailiff with him to his court-baron,
or 'parliament,' and the case was partly heard and adjourned to a future
day. On his return journey towards Cork, Tyrry was waylaid and murdered.
Bellingham demanded justice, and Lord Barrymore, after some months'
delay, gave up the murderers, who were doubtless duly executed. But the
Barry country continued to be the scene of frequent outrages. Lord
Barrymore went out one day in the early winter to drive the cattle of
some wild Irishmen, and met with certain other wild Irish who were going
to spoil his tenants. A fight followed, and the Barries 'killed
incontinently little lack of fourscore of them,' wherewith, said the
Corporation of Cork, 'we be glad, and so is the Earl of Desmond.' But
Bellingham was not satisfied with Desmond's conduct, nor easy about the
future. James Delahide, always the herald of a storm, was in Ireland, and
probably with the Earl. Gerald of Kildare might appear again; and there
were rumours that the French meditated a descent and the establishment of
a fortified port at Skerries to command the passage to Scotland. These
fears were not realised; but there were frequent communications between
Desmond and the O'Briens, and Bellingham took steps to have everything
reported to him. This vigilance perhaps prevented the Munster chiefs from

[Sidenote: Anarchy in Connaught. Garrison at Athlone.]

The death of the newly-created Earl of Clanricarde revived the normal
anarchy of Connaught. Ulick Burke was acknowledged as captain by the
Government and by some of the inhabitants during the minority of the
Earl's son Richard. But another Richard, the heir's illegitimate brother,
gave so much trouble that Sir Dermot O'Shaughnessy, and other
well-disposed chiefs, demanded that the young Earl should be settled in
possession, and that Commissioners should be sent to Galway for the
purpose. The false Richard was, however, allowed to rule his own
immediate district, but not without strong hints from Bellingham that
what the King gave the King could take away. Burke was reminded that he
had apprehended no notable malefactor, and that the Lord Deputy would
quarrel with no honest Irishman for his sake. Bellingham had neither time
nor force to give to the West, and the towns of Limerick and Galway had
very indifferent success in their efforts to keep the peace. But the
chief governor's reputation for justice was not without effect even in
Connaught. 'Your lordship's famous proceedings,' wrote the Archbishop of
Tuam, 'being divolgated throughout all Ireland, to the great fear of
misdoers and malefactors all through the country hereabouts now needing
reformation, more than heretofore, all for lack of justice among them to
be observed.' Bellingham established a garrison at Athlone, which
overawed the O'Kellys and O'Melaghlins; but little progress was made
beyond the Shannon. Robert Dillon, the lawyer, was the Lord Deputy's
civil substitute, but the sword was necessarily in the Baron of Delvin's
hands, who did all he could to prevent Dillon from sending messengers to
Dublin. The central districts of Ireland between the Pale and the great
river were at this time the theatre of constant war, and in this an
English, or Anglo-Norman, adventurer figures conspicuously.[334]

[Sidenote: Edmond Fay.]

Edmond Fay, who seems to have had property at Cadamstown, in the King's
County, and to have claimed more than the natives were willing to allow
him, was called into Westmeath by O'Melaghlin to aid him against his
enemies. The confederates gained some successes, and occupied, among
other places, the historic castle of Kincora. 'Edmond,' say the 'Four
Masters,' 'then continued to conquer Delvin in the King's name in
opposition to O'Melaghlin; and thus had O'Melaghlin brought a rod into
the country to strike himself, for Edmond a Faii expelled and banished
himself and all his tribe out of Delvin, just as the young swarm expels
the old.' Fay, who was to some extent supported by the Government, and
who had soldiers with him, drove the MacCoghlans across the Shannon, and
made himself master of most of the country between Athlone and
Slievebloom. Not satisfied with this he proposed to attack the
O'Carrolls, who joined the MacCoghlans, and expelled him from his recent
conquests. Fay called on the Government for help, and the whole county,
on both sides of the Brosna, was burned and plundered by the troops, to
whom no resistance was attempted. The Irish demolished Banagher and
other castles to prevent their being occupied, and this became a general
practice in like cases. Cadamstown was afterwards taken by the
O'Carrolls, and Fay returned to his original obscurity. He seems to have
had the keep of Thady Roe, or the Red Captain, a noted leader of
mercenaries, who held possession of Nenagh. The O'Carrolls burned the
monastery and town, but the castle defied their power.[335]

[Sidenote: The Pale is freed from rebels.]

Towards the close of 1548 Alen was able to report that there were only
about a dozen rebels on the borders of the Pale. O'Connor had surrendered
at discretion, and his life was spared in the hope of inducing O'More to
follow his example. Alen advised that they should be removed from
Ireland, and that work should be found for them at Calais or Boulogne.
'There are in all,' he told Paget, 'not twelve persons wherewith your
honour to make a maundie, for when Christ ministered at His last supper
there were twelve, of whom one was a traitor, and of these ye may have
twelve together at one table.'[336]

[Sidenote: The coinage. A mint.]

The Plantagenet kings had made no difference in the coinage of England
and Ireland; but in 1460--when Richard, Duke of York, was Lord
Lieutenant--the Parliament of Drogheda, with the express intention of
loosening the tie between the two islands, declared that coins
intrinsically worth threepence should be struck in Ireland and pass for
fourpence. There was afterwards a further degradation, and the money
struck by Henry VIII. consisted at last of one-half, or even two-thirds,
alloy. 'New coins were introduced into Ireland,' say the 'Four Masters,'
with pardonable exaggeration, 'that is, copper, and the men of Ireland
were obliged to use it as silver.' Dishonesty had its proverbial reward,
for trade was thrown into confusion and general discontent engendered.
The Corporation of Galway more than once besought Bellingham to force the
new money on the captain of Clanricarde and Donnell O'Flaherty. The
Corporation of Kinsale made the same request as to the Courcies,
Barries, and MacCarthies. This was, of course, beyond Bellingham's power,
and the Protector went on coining regardless of Irish complaints. Thomas
Agard was Treasurer of the Dublin Mint, and exercised his office
independently of the Lord Deputy. He was originally in Cromwell's
service, and his position not unnaturally brought him into collision with
Lord Leonard Grey, who accused him of making mischief. Agard, however,
said that Grey, 'which is my heavy lord,' oppressed him out of spite,
because he opposed the Geraldine faction, and prevented him from setting
up broad looms and dye-works in Dublin. With the politic St. Leger he got
on better, but Bellingham, whose temper was quite as despotic as Grey's,
was much disgusted at the independence of the Mint. Agard leaned to the
Puritan side, and praised Bellingham's godly proceedings. God is with
you, he wrote to him, and with all good Christians who love God and their
King, with much more of the same sort. But the Lord Deputy was not
conciliated, and accused Agard of cooking his accounts, and of embezzling
2,000_l._ He was not superseded, and was entrusted with the congenial
task of melting down chalices and crosses, and of turning them into bad
money. The home authorities chose to make Agard independent in his
office; but the stronger nature triumphed, and the King's auditor
reported that the Treasurer of the Mint dared not for his life speak of
his business to any but the Lord Deputy. The debased currency caused much
speculation of an undesirable kind. Thus, Francis Digby, who had a
licence to export Irish wool, found it pay much better to buy up plate
with the current coin and sell it in England for sterling money. Others
took the cue, and it became necessary to issue a proclamation. It was, of
course, no more possible to prevent the exportation of silver than to
change the ebb and flow of the tides.[337]

[Sidenote: Bellingham's haughty bearing.]

[Sidenote: His rash letters to Somerset,]

In November Bellingham paid a short visit to Dublin, where he found Lady
Ormonde with her new husband, Sir Francis Bryan, who had a commission as
Lord Marshal of Ireland. Bryan, 'the man of youthful conditions,' as
Roger Ascham called him, was particularly recommended by the Privy
Council to Alen, who could not understand what Henry VIII. had seen in
him worthy of great promotion. Bellingham hated him from the first, and
Alen thought he would have the same feeling to any one who had married
Lady Ormonde. We have no means of knowing whether he was in love with
her, or whether he hated her, or whether he merely disliked the alliance
as likely to clip his own wings. His idea of the rights and dignity of
his position was high and even excessive, and was asserted with a fine
disregard of prudence. To Somerset he complained that his credit was bad,
and that he was despised in Ireland because he was thought to have no
power to reward those who had done good service. He begged that they
might be 'fed with some thereof, which no doubt it is great need of, for
the wisest sort have ever found that good service in Ireland has been
less considered of any place.'

[Sidenote: to Warwick,]

[Sidenote: and to Seymour.]

In writing to Warwick his words were still stronger, and he complained
bitterly at the slight put on him in the matter of the mint. 'I am,' he
said, 'at your honourable lordship's commandment; but in respect I am the
King's Deputy, your good lordship may determine surely that I will have
none exempt from my authority in Ireland's ground, but sore against my
will.' He had not spent the King's treasure in gambling or riotous
living, nor in buying land for himself. The King's responsible servants
in Ireland were neglected, and credit given to backstairs' suitors
'coming in by the windows,' which did more harm than all the rebels and
Irishry in the realm. Some of Warwick's letters had hurt him, whereas the
true policy would be to let men 'know that I am the King's Deputy, so
that they shall think when they have my favours things go well with them,
and the contrary when they have them not.' These letters, and another to
Seymour, gave great, and not unnatural offence, so that Bellingham was
fain to beg the admiral's pardon and intercession with Warwick. Some
measure of the serpent's wisdom is necessary to those who fill great

[Sidenote: Bellingham and the Irish.]

If Bellingham could thus treat the most powerful men in England, he was
not likely to mince matters with those whom he could touch. 'Bring
yourself,' said the Lord Deputy to O'Molloy, who had wrongfully detained
the property of a kinswoman, 'out of the slander of the people by making
prompt restitution, or have your contempt punished as to your deserts
shall appertain.' To the Earl of Thomond, who had promised to bring in
Calough O'Carroll but had not done so, he wrote a noble letter, but a
very imprudent one, considering the character and position of the chief
whom he addressed. Calough O'Carroll, he said, had brought his troubles
on himself by allowing his men to plunder, and by refusing to give them
up; he should be well plagued for it according to promise, until he and
his brother found means to come and seek their own pardon. The O'Carrolls
submitted and were pardoned.[339]

[Sidenote: Bellingham and his Council.]

Bellingham was above all things a soldier, and he treated his Council,
consisting for the most part of lawyers, in a very high-handed manner.
His old friend Alen remonstrated, and there is no reason to doubt him
here, though he had a way of quarrelling with successive Deputies. Alen
admitted that Bellingham was quite free from pecuniary self-seeking, but
thought he had more than his share of the other sin which beset chief
governors, ambition namely, and the longing to rule alone. He had said
that it would be a good deed to hang the whole Council, and he kept the
members waiting for hours among the servants in the ante-room. Alen he
accused personally of feigning sickness when bent on mischief. Others he
threatened to commit if they offended him, reminding them that he could
make or mar their fortunes. When angry he frequently sent men to a prison
without any warrant of law; 'and I myself,' said the Chancellor, 'except
I walk warily, look for none other but some time with the King's seal
with me to take up my lodging in the castle of Dublin.' The Council had
become a lifeless, spiritless corpse, for Bellingham could hear no advice
without threats and taunts. It is not surprising that Privy Councillors
feared to speak frankly, and forced themselves to wait until this tyranny
should be overpast.[340]

[Sidenote: Bellingham seizes Desmond.]

To a Lord Deputy so jealous for the dignity of his office nothing could
be more distasteful than the power of the House of Ormonde, which was now
wielded by the Countess and her husband. The Sheriff of Kildare gave a
most galling proof of this power by begging that his communications with
Bellingham might be kept secret for fear of Lady Ormonde's displeasure.
She claimed the right to keep gallowglasses in Kilkenny, and the Lord
Deputy infinitely disliked this practice, which had prevailed for
centuries. He wished to keep the young Earl in England, lest by living at
home he should imbibe exaggerated notions of his own importance. 'His
learning and manners,' he said, 'would be nothing amended, and the King's
authority thereby be nought the more obeyed.' By remaining in England
till he was of discreet years, he might learn willingly to abandon his
'usurped insufferable rule, which I trust he will do yet in time to
come.' Any assumption of independence on the part of a subject irritated
Bellingham excessively; and when Desmond, whose manners he stigmatised as
detestable, neglected his summons, he set out quietly from Leighlin with
a small party of horse, rode rapidly into Munster, surprised Desmond
sitting by the fire in one of his castles, and carried him off to Dublin.
He set himself to instruct the rude noble in civilisation and in the
nature of the royal authority, sometimes, if we may believe the
chronicler, 'making him kneel upon his knees an hour together before he
knew his duty.' This discipline, accompanied doubtless with kind
treatment in other ways, seems to have answered so well, that, according
to the same authority, Desmond 'thought himself most happy that ever he
was acquainted with the said Deputy, and did for ever after so much
honour him, as that continually all his life at every dinner and supper
he would pray for the good Sir Edward Bellingham; and at all callings he
was so obedient and dutiful, as none more in that land.'[341]

[Sidenote: Ireland quiet. Garrison at Leighlin Bridge.]

At the beginning of the year 1549 the Privy Council thanked Bellingham
for having brought Ireland to a good state. They charged him to aid
Tyrone against the Scots, and to be on his guard against French
enterprises undertaken under colour of trading. The forts erected where
Maryborough and Philipstown now are kept Leix and Offaly quiet. Breweries
were at work under the shadow of both, and it was proposed to start a
tan-yard at Fort Protector, as Maryborough was for the moment called.
Bellingham established another post, which became very important, to
command the road from Dublin to Kilkenny, and thus make the Government
less dependent on the House of Ormonde. The suppressed Carmelite convent
at Leighlin Bridge required but little alteration, and the Barrow ceased
to be a serious obstacle. The Lord Deputy kept twenty or thirty horses
here with the greatest difficulty, the hay having to be brought from
Carlow through a disturbed country. Irishmen were willing to settle and
to make an example of peaceful cultivation, but they were in great fear
of Lady Ormonde. Walter Cowley, formerly Solicitor-General and fomenter
of discord between St. Leger and the late Earl, had little good to say of
the no longer disconsolate widow, but praised Sir Francis Bryan for
saying that he would not 'borrow of the law as my Lord of Ormonde did.'
The expression was called forth by the action of the Idrone Ryans, who
were frightened by the inquiries into tenure, and came to Lady Ormonde
offering to convey their lands to her and her heirs; the object being to
defeat the Act of Absentees. No doubt the cultivators would have been
glad to pay an easy rent to a powerful neighbour, rather than have an
active new landlord such as Cosby thrust upon them. Sir Richard Butler,
some of whose misdeeds have been already mentioned, built a castle in
O'More's country without any title, and overawed the whole district of

[Sidenote: Progress of the Reformation. Browne and Staples.]

Doctrinal Protestantism was not formally promulgated in Bellingham's
time; but the recognition of the royal supremacy was pretty general, for
he would allow no disobedience. The Treasurer of St. Patrick's, who was
refractory, was severely reprimanded, and threatened with condign
punishment. A Scot who preached at Kilmainham condemned the Mass, and
Archbishop Browne, whose opinions were not perhaps quite fixed, was
accused of inveighing against the stranger, and of maintaining that those
who sided with him were 'not the King's true subjects.' Means were,
however, taken to spread the order of service which Browne had set on
foot. The Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, and the _Ave Maria_ were
read and circulated in English, but the Mass was retained; a confused
arrangement which could not last. Still, the men who controlled the
Government and the young King were known to be favourable to the new
doctrines, and the Scots emissary soon found a distinguished follower in
the Bishop of Meath. Staples had at one time certainly held opinions less
advanced than those of Browne, but he now went to Dublin and preached a
strong Protestant sermon against the Mass. On returning to his own
diocese he found that he had incurred universal hatred. An Irishman,
whose infant he had christened and named after himself, desired to have
the child re-baptized, 'for he would not have him bear the name of a
heretic.' A gentleman refused to have his child confirmed 'by him that
denied the sacrament of the altar.' The gossips in the market-place at
Navan declared that if the Bishop came to preach there they would stay
away, lest they should learn to be heretics. A lawyer in the
neighbourhood told a crowd of people that Staples deserved to be burned,
'for if I preached heresy so was I worthy to be burned, and if I preached
right yet was I worthy that kept the truth from knowledge.' 'This
gentleman,' Staples quaintly adds, 'loveth no sodden meat, but can skill
only of roasting.' Another lawyer, a judge, said it should be proved
before the Bishop's face that he preached against learning. The following
is too interesting to omit:--'A beneficed man of mine own promotion came
unto me weeping and desired me that he might declare his mind unto me
without my displeasure. I said I was well content. My Lord, said he,
before ye went last to Dublin ye were the best beloved man in your
diocese that ever came in, and now ye are the worst beloved that ever
came here. I asked why? "Why," saith he, "ye have taken open part with
the State that false heretic, and preached against the sacrament of the
altar, and deny saints, and will make us worse than Jews: if the country
wist how they would eat you;" and he besought me to take heed of myself,
for he feared more than he durst tell me. "Ye have," he said, "more
curses than ye have hairs of your head, and I advise you for Christ sake
not to preach at the Navan as I hear ye will do." I said it was my charge
to preach, and because there was most resort (God willing) I would not
fail but preach there. Hereby ye may perceive what case I am in, but I
put all to God.' The Bishop spoke as became his office, but he was
'afraid of his life divers ways.'[343]

[Sidenote: Bellingham and Dowdall.]

Bellingham had information of what was going on in England by private as
well as official correspondence. John Issam, a strong Protestant, who was
afterwards made seneschal of Wexford, wrote from London an account of the
variations of opinion upon the all-important question of the sacrament.
'There is great sticking,' he said, 'about the blessed body and bloode of
Jesus Christ, howbeit, I trust that they will conclude well in it, by the
help of the Holy Spirit, without which such matters cannot well be tried;
but part of our bishops that have been most stiff in opinions of the
reality of His body there, as He was here in earth, should be in the
bread, they now confess and say that they were never of that opinion, but
by His mighty power in spirit, and leaveth His body sitting on the right
hand of His Father, as our common creed testifieth; but yet there is hard
hold with some to the contrary, who shall relent when it pleaseth God.'
Bellingham certainly did what he could to spread the reformed doctrines,
but this was, perhaps, not much. His letter to Primate Dowdall, who had
acknowledged the royal supremacy, but was inflexible on the question of
the sacrament, is instinct with the spirit of Christian sincerity.

'My Lord Primate,' he says, 'I pray you lovingly and charitably to be
circumspect in your doings, and consider how God hath liberally given you
divers gifts, and namely, of reputation among the people ... Let all
these in part be with the gratuity of setting forth the plain, simple,
and naked truth recompensed, and the way to do the same is to know that
which, with a mild and humble spirit wished, sought, and prayed for, will
most certainly be given, which I pray God grant us both.'[344]

[Sidenote: Bellingham advances the royal supremacy.]

Bellingham could do nothing with Dowdall; but in the spring of 1549 all
the priests in the Kilkenny district not physically incapable of
travelling were summoned to meet the Lord Deputy and Council. It was
ordered that the Attorney-General should exercise jurisdiction in
ecclesiastical matters, and 'abolish idolatry, papistry, the Mass
sacrament, and the like.' The Archbishop of Cashel seems to have had no
great zeal for the work. Nicholas Fitzwilliam, Treasurer of St.
Patrick's, received a stinging rebuke for his hesitation to carry out the
royal commands. The innovations were distasteful to most men in Ireland,
but Bellingham was recognised as one who would use his patronage
conscientiously, and not job in the usual style. John Brereton, a decided
Protestant, recommended to him 'for the love of God and the zeal that you
have for the education of Christ's flock,' a poor priest who was willing
to go into a certain district where he had friends, and where there was
no one to declare the true worship. The suppliant, who was both learned
and earnest, could expect favour from no nother's (_sic_) hand, because
he 'is but poor and has no money to give as his adversaries do.' Auditor
Brasier told Somerset that 'there was never Deputy in the realm that went
the right way, as he doth, both for the setting forth of God's Word to
His honour, and to the wealth of the King's Highness' subjects.' But
these praises did not serve to prolong his term of office, and he left
Ireland without effecting the reforms which he had at heart.[345]

[Sidenote: Bellingham leaves Ireland, 1549. His character.]

Bellingham's departure from Ireland followed pretty closely on the
Protector's eclipse, though it is not quite certain that it was caused by
it. Warwick may have borne malice for past lectures, but the Lord Deputy
seems to have defended himself successfully, and might have been sent
back had he not excused himself on account of ill-health. The malady
proved fatal, but he seems to have retained office till his death. There
has been a tendency among those who find their ideal realised in a strong
man armed, to represent Bellingham as a model ruler. It appears from his
letters and from general testimony that he was honest, brave, loyal, and
sincerely religious; but his incessant wars were very burdensome, and it
is noted that he exacted the unpopular cess more stringently than its
inventor St. Leger had done. But he was a true-dealing man, took nothing
without punctual payment, and 'could not abide the cry of the poor.' From
the love of gain, that common vice of provincial governors, he was
absolutely free, and made a point of spending all his official income in
hospitality, saying that the meat and drink in his house were not his
own, but his dear master's. For the King's honour he paid his own
travelling expenses, and insisted on doing the like even when Lord
Baltinglass entertained him sumptuously. Alen, who criticised his
official conduct so sharply, could not but allow that he was 'the best
man of war that ever he had seen in Ireland.' The figure of the Puritan
soldier has its charms; but the sword of the Lord and of Gideon is not a
good instrument of civil government. Absolutism may be apparently
successful under a beneficent despot, but who is to guarantee that his
successor shall not be a villain or a fool? Bellingham's forts did their
own work, but his ascendency over lawyers in Dublin and ambitious chiefs
in the country was purely personal, and had no lasting effect. There was
much to admire in his character, but distance has lent it enchantment,
and in practice not much permanent work could be done by a governor of
whom the most striking fact recorded is that 'he wore ever his harness,
and so did all those whom he liked of.'[346]

[Sidenote: Bryan, Lord Justice. Mischief brewing.]

As soon as Bellingham had left Ireland the Council unanimously elected
Bryan Lord Justice. The Irish, though overawed by the departed Deputy,
had been plotting in the usual way, and after all that had passed Lord
Thomond and O'Carroll were sworn allies. The Kavanaghs were known to be
meditating mischief, and Desmond was not to be depended on. Lady Ormonde
had been quarrelling with Lady Desmond, and Alen took credit to himself
for having made a truce between them. To the usual elements of discord
were added many rumours of Scotch and French invasions. O'Neill,
O'Donnell, O'Dogherty, and others proposed to become subjects of France,
in consideration of help from thence, and of the most Christian King's
good offices with the Pope. Monluc, Bishop of Valence, returning from his
mission to the Scottish Court, was directed by Henry to take Ireland on
his way, and to gain all the information possible. Sir James Melville,
then a boy, accompanied him. 'Before our landing,' he says, 'we sent one
George Paris, who had been sent into Scotland by the great O'Neill and
his associates, who landed in the house of a gentleman who had married
O'Dogherty's daughter, dwelling at the Loch edge. He came aboard and
welcomed us, and conveyed us to his house, which was a great dark tower,
where we had cold cheer--as herring and biscuit--for it was Lentroun.'
One De Botte, a Breton merchant, was also sent on secret service to
Ireland apparently about the same time.[347]

[Sidenote: Death of Bryan, 1550. Lady Ormonde meditates a third

At this juncture Bryan died at Clonmel under circumstances apparently
somewhat suspicious, for there was a post-mortem examination. He had
refused to take any medicine, and the doctors, who detected no physical
unsoundness, prudently declared that he died of grief; we are not told
for what. 'But whereof soever he died,' says Alen, who was present both
at the death and the autopsy, 'he departed very godly.' Lady Ormonde, who
must have had a rooted dislike to single life, immediately recurred to
her plan of marrying Gerald of Desmond, and the Chancellor had to
remonstrate on the scandal of so soon supplying the place of two such
noble husbands. The danger of putting both the Ormonde and Desmond
interests in the same hand was obvious. The Geraldines were already too
powerful, and what might not be the consequence of throwing the weight of
the Butlers into the same scale, and making them more Irish and less
loyal than they had been before? In the end she promised to remain sole
for one year. 'Nevertheless,' said Alen, 'I would my lords (if they take
her marriage of any moment) trusted a woman's promise no further than in
such a case it is to be trusted!' Her marriage took place in the end with
beneficial results: for Lady Ormonde was able to keep some sort of peace
between her husband and her son, and thus saved much misery and
bloodshed. Immediately after her death the quarrel broke out anew, and
ended only with the extinction of the House of Desmond.[348]

[Sidenote: Brabazon, Lord Justice. Dowdall and Wauchop.]

On the day of Bryan's death the Council elected Brabazon to succeed him,
and the new Lord Justice soon afterwards went to Limerick to arrange
disputes among the O'Briens and between Thomond and Desmond. Before the
complicated complaints had been all heard his presence was required in
Dublin on account of the disturbed state of the North; a most dangerous
visitor having landed in Tyrconnel. This was the Papal Primate, Robert
Wauchop--Dowdall, who had acknowledged the royal supremacy, though
without accepting any of the new doctrines, not being acknowledged at
Rome. The actual Primate kept himself well informed as to the movements
of his rival, whom he understood to be a 'very shrewd spy and great
brewer of war and sedition.' There were many French and Scotch ready to
attack Ireland, and the former had already manned and armed two castles
in Innishowen. Tyrone gave Dowdall letters which he had received from the
French king, and the Archbishop, with his consent, forwarded them to the
Council. Tyrone swore before the Dean and Chapter of Armagh that he had
sent no answers, and that he would remain faithful to the King. He did
not acknowledge Wauchop's claims, but merely reported that he called
himself Primate, and that he was accompanied by two Frenchmen of rank,
who were supposed to be forerunners of countless Scotch and French
invaders. The Council warned Tyrone that the French wished to conquer
Ireland, and to reduce him and his clan to slavery and insignificance. He
was reminded that they had been expelled from Italy and Sicily for their
more than Turkish ferocity and rapacity. French messages were also sent
to O'Donnell, but no letters, as he had transmitted some formerly
received to the Government. He professed his loyalty, and declared that
he would not recognise Wauchop unless the Council wished it.[349]

[Sidenote: Foreign intrigues. George Paris.]

In all these intrigues we find one George Paris, or Parish, engaged. He
was a man whose ancestors had held land in Ireland, of which they had
been deprived, and he was perhaps related to the traitor of Maynooth.
This man came and went between France and Ireland, and though the
threatened attack was averted by the peace concluded by England with
France and Scotland, his services were not dispensed with. Henry said
that the intrigues had ceased with the peace, but the English ambassador
knew that his Majesty had had an interview with Paris less than a week
before. Paris told everyone that all the nobility of Ireland were
resolved to cast off the English yoke for fear of losing all their lands,
as the O'Mores and O'Connors had done. He boasted that he himself had
begged Trim Castle of the French king to make up for the lands which the
English had deprived him of. The Constable spoke as smoothly and not much
more truly than the King. Monluc was still employed in the matter, had
interviews with Paris, and gave him money.[350]

[Sidenote: St. Leger again Deputy. Alen displaced, 1550.]

After Bellingham's death it was determined to send St. Leger over again,
though he disliked the service, and though the Irish Chancellor continued
to indite bulky minutes against him. It was felt that the two could
hardly agree, and Alen was turned out of the Council and deprived of the
great seal, which was given to Cusack. His advice was nevertheless
occasionally asked. A year later he received 200 marks pension from the
date of his dismissal, though he had only asked for 100_l._ Many charges
were made against him, the truest, though he indignantly denied it, being
that he could not agree with others. But after careful search no fault of
any moment could be found in him, and he had served very industriously in
Ireland for twenty-two years. With all his opportunities he declared that
he had gained only nine and a half acres of Irish land. St. Leger and his
friends, who were for conciliating rather than repressing the Irish,
naturally disliked Alen. He had a decided taste for intrigue; but if we
regard him as a mere English official, diligent and useful, though narrow
and touchy, he must be allowed to have had his value.[351]

[Sidenote: St. Leger adopts a conciliatory policy.]

The new Lord Deputy's salary was fixed at 1,000_l._ a year from his
predecessor's death, though St. Leger, who alleged that he was already
500_l._ the poorer for Ireland, fought hard for 1,500_l._ He retained his
old privilege of importing 1,000 quarters of wheat and 1,000 quarters of
malt yearly, to be consumed only in Ireland. The appointment was
evidently intended to restore some confidence among the natives, who had
been scared by Bellingham's high-handed policy. St. Leger having
suggested that Irishmen should be 'handled with the more humanity lest
they by extremity should adhere to other foreign Powers,' he was directed
to 'use gentleness to such as shall show themselves conformable,' that
great Roman maxim of empire which has been so often neglected in Ireland.
Encouraging letters were to be sent to Desmond, Thomond, and Clanricarde;
and to MacWilliam, the O'Donnells, O'Reilly, O'Kane, and MacQuillin.
Pieces of scarlet cloth and silver cups to the value of 100_l._ were to
be distributed to the best advantage among them. Particular instructions
were given for reforming the military establishments, and officers were
not to be allowed to have more than 10 per cent. of Irish among their
men. Coyne and livery, the most fertile source of licence and disorder,
was to be eschewed as far as possible. Irish noblemen were to be
encouraged to exchange some of their lands for property in England, and
thus to give pledges for good behaviour. In Leix and Offaly leases for
twenty-one years were to be given; and religious reform was everywhere to
be taken in hand. One very curious power was given to the Lord Deputy.
When England was at war with France or the Empire, he was authorised to
license subjects of those Powers to import merchandise under royal
protection, excepting such articles as were under a special embargo.[352]

[Sidenote: Hesitation about pressing the Reformation forward.]

St. Leger was ordered to set forth the Church service in English,
according to the royal ordinances, in all places where it was possible to
muster a congregation who understood the language. Elsewhere the words
were to be translated truly into Irish, until such time as the people
should be brought to a knowledge of English. But small pains were taken
to carry out the latter design, and the Venetian agent reported, with
practical accuracy, that the Form of Common Prayer and Administration of
the Sacraments was not enforced in Ireland or other islands subject to
England where English was not understood. The book still remains that of
the English colony, and of no one else in Ireland. Cranmer and Elizabeth
both saw the necessity of attempting to reach the Irish through their own
tongue, but neither were able to do it. When Bedell, at a later period,
threw himself heart and soul into the cause, he received not only no
encouragement, but positive opposition, from the Government; and in any
case the breach was probably then past mending. Protestantism had become
identified in the Irish mind with conquest and confiscation, a view of
the case which was sedulously encouraged by Jesuits and other foreign

[Sidenote: Bad state of the garrisons.]

St. Leger lost no time in visiting the forts in Leix and Offaly, and he
found there the disorder natural to, and perhaps pardonable in, an
ill-paid soldiery. Bellingham had complained more than a year before that
so many women of the country--Moabitish women he would have called them
had he lived a century later--were received into Fort Protector. Some
officers indignantly denied this, 'and as to our misdemeanour in any
point,' they added, 'we put that to the honestest men and women in the
fort.' If this report was true, discipline had been much relaxed in a
year and nine months, for St. Leger found as many women of bad character
as there were soldiers in the forts. Divine service there had been none
for three years, and only one sermon. Staples, who was the preacher on
that solitary occasion, 'had so little reverence as he had no great haste
eftsoons to preach there.' There was also a want of garrison artillery;
and eight pieces of cannon, with forty smaller pieces called bases, were
demanded by the Master of the Ordnance. He also asked for 400
harquebusses, and for bows, which the Dugald Dalgettys of the day had
not yet learned to despise. There were rumours of a French invasion, and
it was proposed to send a strong expedition to Ireland--six ships with
attendant galleys, 1,000 men, including many artificers to be employed in
fortifying Baltimore, Berehaven, and other places in the south-west, and
the mouths of the Bann and of Lough Larne in the north-east. The
Constables of Carrickfergus and Olderfleet were ordered to put those
castles in order for fear of Scots. Lord Cobham was designated as leader
of the expedition, and the Irish Government were directed at once to
survey Cork, Kinsale, and other southern harbours.[354]

[Sidenote: St. George's Channel unsafe. Want of money.]

Martin Pirry, Comptroller of the Mint, who brought over bullion collected
in France and Flanders, had to stay seven days at Holyhead for fear of
five great ships which he saw drifting about in the tideway. In the end
he secured a quick and safe passage by hiring a twenty-five ton pinnace
with sixteen oars, into which he put twenty-five well-armed men. St.
Leger had been complaining bitterly that he could get no money out of the
mint, although 2,000_l._ was owing. Pirry seems to have had only a
limited authority, for though over 7,000_l._ was delivered by him on the
Lord Deputy's warrant, St. Leger still objected that he had to make
bricks without straw, and to put port towns in a posture of defence
without being allowed to draw for the necessary expenses.[355]

[Sidenote: Abortive scheme for fortifying in Munster. Apprehensions of
French invasion.]

The expedition did not take place, but Sir James Croft was sent over with
instructions to inspect all the harbours between Berehaven and Cork, to
make plans of the most important, and to select sites for fortification;
utilising existing buildings as much as possible, and taking steps for
the acquisition of the necessary land. He was then to extend his
operations as far east as Waterford, acting in all things in concert with
the Lord Deputy. It is evident that things were in a state quite unfit to
resist a powerful French armament; but the weather as usual was on the
side of England, and of eighteen French vessels laden with provisions,
more than one-half were lost in a storm off the Irish coast. This fleet
was, no doubt, destined only for the relief of the French party in
Scotland, and there does not seem to have been any real intention of
breaking the peace with England. But the Irish exiles were unwilling to
believe this. George Paris, who had been despatched from Blois about
Christmas 1550, returned to France in the following spring, bringing with
him an Irishman of importance. The Irish offered Ireland to Henry, and
begged him to defend _his own_, saying that Wales would also rise as soon
as foreign aid appeared. Their avowed object was 'the maintenance of
religion, and for the continuance of God's service in such sort as they
had received from their fathers. In the which quarrel they were
determined either to stand or to die.' It would be better to invade
England than Ireland; for the English Catholics would receive an invader
with open arms. Paris spoke much of the frequent conquests of England. No
outward enemy, once landed, had ever been repulsed, and the thing was
easier now than ever. The sanguine plotter talked loudly of all that had
been promised him, and professed to believe that the Dauphin would soon
be King of Ireland and Scotland at the very least. 'With these brags, and
such others, he filleth every man's ears that he chanceth to talk
withal.' He had constant interviews with the Nuncio, but the French grew
every day cooler. The English ambassador perceived that the Irish envoy
was 'not so brag,' and at last reported that he had been denied help. He
attributed this change of policy entirely to the fear of increasing the
difficulties in which the Queen Dowager of Scotland already found

[Sidenote: Difficulties in Ulster. Andrew Brereton.]

While Scots and Frenchmen threatened its shores, Ulster furnished more
even than its normal share of home-grown strife. Captain Andrew Brereton,
who seems to have been a son or grandson of Sir William Brereton, held
Lecale as a Crown tenant at will. He was a man singularly unfit to deal
with a high-spirited race like the O'Neills. When Tyrone, according to
ancient Irish custom, sent a party to distrain for rent among the
MacCartans, Brereton set upon them and killed several men, including two
brothers of the Countess. To the Earl's remonstrances he replied by
calling him a traitor, and threatening to treat him as he had treated
O'Hanlon--that is, to spoil him, slay his men, and burn his country. It
is clear that Brereton was not actuated by any special love of the
MacCartans, for he beheaded a gentleman of that clan--without trial. He
forcibly expelled Prior Magennis from his farm on the church lands of
Down; and Roger Broke, a congenial spirit, shut up the Prior in Dundrum
Castle. Tyrone went to Dublin to welcome St. Leger on his arrival, and
Brereton openly called him a traitor at the Council Board, in the
presence of the Lord Deputy and of the Earls of Thomond and Clanricarde.
The proud O'Neill of course took the accusation 'very unkindly.' St.
Leger was of opinion that such handling of wild men had done much harm in
Ireland; and the Council, while admitting that Tyrone was 'a frail man,
and not the perfectest of subjects,' thought that this was not the way to
make the best of him. Brereton had no better justification for his
conduct than the gossip of one of MacQuillin's kerne, who said that
Tyrone had sent a messenger to the King of France to say that he would
take his part against King Edward, and would send him Brereton and
Bagenal as prisoners. Brereton was very properly relieved of his command
in Lecale, on the nominal ground that he had refused to hold the Crown
land there upon the Lord Deputy's terms; which St. Leger evidently
thought more likely to have weight with the English Council than any
amount of outrages committed against the Irish. He was afterwards
restored, and gave trouble to later governors.[357]


[323] Lord Protector and Privy Council to Lord Deputy St. Leger and
Council, March 25, 1547; the King to the same, April 7; King Edward VI.
to the Earl of Desmond, Oct. 6. In a letter dated Lambeth, July 6, to her
'assured loving friend Mr. Cecil, Master of Requests,' Lady Ormonde begs
that Abbeyleix may not be granted to Barnaby Fitzpatrick to her son's
detriment, and she refers to Cecil's 'former friendship.' Here we see the
beginning of a most important connection.

[324] _Four Masters_, 1546, 1547.

[325] Introduction to _Carew_, vol. ii. p. lxxxv.; Archbishop Butler to
the Lord Protector, Feb. 25, 1548; _Calendar of Patent Rolls_, p. 154.

[326] _Calendar of Patent Rolls_, p. 66. For Butler and Powell, see three
letters calendared under April and May 1548, Nos. 16, 17, and 19.

[327] Privy Council to Lord Deputy and Council, Nov. 2, 1547; John
Brereton to Bellingham, May 1548 (No. 20), and July (Nos. 44 and 45);
Cosby to Bellingham, July (Nos. 48 and 50). Bellingham dated a letter
from Athy, Aug. 19, 1548. The eighteen beds are mentioned by John Plunket
and Thomas Alen in a letter to him of the 18th.

[328] Lord Dunboyne to Bellingham, June 21, 1548, and the answer (No.

[329] Sovereign and Council of Kinsale to Bellingham, July 15, 1548;
Mayor, &c., of Cork to same, July 24, Aug. 27, Dec. 29, and the answer,
Jan. 10, 1549; Mayor, &c., of Waterford to Bellingham, Sept. 5, 1548.

[330] Mayor, &c., of Youghal to Bellingham, July 8, 1548; Deputy Mayor
and Council of Galway to same, Aug. 13; Bellingham to Limerick, Aug. (No.
63); John Goldsmith to Bellingham, Aug. 22; Kyng to Wyse, Sept. 5. Sir
Philip Hoby's letter is calendared among the foreign S.P., April 17,

[331] Bellingham to Alen, July 1548 (No. 39); Mayor, &c., of Drogheda to
Alen, Aug. 8; Bellingham to Privy Council, Aug. (No. 84), and to the
Mayor of Dublin (No. 67). For the fort, which became Maryborough, see the
notes to O'Donovan's _Four Masters_ under 1548 and 1553.

[332] Bellingham to the Privy Council, Aug. 1548 (No. 84).

[333] Bellingham to the Mayor of Cork, Aug. 1548 (No. 80); Mayor, &c., of
Cork to Bellingham, Nov. 18; Alen to Somerset, Nov. 21; Bellingham to
Arthur, Dec. (No. 145).

[334] Archbishop Bodkin to Bellingham, July 25, 1548; Bellingham to
Richard Burke, Aug. (No. 83), and to the Mayor of Limerick, Sept. 18;
Ulick Burke to Bellingham, Sept. 22.

[335] _Four Masters_, 1548 and 1549.

[336] Alen to Paget, Nov. 21, 1548.

[337] Harris's _Ware_, pp. 211-217; S.P., vol. iii. p. 534; _Four
Masters_, 1546; Mayor, &c., of Galway to Bellingham, July 27 and Aug. 13,
1548; Sovereign and Council of Kinsale to same, July 16; Agard to same,
Sept. 23; Richard Brasier to same, Oct. 8; Memoranda by Bellingham, Nov.
14; Bellingham to Warwick, November (No. 132, i.); Privy Council to
Bellingham, Jan. 6, 1549.

[338] Bellingham to Somerset, Nov. 22, 1548, which encloses a copy of the
letter to Warwick; to Issam, Dec. (No. 163).

[339] Bellingham to O'Molloy, Nov. 24, 1548; to O'Carroll (No. 138); to
Thomond (No. 137).

[340] Alen to Paget, April 1549 (No. 32).

[341] Bellingham to John Issam, Nov. 1548 (No. 140). Hooker's _Chronicle_
in Holinshed. The capture of Desmond was about Christmas 1548.

[342] Richard Brasier to Somerset, Nov. 14, 1548; John Moorton to same,
April 15, 1549; Anthony Colcloght to same, Feb. 1 and 13, and to Cahir
MacArt, Jan. 27; Walter Cowley to Bellingham, March 14; Brian Jones to
same, April (No. 35).

[343] Staples to ---- between Dec. 22 and 29, 1548. The letter is not
addressed to Bellingham, but he must have seen it, as it is endorsed by
his clerk. See also Walter Palatyne to Bellingham, Nov. 23, 1547, and
Interrogatories for Archbishop Browne at the end of that year. The first
Book of Common Prayer was not printed till 1550.

[344] Bellingham to Dowdall, Dec. 1548; John Issam to Bellingham, Dec.
22; Richard Brasier to Somerset, Nov. 14.

[345] Sovereign of Kilkenny to the Lord Deputy, April 26, 1549; Walter
Cowley to same, June 25; Brasier to Somerset, Nov. 14, 1548; John
Brereton to Bellingham, 1548 (No. 174).

[346] _Book of Howth_; Ware; Hooker in Holinshed; Lodge's Patentee
Officer in _Liber Hiberniæ_. Bellingham embarked at Howth, Dec. 16, 1549.

[347] Patrick Fraser Tytler's _England under Edward VI. and Mary_. He
quotes Melville's _Memoirs_. See in particular the letter of Sir John
Mason to the Privy Council, June 16, 1550. The 'Loch' mentioned by
Melville must be Lough Foyle or Lough Swilly.

[348] Instructions from Lord Chancellor Alen to Thomas Alen, Feb. 1550.
Bryan died, Feb. 2, 1550.

[349] Lord Chancellor and Council to Tyrone, March 17, 1550:--'Tam ferox
est illius nationis nobilitas ut sub Turcâ (quantumvis barbaro) mitius
viveres quam sub illorum regimine ... summo conatu libertatem patriæ,
sanguinis libertatem et personæ vestræ dignitatem abolebunt.' Dowdall to
Alen, March 22; Brabazon to the Privy Council, March 26, with enclosures.

[350] Sir John Mason to the Privy Council, June 14, 1550; Foreign
Calendar and Fraser Tytler, _ut supra_.

[351] Letters of Croft and the two Bagenals, July 31, 1551; Alen to
Cecil, April 5, 1551, and to the Privy Council, Aug. 10. The grant is
calendared after the latter date. Having been chief of the commission for
the dissolution of abbeys, Alen thought it prudent to go to England
during Mary's reign, but made his peace, became again a member of
Council, and lived to congratulate Cecil on becoming once more Secretary
of State.

[352] Instructions to Lord Deputy St. Leger, July 1550; Mr. St. Leger's
Remembrances for Ireland, same date. He was sworn in on Sept. 10.

[353] Instructions to St. Leger; Barbaro's 'Report on England' in 1551,
in the _Venetian Calendar_.

[354] St. Leger to the Lord High Treasurer, Sept. 27, 1550; Henry Wise
and John Moorton, officers at Fort Protector, to Bellingham, Jan. 6,
1549; Articles for an expedition into Ireland, Jan. 7, 1551; St. Leger to
Somerset, Feb. 18; Privy Council to Lord Deputy and Council, Jan. 26.

[355] Martin Pirry to the Privy Council, Feb. 21, 1551; St. Leger to the
same, March 23.

[356] Instructions to Sir James Croft, Feb. 25, 1551, in _Carew_; Sir
John Mason to the Privy Council, April 18, printed by Fraser Tytler.

[357] Articles against Andrew Brereton, Nov. 1550; St. Leger to Cecil,
Jan. 19, 1551. The Council in Ireland to the Privy Council, May 20.



[Sidenote: The Reformation officially promulgated, 1551.]

No Parliament was held in Ireland during Edward VI.'s reign; and the
official establishment of Protestantism is generally supposed to date
from a royal order, dated Feb. 6, 1551, and promulgated by the Lord
Deputy on the first day of the following month. But the new Liturgy had
been already introduced, and copies had been forwarded to Limerick, and
perhaps to other places. St. Leger, who felt that the Communion Service
was the really important thing, had it translated into Latin for the
benefit of those who had some tincture of letters, but who could not read
English. The citizens of Limerick made no difficulty about receiving the
new formulary; but the Bishop, John Quin, refused, and was therefore
forced to resign. Quin, who was old and blind, had been willing to
acknowledge the royal supremacy, but very naturally refused to embrace a
new faith. It has often been stated that Quin accepted the Reformation;
but it is not easy to see how this can be reconciled with the facts. His
successor was William Casey, whose consecrators were Archbishop Browne,
Lancaster of Kildare, and Devereux of Ferns. The two last had been
consecrated by Browne and by Travers of Leighlin. Travers had only just
been appointed himself, and was probably in pretty nearly the same

[Sidenote: Doctrinal conference in Dublin.]

Immediately after the arrival of the momentous order, St. Leger summoned
the clergy to meet him in Dublin. To this assembly the royal mandate was
read, as well as the opinions of certain English divines in favour of the
proposed changes. Primate Dowdall at once protested. 'For the general
benefit of our well-beloved subjects,' the King was made to say,
'whenever assembled and met together in the several parish churches,
either to pray or hear prayers read, that they may the better join
therein in unity, hearts and voices, we have caused the Liturgy and
prayers of the Church to be translated into our mother tongue of this
realm of England.' 'Then,' observed the Primate, 'shall every illiterate
fellow read Mass?' 'No,' answered St. Leger with much force, 'your Grace
is mistaken; for we have too many illiterate priests among us already,
who neither can pronounce the Latin nor know what it means, no more than
the common people that hear them; but when the people hear the Liturgy in
English, they and the priest will then understand what they pray for.'
This last observation might be true enough in Dublin, but it was
singularly inapplicable to Ireland generally. The key-note of the
controversy had, however, been struck, and it was clear that the Primate
and the Lord Deputy occupied very different standpoints. Finding St.
Leger a formidable antagonist, and seeing that the case was virtually
prejudged, Dowdall somewhat forgot his habitual dignity, and threatened
the Viceroy with the clergy's curse. 'I fear,' was the answer, 'no
strange curse, so long as I have the blessing of that Church which I
believe to be the true one.' There was some further altercation about the
Petrine claims to supremacy; and Dowdall, finding that he made no
impression, left the hall with all his suffragans except Staples, and
repaired to his own diocese. St. Leger then handed the King's order to
Browne, who received it standing. 'This order, good brethren,' said the
Protestant Archbishop, 'is from our gracious King, and from the rest of
our brethren, the fathers and clergy of England, who have consulted
herein, and compared the Holy Scriptures with what they have done; unto
whom I submit, as Jesus did to Cæsar, in all things just and lawful,
making no question why or wherefore, as we own him our true and lawful

[Sidenote: St. Leger, Browne, and Dowdall.]

The above proceedings show that St. Leger was at least in general
agreement with the Protestant party, but he had certainly no wish to
force the reformed doctrines on the reluctant Irish. Browne complained
that he had publicly offered the sacrifice of the Mass in Christ Church,
'after the old sort, to the altar then of stone, to the comfort of his
too many like Papists, and the discouragement of the professors of God's
Word.' The Archbishop found it convenient to forget that this was
strictly according to law; and that the royal order, even admitting that
it had all the power claimed for it, had not yet gone forth to alter the
state of things established under Henry VIII. Browne could not deny that
the Lord Deputy had made due proclamation of 'the King's Majesty's most
godly proceeding;' but alleged that it was only for show, 'while massing,
holy water, Candlemas candles, and such like, continued under the Primate
and elsewhere,' without let or hindrance from the chief governor.
Dowdall, he said, was 'the next father in word and deed of Popery;' the
Viceroy a Gallio who did not scruple to say, 'Go to, your matters of
religion will mar all.' St. Leger seems in good truth to have been
laughing at the ex-friar. 'My Lord of Dublin,' he said, 'I have books for
your Lordship.' Browne found them on examination 'so poisoned to maintain
the Mass with Transubstantiation, and other naughtiness (as at no time I
have seen such a summary of Scriptures collected to establish the
idolatry), clean contrary the sincere meaning of the Word of God and the
King's most godly proceedings.' The Archbishop had copies taken, which he
sent to the Privy Council. St. Leger was angry at this, and Browne says
he threatened to do him harm, even should it cost 1,000_l._ The
Archbishop intimated that the 1,000_l._ would be nothing to him, for that
he had enriched himself by peculation, and attributed to him a degree of
vindictiveness which does not seem really to have belonged to his
character. Browne admits that the Lord Deputy called Dowdall before the
Council for practising the old ritual, 'who came and disputed plainly the
massing and other things, contrary the King's proceedings; and that he
would not embrace them: whereat the Deputy said nothing.' Sir Ralph
Bagenal called the Primate an arrant traitor. 'No traitor, Mr. Bagenal,'
said Lord Chancellor Cusack, who was Dowdall's cousin; and the Primate
continued in his old ways as long as St. Leger held the reins of
government. The Lord Deputy even recommended Tyrone to 'follow the
counsel of that good father, sage senator, and godly bishop, my Lord
Primate, in everything, and so ye shall do well.' He made indeed no
secret of his regard for Dowdall, whose high character was admitted by
all but fanatics. 'He is,' he declared openly before more than a dozen
persons in the hall of Dublin Castle, 'a good man, and I would that all
the Irishmen in Ireland spake so good English as he, and if they do no
worse than he the King had been the better served.'[360]

[Sidenote: St. Leger has some idea of toleration.]

It was impossible that any secret policy could go on without Alen having
a hand in it. St. Leger told him that the danger from both France and
from the Emperor was much increased by the religious sympathies of the
Irish, who, in civil matters, would like foreigners only in so far as
they could profit by them. He ridiculed the notion of France annexing
Ireland, though he thought it possible that Henry II. might make a
diversion there to prevent England from interfering with him in Scotland
or on the Continent. He thought the Emperor would be friendly for old
acquaintance sake, but that he disliked the new fashions in religion;
'and no wonder, seeing that in that matter daily at home among ourselves
one of us is offended with another.' St. Leger, in short, was a statesman
who could admire moral excellence in men of different opinions; and
Browne was a fanatic. 'God help me!' said the Deputy. 'For my own part,
knowing the manners and ignorance of the people, when my lords of the
Council willed me to set forth the matters of religion here, _which to my
power I have done_, I had rather they had called me into Spain or any
other place where the King should have had cause to make war, than
burdensome to sit further here. I told my lords no less before my coming
away.' Alen had refused to put this conversation in writing, though
urged to do so by Browne; saying that he wished St. Leger no harm, though
he had lost all through him. He said as little as might be against him
even when questioned afterwards by the Council. After his interview with
the Lord Deputy, Alen went to sup with Lockwood, Dean of Christ Church,
and found there the Archbishop and Basnet, late Dean of St. Patrick's.
When the servants had gone the conversation turned upon St. Leger, whom
Browne attacked on the grounds already mentioned, saying that he was but
a 'dissimular in religion.' He was, in fact, a thoroughly secular
politician, wise and resolute, and willing to carry out orders from the
Government; but not pretending to like the plan of forcing an
English-made religion upon the Irish, and administering it in practice as
gently as possible. He was really in advance of his time, and had formed
some notion of religious liberty. That he sympathised with the old creed
there is not the smallest reason to suppose. 'They name me a Papist,' he
said. 'I would to God I were to try it with them that so nameth me;' and
he was accused in Mary's reign of writing satirical verses against
Transubstantiation, which shows that his opinions were not supposed to be
anti-Protestant. He would have had things stay as they were under Henry
VIII; the royal supremacy acknowledged, and doctrinal changes left to the
action of time, persuasion, and increased enlightenment.[361]

[Sidenote: These views not in favour in England.]

But these ideas did not recommend themselves to the English Council,
which had now come under Warwick's influence. Neither the bishopric of
Leighlin nor that of Ossory was granted to St. Leger's chaplain, James
Bicton; though his patron strenuously defended him against the charge of
Papal leanings, declaring that there was no more competent man in
Ireland, nor one who had better set forth God's Word. Bicton, who had
been formerly chaplain to the Earl of Ormonde, was of Irish birth,
though educated at Oxford, and was at all events not one of the very
ignorant priests whom St. Leger cast up against his friend the Primate.
He became Dean of Ossory, and had a large chest of books at Kilkenny,
besides a wine cask full at Bristol, for which he had paid 40_l._; and he
seems to have supported a poor Irish scholar at Oxford. It would be
difficult to say anything so good of Travers, who was preferred before
him at Leighlin. Travers owed his promotion to his cousin the Master of
the Ordnance, whose chaplain he had been; but he did no credit to his
blood, scarcely anything being recorded of him but that he oppressed his
clergy and made money out of his see.[362]

[Sidenote: Sir James Croft succeeds St. Leger, 1551.]

Whatever was the exact cause of St. Leger's recall, it is likely that he
was glad to escape from the thankless Irish service. Sir James Croft, his
successor-designate, was already in Ireland, and he handed him the reins
without waiting for his patent. Croft was directed to put the seaports of
Munster and Ulster into a defensible state; but the English Government
showed a bad example, for though Argyle was plotting in the North and
MacCarthy in the South, the artillery was sent over in charge of a clerk
only. MacCarthy was to be apprehended if possible, and also George Paris,
who was 'a common post between Ireland and France,' sailing in French
ships which were to be overhauled in search of him. When the thousand men
who had been promised arrived at Cork there was no money to pay them.
Croft and his advisers begged and borrowed till both credit and
provisions were well-nigh exhausted in the barren wilds of West Cork.
Soldiers unpunctually paid could not but be dangerous, and there was no
sort of justice to be obtained in the country districts. 'If in England,'
said Crofts, using an apt illustration, 'the place of justice were
appointed only at Dover, I think no man doubts but the people would soon
grow out of order.' A thorough reform in the official circle, head and
members, was necessary before any great improvement could be expected in
the people. Before leaving Cork, Croft did what he could to secure local
justice by drawing up regulations for maintaining the peace of the
district under Desmond's general superintendence, not greatly differing
from those already supposed to be in force, but with a clause which shows
how the Puritan spirit was working. The Earl and those joined in
authority with him were to have a special care to 'set forth divine
service according to the King's proceeding, and diligently to look for
the punishment of harlots, for which purposes they may call for the
bishops and ministers within their circuit, giving them warning of their
duties to see them punished according to the orders taken in that
behalf.' MacCarthy More, who had submitted, was required with his
clansmen to swear allegiance to Edward VI. as King, and also as 'supreme
head of the Church in England and Ireland, and clearly to renounce the
Bishop of Rome and all his authority,' and take his 'oath on the Bible'
to obey all laws, civil and ecclesiastical, set forth by the King and his

[Sidenote: Croft proposes to colonise in West Munster.]

Archbishop Browne, having got rid of St. Leger, was loud in praise of his
successor's activity, who was the first governor to visit Baltimore
(Ballagheyntymore). Crofts proposed to the Council that a colony of
married Englishmen with their wives and families should be planted in
this remote place, who, after serving as soldiers for a time, would be
able to protect themselves as others had done at Calais. But the King
blamed Croft for visiting Baltimore at all, since he had not the power to
do anything there. In August the time for fortifying was already past;
and there was a danger that Spanish fishermen might discover the Lord
Deputy's intentions, and even find means to forestall them.[363]

[Sidenote: The Ulster Scots attacked. Failure at Rathlin, 1551.]

The affairs of Ulster next engaged the attention of Croft. The Scots had
lately made themselves supreme from the Giant's Causeway to Belfast; and
it was determined to attack them there, and, if possible, to capture the
island stronghold of Rathlin, whither the MacDonnells had transported all
the cattle and horses taken by them in their late raid. A hosting was
accordingly proclaimed for thirty-one days, and the army mustered at
Carrickfergus. The roads being impassable for carts, everything had to
be carried on pack horses or by sea. The Lord Deputy himself went by land
through the country of several Irish chiefs, of whose intelligence
Chancellor Cusack, who tells the story, formed a favourable opinion. Some
of them joined the expedition. Meat was abundant throughout the four
days' journey, at the rate of 10_s._ a beef and 16_d._ a mutton; much
less than the prices of the Pale. Leaving the heavy baggage at
Carrickfergus, Croft advanced to Glenarm, where he encamped. No Scots
appeared, and but few cattle; but immense stores of corn were found.
There lay at Ballycastle four small vessels which the English men-of-war
had captured, and some of the prisoners from the Scots were brought
before the Lord Deputy. The result of their examination was a resolution
at once to attack Rathlin, where James MacDonnell and his brethren were.
It was found that the captured boats would only carry 200 men, and it was
therefore resolved not to risk a landing unless some more of the Scots
vessels could be taken, or unless the men in the island yielded to the
fear of the cannon upon the English ships. Sir Ralph Bagenal and Captain
Cuffe approached the island with about 100 men, but the galleys which
they wished to seize were at once driven in shore, and a threatening
crowd of Scots hung about the landing-place, and took no notice of the
fire from the ships, which was probably too vague to endanger them much.
The tide was ebbing, and the invaders seemed to run no great risk; but
the Race of Rathlin, even in the finest weather, is never quite calm, and
a sudden reflux wave lifted Cuffe's boat high and dry on to the rocks.
The men, about twenty-five, were slain on the spot, the officers taken
and held by James MacDonnell as pledges for the return of the goods taken
from him about Glenarm, and for the release of his brother Sorley Boy,
who was a prisoner in Dublin. Croft was obliged to yield on both points,
and the whole expedition ended in failure. The threat of complaining to
the Scots Government was not likely to weigh much with MacDonnell, who
was on good terms with the anti-English party.[364]

[Sidenote: Disturbed state of Ulster.]

[Sidenote: The O'Neills consider wheat a dangerous innovation.]

Most of the chiefs of Ulster, who feared the Scots more than they hated
the English, paid their respects to Croft at Carrickfergus, and were glad
to submit their grievances to his arbitration. Tyrone, O'Donnell--with
his two rebellious sons, Calvagh and Hugh--Maguire, the Baron of
Dungannon, MacQuillin, O'Neill of Clandeboye, MacCartan, the Savages,
Magennis, and others, had complaints to make, and the Lord Deputy patched
up their differences for a time; most of them agreeing to pay some rent
or tribute to the King for their lands, and not to employ Scots
mercenaries. Maguire was declared independent both of O'Neill and
O'Donnell, and sheriffs were appointed both in Ards and Clandeboye,
which, being part of the Earldom of Ulster, had once had a feudal
organisation. A garrison was left in Carrickfergus, and a commission
charged with abolishing the Irish laws, 'so as by God's grace,' says the
sanguine Cusack, 'that country since the time of the Earl of March was
not so like to prosper and do well as now.' A garrison was also left at
Armagh, under command of the Marshal Nicholas Bagenal, who was joined in
commission with the Baron of Dungannon for the purpose of re-establishing
order in Tyrone, which was utterly wasted through the dissensions of the
Earl and his sons. There were not ten ploughs in the whole country.
Hundreds had died of hunger in the fields. The Baron's lands were better
off; for he felt that he owed his position to King Henry's patent, and to
please the English Government he had caused wheat to be largely sown.
Tyrone did his best to burn the Saxon crop, and the people declared that
they would grow it no more; 'for that was the chief cause (as they said)
that the Earl did destroy their corn, for bringing new things to his
country other than hath been used before. And what the Earl will promise
now, within two hours after he will not abide by the same.' Most of this
unstable chief's fighting men had gone over to his son Shane, who abused
his powers dreadfully. Cusack thought the people would prefer to have the
Baron over them, 'for that he is indifferent, sober, and discreet, and is
a hardy gentleman of honest conversation and towardness,' whose country
was as well ordered as the Pale. Tyrone had no capacity for government,
and was ruled by his wife; but he so far yielded to the Deputy's
persuasion as to accept a garrison for Armagh, and to go first to
Drogheda and then to Dublin. Having been once enticed into the Pale,
Tyrone was detained there against his will. This was done by Cecil's
advice, who agreed with Cusack that Tyrone was quite useless in his own
country, and quite unable to control Shane.[365]

[Sidenote: Shane O'Neill and his brother Matthew.]

Tyrone had, or might have had, a son by Alison Kelly, the wife of a smith
in Dundalk. The mother brought her boy Matthew at the age of sixteen to
the chief, who acknowledged him as his own, and thus, according to the
ancient Irish law, made him equal with his children of less doubtful
origin. Shane, on the other hand, was the offspring of an undisputed
marriage. Matthew was certainly acknowledged as an O'Neill when he was
made Baron of Dungannon and heir to the earldom, but Shane explained the
difficulty by saying that his father was a gentleman, and never denied
any son that was sworn on him, and that he had plenty of them. Whether
there was any election to the chieftainship we do not know, but Shane
was, by the practical adhesion of the clansmen, in a better position than
most Irish tanists. Thus it strangely happened that Matthew, who was
confessedly born in adultery, was heir to the feudal title, while Shane,
who was certainly legitimate, claimed the reversion of the tribal
sovereignty. The influence of the clergy had probably weakened or
destroyed the old Irish principle that an adulterine bastard could be
brought into the real father's lawful family by acknowledgment, nor could
English law have been altogether without effect; but it is strange to see
one in such a position as Matthew O'Neill, or Kelly, maintained by
statesmen and lawyers against Shane and his brothers.[366]

[Sidenote: Invasion of Tyrone.]

Whether O'Neill or Kelly, the Baron of Dungannon was a man of resolution
and ability. He accompanied Bagenal on an expedition against Shane, which
the Dean of Armagh, Terence Daniel, or O'Donnell, tried to prevent by
exaggerated accounts of the distance. The bridge over the Blackwater was
broken down, and the castles at Dungannon were also dismantled. This
became a regular practice in Irish warfare, in order to prevent the
English from placing permanent garrisons in strong places; and any
disposition on their part to repair such a building was generally
frustrated by the length of time necessary, the difficulty of obtaining
labour, and the want of provisions. When the danger was past the chief
would re-occupy his stronghold, and soon made it serviceable for raising
a revenue, or resisting sudden attacks of neighbouring tribes. Bagenal
met with little resistance during his raid. Shane appeared on a hill with
eighteen horsemen and sixty kerne, and the Baron of Dungannon advanced
against him with only four followers. 'An the King were there where thou
art,' said Shane, 'he were mine.' The Baron, nothing daunted, answered,
'I am here but the King's man, and that thou shalt well know,' and
spurred his horse forward. Shane, who was never remarkable for dashing
courage, retired into the wood closely followed by his brother, who was
prevented by the thick covert from using spear or sword, and who tried to
close, but was caught by a branch at the critical moment, and nearly lost
his own seat. Shane escaped on foot, leaving his horse and arms to the
Baron, and afterwards came to Bagenal on parole, when a truce was patched

[Sidenote: The Scots attempt a settlement in Down.]

Emboldened by success, the Scots extended their operations to the south
of Belfast, slew John White, landlord of Dufferin, and proposed to make a
settlement on the western shores of Lough Strangford. Hugh MacNeill Oge,
who held the district between that inlet and Belfast Lough, took their
part, and the Prior Magennis and his kinsman, the Bishop of Dromore, were
authorised to make large offers with a view of detaching him from his
allies; but he refused to come to Bagenal. The Baron of Dungannon had
some trifling success against the Scots, and another officer drove some
of their cattle through Ards to Strangford, apparently crossing the ferry
there, and thence into the Pale. One thousand cows were also taken from
Hugh MacNeill Oge; but he promptly recouped himself from the herds of his
neighbours on every side, so that the balance was soon again in his
favour. The expedition was evidently a failure, and the 'Four Masters'
represent it as a disastrous one; the English and their allies losing 200

[Sidenote: Another doctrinal conference.]

The general directions to Croft for his conduct in ecclesiastical matters
was much the same as those given to St. Leger. Public worship in English
was to be made general, and a translation to be made into Irish for use
in such places as required it. He was sworn in on May 23, and on June 16
he wrote to Dowdall, who was at St. Mary's Abbey, inviting him to take
part in a conference concerning the disputed points in religion. The Lord
Deputy said much about what was due to Cæsar, hinted that he should be
sorry to see the Primate removed from his great office, and entreated an
answer by the hands of the Bishop of Meath, who, as chief of his
suffragan, seemed the fittest intermediary. Dowdall answered very truly
that no discussion could bring about agreement between those who differed
as to fundamentals, and excused himself from waiting on his lordship, as
he had for some time withdrawn from public affairs. Mohammed decided to
go to the mountain, and the discussion took place in the hall of St.
Mary's Abbey, Croft being supported by two bishops, Staples of Meath, who
conducted the case for the Crown, and Lancaster of Kildare. The debate
first turned on the new liturgy, Dowdall treating it as an innovation,
and his opponent as the Mass purified from gross corruptions. The
following is the most remarkable part of what was said:--

_Dowdall._ Was not the Mass from the Apostles' days? How can it be proved
that the Church of Rome has altered it?

_Staples._ It is easily proved by our records of England. For Celestinus,
Bishop of Rome, in the fourth century after Christ, gave the first
introit of the Mass which the clergy were to use for preparation, even
the psalm, _Judica me, Deus_, &c., Rome not owning the word Mass till

_D._ Yes, long before that time; for there was a mass called St.
Ambrose's Mass.

_S._ St. Ambrose was before Celestinus; but the two prayers, which the
Church of Rome had foisted and added unto St. Ambrose's works, are not in
his general works; which hath caused a wise and a learned man lately to
write that these two prayers were forged, and not to be really St.

_D._ What writer dares write or doth say so?

_S._ Erasmus, a man who may well be compared to either of us, or the
standers by. Nay, my lord, no disparagement if I say so to yourself; for
he was a wise and a judicious man, otherwise I would not have been so
bold as to parallel your lordship with him.

_Lord Deputy._ As for Erasmus's parts, would I were such another: for his
parts may parallel him a companion for a prince.

_D._ Pray, my lord, do not hinder our discourse; for I have a question or
two to ask Mr. Staples.

_L. D._ By all means, reverend father, proceed.

_D._ Is Erasmus's writings more powerful than the precepts of the Mother

_S._ Not more than the Holy Catholic one, yet more than the Church of
Rome, as that Church hath run into several errors since St. Ambrose's

_D._ How hath the Church erred since St. Ambrose's days? Take heed lest
you be not excommunicated.

_S._ I have excommunicated myself already from thence.

Opposite opinions were then given about the Virgin and her power to
mediate; and the Primate finally appealed to the consecration oath, which
Staples had taken as well as he. The Bishop of Meath said he held it
safer for his conscience to break it than to keep it, and he praised the
oath of supremacy. And thus, without any approach to an understanding,
but with many mutual expressions of courtesy and goodwill, the champions
of Rome and of England measured swords and parted.[369]

[Sidenote: Dowdall goes away. The Primacy removed to Dublin.]

A few days after this the Primate disappeared, and it was understood that
he had gone abroad like a traitor, as Browne said, who with indecent
haste demanded that the old contest between Armagh and Dublin should be
finally decided in his favour. Dowdall, he said, claimed by the 'Bishop
of Rome's bulls and I by the King's majesty and his most noble
progenitors' grants and gifts.' He recounted the services of his
predecessors in supporting the Government of the Pale, and asked not only
for the empty title and honours of Primate of all Ireland, but for 'all
and every the spiritual profits, living, and commodities,' belonging to
Armagh. The King granted the chief place to Browne, who in the Anglican
succession remained Primate of all Ireland till deprived by Queen Mary.
Those who adhere to Rome of course ignore the interruption in Dowdall's
primacy, but his withdrawal beyond seas was considered as a resignation
by the English Government.[370]

[Sidenote: Church patronage. Bale.]

The sees of Armagh, Cashel, and Ossory being vacant, Croft recommended
that they should be filled with peculiar care. The negligence of the
Bishops and other ministers allowed the old ceremonies to remain in many
places. It was necessary to send over good, zealous men to fill up the
bishoprics as they fell vacant. If this could not be done, Croft begged
that at least he might have a competent adviser in ecclesiastical matters
to enable him to direct the bishops, who were blind, obstinate,
negligent, and very seldom learned. For Armagh it would be well to choose
a divine with some property in England, who might act as a commissioner
for deciding the daily quarrels arising in the North. For the bishopric
of Ossory, Croft, Protestant as he was, ventured to recommend Leverous,
Gerald of Kildare's old tutor, who had been pardoned for his offence in
carrying him out of the realm. For learning, discretion, and decorous
life there was no one superior in Ireland, and Croft had heard him
'preach such a sermon, as in his simple opinion he heard not many years.'
Personally unobjectionable, Leverous was known to be attached to the old
doctrines, and Croft's advocacy failed, as he himself expected. The see
of Ossory was conferred after some delay upon John Bale, a Carmelite
friar, born in Suffolk and educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. The
arguments of a layman, Lord Wentworth, according to his own account,
enforced by the charms of a young lady, according to the account of his
enemies, converted Bale to the Reformation. He married a wife, who was
his companion in all his wanderings and vicissitudes, and became a
professed Protestant. It was not in his nature to hide his light under a
bushel; he preached openly against the Roman doctrine, and suffered
imprisonment in consequence. Having been released through Cromwell's
intercession, he spent eight years in Germany. Returning to England on
Edward's accession, he became Poynet's chaplain, and obtained the living
of Bishopstoke. The King happening to see and hear him at Southampton, of
his own accord promoted him to Ossory. Bale was a multifarious writer, a
man of learning and eloquence, and unquestionably sincere; but coarse and
violent, with no respect whatever for the feelings of others, and
remarkably unfit for the task of persuading an unwilling people to
embrace the Reformation.

[Sidenote: Edward's opinions about patronage.]

Though partially shorn of its glories, the see of Armagh, claiming as it
did to be founded by the national apostle, was still of great importance.
Pending an appointment in England, Croft proposed that Basnet, late Dean
of St. Patrick's, should enjoy the first-fruits of the vacant see along
with the revenues of his old deanery. The Lord Deputy was moved to this
by the curious practical consideration that Basnet was 'experimented in
the wars of the country.' Make it worth his while to live at Armagh, and
he would be most useful to Bagenal and the Baron of Dungannon. But the
young King, who had already opinions of his own, was scandalised at the
idea, and shrunk from making bishops of any but ministers earnest in
setting forth God's glory. He directed that Deans and Chapters should
maintain divine service and preach the gospel in vacant sees, declaring
that he minded the education of his people above all things. If the
dignitaries proved negligent the Lord Deputy might appoint occasional
ministers to do the duty.[371]

[Sidenote: Cranmer's difficulties about Irish patronage.]

Cranmer named four persons as fit for the archbishopric of Armagh, but
none of them were in haste to go to Ireland. Of these the King selected
Richard Turner, a Staffordshire man, but vicar of Chartam in Kent.
Cranmer described him as an earnest preacher, merry and witty withal, who
wanted nothing, loved nothing, dreamed of nothing but Christ only. He had
shown courage in the late Kentish insurrection, and that would be a
useful quality in Ireland. 'He preached,' says Cranmer, 'twice in the
camp that was by Canterbury; for the which the rebels would have hanged
him, and he seemed then more glad to go to hanging, than he doth now to
go to Armachane, he allegeth so many excuses, but the chief is this, that
he shall preach to the walls and stalls, for the people understand no
English. I bear him in hand Yes, and yet I doubt whether they speak
English in the diocese of Armachane. But if they do not then I say, that
if he will take the pain to learn the Irish tongue (which with diligence
he may do in a year or two) then both his doctrine shall be more
acceptable not only unto his diocese, but also throughout all Ireland.'
But Turner would not go. Perhaps he estimated more correctly than Cranmer
the difficulty of learning Irish, and his wit and liveliness would only
enable him to forecast the misery of a man who should preach to unwilling
congregations in halting and uncertain language. Cranmer's other three
nominees also failed him; and he then recommended Hugh Goodacre, who was
induced to accept the unenviable post. The archbishopric of Cashel had
not even the dignity of Armagh to make it attractive, and it remained
vacant during the rest of Edward's reign.[372]

[Sidenote: Pluralities.]

The King had a reasonable dislike to pluralities, and resisted the union
of Clonfert and Elphin in the hands of Clanricarde's uncle, Rowland
Burke. 'A good pastor,' he said, 'cannot nourish two flocks at once, and
it agreeth not with our religion.' But he gave in when it was proved to
him that the sees were small and poor, and that their union would be
likely to further rather than to hinder religion.[373]

[Sidenote: The coinage.]

It would have been well if Edward or his advisers had paid as much
attention to honesty in civil government. The attempt to give a forced
course to bad coin had had its usual evil effects. The Irish currency had
always been less pure than that of England, but practically little
difficulty had occurred until the late changes. An English groat was
worth sixpence Irish, and everyone understood what he was doing. But now
the country was flooded with base coin of uncertain value, and men
bargained, as they do still at Cairo, for sterling money, foreign crowns,
and livres Tournois. Trade with England was necessarily conducted by
means of a reputable currency; and the whole of the new Irish coinage
being only available for local use, felt the effects of inflation as well
as of its own intrinsic baseness. There was great confusion in every
trade, and all was attributed to the coin, which every one thought would
be cried down, and therefore feared to have in possession. 'Being put to
sale of all men,' said Croft, 'and no man desirous to buy it, it must
needs be good cheap.' It was urged that, coins being only counters for
exchange, they should be taken at the proclaimed price, but Croft rightly
argued that gold and silver had been chosen on account of their fitness
for the purpose and also for their intrinsic value. The effect of laws
against usury is to raise the rate of interest, and the effect of putting
an artificial value on coin, in conjunction probably with other causes,
was to raise necessaries to a famine price. Corn that had been worth
6_s._ 8_d._ had risen to 40_s._; leather, iron, boots and shoes, wine and
hops, had all become dear. Six herrings sold for a groat. Englishmen, and
especially officials with fixed salaries, could not live in Ireland. The
native Irishman was somewhat better off, for 'he careth only for his
belly, and that not delicately.' 'We that are stipendiaries,' said the
Lord Deputy, 'must live upon our stipends, and buy with our money which
no man esteemeth.' The native lords used coyne and livery, and did what
they could to make their vassals keep all provisions in the country, so
that the markets were unsupplied, and the Government had scarcely any
alternative but to practise like extortions.[374]

[Sidenote: Evils of a debased currency.]

The inhabitants of Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, Cork, Drogheda, and
Galway were consulted, and they all attributed the state of trade to the
currency. A petition signed by the attorneys of those communities, by
seven peers, and by many others of high position was sent to the King;
and the petitioners prayed that the coin might be of the same weight,
value, and fineness in both kingdoms. 'By the whole consent of the
world,' said the Lord Deputy and Council, 'gold and silver have gotten
the estimation above all other metals, as metest to make money and be
conserved as a treasure, which estimation cannot be altered by a part or
little corner of the world, though the estimation were had but on a
fanciful opinion, where indeed it is grounded upon good reason, according
to the gifts that nature hath wrought in those metals whereby they be
metest to use for exchange, and to be kept for a treasure. So as in that
kind they have gotten the sovereignty, like as for other purposes other
metals do excel; and so is everything good, as God said at the beginning,
whereof followeth that the thing which we count naught cometh of the
misuse.' No laws or proclamation could prevent the value of money from
depending on the quantity of bullion it contained, and without money
exchanges could not be made. Men saw that an artificial scarceness was
created, and blamed the Government for not taking the obvious step of
crying down the coin. Croft apologised for his importunity in pressing
the currency question, observing that one string would put a harp out of
tune, and that the tuner would naturally strike that the oftenest. The
King's advisers did not deny the facts, but hesitated to make the
necessary sacrifice. Next year, however, they found it absolutely
necessary to act. Two of the despised groats were proclaimed equivalent
to fourpence English, and an immediate revival of trade was the

[Sidenote: The Revenue. Attempts at mining.]

The hope of making some profit out of Ireland to set against the cost of
governing her had attracted the attention of Henry VIII.'s ministers to
her mineral resources. Traces of lead, tin, copper, iron, and alum had
been found, and St. Leger hoped to turn them to account. In the last year
of his reign Henry authorised an advance of 1,000 marks sterling, and it
was thought that the mines would soon be self-supporting. The only
serious attempt made was at Clonmines, near Bannow, in Wexford. Silver
was found mixed with lead, and much expense was incurred. Germans were
employed in the work under the direction of Joachim Gundelfinger, and a
large mass of ore was raised. A smelting-house was built at Ross, both
wood and coal being used, and there were stores at Newtown Barry and
Ballyhack. There was some jealousy of the foreigners, who received very
high wages, and it was thought that Englishmen would be better and
cheaper. The English surveyor reported that the strangers cost 260_l._ a
month, and scarcely earned 40_l._, and he proposed to dismiss them, at
least until the work of sinking deep shafts had been completed by less
expensive labour. The Germans retorted that the surveyor himself was to
blame. But there was sickness among the miners, and some of them died;
and after some further trial the Germans were sent home and the works
stopped. It was found that the King had lost nearly 6,000_l._ in two

[Sidenote: French and Scotch intrigues. The O'Connors. 1552.]

The early part of the new year was disturbed by rumours of invasion.
Wauchop had just died at Paris, but his spirit still animated Ulster, and
help was confidently expected from Scotland. The French were trying to
recruit in Ireland, and some of those who held the seaports might as well
have been Frenchmen or Spaniards so far as the State was concerned. Old
O'Connor, who had received messages and tokens from the ubiquitous George
Paris, managed to escape from the Tower, but was caught near the border
and brought back. Walter Garrett, a soldier of Berwick, probably an
Irishman, who had deserted and gone as far south as Newcastle, was taken
trying to cross the Tweed or the Solway in a boat without oars. He
confessed his knowledge of O'Connor's movements, and this roused
suspicion as to the fidelity of the great frontier garrison. Leix and
Offaly were still unleased, the forts cost 7,000 marks yearly without any
return, and a rising among the friends of the old chief might undo the
little that had been done. The garrisons were most oppressive, taking
1_l._ worth of wheat for five shillings, and 4_l._ of beef for twelve
shillings, and the people were ready to rebel on the mere chance of
shaking them off.[377]

[Sidenote: Tyrone is detained in Dublin.]

Tyrone and his countess were detained in Dublin, while Shane continued
his fire-raisings in Ulster. The Earl complained bitterly of his own
treatment, of Bagenal's incursions, and of Cusack's intrigues. The
Marshal had taken 1,000 kine and 300 mares from him, and had billeted
himself and his army at Armagh. O'Donnell had suffered from similar
extortions. In St. Leger's time, he said, all had been quiet, and he sent
a statement of his grievances to the late Lord Deputy, who, very wisely,
sent it to Northumberland with the seals unbroken. Against the Chancellor
Tyrone could find no better accusation than that he had twice dissuaded
him from sending hawks as presents to the King. Cusack maintained that
Tyrone's arrest was justified by his negligent and savage behaviour. 'If
there were but one plough in the country,' the candid barbarian had
boasted, 'he would spend upon the same, with many other indecent words
for a captain of a country to say.'[378]

[Sidenote: Anarchy in Connaught.]

The fort at Athlone remained a memorial of Bellingham's military plans,
and under its shelter Westmeath submitted to the government of a sheriff;
but it cannot be said that the garrison kept Connaught quiet, either by
force or example. They sacked Clonmacnoise, and took away the bells from
O'Rourke's Tower, and left neither bell, image, book, gem, nor
window-glass in the whole place. 'Lamentable was this deed,' say the
annalists, 'the plundering of the city of Ciaran, the holy saint,' and by
no means calculated to increase the popularity of the King's religion.
Whether on account of this outrage or not, Croft found it necessary to
visit Athlone himself, and try to establish some order in Connaught. The
dissensions of the young Earl of Clanricarde with his kinsman Ulick, who
was loth to part with his authority, had laid the whole country waste.
Cusack with a small force succeeded, after a few executions, in placing
the Earl quietly, and swearing the gentry of the district to obey him.
Agriculture again flourished, and Cusack boasted that he had increased
the ploughs in use from 40 to 200, and that both ploughs and cattle could
be left safely in the open field. Clanricarde made use of his new power
to seize Roscommon, about which O'Connor Roe and O'Connor Don were
disputing, and to hand it over to Cusack for the reception of a garrison.
The warlike Chancellor brought O'Kelly to terms, and then succeeded in
getting a promise from the chiefs that they would assemble a force of
1,500 men to support the Earl in chastising MacDermot of Moylurg, who had
been plundering the O'Connors' cattle. Cusack thought there should be a
president to govern Connaught in conjunction with Clanricarde and
MacWilliam of Mayo, who was well disposed.[379]

[Sidenote: Government of Leinster. Gerald of Kildare comes to England.]

Leaving Cusack in the West, the Lord Deputy went into Leinster, and made
successful arrangements for maintaining peace there. He gave a lamentable
account of the state of the country. The Kavanaghs were indeed quiet, and
the O'Byrnes supported soldiers without grumbling; but the poor in the
towns were starving, and their cry sounded continually in his ears. They
were too wretched even to state their own grievances, and this was done
for them by the neighbouring gentry. Croft's regulations for the
garrisons at Carlow and Leighlin show considerable forethought. The
constables were prohibited from levying contributions themselves, but
might obtain the necessary supplies from the country through four
'cessers,' chosen by the freeholders for each garrison. No kerne were to
be quartered on the people, except thirty, which William Keating
covenanted to keep always ready for police purposes, and these were to be
billeted as the 'cessers' should appoint. Under the circumstances the
young Earl of Ormonde's rents were not very well paid, but Croft managed
to send him 400_l._ The state of the currency was such that the Earl
would lose one half if it were paid in Ireland. Gerald of Kildare, who
was now in England, was less fortunate, and the Lord Deputy declared that
he could get nothing for him. At a masque given by the King this
adventurous young man, who was now twenty-seven years old, and very
handsome, had met Mabel Browne, step-daughter to the fair Geraldine.
According to the family historian she fell in love with him. They were
married, and her father's influence procured the honour of knighthood for
the returned exile, and a patent restoring his estate. He did not,
however, come to Ireland till the next reign.[380]

[Sidenote: Cusack's attempts to conciliate the Irish.]

Passing eastwards again, Cusack found the O'Farrells peacefully paying
rent and supporting soldiers, but O'Reilly, who had seven warlike sons
and 1,600 men, was less submissive. With 1,200 followers he met the
Chancellor, who had only 200, and agreed to give hostages for the
restoration of spoils taken out of the Pale, and to pay a fine of 200_l._
Cusack made it a rule to impose a fine, since the Brehon code required
restitution only; but as the fines were seldom paid, the chiefs made
little real concession. O'Reilly refused to go to Dublin, lest he should
be imprisoned like Tyrone, but admitted that that chief deserved his
bonds if he had behaved as Cusack reported, and that he should deserve
them also in like case. The MacMahons and the O'Hanlons were found
equally well disposed, and Magennis kept house like an English gentleman,
and exercised the office of sheriff of Down. From this point the Scots'
handiwork began to be visible. John White, the farmer of Dufferin, had
been murdered by them, and the murderers kept possession of the district.
The fertile lands of Lecale seemed to invite settlers, but the
neighbouring region of Ards warned them off, being laid waste by the
invasions of the islanders. Hugh MacNeill Boy, the chief of Clandeboye,
had agreed to meet Cusack, but, hearing of the landing of some six or
seven score Scots archers, he broke his appointment. Through his frequent
conflicts with Bagenal there was scarcely anything left in the country
worth destroying, and the Chancellor was fain to leave a small party of
soldiers behind him, and to await the action of the Council in Dublin.
Permanent garrisons at Belfast and Castlereagh were the means he proposed
for bridling this part of the North. The O'Cahans and MacQuillins in
northern Antrim were willing to obey the Baron of Dungannon, but were
coerced by the Scots, who disposed of their force as they pleased. Cusack
had a fruitless interview with the formidable Shane O'Neill, and Shane
went straight from the meeting to burn his father's house at Dungannon,
which was only four miles off. Led by the light, Cusack's horsemen were
able to save the building, and he afterwards succeeded in capturing 700
of Shane's kine, and many horses. The Baron of Dungannon took charge of
the castle, and 300 gallowglasses were quartered on the county, but
Cusack saw plainly that nothing permanent could be done without a
resident governor. The Chancellor was somewhat more successful with
O'Donnell and his rebellious son Calvagh, both of whom came to Dublin and
bound themselves to keep the peace.[381]

[Sidenote: Unsuccessful attack on the Ulster Scots. Death of Brabazon.]

Soon after this the Lord Deputy made another attempt to punish the Scots
for the Rathlin disaster, and Hugh Oge O'Neill for supporting them.
O'Neill attacked the advanced guard at Belfast, then 'an old castle
standing on a ford,' and killed Savage of Ards, with fifty others. The
main body crossed the Laggan safely, and proceeded to fortify the old
stronghold. Meanwhile the Baron of Dungannon had brought up his forces,
but incautiously encamped in the open field before effecting a junction
with Croft. There he was set upon by the sleepless Shane, and utterly
routed, so that the whole expedition ended in failure. Sir William
Brabazon, the Vice-Treasurer, who had served so long and so well in
Ireland, died on the march. His body was buried in Christ Church, Dublin,
but his heart, according to the annalists, was 'sent to the King, in
token of his loyalty and truth towards him.'[382]

[Sidenote: Tyrone is released.]

Tyrone complained to the King of his continued detention. His country, he
said, suffered by his absence, and he offered either to plead his own
cause in England, or to submit unreservedly to Commissioners sent from
thence. Danger was still feared from Scotland, but the English party
there procured the arrest of George Paris, on the information of one of
O'Connor's sons. On the whole it was thought better to release Tyrone,
his countess and her son remaining as pledges for him, and Shane's
brother for that troublesome person. The Earl bound himself in 6,000_l._
to keep the peace towards the King's adherents, the Baron of Dungannon,
Calvagh O'Donnell, Maguire, and Tirlogh Luineach O'Neill.[383]

[Sidenote: Desmond.]

The Corporation of Waterford praised Desmond for visiting remote parts of
his district, and training the wild people; a task for which few, if any,
of his ancestors had shown any taste. Cusack wrote in the same strain,
and advised that Dungarvan should be taken from the Butlers, and restored
to him. The Chancellor's pet idea was to have a President at Limerick,
less as a governor than as a general referee in all disputes, and he
believed that by such peaceful means permanent civilisation might be
cheaply attained.[384]

[Sidenote: Croft recalled, 1552.]

At this time the King granted leave of absence to Croft, whom he
apparently intended to send back; but the O'Connors became uneasy, and
Sir Henry Knollys was sent to stop the Lord Deputy. The clouds blew over,
and Croft was able to go before the end of the year, leaving the
government to Cusack and Chief Justice Aylmer. Tyrone was released a few
days later, and followed Croft to London; and Hugh O'Neill submitted,
apologising for the past, and making promises for the future. The latter
chief received certain monastic lands rent free, especially stipulating
for the friary at Carrickfergus, where his ancestors were buried. Belfast
Castle was restored to him. The Government had in fact been unable to
chastise him, and put the best face they could upon matters. It can
hardly be doubted that the three secular priests whom Hugh intended to
maintain at the family burying place were not likely to advance the
King's views in religion.[385]

[Sidenote: Character of Croft. St. Leger returns to Ireland.]

Sir James Croft bears a fair character among Irish governors. He did
nothing very striking, nor did he contribute much towards a final
pacification; but he was considered a just man, and he made no personal
enemies. He was at least no bigot, for he received warm praise from
Archbishop Browne, though he did not hesitate to recommend Leverous for a
bishopric. It was, however, decided that St. Leger should return to
Ireland in his stead. Sir Anthony's government had been cheap, and not
ineffectual. During the last five years of Henry's reign there had been a
small annual surplus; but since his death there had been a constantly
growing deficit, which could only be met by increasing the taxation of
the obedient shires, by employing Irish soldiers almost exclusively, and
by maintaining such troops as were necessary at free quarters upon the
country. Miserable expedients certainly; but the English Government could
devise nothing better, and they were determined to keep down the
expenses. It was resolved not to increase the existing force of 2,024,
and to make no attempt at a thorough conquest. The arrangement with
Tyrone was dishonourable, but was to be adhered to, lest a breach of
faith should lead to war, and consequent expenditure. The King's death
prevented a full return to his father's policy, and those who had lately
governed in his name immediately lost all influence.[386]

[Sidenote: Protestant Bishops.]

Goodacre was consecrated to Armagh and Bale to Ossory on the same day by
Browne, Lancaster of Kildare, and Eugene Magennis of Down. Where Bale was
there was sure to be controversy, and a fierce one arose about the ritual
proper to the occasion. The Archbishop would have postponed the ceremony,
and Bale, who frequently denounces him as an epicure, declares that his
object was to 'take up the proxies of any bishopric to his own gluttonous
use.' Lockwood, Dean of Christ Church, was supreme in his own cathedral,
and his timidity led him to wish for the pontifical order. Bale
accordingly stigmatises him as an ass-headed dean, a blockhead who cared
only for his kitchen and his belly. But Lockwood had the law on his side;
for King Edward's first book only had been proclaimed in Ireland, and it
contained no form for consecration. Browne and Cusack also wished to
stand on the old way. Goodacre was for the form contained in the second
book, and now used in England, but he was willing to waive his own
opinion. Bale, however, positively refused to be consecrated according to
the old usage, boldly maintaining that one king makes one law, and that
Ireland must necessarily follow England. His vehemence carried the day,
and the consecrations took place according to the new Anglican use. The
Communion Service followed, and Bale rejected the consecrated wafer,
successfully arguing that common bread should be used. He afterwards
preached twelve strong Protestant sermons in Dublin, insisting
particularly on the marriage of priests; and he flattered himself that he
had established the people 'in the doctrines of repentance, and necessary
belief in the gospel.'[387]

[Sidenote: Goodacre.]

Goodacre seems never to have seen his cathedral, to which access was
barred by Shane O'Neill. Bale says he was a man of remarkable sincerity
and integrity, and a zealous and eloquent preacher. He also informs us
that he was poisoned by the procurement of certain priests of his
diocese, 'for preaching God's verity, and rebuking common vices.' This
contemporary statement has been doubted, on account of Bale's prejudices,
but it is repeated by Burnet on the authority of Goodacre's fourth lineal
descendant. Burnet's informant received the story from his grandfather,
who was Goodacre's grandson. According to this tradition the actual
murderer was a monk, who pledged Goodacre in poisoned wine, and died
himself of the effects. Bale says he was himself warned by letter to
beware of the Archbishop's fate. Whether the joint authority of Ossory
and Sarum is to be rejected or not will much depend upon the reader's
opinion of two learned, and in some respects not dissimilar divines.

[Sidenote: Bale.]

Bale soon proceeded to Kilkenny. On his journey from Waterford to Dublin
he had already passed through part of his diocese, and had been much
scandalised by what he saw and heard. The parish priest of Knocktopher
boasted that he was a son of William, late prior of the Carmelites
there--not the legitimate son, as he was careful to point out. The
marriage of a friar would have been a heinous offence, but an irregular
connection was venial, and it was thought honourable to be the offspring
of a spiritual man, whether bishop, abbot, monk, friar, or secular
priest. Bale, who had himself been a Carmelite, and who had married a
wife, rebuked this candid ecclesiastic, and resolved to set himself as
bishop to the work of reform. He admits that he had no success; and none
could be expected where public opinion sanctioned the pleasant vices of
the clergy.[388]

[Sidenote: Proceedings of Bale.]

Far more questionable was Bale's zeal against images, the destruction of
which will never make men Protestants. His opinions were hopelessly at
variance with those in vogue in Ireland, as may be judged from the
following autobiographical passage:--

'Many abominable idolatries maintained by the epicurist priests, for
their wicked bellies' sake. The Communion or Supper of the Lord was there
altogether used like a popish mass, with the old apish toys of Antichrist
in bowings and beckings, kneelings and knockings; the Lord's death after
St. Paul's doctrine neither preached nor yet spoken of. There wawled they
over the dead, with prodigious howlings and patterings, as though their
souls had not been quieted in Christ and redeemed by His passion; but
that they must come after and help at a pinch with requiem æternam to
deliver them out of hell by their sorrowful sorceries. When I had
beholden these heathenish behavers, I said unto a senator of that city
that I well perceived that Christ had there no bishop, neither yet the
King's Majesty of England any faithful officer of the mayor in suffering
so horrible blasphemies.'

This was at Waterford. At Kilkenny things were no better, and on his
arrival Bale proceeded to show his zeal for reform. All the statues of
saints were turned out of St. Canice's Cathedral, but the Bishop had the
good taste to preserve the fine painted windows erected in the fourteenth
century by his high-handed predecessor Ledred. The less artistic
Cromwellians afterwards destroyed what Bale had spared, and some
fragments were dug up in 1846. Bale had some supporters, chiefly laymen.
The clergy, whose moral failings he had lashed so mercilessly, were not
convinced by hearing the host called a 'white god of their own making,'
nor easily persuaded that the lucrative practice of saying masses for the
dead was useless, nor inclined to admit a liturgy which condemned all
that they most valued. The deanery was in the hands of Bishop Lancaster,
who could give no help, and among the prebendaries there was either
obstructive apathy or violent opposition to change. Bale was certainly
wrong in trying to impose King Edward's second book without legal
warrant; but he had gained his point with Browne, and disdained to yield
to the inferior clergy. The latter pleaded that they had no books, and
quoted the Archbishop against their own diocesan, who says he was 'always
slack in things appertaining to God's glory.' Bale's sincerity is
unquestionable, but he had set himself an impossible task, and his
violence made him enemies who showed no quarter when their turn came. The
most patient of men might have done nothing in such a position, but his
reputation would have been better had he shown some Christian moderation.
Bedell afterwards fell into the hands of his opponents, but his
imprisonment was relieved by expressions of sympathy and admiration from
the most unlikely quarters, and he must have felt that he had not worked
in vain. Bale could have no such consolation.[389]

[Sidenote: Catholic reaction at Edward's death.]

On the first rumour of Edward's death it became evident that the Bishop
of Ossory's authority was at an end. Oddly enough the priests hastened
amid general rejoicing to proclaim Queen Jane. They were eager for
change, and probably knew little of the fair saint whose innocent life
was sacrificed to the ambition of others. Justice Howth, who had been
Bale's strongest opponent, censured him for not being present at the
ceremony; 'for indeed,' says the Bishop, 'I much doubted that matter.' In
order, he adds, to 'cause the wild people to bear the more hate to our
nation,' the priests also propagated a report that the young Earl of
Ormonde and Barnaby Fitzpatrick had been slain in London. The forts were
attacked, and many Englishmen killed. Mrs. Matthew King, the clerk of the
check's wife, was robbed 'to her very petticoat' on the highway by the
Fitzpatricks and Butlers. But rumour and uncertainty were soon at an end,
and the priests and people of Kilkenny learned that Catherine of
Arragon's daughter was Queen of England.[390]


[358] St. Leger to Cecil, Jan. 19, 1551; Brady's _Episcopal Succession_.

[359] This conference is detailed in Mant's _Church History_, pp. 194,
199. See also Ware's _Life of Browne_. The conference was held in St.
Mary's Abbey, the residence of Dowdall, he having refused to attend the
Lord Deputy at Kilmainham.

[360] Browne to Warwick, _ut supra._ Examination of Oliver Sutton, March
23, 1552.

[361] St. Leger to Cecil, Jan. 19, 1551. Deposition of Sir John Alen,
March 19, in the deponent's own hand. 'The Bishop of Kildare
(Lancaster),' he says, 'came to me persuading me on his behalf to put in
writing the words Mr. St. Leger spoke to me in Kilmainham, to whom I made
this answer, "Show my lord that albeit I love his little toe better than
all Mr. St. Leger's body, yet I will do nothing against truth."'

[362] Bicton's curious will is printed in Cotton's _Fasti_, vol. ii.

[363] Croft to Warwick, May 1551; Instructions to Desmond and others July
1; Archbishop Browne to Warwick, Aug. 6.

[364] Cusack to Warwick, Sept. 27, 1551.

[365] Cusack to Warwick, Sept. 27, 1551; Instructions to Mr. Wood, Sept.
29, with Cecil's notes, 'Keep him (Tyrone) still, participating the cause
thereof to the nobility;' Hill's _MacDonnells of Antrim_, chap. iii.

[366] _Ancient Laws and Institutes of Ireland_, vol. iii. p. 146; Maine's
_Early History of Institutions_, p. 53.

[367] Bagenal to Croft, Oct. 27, 1551.

[368] Bagenal to Croft, Nov. 11, 1551; Sir Thomas Cusack's Book, May 8,
1552; _Four Masters_, _ad ann._ 1551.

[369] Mant, pp. 209-210, from a Clarendon MS. The letters which passed
between Croft and Dowdall are given by Mant from the Harris MSS.

[370] Browne to Warwick, Aug. 6, 1551; Ware's _Browne_.

[371] Instructions for Mr. Thomas Wood, July 28, 1551; and the King's
answer, Aug. 17.

[372] Strype's Cranmer, book ii. chap. xxviii., and Appendices 65 and 66.

[373] Instructions for Mr. Wood, Sept. 29, 1551. Cecil wrote on the
margin 'denied for the King liketh no union.' The King's amended answer,
Nov. 26.

[374] Croft to Cecil, March 14, 1552; to the Marquis of Winchester, March

[375] W. Crofton to Cecil, April 12, 1551; Lord Deputy and Council to
Privy Council, Aug. 30, and the answer in Nov.; Croft to Northumberland,
Dec. 22; Lord Deputy and Council to the Privy Council, Jan. 27,
1552--'idleness decayeth nobility, one of the principal "kayes" of a
commonwealth, and bringeth magistrates in contempt and hatred of the
people,' and the petition enclosed. Croft to Cecil, March 14, and to
Winchester, March 22. Ware's _Annals_.

[376] Wicklow tinstone has never been thought workable, see Kane's
_Industrial Resources_, p. 210. Dr. Kane does not seem to have known
anything of the Clonmines venture. Lord Deputy St. Leger and Council to
Henry VIII., Oct. 24, 1541, and June 4, 1543. St. Leger acted on the
advice of Thomas Agard, a mining expert. Minute of Council in S.P., 1546.
St. Leger, Croft, and others to the Privy Council, May 20, 1551; Robert
Record, surveyor of mines to the Privy Council, Feb. 1552. Harman's
certificate, same date. Joachim Gundelfinger to the Privy Council, May
15. Reports on the mines, Aug. 1552, and Feb. and April, 1553.
Instructions to St. Leger in _Carew_, July 1550, p. 228, as to alum. The
MSS. contains many details interesting to specialists, especially the
certificate of Gerrard Harman, a German.

[377] Privy Council to Croft, Feb. 23, and May 29, 1552. Sir Thomas
Cusack's 'Book,' in _Carew_, 1553, p. 241.

[378] The Earl of Tyrone's articles, Feb. 9, 1552; St. Leger to
Northumberland, March 10. Sir Thomas Cusack's 'Book,' in _Carew_.

[379] Cusack's 'Book' in _Carew_. _Four Masters_, 1552.

[380] _Earls of Kildare._ The patent of restoration is dated April 25,
1552. Orders for Leighlin and Carlow in _Carew_, April 30. Croft to the
Privy Council, April 16, May 1, and May 31.

[381] Cusack's 'Book' in _Carew_, No. 200. It is there wrongly dated

[382] The facts of this expedition (June and July 1552) are given by the
_Four Masters_; and see Ware's _Annals_.

[383] Tyrone's complaint, July 1552; Privy Council to George Paris, Oct.
25; to Croft, Dec. 10; Cusack to Privy Council, Dec. 22; Memorandum
concerning Tyrone, Dec. 30, in _Carew_.

[384] Mayor, &c., of Waterford to the Privy Council, Dec. 18; Cusack and
Aylmer to the Privy Council, Dec. 22 and 30; Declaration of Desmond's
title, Dec. 30; Cusack in _Carew_, _ut supra._

[385] Northumberland to Cecil, Nov. 25, 1552; Cusack's 'Book' in _Carew_,
vol. i. p. 236; King's letter in Lodge's _Patent Officers_; Ware's

[386] A paper calendared under Jan. 1553 (No. 75) calculates the average
expenses from 33 to 38 Hen. VIII. at 8,500_l._ a year. In the six years
of Edward's reign they rose by regular gradation from 17,000_l._ to
52,000_l._ The average revenue for the former period was 9,000_l._, for
the latter, 11,000_l._ See also No. 83, 'a device how to keep Ireland in
the stay it now remaineth upon the revenues only.'

[387] The consecrations took place on Feb. 2, 1553.

[388] Bale's 'Vocation,' in the _Harleian Miscellany_.

[389] Church histories of Mant, Killen, Brennan, and Reid. Graves's
_History of St. Canice_. They all derive their chief inspiration from
Bale's own 'Vocation.' Fuller has preserved the nickname of 'biliosus
Balæus,' given to the Bishop in contemporary controversy.

[390] Browne and Bale were friars; yet Protestants will not blame them
for entering the holy estate of matrimony, any vows to the contrary
notwithstanding. To modern England a married clergy seems quite natural,
but the scandal was great during the transition period, and Queen
Elizabeth felt the awkwardness herself. The following statement of
Harpsfield may be true or false, but it shows what could be said by a
contemporary. It should be remembered that Harpsfield was Archdeacon of
Canterbury. 'Against these kind of marriages, and maintenance of the
same, King Henry, in his latter days, made very sharp laws, whereupon
many so married put over their women to their servants and other friends,
who kept them at bed and board as their own wives. And after the death of
King Henry they received them again (as love money) with usury; that is,
the children in the mean season begotten by the said friends, whom they
took, called and brought up as their own, as it was well known, as well
in other as in Browne, Archbishop of Dublin. It would now pity a man at
the heart to hear of the naughty and dissolute life of these yoked
priests,' &c.



[Sidenote: The succession to the crown.]

Lawyers and casuists might dispute about the succession. Logically, Mary
and Elizabeth could not both be legitimate; but the people of England
swept these cobwebs away. Catherine had for twenty-two years borne the
title of Queen, and in that great place she was not known to have done
anything worthy of blame, but much deserving the highest praise. And then
there was the will of Henry VIII. Its execution had perhaps been
informal, but the people cared nothing for that; it was his will, and he
had been authorised by Parliament to make it. The sick-room fancies of a
boy of sixteen were not to be allowed to alter such a settlement.

[Sidenote: Mary proclaimed.]

The struggle for the crown was short, and was little felt at the distance
at which Ireland then was, though the Dudley party took care that Queen
Jane's accession should be officially known there. On the thirteenth day
after her brother's death Mary was proclaimed by the Council in London,
on the fourteenth the baffled Northumberland renewed the proclamation at
Cambridge, on the fifteenth the grand conspirator himself was arrested.
On the very day of the Cambridge proclamation the Privy Council wrote to
Aylmer, the acting Lord Justice cancelling the former communication, and
directing that Mary should be proclaimed 'Queen of England, France, and
Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and on earth supreme head of the churches
of England and Ireland.'[391]

[Sidenote: St. Leger is Deputy, 1553.]

Besides twelve Privy Councillors, six individuals connected with Ireland,
who happened to be in England, signed these letters--Cusack, the
Chancellor; Lord Gormanston; Staples, Bishop of Meath; Thomas Luttrell,
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas; James Bathe, Chief Baron; and the
veteran John Alen. The object probably was to show the men in Dublin that
this time at least there was no mistake as to which Queen they were to
obey. Cusack, Aylmer, Luttrell, and Bathe were confirmed in their offices
with increased emoluments, and no immediate change was made in the
general management of Irish affairs. Some disturbances amongst the
O'Connors were easily put down, and the citizens of Dublin repulsed a
raid of the O'Neills near Dundalk. In the meantime Northumberland had
expiated his crimes on the scaffold. Gardiner, Bonner, Tunstall, and
others had been restored, and Cranmer, Latimer, and Hooper imprisoned;
and there was time to think of the affairs of Ireland. In October, soon
after the coronation, St. Leger was appointed Lord Deputy in fulfilment
of the late King's intention. He landed at Dalkey on November 11, and on
the 19th took the oath and received the sword in Christ Church.

[Sidenote: His instructions.]

St. Leger's instructions show the policy which Mary had adopted. As
regards temporal affairs it did not greatly differ from that of her
father. The Scots in Ulster were not to be molested unless they gave
fresh trouble. The army was to be reduced to 500 regular soldiers, of
which not more than ten per cent. were to be Irishmen. Extraordinary
garrisons were to be discharged at the next general pay day, and if
possible induced to go back to England without raising riots. The Lord
Deputy might employ kerne and gallowglasses where necessary, and the
usual private bands were to be continued; but coyne and livery were to be
eschewed as much as possible. St. Leger found it impossible to carry out
the reduction of the army lower than 1,100 men, besides kerne. The
question as to the desirability of a Presidency for Munster was to be
carefully considered in all its bearings. Leix and Offaly being in great
measure waste, the Lord Deputy was to grant lands in fee simple at a
small quit-rent either to Englishmen or Irishmen, binding them to erect
and maintain farm buildings, and to till a certain portion of land. By
this means it was hoped that these unfortunate districts would soon be
made like the English Pale. Leases for twenty-one years were to be given
to Crown tenants generally, including holders of monastic lands. Goodacre
had just died, so that there was no difficulty about Armagh, to which, as
well as to the Primacy of all Ireland, Dowdall was immediately restored,
with the additional grant of the priory of Ards rent free for life. The
Mass and the rest of the old religion was to be restored as nearly as

[Sidenote: Mary maintains the rights of the Crown.]

But Mary, though zealous for orthodoxy, had no intention of yielding the
rights of the Crown to the Pope, and this was no doubt well understood.
One of St. Leger's earliest duties was to go to Drogheda and place the
government of Eastern Ulster in the hands of Eugene Magennis, who
specially covenanted not to admit any provisor from Rome. An Irish-born
priest named Connor MacCarthy asked Mary for a letter of licence to go to
Rome, there to obtain certain benefices from the Pope, fearing lest some
should be in the Queen's gift, 'and also considering the statute of
Premunire.' Nor was the fear an idle one, for when Tyrone afterwards
obtained a Papal bull for the appointment of his chaplain to the restored
priory of Down, the Queen sharply reminded him that she intended to
maintain the prerogative in that behalf which she had received from her
progenitors. MacCarthy was not the only Irish ecclesiastic of the reign
who thought it necessary to petition for relief from the consequences of
the dreaded statute.[393]

[Sidenote: Catholicism restored. Bale refuses to give way.]

[Sidenote: Bale's religious dramas.]

In some places the old religion was restored without waiting for any
formal order. As soon as Edward's death was known Justice Howth and Lord
Mountgarret, the Earl of Ormonde's uncle, went to Kilkenny and desired to
have the sacrament celebrated in honour of St. Anne. The priest said the
Bishop had forbidden celebrations on week days; 'as indeed I had,' says
Bale, 'for the abominable idolatry that I had seen therein.' The learned
judge, who seems to have had no commission, then discharged the clergy
from obedience to their Bishop, and commanded them to proceed in the old
way. On August 20 Mary was proclaimed at Kilkenny with much solemnity.
Bale strongly objected to wear cope or mitre, or to have the crozier
borne before him; not from any opposition to the Queen's title, but from
dislike to vain ceremonies. Taking a New Testament in his hand, he went
to the market-cross followed by a great crowd, to whom he preached from
the 13th chapter of Romans, on the reverence due to magistrates. But the
clergy of the cathedral, who had no sympathy with the Bishop's doctrines,
provided two disguised priests to carry mitre and crozier before him
against his will. The people were amused, instructed, or scandalised, as
the case might be, by the representation of a tragedy concerning God's
promises in the old law, and by a comedy of St. John the Baptist. The
baptism and temptation of Christ were brought upon the stage, and the
young men of the town acted both at the morning and evening performance.
Both dramas were written by Bale himself, and in a literary point of view
they are far from contemptible. They mark the transition between the
mystery plays of the middle ages and the compositions of Shakespeare's
immediate precursors. Personified abstractions as well as historical
characters appear on the stage; nor did Bale shrink from a representation
which seems impossible to us, for he boldly introduces the first person
in the Trinity under the name of Pater Cælestis. Justification by faith
is the great doctrine inculcated, and where the author speaks in person
he loses no opportunity of attacking the Church of Rome. In an epilogue
he exhorts the people to

    'Hear neither Francis, Benedict, nor Bruno,
    Albert nor Dominic, for they new rules invent,
    Believe neither Pope nor Priest of his consent,
    Follow Christ's gospel,' &c.

In another play on the instructive story of King John, 'Ynglond vidua'

    'Such lubbers as hath disguised heads in their hoods,
    Which in idleness do live by other men's goods,
    Monks, chanons, and nones.'

In his other works Bale throughout shows the same spirit. Thus he calls
that very questionable hero, Sir John Oldcastle, 'a blessed martyr not
canonised by the Pope, but in the precious blood of his Lord Jesus
Christ.' St. Paul is the great object of Bale's admiration, and he seems
to have thought that he was like him. The points of resemblance are
similar to those which Captain Fluelen discovered between himself and
Alexander the Great. Thus, Paul was tossed up and down between Candia and
Melita, Bale between Milford and Waterford. There was a river in Monmouth
and a river in Macedon, and there were salmon in both.[394]

[Sidenote: Opposition to Bale in his diocese.]

Sir Richard Howth, Treasurer of St. Canice's, and his friend Sir James
Joys, were among Bale's most energetic opponents. To annoy him they
suggested solemn exequies and prayers for the soul of Edward VI. The
Bishop argued that it would be better to wait for orders from Dublin. The
ceremony had already once been postponed to see the devil dance at
Thomastown--a Sunday amusement which the mob perhaps preferred to the
Bishop's plays. Bale found another enemy in one whom he calls Bishop of
Galway, and who was probably John Moore, Bishop of Enaghdune, the ancient
diocese in which Galway stands. This Moore was commissioned, along with
other prelates not acknowledged in the Roman succession, to consecrate
Patrick Walsh Bishop of Waterford. He was no credit to the Reformation,
for Bale represents him as spending his nights in drinking and his days
in confirming children at twopence a head. A gallowglass brought a dog in
a sheet with twopence hanging round his neck to be confirmed with his
neighbours' children; in this, says Bale, 'noting this beastly Bishop
more fit to confirm dogs than Christian men's children.' The soldier may
have regarded him as a schismatic, but it is not easy to understand how
such a man can have attained episcopal orders.[395]

[Sidenote: He is forced to fly.]

Ten days after the proclamation of Mary there was a general revolt
against Bale, incited by Howth, whose position in legal circles gave him
ample means of knowing how the wind blew at Court, but who was rather
horrified at the length to which the clergy and their adherents went. In
Bale's absence they rang the bells of St. Canice's and of all the other
churches, flinging their caps to the battlements of the cathedral with
shouts of laughter, but doing no actual violence. A little later the mob
was not so good-humoured. The Fitzpatrick and Butler kerne, and
especially the 'furious family of Mountgarret,' annoyed Bale in many
ways. Barnaby Bolger, an enterprising tradesmen who had formerly aroused
great indignation by forestalling Kilkenny market, and whose young
daughter was married to 'Grace Graceless,' an adherent of the
Fitzpatricks, headed a tumultuous attack on the Bishop's house outside
the town. He and his friend Mr. Cooper, the parson of Callan, were robbed
of all their horses, and thus deprived of the means of escape. Five of
Bale's servants, one of them a girl of sixteen, were caught haymaking,
and all murdered. He managed to close the portcullis and defend himself
until rescued by Robert Shee, the sovereign of Kilkenny, 'a man sober,
wise, and godly, which is a rare thing in this land.' Shee, who could
command the services of 100 horse and 300 foot, sent Bale by night to
Dublin, and no doubt he thought of St. Paul's journey under somewhat
similar circumstances. But there was no safety in the Irish capital, and
the Bishop escaped by sea in a sailor's dress. He was captured at St.
Ives and brought before the justices, but was released when nothing was
found to connect him with Wyatt's or any other plot. He was again
captured by pirates and had to pay a ransom, but ultimately succeeded in
reaching Holland. For five years he lived at Basel, where he continued to
write with an acrimony which had not been lessened by his recent
troubles. When Elizabeth became Queen, Bale made no attempt to regain his
bishopric. At sixty-three he was disinclined to face the Kilkenny people
again, or perhaps he had learned that he was unfit to govern men. He
became a prebendary of Canterbury, and devoted his remaining years to
literature. His hurried flight from Ireland had forced him to leave books
and manuscripts behind, and the Queen ordered them to be sent over to
him. 'He had,' she said, 'been studious in the search of the history and
antiquities of this our realm,' and might probably do something for their
illustration. Whether Bale ever got back his library or not, he was
certainly not silenced for want of materials; for the extent and variety
of his learning were considered most remarkable.[396]

[Sidenote: Wyatt's rebellion. Croft, Cheeke, and Carew, 1554.]

The abortive insurrection of Wyatt had the usual effect of setting Mary
more firmly on the throne, and at the same time of exasperating her
against some whom she might have been willing to spare. Sir James Croft,
the late Lord Deputy, was arrested before he had time to raise his
tenants in Herefordshire: he was convicted, but afterwards pardoned. Sir
Peter Carew, who afterwards played an important part in Irish affairs,
was also accused of complicity, and thought it prudent to go abroad,
where his companion was no less a personage than Sir John Cheeke.
Venturing to Brussels, where Paget was ambassador, they were led to
suppose that there was no danger, but that crafty diplomatist had them
kidnapped near Antwerp, and carried to England in a fishing boat. Their
captors were the Flemish and Spanish officials; and Philip, while
expressing becoming indignation at the breach of hospitality, took care
not to hear of it until the prisoners were safe beyond seas. The passage
can hardly have been pleasant, for they were blindfolded and chained, one
at each end of the boat. Poor Sir John Cheeke, who afterwards showed his
unfitness for the crown of martyrdom, and who perhaps saw a vision of the
stake, did not conceal his misery. 'Although very well learned, but not
acquainted with the cross of troubles, he was still in great despair,
great anguish, and heaviness, and would not be comforted, so great was
his sorrow; but Sir Peter Carew, whose heart could not be broken nor mind
overthrown with any adversities, and yielding to no such matter,
comforted the other, and encouraged him to be of a good stomach,
persuading him (as though he had been a divine) to patience and good
contentation.' The man of action, as is not seldom the case, showed that
he had more philosophy than the philosopher. Sir Peter, whose guilt, if
he was guilty, was much less clear than that of Croft, was pardoned by
the Queen, and afterwards served her well at St. Quentin. Sir John Cheeke
lived to undergo a worse humiliation than that of Cranmer, to be made an
instrument in the persecution of those with whom he secretly agreed, to
suffer in the few months which his pusillanimity had gained him a
thousand martyrdoms of grief and shame, and then to die heart-broken and
dishonoured. Sir Nicholas Arnold, afterwards employed by Elizabeth in
Ireland, was another of the conspirators. Lady Jane, the innocent victim
of so many intrigues, laid her beautiful neck upon the block, and
fivescore Kentishmen suffered death for their zeal to the Reformation or
their hatred of Spanish influence. Gerald of Kildare and the young Earl
of Ormonde both served with distinction against Wyatt, and the orthodox
Queen rewarded both with goodly grants of abbey lands. Ormonde had been
captain of one of the bands of Whitecoats sent by the city into Kent,
where many of his men deserted to the insurgents.[397]

[Sidenote: The primacy is restored to Dowdall.]

The insurrection being at an end, the Queen lost no time in forcing
Browne to surrender his patent of precedence, and restoring Dowdall to
the primacy, and a commission was issued to him and to Drs. Walsh and
Leverous for re-establishing the old religion, and punishing those who
had violated the law of clerical celibacy. Browne, who had a wife, was
accordingly deprived, and, pending the appointment of a successor, the
temporalities of his see handed over to Lockwood, the pliant Dean of
Christ Church. Staples of Meath, who was likewise married, and was
besides personally obnoxious to Dowdall, was also deprived in favour of
one of the Commissioners who sentenced him, the learned William Walsh,
formerly a Cistercian monk of Bective Abbey. Curiously enough, Walsh, who
was appointed by Pole in virtue of his legatine authority, did not
receive a Papal provision till 1564, some time after Elizabeth had
expelled him from his see. The same treatment for the same offence was
inflicted on Lancaster, Bishop of Kildare, who was succeeded by Leverous,
already Bishop of Leighlin by Papal provision. A fourth married bishop
was Travers of Leighlin, who was succeeded by Thomas O'Fihel or Field, an
Augustinian friar. A fifth, Casey of Limerick, had to make way for his
aged predecessor Quin. On Bale, who had left the field clear, no legal
sentence of deprivation was passed; but his successor, John Thonory, was
already appointed. Thonory has an evil name for having corruptly wasted
the property of his see, and is said to have died of grief at the loss of
some of his ill-gotten gains. Of the deprived prelates, Lancaster lived
to be Archbishop of Armagh, and Casey, who survived two successors, and
saw another expelled, regained his see in 1571. Browne, Travers, and
Lancaster are supposed to have died before the accession of Elizabeth,
and Staples soon after it.[398]

[Sidenote: Kildare returns to Ireland, 1554.]

This year was memorable for the return of Gerald of Kildare, whose titles
and estates were restored to him. The attainder, however, was not renewed
till 1569. Old Brian O'Connor was released from the Tower, and allowed to
revisit Offaly, an indulgence which he owed to the exertions of his
daughter Margaret, who was Kildare's aunt, and who relied upon the number
of her connections at Court, as well as her own knowledge of the English
language. Barnaby Fitzpatrick, Lord of Upper Ossory, King Edward's bosom
friend, returned about the same time, and so did a far more important
personage, the young Earl of Ormonde. 'There was great rejoicing,' say
the 'Four Masters,' 'throughout the greater part of Leath-Mhogha because
of their arrival; for it was thought that not one of the descendants of
the Earls of Kildare, or of the O'Connors Faly, would ever come to

[Sidenote: Constant war among the Irish.]

While the obedient shires were busy with the restoration of the ancient
religion, the native Irish made war among themselves, with but little
interference from the Government. Donough O'Brien, the second Earl of
Thomond, and a firm friend of the Crown, was killed in April 1553 by his
brother Donnell, leaving the earldom to Connor, his eldest son, by Lady
Helen Butler, who survived him. Donnell, however, assumed the title of
O'Brien, and the clansmen were divided between the representatives of the
old and new order. Donnell petitioned that, having been nominated
according to the ancient custom, he might be acknowledged as chief. St.
Leger was unable to grant this, but offered to write to the Queen in his
favour. In the meantime other controversies were submitted to the
arbitration of O'Carroll, O'Mulrian, and MacBrien Arra, on the part of
Donnell; and of the barons of Mountgarret, Cahir, and Dunboyne, all
Butlers, on the part of the Earl. The umpires in case of disagreement
were the Lord Deputy, the Lord Chancellor, and the Earl of Desmond. It is
very hard to make out the exact sequence of events, but either just
before or just after this negotiation, Donnell attacked one of his
nephew's castles, and was driven off by the arrival of the Earl of
Ormonde. He then turned his attention to the plunder of Clanricarde. The
Baron of Delvin continued to ravage MacCoghlan's country, and one of the
Nugents, who was foster-brother of Kildare, being killed, the newly
restored Earl, who lost no time in showing that he meant to keep up the
family traditions, exacted 340 cows as an _eric_. The O'Carrolls in the
south, the MacSweenys in the north, killed each other in the old fashion.
Shane O'Neill persuaded the Earl of Kildare and the Baron of Delvin to
take his part in a quarrel with one sept of his name, and old Tyrone was
defeated by another sept, supported by the MacDonnells, who were also
intriguing with Calvagh O'Donnell.[399]

[Sidenote: The Pope and the 'Rex Hiberniæ,' 1555.]

We have seen that the Queen had no intention of yielding any part of the
dignity which had belonged to her predecessors. Notwithstanding the Papal
pretension to suzerainty, she had as a matter of course assumed the
royal title created by her father in Ireland. The Holy See found it
necessary to respect accomplished facts, and had not Julius III.
abandoned all claims to the monastic lands, Pole would never have been
allowed into England. Paul IV.'s pretensions were boundless, but he could
not afford to quarrel about a mere trifle both with England and Spain. He
considered it a great glory for his pontificate that its opening should
be signalised by the arrival of an English ambassador. Whether he wished
it or not, Philip and Mary were, and would remain, King and Queen of
Ireland. He therefore ignored all that Henry had done, and, as if of his
own mere notion, erected Ireland into a kingdom. The world might perhaps
suppose that Mary took it from his hand, and not in right of blood. 'The
Popes,' says the sarcastic Venetian, 'have often given that which they
could not take from the possessors, and, to avoid contentions, some have
received their own goods as gifts, and some have dissembled the knowledge
of the gift, or of the pretence of the giver.' But in Ireland, where
distance cast a halo of enchantment over Papal politics, and where
Franciscans and Jesuits swayed the popular mind, the bull which announced
the gracious gift was taken by many for what it pretended to be, and not
for what it really was.[400]

[Sidenote: The Queen maintains her prerogative.]

Mary gave evidence of her desire to restore the splendour of religion by
re-establishing St. Patrick's as a cathedral. Leverous was the first Dean
of the new foundation, and was allowed to hold the preferment along with
the see of Kildare. The man selected to undo Browne's work was Hugh
Curwin, Dean of Hereford, a native of Westmoreland, and one of the
Queen's chaplains. He had become known as a preacher in favour of Henry's
marriage with Anne Boleyn, in opposition to the Franciscan Peto. The
deanery of Hereford had been his reward. Peto, on the other hand, had
become the Queen's confessor, and was the chosen instrument of Paul IV.,
when that Pope in a fit of anger appointed a legate to supersede Pole.
Mary so valued the royal authority that she resented the irregular honour
intended for her confessor, though he had been the champion of her own
legitimacy, stopped the red hat at the gates of Calais, and never allowed
Peto any benefit from the Pope's irritability. On the whole, Anne's
advocate fared better than Catherine's. Curwin, whose first article of
belief enjoined submission to principalities and powers, no doubt knew
how to turn the Queen's love of power, as he had done her father's, to
his own advantage. He was treated with exceptional favour, and gained
practical control of the temporalities even before his consecration,
which was performed in London by Bonner, Thirlby, and Griffin.
Immediately afterwards he received the Great Seal of Ireland. Curwin had
the pall from Rome, and in the Papal record of his appointment Philip and
Mary are said to have supplicated for it, Browne being ignored, and
Curwin made successor to Alen. But the King and Queen only acknowledged
that Curwin was preferred on their recommendation, and he had to renounce
on oath all things prejudicial to the Crown, whether contained in the
Papal bull or not. Curwin held a provincial synod soon after his arrival
in Ireland, at which the principal business was the restoration of the
ancient rites.[401]

[Sidenote: No progress made in Ulster. St. Leger has no money, 1555.]

Ulster was in a state of more than usual confusion. Manus O'Donnell, who
had been constantly at war with his father, was opposed by his son
Calvagh, who had the help of the Scots. They addressed him as illustrious
lord, and he went over to Scotland to claim the proffered aid. Returning
with a large force, and with a piece of ordnance which the annalists
inexplicably call a crooked gun, he entered Lough Swilly, took his father
prisoner, and battered Greencastle and another fortress on Lough Foyle.
Calvagh thenceforth assumed practical control of his clan. The Scots slew
Hugh MacNeill Oge, and St. Leger divided his territory between Phelim
O'Neill and the sons of Phelim Bacagh. The hardy interlopers had even
designs on Carrickfergus, which St. Leger says were frustrated 'by the
help of God and Mr. Parker;' but in a campaign of six weeks the Lord
Deputy could gain no real advantage. As in the case of most Irish
governors, his detractors, among whom Sir William Fitzwilliam was
conspicuous, were busy at Court. They accused him, among other things, of
falsifying estimates in favour of Andrew Wyse, the late Vice-Treasurer,
whose accounts had been found unsatisfactory. 'I am now in case,' he
said, 'as the poet's fame. I have meat to the surlip and drink to the
netherlip, and can reach neither of them.' His position made it
impossible for him to economise, and no money came to pay his hungry
retinue. A friendly chronicler has remarked that St. Leger, like all
other Irish governors, was hated chiefly for his good deeds; like a good
apple tree, which, the more fruit it bears, the more stones are thrown at

[Sidenote: Lord Fitzwalter (Sussex) Lord Deputy, 1556.]

The Lord Deputy's entreaties for release were heard at last, and the
government was conferred on Sir Thomas Radcliffe, Lord Fitzwalter,
afterwards created Earl of Sussex, who, but for his Irish service, would
bear one of the fairest characters in our history. Mary rejoiced that the
true Catholic faith had by God's great goodness and special grace been
recovered in England and Ireland, and she directed her representative 'to
set forth the honour and dignity of the Pope's Holiness and See Apostolic
of Rome, and from time to time to be ready with our aid and secular
force, at the request of all spiritual ministers and ordinaries there, to
punish and repress all heretics and Lollards and their damnable sects,
opinions, and errors.' Cardinal Pole, she added, was about to send over a
legatine commission to visit the Irish Church, and official assistance
was to be given 'in all and everything belonging to the function and
office legatine, for the advancement of God's glory and the honour of the
See Apostolic.' The new governor was reminded that he lay under an
obligation to execute justice, and was exhorted at much greater length to
exert himself for the improvement of the revenue. A Parliament was to be
held, chiefly as a means of restoring religion according to the Queen's
ideas, of settling her marriage and succession, and of voting a subsidy.
Sir Henry Sidney, who now makes his first appearance in Irish history,
accompanied the Lord Deputy as Vice-Treasurer. He brought with him a sum
of 25,000_l._[403]

[Sidenote: A warlike mayor of Dublin.]

About the time of the new Lord Deputy's arrival, the Kavanaghs made a
raid into the neighbourhood of Dublin. Sir George Stanley took command of
the citizens, and drove 140 of the assailants into Powerscourt, where
they had to surrender at discretion. Seventy-four were hanged. John
Challoner, who was Mayor of Dublin at the time, provided the civic force
with arms, which he had brought at his own expense from Spain. This
martial magistrate was offered knighthood, but he excused himself. 'My
Lord,' he said, 'it will be more to my credit and my posterity's to have
it said that John Challoner served the Queen upon occasion, than to say
that Sir John Challoner did it.'[404]

[Sidenote: Sussex makes a journey into Ulster, 1556.]

Sussex landed at Dublin towards the end of May, and received the sword
from St. Leger's willing hands. The religious ceremonies were of a kind
entirely satisfactory to the Queen. After a month's stay in the capital
he set out for the North, and appeared in church both at Drogheda and
Dundalk. The force mustered on this occasion was very considerable, for
besides the regular soldiers and Ormonde's followers, the gentlemen of
the Pale were called on to serve with from one to six horsemen each. The
Plunkets contributed twenty-four horse, the Nugents eighteen horse and
twenty-four foot. Dublin sent sixty horsemen and gunners, and Drogheda
forty men well appointed. 'The Byrnes and the Tooles' wastes' in Wicklow
were expected to send twelve horse each, and other Irish contingents
joined on the march. The first Sunday was spent at a mill beyond Newry,
where Dowdall said Mass, and where O'Hanlon, whose chiefry seems to have
been disputed, was solemnly proclaimed. Mention is made of a great hill
of stones, which was, perhaps, the traditional spot for the election of
an O'Hanlon. Passing along the right bank of the Newry river, which he
crossed near Tanderagee, Sussex reached the Laggan valley near Moira, and
passing Belfast, reached Carrickfergus on the ninth day after leaving
Dublin. From this the army marched across the central districts of
Antrim, and, at last, on the twenty-fourth day from Dublin, Sussex
reached Glenarm, and found that James MacDonnell had fled before him into
Scotland. The fugitive sent to France for help, but his envoy's
proceedings were counteracted by Paget's vigilance. A quantity of cattle
were captured, besides butter and other produce hid in a cave. This seems
to have been the only result of an expedition which lasted thirty-seven
days. Sussex dismissed his allies at their old rendezvous near Newry, and
on the very next day, as if in ridicule of his efforts, a messenger
arrived to say that the Scots had attacked the rear guard. Sidney
afterwards said that he had slain James MacConnell, a mighty Scots
captain, during this expedition. Some Scots of name were certainly
killed, and one of them may have been called James; but the real James
MacDonnell was back at Glenarm before the end of the year.[405]

[Sidenote: His failure.]

The moral which Sussex drew from this inglorious expedition was that the
North could only be held by a chain of forts along the coast from Dundalk
to Lough Foyle. Some part at least of the expense would be paid by the
salmon fisheries of the Foyle, the Bann, and the Bush; and by the
herring, cod, ling, and hake fisheries, of which Carlingford was the
chief seat. A good English bishop would also, he thought, be a means to
civilise the country. It had not yet been discovered that making the
Church a badge of conquest only served to make religion itself odious.
The dislike of the Irish to English ecclesiastics had been marked
throughout the middle ages, and even if England had remained in communion
with Rome, bishops who were Government officials first and chief pastors
afterwards, could scarcely have ministered successfully to the wants of
O'Neills and O'Donnells.[406]

[Sidenote: The King's and Queen's Counties.]

[Sidenote: The natives.]

The settlement of Leix was in outward form completed, and Sussex received
the Queen's thanks for it. The arrangements were not without a show of
equity; but the old inhabitants could not reconcile themselves to the
intrusion of a colony, and their pertinacious opposition forced the
Government to treat them with far more rigour than had been at first
intended. The western half of the new Queen's County was originally
reserved for the O'Mores, each head of a sept becoming a landlord holding
an estate in tail by knight-service. The chiefs were prohibited from
keeping any idlemen except of their own sept, or more than one for every
100 acres. They were to attend the constable of the fort when required,
to repair bridges, and at all times to keep the passes open between their
districts and those occupied by the English. They were to dress like
Englishmen, except when riding, and to teach their children to speak
English, to attend the Deputy annually, and to use only the Common Law.
All above twelve were required to take the oath of allegiance. Forfeiture
was prescribed for a persistent refusal to keep the passes open; for
retaining superfluous idlemen; for keeping more than one set of harness;
for interrupting communication with the English; for making a private
way; for marrying and fostering with the Irish, and for absenteeism. The
Deputy's licence removed the penalty in all these cases. For keeping
unlicensed firearms the first offence was to be punished by forfeiture,
and the second by death.

[Sidenote: The settlers.]

The eastern district was assigned to the English, to hold on similar
terms, and twelve places, among which Stradbally and Abbeyleix are the
best known, were to be kept in a defensible state as satellites to the
royal fort of Maryborough. The duties of the settlers were in general the
same as those assigned to the O'Mores; but whereas the latter were
restrained in the matter of arms, the possession of them was made
obligatory on the former. A good bow and sheaf of arrows, or one
hand-gun at least, was to be kept in every house. Forfeiture was to be
incurred in the same way as by the Irish, and in addition for falling
away from the use of the English tongue, for holding more than 300 acres
in demesne, or for entertaining Irishmen, except so far as they were
necessary for husbandry. A few natives, whose services as captains of
kerne had deserved special recognition, were to have grants in the
English territory, and it was suggested that a large territory should be
offered to the Earl of Kildare. A constable, resident at the fort, was to
have the same powers locally as the Lord Deputy had generally. Stringent
rules were made as to free quarters and purveyance. The constable or
president on his annual circuit was to have his own expenses and those of
four men and five horses borne for one night only by each town; and each
sept of the O'Mores was to bear the like burden, and no more. Finally, a
church was to be built in each of the twelve settlements within three
years, and a parson, of English birth, was to have the tithe.[407]

[Sidenote: The natives cling to their land.]

Whatever the intentions of the Queen or her Deputy might be towards Leix
and Offaly, there was sure to be plenty of opposition on the part of the
natives, who were, however, as usual, divided among themselves. The old
chief, Brian O'Connor, was still alive, and his son Donough carried on
the old feud and killed his cousin, the son of Cahir Roe. Both Donough
and Connell O'More, the chief of Leix, fell into the hands of Sussex in
the course of the year, but to the surprise of the Irish in general were
released in deference to Kildare and Ormonde, who had become in some
measure responsible for them. The O'Mores remained quiet for a time on
the lands reserved to them. Donough and others of the O'Connors afterward
came to Sussex at Philipstown, as the fort of Offaly must henceforth be
called, and made their submission, giving promises of good behaviour,
which they immediately broke.[408]

[Sidenote: They are again attacked, 1557.]

After the meeting at Philipstown, Sussex and his Council repaired to
Leighlin, where the principal O'Connors neglected to appear as they had
promised. A leader of the Kavanaghs, who had not taken warning by the
recent fate of his clansmen, was executed, and Connel O'More, who had
once more broken into rebellion, was hanged in chains at Leighlin about
the same time. Offaly was next invaded and hostages taken, who were
executed on a further outbreak taking place, with the exception of
O'Connor himself, who was detained prisoner in Dublin.[409]

[Sidenote: Parliament of 1557. The monastic lands are not restored.]

The Parliament, from which Mary expected much for the Church of which she
was so faithful a daughter, met at last and enacted all the laws made in
England against the Protestants. The old statutes against Lollardry,
which prescribed death by fire as the punishment for obstinate or
relapsed heretics, were declared to be in full force. A communication
from Pole was read by Curwin as Chancellor, kneeling down in open
session, in which the Cardinal urged the assembly to restore Ireland to
full communion with the Church. All Acts derogatory to the Pope which had
been passed since the twentieth year of Henry VIII. were accordingly
repealed. The Queen was declared a legitimate, absolute sovereign, and
all laws and sentences to the contrary were abrogated. On the other hand,
grants of monastic land were confirmed. There could be no doubt of Mary's
wish to restore the religious houses, but this does not appear to have
been done except in the single case of Kilmainham. Oswald Massingberd,
who during the Puritan ascendency had led a wandering life in the woods,
was appointed Prior by Pole, and the nomination was confirmed by the
Queen. Massingberd was sworn of the Council, and assumed the position of
his predecessors; but he seems to have had no belief in the stability of
the new system. He gave long leases and sold all that was saleable, and
he took no thought for the morrow. There appears to have been no
intention of specially favouring the obsolete order of St. John, for no
attempt was made to restore it in England; but in Ireland it happened
that the Crown had not parted with the house and lands. In the same way,
since it could be done without offending vested interests, Mary
re-established the Benedictines at Westminster, the Carthusians at Sheen,
and the Observants at Greenwich. There are indications that she wished to
examine titles closely, and to restore the monks where defects appeared;
but she granted and confirmed grants of abbey lands as freely as her
father and brother. Ninety years later, when the confederate Catholics
had military possession of the greater part of Ireland, and the Nuncio
Rinuccini was apparently all-powerful, the claim of the regulars to their
old possessions was met by the nobility and gentry with anger and

[Sidenote: Sussex makes an abortive expedition westward;]

When released from his Parliamentary duties, Sussex marched westward
against the O'Connors, who, under Donough, had possessed themselves of
Meelick Castle, on the Shannon. The line of march lay through Offaly, by
Killeigh, Ballyboy, and Cloghan, no opposition being offered by the
O'Molloys or O'Maddens. The Shannon was reached on the third day.
Clanricarde must have been in a tolerably peaceful state, for Athlone
pursuivant seems to have had no difficulty in going to Galway to seek
ammunition and provisions. Cannon were brought by water from Athlone and
planted in the grounds of the friary, on an island or peninsula on the
Galway side of the stream. The castle was summoned, and a cautionary shot
fired without effect. Next day the cannonade began, and at the sixteenth
shot a large piece of the courtyard wall fell down. The O'Connors escaped
by a postern gate, and were proclaimed traitors. Clanricarde, Thomond,
O'Carroll, and other chiefs, came to pay their respects to Sussex, and
may well have laughed at the small results achieved by the display of
irresistible force. A garrison was placed in the castle, and, hostages
having been taken from the neighbouring clans, the army returned through
MacCoghlan's country, led by the chief himself. The Lord Deputy had the
pleasure of seeing the night lit up by fires which the rebels kindled
within a mile of his camp. The outlying buildings at Philipstown were all
burnt, and arrows shot into the fort itself. Such was the practical
outcome of a nine days' expedition, during which, as the annalists say,
it is not easy to state or enumerate all that was destroyed.[411]

[Sidenote: and another into Ulster.]

An expedition into Ulster, undertaken three months later, had the same
lame and impotent conclusion. The annalists say compendiously that Armagh
was burned twice in one month by Thomas Sussex. His horsemen encamped in
the cathedral, and no enemy opposed the destroyer, who returned after a
week to Dundalk only to hear that Shane O'Neill was burning and
plundering within four miles of the town. Being pursued, Shane retreated
to his woods, whither those who knew the country declined to follow him.
Sussex then returned to Dublin; the Queen being richer by a few cows, and
Sir James Garland poorer by the village which O'Neill had burned.[412]

[Sidenote: The central districts still disturbed.]

Not much impressed by the late invasion, the O'Connors who had escaped
from Meelick stationed themselves at Leap Castle, about which there had
been so much fighting in bygone days. Sussex took the castle without
trouble, but Donough again escaped by the speed of his horse, and the
stronghold was seized by O'Carroll as soon as the army had left. Sidney
afterwards made two separate inroads into the same district. O'Molloy was
proclaimed a traitor, and everything destroyed. It is not easy to see how
there could be anything combustible left in the devoted country. The
O'Carrolls were also engaged about this time in opposition to the
Government, and in support of the O'Mores and O'Connors, and the
annalists are again at a loss to enumerate the preys and slaughter which
were made from the Shannon to the Nore.[413]

[Sidenote: War between the O'Neills and O'Donnells.]

A local war of considerable importance took place this year between the
O'Neills and O'Donnells. Manus, the old chief of Tyrconnel, had been kept
a prisoner for the last two years by his son Calvagh, who assumed the
leadership. This claim was disputed by his brother Hugh, who, with his
immediate adherents, had deserted to Shane O'Neill. Shane was delighted
at the opportunity of interfering, and declared that not one cow should
escape, though the O'Donnells should carry away their cattle into
Leinster or Munster. He himself would in future be the sole King of
Ulster. Shane pitched his camp at Carriglea, near Strabane, just above
the junction of the Finn and the Mourne. It was more a fair than an
encampment, and the time was gaily passed in buying, and no doubt in
drinking wine and mead, as well as fine clothes and merchandise. Calvagh,
who lay five miles off with a few followers, sent two trusty spies to the
camp, who mingled boldly with the throng of camp followers and soldiers
belonging to many different clans. In front of Shane's tent they found a
great central fire, and a huge torch as thick as a man's body blazing
brightly. Sixty gallowglasses with their axes, and as many Scots, with
heavy broadswords drawn, stood ready to guard the chief. When the time
came for serving out supper, the spies claimed their share with the rest,
and received a helmet full of meal and a corresponding quantity of
butter. Not staying to make cakes, they carried back the trophy to
Calvagh, who immediately got his men under arms. He had but two companies
of the MacSweeney gallowglasses and thirty horsemen. No look-out was
apparently kept at the camp, which they entered at once. There they had
little to do but to kill till their arms were tired, the deficiency of
force being much more than counterbalanced by the totally unprepared
state of the O'Neills. Shane, whose reputation for courage is not high,
slipped out at the back of his tent with only two companions, leaving his
men to their fate. The three fugitives threaded the passes of the
neighbouring mountains, and passed the Finn, the Deel, and the Derg by
swimming. At Termonamongan, near the latter river, Shane bought a horse,
and never rested till he reached the neighbourhood of Clogher. Calvagh
remained in possession of the camp, and his men spent the rest of the
night in drinking the wine which the O'Neills had provided for
themselves. The extent of the plunder may be estimated from the fact that
Con, Calvagh's young son, who had given up his horse to his father and
fought on foot, now had eighty steeds for his share, including a
celebrated charger of Shane's called the Eagle's Son.[414]

[Sidenote: Sidney, Lord-Justice. No money.]

Sussex had not been very long in Ireland before he asked for a holiday,
and he was allowed to spend Christmas at home; Curwin and Sidney, and
afterwards Sidney only, being appointed Lords Justices. War had been
declared with France at midsummer, and one of the first letters received
by the new governor announced the loss of Calais, and the Queen's vain
hope of recovering it. In the storm of St. Quentin and the defence of
Guisnes, English soldiers had shown that they were made of the same stuff
as the victors of Agincourt, but the war was unpopular. Mary's subjects
felt that they were sacrificed to Philip, and this jealousy of Spain both
caused the fall of Calais and prevented its recovery. But the national
vanity was sorely hurt, and Sidney thought it a good opportunity to point
out that James MacDonnell was expected in Ulster with many French and
Scots allies, and that the natives would join him or fall upon the Pale,
which was itself heartily sick of English rule, of soldiers at free
quarters, and of purveyors, who paid, if they paid at all, something very
much less than market prices. The army was reduced to a little over 1,000
men, and the people of the Pale, though well disposed, could afford no
effective help. Credit was extinct, and the bad money caused great
misery. Yet even bad coin was scarce. 'Help us, my lord,' he wrote openly
to Sussex, 'help us to money at this pinch, though it be as base as

Men, money, and provisions were alike wanting, and the outlook was as
dark as could be. Desmond proposed that the Queen should send special
commissioners, independent of the Government, to inquire into the state
of Ireland, and point out means of reformation. He himself had perhaps
sinned through ignorance, and he thought justice and fair dealing more
likely to do the work of civilisation than a new conquest. 'We neither
think it meet, nor intend,' answered Mary, with a touch of her father's
humour, 'to make any new conquest of our own, nor to use any force when
justice may be showed.' She proposed to do all that was necessary by fair

[Sidenote: Hatred of the English Government.]

Sidney's fears of foreign complications were not unfounded. He had no
ship of war at his disposal, and he feared that Dublin might be
blockaded. George Paris was in France, declaring that the wild Irish were
quite ready to transfer their allegiance, and Sidney had reason to
believe that Kildare was playing his hereditary game. There can be no
doubt that this great nobleman, whose estates lay between the capital and
the disturbed midland districts, was a thorn in the side of each
successive governor. It was thought he wanted to be Deputy himself, and
all the principal lawyers in Dublin had a retaining fee from him. William
Piers, Constable of Carrickfergus, the vigilant guardian of the North,
was told by one of his men who was present, that Sorley Boy MacDonnell,
in the careless after-supper hour, said plainly 'that Englishmen had no
right to Ireland, and they would never trust Englishmen more, but would
trust the Earl of Kildare, "who," quoth Sorley, "hath more right to the
country...." The nature of these people is they will speak what is in
their hearts when the drink is in their heads.' The love of claret,
inherent both in Scottish and Irish chiefs, tended to keep up constant
communication with France. The hereditary hatred of England might at any
moment counterbalance the jealousy which Scotland felt for the French
regent and king matrimonial, and an invasion of Ireland might seem less
dangerous than that from which the caution of the Scots lords had just
saved England. The recollection of Dundalk was not so fresh as that of

[Sidenote: Attempts at conciliation.]

Lady Tyrone had been closely imprisoned, apparently by Shane, for urging
her husband to hold fast to his allegiance. 'I will not,' says Sidney's
informant, 'you make this known to the Primate, or Kildare, or any
Geraldine in Ireland.' To the Queen the Lord Justice wrote that the coast
was infested by hostile cruisers, that he dreaded a French attack on
castles which could not resist artillery, and that he could scarcely be
answerable for the defence of the country. The effect of Sussex's advice
while at Court may be gathered from the number of letters which Mary
addressed to great men in Ireland. Tyrone and O'Reilly were thanked for
past services, the former being charged to help the Deputy with a
contingent, and the latter to dismiss the Scots in his pay. Calvagh
O'Donnell was reminded of his duty, and encouraged to hope for a peerage
and other rewards. Barnaby Fitzpatrick, whose courtly education was not
forgotten by his friend's sister, was exhorted to behave like one who
regards the service and weal of his natural country. His neighbour
O'Carroll might look forward to a peerage for life if he would give help
in season. Desmond and Clanricarde were directed to put Thomond in
possession of his earldom and estates, the care of the coast being
particularly recommended to the former. Desmond and Ormonde were thanked,
and advised to refer all their differences to the arbitration of the Lord
Deputy and Council.[417]

[Sidenote: A spirited policy.]

The Queen did not limit her care for Ireland to writing letters. She
doubled the army; 800 men being sent over, and directions given for
raising 200 more in Ireland. Every foot soldier was to receive twopence a
day, and every horseman threepence a day, in addition to the old wages.
The Deputy's salary was raised from 1,000_l._ to 1,500_l._, with the
usual allowances, and he was directed to move constantly to and fro,
residences being maintained for him at Roscommon, Athlone, Monasterevan,
Maryborough, Philipstown, Ferns, Enniscorthy, and Carlow. The O'Mores and
O'Connors were to be still further chastised, and as much as possible
effected against the Scots. In most other matters the former instructions
were to remain in force. The restored Deputy was not expected to make
bricks without straw, more than 200_l._ having been spent on the carriage
of munitions to Chester for the Irish service.[418]

[Sidenote: Sussex returns to Ireland, 1558.]

Sussex left London on March 21, and we are told that he travelled post;
but he did not leave Holyhead till the 26th of the following month. The
actual passage only occupied a few hours. Detraction, the usual lot of
Irish governors, followed him on his journey, his accuser being no less a
person than Primate Dowdall, who was summoned over to tell his own story,
and who died in London some three months before the Queen. Sidney and his
Council declared that the Archbishop was actuated by personal malice, and
that there was no foundation for his statements. There was, however, some
excuse for a prelate who saw his metropolis and three churches burned by
the viceregal army. Sussex believed that Dowdall was in league with his
predecessor. Were it not, he said, for his set purpose to serve the
Queen, he might find occupation enough in avoiding the nets spread on all
sides, the catch line whereof he could not prove but by looking into Mr.
St. Leger's bosom.[419]

[Sidenote: The O'Connors still troublesome. Sussex goes to Munster.]

Sussex had left Leix and Offaly in confusion, and he returned to find
them in the same state, his brother, Sir Henry Radecliffe, being actually
besieged in Maryborough by the natives, under Donogh and another
O'Connor, accompanied by Richard Oge, one of the bastard Geraldines who
had so long been troublesome. The garrison beat off their assailants
after a hard fight, Richard Oge falling by the hand of Francis Cosby; but
Donough again escaped. The first matter which demanded the personal
attention of Sussex after his return was the state of Thomond, where Sir
Donnell More O'Brien--who had slain his brother, the second Earl, five
years before--was now disputing the title of his young nephew Connor,
whose principal castles he held. Ormonde, whose aunt was the young lord's
mother, was of course interested in his favour, and the same reason was
enough to make Desmond incline to Sir Donnell. It became necessary for
Sussex himself to go in force and establish some kind of order. Taking
the familiar line through Offaly and Ely, Leap Castle being abandoned at
their approach, the Lord Deputy and his troops, strengthened on the route
by the adhesion of Barnaby Fitzpatrick and a considerable force, marched
across North Tipperary by Newport and Cahirconlish to Limerick, which was
reached on the seventh day after leaving Dublin. At a point a few miles
from the city Ormonde and his brother Edmund appeared with a large party.
The young lord of Cahir, Gerald the heir of Desmond, with all the forces
of his house, MacCarthy More, who received the honour of knighthood and a
gold chain and gilded spurs, and William Burke, chief of the district,
joined on the same day. At the gate of Limerick the mayor and aldermen in
scarlet robes delivered to Sussex the keys and mace, which he returned to
the mayor. With the civic insignia and sword of state borne before him,
the Lord Deputy rode to the door of the cathedral, where the Marian
bishop, Hugh Lacy, met him, and where he was censed and sprinkled with
holy water. Sussex kissed the cross both here and at the rood, where the
same ceremonies were repeated, and knelt devoutly at the high altar while
the _Te Deum_ was sung. Salutes were fired after church.

[Sidenote: The Desmonds at Limerick.]

The Lord Deputy rested ten days at Limerick, during which time was
performed the rite of 'bishoping' Desmond's youngest child, the old Earl
being present himself. This was a first or second baptism, for the little
Fitzgerald was not old enough to be confirmed, and the Lord Deputy stood
sponsor and gave his god-child his own name, and presented him at the
same time with a gold chain. The career of James Sussex Fitzgerald thus
auspiciously begun was destined to end in a traitor's death on the

[Sidenote: The O'Briens.]

Sir Donnell O'Brien failed to appear, and was thrice proclaimed traitor
at Limerick. Sussex then issued forth into Thomond. Clare Castle and
Ennis made no resistance, but a few cannon shot had to be fired at
Bunratty before it surrendered. The Earl of Thomond, having been placed
in possession of his country, was sworn upon the sacraments and on the
relics of the Church with bell, book, and candle, to forsake the name of
O'Brien, and to be true to the King and Queen. All the freeholders of the
district swore in the same solemn way to obey him as their captain.

[Sidenote: O'Shaughnessy.]

On his journey westward from Limerick, Sussex spent a night with
O'Shaughnessy at Gort, where he 'dined so worshipfully as divers wondered
at it, for the like was not seen in an Irishman's house.' At Galway he
was received with the same civic, military, and religious ceremonies as
at Limerick, and, after staying four or five days, returned by Athenry
and Meelick into Offaly, and thence to Dublin.[420]

[Sidenote: Expedition against the Hebridean Scots. It ends in failure.]

Sidney's apprehensions were partially realised, for James MacDonnell
landed before Sussex with 600 islemen and two guns. But Carrickfergus had
been reinforced, and the greater part of the Scots returned to their own
country. Colla MacDonnell, one of the chief's five brothers and the
resident guardian of his clan's Irish interests, died soon afterwards,
and, his brother Angus having refused to take his place, Sorley Boy, the
youngest and ablest of the family, filled the vacant post. It was decided
to attack the Redshanks in their own islands, and a fleet assembled at
Lambay from which great things were evidently expected. Sussex urged
despatch; but the delays of the supply service were inveterate, and
nothing was done for nearly three weeks. The Lord Deputy landed first in
Cantire, and began operations by burning James MacDonnell's 'chief house
called Sandell, a fair pile and a strong.'

[Sidenote: The fleet is in danger,]

He boasted that in three days he burned everything from sea to sea in a
district twenty miles long, and this without meeting any opposition worth
notice. Isla was the great object of the expedition; but the wind was
unfavourable, and the incendiary's work could be carried on elsewhere.
Arran was accordingly devastated, the army dividing into two, so as to
make the damage more complete. Isla being still inaccessible, the same
fate was intended for Bute, but just as the boats were about to be manned
a sudden gale sprung up, 'and that being then the weather shore the wind
wheeled suddenly and made it the lee shore, whereby we being very near
the shore were forced to ride it out for life and death in such a place
as if any tackle had slipped or broken the ship whose tackle had so
slipped or broken must needs have perished.' The cable of a Dublin
transport parted, and she foundered with a loss of twenty-eight men. Most
of the small vessels got into harbour, 'but the masters of H.M.'s ships I
think thought scorn thereof.' The fine gentlemen who commanded men-of-war
in those days were unwilling to take advice from the old seamen who acted
as their sailing masters or pilots. With loss of boats, running rigging,
and anchors, the fleet escaped, and the captains, whose courage was
'somewhat cooled,' were content after this to be controlled by their
professional associates.

[Sidenote: and is forced to retire.]

The poor little Cumbrays having been ravaged, the disabled vessels were
just able to reach Carrickfergus after a dead beat against a stiff
north-wester. Sussex landed, and was nearly lost in regaining his
flag-ship, the 'Mary Willoughby.' A council of war was then held, and it
was found that there were provisions for only three weeks more, and that
damages could not be properly repaired in Ireland. Only three ships were
at all fit for service; and, moreover, 'the new bark is a ship of such
length and unwieldliness in steerage as she is not to be ventured among
the isles in such stormy weather, where there be many deep and narrow
channels and strong tides.' It was feared that the ships might be
becalmed or otherwise delayed in the isles, there was now no spare tackle
in case of future storms, and it was by no means impossible that the
crews and troops might starve. The hope of visiting Isla was therefore
abandoned, and Sussex landed the soldiers with the less ambitious
intention of attacking the Scots in the Route. An English fleet and army
carefully equipped and commanded by many gallant gentlemen had just
succeeded in burning some barren islands, not without considerable loss
to themselves, and had returned disabled without striking a blow. Sussex
was conscious of his failure, and begged the Queen 'not to impute any
lack in me, but to consider that whatever I wrote of was feasible, is
feasible, and shall with grace of God be put in execution with a great
deal more than I wrote of,' &c. The expedition is not even noticed in the
Scots correspondence of the time, nor was anything done to retrieve
matters on land. Out of 1,100 soldiers, but 400 were fit for service, the
rest being prostrated by illness caused by the foul water on board

[Sidenote: Activity of Sussex. He leaves Ireland at Mary's death.]

Want of activity at least could not be charged against Sussex, who
carried out strictly the spirit of the Queen's instructions, which
desired him to be constantly on the move. He was at Leighlin a few days
after his return from Scotland, and then returned to Dublin, where the
affairs of Munster occupied his attention. The old Earl of Desmond was
dead, and his son Gerald, destined to a disturbed life and a miserable
death, succeeded to the splendid but troublesome inheritance of the
Southern Geraldines. He promised fair, and was knighted by the Lord
Deputy's hands, who went to Waterford to receive his homage and to admit
him to the earldom. Sir Maurice Fitzgerald of Decies, who ruled about one
half of the county of Waterford, also made his submission, promising to
obey the law and make others obey it, to give his help to all judges,
commissioners, and tax-gatherers, and to secure free admission for all to
the markets at Waterford, Dungarvan, and elsewhere. The news of Mary's
death reached Ireland soon after this, and Sussex, who had already
obtained leave to go to England, hurried away to pay his court to the new
sovereign. He left Ireland tolerably quiet.[422]

[Sidenote: Story as to an intended Marian persecution in Ireland.]

Mary did all she could to efface her father's anti-Roman policy; but no
Irish persecution took place. This may have been less from the Queen's
want of will than from the insignificance of the Protestants in Ireland.
It is said that many people fled from the western parts of England in
hope of sharing the comparative immunity enjoyed by the small Protestant
congregation in Dublin. One story seems to show that this had attracted
attention, and that Dublin would not have long escaped. It rests on the
testimony of Henry Usher, one of the fathers of Trinity College and
afterwards Archbishop of Armagh, and was repeated by his more famous
nephew James Usher, and by other public men of repute. Henry Usher died
at a great age in 1613, and was Treasurer of St. Patrick's as early as
1573. In the absence of anything to rebut it, such evidence can hardly be
rejected. The story is that a Protestant citizen of Dublin named John
Edmonds had a sister living at Chester married to one Mattershed, who
kept an inn or lodging-house in which Cole, Dean of St. Paul's, slept
when on his way to purge the Irish Church. 'Here,' said Cole, in the
hearing of his hostess, 'is a commission that shall lash the heretics of
Ireland.' The good woman watched her opportunity, possessed herself of
the doctor's wallet, and substituted a pack of cards for the
commission--a service for which she received a pension of 40_l._ from
Queen Elizabeth. On reaching Dublin, Cole went straight to the Castle,
where the Lord Deputy, who had just returned from his Scotch expedition,
was sitting in council. Cole declared his business in a set speech; but
when the secretary opened his wallet he found only the cards, with the
knave of clubs uppermost. Sussex had conformed to the dominant creed, but
had probably no wish to be a persecutor, and may have rejoiced at Cole's
discomfiture. 'Let us have another commission,' he said, 'and we will
shuffle the cards in the meanwhile.' A new scourge for the heretics was
despatched, but before it came to hand Mary's unhappy career had

[Sidenote: Death of Mary and Reginald Pole.]

The weak enthusiast who, far more than Gardiner or Bonner, must share the
responsibility for the persecution with which this Queen's name is
inseparably connected, was not long divided from her in death. Reginald
Pole survived his kinswoman some twenty-two hours, and almost the last
sounds to reach his ears were the cheers with which a people that
breathed freely once more greeted the accession of Queen Elizabeth.


[391] Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, p. 304.

[392] Instructions for Sir A. St. Leger, Oct. 1553; Morrin's _Patent
Rolls_, pp. 300-304.

[393] Petition of Connor MacCarthy, 1553. The Queen to Sussex, July 6,
1558. Orders taken at Drogheda, Dec. 6, 1553, in _Carew_.

[394] Bale's select works, Parker Society; _King Johan_, a play, ed. J.
Payne Collier, Camden Society; 'God's promises in all ages of the old
law,' in Dodsley's _Old Plays_, vol. i.; a brief comedy or interlude of
John Baptist in _Harl. Misc._ vol. i.

[395] Bale's _Vocation_; Cotton's _Fasti_, vol. i. p. 123.

[396] Bale's _Vocation_; Ware's _Annals_. Queen Elizabeth to the two St.
Legers, calendared under 1559 (No. 85). Dr. Reid printed the following
contemporary epigram:--

    'Plurima Lutherus patefecit, Platina multa,
      Quædam Vergerius, cuncta Balæus habet.'

[397] Hook's _Life of Pole_, vol. iii. p. 359, note; Machyn's _Diary_,
Jan. 27, 1554; _Life of Sir Peter Carew_, ed. by Macleane, and also
printed in _Carew_, vol. i.

[398] Brady; Cotton. Dowling says of Thonory: 'Pro dolore amissionis
thesauri sui per fures mortuus. Fures confitebantur et executi.'

[399] Indentures with the O'Briens, Sept. 1554, in _Carew_; _Four
Masters_, 1554.

[400] Sarpi's _Council of Trent_, trans. by Courayer, lib. v. cap. 15,
and the _notes_. Dr. Lingard, vol. v. end of chap. v., objects to Fra
Paolo's account, but I cannot see that his own much differs.

[401] Brady; Hook's _Life of Pole_; Ware's _Life of Curwin_; Rymer, Feb.
22, and April 25, 1555; Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, p. 339.

[402] Hooker in Holinshed; St. Leger to Petre, Dec. 18, 1555; _Four
Masters_, 1555. James MacDonnell's agents to Calvagh O'Donnell,
calendared under 1554 (No. 7).

[403] Instructions to Lord Fitzwalter, April 28, 1556, in _Carew_.
_Sidney Papers_, i. p. 85.

[404] Ware's _Annals_.

[405] Sussex's Journal, Aug. 8, 1556, in _Carew_; Sidney's Relation, in
_Carew_; 1583; Lord Deputy Fitzwalter to the Queen, Jan. 2, 1557;
_Calendar of Foreign State Papers_, Oct. 28, 1556.

[406] Opinions of Lord Fitzwalter, Jan. 2, 1557. He mentions hake as 'a
kind of salt fish much eaten in Ireland.'

[407] Privy Council to Lord Deputy, Sept. 30, 1556; Orders for Leix,
Dec.; Lord Deputy to the Queen, Jan. 2, 1557. An Act of Parliament was
passed in 1557, entitling the Crown to Leix and Offaly, and authorising
the Lord Deputy to make grants under the Great Seal.

[408] Proceedings of the Deputy and Council, Feb. 25, 1557, in _Carew_.
_Four Masters_ for 1555 and 1556.

[409] _Four Masters_, 1555 and 1556. Proceedings of Deputy and Council,
Feb. 25, 1557, in _Carew_. Dowling says Connel O'More was 'apud pontem
Leighlin cruci affixus.' Ware's _Annals_.

[410] Thomas Alen to Cecil, Dec. 18, 1558; Letters of Queen Mary,
calendared under 1557 (Nos. 63 and 64), and petitions (Nos. 65 and 66).
For grants of abbey-lands, see Morrin's _Patent Rolls_, passim. Mary's
only Irish Parliament (3 and 4 Phil. et Mar.), met June 1, 1557, in
Dublin. There were adjournments to Limerick and Drogheda. See Stuart's
_Armagh_, p. 244, and Rymer, Dec. 1, 1556.

[411] July 1557; Journal by Sussex of that date in Carew; _Four Masters_,

[412] October; _Four Masters_, 1557.

[413] _Four Masters._ This was towards the end of 1557.

[414] _Four Masters_, 1557.

[415] Lord Justice Sidney and Council to the Privy Council, Feb. 8, 1558;
Desmond to the Queen, Feb. 5 and Feb. 23, and her answer, April 19;
Sidney to Sussex, Feb. 26, and to the Queen, March 1.

[416] Piers to Curwin, Feb. 14, 1558; Sussex to Boxoll, June 8; Articles
by an Irishman, 1558 (No. 15).

[417] The Queen's letters are all dated March 12.

[418] See instructions in _Carew_, March 20; Estimate for munitions,
March 13.

[419] Machyn's _Diary_; Sussex to Privy Council, April 7, with
inclosures; Dowdall to Heath, Nov. 17, 1557.

[420] This tour is in _Carew_, i. 274-277; the date in the end of July

[421] For the expedition to the isles, see Sussex to the Queen, Oct. 3,
Oct. 6, and Oct. 31, 1558.

[422] Journeys by the Earl of Sussex, July and Nov. 1558, in _Carew_;
oath of Gerald Earl of Desmond, Nov. 28.

[423] Ware's _Life of Browne_. In their instructions to the Lord Deputy
and Council, Philip and Mary say:--'Lord Cardinal Poole, being sent unto
us from the Pope's Holiness and the said See Apostolic Legate of our said
realms, mindeth _in brief time_ to despatch into Ireland certain his
commissioners and officials to visit the clergy _and other members_ of
the said realm of Ireland,' &c., _Carew_, April 28, 1556.




    Abbeyleix, 399

    Abertivy, 41, 42

    Adamnan, St., 6, 15

    Adare, 191, 218, 229, 267

    Adrian IV., Pope (Nicholas Breakspeare), his bull, 37-39, 49, 260

    Aedh, or Hugh, King, 29

    Æneas Sylvius;
      _see_ Pius II.

    Agard, Thomas, Vice-Treasurer and Treasurer of the Mint, 207, 208,
        319, 320

    Aghmacarte monastery, 314

    Agricola, 1, 2

    Aidan, St., 6

    Alban's, St., 34

    Alemand, L. A., his history of Irish monasticism, 314-316, 318

    Alen, or Allen, John, Archbishop of Dublin (1529-1534), 163;
      murdered, 165, 166, 171, 172, 290-296

    Alen, Sir John, Master of the Rolls (1533-1538), Lord Chancellor
        (1538-1546 and 1548-1550), 156, 158-160, 162, 164, 171, 193,
        195, 208, 212, 233, 235-237, 244, 259, 267, 283-285, 304, 305,
        313, 320, 335, 337-339, 345, 346, 348, 357, 358, 385

    Alexander II., Pope, 33

    -- III., Pope, 37, 49, 54

    Aline, Strongbow's daughter, 50

    Allen, Bog of, 176

    All Saints', Dublin, 321

    Ambrose, St., 366

    Amlaf, 18, 19;
      and _see_ Olaf.

    Andreas, Bernard, his works on Henry VII., 116, 117

    Andrew's, St., in Scotland, 306

    -- -- in Dublin, 302

    Angareta, mother of Giraldus Cambrensis, 41

    Angevins, 11

      _see_ Enaghdune.

    Anne, Queen, 197

    -- -- _see_ Boleyn.

    -- St., 386

    Anschar, St., 31

    Anselm, St., 34, 35

    Antrim, 66, 77, 237, 272

    Aquitaine, 40, 45

    Arabic coins in Ireland, 30

    Ardagh, see of, 292-295

    Ardee, 222, 240

    Ardfert Abbey, 51

    Ardfinnan, 47

    Ardglass, 212

    Ards, in Down, 263, 265, 376;
      priory of, 386

    Ardscull, 66

    Argyle, 67, 134, 272, 273, 280-282, 359

    Arklow, 72, 146, 156

    Armagh, 237, 263, 403

    -- County, 56

    -- church, abbacy, and see of, 14, 17, 18, 25, 34, 45, 104, 289,
        367, 369, 386;
      for Archbishops (called by the Irish Successors of St. Patrick),
        _see_ Cellach, O'Toole, Octavian, Kite, Cromer, Dowdall,
        Wauchop, Goodacre.

    Artane, 165

    Aryan race, 11

    Ascham, Roger, 337

    Aslaby, John, 188

    Assaroe, 239

    Athassel Abbey, 70, 73, 99, 291, 319

    Athboy, 115, 222

    Ath-Cliath (the Celtic name for Dublin), 34

    Athelstane, 21, 32

    Athenry, 69, 78, 122, 228, 300, 321, 410

    Athlone, 17, 60, 77, 84, 125, 334, 374, 402, 408

    Athole, Earl of, 271

    Athy, 54, 88, 130, 167, 200, 328

    Audeley, Thomas Lord, Lord Chancellor of England, 178, 179, 196,
        197, 253

    Aughrim, 228

    Augustine, St., Canons Regular of, 99, 314, 317

    Augustinian Hermits or Austin Friars, 289, 300, 319, 320, 392

    Aylmer, Sir Gerald, Chief Justice of the King's Bench (1535-1559),
        215, 223, 233, 237, 303, 378, 384, 385

    Aylmer, Richard, of Lyons in Kildare, 223

    Bacon, Francis, 105, 111, 116

    Bagenal, Sir Nicolas, Marshal of the Army (1546-1553, and
        1565-1590), 332, 353, 364, 368, 373

    -- Sir Ralph, 357, 361

    Baldoyle, 19

    Bale, John, Bishop of Ossory (1552-1553), 299, 368, 379, 380-383,

    Balgriffin, 177

    Ballibogan, 305

    Ballinaclogh, 224

    Ballinskelligs, 188

    Ballinure, 251

    Ballyboy, 402

    Ballycastle, in Antrim, 272, 361

    Ballydrohid, 317

    Ballyhack, 372

    Ballymore Eustace, 91, 129, 238, 326

    Balrath, 119

    Balrothery, 123

    Baltimore, 88, 351

    Baltinglass, 130, 251

    -- Viscount, Sir Thomas Eustace, Baron of Kilcullen, 161, 163, 170,
        178, 254, 344

    Banagher, 228, 335

    Bangor, in Down, 17

    Bann River, 266, 351, 398

    Bannockburn, 65

    Bannow, 42, 372

    Barbaro, a Venetian, 350

    Barbarossa, 39

    Barkley, Lord, 198

    Barnesmore Gap, 140, 141

    Barnewall, Sir Patrick, 249, 301, 312, 320

    Barnewalls, the, 76

    Baron, Milo, Bishop of Ossory, (1527-1551), 297, 305

    Barretts, the, 71

    Barrow River, 113, 130, 167, 264, 329, 340

    Barry, David, Archdeacon of Cork, 118

    -- Gerald;
      _see_ Giraldus.

    -- William de, 41

    Barrymore, Barons of, and Viscounts from 1405, 76

    -- John, Viscount, 76, 118, 191, 242, 268, 332, 333

    -- William, Viscount, murdered in 1499, 118

    Barry Oge of Kinalea, 242, 268, 329

    Barry Roe, 242, 268

    Barrys, the, 41, 64, 76, 242, 268. In the 16th century they were all
        settled in the County of Cork.

    Bartholomew's, St., in London, 291

    Basel, 389

    Basilia, Strongbow's sister, 50

    Basilius, 308

    Basnet, Edward, last Dean of St. Patrick's of the old foundation,
        358, 368

    Bath Abbey, 198

    Bathe, James, Chief Baron, 385

    Bearhaven, or Berehaven, 351

    Beaton, Cardinal, 271, 273, 276, 285

    Beaumanoir, 217

    Beaumaris, 169

    Becket, Thomas, 48, 86

    Bective Abbey, 392

    Bedell, William, Bishop of Kilmore, 350

    Bedford, Jasper, Duke of, Lord-Lieutenant, 100, 102, 111

    Belfast, 125, 360, 364, 376-378, 398

    Belfast Lough, 143, 281

    Belgard, near Dublin, 142

    Bellahoe, battle of, 240

    Bellingham, Sir Edward, Viceroy (1548-1549), 88, 286;
      sent to Ireland with troops, 326;
      Lord Deputy, 327;
      his ceaseless activity, 328;
      his treatment of the disloyal, 329, 330;
      he projects the town of Maryborough, 331;
      his dealings with Galway, Limerick, and Drogheda, 331;
      with Dublin, 332;
      he routs the O'Connors, 332;
      his dissatisfaction with Desmond, 333;
      establishes a garrison at Athlone, 334;
      frees the Pale from rebels, 335;
      his dealings with the currency, 336;
      his impolitic self-assertion, 337;
      his treatment of the Irish, 338;
      he cannot agree with his council, 338;
      his jealousy of the Ormondes, 337, 339;
      he seizes Desmond, 339;
      he establishes a garrison at Leighlin Bridge, 340;
      a Protestant, 341;
      well informed, 342;
      his dealings with Primate Dowdall in furtherance of the royal
        supremacy, 343;
      the darling of the Protestant party, 343-344;
      recalled, 344;
      his death and character, 344-345, 348, 349, 350;
      his fort at Athlone, 374

    Benbulben, 141

    Benedictines, 314

    Berehaven, 351

    Berengaria, Queen, 58

    Berengarius, 33

    Bergagni, Francis de, 181

    Bermingham, Baron of Athenry, 228

    -- John de, Earl of Louth, 67

    -- Patrick, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, 150, 155, 199

    -- Richard de, 69

    -- William, created Baron of Carbury in Kildare, 226, 258, 320

    Berminghams, the, 69, 71, 213

    Bermingham's Tower, 233

    Bernard, St., 15, 314, 315

    Berners, William, 208, 230

    Berwick, 373

    Betagh, Robert, 241

    Bicknor, Alexander de, Archbishop of Dublin, 322

    Bicton, James, 358

    Bigot, Hugh, 63

    Birr, 157, 224, 226, 227

    Biscayans, 188

    Bissett, or Missett family, 71, 271

    Blackwater River in Ulster, 237

    -- -- -- Munster, 242

    Blessington, 326

    Blois, 252

    Blore Heath, 90

    Bobbio, 6

    Bodkin, Christopher, Archbishop of Tuam (1537-1562), 228, 292, 294,
        305, 334

    Body, William, 200, 202, 203

    Boleyn family, how related to the Butlers, 126, 142

    -- Mary, 149

    -- Queen Anne, proposed as a wife for Ormonde, 149, 156, 190, 195,
        196, 394, 395

    -- Sir Thomas, 125, 126, 149, 156

    -- Sir William, 126

    Bolger, Barnaby, 389

    Bonner, Edmund, Bishop of London, 306, 395, 413

    Boulogne, 277, 335

    Bourbon, the Constable, 181

    Boyle, 125, 317

    Boyne River, 85, 213

    Boys, James, 175

    Brabazon, Sir William, Vice-Treasurer (1534-1553), Lord Justice
        (1543, 1545, and 1549), 176-178, 193, 194, 196, 197, 199,
        205-207, 209, 213, 218, 232-233, 235-237, 244, 254, 268, 275,
        304, 305, 320, 346, 377

    Brackland, 206, 213

    Braose, William de, 60, 63

    Brasier, Richard, first auditor of the Irish Exchequer (1547-1550),

    Bray Head, 130

    Breakspeare, Nicholas;
      _see_ Adrian IV.

    Brefny, 39;
      _see_ O'Rourke and O'Reilly.

    Brehons, 3-5, 7, 12, 143, 186, 221, 273, 277, 291

    Brereton, Andrew, 353

    -- John, 328, 332

    -- Sir William, Lord Justice in 1540, 169-171, 173, 174, 243, 244,
        247, 352

    Brian Borumha, King of Ireland, 22-31, 33

    Brictius, 36

    Brigid, or Bride, St., 13, 294

    Bristol, 147, 170, 359

    Bristol Abbey, 198

    Brito, 186

    Brode, a pirate, 166, 169, 170, 173

    Brodir, 26

    Broet, Paschal, 308-310

    Broke, Roger, 353

    Brosna, River, 334

    Broughton, Sir Thomas, 105

    Browne, George, Archbishop of Dublin (1553-1555), 200, 207, 208;
      his tour in the South, 235-237, 255, 299;
      his quarrels with Staples and others, 301-305, 311;
      his hatred of the Franciscans, 320;
      account of him, 322-324, 341;
      his conference with Dowdall, 354-357;
      his relations with St. Leger, 357-358;
      with Croft, 360, 378;
      with Dowdall, 367, 379;
      with Bale, 379 and 381;
      story of him told by Harpsfield, 383

    Browne, Mabel, Countess of Kildare, 375

    -- Sir Anthony, 216

    Bruce, Edward, 66-68

    -- Robert, 66-68, 272

    Brunanburgh, 21

    Brussels, 219, 390

    Bryan, Sir Francis, Viceroy, Lord Marshal of Ireland, 337;
      married to Lady Ormonde, 337;
      disliked by Bellingham, 337;
      in practical command of the Butler influence, 339;
      Lord Justice after Bellingham's departure, 345;
      his death under suspicious circumstances, 346

    Bulmer, Sir John, 137, 138

    Bunamargy, 300

    Bunratty, 77, 300

    Burgo, Hubert de, 6, 61

    Burgundy, Margaret, Duchess of, 103, 104

    Burkes, Bourkes, De Burghs, or De Burgos;
      _see_ MacWilliam, MacDavid, MacPhilbin, MacRaymond, MacShoneen,
        MacWalter, and FitzAdelm.

    -- of Clanricarde, 75, 93, 120-122, 173, 227, 241, 256, 289, 300,
      _see_ MacWilliam Uachtar and Clanricarde.

    -- or De Burghs, Earls of Clanricarde;
      _see_ Clanricarde.

    Burke, or De Burgo, Rowland, Bishop of Clonfert, 289, 294, 370

    -- of Clanwilliam in Limerick, 227, 409

    -- of Mayo;
      _see_ MacWilliam Iochtar.

    -- -- -- Sir William, 69

    -- -- Richard, 61, 74

    -- -- -- Earl of Ulster, 27

    -- Ulick, of Clanricarde, son of the first earl and captain during
        the minority of the second, 333, 374

    Burnell, John, 166, 177

    Burnet, Bishop, 380

    Burntchurch, 155

    Bush River, 266, 398

    Bute, 411

    Butler, Edmund, Archbishop of Cashel (1524-1561), natural son of the
        eighth Earl of Ormonde, 183, 241, 255, 261;
      account of him, 291;
      his oppressive conduct, 296;
      state of his monastery, 298;
      takes the oath of supremacy, 305;
      not a zealous reformer, 343

    -- Earls of Ormonde;
      _see_ Ormonde.

    -- Lady Helen, daughter of the eighth Earl of Ormonde, married to
        Donogh O'Brien, second Earl of Thomond, 191

    -- Richard, son of the eighth Earl of Ormonde, created Viscount of
      _see_ Mountgarret.

    -- Sir Edmund, first Baron of Dunboyne;
      _see_ Dunboyne.

    -- Sir Edmund, Viceroy in 1312 and 1314, 66, 70

    -- Sir Thomas, first Baron of Cahir;
      _see_ Cahir.

    -- Thomas, Prior of Kilmainham, 89

    -- Thomas, son of the eighth Earl of Ormonde, 160, 225

    Butleraboo, the Ormonde war cry, 112

    Butlers, the, 64;
      origin of name, 72, 93, 125-127;
      and _see_ Ormonde, Ossory, Carrick, Mountgarret, Dunboyne, and

    Butside, a pirate, 330

    Cadamstown, 334, 335

    Cade, Jack, 90

    Cæsar, 301

    Cahir, 182, 227, 258, 317

    -- Sir Thomas Butler, first Baron of, 189, 227, 236, 255, 276, 320,
        393, 409

    Cahirconlish, 409

    Calais, 83, 335

    Caledon, 154

    Callan, 74, 189, 388

    Cambridge, 384

    Campbell, Lady Agnes, married to James MacDonnell of Cantire and
        Antrim, 273, 281

    Campbells, the, 280, 282;
      _see_ Argyle.

    Campeggio, Cardinal, 290

    Camus, 182

    Candolle, Francis de, 181

    Canice's, St., 388, 389;
      _see_ Kilkenny.

    Cannon, Thomas, 163

    Canterbury, its connection with Ireland, 32-36;
      the Prior had lands in Ireland, 198, 389

    Cantire, 410

    Cantoke, name of, 64

    Cantuarian succession, 35

    Cantwell, William, 284, 285

    Canute, 21, 32

    Capel, Henry Lord, Lord Lieutenant in 1695, 101

    Cappys, or Kate, a merchant, 239

    Carbery, in Cork, 36, 124, 191, 218

    Carbury, in Kildare, Baron of;
      _see_ Bermingham.

    Carew, Sir Peter, 390, 391

    Carews, the, 41

    Carlingford, 241, 398

    Carlisle, 289

    Carlow, 63, 65, 83, 167, 231, 235, 327, 340, 375, 408

    -- Castle, 111

    -- County, 158

    Carmelites, 114, 300, 319, 320, 340, 368, 380

    Carrickbradagh, 237, 247

    Carrick, Edmund Butler, Earl of, 72

    -- on Suir, 72, 201

    Carrickfergus, or Knockfergus, 59, 60, 66, 70, 122, 142, 143, 273,
        281, 351, 361, 362, 378, 395, 398, 410, 411

    Carrigogunnel, 60, 186, 192, 200, 203

    Carrol, Lord of Ossory, 19

    Cartier, Jacques, 219

    Cartmel, 198

    Casey, William, Protestant Bishop of Limerick (1551-1556 and
        1571-1591), 354, 392

    Cashel, 47;
      synod, 48 and 314, 50, 66, 81, 193, 214, 242, 254, 265

    -- see of, 16, 291, 367, 369;
      _see_ Butler, Archbishop.

    Castle Connell, 124

    -- Dermot, 54, 84, 120, 155, 156, 167

    -- Island, 78

    -- Jordan, 177, 251

    -- Kevin, 253

    -- Martyr, 76

    Castleknock, 66

    Castlemaine, 124

    Castlereagh, 376

    Castletown Roche, 76

    Cavan, 262

    Cavendish, William, 250

    Cecil, William, afterwards Lord Burghley, 326

    Celestinus, Pope, 366

    Cellach, or Celsus, Bishop or Archbishop of Armagh (1106-1129), 34,

    Cerberus, 303

    Challoner, John, Mayor of Dublin in 1556, 397

    Chamberlayne, name of, 222

    Charlemagne, 172

    Charles I., 209, 279

    Charles V., Emperor and King of Spain, 7, 136, 172, 173, 175;
      negotiates with Desmond, 184-186, 192, 219, 274

    Charles VIII., King of France, 110

    Chateaubriand, Governor of Brittany, 212

    Cheeke, Sir John, 390, 391

    Chepstow, 41

    Chester, 54, 128, 161, 408, 413

    Christ Church, Dublin, 32, 385

    Ciaran, St., 13, 296, 374

    Cistercians, 16, 99, 267, 293, 314, 317, 318, 392

    Citeaux, 315

    Clairvaux, 314

    Clandeboye (Clan Hugh Boy), 76, 77, 129, 142, 198, 258, 266, 376

    Clandonnell, gallowglasses, 140

    Clane, 175

    Clangibbon, 76

    Clanricarde (the south-eastern portion of Galway), 218, 335, 402

    -- Earldom of, 71, 271

    -- Ulick Burke, or De Burgh, first Earl of, 120, 140, 227, 228, 238,
        256-258, 270, 271, 275, 335

    -- Richard Burke, or De Burgh, second Earl of, called 'Sassenagh,'
        son of the last named, 333, 349, 353, 374

    Clanwilliam, the Burke district in Limerick, 227, 409

    Clare Castle, 227, 411

    -- Richard de;
      _see_ Strongbow.

    -- a later Richard de, and others, 65, 70

    Clare, or Thomond, 124, 172, 203, 204, 219, 271;
      _see_ Thomond.

    Clarence, Lionel, Duke of, 70, 80, 100, 197

    -- George, Duke of, 90, 92

    Clement V., Pope, 321

    -- VII., Pope, 153, 289, 292

      _see_ Rosamond.

    Clinton, Lord, 216, 271

    Clogher, 154, 405

    -- see of, 293

    -- Bishop of;
      _see_ Courcy.

    Clonfert, see of, 289, 370

    Clonlisk, 262

    Clonmacnoise, church of, 13, 18;
      sacked by the troops, 374

    -- see of, 292;
      its forlorn condition, 295

    Clonmel, 73, 105, 127, 133, 189, 193, 204, 236, 237, 242, 305, 321,

    Clonmore, 254

    Clontarf, place and battle, 15, 27-32, 165, 169

    -- Viscount;
      _see_ Rawson.

    Cloyne, Bishop of, in 1367;
      _see_ Swaffham.

    -- see of, 288

    Clyde, the, 281

    Clyn, John, the Franciscan annalist of Ireland, 67, 70, 77, 84

    Cobham, Lord, 308

    Codure, John, 308

    Cogan, Milo and Richard de, 45, 46, 56

    Cogans, the, 41, 72

    Cole, a pirate, 330

    -- Dean of St. Paul's, 413

    Coleraine, 85, 266

    Colley, a pirate, 329

    -- Anthony, 195

    Colman, St., of Lindisfarne, 15

    Columba, or Columkille, St., 6, 12-15, 53, 86

    Columbanus, St., 6

    Comyn, Nicholas, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore (1519-1551), 305,

    Conal Abbey, 317

    Cong, 58

    Connaught, 61, 175, 262, 294, 374

    Constantine, forged donation of, 39

    Conway, Sir Hugh, 111

    Coolock, 123

    Coonagh in Limerick, 265, 266

    Cooper, Mr., 389

    Copeland Islands, 30

    Cork, 17, 47, 74, 85, 110, 118, 181, 187, 190, 241, 242, 273, 329,
        330, 351, 359, 371

    -- County, 278, 359

    -- Richard Boyle, Earl of, 286

    -- see of, 36, 288, 294

    Cormac Cas, 22

    Cornelius Agrippa, 216

    Corrib, Lough, 296

    Cosby, Francis, 328, 329, 332, 340, 408

    Courcy, Edmond, Bishop of Clogher (1484-1494), 104, 293

    -- John de, 53, 55-59, 64

    -- Lord, 106

    Courcies, the, 338

    Cowley, Robert, Clerk of the Crown (1535), and Master of the Rolls
        (1539-1542), an adherent of the house of Ormonde, 145, 152, 208,
        236, 284, 285, 293, 299, 319

    -- Walter, son of Robert, joint Clerk of the Crown (1535),
        Solicitor-General (1529-1546), 208, 245, 284, 285, 340

    Coyne, Bishop of Limerick;
      _see_ Quin.

    Cranmer, Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, 253, 322, 350, 369

    Creçy, 83

    Croagh Patrick, 305

    Croft, Sir James, Viceroy, a Herefordshire man, sent over to fortify
        in Munster, 351;
      Lord Deputy, 359;
      proposes to plant colonies in Munster, 360;
      attacks Rathlin unsuccessfully, 360-361;
      persuades Tyrone to tolerate a garrison at Armagh, 363;
      his doctrinal conference with Dowdall, 365-366;
      his ideas about ecclesiastical patronage, 367;
      desires a warlike Primate, 368;
      has enlightened ideas about the currency, 370-372;
      visits Connaught, 374;
      gives a lamentable account of Leinster, 375;
      makes another unsuccessful raid into Ulster, 377;
      recalled, 378;
      character of his government, 378-379;
      implicated in Wyatt's rebellion, 390-391

    Cromer, George, Archbishop of Armagh (1522-1543), Lord Chancellor
        (1532-1534), 156, 163, 289, 291, 301, 306

    Cromwell, Thomas, created Earl of Essex, 155, 158, 161, 189, 194,
        196, 202, 209, 211, 215, 234, 241, 336

    -- Oliver, 44, 47, 319, 332

    Cromwellians, 381

    Cromwellian war, 320

    Crook, 47

    Croom, 218, 229, 267

    Crovan, Godred, King of Man, 33, 46

    Cuffe, Captain, 361

    Curlew Mountains, 125, 141

    Cumbray Islands, 411

    Cummian, St., 15

    Curraghmore, 75

    Curwen, or Curwin, Hugh, Archbishop of Dublin (1555), translated to
        Oxford (1567), Lord Chancellor (1555-1567), 394, 401, 405

    Cusack, Sir Thomas, Master of the Rolls (1542-1550), Lord Keeper
        (1546), Lord Chancellor (1550-1555), 258, 278, 279, 320, 348,
        357, 361, 373-379, 384, 385, 393

    Dacre of the North, Thomas, and others of his name, 176, 194

    Dalcassians, or Dal Cais, 22

    Dalgetty, 351

    Dalkey, 108, 129, 327, 385

    Danes in Ireland, Chapter II. _passim_

    -- of Dublin, Cork, Waterford, and Wexford after the Anglo-Norman
        invasion, 44-47, 50

    Dangan, 206

    Daniel, Danyel, or O'Donnell, Terence, Dean of Armagh, 364

    Darcy of Platten, called 'Great Darcy,' 104, 108, 121

    -- John, 226

    Darcies, the, 144

    David's, St., 42

    Davies, Sir John, Attorney-General (1606-1618), 8-10, 65, 83, 84, 89

    Dean, Henry, Bishop of Bangor, and afterwards Archbishop of
        Canterbury, Lord Justice in 1495, 111, 113, 115

    Dearg, or Derg, Lough, 17

    Decies, 76, 186, 236, 412

    Delahide, Sir Walter, married to Janet Eustace, 161

    -- James, son of Sir Walter, 161, 163, 172, 175, 218, 239, 273, 333

    Delvin, granted to the Nugents, 54, 76

    -- Richard Nugent, seventh Baron of, Vice-Deputy in 1528, 120, 150,
        178, 206;
      one of his sons mentioned, 226

    -- -- -- eighth Baron of, grandson of the seventh Baron, 255, 334,

    Denton, James, Dean of Lichfield, a Royal Commissioner in Ireland in
        1524, 145

    Dermod, King of Leinster;
      _see_ MacMurrough.

    Dermod Duff, 291

    Derry, church and see of, 12, 14, 237, 293

    Derrick, or Dethyke, John, 158

    Dervorgil, 39

    Desmond, Earls of, 7, 65, 72;
      their burial place, 300

    -- Maurice Fitzgerald, first Earl of, 76, 78

    -- James Fitzgerald, seventh Earl of, 90

    -- Thomas Fitzgerald, eighth Earl of, executed, 92

    -- Maurice Fitzgerald, tenth Earl of, 110, 120, 121, 131

    -- James Fitz-John Fitzgerald, eleventh Earl of, his treatment of
        the MacCarthies, 133, 144, 147, 148, 151-153;
      defeated by the MacCarthies, 180;
      intrigues with France, 181;
      besieged in Dungarvan, 182;
      his partisans in South Wales, his intrigues with Charles V.,
      calls the emperor his sovereign lord, 185;
      his death, 190

    -- Thomas Moyle Fitzgerald, twelfth Earl of, 163, 180, 190

    -- James Fitz-Maurice Fitzgerald, thirteenth Earl of, 190, 191, 192;
      Henry VIII. acknowledges him, 204;
      at Court, 241;
      returns to Ireland and attempts to seize the estates, 241-242;
      murdered, 248

    -- John Fitz-Thomas Fitzgerald, sometimes called fourteenth Earl of,
        190, 191;
      his speech at Adare, 192

    -- James Fitz-John Fitzgerald, fifteenth Earl of, 218;
      called Earl by Lord L. Grey, 227;
      seizes Croom and Adare, 229;
      refuses to come to Clonmel, 236;
      in alliance with O'Neill and O'Donnell, 237;
      expected to attack the Pale, 238;
      expected to rebel, 240;
      threatens Tipperary, 241;
      defies Grey, 242;
      pardoned and acknowledged as Earl, 248;
      acknowledges the royal supremacy, 255;
      a Privy Councillor, 256;
      wears English clothes, 257;
      attends Parliament, 258;
      Commissioner for Munster, 261, 264;
      puts down brigandage, 265;
      at Court, 267;
      represents the Crown, 268;
      gives St. Leger a character, 283;
      Edward VI. offers to make a companion of his son, 325;
      appealed to in a dispute at Cork, 332;
      Bellingham suspects his loyalty, 333;
      Bellingham carries him off to Dublin, 339;
      his love for Bellingham, 340, 346;
      to be encouraged, 349;
      an umpire between the O'Briens, 393, 407, 409;
      his death, 419

    Desmond, Gerald Fitzgerald, sixteenth Earl of, to be educated in
        England, 255;
      Edward VI. proposes to make a companion of him, 325;
      Lady Ormonde has designs on his hand, 325;
      she marries him, 346, 409, 412

    -- Lady, 345;
      _see_ Honora MacCarthy.

    -- -- Lady Joan Fitzgerald, widow of the ninth Earl of Ormonde, and
        of Sir Francis Bryan, first wife of the sixteenth Earl of
        Desmond, 346;
      _see_ Lady Joan Fitzgerald.

    Devonshire, 189

    Dexter, name of, 71;
      _see_ De Exeter.

    Diarmid, sons of, 280;
      _see_ Campbell.

    Dieppe, 310

    Digby, Francis, 336

    Dillon, Edward, Dean of Kildare, 293

    -- Thomas, Bishop of Kildare (1523-1529), 293

    -- Robert, Attorney-General (1535-1553), Justice of the King's Bench
        (1554-1559), made Chief Justice of the Common Pleas in 1559,
        320, 334

    Disert O'Dea, 70

    Dominicans, 300, 319

    Donat, or Dunan, an Ostman, first Bishop of Dublin, 32, 33

    Donegal, 212, 300

    -- County, 12, 218, 239;
      _see_ Tyrconnel.

    Donncadh, or Donough, 31

    Donnell, King of Leinster, 21

    -- Dhu, Lord of the Isles, 279-281

    Donore, 217

    Doran, Maurice, Bishop of Leighlin (1523-1525), 146, 293, 298

    Dorset, Grey, Marquis of, 142, 202

    Dover, 359

    Dowdall, Edward, 114

    -- George, Archbishop of Armagh (with an interval, 1543-1548) 307,
      his conference with St. Leger, 355;
      his relations with Browne and other Protestants, 343, 355-359;
      his conference with Croft and Staples, 365-367;
      leaves Ireland, 367;
      restored, 386, 391, 397, 408

    Dowling, Thady, Chancellor of Leighlin (1591-1628), author of
        'Annals,' _passim_

    Down or Downpatrick, church and see of, 53, 293;
      cathedral burned by Lord L. Grey, 304, 386

    -- County, 66, 199

    Doyne, Hugh, 317

    Drax monastery, 291

    Drogheda, origin of, 73, 92, 108;
      Parliament of, 123, 154, 161, 170, 222, 240, 263, 281, 321;
      University of, 322, 331;
      Parliament of, 335, 371, 386, 397

    Dromana, 76, 268

    Dromaneen, 242

    Dromore, see of, 293

    Drumcliff, church of, 12

    Dublin, Danish Kingdom of, Chapter II., _passim_

    -- called Ath Cliath by the Irish, 34, 59, 73, 81, 108;
      the Mayor at Knocktoe, 120;
      the O'Byrnes break into the castle, 158;
      siege of, 166-168, 170, 187, 198, 223;
      the Mayor dubbed knight at Bellahoe, 240, 259, 331, 371, 385

    -- church and see of, 32-36, 289, 290;
      primacy removed to, 367;
      for Archbishops, _see_ Donat, Gillapatrick or Patrick, O'Haingly,
        Gregory, O'Toole, Lech, Bicknor, Minot, Talbot, FitzSimons,
        Rokeby, Inge, Alen, Browne, and Curwin.

    -- Robert de Vere, Marquis of, 85

    Dufferin, 364

    Duleek, 50

    Dumbarton, 281

    Dunamase, 77

      _see_ Donat.

    Dunboyne, Sir Edmund Butler, first Baron of, 258, 277, 329, 393

    Dunbrody Abbey, 130, 315

    Duncadh, Abbot of Iona, 15

    Dundalk, 13, 67, 129, 199, 222, 231, 237, 247, 263, 363, 397, 403

    Dundrum, in Down, 127, 232, 353

    Dungannon, 63, 119, 120, 127, 243, 264

    Dungannon, Matthew O'Neill, or Kelly, first Baron of, 269, 363, 364,
        368, 376, 377

    Dungarvan, 182, 183, 187, 189, 193, 331, 379, 412

    Dunkellin, Barony of, created, 271

    Dunlavin, 23

    Dunmore, in Kilkenny, 117, 167

    -- in Galway, 320

    Dunsany, the Plunkets of, 76

    -- Edward Plunket, first Baron of, 120

    Durrow, 12, 13, 56

    Eagle, a pirate, 329

    Ebric, a Norman at Clontarf, 27

    Echingham, Sir Osborne, Marshal of the army, 268

    Edenderry, 135

    Edgar, John, 272

    Edgcombe, Sir Richard, 106-108

    Edinburgh, 247

    Edmonds, John, 413

    Edward I., 62

    -- II., 65

    -- IV., 71, 116

    -- Prince of Wales, 100

    Eglish, 226

    Elbric, or Eric, 36

    Elizabeth Woodville, Queen, 92

    -- of York, Queen, 108

    Elphin, see of, 294, 370

    Ely O'Carroll, in King's County, 125, 127, 136, 210, 223, 226, 262,

    Elyans, the, _i.e._ the O'Carrolls, 157

    Ely House, Holborn, 285

    Emly, church and see of, 18, 255

    Empire, the, 47, 86, 187, 192, 349

    Empson, Richard, 194

    Enaghdune, now Annaghdown, at one time a bishopric, 296, 388

    Ennis, 300, 410

    Enniscorthy, 408

    Eoghanachts, or Eugenians, 22, 31

    Erasmus, 366

    Erigena, 15, 33

    Eugenius III., Pope, his constitution for the Irish Church, 16, 35,

    Eures, Ralph de, Archbishop of Canterbury, 33, 34

    Eustace, Alison, first wife of the eighth Earl of Kildare, 115

    -- family of, 53;
      _see_ Baltinglass.

    -- Janet, sister of the last named, married to Sir Walter Delahide,

    Eva Mac Murrough, wife of Strongbow, 41, 44

    Exeter, de;
      _see_ Dexter.

    -- Duke of, 316

    Fagan, Nicholas, 317

    Farney, or Ferney, 133, 222, 240, 245

    Farquharson, Bishop of the Isles, 309

    Faughard, 67

    Fay, Edmond, 334

    Faye, Melour, 152

    Fercullen, 252

    Ferdinand, Emperor, 7

    Ferdinand the Catholic, 188

    Fergraidh, King of Munster, 22

    Fermanagh, 162, 211, 263

    Fermoy, 76, 248

    Fernandez, Gonzalo, 184-188, 190

    Ferns, church and see of, 40, 42, 293, 297, 408

    Fethard, in Tipperary, 74, 297

    -- in Wexford, 297

    Field, James, 166, 167

    Fieldston, 249

    Finbar, St., 36

    Fingal, 17, 29

    Finglas, Patrick, Chief Baron of the Exchequer in 1535, 130, 164

    Fisher, John, Cardinal and Bishop of Rochester, 322

    Fishmoyne, 329

    FitzAdelm de Burgo, William, Viceroy in 1177, 47, 51-53, 58

    FitzAnthony, 72

    -- Margery, ancestress of the Desmonds, 76

    FitzEustace, Rowland, Baron of, Portlester, 109

    Fitzgerald, Maurice, son of Nesta and ancestor of all the
        Fitzgeralds, 41, 65, 71, 76;
      _see_ Geraldines.

    -- Raymond le Gros;
      _see_ Le Gros.

    -- John FitzThomas, first Earl of Kildare, 72

    -- Maurice FitzThomas, first Earl of Desmond, 72, 78

    -- Sir Thomas, brother of the eighth Earl of Kildare, Lord
        Chancellor in 1487, 102;
      killed at Stoke, 105

    -- Thomas, half-brother of the ninth Earl of Kildare, 133, 151, 160

    -- Sir James, brother of the ninth Earl of Kildare: Vice Deputy in
        1526, 142, 150, 158, 161, 176, 215

    -- Oliver, half-brother of the ninth Earl of Kildare, 171, 215

    -- Richard, half-brother of the ninth Earl of Kildare, 215

    -- Sir John, half-brother of the ninth Earl of Kildare, 156, 171,

    -- Walter, half-brother of the ninth Earl of Kildare, 215

    -- Lady Eleanor, sister of the ninth Earl of Kildare, married first
        to Donnell MacCarthy Reagh, and afterwards to Manus O'Donnell,
        218, 219, 238, 239, 247, 278

    -- Lady Margaret, called 'Magheen,' sister of the ninth Earl of
        Kildare, and married to the eighth Earl of Ormonde, 103, 117,

    -- Lady Alice or Alison, sister of the ninth Earl of Kildare,
        married to Con More O'Neill, 118, 119

    -- Lady Eustacia, sister of the ninth Earl of Kildare, married to
        MacWilliam Burke of Clanricarde, 120

    -- Edward, son of the ninth Earl of Kildare, half-brother of the
        tenth, and brother of the eleventh, 217

    -- Lady Alice, half-sister to the last named, married to James
        Fleming, Lord Slane, 152, 153

    -- Lady Mary, sister to the last named, married to Brian O'Connor of
        Offaly, 215, 217, 218, 219

    -- Lady Elizabeth, the 'fair Geraldine,' half-sister to the last
        named, married to Sir Anthony Browne, and afterwards to Edward,
        Earl of Lincoln, 216, 217, 375

    -- Bartholomew, 165

    -- James, of Osbertstown, 240, 328

    -- Joan, daughter of the White Knight, and mother of James
        Fitzmaurice, 190

    -- Lady Alice, daughter of the twelfth Earl of Desmond, married to
        Connor O'Brien, chief of Thomond, 227

    -- Lady Joan, daughter and heiress general of the eleventh Earl of
        Desmond, married successively to the ninth Earl of Ormonde, to
        Sir Francis Bryan, and to the sixteenth Earl of Desmond, 325,
        337, 339, 340, 345, 346

    Fitzgerald, Maurice, of Lackagh, 128

    -- of Decies, Sir John, Lord of, 182

    -- -- Sir Gerald MacShane, Lord of, son of Sir John, 152, 160, 189,
        236, 237, 242, 268

    -- -- Sir Maurice, Lord of, son of Sir Gerald, 412

    -- -- Sir Thomas, brother of Sir John, 182, 183

    -- Thomas, Prior of Kilmainham, 316

    Fitzgeralds, Earls of Desmond;
      _see_ Desmond.

    -- Earls of Kildare;
      _see_ Kildare.

    -- Knight of Kerry;
      _see_ Kerry.

    -- or Fitzgibbons, White Knights;
      _see_ White Knight.

    Fitzgibbon, or MacGibbon;
      _see_ White Knight.

      _see_ Strongbow.

    FitzGriffith, Rice, 42

    FitzHenry, Robert and Meiler, 41

    Fitzmaurice, Lord of Lixnaw in Kerry, 163

    -- James, Bishop of Ardfert, 306

    Fitzmaurices, the, 56

    Fitzpatrick, or MacGillapatrick, chief of Upper Ossory in Queen's
        County, 151, 211, 226, 257

    -- Dermot, 160

    Fitzpatricks, Barons of Upper Ossory;
      _see_ Upper Ossory.

    FitzSimons, Walter, Archbishop of Dublin (1484-1511), Lord
        Chancellor in 1496, 1501, and 1509, 109, 115, 120

    -- John, 166

    FitzStephen, Robert, 41, 43, 47, 56, 57, 64

    FitzThomas, name of, 64

      _see_ Butler.

    -- Lord;
      _see_ Sussex.

    Fitzwilliam, Nicholas, 343

    -- Sir William, Revenue Commissioner in 1554, afterwards Vice
        Treasurer and Lord Deputy, 396

    -- Lord, 286

    Flanders, 186, 351

    Flemings, 27, 54, 76, 163, 186

    Florence, 220

    Flosi, 29

    Folan, John, Bishop of Limerick, 288

      _see_ Fower.

    Formorian race, 67

    Fountains Abbey, 315

    Fower, or Fore Abbey, 317

    Fox, Richard, Bishop of Winchester, 194

    Foyle, Lough, 17, 395, 398

    France, 186, 274, 347, 349, 351

    Francis I., 136, 181, 187, 219

    -- St., of Assisi, 212

    French, name of, 75

    -- the, 27, 89, 127, 181, 273, 276, 333, 340, 345, 347, 351, 352

    Furness Abbey, 198, 315

    Gaddi, Cardinal, 310

    Gaedhill, the, _i.e._ the Irish, 34, 36

    Gaill, the, _i.e._ the Scandinavians, and by later usage the
        Anglo-Normans and English, 36

    Gall, St., 6

    Galway, 65, 74;
      tribes of, 75, 85, 120, 122, 228;
      rectory of, 267, 321, 331, 333, 335, 371, 402, 410

    Galway, Bishop of, 388;
      _see_ Moore.

    -- County, 211

    Gardiner, Stephen, Bishop of Winchester, 306

    Garrett, Walter, 373

    Garrold, a form of the name Fitzgerald, 178

    Garth, Captain, 160

    Gascony, 64

    Geashill, 213

    Gentiles, Black and White, 18

    George, St., 93, 174, 254

    Geraldine, 'the Fair;'
      _see_ Lady Elizabeth Fitzgerald.

    Geraldines, a generic name given to the descendants of Maurice
        Fitzgerald, Nesta's son, including all the Fitzgeralds of
        Ireland, and sometimes extended to collaterals, 71, and _passim_

    Gerbert, Lieutenant, 203

    Germain-en-Laye, St., 187

    Germans at Stoke, 104-105;
      miners, 372

    Germany, 119

    Gillapatrick, or Patrick, Bishop of Dublin, 33

    Gillebert, 15, 35

    Giraldus Cambrensis, 41, 55, 57

    Glenarm, 361, 398

    Glencairne, Lord, 281

    Glendalough in Wicklow, ancient see of, 35, 223, 251

    Glenmalure, 238

    Glennama, 23

    Glin, 76

    Gloucester, Earl of, 87

      _see_ Crovan.

    Gonzago, Duke of Milan, 219

    Goodacre, Hugh, Protestant Archbishop of Armagh in 1553, 369, 379,
        380, 386

    Gordon, Lady Catherine, wife of Perkin Warbeck, 113

    Gordons, the, 282

      _see_ Horm.

    Gormanston, the Prestons Viscounts of, 76

    -- Sir William Preston, second Viscount of, 120, 121

    -- Jenico Preston, third Viscount of, 384

      _see_ Kormlada.

    Gort, 410

    Governor, Fort;
      _see_ Maryborough.

    -- Alan, 218

    Gowran, 282, 285

    Grace, called 'Graceless,' 389

    Gracedieu nunnery, 300, 312

    Granard, 60

    Grandison, Otho de, 74

    Grane, 213

    Greencastle in Donegal, 395

    Greenwich, 269

    Gregory the Great, Pope, 34

    -- VII., Pope;
      _see_ Hildebrand.

    -- Archbishop of Dublin, 34

    Grey, Marquis of Dorset;
      _see_ Dorset.

    -- Lord Leonard, son of Thomas, Marquis of Dorset, and
        brother-in-law to ninth Earl of Kildare, Lord Deputy, 1536-1540;
      complains to Henry VIII., 145;
      Marshal of the army, 177, 178, 179;
      Kildare his prisoner, 189;
      Viscount Grane, 193, 194;
      Viceroy, 195;
      his harshness to Lady Skeffington, 196;
      his Parliament, 196-198;
      in want of money, 199;
      his campaign in Western Munster, 200-204;
      the King reproves him unjustly;
      his activity, 206-207;
      his enemies, 208;
      active against the Irish, 210-211;
      goes towards Ulster, 212;
      baffled by the O'Connors, 213-214;
      seizes the five Geraldine brethren, 215;
      his raid in Ulster, 222;
      falls out with the Butlers, 223;
      his treatment of the O'Mores, 225;
      his rash expedition to Connaught, 226-229;
      the Council reconcile him with the Butlers, 231;
      goes into Ulster, 232, 235;
      in Ulster, 237;
      in Wicklow, 238, 239;
      his victory at Bellahoe, 240, 241;
      in Munster, 242;
      in Ulster, 243;
      recalled, 243;
      executed, 245, 247, 248;
      confusion after his recall, 243, 251, 275, 286, 336

    Grey, Lady Elizabeth, sister of Lord Leonard, second wife of the
        ninth Earl of Kildare, 142, 161, 216

    -- Lady Jane, 300, 391

    -- John de, Bishop of Norwich, 59, 60

    Griffin, Maurice, Bishop of Rochester, 395

    Griffiths, Edward, 243

    Guienne, 40

    Gundelfinger, Joachim, 372

    Gur, Lough, 200, 204

    Gwyn, name of, 188

    Halidon Hill, 83

    Halpin, or Halfpenny, Robert, 240

    Halsey, Thomas, Bishop of Leighlin, 293

    Hamerton, Captain, 169

    Harding, Stephen, 315

    Harman, Gerard, 273

    Harold, Bishop of Limerick, 36

    Harold Harfager, 19

    Hasculph, 45

    Hattecliffe, William, 114

    Hebrideans, or Redshanks, 271, 272

    Hebrides, 32, 67;
      West isles, 279;
      South isles, 280

    Henry, I., 41

    -- II., 11, 37, 45, 46, 51

    -- III., 62

    -- IV., 87

    -- V., 86

    -- II., King of France, 345, 353, 357

    Herbert, Francis, 166-168, 213

    Hertford, Edward, Earl of;
      _see_ Somerset.

    Hervey de Montmorency, 42, 44, 49, 64, 315

    Hildebrand, Pope Gregory VII., 33

    Hoby, Sir Philip, 330

    Holbein, Hans, 217

    Holland, Captain, 174, 389

    Holy Cross Abbey, 304, 315

    Holyhead, 210, 273, 351, 408

    Honorius I., Pope, 14

    Hooker, John, the chronicler, 47

    Horm, or Gorm, 18

      _see_ St. John.

    Howth, 273, 330

    -- family (St. Lawrence), 53

    -- Nicholas St. Lawrence, sixteenth Baron of, 104, 108, 120, 121

    -- Christopher St. Lawrence, seventeenth Baron of, 169

    -- Justice, 382, 386;
      perhaps the same person as Thomas St. Lawrence, _q.v._

    -- Sir Richard, 388

    Hrafn the Red, 28

    Hubert, 61;
      _see_ De Burgo.

    Humfrey, James, 302, 303

    Huntley, Gordon, Earl of, 280

    Hurley, Thomas, Bishop of Emly, 305, 306

    Hy Neill, the O'Neills and their correlatives, 33

    Iar-Connaught, 75

    Ibracken or Ibrickan, in Clare, 271

    Iceland, 11

    Icelanders, 32

    Idrone, 250, 340

    Ikerrin in Tipperary, 211

    Imaile, 251

    Imokilly 76, 242, 248

    Inchiquin, Barony of, 270

    Inge, Hugh, Bishop of Meath (1512-1521), Archbishop of Dublin
        (1521-1528), 150, 290, 291

    Ingulf, 32

    Innishowen, 211, 274

    Innislonagh Abbey, 296, 298, 317

    Innocent III., Pope, 59

    -- IV., Pope, 62

    -- VIII., Pope, 107

    Iona, 13, 15, 17, 21, 280

    Ireland, Duke of, 85

    Irishtown, origin of name, 73

    Irrelagh or Muckross, 300

    Isla, 273, 411

    Isles, Lord of the;
      _see_ Donnell Dhu.

    Issam, John, 342

    Italy, 219, 290

    Ivar, 19, 22, 23

    Ives, St., 389

    James I. of England and VI. of Scotland, 318

    James IV. of Scotland, 113

    -- V. of Scotland, 247, 271, 309

    James's Park, St., 277

    Jerpoint Abbey, 99, 300

    Jesuits in Ireland, 259, 287;
      their first mission, 307-310, 318, 320, 350

    Jocelin, 53

    John, King, 54, 55, 58, 65, 314, 387

    -- XXII., Pope, 68, 70

    -- of Salisbury, 37

    -- the Mad (by some chroniclers called John 'Wood'), 45, 46

    -- St., of Jerusalem, Order of, 254, 314-316

    John's, St., at Wexford, 298

    Joinville, 95

    Joys, Sir James, 388

    Julius II., Pope, 188, 292

    -- III., Pope, 394

    Karl, a Norman, 27

    Kate, or Cappys, a merchant, 239

    Kaupmannaeyjar, or Copeland Islands, 30

    Kavanagh, Cahir MacEncross, the MacMurrough, called the last King of
        Leinster, 175, 199, 200, 221;
      _see_ MacMurrough.

    -- Cahir MacArt, the MacMurrough, created in 1553 Baron of Balian
        for life, 210, 231, 258, 298, 327

    -- Donnell MacCahir, 250

    -- Maurice, Archdeacon of Leighlin, 146, 298

    -- Moryt Oge, 327

    Kavanagh, origin of the name, 42;
      _see_ MacMurrough.

    Kavanaghs, the, 86, 87, 167, 210, 221, 231, 235, 250, 375, 397;
      _see_ MacMurrough.

    Keating, James, Prior of Kilmainham, 108, 316

    -- William, Captain of Kerne, 177, 375

    Kells, or Kenlis, in Meath, 12, 66, 129

    -- in Kilkenny, 319

    Kelway, John, 222, 223, 226, 238

    Kent, Ormonde in, 391

    Kerry, 56, 163, 186, 188

    -- Fitzgerald, Knight of, 76

    Kerrycurrihy, in Cork, 242, 248

    Kerthialfad, 28

    Keynsham, 198

    Kilbrittain, 218, 242

    Kilclogan Priory, Wexford, 298

    Kilcooley Abbey, 296

    Kilcullen Bridge, 129, 163

    -- Lord;
      _see_ Baltinglass.

    Kildare, 13, 244

    -- County, 97, 122, 128, 130, 167, 177, 332;
      _see_ Pale.

    -- family (Fitzgeralds), 72, 76, 93

    -- John Fitzthomas Fitzgerald, first Earl of, 72

    -- Thomas Fitzgerald, seventh Earl of, 91, 92, 93, 254

    -- Gerald Fitzgerald, eighth Earl of, Deputy, 102, 103, 104, 105,
        106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111;
      attainted, 112;
      Deputy, 115, 117, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 124, 125;
      his son chosen Lord Justice at his death, 125;
      his widow, 128

    -- -- -- ninth Earl of, marries Elizabeth Zouche, 120;
      present at Knocktoe, 121;
      Deputy, 125;
      his sister, 126, 127;
      superseded, 128, 130, 132, 134, 139, 140;
      marries Lady Elizabeth Grey, 142, 143;
      Deputy, 144, 145, 146;
      goes to England, 147;
      in the Tower, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153;
      returns to Ireland, 154;
      in England again, 155;
      Deputy, 156, 157, 158, 159;
      forced to go to England, 160;
      makes his son Deputy, 161;
      in the Tower, 162, 163;
      dies in the Tower, 172;
      seeks preferment for Dean Dillon, 293, 297

    -- Thomas Fitzgerald, tenth Earl of, called 'Silken Thomas,' Deputy,
        161, 162;
      rebels, 163, 164;
      his people murder an Archbishop, 165;
      besieges Dublin, 166, 167, 168, 169;
      proclaimed traitor, 170, 171;
      seeks foreign aid, 172, 173, 174, 175, 176;
      surrenders, 177, 178;
      in the Tower, 179;
      attainted and executed, 180

    -- Gerald Fitzgerald, eleventh Earl of, 216, 217;
      escapes to France, 218, 219, 220, 230, 231, 237, 240, 242, 243,
        245, 247, 248, 273, 278, 333;
      his estates restored, 375;
      serves against Wyatt, 391;
      returns to Ireland, 392, 393, 400, 407

    -- see of, 288, 293;
      for Bishops, _see_ Lane, Dillon, Wellesley, Lancaster, Leverous.

    Kilfenora, see of, 293, 306

    Kilkea Castle, 125, 167, 170

    Kilkenny, 59, 73;
      a mock Parliament there, 78;
      Parliament and statute of, 80-83, 93, 97, 105, 111, 155;
      Parliament adjourned to, 200, 235, 261, 300, 321, 340, 359,

    -- County, 61, 63, 65, 72, 97, 145, 146, 150, 155, 156, 165, 167,
        221, 266, 297, 300, 321, 339

    Killaloe, see of, 81, 293

    Killarney, 124

    Killeen, Plunkets, Barons of, 76, 120, 206

    Killeigh friary, 304, 402

    Killybegs, 127

    Kilmacduagh, 292, 294

    Kilmacrenan, 212

    Kilmainham, the chief house of the Hospitallers in Ireland, 89, 99,
        155, 166, 169, 178;
      a viceregal residence, 215, 229, 258;
      the church, 301, 341;
      the priory restored, 401

    Kilmallock, 191, 193, 256

    Kilmore, see of, 292

    Kinard, 120

    Kincora, 25, 334

    King, Matthew, 383

    Kinnafad, 213

    Kinnegad, 251

    Kinsale, 74, 106, 181, 242, 329, 335

    Kite, John, Archbishop of Armagh (1513-1521), 128, 251, 289

    Knights of Kerry and White Knights, Fitzgeralds, _q.v._

    Knockinlossy, 141

    Knockmoy Abbey, 267

    Knocktoe, 120-122, 144

    Knocktopher Monastery, 381

    Knollys, Sir Henry, 378

    Kormlada, or Gormflaith, 24-26

    Lacy, Hugh, Bishop of Limerick (1556-1571), 409

    -- Hugo de, 47, 49, 52-54, 55-57

    -- -- the younger, 58, 59, 61

    -- Maude, wife of the first Earl of Clanricarde, 275

    -- Walter de, 59, 61

    Lady Abbey, near Clonmel, 296

    Laggan, or Lagan River, 398

    Lambay Island, 17, 170, 273, 410

    Lancaster, Thomas, Bishop of Kildare (1549-1554), and afterwards
        Archbishop of Armagh, 365, 382, 392

    Lancastrians, 91-93, 103

    Lane, Edward, Bishop of Kildare in 1487, 104

    Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, 313, 314

    Lansdowne family, 76

    Lanthony, 198

    Larne, 66, 351

    Lateran Council, 35, 36

    Lawrence O'Toole, St.;
      _see_ O'Toole.

    Lawrence, St., Sir Almaric, ancestor of the Howth family, 53

    Lea Castle, 328

    Leap Castle in King's County, 127, 146, 409

    Leath Mhoga, the southern half of Ireland, 392

    Lecale, 129, 232, 352, 370

    Lech, John, Archbishop of Dublin (1311-1313), 321

    Ledred, Richard, Bishop of Ossory (1318-1360), 381

    Le Gros, Raymond, 44, 45, 49, 56, 64, 76

    Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl of, 286

    Leighlin, 54

    -- see of, 293, 358;
      for Bishops, _see_ Tatenhall, Northalis, Halsey, Travers,

    -- Bridge, or New Leighlin, 189, 339;
      the suppressed Carmelites there, 340, 375, 401, 412

    Leinster, Dukes of, 72, 217

    Leix, the modern Queen's Co., without Upper Woods, Tinnahinch, or
        Portnahinch, 224, 313, 349, 350, 373, 385, 399, 400

    Lennox, Earl of, 279-282, 330

    Leo X., Pope, 293, 295, 299

    Leverous, Thomas, Bishop of Kildare (1554-1559), and in the Papal
        succession till 1577, 217-219, 239, 367, 368, 379, 391, 392, 394

    Liège, 219

    Liffey River, 160, 170

    Limehouse, 219

    Limerick, 17, 18, 47, 50, 51, 56, 58, 66, 73, 85, 187, 191;
      Parliament adjourned to, 200-202, 204, 228, 256;
      Parliament prorogued to, 260, 265, 304, 321, 331, 333, 346, 378,

    -- County, 201

    -- see of, 35, 255, 288, 354, 392;
      for Bishops, _see_ Gillebert, Patrick, Harold, Turgeis, Brictius,
        Folan, Quin, Casey, Lacy.

    Lindisfarne, 15, 17

    Lisle, Viscount, 270

    Lismore, 47

    -- see of, 35, 81;
      for Bishops, _see_ Malchus, O'Conarchy.

    Lixnaw, 76

    Lockwood, Thomas, Dean of Christ Church, Dublin (1543-1565), 358,
        379, 391

    Logan, a pirate, 330

    Lomond, Loch, 17

    Londonderry, 167

    Longsword, William, 59

    Louth, 67, 156, 170, 222, 240;
      _see_ Pale.

    -- John de Bermingham, Earl of, 67

    -- Barony of (Plunket), 76

    -- Oliver Plunket, first Baron of, 258, 263

    Lovel, Lord, 103, 105

    Loyola, Ignatius, 307, 308

    Lucius III., Pope, 54

    Ludlow Castle, 171

    Lumley, Marmaduke, 316

    Lusk, Co. Dublin, 29, 166

    Luttrell, Sir Thomas, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas (1534-1554),
        169, 223, 320, 384, 385

    Luxueil, 6

    Lynch, John, 239

    -- name of, 75

    Lyons in France, 310

    -- in Kildare, Richard Aylmer of, 310

    MacAlister, Rory, Bishop of the Isles, 280

    MacAndrew, or Barrett, 71

    MacArtane, or MacCartane, chief of Kinelarty, in Down, 78, 90, 353,

    MacAveely, or Staunton, 71

    MacBaron, or Fitzgerald, 71

    MacBrien, chief of Arra, in Tipperary, 227, 242, 393

    -- chief of Coonagh, in Limerick, 265

    MacBriens, the, 120

    MacCarthies, the, 50, 72, 124, 220, 300

    MacCarthy, Dermod, chief of Desmond and Cork, 47, 55, 56

    -- More, chief of Desmond, 268, 359, 360, 409

    -- Cormac Oge, chief of Muskerry, 133, 134, 180, 188, 190-192

    -- Teig MacCormac, son of Cormac Oge, chief of Muskerry, 268

    -- Reagh, chief of Carbery, 133, 180, 191, 218, 242, 268

    -- MacDonough, chief of Duhallow, 268

    -- Lady Eleanor;
      _see_ Fitzgerald.

    -- Mary, wife of the thirteenth Earl of Desmond, 242

    -- Honora, wife of the fifteenth Earl of Desmond, 345

    -- Connor, a priest, 386

    MacCostello, or Nangle, 71

    MacCragh, a rhymer, 218

    MacDavid, or Burke, 71

    MacDermot, chief of Moylurg (the northern half of Roscommon), 60,
        69, 120, 140, 239, 374

    MacDonnells, the, of Western Scotland and Antrim, 67, 147, 266,
        271-274, 300, 360, 393, 410

    MacDonnell, Alaster, chief of the Irish branch, 272

    -- James, chief of Antrim and Cantire, son of Alaster, 361, 398, 410

    -- Colla, brother of James, 410

    -- Angus, brother of James, 410

    -- Sorley Boy (yellow-haired Charles), 361, 410

    MacEdmond, or Fitzgerald, 71

    MacEgan, a chief in North Tipperary, 266

    MacFabrene, or Wellesley, 71

    MacFeoris, or Bermingham, 71

    MacGeohegan, chief of Moycashel, in Westmeath, 90, 206, 211, 226,

    MacGibbon, or Burke, 71

    -- _see_ Fitzgibbon and White Knight.

      _see_ Fitzpatrick.

    MacJordan, or Dexter, 71

    Maclean, Patrick, 280

    MacMahon, chief of Irish Oriel or Monaghan, 63, 69, 90, 120, 133,
        140, 263, 376

    MacMaurice, or Prendergast, 71

    MacMorris, David, 181

    MacMurrough, Dermod, King of Leinster, 39-48

    -- Art, considered as King by the Leinster Irish, 85-87

    -- Cahir MacEncross, and Cahir MacArt, chiefs of their name;
      _see_ Kavanagh.

    MacMurroughs, the, 57;
      _see_ Kavanaghs.

    Macnamaras of Clare, the, 115, 271, 300, 306

    MacOwney, Murtagh (an O'More), 155

    MacPaddin, or Barrett, 71

    MacPhilbin, or Burke, 71

    Macquillin (of Welsh origin), chief of the Route, in Antrim, 77,
        154, 266, 349, 353, 376

    MacRaymond, or Burke, 71

    MacRobert, or Burke, 71

    MacRory, King of the Hebrides, 67

    MacShane, Sir Gerald;
      _see_ Fitzgerald.

    MacShoneen, or Burke, 71

    MacSwiney, Edmond, captain of gallowglasses, 221, 230

    MacSwineys, three septs in Donegal, 140, 393

    MacThomaisin, or Fitzgerald, 71

    MacThomas, or Fitzgerald, 71

    MacThomin, or Barrett, 71

    MacWalter, or Burke, 71

    MacWilliam Uachtar, of Clanricarde, 71, 75, 85, 120, 140, 238,
      _see_ Burke and Clanricarde.

    -- Iochtar, or Burke, of Mayo, 71, 140, 349, 375

    Maelmordha, King of Leinster, 24-26

    Magennis, chief of Iveagh, in Down, 90, 120, 127, 136, 232, 239,
        240, 247, 263, 376

    -- Arthur and Donnell, knighted by Henry VIII., 270

    -- Arthur, Bishop of Dromore, 364

    -- Connor, Prior or Dean of Down, 353, 364

    Magnus, King of Norway, 29

    Maguire, chief of Fermanagh, 119

    -- Cuconnacht, chief of Fermanagh, 154, 162, 187

    -- Shane, chief of Fermanagh, 239, 377

    Mahon, King of Munster, 22-23

    Makeon, or Bisset, 71

    Malachi, St., Archbishop of Armagh, 15, 35, 314

    -- King of Meath in 845, 18

    -- King of Meath and of Ireland, 21, 23;
      deposed by Brian from the chief sovereignty, 24;
      restored after Clontarf, 31

    Malahide, 107

    Malchus, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, 35

    Mallow, 180, 191

    Malo, St., 218

    Malta, Knights of, 278

    Mandeville family, 70

    Man, Isle of, 28, 30, 33, 46

    Mantua, 240, 241

    Mape, name of, 240, 241

    March, Edmond Mortimer, Earl of, 84

    -- Roger Mortimer, Earl of, 86

    Marshal, William Earl, and Earl of Pembroke, 61, 63, 315

    Maryborough, 331, 340, 399, 409

    Mary of Lorraine, Queen Dowager of Scotland, 352

    Mary's Abbey, St., 163, 317, 320

    Massingberd, Oswald, 401

    Mattershed, name of, 413

    Maude, Empress, 37

    Maunsell, Sir Rice, 171, 173, 178

    Maur Abbey, 293

    Maynooth, 107, 169, 173-175, 177, 195, 225, 229, 238, 284, 347

    Mayo, 24, 71, 218

    Max, John, Bishop of Elphin, 294

    Meath, kingdom and county (including Westmeath before the sixteenth
        century), 3, 24, 49, 65, 170, 239;
      _see_ Pale.

    -- see of, 289, 290;
      for Bishops, _see_ Payne, Rokeby, Inge, Wilson, Staples.

    Medici, Catherine de', 219, 279

    Meelick, 402, 410

    Mellifont Abbey, 40, 314, 316

    Melville, Sir James, 345

    Melvin, Lough, 141

    Messanger, Philip, 114

    Midleton, 190

    Milan, Gonzago, Duke of, 219

    Milford Haven, 42, 46, 55, 59

    Minot, Thomas, Archbishop of Dublin in 1367, 81

      _see_ Bissett.

    Modreeny, 208, 227, 231, 242

    Moira, 397

    Monaghan, 154

    Monaghan County, 56, 240

    Monasterevan, 408

    Monastermore, 314

    Monasteroris, 226

    Monluc, Bishop of Valence, 345, 348

    Montmorenci, Hervey de;
      _see_ Hervey.

    Moore, John, Bishop of Enaghdune, called Bishop of Galway, 388

    Morlaix, 219

    Morris, Sir John, Deputy in 1341, 78

    Mortimer, Roger, 63, 66, 77, 86

    Mothel, 320

    Mountgarret, Richard Butler, created Viscount, second son of the
        eighth Earl of Ormonde, 207, 213, 221, 327, 386, 389, 393

    Mountjoy, 271

    Mount Norris, Lord, 286

    Mourne Abbey, 133, 180

    Mourne Mountains, 247

    Moycashel, 206

    Moylagh nunnery in Tipperary, 374

    Moyle, Thomas, 208

    Moyrie Pass, 78

    Muckross, 300

    Mull, Island of, 273

    Munster Bishops, 293

    -- nobles, 267-268

    -- President proposed for, 378

    -- regulations for, 261

    Murrough, Brian Borumha's son, 25, 28

    Musgraves in Ireland, 169, 176

    Muskerry, 124, 180

    Mynne, John, 250

    Naas, 59

    Nangle, or MacCostello, 71

    -- Richard, Bishop of Clonfert, 238, 289, 294, 306

    Narragh, Castle and Barony of, 54, 87

    Narrowater, 247

    Navan, 240, 341

    Neagh, Lough, 18, 164

    Nenagh, 224, 335

    Nesta Tudor, 41, 50, 71, 76

    Newark, 105

    Newcastle, in Wicklow, 83

    Newcastle-on-Tyne, 373

    Newport, in Tipperary, 409

    Newry, 247, 297

    Newtown Barry, 54, 210, 372

    Nial Glundubh, 19

    -- of the nine hostages, 3, 19, 270

    Nore River, 44

    Norfolk, Hugh Bigot, Earl of, 63

    -- Thomas Howard, Duke of;
      _see_ Surrey.

    Northalis, Richard, Bishop of Leighlin in 1290, 85

    Northampton, 91

    Northmen, Chapter II. _passim_

    Northumberland, John Dudley, Duke of, and Earl of Warwick, 286, 337,
        358, 373, 384, 385

    Northumbrians, 37

    Norwegians, Chapter II. _passim_

    Nugent, William, grantee of Delvin, 54

    Nugents, the, 76, 144, 393, 397

    -- Barons of Delvin;
      _see_ Delvin.

    O'Bogan, Laurence, 91

    O'Boyle, chief of Boylagh in Donegal, 140

    O'Brien, Donald or Donnell More, King of Limerick and North Munster,
        50, 55, 315

    -- Donough Carbreach, son of Donnell More, 60

    -- William Carragh, 77

    -- Brian, chief of Thomond, 86

    -- Tirlogh Don, chief of Thomond, 181

    -- Connor, chief of Thomond, son of Tirlogh Don, 162, 173, 179, 191,
        192, 200, 218, 227, 228, 249

    -- Tirlogh, son of Connor, 227

    -- Murrough, Donough, and Connor, first, second, and third Earls of
      _see_ Thomond.

    -- Teig, 142, 182

    -- Matthew, 200

    -- Sir Donnell More, son of Connor and brother of the second Earl of
        Thomond, 393, 409, 410

    -- Tirlogh, Bishop of Killaloe in 1522, 140

    O'Brien's Bridge, 201-203

    O'Briens, the, of Thomond or Clare, 70, 77, 115, 141, 151, 172, 181,
        182, 239, 257, 258, 265, 300, 346

    O'Byrne, Owen MacHugh, captain of Kerne, 328

    O'Byrnes, the, of Wicklow, 57, 80, 90, 158, 160, 167, 200, 221, 244,
        266, 375, 397

    O'Cahan or O'Kane, in Londonderry County, 62, 239, 272, 349, 376

      _see_ O'Kearney.

    O'Callaghan, of Duhallow in Cork, 242, 268

    O'Carroll, Donough, Prince of Oriel in 1142, 314

    -- Mulrony, chief of Ely, 132, 135, 146, 151, 156, 157

    -- Fergananim, son of Mulrony, chief of Ely, 157, 200, 207, 223,
        224, 226, 231, 242, 262

    -- Donough, brother of Mulrony and claiming the succession, 157,
        207, 262

    -- John, 262

    -- Teig, son of Fergananim, 262

    -- Teig, son of Donough, 262

    -- Calvagh, chief of Ely, 262, 338, 345, 393, 402, 403, 407

    O'Carrolls, the, of Ely in King's County, 69, 86, 120, 127, 157,
        207, 329, 334, 335, 393, 403

    O'Conarchy, Christian, Bishop of Lismore and papal legate, 314

    O'Connor, Tirlogh, King of Connaught and Ireland, 40

    -- Roderic, King of Connaught and Ireland, son of Tirlogh, 40, 43,
        45, 47, 52, 54, 55, 58, 68

    -- Cathal Crovdearg, chief of the Connaught O'Connors, brother of
        Roderic, 58-61

    -- Honora, ancestress of the White Knights, 76

    -- Brian, chief of Offaly, 135, 136, 150-153, 163, 177, 207, 210,
        211, 213, 214, 221, 222, 224, 226, 227, 229, 251, 256, 326, 328,
        335, 373, 392, 400, 401

    -- Cahir Roe, brother of Brian, 151, 177, 207, 211, 213, 214, 251,

    -- Donogh, son of Brian, 400, 402, 403, 408

    -- Lady Mary, wife of Brian;
      _see_ Lady Mary Fitzgerald.

    -- Margaret, daughter of Brian, 392

    -- Roe, in Roscommon, 140, 228, 374

    -- Don, in Roscommon, 140, 374

    O'Connors, the, 56, 57, 61, 62, 69, 86

    -- of Offaly, the, 86, 120, 121, 129, 130, 175, 177, 213, 348, 385,

    O'Corrin, James, Bishop of Killaloe, 305

    Octavian de Palatio, Archbishop of Armagh (1480-1513), 104, 108

    O'Dempseys, the, of Clanmalier (Portnahinch in Queen's Co. and Upper
        Philipstown in King's Co.), 251

    O'Dogherty, chief of Innishowen in Donegal, 140, 274, 345

    O'Donlevy, chief of Uladh, 53

    O'Donnell, chief of Tyrconnel, 62

    -- Donnell Oge, chief of Tyrconnel, 63

    -- Hugh Roe, chief of Tyrconnel, 111, 113, 119, 120

    -- Hugh Oge (called also Hugh Dhu), son of Hugh Roe, chief of
        Tyrconnel, 124, 125, 132, 136, 140, 141, 147, 154, 211, 212, 253

    O'Donnell, Manus, grandson of Hugh Roe, chief of Tyrconnel, 140,
        147, 212, 218-220, 237, 239, 247, 262, 263, 345, 347, 373, 395

    -- Roderic, Bishop of Derry, 237

    -- Lady Eleanor, wife of Manus;
      _see_ Lady Eleanor Fitzgerald.

    -- Calvagh, son of Manus, chief of Tyrconnel, 377, 393, 395, 405,

    -- Con, son of Calvagh, 405

    -- the, 120, 257, 272, 300, 349, 399

    O'Doyne, of Iregan or Portnahinch in Queen's Co., 213, 218, 251

    O'Driscoll, of Baltimore in West Cork, 88

    O'Duffy, Keyly, Archbishop of Tuam, 51

    O'Dwyer, of Kilnemanagh in Tipperary, 242, 266

    Offaly (greater part of King's Co. and part of Queen's Co.), 206,
        211, 213, 218, 349, 350, 373, 392, 399, 400, 401, 408, 409

    -- Barony of, in Kildare, 251

    O'Fihely, Maurice, Archbishop of Tuam, 292

    O'Gallagher, Edmund, Bishop of Raphoe, 293

    -- Raymond, Bishop of Killala (Papal), and afterwards of Derry, 293,

    O'Gallaghers, the, of Donegal, 140

    O'Grady, chief of a district near Killaloe in Clare and Galway, 271

    O'Gunnell, _i.e._ Carrigogunnell in Limerick, 186

    O'Haingly, Donat and Samuel, Archbishops of Dublin, 34

    O'Hanlon, chief of Orior in Armagh, 111, 112, 115, 120, 263, 353,
        376, 397, 398

    O'Hanmire, Maelisa, Bishop of Waterford, 35

    O'Hara, of Leyny in Sligo, 60, 69

      _see_ De Candolle.

      _see_ O'Cahan.

    O'Kearney, or O'Caharney, called 'the Fox,' of Kilcoursey in King's
        County, 56, 69

    O'Kellies, the, of the tribe of Hy-Maine, much scattered, but in
        this work chiefly between Tuam and Roscommon, 69, 75, 172, 334,

    O'Kelly, Hugh, 266

    O'Kennedy, of Ormonde in Tipperary, 120, 224, 227, 242, 266

    Olaf Cuaran, 21, 24, 25, 32

    -- Sitricson, 29

    -- Trygvesson, 32

    Oldcastle, Sir John, 388

    Olderfleet (Larne), 351

    Olfin, 18

    Olioll Olum, 22

    O'Lonergan, Edmund, 317

    O'Madden, of Longford in Galway, 69, 228, 402

    Omagh, 119, 122

    O'Meagher, of Ikerrin in Tipperary, 211, 242, 321, 329

    O'Melaghlin (commonly corrupted into MacLoughlin), of Clonlonan in
        Westmeath, 39, 52, 228, 334

    O'Molloy, of Fercall (including Ballyboy and Ballycowan) in King's
        County, 206, 211, 226, 262, 338, 402, 403

    O'More, Lysaght, 77

    -- Connell, chief of Leix, 132, 175-177, 224

    -- Peter, brother of Connell, 224, 225

    -- Lysaght, son of Connell, 224, 225

    -- Kedagh, son of Connell, 224-226, 266

    -- Rory, son of Connell, 224-226, 266, 275, 329, 335, 341

    -- Connell Oge, 400, 401

    O'Mores, the, of Leix, 88, 125, 127, 130, 135, 140, 146, 167, 176,
        177, 211, 258, 348, 399, 403, 408

    O'Mullally, Thomas, Archbishop of Tuam, 292

    O'Mulrian, or Ryan, of Owney in Tipperary and Limerick, 227, 266,

    O'Murrilly, John, Bishop of Ross, 293

    O'Neill, Donnell, 68

    O'Neill, Con More, chief of Tyrone, 118

    -- Henry and Donnell, brothers to Con More, 118-120

    -- Art Oge, son of Con More, chief of Tyrone, 121

    -- Con Bacagh, son of Con More, by Lady Alice O'Neill, and
        half-brother to Art Oge, whom he succeeded as chief (he was
        created Earl of Tyrone), 119, 132, 134, 136, 137, 140, 142, 147,
        163, 167, 176, 199, 221, 222, 231, 232, 237-240, 243, 247, 259,
        263, 264, 268;
      _see_ Tyrone, Earl of.

    O'Neill, Tirlogh, brother to Con Bacagh, 119,