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Title: History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution — Volume 2
Author: MacCaffrey, James
Language: English
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Lic. Theol. (Maynooth), Ph.D. (Freiburg i. B.)
Professor of Ecclesiastical History, St. Patrick's College, Maynooth

Nihil Obstat:
Thomas O'Donnell, C.M.
Censor Theol. Deput.

Imprimi Potest:
Archiep. Dublinen.,
Hiberniæ Primas.

Dublini, 16 Decembris, 1914.


From the Renaissance to the
French Revolution



  Wilkins, /Concilia Magnae Britanniae/, iii., 1737. /Historia Regis
  Henrici Septimi a Bernardo Andrea Thosolate/ (André of Toulouse),
  edited by J. Gairdner, 1858.  Capella-Sneyd, /A Relation or True
  Account of the Isle of England ... under Henry VII./ (written by
  Capella, the Venetian Ambassador, 1496-1502, and edited by C. A.
  Sneyd, 1847). /A London Chronicle during the reigns of Henry VII.
  and Henry VIII./ (Camden Miscellany, vol. iv., 1859). Sir Thomas
  More's /Utopia/ (written 1516, edited by E. Arber, 1869). More's
  English works, edited by William Rastell, 1557. Bridgett, /Life
  and Writings of Sir Thomas More/, 1891. Busch-Todd, /England under
  the Tudors/, 1892-95. Gasquet, /The Eve of the Reformation/, 1900;
  /Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries/, 1888; /The Old English
  Bible/, etc., 1897; /The Great Pestilence/, 1893; /Parish Life in
  Mediaeval England/, 1906; /English Monastic Life/, 1904. Capes, /A
  History of the English Church in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth
  Centuries/, 1909. Seebohm, /Oxford Reformers/ (3rd edition), 1877.
  Stone, /Reformation and Renaissance Studies/, 1904. Gairdner,
  /Lollardy and the Reformation/, vol. i., 1908. Lilly, /Renaissance
  Types/, 1901. Bridgett, /History of the Holy Eucharist in Great
  Britain/ (new edition, 1908). Rivington, /Rome and England/, 1897.
  Lingard, /History of England/, 10 vols., 1849. Hunt-Poole,
  /Political History of England/, v., 1910. /Cambridge Modern
  History/, vol. i., 1902.

With the advent of Henry VII. to the throne (1485) a new era opened in
the history of England. The English nation, weakened by the Wars of
the Roses and tired of a contest that possessed little interest for
the masses, was not unwilling to submit itself without reserve to the
guidance of a strong ruler provided he could guarantee peace both at
home and abroad. Practically speaking, hitherto absolutism had been
unknown. The rights that had been won by the barons on the plains of
Runnymede were guarded jealously by their descendants, and as a result
the power of the king, more especially in regard to taxation, was
hedged round by several restrictions. But during the long struggle
between the houses of Lancaster and York many of the great feudal
barons had fallen on the field of battle or by the hands of the
executioner, and the power of the nobles as a body had been
undermined. While the Lords could muster their own retainers under
their standard and put into the field a strong army almost at a
moment's notice, it was impossible for the sovereign to rule as an
absolute monarch. It was because he recognised this fact that Henry
VII. took steps to enforce the Statute of Liveries passed by one of
his predecessors, and to provide that armies could be levied only in
the king's name.

The day of government by the aristocracy had passed for ever to be
succeeded by the rule of the people, but in the interval between the
sinking of one and the rise of the other Tudor absolutism was
established firmly in England. In selecting his ministers Henry VII.
passed over the nobles in favour of the middle classes, which were
gaining ground rapidly in the country, but which had not yet realised
their strength as they did later in the days of the Stuarts. He
obtained grants of tonnage and poundage enjoyed by some of his Yorkist
predecessors, had recourse to the system of forced grants known as
benevolences, set up the Star Chamber nominally to preserve order but
in reality to repress his most dangerous opponents, and treated
Parliament as a mere machine, whose only work was to register the
wishes of the sovereign. In brief, Henry VII., acting according to the
spirit of the age, removed the elements that might make for national
disunion, consolidated his own power at the expense of the nobility,
won over to his side the middle and lower classes whose interests were
promoted and from whom no danger was to be feared, and laid the
foundations of that absolute government, which was carried to its
logical conclusions by his son and successor, Henry VIII.

By nature Henry VII. was neither overbearing nor devoid of tact, and
from the doubtful character of his title to the throne he was obliged
to be circumspect in his dealings with the nation. It was not so,
however, with Henry VIII. He was a young, impulsive, self-willed
ruler, freed from nearly all the dangers that had acted as a restraint
upon his father, surrounded for the most part by upstarts who had no
will except to please their master, and intensely popular with the
merchants, farmers, and labourers, whose welfare was consulted, and
who were removed so far from court that they knew little of royal
policy or royal oppression. The House of Lords, comprising as it did
representatives of the clergy and nobles, felt itself entirely at the
mercy of the king, and its members, alarmed by the fate of all those
who had ventured to oppose his wishes, would have decreed the
abolition of their privileges rather than incur his displeasure, had
they been called upon to do so. The House of Commons was composed to a
great extent of the nominees of the Crown, whose names were forwarded
to the sheriffs for formal confirmation. The Parliament of 1523 did
show some resistance to the financial demands necessitated by the war
with France, but the king's answer was to dissolve it, and to govern
England by royal decrees for a space of six years. Fearing for the
results of the divorce proceedings and anxious to carry the country
with him in his campaign against the Pope, Henry VIII. convoked
another Parliament (1529), but he took careful measures to ensure that
the new House of Commons would not run counter to his wishes. Lists of
persons who were known to be jealous of the powers of the Church and
to be sympathetic towards any movement that might limit the
pretensions of the clergy were forwarded to the sheriffs, and in due
course reliable men were returned. That the majority of the members of
the lower House were hostile to the privileges of the Church is clear
enough, but there is no evidence that any important section desired a
reformation which would involve a change of doctrine or separation
from Rome. The legislation directed against the rights of the Pope
sanctioned by this Parliament was accepted solely through the
influence of royal threats and blandishments, and because the
Parliament had no will of its own. Were the members free to speak and
act according to their own sentiments it is impossible to believe that
they would have confirmed and annulled the successive marriages of the
king, altered and realtered the succession to meet every new
matrimonial fancy of his, and proved themselves such negligent
guardians of the rights of the English nation as to allow him to
dispose of the crown of England by will as he might dispose of his
private possessions. Henry VIII. was undisputed master of England, of
its nobles, clergy, and people, of its Convocation, and Parliament.
His will was the law. Unless this outstanding fact, royal absolutism
and dictatorship be realised, it is impossible to understand how a
whole nation, which till that time had accepted the Pope as the Head
of the Church, could have been torn against its will from the centre
of unity, separated from the rest of the Catholic world, and subjected
to the spiritual jurisdiction of a sovereign, whose primary motive in
effecting such a revolution was the gratification of his own unbridled

It is not true to assert, as some writers have asserted, that before
the Reformation England was a land shrouded in the mists of ignorance;
that there were no schools or colleges for imparting secular education
till the days of Edward VI.; that apart from practices such as
pilgrimages, indulgences, and invocation of the saints, there was no
real religion among the masses; that both secular and regular clergy
lived after a manner more likely to scandalise than to edify the
faithful; that the people were up in arms against the exactions and
privileges of the clergy, and that all parties only awaited the advent
of a strong leader to throw off the yoke of Rome. These are sweeping
generalisations based upon isolated abuses put forward merely to
discredit the English mediaeval Church, but wholly unacceptable to
those who are best acquainted with the history of the period. On the
other side it would be equally wrong to state that everything was so
perfect in England that no reforms were required. Many abuses,
undoubtedly, had arisen in various departments of religious life, but
these abuses were of such a kind that they might have been removed had
the Convocations of the clergy been free to pursue their course, nor
do they justify an indiscriminate condemnation of the entire
ecclesiastical body.

It is true that the Renaissance movement had made great progress on
the other side of the Alps before its influence could be felt even in
educated circles in England, but once the attention of the English
scholars was drawn to the revival of classical studies many of them
made their way to the great masters of Italy, and returned to utilise
the knowledge they had acquired for the improvement of the educational
system of their country. Selling and Hadley, both monks, Linacre, one
of the leaders of medical science in his own time, Dean Colet of
Westminster whose direction of St. Paul's College did so much to
improve the curriculum of the schools,[1] Bishop Fisher of Rochester
described by Erasmus as "a man without equal at this time both as to
integrity of life, learning, or broadminded sympathies" with the
possible exception of Archbishop Warham of Canterbury,[2] and Sir
Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England and one of the earliest
martyrs for the faith in the reign of Henry VIII., were but a few of
the prominent men in a movement that made itself felt throughout the
entire country. Nowhere did Erasmus find a more enthusiastic welcome
or more generous patrons and nowhere were his writings more thoroughly
appreciated than in England.

Nor is it true to say that the advocates of classical learning were
animated by hostility to the Catholic Church in their demand for an
improvement in educational methods. Some murmurs were, indeed, heard
in certain quarters, and charges of unorthodoxy were formulated
vaguely against Colet and others of his party, but these were but the
criticisms levelled in all ages against those who are in advance of
their time, nor do they require serious refutation. The English
Humanists had nothing in common with the neo-pagan writers of the
Italian Renaissance as regards religion, and they gave no indication
of hostility to Rome. Whatever other influences may have contributed
to bring about the religious revolution in England, it was certainly
not due to the Renaissance, for to a man its disciples were as loyal
to the Catholic Church as were their two greatest leaders Fisher and
More, who laid down their lives rather than prove disloyal to the
successor of St. Peter.

Nor was education generally neglected in the country. The lists of
students attending Oxford and Cambridge[3] in so far as they have been
preserved point to the fact that in the days immediately preceding the
Reformation these great seats of learning were in a most flourishing
condition, and that for them the religious revolt fell little short of
proving disastrous. The explanation of the sudden drop in the number
of students attending the universities is to be found partially at
least in the disturbed condition of the country, but more particularly
in the destruction of the religious houses, which sent up many of
their members to Oxford and Cambridge, and which prepared a great
number of pupils in their schools for university matriculation, as
well as in the confiscation of the funds out of which bishops,
chapters, monasteries, religious confraternities, and religious
guilds, presented exhibitions to enable the children of the poor to
avail themselves of the advantages of higher education. Nor was
England of the fifteenth century without a good system of secondary
schools. It is a common belief that Edward VI. was the founder of
English secondary colleges, and that during the first fifty years
after the Reformation more was done for this department of education
than had been done in the preceding three hundred years. That such a
belief is entirely erroneous may be proved from the records of the
commissions held in the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI., from
which it appears that there were close on three hundred secondary
schools in England before 1549, and that Henry VIII. and particularly
Edward VI. ought to be regarded as the despoilers rather than as the
patrons of the English colleges. Distinct from the universities and
from the mere primary schools there were in existence at the beginning
of the reign of Henry VIII. seven classes of educational
establishments, namely, cathedral, collegiate, and monastic colleges,
colleges in connexion with hospitals, guilds, chantries, and
independent institutions. These were worked in perfect co-ordination
with the universities, and in most cases exhibitions were provided for
the poorer scholars. "The Grammar Schools which existed," says a
reliable authority, "were not mere monkish schools or choristers'
schools or elementary schools. Many of them were the same schools
which now live and thrive. All were schools of exactly the same type,
and performing precisely the same sort of functions as the public
schools and grammar schools of to-day. There were indeed also
choristers' schools and elementary schools. There were scholarships at
schools and exhibitions thence to the universities, and the whole
paraphernalia of secondary education. Nor was secondary education
understood in any different sense to that in which it was understood
up to fifty years ago. It was conducted on the same lines and in the
main by instruments of the same kind, if not identically the same, as
those in use till the present generation."[4]

It cannot be said with justice that the English people at the time
were either badly instructed in the principles of their religion or
indifferent to the practices of the Church to which they belonged. The
decrees of the Synod of Oxford (1281), commanding the clergy who had
care of souls to explain regularly in simple language, intelligible to
their hearers the articles of the creed, the commandments, the
sacraments, the seven deadly sins and the seven works of mercy, were
renewed more than once, and presumably were enforced by the bishops.
The books published for the instruction of the faithful as for
example, /The Work for Householders/, /Dives et Pauper/, /The
Interpretation and Signification of the Mass/, /The Art of Good
Living/, etc., emphasise very strongly the duty of attending the
religious instruction given by the clergy, while the manuals written
for the guidance of the clergy make it very clear that preaching was a
portion of their duties that should not be neglected. The fact that
religious books of this kind were multiplied so quickly, once the art
of printing had been discovered, affords strong evidence that neither
priests nor people were unmindful of the need for a thorough
understanding of the truths of their religion. The visitations of the
parishes, during which some of the prominent parishioners were
summoned to give evidence about the manner in which the priests
performed their duty of instructing the people, were in themselves a
great safeguard against pastoral negligence, and so far as they have
been published they afford no grounds for the statement that the
people were left in ignorance regarding the doctrines and practices of
their religion. Apart entirely from the work done by the clergy in the
pulpits and churches, it should be remembered that in the cities and
even in the most remote of the rural parishes religious dramas were
staged at regular intervals, and were of the greatest assistance in
bringing before the minds even of the most uneducated the leading
events of biblical history and the principal truths of Christianity.

That the people of England as a body hearkened to the instructions of
their pastors is clear enough from the testimony of foreign visitors,
from the records of the episcopal visitations, the pilgrimages to
shrines of devotion at home and abroad, from the anxiety for God's
honour and glory as shown in the zeal which dictated the building or
decoration of so many beautiful cathedrals and churches, the funds for
which were provided by rich and poor alike, and from the spirit of
charity displayed in the numerous bequests for the relief of the poor
and the suffering. The people of England at the beginning of the
sixteenth century were neither idol-worshippers nor victims of a blind
superstition. They understood just as well as Catholics understand at
the present day devotions to Our Lady and to the Saints; Images,
Pictures and Statues, Purgatory, Indulgences and the effects of the
Mass. Nor were they so ignorant of the Sacred Scriptures as is
commonly supposed. The sermons were based upon some Scripture text
taken as a rule from the epistle and gospel proper to the Sunday or
festival, and were illustrated with a wealth of references and
allusions drawn from both the Old and New Testament sufficient to make
it clear that the Bible was not a sealed book either for the clergy or
laity. The fact that there was such a demand for commentaries on and
concordances to the Scriptures makes it clear that the clergy realised
sufficiently the importance of Scriptural teaching from the pulpits,
and the abundant quotations to be found in the books of popular
devotion, not to speak of the religious dramas based upon events in
biblical history, go far to show that the needs of the laity in this
respect were not overlooked.[5]

It is said, however, that the use of the Scriptures in the vernacular
was forbidden to the English people, and a decree of a Synod held at
Oxford in 1408 is cited in proof of this statement. The Synod of
Oxford did not forbid the use of vernacular versions. It forbade the
publication or use of unauthorised translations,[6] and in the
circumstances of the time, when the Lollard heretics were strong and
were endeavouring to win over the people to their views by
disseminating corrupt versions of the Scripture, such a prohibition is
not unintelligible. It should be borne in mind that French was the
language of the educated and was the official language of the English
law courts and of the Parliament till after 1360. The French or Latin
versions then current were, therefore, amply sufficient for those who
were likely to derive any advantage from the study of the Bible, while
at the same time the metrical paraphrases of the important books of
the Old Testament and of the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, and the
English prose translation of the Psalms, went far to meet the wants of
the masses. From the clear evidence of writers like Sir Thomas More,
Lord Chancellor of England and one of the best informed men of his
time, of Cranmer, the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury, and
of Foxe the author of the so-called Martyrology, it can be established
beyond the shadow of a doubt that prior to the Reformation there
existed an English Catholic version of the Scriptures, which was
approved for use by the ecclesiastical authorities.[7] It is true,
indeed, that the bishops of England made extraordinary efforts to
prevent the circulation of the versions made by Tyndale and Coverdale,
but considering the glosses, the corruptions, and the mis-translations
with which these abound no fair-minded person could expect them to
have acted otherwise. Their action was not dictated by hostility to
the reading of the Scriptures but by their opposition to heretical
doctrines, which it was sought to disseminate among the people by
means of dishonest versions of the Scriptures. The English bishops
were not content merely with prohibiting the use of these works. They
were most anxious to bring out a correct translation of the Scriptures
for general use, and were prevented from doing so only by the action
of Henry VIII. and of the heretical advisers, who urged him to make it
impossible for the bishops to carry out their design.[8]

It would, however, be far from the truth to assert that everything was
faultless during the years preceding the Reformation, or that all the
clergy were as perfect as they might have been. England, like every
other country at the same period, was afflicted with the terrible
evils resulting from the appropriation of parishes by laymen and by
religious establishments, a system which made it impossible for a
bishop to govern his diocese properly, from the non-residence of both
bishops and higher clergy, and from the plurality of benefices, which
meant that a person might be permitted to hold two or more benefices
to which the care of souls was attached, thereby rending impossible
the proper discharge of pastoral duties. More priests, too, were
ordained than could be provided with appointments, and consequently
many of the clergy were forced to act as chaplains and tutors in
private families, where they were treated as servants rather than as
equals, and where it was only too easy for them to lose the sense of
respect for their dignity and for themselves, and to sink to the level
of those with whom they were obliged to consort. It is not to be
wondered at if evidence is forthcoming that in particular cases, more
especially in Wales, clerical celibacy was not observed as it should
have been, or that in several instances the duty of preaching and
instructing the people was not discharged, nor is it surprising to
find that men who were comparatively unlearned were promoted over the
heads of their more educated companions to the disgust of the
universities and of those interested in the better education of the
clergy. Considering the fact that so many of the bishops were engaged
in the service of the State to the neglect of their duties in their
dioceses, and bearing also in mind the selfish use made too frequently
of the rights of lay patronage and the disorganisation to which even
the most enlightened use of such patronage was likely to lead, it is
little less than marvellous that the great body of the clergy were as
educated, zealous, and irreproachable as they can be proved to have

As a result of the disorganisation wrought by the Black Plague, the
civil strife which disturbed the peace of the country, and the
constant interference of the crown and lay patrons, many of the
religious houses, influenced to some extent by the general spirit of
laxity peculiar to the age, fell far short of the standard of severity
and discipline that had been set in better days. While on the one hand
it should be admitted freely that some of the monastic and conventual
establishments stood in urgent need of reform, there is, on the other
side, no sufficient evidence to support the wild charges of wholesale
corruption and immorality levelled against the monks and nuns of
England by those who thirsted for their destruction. The main
foundation for such an accusation is to be sought for in the letters
and reports (/Comperta/) of the commissioners sent out to examine into
the condition of the monasteries and convents in 1535. Even if these
documents could be relied upon as perfectly trustworthy they affect
only a very small percentage of the religious houses, since not more
than one-third of these establishments were visited by the
commissioners during their hurried tour through the country, and as
regards the houses visited serious crimes were preferred against at
most two hundred and fifty monks and nuns.

But there are many solid grounds for rejecting the reliability of
these documents. The commissioners were appointed by Cromwell with the
professed object of preparing the public mind for the suppression of
the monasteries and convents. They showed themselves to be his most
obsequious agents, always ready to accept as testimony popular rumours
and suspicions founded in many cases on personal dislikes, and, like
their master, more anxious to extract money bribes from the religious
than to arrive at the truth about their lives or the condition of
their establishments. That they were prejudiced witnesses, arrogant
and cruel towards the monks and nuns, and willing to do anything that
might win them the approval of Cromwell and the king is evident from
their own letters and reports, while if we are to credit the
statements of contemporaries, backed by a tradition, which survived
for centuries amongst the Catholic body in England, they were most
unscrupulous and immoral in their attitude towards the unfortunate
nuns who were placed at their mercy. Indeed the charges which they
make are so filthy and repulsive, and the delight with which they
revel in such abominations is so apparent, that one is forced to the
conviction that they must have been men of depraved tastes quite
capable of committing or of attempting to commit the crimes laid to
their charge. Even if it had been otherwise, had the two commissioners
been unprejudiced and fair in their proceedings, it is impossible to
understand how they could have had an opportunity of making a really
searching investigation into the condition of the monasteries and
convents during the short time assigned for the work. They began only
in July 1535 and their work was completed in February 1536.

In favour of the reliability of these reports the fact is urged that
they were placed before Parliament, and that the members of both
Houses were so impressed by the tale of corruption and wickedness
which they disclosed that they decided on the immediate suppression of
the monasteries. If this were true and if Parliament in the days of
Henry VIII. enjoyed the same rights and privileges as it enjoys to-day
such action would be in itself a strong corroboration of the veracity
of the commissioners. But there is no sufficient evidence to prove
that the reports or compilations made from them were ever submitted to
Parliament. The king and Cromwell informed the Houses of the charges
made by the commissioners, and demanded their consent to the bill of
suppression. The whole measure was passed in a few days (11th to 18th
March, 1536) and there is no proof that the /Comperta/ or a "Black
Book" were presented to the members. On the contrary, it is clear from
the preamble to the Act that in the larger monasteries "religion was
right well kept and observed," and that it was only in the smaller
houses with less than twelve members that disorder and corruption
existed, whereas in the reports of the commissioners no such
distinction is observed, the charges being levelled just as strongly
against the larger as against the smaller communities. Had Parliament
been in possession of the reports or had there been any adequate
discussion, it is difficult to see how such an arbitrary distinction,
founded neither on the nature of things, nor on the findings of the
commissioners, could have been allowed to pass. It is noteworthy too
that many of the individuals, whose names were associated in the
/Comperta/ with very serious crimes, were placed in the possession of
pensions on the dissolution of the monasteries, and some of them were
promoted to the highest ecclesiastical offices in the gift of the

Besides, if the reports of Leigh and Leyton be compared with the
episcopal visitations of the same houses or with those of the royal
visitors appointed in 1536 to carry out the suppression of the smaller
monasteries, it will be found that in regard to the very same houses
there exists a very open contradiction between their findings.
Unfortunately the accounts of the visitations have disappeared to a
great extent except in case of the diocese of Norwich. In this diocese
the visitations were carried out very strictly and very minutely, and
although some abuses were detected the bishop could find nothing of
the wholesale corruption and immorality discovered a few years later
by the minions of Cromwell. Similarly the commission appointed in 1536
to superintend the suppression decreed in that year, the members of
which were drawn from the leading men in each county, report in the
highest terms of houses which were spoken of as hot-beds of iniquity
only a few months before. Finally, if the monasteries and convents
were really so bad as they are painted, it is a curious fact that
although Leigh and Leyton were empowered by Cromwell to open the doors
to many of the monks and nuns they could find in the thirteen counties
which they visited only two nuns and fifty-three monks willing to
avail themselves of the liberty which they offered.[9]

As a general rule the monasteries were regarded with kindly feelings
by the great body of the people on account of their charity and
hospitality towards the poor and the wayfarer, their leniency and
generosity as compared with other employers and landlords, their
schools which did so much for the education of the district, and their
orphanages and hospitals. Many of them were exceedingly wealthy, while
some of them found it difficult to procure the means of existence, and
all of them suffered greatly from the financial burdens imposed upon
them in the shape of pensions, etc., by the king or by the family by
whom their endowments were provided originally. For this reason some
of the religious houses, imitating the example of the landowners
generally, began to form grazing enclosures[10] out of their estates
which had been hitherto under cultivation, a step that led in some
cases to eviction and in all cases to a great reduction in the number
of labourers employed. Others of them set up tanneries and such like
industries that had been best left to the laymen. These measures led
to ill-feeling and to a certain amount of hostility, but that the
religious houses were not hated by the people is proved to
demonstration by the rebellions which their suppression evoked in so
many different parts of the country.

It may be said in a general way that the relations between priests and
people were neither particularly close nor particularly strained. The
rights and privileges claimed by the clergy did indeed give rise to
murmurings and complaints in certain quarters, but these were neither
so serious nor so general as to indicate anything like a deep-rooted
and sharp division between priests and people. The question of the
rights of sanctuary, according to which criminals who escaped into the
enclosures of monasteries and churches were guaranteed protection from
arrest, led to a sharp conflict between the ecclesiastical and secular
jurisdictions, but with a little moderation on both sides it was not a
matter that could have excited permanent ill-feeling. In the days when
might was right the privileges of sanctuary served a useful purpose.
That in later times they occasioned serious abuses could not be
denied, and on the accession of Henry VII. the Pope restricted the
rights of sanctuary very considerably, thereby setting an example
which it was to be expected would have been followed by his
successors. The /privilegium fori/, by which clerics were exempted
from punishment by a secular tribunal, was another cause of
considerable friction. In 1512 Parliament passed a law abolishing this
privilege in case of clerics accused of murder, etc., and though it
was to have force only for two years it excited the apprehension of
the clergy more on account of what it heralded than of what it
actually enacted. When it came up again for discussion in 1515 even
those of the clergy who were most remarkable for their subservience to
the king protested vehemently against it. In a discussion that took
place in the presence of Henry VII. one of the friars brought forward
many arguments to prove that such a law was not outside the competence
of the state, much to the disgust of the bishops and of Cardinal
Wolsey. The king was most emphatic in his declaration that he intended
to take such action as would vindicate and safeguard his rights as
supreme lord of England, but notwithstanding this sharp reproof to his
opponents the measure was allowed to drop.

The excessive fees charged in the episcopal courts for the probate of
wills, the gifts known as mortuaries claimed on occasions of death,
the absence of the bishops and the clergy from their dioceses and
parishes to the consequent neglect of their duties to the people, the
bestowal of benefices oftentimes on poorly qualified clerics to the
exclusion of learned and zealous priests, the appointment of clerics
to positions that should have been filled by laymen on the lands of
the bishops and monasteries, and the interference of some of the
clergy both secular and regular in purely secular pursuits were the
principal grievances brought forward in 1529 by the House of Commons
against the spirituality. But in determining the value of such a
document it should be remembered that it was inspired by the king, and
in fact drafted by Thomas Cromwell, at a time when both king and
minister were determined to crush the power of the Church, and that,
therefore, it is not unreasonable to expect that it is exaggerated and
unfair. According to the express statement of Sir Thomas More, Lord
Chancellor of England, who was in a position to know and appreciate
the relations between clergy and people, the division was neither so
acute nor so serious as it was painted by those who wished to favour
religious innovations or to ingratiate themselves with the king and
his advisers.[11]

But, even though there existed some differences of opinion about
matters concerned with the temporalities of the Church or the
privileges of the clergy, there is no indication during the thirty
years preceding the revolt of any marked hostility to the doctrines
and practices of the Church. In an earlier age the Lollards, as the
followers of Wycliff were called, put forward doctrines closely akin
to those advocated by the early Reformers, notably in regard to the
constitution of the Church, the Papacy, the Scriptures,
Transubstantiation, Purgatory, and Tradition, but the severe measures
adopted by both Church and State had succeeded in breaking the
influence of Lollardy in England. Very few if any followers of this
sect remained to disturb the peace of the community in the early years
of the reign of Henry VIII., though it is quite possible that the
memory of their teaching and of the sturdy struggle which they had
waged did not fail to produce its effects at a later period. It is
true that in 1512 the statement is attributed to the Bishop of London
in connexion with the trial of an ecclesiastic, that on account of
their leaning towards heresy any twelve men of the city would bring in
a verdict of guilty against a cleric placed on his trial before
them,[12] but it is impossible to believe that such a statement
conveys an accurate view of the state of affairs. It is out of harmony
with the results of the episcopal visitations, with the records of the
few trials for heresy which took place, most of which resulted in the
repentance of the alleged culprits, and with the considered judgment
of such a well qualified contemporary authority as Sir Thomas More.

It is certain that during the first quarter of the sixteenth century
the student of history will search in vain for any evidence of
opposition among the clergy and people of England to the spiritual
supremacy of the Holy See. Disputes there had been, some of which were
peculiarly bitter in their tone, between the English sovereigns and
the Pope. Complaints had been made by the clergy against what they
considered the unwarranted interferences of the Roman Curia in
domestic affairs; but these disputes and complaints were concerned
either with purely secular matters, as for example the annual tribute
claimed by the Holy See since the famous surrender of the kingdom made
by King John, or with the temporal side of the spiritual jurisdiction.
The clergy and people resented generally the wholesale rights of
reservation exercised by the Pope in regard to English benefices, the
appointment of foreigners to offices in England, the heavy taxes
levied by the Roman Curia directly or indirectly in the shape of
Annats or First Fruits, the withdrawal of comparatively trivial cases
from the local courts, and the exercise of jurisdiction over the
highest dignitaries of England by the legates commissioned by the Holy
See. But it is one thing to criticise the actual working of papal
supremacy as interpreted by Roman officials, or to seek to limit its
exercise in the every-day life of any particular church, and another
to call in question the supremacy itself. The English clergy and
people did, indeed, object to allow papal supremacy to be pushed too
far in what they regarded as purely domestic affairs, but even in the
most prolonged and heated discussions they never once questioned the
fact that the Pope was Supreme Head of the Church in England, or that
he was Supreme Head of the Catholic Church throughout the world.

The Statute of Provisors (1350-1), by which all appointments to
English benefices were to be made by canonical election or by the
nomination of lay patrons to the exclusion of papal provisions, is
cited sometimes as a proof that the English nation disregarded the
claims of the Holy See, but with equal justice and for a similar
reason it might be maintained that the Council of Trent rejected the
Supremacy of the Pope (Session xxiv., chap. 19). The Statute was
called for, owing to the spiritual and economic losses inflicted on
the country by the appointment of foreigners, and its passage was
secured mainly by the lay patrons, whose rights of patronage were
infringed by the constant stream of papal provisions. It was neither
inspired by hostility to the Holy See, nor by any doubt about the
supremacy of the Pope, and in itself it was a piece of legislation
that might have merited the approval of the most loyal supporters of
Rome. But as a matter of fact, lest their acceptance of such a measure
might be misunderstood, the English bishops offered the most strenuous
opposition to the Statute of Provisors and insisted that their
protests against it should be registered, a policy which, it might be
added, was followed by the University of Oxford. The bishops demanded
later on that it should be repealed. Their request was not granted,
but from the numerous provisions made to bishoprics in England and
from the appointments made to English benefices during the fifteenth
and sixteenth centuries it is evident that the Statute was allowed to
fall into abeyance. Similarly the Statute of Praemunire (1353) by
which it was forbidden under the penalty of forfeiture and outlawry to
bring cases cognizable in the English courts before foreign courts, or
to introduce into the realm provisions, reservations, or letters
contrary to the rights of the king or his subjects, was passed to
prevent an undoubted abuse at the time, and was enforced rarely as the
frequent appeals to Rome amply prove.

These measures serve to indicate at most only the attitude of the
Crown towards the Pope, not the attitude of the English clergy and
people. The loyal submission of the latter is evidenced from the papal
appointments to bishoprics and benefices, from the First Fruits paid
willingly to the Holy See by those who were called upon to pay them,
by the constant interference of the Holy See in regard to the division
and boundaries of parishes, the visitation of monasteries, the rights
of bishops, etc., as well as by the courts held in England in virtue
of the jurisdiction of the Pope. That the Pope was above the law and
that to dispute the authority of a papal decree was to be guilty of
heresy was a principle recognised by the English ecclesiastical
authorities and accepted also in practice by English jurists. The
oaths of loyalty to the Holy See taken by all the archbishops and
bishops, the tone and form of the letters addressed to the Pope, the
assertion of papal rights against the errors and attacks of Wycliff
and Luther, the full admission of papal supremacy contained in Henry
VIII.'s /Assertio Septem Sacramentorum/, and in the formal dying
declaration of Archbishop Warham of Canterbury (1533), and the
resolute attitude of two such learned representatives of the English
clergy and laity as Bishop Fisher of Rochester and Sir Thomas More,
are in themselves sufficient to establish the fact that in the days of
Henry VIII. England joined with the rest of the Catholic world in
recognising the supreme spiritual jurisdiction of the Bishop of

The controversies which had raged were not concerned with spiritual
supremacy nor were they peculiar to England. Much worse ones had
arisen to disturb the friendly relations that should exist between the
Holy See and France or Spain, and yet nobody would care to deny that
both of these nations acknowledged their subjection to Rome. Neither
were they between the English clergy or the English people and the
Pope; they were waged rather between the Crown and the Holy See. As
royal absolutism began to develop in Europe the policy of kings was to
increase their power over the ecclesiastical organisation in their
dominions by lessening the authority of the Pope. This tendency is
brought out clearly in the concessions wrung from the Pope by
Ferdinand I. of Spain and Louis XII. of France, but more especially in
the Concordat negotiated between Leo X. and Francis I. (1516),
according to which all appointments in the French Church were vested
practically in the hands of the king. Henry VIII. was a careful
observer of Continental affairs and was as anxious as Francis I. to
strengthen his own position by grasping the authority of the Church.
He secured a /de facto/ headship of the Church in England when he
succeeded in getting Cardinal Wolsey invested with permanent legatine
powers. Through Wolsey he governed ecclesiastical affairs in England
for years, and on the fall of Wolsey he took into his own hands the
control that he had exercised already through his favourite and
minister. Had Leo X. consented to a concordat similar to that
concluded with France, whereby the royal demands would have been
conceded frankly and occasions of dispute removed, or else had he
taken the strong step of refusing to delegate his authority
indefinitely to a minister of the king, he would have prevented
trouble and misunderstanding, and would have made the battle for royal
supremacy much more difficult than it proved to be in reality.

[1] Lupton, /Life of Dean Colet/, 1887.

[2] Gasquet, /Eve of the Reformation/, 142.

[3] Chalmers, /History of the College ... of Oxford/. Mullinger, /The
University of Cambridge to 1535/.

[4] Leach, /English Schools at the Reformation/, 1896, p. 6 (a
valuable book).

[5] Gasquet, op. cit., ix-xiii., English works of Sir Thomas More,
1557, (especially /The Dyalogue/, 1529).

[6] Wilkins, /Concilia/, iii. 317.

[7] Gasquet, op. cit., chap. viii., /The Old English Bible/, iv., v.
Maitland, /The Dark Ages/, 1845, no. xii.

[8] Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, vol. ii., 221-303.

[9] On this subject, cf. Gasquet, /Henry VIII. and the English
Monasteries/. Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, vol. ii.,
3-221. Jessopp, /Visitation of the Diocese of Norwich/, 1492-1532
(Camden Society).

[10] /Cambridge Modern History/, i., chap. xv.

[11] On the relations between the clergy and the laity, cf. Gairdner,
op. cit., vol. i., 243-86. Gasquet, op. cit., chap. iii.-v.
Gairdner, /History of the English Church in the Sixteenth
Century/, 41-59.

[12] Gairdner, /History of the English Church/, p. 31.

[13] On this subject, cf. Lingard, /History of England/, iii., 126-33.
    Wilkins, /Concilia/ (for documents bearing on the authority of the
    Pope in England, see Index to this work). Lyndewood's /Provinciale
    seu Constitutiones Angliae/ (1501, Synodal Constitutions of the
    Province of Canterbury). Moyes, /How English Bishops were made
    before the Reformation/ (/Tablet/, Dec., 1893). Maitland, /The
    Roman Law in the Church of England, and English Law and the
    Renaissance/, 1901. Gairdner, /Lollardy/, etc., i., 495-8.



  See bibliography, chap. i., /Calendar of Letters and Papers Henry
  VIII./, 18 vols., 1862-1902. Brewer Gairdner, /The Reign of Henry
  VIII./, 2 vols., 1884. Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, 4
  vols., 1908-13. Dodd, /Church History of England (1500-1688)/,
  1737-42 (a new edition by Tierney, 5 vols., 1839). Sander, /Rise
  and Growth of the Anglican Schism/ (trans. by Lewis), 1877.
  Gasquet, /Short History of the Catholic Church in England/, 1903.
  Dixon, /History of the Church in England from 1529/, 6 vols.,
  London, 1878-1902. Cobbett, /A History of the Reformation in
  England and Ireland/ (edited by Gasquet). Pocock, /Records of the
  Reformation/ 2 vols., 1870. Burnet, /History of the Reformation/
  (edited by Pocock), 1865. Gasquet and Bishop, /Edward VI. and the
  Book of Common Prayer/, 1890. Taunton, /The English Black Monks of
  St. Benedict/, 2 vols., 1897. Camm, /Lives of the English Martyrs/
  vol. i., 1904. Stone, /An Account of the Sufferings of the English
  Franciscans, during the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries/,
  1892. Pollen, /Acts of English Martyrs/, etc., 1891. Spillman,
  /Die Englischen Martyrer unter Heinrich VIII./, 2 auf., 1900.
  /Martyrum Monachorum Carthusianorum in Anglia passio/, etc. (/An.
  Bolland./, 1903). /The Month/ (1882, 1883, 1902, 1905).

The accession of Henry VIII. (1509-47) was hailed with joy by all
classes in England. Young, handsome, well-developed both in mind and
body, fond of outdoor games and amusements, affable and generous with
whomsoever he came into contact, he was to all appearances qualified
perfectly for the high office to which he had succeeded. With the
exception of Empson and Dudley, who were sacrificed for their share in
the execution of his father, most of the old advisers were retained at
the royal court; but the chief confidants on whose advice he relied
principally were his Chancellor Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury and
Lord Chancellor of England, Richard Fox, Bishop of Winchester and Lord
Privy Seal, and Thomas Howard, afterwards Duke of Norfolk, Lord
Treasurer of the kingdom. Soon, however, these trusted and loyal
advisers were obliged to make way for a young and rising
ecclesiastical courtier, Thomas Wolsey[1] (1471-1530), who for close
on twenty years retained the first place in the affections of his
sovereign and the chief voice in the direction of English affairs. As
a youth, Wolsey's marvellous abilities astonished his teachers at
Magdalen College, where the boy bachelor, as he was called because he
obtained the B.A. degree at the age of fifteen, was regarded as a
prodigy. As a young man he was pushed forward by his patrons, the
Archbishop of Canterbury and the Bishop of Winchester, and won favour
at court by the successful accomplishment of a delicate mission
entrusted to him by Henry VII., till at last in 1511 he was honoured
by a seat in the privy council. New dignities were heaped upon him by
Pope and sovereign in turn. He was appointed Bishop of Lincoln and
Archbishop of York (1514), was created a cardinal of the Roman Church
(1515), and in a short time he accepted the offices of Lord Chancellor
and papal legate for England. If he did not succeed in reaching the
papal throne, a dignity to which he was induced to aspire by the
promise of Charles V., his position as legate made him at least
virtual head of the English Church. Instead of being annoyed, Henry
VIII. was delighted at the honours showered upon his Lord Chancellor
by the Roman court. With Wolsey as his obedient minister and at the
same time an ecclesiastical dictator, he felt that he had more
authority in ecclesiastical affairs than was granted to Francis I. by
the Concordat of 1516, and, though possibly at the time he did not
advert to it, he was thus preparing the way for exercising in his own
name the control that he had exercised for years through his chief
minister in the name of the Pope.

The dream of reconquering the English possessions in France induced
Henry VIII., during the early years of his reign, to side with the
Emperor Maximilian and Ferdinand of Spain against Louis XII.; but the
comparative failure of the expeditions undertaken against France, the
resentment of the people who were burdened with taxation, and the
advice of Cardinal Wolsey, led him to forego his schemes of conquest
for a time in favour of a policy of neutrality. The election of
Charles V. in 1519 changed the whole aspect of affairs on the
Continent, and raised new hopes both in the minds of Henry VIII. and
of his faithful minister. An alliance with Charles V. might mean for
England the complete subjugation of France, and for Cardinal Wolsey
the votes of the cardinals at the approaching conclave. While
pretending to act the part of mediator between the rival sovereigns,
Henry concluded a secret alliance with the Emperor in 1521, and
prepared to make war on France. The failure of the forces dispatched
under the Earl of Surrey, the disappointment of Wolsey when he found
himself deceived by Charles V. at the conclaves of 1521 and 1523, and
the outcry raised in Parliament and throughout the country against the
French war, induced Henry VIII. to reconsider his foreign policy. The
defeat and capture of Francis I. at Pavia (1525) placed France at the
mercy of the Emperor, and made it necessary for Henry to come to the
relief of his old enemy unless he wished to see England sink to the
level of an imperial province. Overtures for peace were made to
France, and in April 1527 Grammont, Bishop of Tarbes, arrived in
England to discuss the terms of an alliance. The position of Cardinal
Wolsey, which had been rendered critical by the hatred of the nobles,
who resented his rule as the rule of an upstart, and by the enmity of
the people, who regarded him as the author of the French war and of
the increased taxation, was now threatened seriously by the public
discussion of difficulties that had arisen in the mind of the king
regarding the validity of his marriage.

The Lutheran movement that broke out in Germany two years after
Cardinal Wolsey's acceptance of the twofold office of papal legate and
royal chancellor, found little favour in England. Here and there, at
Oxford, at Cambridge, and in London, individuals were found to
subscribe to portion of Luther's programme; but the great body of the
people remained unmoved by the tirades of the German reformers against
Rome. Henry VIII., whose attention to religion was noted as one of his
characteristics by the observant Ambassador of Venice, did not
hesitate to take the field against the enemies of the Holy See and
more especially against Luther himself. In a work entitled /Assertio
Septem Sacramentorum/ (Defence of the Seven Sacraments)[2] published
against Luther in 1521, he defended in no uncertain terms the rights
and privileges of the Holy See, and in return for the very valuable
services that he rendered to religion he was honoured by Leo X. with
the title /Fidei Defensor/ (Defender of the Faith, 1521).[3] The
example of the king, and the activity of Cardinal Wolsey and of the
bishops, made it impossible for the few individuals who favoured the
German movement to spread their views.

Were it not for Henry's eagerness to secure a separation from his
wife, Catharine of Aragon, it is highly improbable that the anti-Roman
agitation would have made any considerable progress in England.[4] In
1499 Henry's wife, Catharine of Aragon, had been betrothed by proxy to
his brother Prince Arthur, heir-apparent to the English throne. She
arrived in England two years later, and the marriage was solemnised at
St. Paul's on the 14th November, 1501. Prince Arthur was then only a
boy of fifteen years of age, and of so delicate a constitution that
fears were entertained by many that his wife must soon don the widow's
weeds. Unfortunately these fears were speedily justified. In April
1502 the Prince fell a victim to a pestilence that raged in the
district round Ludlow Castle to which he and his wife had retired. To
prevent quarrels between Ferdinand and Henry VII. regarding
Catharine's dowry, a marriage was arranged between Catharine and
Prince Henry. The necessary dispensation for a marriage with a
deceased brother's wife was granted by Julius II. (December 1503), and
according to the agreement between the courts of England and of Spain,
the marriage should have taken place as soon as Henry reached the age
of puberty; but owing to certain political changes in Spain, and the
prospect of securing a better match for the heir presumptive to the
English throne, Henry VII. arranged that Prince Henry should appear
before Fox, Bishop of Winchester, and lodge a formal protest against a
marriage agreement that had been concluded during his minority and
which he now declared to be null and void (17th June, 1505). This
protest was kept secret, but for years Catharine was treated with
neglect and left in doubt regarding her ultimate fate. As soon,
however, as Henry was free to act for himself on the death of his
father, the marriage between himself and Catharine was solemnised
publicly (1509), and on the 24th June of the same year the king and
queen were crowned at Westminster Abbey.

For years Henry and Catharine lived happily together as man and wife.
Several children were born to them, all of whom unfortunately died in
their infancy except the Princess Mary, afterwards Queen Mary of
England. Even before there was any question of separation from his
wife, Henry's relations with some of the ladies at court were not
above suspicion. By one, Elizabeth Blount, he had a son whom he
created Duke of Richmond and to whom at one time he thought of
bequeathing the crown of England. In a short time Mary, the eldest
sister of Anne Boleyn, succeeded to Elizabeth in the affections of the
king. The fact that Catharine was some years older than her husband,
that infirmity and sorrow for the death of her children had dimmed her
charms, and that there could be no longer any hope for the birth of an
heir to the throne, preyed on Henry's mind and made him not unwilling
to rid himself of a wife, whom, however, he could not but admire even
though she had forfeited his love. Were he to die there was no one to
succeed him but the Princess Mary, and her right to the throne might
be contested. Even though she succeeded, her marriage must inevitably
create great difficulties. Were she to marry a foreign prince, he
feared that England might become a province; were she to accept the
hand of an English nobleman, a disputed succession ending in civil war
was far from being improbable. His gloomy anticipations were shared in
by many of his advisers; and Wolsey, who had set his heart on uniting
the forces of England and France against the Emperor, was not
unwilling to set a seal on the new French anti-imperial alliance by
repudiating Henry's marriage with the Emperor's aunt, if such a
dissolution could be brought about without infringing the laws of God.

Though it would seem that doubts had long since arisen in Henry's mind
regarding the lawfulness of his marriage to his deceased brother's
wife, and that questions of policy may have influenced the attitude of
his advisers towards the projected separation, yet it is certain that
it was the charms of the young and accomplished Anne Boleyn, that
brought matters to a crisis. With her experience of the gay and
corrupt court of France, she was not likely to be mistaken about the
influence of her charms or the violence of the king's passion. She
would be the king's wife if he wished; but she would not be, like her
sister, the king's mistress. Overcome by the force of his desires, he
determined to rid himself of a wife of whom he was tired, in favour of
her young and more attractive rival. The fact that Catharine had been
married to his brother Arthur was seized upon by him to furnish a
decent pretext for the projected separation. His conscience, he
averred, reproached him for such an incestuous alliance, and for his
own peace of mind it was necessary, he maintained, to submit the
validity of his marriage to the decision of the Church.

There is no convincing evidence that the idea of a separation from
Catharine originated with Cardinal Wolsey, though the latter, longing
for a matrimonial alliance of his king with a French princess, and not
aware of Henry's intention with regard to Anne, was probably not sorry
when he learned of Henry's scruples; and it is not true to say that
the first doubts regarding the illegitimacy of the Princess Mary were
raised by the French Ambassador in 1527. The whole story of the
negotiations with France regarding Mary's marriage at the time, makes
it perfectly clear that her legitimacy was assumed. The divorce
proceedings originated in Henry's own mind, and the plan of marrying
Anne Boleyn was kept a secret from Wolsey and from most of the royal
advisers. When exactly the question of a separation from Catharine was
first mooted is uncertain; but there can be no doubt that early in
1527 active steps were taken to secure a condemnation of the marriage.
Wolsey entered warmly into the project, but most of the bishops whom
he consulted were not anxious to assist him; and what was still more
serious Fisher, the learned and saintly Bishop of Rochester, declared
himself from the beginning a determined opponent. The capture of Rome
by imperial troops (1527) made it imperative that the terms of the
French alliance should be completed at once, and Cardinal Wolsey set
out for Paris as the representative of England. While Wolsey was
absent in France arranging the terms of the alliance, Anne Boleyn took
occasion to warn Henry that his great minister was unreliable, that in
his heart he was opposed to the separation, and that without his
knowledge or consent negotiations should be opened directly with the
Roman court. An agent was dispatched to Rome and succeeded in securing
an interview with Clement VII., after the latter had made his escape
from Rome to Orvieto (December 1527). It was contended on behalf of
the king that the dispensation granted by Julius II. was null and
void. In proof of this it was contended: that in the Bull it had been
stated that Henry desired to marry Catharine, and that the marriage
was necessary for preserving peace between England and Spain, both of
which statements, it was alleged, were false; that at the time the
disposition was granted Henry was only twelve years of age and
therefore incapable of accepting it; that several persons mentioned in
the Bull, as for example, Queen Isabella and Henry VII., had died
before the marriage took place; and lastly that when Henry reached the
age of puberty he had protested against the marriage, thereby
renouncing for himself the favours granted in the Bull of
dispensation.[5] Later on it was contended, by those who favoured the
separation, that the dispensation was issued by the Pope on the
supposition that the marriage between Arthur and Catharine had not
been consummated, and that therefore, since this condition was not
verified, the dispensation was invalid. But here they were faced with
the difficulty that the great weight of evidence favoured the view
that the marriage had not been consummated; that in any case the
dispensation was ample enough to cover both the impediment of affinity
and public honesty; and that, whatever might be said against the Bull
of dispensation, no such objection could be urged against the brief
said to have been forwarded by the Pope to the court of Spain.[6] As
the English agents had been instructed to seek not merely the
appointment of a commission to declare the invalidity of the
dispensation, and consequently of the marriage, but also for a
dispensation which would permit the king to marry a woman related to
him in the first degree of affinity, whether the affinity had been
contracted by a lawful or unlawful connexion, it was thought prudent
not to lay stress on the argument that marriage with the deceased
brother's wife was prohibited by the divine law, and that, therefore,
the Pope could not grant a dispensation such as had been issued by
Julius II. At a later date great stress was laid upon this argument.

Clement VII., while not unwilling to grant the dispensation
requested,[7] did not think it consistent with his own honour or that
of the king, to grant the commission according to the terms drawn up
for him in England. A new embassy, consisting of Edward Foxe, and Dr.
Stephen Gardiner, Wolsey's secretary, was dispatched, and arrived at
Orvieto in March 1528. The victorious progress of the French armies in
Italy (1527-28), by relieving Clement VII. from the pressure of the
imperial party, favoured the petition of Henry VIII. Arguments drawn
from canon law and from theology were driven home by Gardiner with a
fluency and wealth of knowledge that astonished the papal advisers,
and when arguments failed, recourse was had to threats of an appeal to
a general council, and of the complete separation of England from the
Holy See. The decretal commission demanded by the English ambassadors
was, however, refused; but, in its place, a decree was issued
empowering Cardinal Wolsey and Cardinal Campeggio to try the case in
England and to pronounce a verdict in accordance with the evidence
submitted to them. As this fell very far short of what had been
demanded by the English envoys, new demands were made for a more ample
authority for the commission, and in view of the danger that
threatened the Catholic Church in England, Clement VII. yielded so far
as to promise that he would not revoke the jurisdiction of those whom
he had entrusted with the trial of the case (July 1528).[8]

Meanwhile news of what was in contemplation was noised abroad. Many of
the English merchants, fearing that hostility to the empire would lead
to an interruption of their trade especially with the Netherlands,
detested the new foreign policy of the king, while the great body of
the people were so strongly on the side of Catharine that were a
verdict to be given against her a popular rebellion seemed inevitable.
So pronounced was this feeling even in the city of London itself, that
Henry felt it necessary to summon the Lord Mayor and the Corporation
to the royal palace, where he addressed them on the question that was
then uppermost in men's minds. He spoke of Catharine in terms of the
highest praise, assured them that the separation proceedings were
begun, not because he was anxious to rid himself of a wife whom he
still loved, but because his conscience was troubled with scruples
regarding the validity of his marriage, and that the safety of the
kingdom was endangered by doubts which had been raised by the French
ambassador regarding the legitimacy of Princess Mary. To put an end to
these doubts, and to save the country from the horror of a disputed
succession, the Pope had appointed a commission to examine the
validity of the marriage; and to the judgment of that commission
whatever it might be he was prepared to yield a ready submission. He
warned his hearers, however, that if any person failed to speak of him
otherwise than became a loyal subject towards his sovereign condign
punishment would await him. To give effect to these words a search was
made for arms in the city, and strangers were commanded to depart from

Though the commission had been granted in April, Cardinal Campeggio
was in no hurry to undertake the work that was assigned to him. He did
not leave Rome till June, and he proceeded so leisurely on his journey
through France that it was only in the first week of October that he
arrived in London. In accordance with his instructions, he endeavoured
to dissuade the king from proceeding further with the separation, but
as Henry was determined to marry the lady of his choice even though it
should prove the ruin of his kingdom, all the efforts of Campeggio in
this direction were in vain. He next turned his attention to
Catharine, in the hope of persuading her to enter a convent, only to
discover that her refusal to take any step likely to cast doubts upon
her own marriage and the legitimacy of her daughter was fixed and
unalterable. At the queen's demand counsel was assigned to her to
plead her cause. The situation was complicated by the fact that Julius
II. appears to have issued two dispensations for Henry's marriage, one
contained in the Bull sent to England, the other in a brief forwarded
to Ferdinand in Spain. The queen produced a copy of the brief, which
was drawn up in such a way as to elude most of the objections that
were urged against the Bull on the ground that the marriage had been
consummated. The original of the brief was in the hands of the
Emperor, and various attempts were made to secure the original or to
have it pronounced a forgery by the Pope; but the Emperor was too wily
a diplomatist to be caught so easily, and the Pope refused either to
order its production or to condemn it without evidence as a
forgery.[10] This question of the brief was seized upon by Cardinal
Campeggio as a good opportunity for delaying the trial. At last on the
31st May 1529, the legates Wolsey and Campeggio opened the court at
Blackfriars, and summoned Henry and Catharine to appear before them in
person or by proxy on the 18th June. Both king and queen answered the
summons, the latter, however, merely to demand justice publicly from
the king, to protest against the competence and impartiality of the
tribunal, and to lodge a formal appeal to Rome. Her appeal was
disallowed, and on her refusal to take any further part in the trial
she was condemned as contumacious; but even still she was not without
brave and able defenders. Bishop Fisher of Rochester spoke out
manfully against the unnatural and unlawful proceedings,[11] and his
protest found an echo not merely in the court itself but throughout
the country. The friends of Henry, fearing that the Pope might revoke
the power of the legates, clamoured for an immediate verdict; but this
Campeggio was determined to prevent at all costs. By insisting upon
all the formalities of law he took care to delay the proceedings till
the 23rd July, when he announced that the legatine court should follow
the rules of the Roman court, and should, therefore, adjourn to
October. Already he was aware of the fact that Clement VII., yielding
to the entreaties of Catharine and the demands of the Emperor, had
reserved the decision of the case to Rome (19th July), and that the
summons to the king and queen to proceed there to plead their cause
was already on its way to England.[12]

Henry, disguising his real feelings, pretended to be satisfied; but in
reality his disappointment was extreme. Anne Boleyn and her friends
threw the blame entirely on Wolsey. They suggested that the cardinal
had acted a double part throughout the entire proceedings. For a time
there was a conflict in the king's mind between the suggestions of his
friends and the memory of Wolsey's years of loyal service; but at last
Henry was won over to the party of Anne, and Wolsey was doomed to
destruction. He was deprived of the office of Lord Chancellor which
was entrusted to Sir Thomas More (Oct. 1529), accused of violating the
statute of Praemunire by exercising legatine powers, a charge to which
he pleaded guilty though he might have alleged in his defence the
permission and authority of the king, indicted before Parliament as
guilty of high treason, from the penalty of which he was saved by the
spirited defence of his able follower Thomas Cromwell (Dec.), and
ordered to withdraw to his diocese of York (1530). His conduct in
these trying times soon won the admiration of both friends and foes.
The deep piety and religion of the man, however much they might have
been concealed by his fondness for pomp and display during the days of
his glory, helped him to withstand manfully the onslaughts of his
opponents. His time was spent in prayer and in the faithful discharge
of his episcopal duties, but the enemies who had secured his downfall
at court were not satisfied. They knew that he had still a strong hold
on the affections of the king, and they feared that were any foreign
complications to ensue he might be recalled to court and restored to
his former dignities. They determined therefore to bring about his
death. An order for his arrest and committal to the Tower was issued,
but death intervened and saved him from the fate that was in store for
him. Before reaching London he took suddenly ill, and died after
having received the last consolations of religion (Nov. 1530).

Henry, having failed to obtain a favourable verdict from the legatine
commission, determined to frighten the Pope into compliance with his
wishes by showing him that behind the King of England stood the
English Parliament. The most elaborate precautions were taken to
secure that members likely to be friendly were elected. In many cases
together with the writs the names of those whose return the court
desired were forwarded to the sheriffs.[13] The Parliament that was
destined to play such a momentous part in English affairs met in 1529.
It was opened by the king in person attended by Sir Thomas More as
Lord Chancellor. At a hint from the proper quarter it directed its
attention immediately to the alleged abuses of the clergy. The
principal complaints put forward were the excessive fees and delays in
connection with the probate of wills, plurality of benefices, and the
agricultural and commercial activity of priests, bishops, and
religious houses, an activity that was detrimental to themselves and
unfair to their lay competitors. Measures were taken in the House of
Commons to put an end to these exactions and abuses, but when the
bills reached the House of Lords Bishop Fisher lodged an emphatic
protest for which he was called to account by the king. When
Parliament had done enough to show the bishops and the Roman court
what might be expected in case Henry's wishes were not complied with
it was prorogued (Dec. 1529), and in the following month a solemn
embassy headed by the Earl of Wiltshire, Anne Boleyn's father, was
dispatched to interview the Pope and Charles V. at Bologna. The envoys
were instructed to endeavour to win over the Emperor to the king's
plans, but Charles V. regarded their advances with indignation and
refused to sacrifice the honour of his aunt to the friendship of
England. The only result of the embassy was that a formal citation of
Henry to appear at Rome was served on the Earl of Wiltshire, but at
the request of the latter a delay of some weeks was granted. Unless
some serious measures were taken immediately, Henry had every reason
to expect that judgment might be given against him at Rome, and that
he would find himself obliged either to submit unconditionally or to
defend himself against the combined forces of the Emperor and the King
of France.

To prevent or at least to delay such a result and to strengthen the
hands of the English agents at Rome, he determined to follow the
advice that had been given him by Thomas Cranmer, namely, to obtain
for the separation from Catharine the approval of the universities and
learned canonists of the world. Agents were dispatched to Cambridge
and Oxford to obtain a verdict in favour of the king. Finding it
impossible to secure a favourable verdict from the universities, the
agents succeeded in having the case submitted to a small committee
both in Cambridge and Oxford, and the judgment of the committees,
though by no means unanimous, was registered as the judgment of the
universities.[14] Francis I. of France, who for political reasons was
on Henry's side throughout the whole proceedings, brought pressure to
bear upon the French universities, many of which declared that Henry's
marriage to Catharine was null and void. In Italy the number of
opinions obtained in favour of the king's desires depended entirely
upon the amount of money at the disposal of his agents.[15] To support
the verdict of the learned world Henry determined to show Rome that
the nobility and clergy of his kingdom were in complete sympathy with
his action. A petition signed by a large number of laymen and a few of
the bishops and abbots was forwarded to Clement VII. (13th July,
1530).[16] It declared that the question of separation, involving as
it did the freedom of the king to marry, was of supreme importance for
the welfare of the English nation, that the learned world had
pronounced already in the king's favour, and that if the Pope did not
comply with this request England might be driven to adopt other means
of securing redress even though it should be necessary to summon a
General Council. To this Clement VII. sent a dignified reply (Sept.),
in which he pointed out that throughout the whole proceedings he had
shown the greatest regard for Henry, and that any delay that had
occurred at arriving at a verdict was due to the fact that the king
had appointed no legal representatives at the Roman courts.[17] The
French ambassador also took energetic measures to support the English
agents threatening that his master might be forced to join hands with
Henry if necessary; but even this threat was without result, and the
king's agents were obliged to report that his case at Rome was
practically hopeless, and that at any moment the Pope might insist in
proceeding with the trial.

When Henry realised that marriage with Anne Boleyn meant defiance of
Rome he was inclined to hesitate. Both from the point of view of
religion and of public policy separation from the Holy See was
decidedly objectionable. While he was in this frame of mind, a prey to
passion and anxiety, it was suggested to him, probably by Thomas
Cromwell, the former disciple of the fallen cardinal, that he should
seize this opportunity to strengthen the royal power in England by
challenging the authority of the Pope, and by taking into his own
hands the control of the wealth and patronage of the Church. The
prospect thus held out to him was so enticing that Henry determined to
follow the advice, not indeed as yet with the intention of involving
his kingdom in open schism, but in the hope that the Pope might be
forced to yield to his demands. In December 1530 he addressed a strong
letter to Clement VII. He demanded once more that the validity of his
marriage should be submitted to an English tribunal, and warned the
Pope to abstain from interfering with the rights of the king, if he
wished that the prerogatives of the Holy See should be respected in

This letter of Henry VIII. was clearly an ultimatum, non-compliance
with which meant open war. At the beginning of 1531 steps were taken
to prepare the way for royal supremacy. For exercising legatine powers
in England Cardinal Wolsey had been indicted and found guilty of the
violation of the stature of Praemunire, and as the clergy had
submitted to his legatine authority they were charged as a body with
being participators in his guilt. The attorney-general filed an
information against them to the court of King's Bench, but when
Convocation met it was intimated to the clergy that they might procure
pardon for the offence by granting a large contribution to the royal
treasury and by due submission to the king. The Convocation of
Canterbury offered a sum of £100,000, but the offer was refused unless
the clergy were prepared to recognise the king as the sole protector
and supreme head of the church and clergy in England. To such a novel
proposal Convocation showed itself decidedly hostile, but at last
after many consultations had been held Warham, the aged Archbishop of
Canterbury, proposed that they should acknowledge the king as "their
singular protector only, and supreme lord, and as far as the law of
Christ allows even supreme head." "Whoever is silent," said the
archbishop, "may be taken to consent," and in this way by the silence
of the assembly the new formula was passed.[19] At the Convocation of
York, Bishop Tunstall of Durham, while agreeing to a money payment,
made a spirited protest against the new title, to which protest Henry
found it necessary to forward a reassuring reply. Parliament then
ratified the pardon for which the clergy had paid so dearly, and to
set at rest the fears of the laity a free pardon was issued to all
those who had been involved in the guilt of the papal legate.

Clement VII. issued a brief in January 1531, forbidding Henry to marry
again and warning the universities and the law courts against giving a
decision in a case that had been reserved for the decision of the Holy
See. When the case was opened at the Rota in the same month an
excusator appeared to plead, but as he had no formal authority from
the king he was not admitted. The case, however, was postponed from
time to time in the hope that Henry might relent. In the meantime at
the king's suggestion several deputations waited upon Catharine to
induce her to recall her appeal to Rome. Annoyed by her obstinacy
Henry sent her away from court, and separated from her her daughter.
After November 1531, the king and queen never met again. Popular
feeling in London and throughout England was running high against the
divorce, and against any breach with the Emperor, who might close the
Flemish markets to the English merchants. The clergy, who were
indignant that their representatives should have paid such an immense
sum to secure pardon for an offence of which they had not been more
guilty than the king himself, remonstrated warmly against the taxation
that had been levied on their revenues. Unmindful of the popular
commotion, Henry proceeded to usurp the power of the Pope and of the
bishops, and though he was outwardly stern in the repression of
heresy, the friends of the Lutheran movement in England boasted
publicly that the king was on their side.

When Parliament met again (Jan. 1532), the attacks on the clergy were
renewed. A petition against the bishops, drawn up by Thomas Cromwell
at the suggestion of Henry,[20] was presented in the name of the House
of Commons to the king. In this petition the members were made to
complain that the clergy enacted laws and statutes in Convocation
without consulting the king or the Commons, that suitors were treated
harshly before the ecclesiastical courts, that in regard to probates
the people were worried by excessive fees and unnecessary delays, and
that the number of holidays was injurious to trade and agriculture.
This complaint was forwarded to Convocation for a reply. The bishops,
while vindicating for the clergy the right to make their own laws and
statutes, showed themselves not unwilling to accept a compromise, but
Parliament at the instigation of Henry refused to accept their
proposals. The king, who was determined to crush the power of the
clergy, insisted that Convocation should abandon its right to make
constitutions or ordinances without royal permission, and that the
ordinances passed already should be submitted to a mixed commission
appointed by the authority of the crown. Such proposals, so contrary
to the customs of the realm and so destructive of the independence of
the Church, could not fail to be extremely disagreeable to the
bishops; but in face of the uncompromising attitude of the king they
were forced to give way, and in a document known as the /Submission of
the Clergy/ they sacrificed the legislative rights of Convocation (May
1532). They agreed to enact no new canons, constitutions or ordinances
without the king's consent, that those already passed should be
submitted to a committee consisting of clergy and laymen nominated by
the king, and that the laws adopted by this committee and approved by
the king should continue in full force. Sir Thomas More, who had
worked hard in defence of the Church, promptly resigned his office of
Lord Chancellor that he might have a freer hand in the crisis that had

In March 1532 another step was taken to overawe the Roman court and
force the Pope to yield to Henry's demands. An Act was passed
abolishing the Annats or First Fruits paid to Rome by all bishops on
their appointment to vacant Sees. If the Pope should refuse to appoint
without such payments, it was enacted that the consecration should be
carried out by the archbishop of the province without further recourse
to Rome. Such a measure, tending so directly towards schism, met with
strong opposition in the House of Lords from the bishops, abbots, and
many of the lay lords, as it did also in the House of Commons. In the
end, it was passed only on the understanding that it should not take
effect for a year, and that in the meantime if an agreement could be
arrived at with the Pope, the king might by letters patent repeal it.
Henry instructed his ambassador at Rome to inform Clement VII. that
this legislation against Annats was entirely the work of the
Parliament, and that if the Pope wished for its withdrawal he must
show a more conciliatory spirit towards the king and people of

The Pope, however, refused to yield to such intimidation. When news
arrived at Rome that Henry had sent away Catharine from court, the
question of excommunication was considered, but as the excommunication
of a king was likely to be fraught with such serious consequences for
the English Church, Clement VII. hesitated to publish it in the hope
that Henry might see the error of his ways. The trial was delayed from
time to time until at last in November 1532 the Pope addressed a
strong letter to the king, warning him under threat of excommunication
to put away Anne Boleyn, and not to attempt to divorce Catharine or to
marry another until a decision had been given in Rome.[22] By this
time the king had given up all hope of securing the approval of Rome
for the step he contemplated. Even in England the divorce from
Catharine found much opposition from both clergy and laity. Sir Thomas
More and many of the nobles were on the side of Catharine, as were
also Bishop Fisher of Rochester and Bishop Tunstall of Durham. Even
Reginald Pole, the king's own cousin, who had been educated at Henry's
expense, and for whom the Archbishopric of York had been kept vacant,
refused the tempting offers that were made to him on condition that he
would espouse the cause of separation. He preferred instead to leave
England rather than act against his conscience by supporting
Catherine's divorce.[23] Fortunately for Henry at this moment Warham,
the aged Archbishop of Canterbury, who was a stout defender of the
Holy See,[24] passed away (Aug. 1532). The king determined to secure
the appointment of an archbishop upon whom he could rely for the
accomplishment of his designs, and accordingly Thomas Cranmer was
selected and presented to Rome. After much hesitation, and merely as
the lesser of two evils, his appointment was confirmed.

Thomas Cranmer was born in Nottingham, and educated in Cambridge. He
married early in life, but his wife having died within a few months,
he determined to take holy orders. His suggestion to submit the
validity of Henry's marriage to the judgment of the universities,
coming as it did at a time when Henry was at his wits' end, showed him
to be a man of resource whose services should be secured by the court.
He was appointed accordingly chaplain to Anne Boleyn's father, and was
one of those sent on the embassy to meet the Pope and Charles V. at
Bologna. During his wanderings in Germany he was brought into close
relationship with many of the leading Reformers, and following their
teaching and example he took to himself a wife in the person of the
well-known Lutheran divine, Osiander. Such a step, so highly
objectionable to the Church authorities and likely to be displeasing
to Henry, who in spite of his own weakness insisted on clerical
celibacy, was kept a secret, though it is not at all improbable that
the secret had reached the ears of the king. At the time when the
latter had made up his mind to set Rome at defiance, he knew how
important it was for him to sacrifice his own personal predilections,
for the sake of having a man of Cranmer's pliability as Archbishop of
Canterbury, and head of the clergy in England. On the 30th March,
1533, Cranmer was consecrated archbishop, and took the usual oath of
obedience and loyalty to the Pope; but immediately before the
ceremony, he registered a formal protest that he considered the oath a
mere form, and that he wished to hold himself free to provide for the
reformation of the Church in England.[25] Such a step indicates
clearly enough the character of the first archbishop of the
Reformation in England.

To prepare the way for the sentence that might be published at any
moment by the Pope a bill was introduced forbidding appeals to Rome
under penalty of Praemunire, and declaring that all matrimonial suits
should be decided in England, and that the clergy should continue
their ministrations in spite of any censures or interdicts that might
be promulgated by the Pope. The bill was accepted by the House of
Lords, but met with serious opposition in the Commons. An offer was
made to raise £200,000 for the king's use if only he would refer the
whole question to a General Council, but in the end, partly by threats
and partly by deception regarding the attitude of the Pope and the
Emperor, the opposition was induced to give way and the bill became
law. By this Act it was declared that the realm of England should be
governed by one supreme head and king, to whom both spirituality and
temporality were bound to yield, "next to God a natural and humble
obedience," that the English Church was competent to manage its own
affairs without the interference of foreigners, and that all spiritual
cases should be heard and determined by the king's jurisdiction and
authority.[26] The question of the divorce was brought before the
Convocation in March 1533, and though Fisher spoke out boldly in
defence of Catharine's marriage, his brethren failed to support him,
and Convocation declared against the legitimacy of the marriage.

Henry was now free to throw off the mask. He could point to the
verdict given in his favour by both Parliament and Convocation, and
could rely on Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury to carry out his
wishes. In order to provide for the legitimacy of the child that was
soon to be born, he had married Anne Boleyn privately in January 1533.
In April Cranmer requested permission to be allowed to hold a court to
consider Henry's marriage with Catharine, to which request, inspired
as it had been by himself, the king graciously assented. The court sat
at Dunstable, where Catharine was cited to appear. On her refusal to
plead she was condemned as contumacious. Sentence was given by the
archbishop that her marriage with Henry was invalid (23rd April,
1533). Cranmer next turned his attention to Henry's marriage with
Anne, and as might be expected, this pliant minister had no difficulty
in pronouncing in its favour. On Whit Sunday (1533) Anne was crowned
as queen in Westminster Abbey. The popular feeling in London and
throughout the kingdom was decidedly hostile to the new queen and to
the French ambassador, who was blamed for taking sides against
Catharine, but Henry was so confident of his own power that he was
unmoved by the conduct of the London mob. In September, to the great
disappointment of the king who had been led by the astrologers and
sorcerers to believe that he might expect the advent of an heir, a
daughter was born to whom was given the name Elizabeth.

The Pope, acting on the request of the French and English ambassadors,
had delayed to pronounce a definitive sentence, but the news of
Henry's marriage with Anne and of the verdict that had been
promulgated by the Archbishop of Canterbury made it imperative that
decisive measures should be taken. On the 11th July it was decreed
that Henry's divorce from Catharine and his marriage with Anne were
null and void.[27] Sentence of excommunication against him was
prepared, but its publication was postponed till September, when an
interview had been arranged to take place between the Pope and Francis
I. Francis I. was not without hope even still that an amicable
settlement could be arranged. Throughout the whole proceedings he had
espoused warmly Henry's cause, in the belief that England, having
broken completely with Catharine's nephew Charles V., might be forced
to conclude an alliance with France; but he never wished that Henry
VIII. should set the Holy See at defiance, or that England should be
separated from the Catholic Church. To the Pope and to Henry he had
addressed his remonstrances and petitions in turn, but events had
reached such a climax that mediation was almost an impossibility. The
interview arranged between the Pope and Francis I. took place at
Marseilles in October 1533. Regardless of all the rules of diplomatic
courtesy and of good manners, Henry's representative forced his way
into the presence of the Pope, and announced to him that the King of
England had appealed from the verdict of Rome to the judgment of a
General Council. Notices of this appeal were posted up in London, and
preachers were ordered to declaim against the authority of the Pope,
who was to be styled henceforth Bishop of Rome, and whose sentences
and excommunications, the people were to be informed, were of no
greater importance than those of any other foreign bishop. The way was
now open for the final act of separation.

Parliament met in January 1534. The law passed the previous year
against the payment of annats was now promulgated. According to this
Act the Pope was not to be consulted for the future regarding
appointments to English Sees. When a bishopric became vacant, the
chapter having received the /Congé d'élire/ should proceed to elect
the person named in the royal letters accompanying the /Congé/, and
the person so elected should be presented to the metropolitan for
consecration. In case of a metropolitan See, the archbishop-elect
should be consecrated by another metropolitan and two bishops or by
four bishops appointed by the crown. Another Act was passed forbidding
the payment of Peter's Pence and all other fees and pensions paid
formerly to Rome. The Archbishop of Canterbury was empowered to grant
dispensations, and the penalties of Praemunire were levelled against
all persons who should apply for faculties to the Pope. By a third Act
a prohibition against appeals to Rome was renewed, although it was
permitted to appeal from the court of the Archbishop of Canterbury to
the king's Court of Chancery. Convocation was forbidden to enact any
new ordinances without the consent of the king, and those passed
already were to be subject to revision by a royal commission. Finally,
an Act was passed vesting the succession in the children of Henry and
Anne to the exclusion of the Princess Mary. The marriage with
Catharine was declared null and void by Parliament on the ground
principally that no man could dispense with God's law, and to prevent
such incestuous unions in the future a list of the forbidden degrees
was drawn up, and ordered to be exhibited in the public churches. To
question the marriage of Henry with Anne Boleyn by writing, word,
deed, or act was declared to be high treason, and all persons should
take an oath acknowledging the succession under pain of misprision of
treason. That the Parliament was forced to adopt these measures
against its own better judgment is clear from the small number of
members who took their seats in the House of Lords, as well as from
the fact that some of the Commoners assured the imperial ambassador
that were his master to invade England he might count on considerable

In Rome the agents of Francis I., fearing that an alliance between
France and England would be impossible were Henry to throw off his
allegiance to the Church, moved heaven and earth to prevent a
definitive sentence. The fact that the Emperor was both unable and
unwilling to enforce the decision of the Pope, and that instead of
desiring the excommunication and deposition of Henry he was opposed to
such a step, made it more difficult for the Pope to take decisive
measures. Finally after various consultations with the cardinals,
sentence was given declaring the marriage with Catharine valid and the
children born of that marriage legitimate (23rd March, 1534). When the
news of this decision reached England Henry was alarmed. He feared
that the Emperor might declare war at any moment, that an imperial
army might be landed on the English shores, and that Francis I.
yielding to the entreaties of the Pope might make common cause with
the imperialists. Orders were given to strengthen the fortifications,
and to hold the fleet in readiness. Agents were dispatched to secure
the neutrality of France, and preachers were commanded to denounce the
Bishop of Rome. As matters stood, however, there was no need for such
alarm. The Emperor had enough to engage his attention in Spain and
Germany, and the enmity between Charles V. and the King of France was
too acute to prevent them from acting together even in defence of
their common religion.

Meantime it was clear to Henry that popular feeling was strong against
his policy, but instead of being deterred by this, he became more
obstinate and determined to show the people that his wishes must be
obeyed. A nun named Elizabeth Barton, generally known as the "Nun of
Kent," claimed to have been favoured with special visions from on
high. She denounced the king's marriage with Anne, and bewailed the
spread of heresy in the kingdom. People flocked from all parts to
interview her, and even Cranmer pretended to be impressed by her
statements. She and many of her principal supporters were arrested and
condemned to death (Nov. 1534). It was hoped that by her confession it
might be possible to placate Bishop Fisher, who was specially hated by
Henry on account of the stand he had made on the question of the
marriage, and the late Lord Chancellor, Sir Thomas More. Both had met
the nun, but had been careful to avoid everything that could be
construed even remotely as treason. In the Act of Attainder introduced
into Parliament against Elizabeth Barton and her confederates, the
names of Fisher and More were included, but so strong was the feeling
in More's favour that his name was erased. Fisher, although able to
clear himself from all reasonable grounds of suspicion, was found
guilty of misprision of treason and condemned to pay a fine of £300.
Fisher and More were then called upon to take the oath of succession,
which, as drawn up, included, together with an acknowledgement of the
legitimacy of the children born of Henry and Anne, a repudiation of
the primacy of the Pope, and of the validity of Henry's marriage with
Catharine. Both were willing to accept the succession as fixed by Act
of Parliament, but neither of them could accept the other
propositions. They were arrested therefore and lodged in the Tower
(April 1534).

Commissions were appointed to minister the oath to the clergy and
laity, most of whom accepted it, some through fear of the consequences
of refusal and others in the hope of receiving a share of the monastic
lands, which, it was rumoured, would soon be at the disposal of the
king. A royal commission consisting of George Brown, Prior of the
Augustinian Hermits, and Dr. Hilsey, Provincial of the Dominicans, was
appointed to visit the religious houses and to obtain the submission
of the members (April 1534). By threats of dissolution and
confiscation they secured the submission of most of the monastic
establishments with the exception of the Observants of Richmond and
Greenwich and the Carthusians of the Charterhouse, London. Many of the
members of these communities were arrested and lodged in the Tower,
and the decree went forth that the seven houses belonging to the
Observants, who had offered a strenuous opposition to the divorce,
should be suppressed.[28] The Convocations of Canterbury and York
submitted, as did also the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge.

When Parliament met again in November 1534 a bill was introduced
proclaiming the king supreme head of the Church in England. The
measure was based upon the recognition of royal supremacy extracted
from Convocation three years before, but with the omission of the
saving clause "as far as the law of Christ allows." According to this
Act it was declared that the king "justly and rightly is and ought to
be the supreme head of the Church in England, and to enjoy all the
honours, dignities, pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privileges,
authorities, immunities, profits and commodities" appertaining to the
dignity of the supreme head of the Church.[29] An Act of Attainder was
passed against Fisher, More, and all others who had refused
submission. The First Fruits, formerly paid to the Pope, were to be
paid to the king, and bishops were allowed to appoint men approved by
the crown to be their assistants.

By these measures the constitution of the Church, as it had been
accepted for centuries by the English clergy and laity, was
overturned. The authority of the Pope was rejected in favour of the
authority of the king, who was to be regarded in the future as the
source of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction. This great religious
revolution was carried out without the consent of the bishops and
clergy. With the single exception of Cranmer the bishops to a man
opposed the change, and if they and the great body of the clergy made
their submission in the end, they did so not because they were
convinced by the royal arguments, but because they feared the royal
displeasure. Neither was the change favoured by any considerable
section of the nobles and people. The former were won over partly by
fear, partly by hope of securing a share in the plunder of the Church;
the latter, dismayed by the cowardly attitude shown by their spiritual
and lay leaders, saw no hope of successful resistance. Had there been
any strong feeling in England against the Holy See, some of the
bishops and clergy would have spoken out clearly against the Pope, at
a time when such a step would have merited the approval of the king.
The fact that the measure could have been passed in such circumstances
is in itself the best example of what is meant by Tudor despotism, in
the days when an English Parliament was only a machine for registering
the wishes of the king.

In January 1535 an order was made that the king should be styled
supreme head of the Church of England. Thomas Cromwell, who had risen
rapidly at court in spite of the disgrace of his patron, Cardinal
Wolsey, was entrusted with the work of forcing the clergy and laity to
renounce the authority of the Pope. The bishops were commanded to
surrender the Bulls of appointment they had received from Rome, and to
acknowledge expressly that they recognised the royal supremacy.
Cromwell was appointed the king's vicar-general, from whom the bishops
and archbishops were obliged to take their directions. Severe measures
were to be used against anybody who spoke even in private in favour of
Rome. The Prior of the London Charterhouse and some other Carthusians
were brought to trial for refusing to accept the royal supremacy
(April, 1535). After an able and uncompromising defence they were
found guilty of treason and were put to death with the most revolting
cruelty.[30] Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas More, who were prisoners in
the Tower, were allowed some time to consider their course of conduct.
Fisher declared that he could not acknowledge the king as supreme head
of the Church. While he lay in prison awaiting his trial, Paul III.,
in acknowledgment of his loyal services to the Church, conferred on
him a cardinal's hat. This honour, however well merited, served only
to arouse the ire of the king. He declared that by the time the hat
should arrive Fisher should have no head on which to wear it, and to
show that this was no idle threat a peremptory order was dispatched
that unless Fisher and More took the oath before the feast of St. John
they should suffer the penalty prescribed for traitors. Fisher,
together with some monks of the Carthusians, was brought to trial
(June 1535), and was found guilty of treason for having declared that
the king was not supreme head of the Church. The prisoners were
condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. In the case of the
Carthusians the sentence was carried out to the letter, but as it was
feared that Fisher might die before he reached Tyburn he was beheaded
in the Tower (22nd June), and his head was impaled on London

Sir Thomas More was placed on his trial in Westminster Hall before a
special commission (1st July). Able lawyer as he was, he had no
difficulty in showing that by silence he had committed no crime and
broken no Act of Parliament, but no defence could avail him against
the wishes of the king. The jury promptly returned a verdict of
guilty. Before sentence was passed the prisoner spoke out manfully
against royal supremacy, and in defence of the authority of Rome. He
declared that the Act of Parliament, which conferred on the king the
title of supreme head of the Church, was opposed both to the laws of
God and man, that it was in flagrant contradiction to the Magna
Charta, and that the king of England could no more refuse obedience to
the Holy See than a child could refuse obedience to his father. Even
after his trial and condemnation another attempt was made to induce
him to submit, but he refused, and on the 6th July he finished his
career as a martyr for Rome.[32]

The execution of Fisher and More showed plainly to all that the breach
with Rome was not likely to be healed. When news of what had taken
place in England reached Rome Paul III. was anxious to issue a decree
of deposition against Henry. Had he done so, and had he been supported
by the Emperor and Francis I. there is no doubt that many of the
English noblemen would have joined the standard of the invaders, but
the hostility between France and the Emperor saved Henry. Neither
party was willing to aid the Pope lest the other should form an
alliance with England. Fearing such a union, however, between Francis
I. and Charles V. Henry hastened to seek the aid of the Protestant
princes of Germany. From 1531 he had been in communication with them
urging them to be careful about introducing religious innovations, but
he was now so alarmed lest the Emperor and the King of France might
join hands to assist the Pope in convoking a General Council, that
English envoys were directed to meet the Protestant princes at
Schmalkald (1535), to arrange for common action. A close union between
England and the Protestant states of Germany could not be effected,
because the Protestant princes insisted that Henry should accept the
Confession of Augsburg, and Henry refused to permit such interference
in the religious affairs of England. Still, English divines were
instructed to remain at Wittenberg, and Lutheran theologians were
invited to come to England for the discussion of religious

Meanwhile Cromwell was engaged in a visitation of the monasteries of
England (1535). To bring home to the minds of the bishops the meaning
of royal supremacy, he suspended their visitations while the royal
visitors were at work. Cromwell, unable to undertake the duty himself,
appointed delegates, and supplied them with the list of questions that
should be administered. His principal delegates were Richard Leyton
and Thomas Leigh, both men, as is evident from their own letters, who
were not likely to be over scrupulous about the methods they employed.
They were harsh, rude, and brutal in their treatment of both monks and
nuns, especially in houses where they suspected hostility to the
recent laws. They used every means in their power to break up the
harmony of religious life, and to unsettle the minds of the younger
members of the communities. In a few months the visitations were
finished, and the reports of the visitors were presented to Cromwell.
According to these reports most of the monasteries and convents were
homes of sin and vice, and many of the monks and nuns were guilty of
heinous crimes, but, though in particular instances there may have
been some grounds for these charges, there is good reason for not
accepting as trustworthy this account of monastic discipline. In the
first place the royal visitors traversed the country with such
lightning-like rapidity that it would have been impossible for them to
arrive at a correct judgment even had they been impartial and honest
men. That they were neither honest nor impartial is clear enough from
their own correspondence. They were sent out by Cromwell to collect
evidence that might furnish a decent pretext for suppressing the
monasteries and for confiscating the monastic possessions, and they
took pains to show their master that his confidence in them had not
been misplaced. Their only mistake was that in their eagerness to
black the character of the unfortunate religious they exceeded the
limits of human credulity. They positively revelled in sin, and the
scandals they reported were of such a gross and hideous kind that it
is impossible to believe that they could have been true, else the
people, instead of taking up arms to defend the religious houses,
would have risen in revolt to suppress such abominations. Nor is it
correct to say that the /Comperta/ were submitted to Parliament for
discussion, and that the members were so shocked by the tale they
unfolded that they clamoured for the suppression of these iniquitous
institutions. There is abundant evidence to prove that Parliament was
reluctant to take any action against the religious houses, that it was
only by the personal intervention of the king that the bill for the
suppression of the lesser monasteries was allowed to pass, and that it
is at least doubtful if any but general statements founded on the
/Comperta/ were brought before Parliament. The story of the production
of the "Black Book" supposed to contain the reports is of a much later
date, and comes from sources that could not be regarded as
unprejudiced. It had its origin probably in a misunderstanding of the
nature of the /Compendium Compertorum/, which dealt only with parishes
of the northern province. It is strange that though the commissioners
made no distinction between the condition of the larger and the
smaller monasteries, the Act of Parliament based upon these reports
decreed only the suppression of the smaller monasteries, as if vice
and neglect of discipline were more likely to reign in the small
rather than in the larger communities; and it is equally strange that
the superiors of many of the houses, about which unfavourable reports
had been presented, were promoted to high ecclesiastical offices by
the king and by his vicar-general, who should have been convinced of
the guilt and unworthiness of such ministers, had they trusted their
own commissioners. In the case of some of the dioceses, as for example
Norwich, it is possible to compare the results of an episcopal
visitation held some years previously with the reports of Cromwell's
commissioners, and though it is sufficiently clear from these earlier
reports that all was not well with discipline, the discrepancy between
the accounts of the bishops and the royal commissioners is so
striking, that it is difficult to believe that the houses could have
degenerated so rapidly in so short a space of time as to justify the
/Comperta/ of the commissioners. But what is still more striking is
the fact that after the decree of suppression had gone forth, other
commissioners, drawn largely from the local gentry, many of whom were
to share in the plunder of the monastic lands, visited several of the
houses against which serious charges had been made, and found nothing
worthy of special blame. These men were not likely to be prejudiced in
favour of the monks and nuns. They were well acquainted with the
people of the district, and had every opportunity of learning the
verdict of the masses about the discipline of the religious
communities. They were, therefore, in a much better position to arrive
at the truth than the royal commissioners who could only pay a flying
visit of a few hours or at most of a few days.[34]

The real object of the visitation and of the scandalous reports to
which it gave rise, was to secure some specious pretext that would
justify the king in the eyes of the nation in suppressing the
monasteries and in confiscating their possessions. The idea that the
monastic establishments enjoyed only the administration of their lands
and goods, and that these might be seized upon at any moment for the
public weal, was not entirely a new one either in the history of
England or in that of some of the Continental countries. Years before,
Cardinal Wolsey, for example, had dissolved more than twenty
monasteries in order to raise funds for his colleges at Ipswich and
Oxford, while not unfrequently the kings of England rewarded their
favourites and servants by granting them a pension to be paid by a
particular monastery. With the rise of the middle classes to power and
the gradual awakening of greater agricultural and commercial activity,
greedy eyes were turned to the monasteries and the farms owned by the
religious institutions. Unlike the property of private individuals
these lands were never likely to be in the market, and humanly
speaking a transfer of ownership could be effected only by a violent
revolution. Many people, therefore, though not unfriendly to the monks
and nuns as such, were not disinclined to entertain the proposals of
the king for the confiscation of religious property, particularly as
hopes were held out to the nobles, wealthy merchants, and the
corporations of cities and towns that the property so acquired could
take the place of the taxes that otherwise must be raised to meet
local and national expenditure.

For months before Parliament met (Feb. 1536) everything that could be
done by means of violent pamphlets and sermons against the monks and
the Papacy was done to prepare the country for the extreme measures
that were in contemplation. The king came in person to warn the House
of Commons that the reports of the royal commissioners, showing as
they did the wretched condition of the monasteries and convents called
for nothing less than the total dissolution of such institutions. The
members do not appear, however, to have been satisfied with the king's
recommendations, and it was probably owing to their feared opposition
to a wholesale sacrifice of the monasteries that, though the
commissioners had made no distinction between the larger and the
smaller establishments the measure introduced by the government dealt
only with the houses possessing a yearly revenue of less than £200.
Even in this mild form great pressure was required to secure the
passage of the Act, for though here and there complaints might have
been heard against the enclosures of monastic lands or about the
competition of the clerics in secular pursuits, the great body of the
people were still warmly attached to the monasteries. Once the decree
of dissolution had been passed the work of suppression was begun.
Close on four hundred religious houses were dissolved, and their lands
and property confiscated to the crown. The monks and nuns to the
number of about 2,000 were left homeless and dependent merely on the
miserable pensions, which not unfrequently remained unpaid. Their
goods and valuables including the church plate and libraries were
seized. Their houses were dismantled, and the roofless walls were left
standing or disposed of as quarries for the sale of stones.[35] Such
cruel measures were resented by the masses of the people, who were
attached to the monasteries, and who had always found the monks and
nuns obliging neighbours, generous to their servants and their
tenants, charitable to the poor and the wayfarer, good instructors of
the youth, and deeply interested in the temporal as well as in the
spiritual welfare of those around them. In London and the south-
eastern counties, where the new tendencies had taken a firmer root, a
strong minority supported the policy of the king and Cromwell, but
throughout England generally, from Cornwall and Devon to the Scottish
borders, the vast majority of the English people objected to the
religious innovations, detested Cromwell and Cranmer as heretics,
looked to Mary as the lawful heir to the throne in spite of the
decision of the court of Dunstable, and denounced the attacks on the
monasteries as robbery and sacrilege. The excitement spread quickly,
especially amongst the peasants, and soon news reached London that a
formidable rebellion had begun in the north.

In October 1536 the men of Lincoln took up arms in defence of their
religion. Many of the noblemen were forced to take part in the
movement, with which they sympathised, but which they feared to join
lest they should be exposed to the merciless vengeance of the king.
The leaders proclaimed their loyalty to the crown, and announced their
intention of sending agents to London to present their petitions. They
demanded the restoration of the monasteries, the removal of heretical
bishops such as Cranmer and Latimer, and the dismissal of evil
advisers like Cromwell and Rich. Henry VIII. returned a determined
refusal to their demands, and dispatched the Earl of Shrewsbury and
the Duke of Suffolk to suppress the rebellion. The people were quite
prepared to fight, but the noblemen opened negotiations with the
king's commanders, and advised the insurgents to disperse. The Duke of
Suffolk entered the city of Lincoln amidst every sign of popular
displeasure, although since the leaders had grown fainthearted no
resistance was offered. Those who had taken a prominent part in the
rebellion were arrested and put to death; the oath of supremacy was
tendered to every adult; and by the beginning of April 1537, all
traces of the rebellion had been removed.

The Pilgrimage of Grace in the north was destined to prove a much more
dangerous movement. Early in October 1536 the people of York,
determined to resist, and by the middle of the month the whole country
was up in arms under the leadership of Robert Aske, a country
gentleman and a lawyer well-known in legal services in London. Soon
the movement spread through most of the counties of the north. York
was surrendered to the insurgents without a struggle. Pomfret Castle,
where the Archbishop of York and many of the nobles had fled for
refuge, was obliged to capitulate, and Lord Darcy, the most loyal
supporter of the king in the north, agreed to join the party of Aske.
Hull opened its gates to the rebels, and before the end of October a
well trained army of close on 40,000 men led by the principal
gentlemen of the north lay encamped four miles north of Doncaster,
where the Duke of Norfolk at the head of 8,000 of the king's troops
awaited the attack. The Duke, fully conscious of the inferiority of
his forces and well aware that he could not count on the loyalty of
his own soldiers, many of whom favoured the demands of the rebels,
determined to gain time by opening negotiations for a peaceful
settlement (27th Oct.). Two messengers were dispatched to submit their
grievances to the king, and it was agreed that until an answer should
be received both parties should observe the truce. The king met the
demands for the maintenance of the old faith, the restoration of the
liberties of the Church, and the dismissal of ministers like Cromwell
by a long explanation and defence of his political and religious
policy, and the messengers returned to announce that the Duke of
Norfolk was coming for another conference. Many of the leaders argued
that the time for peaceful remonstrances had passed, and that the
issue could be decided now only by the sword. Had their advice been
acted upon the results might have been disastrous for the king, but
the extreme loyalty of both the leaders and people, and the fear that
civil war in England would lead to a new Scottish invasion, determined
the majority to exhaust peaceful means before having recourse to

An interview between the leaders and the Duke of Norfolk, representing
the king, was arranged to take place at Doncaster (5th Dec.). In the
meantime a convocation of the clergy was called to meet at Pomfret to
formulate the religious grievances, and a lay assembly to draw up the
demands of the people. Both clergy and people insisted on the
acceptance of papal supremacy, the restoration of all clergy who had
been deposed for resisting royal supremacy, the destruction of
heretical books, such as those written by Luther, Hus, Melanchthon,
Tundale, Barnes, and St. German, the dismissal of heretical bishops
and advisers such as Cromwell, and the re-establishment of religious
houses. Face to face with such demands, backed as they were by an army
of 40,000 men, Norfolk, fearing that resistance was impossible, had
recourse to a dishonest strategy. He promised the rebels that a free
Parliament would be held at York to discuss their grievances, that a
full pardon would be granted to all who had taken up arms, and that in
the meantime the monks and nuns would be supported from the revenues
of the surrendered monasteries and convents. Aske, whose weak point
had always been his extreme loyalty, agreed to these terms, and
ordered his followers to disband. He was invited to attend in London
for a conference with the king, and returned home to announce that
Henry was coming to open the Parliament at York, and that the people
might rely with confidence on the royal promises. But signs were not
wanting to show that the insurgents had been betrayed, and that they
must expect vengeance rather than redress. Soon it was rumoured that
Hull and Scarborough were being strengthened, and that in both cities
Henry intended to place royal garrisons. The people, alarmed by the
dangers that threatened them, attempted vainly to seize these two
towns, and throughout the north various risings took place. The Duke
of Norfolk, taking advantage of this violation of the truce, and
having no longer any strong forces to contend with, promptly
suppressed these rebellions, proclaimed martial law, and began a
campaign of wholesale butchery. Hundreds of the rebels, including
abbots and priests, who were suspected of favouring the insurgents,
were put to death. The leaders, Aske, Lord Darcy, Lord Hussey, Sir
Thomas Percy, Sir Francis Bigod, together with the abbots of Jervaux
and of Fountains, and the Prior of Bidlington were arrested. Some of
them suffered the penalty of death in London, while others were sent
back to be executed in their own districts. By these measures the
rebellion was suppressed in the north, and the rest of the counties
were intimidated into submission.[36]

Had the Emperor decided upon supporting the people of the north the
course of English history might have been different, but as war had
broken out once more between France and the empire, both nations,
anxious to maintain good relations with England, abstained from active
interference in English affairs. Pope Paul III., deeply interested as
he was in the English revolution, summoned to his assistance one who
understood better than most of his contemporaries the character of the
king and the condition of the country, namely, Reginald Pole. The
latter, turning his back on the favour of the king and the offer of
the Archbishopric of York, had left England rather than approve of the
king's separation from Catharine. Henry, however, hoping to induce him
to return to England, maintained friendly relations with Pole, and
requested him to state frankly his views on royal supremacy. Pole
replied in a long treatise afterwards published under the title /Pro
ecclesiasticae unitatis Defensione/ (1536), in which he reproved the
conduct of the king, and warned him of the dangers that his religious
policy might involve. Henry, though deeply mortified by the substance
and tone of this work, pretended not to be displeased, and in the hope
of silencing his distinguished kinsman whom he now both feared and
hated he urged him to come back to England. Pole's mother and brothers
besought him to yield to the royal wishes, or else he should prove the
ruin of all those who were dear to him. Though deeply affected by
their appeals, he preferred duty to family affection. He went to Rome
where he was created a cardinal (1536), and appointed to assist in
drawing up a scheme of ecclesiastical reforms in preparation for the
General Council. Soon news arrived in Rome that a rebellion had broken
out in England, that the people were ready to die in defence of their
religion, and that the king might be forced to adopt a more
conciliatory attitude towards Rome. It was decided to appoint Cardinal
Pole papal legate, and to send him to England. Such an appointment
coming at such a time filled Henry with alarm. He feared that James V.
of Scotland might be induced to lead an army across the borders to the
assistance of the northern rebels, and that France and the Emperor
might unite their forces against one who was regarded by both as
little less than a heretic. He induced the privy council to address a
letter to the cardinal (Jan. 1537) reproaching him for his ingratitude
and disloyalty to the king, and inviting him to come to Flanders for a
friendly discussion with the English agents. Before the legate could
leave Italy the Pilgrimage of Grace had been suppressed, and all hope
of a successful mission in England was lost. He passed through France
and Flanders, where he received a very cool reception from Francis I.
and the regent of the Netherlands, both of whom had been requested to
deliver him to Henry VIII. After a short stay in the territory of the
Prince-bishop of Liège he returned to Rome in August 1537.[37]

But though the rebellion in the north had been suppressed, it was
sufficiently grave to show Henry the danger incurred at home by
religious innovations, while the legatine mission of Cardinal Pole
made it advisable to prove to the Catholic rulers of Europe that
England had not gone over to the Lutheran camp. The greatest
objection taken by the conservative party in England to the /Ten
Articles/, drawn up by the king and accepted by Convocation in the
previous year (1536), was the absence of express reference to any
Sacrament except Baptism, Penance, and the Eucharist. At the meeting
of Convocation (1537) the battle was waged between the Catholic-minded
bishops let by Tunstall of Durham and the Lutheran party let by
Cranmer. At last the other four Sacraments were "found again," and a
settlement agreeable to both parties arrived at and embodied in a
treatise known as /The Institution of a Christian Man/. It consisted
of four parts, the Apostle's Creed, the Seven Sacraments, the Ten
Commandments, and the Our Father and Hail Mary. Two separate articles
dealing with justification and purgatory taken from the Ten Articles
previously issued were appended. The bishops submitted /The
Institution/ to the judgment of the king, inviting him as supreme head
of the Church to correct whatever was amiss with their doctrine, but
Henry, anxious to hold himself free to bargain with the Lutheran
princes if necessary, refused to take any responsibility for the work
beyond ordering that it might be read in the churches for three years.
Hence it was called the /Bishop's Book/.[38]

Against this and as a concession to the reforming party in England
Henry was pleased to approve of a translation of the Bible presented
to him by Cranmer, and to order copies of it to be provided for the
use of the faithful in every parish church (1537-38). William Tyndale,
who had fled from England to Wittenberg, set himself to complete a
translation of the Bible, which translation was published and smuggled
into England in 1526. The translation was in itself bristling with
errors, and the marginal notes were stupidly offensive. The bishops
made desperate attempts to secure its suppression, but despite their
efforts the obnoxious translation and even many of the more
objectionable works written by the same author continued to find their
way into England. The king, though nominally supporting the bishops,
was not sorry that such works should be spread amongst the people, as
a warning to the Pope of the consequences of a refusal to comply with
the royal wishes. In 1530, however, he took counsel with the bishops
and learned men to see what might be done to procure a good English
translation of the Bible. They agreed that the reading of an English
version of the Bible was not necessary for salvation, that, though the
Scriptures in the vulgar tongue might be useful in certain
circumstances and for certain people, they were more likely to be
harmful at a time when erroneous books and heretical books were being
propagated. Furthermore they advised that a proper correct translation
should be made and placed in the king's hands, so that he might order
its publication whenever he thought that a favourable moment had
arrived for such a work.

Cromwell was, however, determined to push forward the new religious
teachings. He was in close correspondence with an apostate Augustinian
friar named Coverdale, who had been obliged to leave the country on
account of his heretical opinions. At Cromwell's instigation Coverdale
set himself to prepare a new translation of the Bible, and it was
completed and published about 1535. Unlike that of Tyndale, who had
gone to the Greek and Hebrew originals, Coverdale's Bible was made
from the Vulgate with the aid of the German Lutheran translation. It
was if anything even more objectionable than Tyndale's, but Cromwell
intended to force it upon the clergy in the /Injunctions/ drawn up for
their guidance in 1536, though apparently on further consideration he
doubted the prudence of such a step, and the clause regarding the
English Bible was omitted.[39] In 1537 Cranmer presented the English
Bible to Cromwell for approval. It was supposed to contain "the Old
and New Testament, truly and purely translated into English by Thomas
Matthew," but in reality it was only a compilation of the works of
Tyndale and Coverdale made by one John Rogers. Though very
objectionable from the point of view of Catholic doctrine it was
approved by Cromwell as vicar-general, and copies were ordered to be
placed in every church (1538). Nearly two years later Coverdale's
"Great Bible" with a preface by Cranmer was published.[40]

The results of the free use of such translations were soon apparent in
the religious discussions that took place in many parts of England.
Henry began to fear that he had acted unwisely in allowing the people
to make their religion for themselves, and besides, as Cromwell had
fallen, the conservative bishops like Gardiner of Winchester were in
the ascendant. In the Convocation of 1542 grave objections were raised
against these various translations, and with the approval of the king
it was resolved to undertake a revision of them; but while the
committee appointed for this revision was at work, a messenger arrived
from the king forbidding Convocation to proceed further, as His
Majesty had decided to take the matter out of the hands of the bishops
and submit it to the universities. The bishops protested against this
order, but their protests were unheeded, and an English Bible, that
had been condemned by Convocation, was forced on the clergy and people
against the advice of the ecclesiastical authorities. In 1543,
however, an Act was passed in Parliament at the request of the king
forbidding private individuals to take it upon themselves to interpret
the Bible in any public assembly; noblemen, gentlemen householders,
and even merchants might retain the English translation and read it,
but this favour was denied to the lower classes "unless the king
perceiving their lives to be amended by the doctrines he had set forth
thought fit to give them liberty to read it."[41]

Early in 1536 Queen Catharine died. Her heart had been broken by the
conduct of the king and by separation from her daughter the Princess
Mary. Time and again she had been commanded under threat of the
severest punishment to accept the sentence of Cranmer's court, but
both herself and the Princess refused steadfastly to subscribe to such
a dishonourable verdict. After Catharine's death and merely to save
her life Mary signed a document agreeing to the abolition of papal
supremacy and the invalidity of her mother's marriage, though nobody
attached any importance to a submission that was obtained in such
circumstances. The death of Catharine was a great relief to Henry and
Anne, more especially to the latter, who had some reason for believing
that she herself had lost her hold on the affections of the king.
Henry had already grown weary of the woman for whose sake he had put
his lawful wife away and separated his kingdom from the Catholic
Church, and the disappointment of his hopes for the birth of an heir
to the throne confirmed his intention of ridding himself of a partner,
who was regarded by his own subjects and the nations of Europe only as
his concubine. She was arrested on a charge of misconduct with her
brother and other gentlemen of the court, was tried before a body of
the peers, and was put to death at Tyburn (17th May, 1536). Cranmer,
who in his heart was convinced of her innocence, promptly held a court
and pronounced her marriage with Henry null and void. On the very day
of her execution he issued a license for the king to marry Jane
Seymour, one of Anne's maids of honour, and before the end of the
month the marriage was celebrated. In June Parliament confirmed
Cranmer's sentence by declaring the invalidity of Henry's previous
marriages, and the illegitimacy of Mary and Elizabeth, and by fixing
the succession on the heirs of the king and Jane Seymour. Furthermore,
in case there might be no children it empowered the king to determine
by his will who should succeed. The object of this was to enable him
to appoint as his heir his bastard son, the Duke of Richmond, but this
intention was frustrated by the death of the Duke (July 1537).

While Parliament was in session Convocation assembled once more.
Cromwell, as the king's vicar-general in spirituals, claimed the right
to preside either in person or by proxy. Many of the new bishops who
had been appointed since 1533 were distinctly Lutheran in their ideas
and tendencies. Latimer of Worcester, who was well known to favour
German theology, was supported by five others, Shaxton, Goodrich,
Edward Foxe, Hilsey, and Barlow. Though Latimer on a former occasion
had been censured by Convocation he was selected to deliver the
opening sermon, in which he inveighed against Purgatory, images,
altars, relics, pilgrimages, the carelessness of the clergy, and the
abuses of the spiritual courts. Convocation having approved of
Cranmer's verdict regarding Henry's marriage with Anne Boleyn, a
petition was sent up from the lower house to the bishops complaining
of the erroneous views propagated by various preachers in the province
of Canterbury. The vast body of the older bishops were determined to
condemn these heretical views, which were little less than the renewal
of the Lollard teaching with a slight admixture of Lutheran theology,
but Cranmer, Latimer, and Foxe were equally determined to prevent such
a condemnation. The dispute promised to be both warm and protracted.
Cromwell, however, appeared in the assembly with a book of /Ten
Articles/ drawn up by the king for securing religious unanimity, and
insisted that the prelates should accept them. The Articles were
moderate in tone, and generally were not in opposition to the old
theology. They approved of Transubstantiation, emphasised the
importance and necessity of Baptism, Penance, and the Eucharist
without affirming that these were the only three Sacraments, declared
that good works were necessary for justification, that prayers might
be offered for those who were dead, that the use of the word Purgatory
was not to be recommended, that reverence should be shown to images
and pictures, and that the older ceremonies should be retained. The
great objection to these Articles was not the doctrine they set forth,
but the fact that they were issued by the king's authority. That the
King of England could revise the beliefs and ceremonies of the
Catholic Church was in itself a revolution, and should have opened the
eyes of the Catholic-minded bishops to the full meaning of royal
supremacy. Furthermore, Convocation declared that the Bishop of Rome
could not convene a General Council without the permission and
co-operation of the Christian princes. A few weeks later Cromwell
issued a set of /Injunctions/ to be observed by the clergy charged
with the care of souls. They were to set forth the Articles drawn up
by the king, to discourage pilgrimages and the observation of holidays
that had not been abrogated, not to lay too much stress upon images
and relics, and to warn the people to teach their children in English
the Our Father, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments; they were to give
one-fortieth of their incomes to the poor, one-fifth to the repair of
the churches, and those who held the richer benefices were commanded
to spend their surplus revenue in maintaining a student or students at
Oxford and Cambridge.

In the autumn of 1536 three sets of royal commissioners were at work,
one superintending the suppression of the lesser monasteries, a second
charged with communicating Cromwell's instructions to the clergy, and
removing those priests who were unwilling to accept them, and a third
entrusted with the collection of royal taxation on ecclesiastical
benefices. By these commissions the entire face of the country was
changed. The monastic institutions were suppressed and the servants
and labourers in their employment were turned adrift, the relief to
the poor and the wayfarer was discontinued, and the tenants awaited
with nervousness the arrival of the new grandees. The possessions of
the religious houses, instead of being spent on the development of
education and the relief of the taxes, found their way for the most
part into the royal treasury, or into the pockets of the officials
charged with the work of suppression. Oxford and Cambridge were
reduced to sullen submission, and obliged to accept a new set of
statutes, to abolish the study of canon law in favour of civil law, to
confine the divinity courses to lectures on the Scriptures, and to
place in the hands of the students the classical authors together with
the Humanist commentaries thereon, instead of the tomes of Duns Scotus
or St. Thomas. Such changes, as has been shown, led to rebellion in
different parts of the country, but especially in the north, where
loyalty to Rome was still regarded as compatible with loyalty to the

After the suppression of the rebellions in the north and the failure
of Cardinal Pole to bring about an European coalition against Henry,
the war against the greater monasteries was begun (1537). Those
situated in the northern counties were charged with having been
implicated in the rebellion. Many of the abbots were put to death or
imprisoned, and the goods of the communities were confiscated. Several
others in order to escape punishment were induced to surrender their
property to the king's commissioners. In some cases the abbots were
bribed by promises of special favours for themselves, in others they
were forced to yield up their titles to avoid charges of treason on
account of documents supposed to have been discovered in their houses
or evidence that had been extracted from some of their monks or
retainers. During the years 1538 and 1539 the monasteries fell one by
one, while during the same period war was carried on against shrines
and pilgrimages. The images of Our Lady of Ipswich and of Our Lady of
Walsingham were destroyed; the tomb of St. Thomas à Becket was rifled
of its precious treasures, and the bones and relics of the saint were
treated with the greatest dishonour. Everywhere throughout the country
preachers inspired by Cromwell and Cranmer, the latter of whom aimed
at nothing less than a Lutheran revolution in England, were at work
denouncing images, pilgrimages, invocation of saints, and Purgatory.
So long as money poured into the royal treasury from the sale of
surrendered monastical property and of the ecclesiastical goods, or so
long as a blow could be struck at the Papacy by desecrating the tomb
of a saint who had died as a martyr in defence of the Holy See, Henry
looked on with indifference if not with pleasure.

But the news of such outrages could not fail to horrify the Catholic
world, and to prove to Paul III. that there was little hope of any
favourable change in Henry's religious policy. It was determined to
give effect to the Bull of excommunication that had been prepared for
years, and to call upon the Catholic powers of Europe to put it into
execution either by a joint declaration of war, or by an interruption
of commercial relations with England. The time seemed specially
favourable for the publication of such a sentence. After years of
active or smouldering hostility the two great rivals Charles V. and
Francis I. had arranged a ten years truce (June 1538), and Cardinal
Pole was sent as legate to Spain and France to induce the Emperor and
Francis I. to take common action. James V. of Scotland promised his
assistance, and a papal envoy was dispatched to Scotland to bear the
cardinal's hat to Archbishop Beaton, and to encourage the king to
co-operate with the Catholic rulers of the Continent.

When the news of these preparations reached England Henry was
thoroughly alarmed for the safety of his kingdom. The brothers of
Cardinal Pole, Sir Geoffrey Pole and Lord Montague, his mother, the
Countess of Salisbury, Henry Courtenay, Marquis of Exeter, Lord
Delawarr, Sir Edward Neville, Sir Nicholas Carew, and others were
arrested, nominally on the charge of treason, but in reality because
the Poles and the Courtenays were regarded as dangerous claimants to
the English throne. With the exception of Sir Geoffrey Pole, who
turned king's evidence, and the Countess of Salisbury who was kept in
confinement for years, the others were put to death, and commissioners
were sent into Cornwall to suppress all attempts at rebellion. During
the spring of 1539 preparations for repelling an invasion were pushed
forward with feverish activity, and so great was the loyalty of the
vast body of the English people, and so hateful to them was the idea
of a foreign invasion that many, who detested Henry's religious
policy, came forward with their assistance. The fortresses along the
coast and on the Scottish borders were strengthened, and replenished;
the fleet was held in readiness in the Thames; and a volunteer army
trained and equipped was raised to contest the progress of the
invaders or at least to defend the capital. Negotiations with the
Protestant princes of Germany for the conclusion of an offensive and
defensive alliance were opened, and to prevent a commercial boycott a
proclamation was issued that except in case of wool foreigners trading
in England should be obliged to pay only the duties and customs
imposed upon Englishmen. But as events showed there was no necessity
for these warlike preparations. Francis I. could not dare to forward
an ultimatum to England unless aided by the Emperor, and Charles V.,
confronted with a Turkish invasion and a Protestant rebellion in
Germany, found it impossible to undertake an expedition against
England. Nor was the project of a commercial boycott likely to be more
successful. The Flemish merchants in the Netherlands were too deeply
interested in English trade to permit them to look favourably upon a
scheme that was likely to prove as ruinous to their own country as to
England, particularly as the recent proclamation in favour of foreign
merchants offered them a special opportunity for pushing their wares
beyond the Channel.

A new Parliament was summoned to meet in April 1539. Cromwell, who was
a past master in the art of selecting and managing such assemblies,
took care that men should be returned who were likely to favour the
projects of the king, and in this action he succeeded beyond
expectation. An Act of Attainder was passed against Cardinal Pole and
against the Countess of Salisbury, as well as against those who had
been executed a short time before. As the /Ten Articles/ on religion
published by the king and the improved version of these Articles known
as the /Bishop's Book/ had not proved sufficient to suppress religious
controversy in the kingdom or to prevent England from being regarded
as a heretical nation on the Continent, Henry determined to lay down a
fixed rule of faith, that should be accepted by all his subjects, and
that should prove to the Emperor and to France that England, though
separated from Rome, was still loyal to the Catholic religion. A
commission of bishops was appointed to prepare a report on the
principal points of faith that had been called in question, but the
bishops were divided into two hostile camps. While Cranmer, Latimer,
Shaxton, Goodrich, and Barlow were strongly Lutheran in their
tendencies, Archbishop Lee of York, Gardiner of Winchester, Tunstall
of Durham, and Aldrich of Carlisle were opposed to all dogmatic
innovations. Though Cromwell supported secretly the reforming party it
soon became known that Henry VIII. favoured the conservatives. As no
agreement could be arrived at by the bishops, the Duke of Norfolk, who
was rising rapidly at court as the champion of conservative interests,
took the matter out of the hands of the bishops, by proposing to the
House of Lords Six Articles dealing with the main points of difference
between the Catholics and the Lutherans of the Continent. On these
Articles the laymen did not venture to express any opinion, but
Cranmer, Latimer and their friends held out till at last Henry
appeared himself and "confounded them all with God's learning."

The decision was embodied in an Act of Parliament entitled "An Act
abolishing diversity of Opinions," which having received the royal
assent was placed upon the Statute Book (1539). The Articles agreed
upon by Convocation and Parliament and published by the king's
authority were: (1) that in the Eucharist the substance of the bread
and wine is changed into the Body and Blood of Christ; (2) that
Communion under both kinds is not necessary for salvation; (3) that
clerical celibacy should be observed; (4) that vows of chastity should
be observed; (5) that private Masses ought to be retained; and (6)
that auricular confession is expedient. Denial of the first article,
namely, that regarding Transubstantiation, was to be deemed heresy
punishable by death at the stake, and denial of the others was felony
punishable by forfeiture for the first and by death for the second
offence. Priests who had taken to themselves wives were commanded to
put them away under threat of punishment for felony, and people, who
refused to confess and receive the Eucharist at the usual times, were
to be imprisoned or fined for the first offence, and to be judged
guilty of felony for the second offence. The Act of Six Articles, as
it is commonly known, or "the whip with six strings," as it was
nicknamed contemptuously by the Reformers, marked a distinct triumph
for the conservative party, led by the Duke of Norfolk among the peers
and by Gardiner and Tunstall amongst the bishops. Cranmer made his
submission and concealed his wife, but Latimer and Shaxton with
greater honesty resigned their Sees rather than accept the Act. The
vast body of the clergy and people hailed it with delight as a
crushing blow delivered against heresy, and as proof that Henry was
determined to maintain the old religion in England.[42]

But if Cromwell had received a check on the question of dogma, he
determined to curry favour with the king and at the same time to
advance the cause he had at heart, by securing the suppression of the
remaining monasteries. An Act was passed through all its stages in one
day vesting in the king the property of all monasteries that had been
suppressed or that were to be suppressed. This was done under the
pretence that the monks, being ungodly and slothful, should be
deprived of their wealth, which if handed over to the king could be
devoted to the relief of poverty, the education of youth, the
improvement of roads, and the erection of new bishoprics. Under threat
of penalties nearly all the great monasteries surrendered their titles
and lands except the abbots of Glastonbury, Reading, and Colchester,
all of whom were arrested and put to death (1539). This punishment
struck terror into the hearts of the others, and by the surrender of
Waltham Abbey (March 1540) the last of the great English monasteries
disappeared. Finally, to show the state of complete subserviency to
which the English Parliament was reduced, it passed an Act giving to
the royal proclamation with certain ill-defined limits the force of
law (1539).

It was evident to all that the position of Cromwell at court had
become very insecure. While England was threatened with an European
coalition he had suggested an alliance with the Protestant princes of
Germany, and as Henry's third wife Jane Seymour had died (1537), after
having given birth to a son (later on Edward VI.), he determined to
cement the bond of friendship by a new matrimonial alliance. The Duke
of Cleves was brother-in-law to the Elector of Saxony and one of the
guiding spirits of the Schmalkaldic League, and as he had given mortal
offence to the Emperor by his acceptance of the Duchy of Guelders,
Cromwell decided that a marriage between the Duke's sister, Anne, and
Henry VIII. would secure for England both the alliance of the League
of Schmalkald and at least the neutrality of France. Though Henry
detested the Elector of Saxony and his friends as heretics, and though
the Six Articles aroused considerable resentment in the Lutheran camp,
the close union between Charles V. and Francis I. and the uncertainty
of what steps they might take made it imperative to push forward
Henry's marriage. The marriage treaty was signed in October 1539, and
in December Anne of Cleves landed at Deal. Henry, who had been led to
believe that Anne was both accomplished and moderately beautiful,
could not conceal his disappointment when he met his prospective
bride; but, as his trusted counsellors could devise no plan of escape,
he consented with bad grace to go through the ceremony of marriage
(6th Jan., 1540). Henry was displeased and made no secret of his
displeasure. Cromwell, whom he blamed specially for this matrimonial
misfortune, felt himself in considerable danger, though at the same
time he resolved not to yield without a struggle. The contest between
Cranmer, backed by the Lutheran party in the council, and Gardiner,
the Duke of Norfolk, and the conservatives was sharp though by no
means decisive. The king appeared at one time to favour one side, at
another the other side, unwilling to commit himself definitely to
either, especially as Cromwell was still reaping a rich harvest from
the suppression of the Knights of St. John and from the taxes imposed
on the clergy.

Parliament met again in April 1540. To the surprise of many Cromwell
was created Earl of Essex (17th April), while a little later Bishop
Sampson was arrested as a supporter of the Pope. The hopes of Cromwell
and of the reforming party rose rapidly, and they believed that
victory was within their grasp. The committee of bishops was at work
considering the sacraments, but as both the old and the new clung
tenaciously to their opinions no progress could be made. Suddenly on
the 10th June an officer appeared in the council chamber and placed
Cromwell under arrest. The long struggle was at last ended, and the
men who had followed Gardiner had won the day. The war clouds, that
had driven Henry to negotiate with the heretical princes of Germany,
had blown over, and Cromwell, who had taken a leading part in the
German negotiations, must be sacrificed to satisfy his enemies at home
and Catholic opinion on the Continent. He was committed to the Tower
to await the sentence of death which he knew to be inevitable, but,
before handing him over to the executioner, Henry insisted that he
should perform for him one last service. As Cromwell had involved him
in an undesirable marriage with Anne of Cleves, he should provide
evidence that might set his master free to seek for a more congenial
partner. At the command of the king Cromwell wrote a long letter, in
which he showed that Henry never really consented to the marriage with
Anne, against which marriage the existence of a pre-nuptial contract
was also adduced. On the strength of this, Parliament demanded an
investigation, and a commission was issued empowering the Archbishops
of Canterbury and York and others of the clergy to examine into the
validity of the marriage. Convocation decided that it was null and
void (July 1540), a decision with which Anne expressed her complete
satisfaction. She was assigned a residence and a pension of £4,000 a
year. On the 28th July, 1540, Cromwell was led to execution at Tyburn,
where he expressed publicly his adherence to the ancient faith, for
the destruction of which in England he had contributed more than any
single individual with the exception possibly of the king.[43] A few
days later Henry was married to Catharine Howard, a niece of the Duke
of Norfolk, the recognised lay head of the conservative party in

The penalties prescribed in the Statute of the Six Articles were
enforced with great vigour, and at the same time those who maintained
papal supremacy were treated with equal severity. While the men who
denied Transubstantiation were burned as heretics at Smithfield, their
opponents, who dared to express views derogatory to royal supremacy,
were hanged, drawn, and quartered as traitors. Latimer retired into
private life; Cranmer showed no signs of open opposition to the king's
religious policy, and, practically speaking, all traces of the new
teachings that had disturbed England for years disappeared. The aged
Countess of Salisbury, mother of Cardinal Pole, was put to death in
1541, two years after sentence of attainder had been passed against
her by Parliament, as were, also, a large number of priests and laymen
suspected of having been implicated in an attempt to bring about
another rebellion in the north. In consequence of this plot Henry
determined to undertake a journey to York (1541) with the hope of
strengthening his hold upon the people, and possibly also of securing
the friendship of his nephew, James V. of Scotland, who had remained
loyal to Rome and to France. The Archbishop of York made his
submission on bended knees, presenting the king with a gift of £600 as
a sign of the repentance of the people for their recent disobedience,
an example that was followed in many of the cities and towns; but
James V., unwilling to trust his life and liberty to the king, refused
to cross the English border.

Henry returned to London only to find that serious charges of
immorality were being brought against his wife, Catharine Howard. She
was arrested and put to death with her chief accomplices (1542).
Though the king could not conceal his joy at finding himself free once
more, he hesitated for some time before choosing another wife; but at
last in 1543, his choice fell upon Catharine Parr, a young widow
twenty years his junior, who was believed to favour royal supremacy,
though she had been married previously to one of the leaders of the
Pilgrimage of Grace. It is said that once at least she stood in
serious risk because she ventured to disagree with her husband's
theological views, but, however that may be, it is certain that she
had the good fortune to survive the king.

The struggle between the old principles and the new continued,
notwithstanding all Henry's attempts to secure unanimity. As early as
1540 a set of questions had been circulated amongst the bishops, and
as a result of the replies received and of the discussions that took
place in Convocation a book was issued, entitled /A Necessary Doctrine
and an Erudition for any Christian Man/ (1543). It was issued by order
of the king, and for this reason is known as the /King's Book/ in
contradistinction to the /Bishop's Book/, published with his
permission but not by his authorisation. Just as the /Bishop's Book/
represented a revision of the Ten Articles, so the /King's Book/ was
an extension or completion of the /Bishop's Book/, in many respects
even more Catholic in its tone than the original. The king was now
nearing his end rapidly, and both parties in the royal council strove
hard for mastery. Gardiner and Bonner, Bishop of London, stood firm in
defence of Catholic doctrine, and once or twice it seemed as if they
were about to succeed in displacing Cranmer from the favour of the
king; but the danger of an attack from the united forces of France and
the Emperor, especially after the peace of Crépy had been concluded
(1544), made it necessary for Henry not to close the door against an
alliance with the Protestant princes of Germany by an attack on
Cranmer, who was regarded by them as an active sympathiser. Once
indeed Henry ordered that the archbishop should be arrested, but a
sudden change of mind took place, and the order for the arrest was

A new Parliament met in 1545. The royal exchequer had been emptied by
the war with France and Scotland, and to replenish it an Act was
passed empowering the king to dissolve chantries, hospitals, and free
chapels, and to appropriate their revenues for his own use. Henry
addressed the Parliament on Christmas Eve 1545 in a speech in which he
deplored the religious differences that divided his people,
differences which were due, he said, partly to the obstinacy of the
clergy, some of whom wished to cling to all the old ways, while others
of them would be content with nothing less than a complete renewal;
partly to the fault of the people who spoke scandalously of their
clergy, and abused the Scriptures they had been permitted to read. In
itself this speech was a sad commentary on Henry's religious campaign,
containing as it did a confession that despite all his violence and
persecution, religious formularies imposed by royal authority were not
sufficient to preserve religious unity. During the year 1546, though
many persons were still sent to the stake for denying
Transubstantiation, the power of Cranmer and his party was on the
increase. The Earl of Hertford, uncle of the young Prince Edward and
Cranmer secured the upper hand in the council, and the Duke of
Norfolk, together with his son the Earl of Surrey, was imprisoned in
the Tower (Dec. 1546). Surrey was tried and executed, and a similar
fate was in store for the Duke, were it not that before the death-
sentence could be carried out, Henry himself had been summoned before
the judgment-seat of God (28th Jan. 1547). For some weeks before his
death the condition of the king had been serious, but the Earl of
Hertford and his party kept the sickness and even the death a secret
until all their plans had been matured. On the 31st January Edward VI.
was proclaimed king, and the triumph of the Lutheran party seemed

On the death of Henry VIII. all parties looked forward to a complete
change in the religious condition of England. On the one hand, those,
who longed for a return to Roman obedience, believed that royal
supremacy must of necessity prove both unintelligible and
impracticable in the case of a mere child like Edward VI. (1547-53);
while, on the other hand, those, who favoured a closer approximation
to the theology and practices of Wittenberg or of Geneva, saw in the
death of Henry and the succession of a helpless young king an
exceptional opportunity for carrying out designs against which Henry
had erected such formidable barriers. To both parties it was evident
that at best Edward VI. could be but a tool in the hands of his
advisers, and that whichever section could capture the king and the
machinery of government might hope to mould the religious beliefs of
the English people.

For more than a year before the death of Henry VIII., Edward Seymour,
Earl of Hertford and uncle of Edward VI., the Earl of Essex, brother
of Catharine Parr, Viscount Lisle, Lord Admiral and afterwards Earl of
Warwick, all of whom were in favour of religious innovations, had been
advancing steadily in power, to the discomfiture of the conservative
section led by Bishop Gardiner, the Duke of Norfolk, and the Lord
Chancellor Wriothesley. The death of Henry VIII. had been kept a
secret until the Earl of Hertford had all his plans matured for
securing control, and for the proclamation of Edward VI.[44] (31st
Jan. 1547), then a boy of ten years. Henry VIII. had bequeathed the
crown to his son, and on his death without heirs to his daughters in
turn, the Princess Mary daughter of Catharine of Aragon, and Elizabeth
daughter of Anne Boleyn. By his will also he appointed a council the
members of which were to govern the kingdom as a body till the king
should attain his eighteenth year, but he sought to provide against
any serious innovations by authorising the king to repeal all changes
that might have been made by the council during his minority. If one
may judge from the terms of his will Henry's religious views at his
death were evidently what they had been when in 1539 he passed the
Statute of Six Articles, but, at the same time, it is a noteworthy
fact that he excluded Bishop Gardiner from the list of executors of
his will, and appointed two divines well known for their leaning
towards German theology as tutors to the young king.

In nearly every particular the council of executors failed to carry
out the wishes of the late king. The Earl of Hertford, created later
on Duke of Somerset, became Protector with almost royal powers, and
instead of defending the religious settlement the majority of the
council set themselves from the very beginning to initiate a more
advanced policy. Cranmer as Archbishop of Canterbury could be relied
upon to support such a course of action, while, of the principal men
who might be expected to oppose it, the Duke of Norfolk was a prisoner
in the Tower and the Lord Chancellor Wriothesley was dismissed to make
way for a more pliable successor. The bishops, who were regarded
merely as state officials, were commanded to take out new commissions.
Cranmer obeyed without protest, as did all the others except Gardiner,
who questioned the authority of the council to issue such a command at
least until the supreme head of the Church should have reached his

Those who had been held in check by the repressive legislation of
Henry VIII. felt themselves free to renew the attacks on the practices
and doctrines of the Church. The royal preachers who had been
appointed for the Lenten sermons, Dr. Barlow, Bishop of St. David's,
Ridley one of Cranmer's chaplains, and others, not content with
abusing the Bishop of Rome, declared war on images, relics, and even
on the Lenten fasts and abstinences. Against such novelties Gardiner
addressed an indignant protest to the Protector and council, warning
them that during the minority of the king there was no power in
England competent to change the religious settlement that had been
accomplished by Henry VIII. But his protest fell on deaf ears. The war
against images was carried on vigorously, though legally only those
images that had been abused were forbidden, and even in Bishop
Gardiner's own diocese he was powerless to resist those who knew they
could count on the support of the Protector.

In July 1547 two important publications were issued, one, /The
Injunctions of Edward VI./, the other, /The Book of Homilies/,
composed by Cranmer, and issued by the authority of the council. The
former of these commanded that sermons should be delivered at fixed
intervals against the Bishop of Rome, that images which had been
abused, shrines, pictures, and other monuments of superstition should
be destroyed, that the Gospels and Epistles should be read in English,
that alms boxes should be set up in all churches, and that the clergy
should inform their people that the money spent on pardons,
pilgrimages, candles, and other blind devotions should now be devoted
to the support of the poor.[46] The /Book of Homilies/[47] was to
serve as a guide for preachers in their public services. A royal
commission was appointed to insist upon the observance of these
Injunctions, but in London Bishop Bonner refused at first to accept
the commands of the visitors, and though later on he weakened in his
resistance, he was committed to prison as a warning to others.
Gardiner boldly denounced the visitation as illegal and unwarrantable,
but the council instead of meeting his arguments and remonstrances
ordered his arrest (September 1547). In many places the proclamation
for the removal of images led to violent disturbances, and free fights
within the churches were not uncommon. To put an end to any
misunderstanding on this subject for the future the council ordered
the removal of all images from the churches (Feb. 1548).

For various reasons the Protector and council delayed assembling
Parliament as long as possible, but at last it was convoked to meet in
November 1547. As happened in the case of all the Parliaments in the
Tudor period, careful steps were taken to ensure that only men who
could be relied upon were returned by the sheriffs. Neither from the
lay members in the House of Lords, many of whom had been enriched by
the plunder of the monasteries, nor from the spiritual peers lately
appointed, could any effective resistance be expected, while the
bishops who were still strongly Catholic in tone were deprived of a
capable leader by the imprisonment of Gardiner. It was significant
that in the Mass celebrated at the opening of Parliament the /Gloria/,
Creed, and /Agnus Dei/ were sung in English. The bishops had been
taught a lesson already by being forced to take out new commissions
like other officers of the crown, by having their jurisdiction
suspended during the progress of the royal visitation, and by being
prohibited from preaching outside their own cathedrals. But, lest they
might have any lingering doubts about the source or extent of their
jurisdiction, Parliament enacted that for the future bishops should be
appointed not by election but by royal letters patent, and that all
their official documents should be issued in the king's name and under
his seal or some other seal authorised by him.[48] All the Acts
against heresy that had been passed since the days of Richard II.,
including the Statute of Six Articles, were repealed; most of the new
treason-felonies created during the previous reign were abolished;
and, though denial of royal supremacy was accounted still as treason,
it was enacted that by merely speaking against it one did not merit
the punishment of death unless for the third offence.

The question of the Blessed Eucharist had come to the front rapidly
owing to the violent and abusive sermons of some of the new preachers,
and the irreverent and sacrilegious conduct of those who accepted
their teaching. The bishops of the old school demanded that measures
should be taken to prevent such attacks on the very centre point of
Christian worship, while Cranmer and his supporters were determined to
insist upon Communion under both kinds. Apparently two different
measures were introduced, which were merged ultimately into one Act,
whereby it was decreed that all who spoke irreverently against the
Blessed Eucharist should be punished by fines and imprisonment, and
that Communion should be administered under both kinds except
necessity otherwise required. The linking together of these two Acts
was a clever move to ensure the support of the bishops who desired to
put down irreverence against the Eucharist, and it is noteworthy that
out of the eleven bishops present five voted against the measure even
in its improved form.[49]

Already an Act had been passed in the previous reign against colleges,
chantries, guilds, etc., but since most of these remained as yet
undisturbed, it was determined to replenish the royal treasury by
decreeing their immediate dissolution, and by vesting their property
in the king. This was done with the avowed object of diverting the
funds from superstitious uses to the erection of grammar schools, the
maintenance of students at the universities, and the relief of the
poor; but in reality the property of the guilds, and of the free
schools and chantry schools, was confiscated, and little if anything
was done for the improvement of education or for the relief of the
poor. Edward VI. is represented generally as the founder of the
English grammar schools and colleges, but it would be much more
correct to say that through his greedy ministers he was their
destroyer. True, indeed, he established a few colleges and hospitals,
but such beneficence was only a poor return for the wholesale
overthrow of more than four hundred flourishing educational
establishments, and for the confiscation of thousands of pounds
bequeathed by generous benefactors for the education of the poor.[50]

Convocation had met on the day after the assembly of Parliament. The
lower house presented four petitions to the bishops, the most
important of which was that the proctors of the clergy should be
admitted to Parliament, or at least that ecclesiastical legislation
should not pass until the clergy had been consulted, but the bishops
were too conscious of their helplessness to support such an appeal. It
is doubtful if the bill regarding Communion under both kinds was ever
submitted regularly to Convocation, though later on a proposal to
abolish the canons enforcing clerical celibacy was carried by a
majority. It is asserted, and apparently on good authority, that the
higher and more learned of the clergy consented to this proposal only
under pressure.

The year 1548 opened ominously for the Catholic party. Preachers,
licensed by the Archbishop of Canterbury and protected openly by the
court, delivered wild harangues against Catholic doctrines and
practices. Pamphlets, for the most part translations of heretical
works published in Germany or Switzerland attacking the Mass,
Transubstantiation, and the Real Presence, were sold publicly in the
market places without any interference from the authorities. In
January a royal proclamation was issued enjoining the observance of
the Lenten fasts, but ten days later an order was made forbidding the
use of candles on Candlemas Day, of ashes on Ash Wednesday, or of
palms on Palm Sunday. This was followed quickly by a command for the
removal of all statues, images, pictures, etc. from the churches. The
use of Communion under both kinds was to come into force at Easter
1548, and to prepare for this a royal proclamation was set forth
making obligatory the English /Order for Communion/. As the new rite
regarded only the Communion of the laity, the Latin Mass was to remain
in use as heretofore "without any varying of any rite or
ceremony."[51] The clergy were commanded to announce the Sunday on
which they proposed to distribute Communion to their flocks. After the
priest had himself communicated, the communicants, who did not wish to
go to confession, should make a general confession, and should receive
Communion under both kinds, the whole service being completed by the
usual blessing. This was a clever trick to prepare the way for still
greater changes. Owing to the retention of the Latin Mass it was
expected that the new Communion service would not lead to serious
trouble, while at the same time it would accustom the people to
portions of the Mass being read in English, and would imply both that
auricular confession was unnecessary and that Mass without Communion
of the laity was of no particular importance. The council anticipated
that the Communion service would prove unacceptable to many of the
clergy, and their anticipations were fulfilled, though, as shall be
seen, they adopted a novel method of allaying the trouble.

Bishop Gardiner, who had been kept in prison while Parliament was in
session lest his presence in the Upper House might lead to trouble,
was released in January 1548, but in May a peremptory summons was
issued commanding him to come to London without delay. He obeyed, and
for some time negotiations were carried on, until at last he was
ordered to preach against the Pope, monasteries, confession, and in
favour of the English Communion service (29th June). He was urged not
to treat of the sacrifice of the Mass, or of Transubstantiation, and
warned of the serious consequences that might ensue in case he
disobeyed; but Gardiner was a man who could not be deterred by such
means from speaking his mind, and as a consequence he was again placed
under arrest, and sent as a prisoner to the Tower. Cranmer, who had
rejected the authority of the Pope because he was a foreigner, finding
that he could get no support from the clergy or the universities--for
in spite of everything that had taken place the theology of Oxford and
Cambridge was still frankly conservative--invited preachers to come
from abroad to assist in weaning the English nation from the Catholic
faith. The men who responded to his call formed a motley crowd. They
were Germans like Martin Bucer and Paul Fagius, Italian apostate
friars like Peter Martyr (Pietro Martire Vermigli) and Ochino,
Frenchmen like Jean Véron, Poles like John à Lasco, Belgians like
Charles Utenhove, à Lasco's disciple, and Jews like Emmanuel
Tremellius.[52] The order for the total removal of images and for the
Communion service in English led to serious disturbances even in the
London churches, where the new opinions should have found the
strongest support, and confusion reigned throughout the country.

The Communion service in England was, however, only the prelude to the
total abolition of the Mass. Early in 1548 a series of questions had
been addressed by Cranmer to the bishops regarding the value of the
Mass as a religious service apart from the Communion.[53] The bishops
were asked to say also whether private Masses offered for the living
and the dead should continue to be celebrated, and what language
should be used. In their replies Cranmer and Ridley favoured
innovation, and were supported generally by Holbeach, Barlow, Cox, and
Taylor. One, Bishop Goodrich of Ely, expressed his willingness to
accept whatever might be enjoined, while the rest of the bishops
adopted a conservative attitude. But whatever might be the opinions of
the bishops generally the Protector and Cranmer were determined to
procure the abolition of the Mass. Later in the year an assembly of
the bishops was held to discuss the new English service to be
substituted in its place. It is difficult to determine what precisely
was done at this meeting. From the discussions which took place
afterwards in the House of Lords it is clear that the bishops could
not agree upon the Eucharist, that all with one exception signed their
names to a rough draft drawn up on the understanding that they did not
commit themselves thereby to Cranmer's views, and that the episcopal
report was changed by some authority before it was presented to
Parliament, especially by the omission of the word "oblation" in
regard to the Mass. That the Book of Common Prayer as such was ever
submitted to or approved by a formal convocation of the clergy cannot
be shown.[54]

Parliament met in November 1548. To put an end to the religious
confusion that had arisen an Act of Uniformity enjoining on all clergy
the use of the Book of Common Prayer was introduced.[55] The main
discussion centred around the Eucharist and the Mass. Bishop Tunstall
of Durham objected that by the omission of the Adoration it was
implied that there was nothing in the Sacrament except bread and wine,
a contention that he could not accept, as he believed in the Real
Presence of the Body and Blood of Christ both spiritual and carnal.
Bishop Thirlby of Westminster maintained that the bishops had never
agreed to the doctrine contained in the Book regarding the Eucharist
but had allowed it merely to go forward for discussion. The Protector
reproved him warmly for his tone and statement, but Thirlby stood
firmly by his point of view, adding the interesting item of
information that when the Book left the hands of the bishops it
contained the word "oblation" in reference to the Mass, which word had
since been omitted. Bonner of London pointed out that the Book of
Common Prayer, embodying as it did statements condemned abroad and in
England as heresy, should not be accepted. Cranmer and Ridley defended
strongly the Eucharistic doctrine it contained. When the disputation
between the bishops had been closed (19th Dec., 1548) the Bill for
Uniformity was brought down and read in the Commons. Of the bishops
present in the House of Lords ten voted in favour of the measure and
eight against it. Gardiner was still in prison, the Bishop of
Llandaff, who had spoken against Cranmer, was absent from the
division, and some others are not accounted for.[56]

The first Act of Uniformity (1548), as it is called, displaced the
Mass as it had been celebrated for centuries in the English Church,
and substituted in its place the new liturgy contained in the /Book of
Common Prayer/.[57] This latter while differing completely from any
rite that had been followed in the Catholic Church, had a close
affinity both in regard to the rites themselves and the ceremonies for
the administration of the Sacraments to the liturgy introduced by the
German Lutherans. According to the Act of Parliament it was to come
into force on Whit Sunday the 9th June (1549). That it was expected to
meet with strong opposition is evident from the prohibition against
plays, songs, rhymes, etc., holding it up to ridicule, as well as by
the heavy fines prescribed against those who might endeavour to
prevent clergymen from following it. Forfeiture of a year's revenue
together with imprisonment for six months was the penalty to be
inflicted on any clergyman who refused to follow the new liturgy.
Complete deprivation and imprisonment were prescribed for the second
offence, and the third offence was to be punished by life-long
imprisonment. For preventing any clergyman from adopting the new
liturgy the penalties were for the first offence a fine of £10, for
the second £20, and for the third forfeiture and perpetual
imprisonment. Finally Parliament satisfied Cranmer's scruples by
permitting clergy to contract marriages.

The attempt to abolish the Mass and to force the new liturgy on the
English people led to risings and disturbances throughout the country.
In London, where it might have been expected that the influence of the
court should have secured its ready acceptance, many of the churches
maintained the old service in spite of the frantic efforts of Cranmer
and his subordinates. Bishop Bonner was reproved sharply for
encouraging the disobedience of his clergy, and as he failed to give
satisfaction to the government he was committed to prison. In
Devonshire and Cornwall[58] the peasants and country gentlemen rose in
arms to protest against the new service which they had likened to a
Christmas game, and to demand the restoration of the Mass, Communion
under one kind, holy water, palms, ashes, images, and pictures. They
insisted that the Six Articles of Henry VIII. should be enforced once
more and that Cardinal Pole should be recalled from Rome, and honoured
with a seat at the council. In the Universities of Oxford and
Cambridge, where royal visitors and hired foreigners like Peter
Martyr, Bucer, and Ochino were doing their best to decatholicise these
seats of learning, violent commotions took place, that served to
arouse both students and people, and soon the country around Oxford
was in a blaze. The religious disturbances encouraged those who
preferred small farms and sturdy labourers to grazing inclosures and
sheep to raise the standard of revolt against the new economical
tendencies, and to accept the leadership of the Norfolk tanner,
William Kett.[59] By the strenuous exertions of the Protector and the
council, backed as they were by foreign mercenaries raised in Italy
and Germany to fight against Scotland, these rebellions were put down
by force, and the leaders, both lay and clerical, were punished with
merciless severity. The disturbed condition of the country, however,
the open dissatisfaction of the Catholic party, the compromises that
were offered to those who fought against inclosures, and the
unfortunate war with France into which the country had been plunged,
pointed to Somerset's unfitness for the office of Protector. A
combination was formed against him by the Earl of Warwick, assisted by
the leaders of the Catholic party. He was arrested, found guilty, and
deprived of all his offices (Dec. 1549), and the Earl of Warwick,
created later Duke of Northumberland, secured the principal share in
the new government.

Cranmer and his foreign assistants were filled with alarm for the
future of their cause. They feared that the new administration would
be controlled by Wriothesley, ex-Chancellor, the Arundels, Southwell
and other prominent Catholics, that Gardiner and Bonner might be
released from imprisonment, and that the demands of many of the
insurgents for the abolition of the Book of Common Prayer and the
restoration of the Mass might be conceded. The Catholic party were
filled with new hope; in Oxford and throughout the country the old
missals and vestments that had been hidden away were brought forth
again, and the offices and Mass were sung as they had been for
centuries.[60] But Warwick soon showed that the change of rulers meant
no change in the religious policy of the government. Gardiner and
Bonner were still kept in confinement; Wriothesley was dismissed from
the council; many of the other Catholic noblemen were imprisoned, and
Somerset who was supposed to have fallen a victim to the hatred of the
Catholics was released from his prison and re-admitted to the privy
council (1550). By the inglorious war with France and by the still
more inglorious peace of Boulogne the government felt itself free to
devote its energies to the religious situation at home. Warwick went
over completely to the camp of the reforming party and determined in
consultation with them to push forward the anti-Catholic campaign.

The Parliament that assembled in November 1549 was distinctly radical
in its tendencies. In the House of Lords the bishops complained that
their authority had been destroyed, and that their orders were set at
naught. In reply they were requested to formulate a proposal for
redress, but on such a proposal having been submitted, their demands
were regarded by the laymen as exorbitant. A commission was appointed
against the wishes of a strong minority of the bishops to draw up a
new Ordinal as a complement to the Book of Common Prayer. The
committee was appointed on the 2nd February 1550, and it appears to
have finished its work within a week. In the new /Ordinal/[61] (1550)
the ceremonies for the conferring of tonsure, minor orders, and sub-
deaconship were omitted entirely, while the ordination rites for
deacons, priests, and bishops were considerably modified. Just as the
sacrificial character of the Mass had been dropped out of the Book of
Common Prayer, so too the notion of a real priesthood disappeared from
the forms for ordination. In spite of the opposition of a large body
of the bishops, an Act was passed ordering the destruction of all
missals, antiphonals, processionals, manuals, ordinals, etc., used
formerly in the service of the Church and not approved of by the
king's majesty, as well as for the removal of all images "except any
image or picture set or graven upon any tomb in any church, chapel or
churchyard only for a monument of any king, prince, nobleman or other
dead person who had not been commonly reputed and taken for a
saint."[62] As a result of this measure a wholesale destruction of
valuable books and manuscripts took place in the king's own library at
Westminster and throughout the country. The royal visitors, entrusted
with the difficult work of Protestantising Oxford, acting under the
guidance of Dr. Cox, chancellor of the University or "cancellor" as he
was called, ransacked the college libraries, tore up and burned
priceless manuscripts or sold them as waste paper, and even went so
far as to demand the destruction of the chapel windows, lest these
beautiful specimens of art might encourage loyalty to the old religion
that had inspired their artists and donors.

As it had been determined to abandon completely the religious
conservatism of the former reign it was felt absolutely necessary to
remove the Catholic-minded bishops, to make way for men of the new
school on whom the government could rely with confidence. Gardiner of
Winchester and Bonner of London were already in prison. Heath of
Worcester, who had refused to agree to the new Ordinal, was arrested
in March 1550, as was also Day of Chichester in October. Tunstall of
Durham, whose conservative views were well known to all, was placed
under surveillance in May 1551, and thrown into prison together with
his dean in the following November. In a short time a sentence of
deprivation was issued against Bonner, Heath, Day and Gardiner. Bishop
Thirlby of Westminster, who had given great offence by his
uncompromising attitude regarding the Blessed Eucharist, was removed
from Westminster, where his presence was highly inconvenient, to
Norwich, and the aged Bishop Voysey was forced to resign the See of
Exeter to make way for a more reliable and more active man. At the
same time steps were taken in the universities to drive out the men
whose influence might be used against the government's plans. The Sees
of Westminster and London were combined and handed over to Ridley of
Rochester, one of Cranmer's ablest and most advanced lieutenants.
Hooper, who looked to Zwingli as his religious guide, was appointed to
Gloucester; but as he objected to the episcopal oath, and episcopal
vestments, and as he insisted on his rights of private judgment so far
as to write publicly against those things that had been sanctioned by
the supreme head of the Church, it was necessary to imprison him[63]
before he could be reduced to a proper frame of mind for the
imposition of Cranmer's hands (March 1551). Ponet was appointed to
Rochester, and on the deprivation of Gardiner, to Winchester, where
his scandalous and public connexion with the wife of a Nottingham
burgher[64] was not calculated to influence the longing of his flock
for the new teaching. Scory was appointed to Rochester and afterwards
to Chichester, and Miles Coverdale to Oxford.

The zeal of the new bishops in seeking out the suppression of
papistical practices and their readiness to place the property of the
churches at Northumberland's disposal soon showed that those who
selected them had made no mistake. On Ridley's arrival in London he
held a conference for the purpose of compelling the clergy to adopt
the new liturgy in place of the Mass. He issued an order for the
removal of altars, and for the erection in their places of "honest
tables decently covered," whereon Communion might be celebrated. The
high altar in the Cathedral of St. Paul was pulled down, and a plain
Communion table set up in its stead. As such a sacrilegious innovation
was resented by a great body of both clergy and people, the council
felt it necessary to instruct the sheriff of Middlesex to enforce the
commands of the bishop. The example thus set in the capital was to be
followed throughout the country. In November 1550 letters were sent
out to all the bishops in the name of the youthful head of the Church,
commanding them to pull down the altars in their dioceses, and for
disobedience to this order Bishop Day was arrested. Hooper, once his
scruples regarding the episcopal oath and vestments had been removed,
threw himself with ardour into the work of reforming the clergy of his
dioceses of Worcester and Gloucester, but only to find that nothing
less than a royal decree could serve to detach them from their old
"superstitions" (1552). While the wholesale work of destruction was
being pushed forward care was taken that none of the spoils derived
from the plunder of the churches should go to private individuals.
Warwick insisted on the new bishops handing over large portions of
episcopal estates to be conferred on his favourites, and royal
commissions were issued to take inventories of ecclesiastical
property. During the years 1551 and 1552 the churches were stripped of
their valuables, and the church plate, chalices, copes, vestments, and
altar cloths, were disposed of to provide money for the impecunious
members of the council.

Violent measures such as these were not likely to win popularity for
the new religion, nor to bring about dogmatic unity. Risings took
place in Leicester, Northampton, Rutland, and Berkshire, and free
fights were witnessed even in the churches of London. Rumours of
conspiracy, especially in the north, where the Earls of Shrewsbury and
Derby still clung to the Catholic faith, were circulated, and fears of
a French invasion were not entirely without foundation. A new Act of
Uniformity[65] was decreed (1552) threatening spiritual and temporal
punishments against laymen who neglected to attend common prayer on
Sundays and holidays. Acts were passed for the relief of the poor who
had been rendered destitute by the suppression of the monasteries and
the wholesale inclosures, and to comfort the married clergy, whose
children were still regarded commonly as illegitimate, a second
measure was passed legalising such unions. Fighting in churches and
churchyards was to be put down with a heavy hand. If spiritual
punishments could not suffice for the maintenance of order offenders
were to be deprived of an ear or branded on the cheek with a red hot

Though according to some the Book of Common Prayer had been compiled
under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, soon it came to be regarded by
many as unsatisfactory. The men, who had rejected the authority of the
Pope because he was a foreigner to follow the teaching of apostate
friars from Switzerland, Italy, Poland, and Germany, clamoured for its
revision on the ground that it seemed to uphold the Real and Corporeal
Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Cranmer, who had accepted
Transubstantiation in the days of Henry VIII., and had defended a kind
of Real Presence in 1549, veered gradually towards Calvin's teaching
on the Eucharist. In order to remove the ambiguities and difficulties
of the old Prayer Book, it was determined to subject it to a complete
revision by which everything that implied a real objective presence of
Christ in the Eucharist should be omitted. The second Book of Common
Prayer was submitted and approved by Parliament (1552), and its use
was authorised by royal proclamation. It was to come into force in
November 1552, but late in September, when some copies of the Book
were already printed, the council issued a command that the work
should be stopped until further corrections had been made. It seems
that by a new rubric inserted by Cranmer communicants were enjoined to
receive the communion on bended knees, and John Knox, who had arrived
lately in England and was high in the favour of the council, objected
strongly to such an injunction as flavouring of papistry.
Notwithstanding the spirited remonstrances of Cranmer, the council
without authority from Parliament or Convocation obliged him to insert
on a fly leaf the famous "Black Rubric" which remains in the Book of
Common Prayer till the present day, except that in the time of Charles
II. a change was made, by which "corporeal presence" was inserted in
place of the "real and essential presence" repudiated in the first
form of the rubric.[66]

One other matter was considered by Cranmer as necessary for the
success of the new religious settlement, namely, the publication of an
authoritative creed for the English Church. The great diversity of
opinion in the country, the frantic appeals of men like Hooper who had
tried in vain to make an unwilling clergy accept their own dogmatic
standard, and the striking success of the Council of Trent in
vindicating Catholic doctrine, made it necessary to show the English
people what could be done by the supreme head of the Church at home
even though he was only a helpless boy. In 1549 Cranmer drew up a
series of Articles to be accepted by all preachers in his diocese.
These he submitted to the body of the bishops in 1551, and later at
the request of the privy council to a commission of six amongst whom
was John Knox. They were returned with annotations to Cranmer, who
having revised them besought the council to authorise their
publication. Finally in June 1553 Edward VI., four weeks before his
death, approved them, and commanded that they should be accepted by
all his subjects. The /Forty-two Articles/ represented the first
attempt to provide the English Church with a distinct dogmatic creed.
In the title page it was stated that the Articles had been agreed upon
"by the bishops and other learned and godly men in the last
Convocation held in London in the year of Our Lord 1552"; but
notwithstanding this very explicit statement, it is now practically
certain that the Articles were never submitted to or approved by
Convocation. In other words, as Gairdner puts it,[67] the title page
is "nothing but a shameful piece of official mendacity" resorted to in
order to deceive the people, and to prevent them from being influenced
by the successful work accomplished by the Fathers of Trent.

The Duke of Northumberland, who had scrambled into power on the
shoulders of the Catholic party, deserted his former allies, and went
over completely to the party of Cranmer, Ridley, and Hooper. Taking
advantage of England's peaceful relations with France and Scotland and
of the difficulties of the Emperor in Germany, he had risked
everything to make England a Protestant nation. He had removed the
bishops whose influence he feared, and had packed the episcopal bench
with his own nominees. He had destroyed the altars and burned the
missals to show his contempt for the Mass, and his firm resolve to
uproot the religious beliefs of the English people. So determined were
he and his friends to enforce the new religious service that even the
Princess Mary was forbidden to have Mass celebrated in her presence,
and her chaplains were prosecuted for disobeying the king's law. Once
indeed the Emperor felt it necessary to intervene in defence of his
kinswoman, and to warn the council that if any attempt were made to
prevent her from worshipping as she pleased, he would feel it
necessary to recall his ambassador and to declare war (1551). The
situation was decidedly embarrassing, and the council resolved to seek
the advice of Cranmer, Ridley, and Hooper. The bishops replied that
though to give licence to sin was sinful Mary's disobedience might be
winked at for the time.[68] The suggestion was followed by the
council, but later on when the Emperor's hands were tied by the
troubles in Germany, the attempt to overawe the princess was renewed.
Mary, however, showed the true Tudor spirit of independence, and, as
it would have been dangerous to imprison her or to behead her, she was
not pushed to extremes.

In 1553 it was clear to Northumberland that Edward VI. could not long
survive, and that with his death and the succession of Mary, his own
future and the future of the religious settlement for which he had
striven would be gravely imperilled. In defiance therefore of the late
king's will, and of what he knew to be the wishes of the English
people, for all through Edward's reign the Princess Mary was a great
favourite with the nation, he determined to secure the succession for
Lady Jane Grey, the grand-daughter of Henry VIII.'s sister Mary. Such
a succession, he imagined, would guarantee his own safety and the
triumph of Protestantism, more especially as he took care to bring
about a marriage between the prospective queen and his son, Lord
Guildford Dudley. When everything had been arranged the Chief Justice
and the two leading law officers of the crown were summoned to the
bedside of the dying king, and instructed to draw up a deed altering
the succession. They implored the king to abandon such a project, and
pointed out that it was illegal and would involve everyone concerned
in it in the guilt of treason, but Northumberland's violence overcame
their scruples, particularly as their own safety was assured by a
commission under the great seal and a promise of pardon. When the
document was drawn up it was signed by the king, the judges, and the
members of the council. Cranmer hesitated on the ground that he had
sworn to uphold the will of Henry VIII., but as the situation was a
desperate one, he agreed finally to follow the example that had been
set (June 1553). The preachers were instructed to prepare the people
for the change by denouncing both Mary and Elizabeth as bastards. On
the 6th July Edward VI. died at Greenwich, but his death was kept a
secret until Northumberland's plans could be matured. Four days later
Lady Jane Grey arrived in London, and the proclamation of her
accession to the throne was received with ominous silence in the
streets of the capital.

[1] /The Life and Death of Thomas Wolsey, written by one of his
    Servants/; ed. by Simpson, 1901. Cavendish, /The Life of Cardinal
    Wolsey/, 1885. Creighton, /Cardinal Wolsey/, 1888. Taunton,
    /Thomas Wolsey, Legate and Reformer/, 1902.

[2] O'Donovan, /Assertio Septem Sacramentorum/, etc., 1908.

[3] Id., 118-26.

[4] On the Divorce proceedings, cf. Harpsfield, /A Treatise on the
    Pretended Divorce between Henry VIII. and Catharine of Aragon/,
    (written 1556, ed. 1878). Hope, /The First Divorce of Henry VIII.
    as told in the State Papers/, 1894. Ehses, /Römische Dokumente zur
    Geschichte der Ehescheidung/, 1893. Thurston, /Clement VII.,
    Campeggio and the Divorce/ (American Cath. Quart. Rev., 1904).
    Id., /The Canon Law of the Divorce/ (Eng. Hist. Review, 1904).
    Gairdner, /New Lights on the Divorce/ (Eng. Hist. Rev., 1897, also
    1892). Friedman, /Anne Boleyn/, 2 vols., 1884.

[5] Ehses, op. cit., 21-7.

[6] Ehses, op. cit., p. xxxiii.

[7] Id., 14-16.

[8] Ehses, op. cit., pp. 28-31.

[9] /Political History of England/, vol. v., 280-1.

[10] Ehses, op. cit., p. xxxi., sqq.

[11] Brewer, /Reign of Hen. VIII./, ii., 346-51.

[12] Ehses, 120-5.

[13] Brewer, op. cit., 466-7.

[14] /Pol. Hist. of England/, v., 301.

[15] /Letters and Papers, Henry VIII./, iv., 64-78.

[16] Rymer, /Foedera/, xiv., 405.

[17] Ehses, op. cit., 163-4.

[18] Ehses, 167 sqq.

[19] Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, i., 300.

[20] Gairdner, /Hist. of Eng. Ch. in XVIth Century/, 114.

[21] /Letters and Papers/, v., 886.

[22] Ehses, op. cit., 200-1.

[23] Haile, /The Life of Reginald Pole/, 1910, p. 88.

[24] For his dying statement against Royal Supremacy, vid. /Dublin
    Review/ (April, 1894).

[25] /Pol. Hist. of England/, v., 318.

[26] /Pol. Hist. of England/, v., 318-19.

[27] Ehses, op. cit., 212-13.

[28] Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, i., 48-52.

[29] /Pol. Hist. of England/, v., 344.

[30] /Lollardy and the Reformation/, i., 424-35.

[31] Cf. Bridgett, /Life of Blessed John Fisher/, 1888. Stewart, /Life
    of John Fisher/, 1879. Baily (Hall), /Life and Death of John
    Fisher/, 1655.

[32] Cf. Roper, /The Life, Arraignment, and Death of ... Sir Thomas
    More/, 1629 (reprinted 1903). Bridgett, /Life and Writings of Sir
    Thomas More/, 1891. Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/,
    (chap. iv., v.).

[33] /Pol. Hist. of England/, v., 361.

[34] Cf. Gasquet, /Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries/. Gairdner,
    /Lollardy and the Reformation, II./ (chap. ii., iii.).

[35] Turnbull, /Account of Monastic Treasures confiscated at the
    Dissolution/, etc., 1836.

[36] Gairdner, /Letters and Papers Hen. VIII./, xi., xii.

[37] Haile, /Life of Reginald Pole/ (chap. ix.-xi.).

[38] Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, vol. ii., 304 sqq.

[39] Gairdner, /Hist. of the Eng. Church in the XVIIth Cent./, 177-8.

[40] Gairdner, /The Story of the English Bible/ (/Loll. and the Ref./,
    ii. 221 sqq.).

[41] /English Statutes/, 34 and 35 Hen. VIII., c. 50.

[42] Gairdner, /German Protestants and the Act of Six Articles/ (op.
    cit., ii., 170-220.)

[43] Merriman, /Life and Letters of Thomas Cromwell/, 2 vols., 1902.

[44] Tytler, /England under Edward VI. and Mary/, 2 vols., 1839.

[45] Gasquet-Bishop, /Edw. VI. and the Book of Common Prayer/, 43-4.

[46] Cf. Dodd-Tierney, /Church Hist. of England/, ii., app. iii.

[47] Id., app. iv.

[48] Lee, /Edw. VI., Supreme Head/, 39.

[49] Gasquet-Bishop, op. cit., 69-77.

[50] Leach, /Eng. Schools at the Reformation/, 1-7.

[51] Gasquet-Bishop, op. cit., 92-96.

[52] /Cambridge Mod. History/, ii., 477.

[53] Gasquet-Bishop, op. cit., 83 sqq. Dixon, /History of the Church/,
    ii., 476.

[54] Gasquet-Bishop, op. cit., chap. ix.

[55] Dodd-Tierney, ii., app. ix.

[56] Gasquet-Bishop, op. cit., chap. x.

[57] /The First Prayer Book of King Edw. VI./, 1549 (Westminster
    Library). Proctor-Frere, /New History of the Book of Common
    Prayer/, 1901.

[58] Rose-Troup, /The Western Rebellion of 1549/, 1913.

[59] Russell, /Kett's Rebellion/, 1859.

[60] Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, iii., 125-7.

[61] /The Forme and Maner of makyng and consecratyng of
    Archebishoppes, Bishoppes, Priestes, and Deacons/.

[62] /Stat. 3rd and 4th, Edw. VI./, c. 10.

[63] Gairdner, op. cit., iii., 273.

[64] Lee, op. cit., 214.

[65] /Stat. 5th and 6th, Edw. III./, c. 50.

[66] Gairdner, op. cit., iii., 349-50.

[67] Gairdner, op. cit., iii., 376-77.

[68] Gairdner, op. cit., iii., 201.



  See bibliography, chap. i., ii., /State Papers/ (Home, Foreign,
  Venetian). /The Diary of Henry Machyn, etc., from 1550 to 1563/
  (ed. by J. G. Nichols, 1854). Lingard, /History of England/ (vol.
  v.). Gairdner, /Lollardy and the Reformation/, vol. iv. 1913.
  Innes, /England under the Tudors/, 1905. Zimmermann, /Maria die
  Katholische/, 1896. Stone, /Mary I., Queen of England/, 1901.
  Haile, /Life of Reginald Pole/, 1910. Zimmermann, /Kardinal Pole,
  sein Leben, und seine Schriften/, 1893. Lee, /Reginald Pole,
  Cardinal Archbishop of Canterbury/. /Cambridge Modern History/,
  vol. ii., chap. xv.

Lady Jane Grey might be proclaimed queen, but until Mary had been
lodged safely in the Tower the triumph of the conspiracy was not
assured. Efforts had been made to induce her to come to London, but
warned by secret messages dispatched by her London friends, she fled
from her residence in Hundon to a castle in Suffolk, from which she
addressed letters to the council and to the prominent noblemen of
England asserting her rights to the throne. From all parts of the
country thousands flocked to join her standard, while the frantic
appeals of Northumberland and his colleagues failed to awaken any
genuine response even in London itself. Northumberland, much against
his will, consented to lead the army against Mary, who was advancing
towards the capital, but after his departure, the members of the
council, convinced that their cause was hopeless, deserted their
leader, and permitted Mary to be proclaimed (19th July).
Northumberland surrendered himself to the mercy of the new queen, and
was committed to the Tower together with his principal adherents. On
the 3rd August Mary made her formal entrance into London where she
received an enthusiastic welcome from the citizens. Her first care was
to liberate some of those who had been arrested during the previous
reign, Bishops Gardiner, Bonner, Heath, and Day, the Duke of Norfolk,
and Lord Courtenay, the latter of whom had been in confinement for
fifteen years. As a fervent Catholic, who had upheld the Mass in the
days of Edward VI. even at the risk of her life, there could be no
doubt about the new queen's religious views, and in many of the
churches in London and throughout the country the English service gave
place immediately to the Mass. In an interview with the lord mayor of
London, and afterwards in the public proclamation addressed to all her
subjects, she announced that, though it was her intention to follow
the Catholic religion, she had no desire of resorting to compulsion to
force it on her people against their will, and she exhorted them to
live together in Christian harmony, avoiding the "new found devilish
terms of papist and heretic." As a sign that vengeance and cruelty
were no part of her programme she exercised great mercy towards those
who had conspired to deprive her of the throne, only a few of whom,
including the Earl of Northumberland, were put to death. Possibly in
the hope of playing upon the feelings of the queen and of securing a
pardon Northumberland announced publicly his return to the old faith
and his acceptance of the Catholic doctrine on the Eucharist.

Charles V., on whose counsel Mary relied, advised her to proceed
cautiously with the restoration of religion in England. Many of the
younger generation had been taught to regard papal supremacy as an
unwarrantable interference with English independence, while those who
had been enriched by the plunder of the Church had every reason for
upholding the Edwardine settlement. For their part in promoting the
conspiracy against the queen as well as for various other offences
laid to their charge Cranmer, Ridley, Hooper, Latimer, and Coverdale
were committed to prison; Bishop Ponet went into hiding, and Barlow
made his escape from the country. Later on all these were deprived of
their Sees. Gardiner was restored to his See of Winchester, and
appointed Lord Chancellor, Tunstall to Durham, Heath to Worcester, Day
to Chichester, and Voysey to Exeter. Foreign scholars like Peter
Martyr, John à Lasco and their friends, whom Cranmer had brought over
to teach the English people the new religion, were granted passports
and permitted to leave the kingdom. Their example was followed by John
Knox, and by many others of the married clergy.

In her heart Mary detested the title supreme head of the Church, and
was most anxious to bring about a reconciliation with Rome. When the
news of her accession reached Rome it brought joy to the heart of
Julius III. He determined at once to send a legate to England, and he
selected for this office the great English Cardinal, whose devotion to
his country was equalled only by his loyalty to the Church. Cardinal
Pole was appointed legate with full powers, and was entrusted also
with the work of effecting a reconciliation between the Emperor and
Henry II. of France. Charles V. had no desire to see Pole in England
installed as Queen Mary's chief adviser. He had planned a marriage
between Mary and his eldest son, afterwards Philip II. of Spain, and
fully conscious that Pole might oppose such an alliance as dangerous
both for England and for religion, he was determined to delay the
arrival of the legate until the negotiations for the marriage had been

In October 1553 Mary was crowned solemnly by Bishop Gardiner at
Westminster Abbey. She bound herself by oath to preserve the liberties
of her kingdom, and to maintain the rights of the Holy See. Four days
later she attended the Mass of the Holy Ghost at the opening of
Parliament, and listened to the address in which her Lord Chancellor
exhorted the members to show their repentance for and detestation of
the heresy and schism of which he and they had been guilty, by
returning to the unity of the Catholic Church. All the new treasons,
felonies, and praemunire penalties of the previous reigns were
abolished on the ground, it was declared, that Mary hoped to win the
obedience of her subjects through love rather than through fear. The
marriage of Henry VIII. with Catharine of Aragon was declared valid,
and consequently Mary was acknowledged as the lawful successor to the
throne. The Edwardine religious settlement, including the Acts of
Uniformity, the Book of Common Prayer, the Ordinal, the Forty-two
Articles and the permission for clergymen to marry, was swept away,
and an Act was passed against disturbing religious services or
exhibiting irreverence towards the Eucharist. All this legislation was
in perfect conformity with the wishes of Convocation, which had met
shortly after the meeting of Parliament, and which with only a few
dissentients condemned the Book of Common Prayer, and re-affirmed the
belief of the English clergy in the doctrine of Transubstantiation.
Though the queen announced her dissatisfaction with the title of
supreme head, and granted full freedom of discussion regarding it,
Parliament showed itself decidedly unwilling to restore the
jurisdiction of the Pope. It was not that the members had any real
objection to the change from the doctrinal point of view, but, fearing
that a return to Roman obedience might involve a restoration of the
ecclesiastical property seized or alienated during the previous reign,
they wished to secure their property before they made their submission
to the Pope.

For so far Mary had acted with considerable mildness and prudence in
carrying out her religious programme, against which as yet no serious
opposition had been manifested. The question of her marriage, however,
was destined to create dissension between herself and her subjects.
The Emperor and the imperial ambassador urged her to accept the hand
of Philip, on the ground that by such a marriage internal jealousies
and dissensions might be avoided, and the triumph of Catholicism might
be assured. Many of the members of the council and the vast majority
of the English people were opposed to such a union. They feared that
were a foreign ruler to become the husband of their queen he must have
of necessity the chief voice in English affairs. They believed,
therefore, that England would be involved in all the wars of Spain,
and that were an heir to be born of such a union, England, instead of
being an independent nation, might become a mere Spanish province. The
enemies of Mary's religious programme thought they saw in the Spanish
marriage an opportunity of overturning her government, and of
re-establishing Protestantism in the country. Taking advantage of the
unpopularity of this proposal they appealed to the patriotism and love
of independence of the English people, and succeeded in winning to
their side many who were at least neutral in regard to her religious
proposals. It was planned by some to bring about a marriage between
the Princess Elizabeth and Edward Courtenay, both of whom had claims
to the throne, and to set them up as rivals to Queen Mary. The French
ambassador, alarmed at the prospect of Mary's marriage with the
hereditary enemy of France, encouraged the conspirators with promises
of assistance, not, indeed, because France desired the accession of
Elizabeth, but in the hope that during the confusion that would ensue
it might be possible to assert the claims of Mary Queen of Scotland,
the prospective wife of the Dauphin of France.

Notwithstanding the petition presented against the Spanish marriage by
Parliament, Mary persisted in the policy suggested to her by the
Emperor. Flemish envoys arrived on New Year's Day 1554 to arrange the
preliminaries. The marriage treaty was signed and two days later it
was announced to the mayor and the chief citizens of London. This was
the signal for the conspirators, who had been working secretly for
months, to bring their designs to a head. News soon arrived in London
that Sir Peter Carew had risen in Devon and had captured Exeter, that
Sir Thomas Wyatt was rousing the men of Kent, and that Sir James
Crofts had gone to Wales and the Duke of Suffolk to the midlands to
rally the forces of disloyalty. But the great body of the English
people were too deeply attached to their sovereign to respond to the
appeal of the rebel leaders. Wyatt's movement alone threatened to be
dangerous. As his forces advanced to the gates of London, Mary, who
had shown the greatest courage throughout the crisis, went in person
to the Guildhall to call upon the citizens of London to defend their
sovereign. Her invitation was responded to with enthusiasm, and when
Wyatt had succeeded in forcing his way as far as Ludgate Circus, he
was obliged to retire and to surrender himself a prisoner to the
queen's forces. Mary, who for so far had followed a policy of extreme
mildness, felt that she could do so no longer, and that she must make
it clear to her subjects that to declare war on the throne was a
serious crime. Wyatt, the Duke of Suffolk, father of Lady Jane Grey,
and several of the leaders were tried and put to death. Already in
November Lady Jane Grey, her husband and Cranmer had been condemned to
death as traitors. The sentence was not, however, carried out, nor was
it likely to have been, had not the rebellion shown that Mary's
enemies might utilise such dangerous claimants to the throne for
stirring up new disaffection. Lady Jane Grey[1] and her husband were
put to death on Tower Hill (Feb. 1554); several of the other
conspirators were punished only by imprisonment, and a general pardon
was published for the great body of the insurgents. Mary's treatment
of the offenders, however the execution of Lady Jane Grey may be
regarded, was in striking contrast to what might have been expected to
have taken place in similar circumstances had the throne been occupied
by her father or even by her sister Elizabeth. From the confessions of
some of the rebels as well as from the correspondence of the French
ambassador serious evidence was furnished to show that Elizabeth was
implicated in the rebellion. She was summoned to London to answer the
charges brought against her, and though she protested her innocence
she was committed to the Tower. Many members of the council were
convinced of her guilt, but Mary, refusing to believe that her sister
was privy to the designs of the conspirators, ordered her release.

The terms of the marriage treaty having been confirmed by Parliament
(April 1554) Philip arrived in England, and on the 25th July the
marriage was celebrated in Westminster Abbey. Philip and Mary were
proclaimed "by the grace of God King and Queen of England, France,
Naples, Jerusalem, and Ireland, Defenders of the Faith, Princes of
Spain and Sicily, Arch-Dukes of Austria, Dukes of Milan, Burgundy and
Brabant, Counts of Habsburg, Flanders, and Tyrol." The Emperor had at
last carried his point, and, as the presence of Cardinal Pole in
England could no longer prove a danger to his designs, the latter was
now free to come to England. During the early portions of the year
steps had been taken to prepare England for the worthy reception of
the papal legate. In March four of the reforming bishops were deprived
of their Sees on the ground that they were married, and three others
who held their appointments only by letters patent of Edward VI. were
removed. On the 1st April six new bishops were consecrated by Gardiner
to fill the vacant Sees. Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley were sent down
to Oxford to defend their views in a public discussion, arranged
undoubtedly with the object of forwarding the national reconciliation
with Rome. There were still, however, difficulties that must be
removed before Cardinal Pole could be allowed to land on English soil.
The real objection to the return of England to the Roman obedience was
the ownership of the Church lands, and from what had happened in the
two previous sessions it was perfectly clear that those who had
benefited by the plunder of the Church lands were determined to refuse
to make restoration. After prolonged negotiations Pole agreed that,
while the Pope could not approve of what had been done, he would not
insist on the restoration of ecclesiastical property.

When everything had been arranged Parliament was summoned to meet in
November 1554. The sheriffs were instructed to see that men "of the
wise, grave and Catholic sort" should be returned. An Act was passed
immediately reversing the sentence of Attainder against Cardinal Pole.
The legate hastened on his way to London where he was welcomed by the
King and Queen and Parliament. A supplication was adopted unanimously
in the House of Lords, and with but one dissentient in the House of
Commons, requesting the King and Queen to procure from the legate
absolution from heresy and schism for the English people and a
reconciliation of the nation with the Pope. Cardinal Pole attended
Parliament on the 30th to pronounce the sentence of absolution, which
was received by the King, Queen, Lords, and Commons on bended knees.
This happy event was celebrated by a procession through the streets of
London in which the clergymen, aldermen, and citizens took part.
Parliament petitioned that the old jurisdiction of the clergy should
be restored, that the liberty granted to the Church by the Magna
Charta should be confirmed, and that the English religious service-
books of the previous reign should be delivered to the flames. Once it
was made clear that the owners of ecclesiastical property should not
be disturbed there was no difficulty in procuring a complete reversal
of all the laws that had been passed against the apostolic See of Rome
since the twentieth year of Henry VIII. (3rd January 1555).[2]

The close connexion of the leaders of the Reformers with the late
rebellion, the ugly pamphlets that made their way into England from
Frankfurt and Geneva, the fact that prayers were offered in secret for
the speedy death of the queen, that a shot had been fired at one of
the royal preachers while he was in the pulpit, and that a violent
commotion was being stirred up, that led later on to a priest being
struck down at the altar by one who is designated by Foxe as "a
faithful servant of God,"[3] made it necessary for the safety of the
crown and the advancement of religion to deal harshly with those who
themselves had relied on persecution for the promotion of their
designs. Mary herself, Philip, and Cardinal Pole did not favour a
recourse to violent measures, but they were overruled by the judgment
of those who should have known best the character of the opponents
with whom they had to deal. An Act was passed renewing the legislation
that had been made in the reigns of Richard II., Henry IV., and Henry
V. for the suppression of the Lollard heresy.

Parliament was dissolved in January 1555, and several of the political
prisoners were released from the Tower. The heretical leaders, who
though under arrest had been treated with great mildness and allowed
such liberty that they were able to meet together and to publish
writings and challenges against Mary's religious policy,[4] were
brought to trial before a commission presided over by Gardiner. A few
consented to sign a formula of recantation, but the majority,
persisting in their opposition, were degraded and handed over for
punishment to the civil authorities. On the 4th February the long
series of burnings began. John Rogers was committed to the flames in
Smithfield, Bishop Hooper in Gloucester, Taylor in Suffolk, Saunders
in Coventry, and before the year had elapsed about seventy prisoners
had met a similar fate. In September 1555 a commission was sent down
to Oxford to examine Latimer and Ridley. Both refused to admit
Transubstantiation, the sacrificial character of the Mass, or Roman
supremacy. They were condemned, and it must be said of them that they
met their fate like men. Judges were appointed by the Pope to take
evidence against Cranmer. He was charged with perjury because he had
broken his oath to the Pope, with heresy on account of his teaching
against the Eucharist, and with adultery. The minutes of the trial
were forwarded to Rome for the final decision, and after careful
consideration the Pope deposed him from the Archbishopric of
Canterbury, and excommunicated him. Meanwhile Cranmer's theological
views had been undergoing another revision. On the question of prayers
for the dead, Purgatory, and the Mass, he was willing to admit that he
might have been mistaken, and even on the question of papal supremacy
he professed himself ready to listen to argument. In his eagerness to
escape punishment he signed recantation after recantation, each of
them more comprehensive and more submissive than its predecessor,
acknowledging his guilt as a persecutor of the Church and a disturber
of the faith of the English nation, and praying for pardon from the
sovereigns, the Pope, and God. But in the end, when he realised that
his recantations could not save him and that he was face to face with
death, he deceived his chaplains at the last moment as he had deceived
many others, by withdrawing his previous admissions and announcing
that he still clung to his heretical views[5] (21st March 1556).

An embassy had been sent to Rome to inform the Pope that England had
returned to the Holy See. The envoys reported, too, that though Mary
had failed to secure a restoration of the ecclesiastical lands, she
had at least set a good example to the lay usurpers by returning the
possessions of the Church still held by the crown. The synod summoned
by Cardinal Pole to restore the discipline of the Church in England,
met in November 1555. It was agreed in the synod that the 30th
November should be kept as a national holiday in memory of the
reconciliation of England to the Church, that the decrees binding in
England before the troubles began under Henry VIII. should be
enforced, that the clergy should be mindful of their duties of
residence and preaching, that seminaries should be set up in each
diocese for the education of the clergy, that bishops should hold
frequent visitations, that a set of homilies should be compiled for
the guidance of preachers, and that an English version of the
Scriptures should be published without delay.[6] This new code of
constitutions issued under the title /Reformatio Angliae ex decretis
Reginaldi Pole/ is in itself a testimony to the ability, moderation,
and prudence of the papal legate. Some months later he was
consecrated bishop and took possession of the See of Canterbury to
which he had been appointed on the deposition of Cranmer. In pursuance
of her plans for the complete re-establishment of the Catholic
religion the queen took steps to ensure that the monastic
institutions, which had been suppressed during the previous reigns,
should begin to make their appearance once more in England. The
Carthusians returned to London, the Grey Friars occupied a house at
Greenwich, the Dominicans took possession of St. Bartholomew's, and
the Benedictines were installed in Westminster (1556).

The queen, who two years before had been full of courage and hope,
began to lose confidence in the success of her work. The Spanish
marriage was the beginning of her misfortunes, and the apparent
dependence of Catholicism on Spanish help proved to be the undoing of
the Catholic religion in England. Disappointed in the birth of an
heir, deserted by her husband who found enough to engage his attention
in Spain and the Netherlands, confronted with conspiracies promoted by
heretics and encouraged for its own selfish purpose by France,
doubtful of the real sentiments of Elizabeth, and with hardly any
friends upon whose advice she could rely with confidence, it is not to
be wondered at that Mary felt inclined to despair. She was determined,
however, to continue the work she had begun, and to see that at least
during her life heresy should be put down with a heavy hand.
Unfortunately for the success of her projects she was involved in
difficulties with Rome. Paul IV. (1555-59) was a man of stern,
unbending character, firmly resolved to maintain the rights and
liberties of the Holy See. Annoyed at the domineering policy of
Charles V., and of his son Philip II., he was anxious to put an end to
Spanish rule in Naples. The relations became so embittered that a
Spanish force under the command of the Duke of Alva crossed the
frontiers of the Papal States, and Paul IV. recalled his agents from
Philip's territories (1557). France decided to support the Pope, and
soon active hostilities began. Philip, for whose return to England
Mary had so often appealed in vain, came back early in 1557, but only
to request that England should join with him in a war with France.

Mary's position was a particularly cruel one. She could not well
resist the demands of her husband, particularly as France had lent its
patronage and assistance to the conspiracies plotted for her
overthrow. The position of Cardinal Pole was even more cruel. He had
done all that man could do to prevent the outbreak of war, and when
all his efforts proved unavailing, he retired from court lest he, a
legate of the Holy See, should be obliged to meet Philip who was at
war with the Pope. By the papal order (1557) recalling all his agents
from the Spanish territories the Cardinal found himself deprived of
the office of legate, to the astonishment of his friends and the grief
of the queen. Agents were dispatched to Rome to induce Paul IV. to
cancel the legate's recall. The Pope, however, having taken some time
for consideration refused to accede to the request, but agreed to send
a new legate in the person of the Observant, Friar William Peto (14
June 1557), who had preached so manfully against Henry's divorce, and
who was now created cardinal to prepare him for his new position. The
messenger dispatched to announce these tidings was refused admission
into England, although Pole who had learned of what had taken place in
Rome refused to act any longer as legate, and addressed a strong but
respectful letter of remonstrance to the Pope. Both from the point of
view of religion and of politics the French war, in which Mary's
husband had succeeded in involving England, proved disastrous. It led
to the loss of Calais and Guisnes (1558) the last of the English
possessions in France, to increased taxation, and to a strong feeling
against Mary and all her counsellors. Distrust of the Spanish alliance
led to distrust of the religion of which Philip had constituted
himself the champion, and helped to forward the schemes of those who
sought to identify patriotism with Protestantism. Though the great
body of the people had accepted the Catholic religion, and though to
all appearances its restoration was complete, Mary's last days were
embittered by the thought that under the reign of her successor the
religious settlement that had been effected might be overturned.
Already courtiers and diplomatists were abandoning her presence to win
favour with Elizabeth, who professed to be a sincere Catholic, but on
whose professions too much reliance could not be placed. On November
17th 1558 Mary passed away, and a few hours later her great counsellor
and friend Cardinal Pole was called to his reward.

[1] Taylor, /Life of Lady Jane Grey/, 1908.

[2] Dodd-Tierney, ii., App. xxv.

[3] Gairdner, /Heretics Painted mostly by Themselves/, op. cit., iv.,
    305 sqq.

[4] Gairdner, /Hist. of Eng. Church in Sixteenth Century/, 348.

[5] Gairdner, op. cit., 370-7. Strype's /Life of Cranmer/ (Oxford
    edition of Strype's Works, 1812-24).

[6] Haile, /Life of Cardinal Pole/, 476-83.



  See bibliography, chap. ii., iii. /Publications of the English
  Catholic Record Society/, 1904-14. Strype, /Annals of the
  Reformation/, 1708-9 (a complete edition of Strype's Works
  published, Oxford, 1812-24, 25 vols.; Index Vol., 1828). Birt,
  O.S.B., /The Elizabethan Religious Settlement/, 1907. Meyer,
  /England und Die Katholische Kirche unter Elisabeth und Den
  Stuarts/. Gee, /The Elizabethan Clergy and the Settlement of
  Religion/, 1898. Lee, /The Church under Queen Elizabeth/, 2 vols.,
  2nd edition, 1893. Bridgett, /The True Story of the Catholic
  Hierarchy/, 1889. Phillips, /The Extinction of the Catholic
  Hierarchy/, 1905. Gillow, /Literary and Biographical History of
  English Catholics/. Foley, /Records of the English Province of the
  Society of Jesus/, 7 vols., 1880. Challoner, /Memoirs of
  Missionary Priests/, etc. (1577-1684), 2 vols., 1803. Camm, /Lives
  of the English Martyrs/ (1583-88), 1914. Guilday, /The English
  Catholic Refugees on the Continent/ (1558-1795), 1914. Husenbeth,
  /Notices of the English Colleges and Convents on the Continent
  after the Dissolution of the Religious Houses in England/, 1849.
  Knox, /Records of the English Catholics under the Penal Laws/.
  /The Month/ (1900-2).

A few hours after Mary's death Elizabeth was proclaimed queen
according to the terms of her father's will, and messengers were
dispatched to Hatfield to announce her accession and to escort her to
the capital. During the reign of her brother her relations with Thomas
Seymour nearly led to a secret marriage and the loss of her rights to
the throne, while during the lifetime of her sister the disclosures of
Wyatt and his followers and the correspondence of the French
ambassador brought her to the Tower on suspicion of treason. Mary was,
however, averse to severe measures, more especially as Elizabeth
expressed her devotion to the Catholic religion and her willingness to
accept the new religious settlement. But in secret she treasured other
views, not because she was hostile to the Catholic religion, but
because opposition to Catholicism seemed to be the best means of
maintaining her claim to the crown and of resisting Mary Queen of
Scots, who from the Catholic point of view was the nearest legitimate
heir to the throne. Already, before the death of Mary, Elizabeth was
in close correspondence with those who were unfriendly to Catholicism
and to the Spanish connexion, and she had selected William Cecil,
whose religious views and practices during Mary's reign coincided with
her own, to be her secretary. Her accession was hailed with joy
throughout England, for Englishmen were glad to have a ruler of their
own so as to be rid of the Spanish domination, that had led to
taxation at home and disaster abroad. The official announcement of
Elizabeth's accession was as welcome to Philip II., who was still
England's ally, as it was distasteful to France, which regarded Mary
Queen of Scots as the lawful claimant to England's throne. It is
noteworthy, as affording a clue to Elizabeth's future policy, that no
official notice of her accession was forwarded to the Pope, nor were
the credentials of the English ambassador at Rome either confirmed or
revoked. Paul IV., notwithstanding the efforts of the French, was
unwilling to create any difficulties for England's new ruler by
declaring her illegitimate or by treating her otherwise than as a
rightful sovereign.[1]

Though many of Mary's old councillors were retained it is remarked by
many interested observers that the new members selected by the queen
belonged to the party likely to favour religious innovations, and that
her real advisers were not the privy council but a select coterie, the
principal of which were William Cecil, Secretary of State, and his
brother-in-law, Nicholas Bacon, appointed Lord Keeper of the Seal,
both of whom, while outwardly professing their devotion to the old
religion under Queen Mary, were well known to sympathise with the
Edwardian régime. The men who had fled to Frankfurt or Geneva began to
return and to preach their doctrines to the crowd, and the Italian
church in London was attacked by a mob. Outwardly no change took place
in the religious ceremonial. A royal proclamation was issued (27th
Dec., 1558) forbidding preaching or the use of other public prayers,
rites, or ceremonies save those approved by law until Parliament
should have determined otherwise, except in regard to the recitation
in English, of the Litany, the Commandments, the Creed, together with
the Epistles and Gospels.[2] Still the anti-Catholic party boasted
that the new ruler was on their side. The queen's own inclinations
were soon made clear by her prohibition addressed to Bishop Oglethorp
of Carlisle against the elevation of the Host in the Mass celebrated
in her presence on Christmas Day (1558), and by her withdrawal from
the church when he refused to obey her instructions. Bishop
Christopherson of Chichester was arrested for his sermon preached on
the occasion of the late queen's funeral, and Archbishop Heath of York
resigned the Chancellorship.

The coronation of the queen was fixed for the 25th January (1559), and
as her title to the throne might be questioned on so many points, it
was obviously of the greatest importance that the ceremony should be
carried out in the orthodox fashion so as to elude all the objections
of her rivals. The Archbishop of York and the bishops generally, well
aware of the religious changes that were in contemplation, refused to
take part in the coronation, though in the end Bishop Oglethorp of
Carlisle was induced to undertake the task, probably in the hope of
averting still greater evil. The bishops attended at Westminster to
welcome the queen on her arrival and to take the oath of allegiance,
but declined to be present at the Mass, as did also the Spanish
ambassador. The rite was carried out with punctilious attention to the
old rubrics, and the sermon was preached by Dr. Cox, a Frankfurt
exile, who regaled his hearers with a wild tirade against the monks,
clergy, and the existing idolatry.[3]

Parliament was summoned to meet in January 1559. In the House of Lords
the government was confronted with the fact that the bishops to a man
would oppose the religious changes that were to be introduced, but it
was hoped that by careful directions to the sheriffs a House of
Commons might be returned that could be trusted.[4] There was no
difficulty in procuring acts confirming Elizabeth's title to the
throne, more especially as the legitimacy of her mother's marriage
though implied was not directly affirmed, but the bill for the
restoration of First Fruits to the crown met with considerable
opposition and delay, especially at the hands of the spiritual peers,
and another for the restoration of those clergymen who had been
deprived in the previous reign on account of their non-observance of
celibacy was abandoned. The two great measures however on which
Elizabeth's ministers had set their hearts were royal supremacy and
the re-introduction of the Book of Common Prayer in place of the Latin
Mass, but from the first the bishops offered to these measures the
most determined opposition, and though the bishops were not supported
by a very large number of the lay peers, the idea of forcing such
momentous changes on the country against the wishes of the united
episcopate was so repugnant to the religious instincts of the nation
that the ministers found themselves again and again compelled to
withdraw or modify their proposals.

To add to their confusion Convocation met in February (1559) and
forwarded to the bishops for presentation to the queen a strong
document, in which the clergy without a dissentient voice affirmed
their belief in the Real Presence, Transubstantiation, the sacrificial
character of the Mass, Roman supremacy and the inability of laymen to
legislate regarding the doctrines, discipline, or sacraments of the
Church.[5] This judgment of Convocation though hardly unexpected was a
deadly blow struck against the government measures, showing as it did
that if Parliament undertook a new religious settlement it must do so
on its own responsibility and against the wishes of the ecclesiastical
authorities. The difficulties against the two bills were so great that
when Easter arrived the work upon which the queen and her advisers had
set their hearts was still incomplete. The Bill of Uniformity of
belief had been rejected, and though the Royal Supremacy Bill had
passed the two Houses in modified form it had not yet reached the
statute book. The inconvenience of according the title of supreme head
of the Church to a woman was disliked by many, and was distasteful
even to Elizabeth herself.

Parliament was prorogued for a few weeks at Easter, and recourse was
had to a clever expedient to win popular sympathy for the measures. A
disputation was arranged to take place between the bishops and the
Protestant exiles. Cecil took care that both in regard to the subjects
to be discussed and the manner of procedure the latter party should
have every advantage. The questions were the use of English or Latin
in the religious services, the authority of particular churches to
change their rites and ceremonies, and the propitiatory character of
the Mass. The Catholic representatives were to open the discussion
each day, but the last word was always reserved for the Reformers.
From the very beginning it was clear that the dice had been loaded
against the defenders of the old faith, and on the second day the
Catholic party refused to continue the discussion.[6] Their refusal,
however justified it may have been in the circumstances, could not
fail to make a bad impression. It was seized upon by their opponents
to show that the supporters of Rome had disobeyed the queen, had
quailed before the apostles of the new religion, and that, therefore,
even though they were bishops, they could not be regarded as
trustworthy guides in matters of religion. The Bishops of Winchester
and Lincoln were arrested because they refused to continue the
disputation, and by their arrest the Catholic peers were deprived of
two votes in the House of Lords at a time when the fate of the old
religion was trembling in the balance.

When Parliament re-assembled the queen announced her intention of
refusing the title of supreme head of the Church, and requested the
House "would devise some other form with regard to the primacy or
supremacy." A new bill conceding to the sovereign the title "supreme
governor" was introduced, but met with as strong opposition from the
bishops as its predecessors, and was passed against their unanimous
wishes. The Act of Uniformity, commanding the use of the Second Book
of Common Prayer with a few alterations, met with even a worse
reception, as several of the laymen joined the bishops in their
resistance, and in the end it was carried only by a majority of three.
Had the imprisoned bishops been free to cast their votes against the
measure, or had the lay peers who disliked it had the courage to be
present in their places at the division the whole course of English
history might have been altered.[7] As it was a religious revolution
had been effected. The Mass, Transubstantiation, the Real Presence and
Roman supremacy, all of which had been accepted without contradiction
from the days of St. Augustine till the reign of Henry VIII., were
abolished and a new church established that bore but a faint
resemblance to the old. And what was more extraordinary still, all
this was done solely by an assembly of laymen, against the wishes and
appeals of the united episcopate and against the practically unanimous
judgment of Convocation. "The Church of England as by law established"
is a parliamentary institution set up and shaped by Parliament in the
beginning, and dependent upon Parliament ever since for guidance and

By the Act of Supremacy the queen was declared to be supreme governor
of the Church in England; all foreign jurisdiction was abolished; a
body of commissioners was to be appointed to administer the oath of
supremacy and to carry on ecclesiastical functions in the name of the
queen; officials who refused to take the oath were to be deprived, and
penalties varying from fines to death were to be imposed on those who
were unwilling to accept the law. By the Act of Uniformity the English
service, as contained in the Second Book of Common Prayer with some
slight alterations, was made obligatory on all clergymen, as was
attendance at this service on all laymen. The Act was to be enforced
by the spiritual authorities under threat of excommunication against
offenders, and by the civil authorities by the infliction of fines or

A royal commission was appointed (1559) to administer the oath of
supremacy to the clergy, and to enforce the provisions of the Act of
Uniformity. As was to be expected, the attention of the commissioners
was directed immediately to the bishops. If some of them could be
induced to submit--and the government was not without hope in this
direction--their submission would produce a good impression on the
country; but if on the contrary they persisted in their attachment to
the Mass and their obedience to the Pope, they must be removed to make
way for more trustworthy men. To their credit be it said, when the
oath of supremacy was tendered to the bishops they refused with one
exception to abandon the views they had defended with such skill and
bravery in the House of Lords, and preferred to suffer imprisonment
and deprivation rather than lead their people into error by
submission. Bishop Kitchin of Llandaff had opposed royal supremacy for
a time. The Spanish ambassador reported to his master that he was
about to follow the example of his brethren, but in the end he
submitted and consented to administer the oath to his clergy.[8] The
religious communities, the Observants, the Carthusians, the
Dominicans, the Benedictines, and the few communities of nuns that had
re-established houses in England during the reign of Queen Mary, were
suppressed; their property was seized according to an Act passed in
the late Parliament, and many of the monks and nuns were obliged to
depart from the kingdom. The commissioners proceeded through England
administering the oath to the clergy, a large percentage of whom seems
to have submitted. From the returns preserved it is difficult to
estimate accurately what number of the clergy consented to acknowledge
the supremacy of the queen or to abandon the Mass, but it is certainly
not true to say that out of 9,000 beneficed clergymen in England at
the time only about 200 refused the oath. On the one hand, the
disturbances during the reigns of Henry VIII. and Edward VI. had
reduced considerably the number of priests in England, while on the
other, the fact that several clergymen did not put in an appearance
before the commission, that others were allowed time to reconsider
their views, and that not even all those who obstinately refused the
oath were deprived, shows clearly that the lists of deprivations
afford no sure clue to the number of those who were unwilling to
accept the change. It is noteworthy that the greatest number of
refusals were met with amongst the higher officials or dignitaries of
the Church, the deans, archdeacons, and canons, who might be expected
to represent the best educated and most exemplary of the clergy of
their time in England. In the universities, too, the commissioners met
with the strongest resistance. Several of the heads of the colleges,
both in Cambridge and Oxford, the fellows and the office-bearers,
either were deprived or fled, and men of the new school were appointed
to take their places. But notwithstanding all the government could do,
the universities, and particularly Oxford, continued during the
greater part of the reign of Elizabeth to be centres of

The complete extinction of the old hierarchy by death, deprivation and
imprisonment, left the way open for the appointment of bishops
favourable to the religion. Matthew Parker, who had been chaplain to
Anne Boleyn and who had lived privately since he was removed from the
deanship of Lincoln on account of his marriage, was selected to fill
the Archbishopric of Canterbury, left vacant since the death of
Cardinal Pole. The royal letters of approval were issued in September,
and the mandate for his consecration was addressed to Tunstall of
Durham, Bourne of Bath and Wells, Poole of Peterborough, Kitchin of
Llandaff, together with Barlow and Scory. The three former, however,
refused to act, and apparently even Kitchin was unwilling to take any
part in the ceremony. New men were then sought, and found in the
persons of Barlow, Coverdale, Scory, and Hodgkin. But even still grave
legal difficulties barred the way. The conditions for the consecration
of an archbishop laid down by the 25th of Henry VIII., which had not
been repealed, could not be complied with owing to the refusal of the
old bishops, and besides the use of the new Ordinal of Edward VI.
without a special Act of Parliament for its revival was distinctly
illegal; but the situation was so serious that Elizabeth's advisers
urged her to make good the illegalities by an exercise of her royal
authority. In the end the consecration of Parker was carried out in
the chapel of Lambeth Palace on the morning of the 17th December,
1559. The story of the Nag's Head is a pure legend used by
controversialists for impugning the validity of Anglican Orders. As a
matter of fact the main argument against these Orders is drawn neither
from the fable of the Nag's Head nor from the want of episcopal orders
in the case of Barlow, the consecrator of Parker, though his
consecration has not been proved, but from the use of a corrupt form,
which was then as it is now rejected as insufficient by the Catholic
Church, and from the want of the proper intention implied both by the
corruption of the form and by the teaching of those who corrupted
it.[10] Once the difficulty about Parker's consecration had been
settled other bishops were appointed by the queen, and consecrated by
the new archbishop, so that before March 1560 good progress had been
made in the establishment of the new hierarchy in England.

With the establishment of the ecclesiastical commission (1559) to
search out and punish heresy and generally to carry out the provisions
of the Supremacy Act, and with the appointment of new bishops (1559-
60) the work of reforming the faith of England was well under way.
Still the new bishops were confronted with grave difficulties. From
the reports of the Spanish ambassador, who had exceptional
opportunities of knowing the facts but whose opinions for obvious
reasons cannot always be accepted, the great majority of the people
outside London were still Catholic, and even in London itself the
adherents of the old faith could not be despised. Quite apart,
however, from his reports, sufficient evidence can be adduced from the
episcopal and official letters and documents to show that the change
was not welcomed by a great body in the country. As the best means of
enforcing the Act of Supremacy and the Act of Uniformity a visitation
of both provinces was arranged. In London Masses were still
celebrated, and attended by great multitudes; in Canterbury itself
within sight of the archiepiscopal palace public religious processions
were carried out. In Winchester, where the memory of Gardiner was
still cherished, many of the clergy refused to attend the visitation;
the laymen were discreetly absent when their assent was required; the
churches were deserted and even the people attending the cathedral
"were corrupted by the clergy." In Hereford Bishop Scory described his
cathedral, "as a very nest of blasphemy, whoredom, pride,
superstition, and ignorance;" the justices threw every obstacle in the
way of his reforms; fasts and feasts were observed as of old; and even
the very butchers seemed leagued against him, for they refused to sell
meat on Thursdays. In Bath and Wells many of the justices were openly
disobedient, and even the people who conformed outwardly could not be
relied upon. In Norwich, Ely, Salisbury and Chichester "Popery" was
still strong amongst the clergy, people, and officials. At Eton it was
necessary to expel the provost and all the teachers except three
before the college could be reduced to subjection, and at Oxford the
visitors were driven to admit, that if they expelled the fellows who
refused to subscribe, and the students who would have no religious
service except the Mass, the houses would be deserted. In the northern
provinces where the visitation did not begin till some time later it
was discovered that matters were still worse. The principal noblemen
were openly Catholic, and many of the magistrates denied that they had
ever heard of the Act of Supremacy, while others of them "winked and
looked through their fingers." In York the diocese was in a state of
anarchy; in Carlisle the bishop confessed that he could not prevent
the public celebration of the Mass; in Durham the bishop wrote that he
found himself engaged in a conflict with wild beasts even more savage
than those which had confronted St. Paul at Ephesus. To make matters
worse it was reported that public sympathy was on the side of the
recusants, and that hopes were being expressed by many that the
present advisers of her Majesty might soon be displaced, even though
it were necessary to have recourse to France or Spain.[11]

Nor was it merely from the side of the Catholics that the bishops and
the government anticipated serious danger. The men, who, like Hooper,
objected to the Edwardine settlement as not being sufficiently
extreme, had approached more closely to Calvinism in doctrine and in
ritual during their enforced sojourn at Frankfurt and Geneva. They
were enthusiastic in their praise of Elizabeth for her attacks upon
Rome, but they found fault with her religious programme as flavouring
too much of idolatry and papistry. They objected to crosses, candles,
vestments, copes, blessings, and much of the old ritual that had been
retained in the Book of Common prayer, and insisted that, until
religion had been brought back to a state of scriptural purity, the
English people should not rest satisfied. Whatever sympathy some of
the English political advisers may have had with the Puritans in
theory they had no intention of yielding to their demands, as such a
policy would have stirred up all the latent Catholicity in the
country. The official church "as by law established" was to be a
church for the nation, standing midway between Rome and Puritanism, a
kind of compromise between both extremes. Elizabeth was determined to
put down Puritanism, irreverence, and unlicensed preaching with a
heavy hand. As a foretaste of what the champions of innovation might
expect, much to the disgust of the archbishop, she struck a blow at
the married clergy by ordering the removal of women and children from
the enclosures of colleges and cathedrals (1561).

It cannot be said that it was the opposition of Rome to her accession
that forced Elizabeth to establish a national church. Paul IV., whose
undiplomatic and imprudent proceedings had caused such grave
embarrassment to her predecessor, made no protest against the
recognition of Elizabeth's claims, although he was urged to do so by
France. The same attitude of friendly reserve was maintained by his
successor Pius IV. (1559-65).[12] Shortly after his consecration he
addressed a kindly letter to Elizabeth exhorting her to return to the
bosom of the Church.[13] His envoy was not allowed, however, to enter
England, nor had another envoy, dispatched in 1561 to invite the queen
and the English bishops to take part in the Council of Trent, any
better success. Though Elizabeth discussed the matter with the Spanish
ambassador and even made preparations for the reception of the papal
envoy, the necessary safe conducts were not forwarded to Flanders, and
in the end a notification was sent that the papal messenger could not
be received, nor would the English bishops attend the Council of
Trent. Possibly owing to the friendly attitude of the Pope, rumours
were put in circulation that he was not unwilling to accept the new
English Book of Common Prayer if Elizabeth would consent to
acknowledge the supremacy of Rome. That there was never the least
foundation for such a statement is now generally admitted, but at the
time it helped to confirm many Catholics in the view that to escape
fines and punishment it was lawful for them to attend the English
service, particularly as they took care to assist at Mass in secret
and made it clear both by their actions and demeanour that their
presence at the new religious rite was not voluntary. Others, however,
refused to follow this opinion, and in order to put an end to the
dissensions that had arisen a petition was drawn up and forwarded to
the Pope requesting him for permission to attend Common Prayer, but,
though the request was supported by the Spanish ambassador, the
permission was refused (1562).

Elizabeth's second Parliament (1563) met at a time when the downfall
of the Huguenots to whom England had furnished assistance, the failure
of a plot entered into by the nephews of Cardinal Pole for the
overthrow of Elizabeth's government, and the reports from the
ecclesiastical commissioners and the bishops, showing as they did that
contempt for the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity was still strong,
made it necessary to undertake more repressive measures against the
Catholics. An Act was passed entitled, "an Act for the assurance of
the queen's royal power" commanding that the oath of supremacy should
be administered to members of the House of Commons, schoolmasters,
tutors, attorneys, and all who had held any ecclesiastical office
during the reigns of Elizabeth, Mary, Edward VI. or Henry VIII., and
to all who manifested their hostility to the established religion by
celebrating Mass or assisting at its celebration. Refusal to take the
oath when first tendered was to be punished by forfeiture and life
imprisonment, and on the second refusal the penalty was to be a
traitor's death. Had such an Act been enforced strictly it would have
meant the complete extirpation of the Catholics of England, but
Elizabeth, having secured a weapon by which she might terrorise them,
took care to prevent her bishops from driving them to extremes by a
close investigation of their opinions regarding royal supremacy. Fines
and imprisonment were at this stage deemed more expedient than death.

Convocation met at the same time, but Convocation had changed much
since 1559 when it declared bravely in favour of the Real Presence,
Transubstantiation, the Mass, Papal supremacy, and the independence of
the Church. The effects of the deprivation of the bishops, deans,
archdeacons, canons, and clergy, and of the wholesale ordinations "of
artificers unlearned and some even of base occupations" by Parker and
Grindal and others were plainly visible.[14] Convocation was no longer
Catholic in tone. It was distinctly Puritan. A proposal was made that
all holidays and feasts should be abolished except Sundays and "the
principal feasts of Christ," that there should be no kneeling at
Communion, no vestments in the celebration of Common Service except
the surplice, no organs in the churches, no sign of the cross in
baptism, and that the minister should be compelled to read divine
service facing the people. The proposal was debated warmly and in the
end was defeated only by one vote.[15] One of the principal objects
for which Convocation had been called was to draft a new dogmatic
creed for the Church "as by law established." This was a matter of
supreme importance. But as it was necessary to affirm nothing that
would offend the Huguenots of France and the theologians of
Switzerland and Germany, or rouse the latent Catholic sentiments of
the English people, it was also a work of supreme difficulty. In other
words the creed of the established Church must be in the nature of a
compromise, and a compromise it really was. The Forty Two Articles of
Edward VI. were taken as the basis of discussion. As a result of the
deliberations they were reduced to Thirty Nine,[16] in which form they
were signed by the bishops and clergy, before being presented to
Elizabeth and her ministers for approval. As an indication to the
clergy that the office of supreme governor was no sinecure Elizabeth
would not authorise the publication of the Articles until a very
important one dealing with the Eucharist had been omitted, and until
another one regarding the authority of the Church to change rites and
ceremonies had been modified. That influences other than doctrinal
were at work in shaping the Thirty Nine Articles is evident from the
fact that the particular Eucharistic Article referred to was omitted
in 1563 lest it should drive away Catholics who were wavering, and
inserted again in 1570 when the government, then in open war with
Rome, was determined to give back blow for blow. The catechism drawn
up by Convocation for the use of the laity was promptly suppressed by

By the adoption of the Thirty Nine Articles as its official creed the
English Church "by law established," cut itself adrift from the
Catholic Church and from the faith that had been delivered to the
Anglo-Saxon people by Rome's great missionary St. Augustine. However
ambiguous might be the wording to which the authors of the Articles
had recourse in order to win followers, there could be no longer any
doubt that on some of the principal points of doctrine the new creed
stood in flagrant contradiction to the doctrines received by the
Catholic world. The Pope, whose spiritual powers had never been called
into question till the days of Henry VIII., was declared to have no
jurisdiction in England. The Sacrifices of the Masses (as it is put)
were denounced as blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits;
Transubstantiation was regarded as unscriptural and opening the way to
superstition; the doctrine of the Real Objective Presence of Christ
was implicitly condemned; the summoning of a General Council was made
dependent on the will of the secular princes; the fact that such
assemblies could err and did err in the past was emphasised; five of
the Sacraments, namely, Confirmation, Penance, Holy Orders, Matrimony
and Extreme Unction were declared not to be Sacraments of the Gospel,
and the Roman doctrine concerning Purgatory, Indulgences, the
invocation of saints, and veneration of images and relics was
pronounced to be a foolish and vain invention, contradictory to the
Word of God.[17]

The new repressive legislation, at least in regard to fines and
imprisonment, was enforced strictly against Catholics who were still a
strong body, especially in the north. On the accession of Pius V.
(1566-72) the friendly attitude hitherto maintained by Rome was
changed. There could no longer be any hope that Elizabeth would modify
her religious policy, as even her former ally and supporter Philip II.
was forced to admit, and there was grave danger that the opinion
entertained by some, that Catholics should be permitted to attend
Common Prayer was a purely legal function, might do considerable harm.
Hence a strong condemnation of the English service was published by
the Pope, and a commission was granted to two English priests, Sanders
and Harding, empowering them to absolve all those who had incurred the
guilt of schism (1566). As even this was not sufficient to put an end
to all doubts, and as the authority of the papal agent Laurence Vaux
was questioned by certain individuals, a formal Bull of reconciliation
was issued in 1567, authorising the absolution of those who had
incurred the guilt of heresy or schism by their obedience to the Acts
of Supremacy and Uniformity.

Apart from other considerations, this clear and definite statement of
the attitude of the Pope towards attendance at the English service
helped to stiffen the backs of the English Catholics, and to determine
even the waverers to stand firm; but in addition to this the question
of the succession to the throne raised considerable discussion.
Elizabeth was still without a husband, and for reasons probably best
known to herself she refused to allow her Parliament to drive her into
marriage, although partly through vanity, partly through motives of
policy she was not unwilling to dally with the advances of several
suitors both native and foreign. In the eyes of Catholics Elizabeth
was illegitimate, and except for her father's will and the
parliamentary confirmation of that will, as an illegitimate she had no
right to the throne. Mary Queen of Scotland, the grand-daughter of
Henry VIII.'s eldest sister Margaret, was from the legal point of view
the lawful heir; but as she was the wife of the Dauphin of France at
the time of Elizabeth's accession, Englishmen generally did not wish
to recognise her claim for precisely the same reasons that drove them
to oppose Queen Mary's marriage with Philip II. of Spain. After the
death of her French husband and her return to Scotland opinion began
to change in her favour, and this grew stronger in Catholic circles,
when she fled into England to claim the support of her cousin Queen
Elizabeth against the Scottish rebels (1568). A strong body even in
the council favoured the plan of a marriage between Mary and the Duke
of Norfolk, and the recognition of their rights and the rights of
their children to the throne on the death of Elizabeth, as the best
means of avoiding civil war and of escaping from the delicate position
created by the presence of Scotland's Queen in England. Norfolk was
regarded as a kind of Protestant and was backed by a very considerable
body of the council, but his communications with Philip II. of Spain,
who favoured the marriage, and with the Catholic lords of the north,
who, driven to extremes by religious persecution and by the treatment
accorded to Mary in England, were not unwilling to depose Elizabeth,
he professed his intention of becoming a Catholic. Elizabeth, however,
was strong against the marriage, and Cecil, though he pretended to
favour it, supported the views of his sovereign. Rumours of
conspiracies especially in the north were afloat. The noblemen of
Lancashire had met and pledged themselves not to attend the English
service; the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland declared openly
their attachment to the Catholic Church; the attitude of Wales and
Cornwall was more than doubtful, and the Spanish ambassador was well
known to be moving heaven and earth to induce his master to lend his

Elizabeth determined to strike at once before the plans of the
conspirators could be matured. The Duke of Norfolk was commanded to
appear at court and was soon lodged safely in the Tower (11th Oct.,
1569). A peremptory order was issued to the Earls of Northumberland
and Westmoreland to come immediately to London, and as they knew well
the fate that was in store for them they determined to stake their
fortunes on the chance of a successful rising. They appealed to the
Catholic lords of Scotland, to the Duke of Alva, and to Spain for
support, and mustered their forces for war. They entered Durham (10th
Nov. 1569), where they swept out from the cathedral both the Book of
Common Prayer and the communion table, set up the altar once more, and
had Mass celebrated publicly. They marched southwards with the object
of getting possession of the Queen of Scotland who was imprisoned at
Tutbury, but their design having been suspected Mary was removed
suddenly to Coventry. A strong force was sent to prevent their march
southward, while Moray, the regent of Scotland and Elizabeth's
faithful ally, assembled his troops on the border to prevent the
Scottish Catholic lords from rallying to the assistance of their
co-religionists. The insurgents, caught between the two fires, were
routed completely, and the leaders hastened to make their escape.
Westmoreland to the Netherlands, where he lived for thirty years in
exile, and Northumberland to Scotland only to be sold again to
Elizabeth for £2,000 and executed. Martial law was proclaimed and
hundreds "of the poorer sort" were put to death. The trouble seemed to
be over for the time, but suddenly in January 1570, encouraged by the
assassination of Moray and by the raids of the Catholic borderers,
Lord Dacre rose in revolt, and threw himself upon the queen's forces
on their march from Naworth to Carlisle. He was defeated and barely
succeeded in escaping with his life. All resistance was now at an end,
and more than eight hundred of the insurgents were executed. The
failure of the Northern Rebellion served only to strengthen
Elizabeth's power, and to secure for Protestantism a firm footing in

While preparations were being made in England for the rebellion,
Catholic representatives in Rome, both lay and clerical, pressed Pius
V. to issue a decree of excommunication and of deposition against
Elizabeth. Such a decree, it was thought, would strengthen the hands
of those who were working in the interests of Mary Queen of Scotland,
and would open the eyes of a large body of Catholics who stood firmly
by Elizabeth solely from motives of extreme loyalty. Philip II. was
not acquainted with the step that was in contemplation, though
apparently the French authorities were warned that Rome was about to
take action.[19] Had the advice of the King of Spain been sought he
might have warned the Pope against proceeding to extremes with
Elizabeth, and in doing so he would have had the support of those at
home who were acquainted most intimately with English affairs. In
February (1570) the process against Elizabeth was begun in Rome, and
on the 25th of the same month the Bull, /Regnans in Excelsis/,[20]
announcing the excommunication and deposition of Elizabeth was given
to the world. Had it come five or six months earlier, and had there
been an able leader capable of uniting the English Catholic body, a
work that could not be accomplished either by the Duke of Norfolk or
the Northern Earls, the result might have been at least doubtful; but
its publication, at a time when the northern rebellion had been
suppressed, and when Spain, France, and the Netherlands were unwilling
to execute it, served only to make wider the breach between England
and Rome, and to expose the English Catholics to still fiercer
persecution.[21] For so far Catholics had been free to combine with
moderate Protestants to secure the peaceful succession of Mary Queen
of Scotland without any suspicion of disloyalty to Elizabeth, but from
this time forward they were placed in the cruel position of being
traitors either to the Pope or to Elizabeth, and every move made by
them in favour of Mary Queen of Scotland must necessarily be construed
as disloyalty to their sovereign. Copies of the Bull were smuggled
into England, and one man, John Fenton, was found brave enough to risk
his life by affixing a copy to the gates of the palace of the Bishop
of London. He was taken prisoner immediately, and subjected to the
terrible death reserved for traitors (8th August 1570).

While anti-Catholic feeling was running high, Elizabeth summoned
Parliament to meet in April 1571. As danger was to be feared both from
the Catholics and the Puritans special care was taken to ensure that
reliable men should be returned. Several measures were introduced
against the Catholic recusants, who had few sympathisers in the House
of Commons, but in the House of Lords, where the Duke of Norfolk, who
had been released, pleaded for moderation, and was supported by a
small but determined body of the Lords, the feeling was less violent.
Bills were both framed and passed making it treason to obtain Bulls,
briefs, or documents from Rome. The penalty of Praemunire was levelled
against all aiders and abettors of those offenders mentioned above,
together with all who received beads, crosses, pictures, etc., blessed
by the Bishop of Rome, or by any one acting with his authority;[22]
while those who had fled from the kingdom were commanded to return
within six months under penalty of forfeiture of their goods and
property. It was proposed too that all adults should be forced to
attend the Protestant service and to receive Communion at stated
times, but the latter portion was dropped probably at the request of
the Catholic lords. However subservient Parliament might be in regard
to the Catholics it was not inclined to strengthen the hands of the
bishops against the Puritans. Notwithstanding Elizabeth's refusal to
allow discussion of the Thirty Nine Articles, or to permit them to be
published under parliamentary sanction, the members succeeded in
attaining their object indirectly by imposing them on recusants.
Elizabeth was determined, however, to show her faithful Commons that
she and not the Parliament was the supreme governor of the Church.[23]
She took Convocation and the bishops under her protection and
empowered them to issue the Articles in a revised form, so that there
were then really two versions of the Thirty Nine Articles in force,
one imposed by Convocation and the queen and the other by Parliament.

To secure aid against Spain as well as to draw away the French from
supporting the Queen of Scotland Elizabeth made overtures for marriage
to the Duke of Anjou, and at the same time the party in favour of Mary
determined to make a new effort to bring about a marriage between Mary
and the Duke of Norfolk. Ridolfi[24] was the life and soul of the
conspiracy, assisted by the Duke of Norfolk and by the Bishop of Ross,
Mary's ambassador in London. It was hoped to enlist the sympathy of
the Duke of Alva, Philip II. and the Pope, none of whom were unwilling
to aid in overthrowing Elizabeth's rule, but before anything definite
could be done Cecil's spies brought him news of the steps that were
being taken. The Duke of Norfolk was arrested in September 1571, and
placed on his trial in the following January. He was condemned to
death, but as Elizabeth did not wish to take the responsibility of his
execution on herself she waited until it had been confirmed by
Parliament, after which he was led to the block (2nd June 1572).
Parliament also petitioned for the execution of the Queen of Scotland,
but for various reasons Elizabeth refused to accede to their request.

Though the new laws were enforced strictly it is clear from the
episcopal reports that in London itself, in Norwich, Winchester, Ely,
Worcester, in the diocese and province of York, and indeed throughout
the entire country Catholicism had still a strong hold.[25] The old
Marian priests were, however, dying out rapidly. The monasteries and
universities, that had supplied priests for the English mission, were
either destroyed or passed into other hands, so that it became clear
to both friends and foes that unless something could be done to keep
up the supply of clergy the Catholic religion was doomed ultimately to
extinction. This difficulty had occurred to the minds of many of the
English scholars who had fled from Oxford to the Continent, but it was
reserved for Dr. William Allen,[26] formerly a Fellow of Oriel
College, and Principal of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, and later in 1587 a
Cardinal of the Roman Church, to take practical measures to meet the
wants of his co-religionists in England. He determined to found a
college on the Continent for the education of priests for the English
mission, and as Douay had a new university, in which many of the
former Oxford men had found a home, he opened a college at Douay in
1568.[27] Depending on his own private resources, the contributions of
his friends, and the pensions guaranteed by the King of Spain and the
Pope, he succeeded beyond expectation. Students flocked from England
to the new college, whence they returned on the completion of their
studies to strengthen and console their co-religionists at home. Could
Douay College boast only of the 160 martyrs whom it trained and sent
into England Cardinal Allen would have had good reason to be proud of
his work, but in addition to this the numerous controversial tracts of
real merit that were issued from the Douay printing-press, and
scattered throughout England, helped to keep alive Catholic sentiment
in the country. In Douay too was begun the translation of the
Scriptures into English, the New Testament being published at Rheims
(1582) whither the college had been removed in 1578, and the old
Testament in 1609. In 1576 Allen visited Rome and persuaded Gregory
XIII. to found a college in Rome for the education of English
priests.[28] Students were sent in 1576 and 1577, and a hospice was
granted in 1578 as an English seminary, over which the Jesuits were
placed in the following year. A college was established at Valladolid
by Father Persons (1589), another at Seville in 1592, and one at St.
Omers in 1594.

The failure of the northern rebellion, the repressive measures adopted
by Parliament in 1571, and the betrayal of Ridolfi's fantastic
schemes, did not mean the extinction of Catholicism in England. On the
contrary there was a distinct reaction in its favour, partly through
the failure of the Protestant bishops and clergy to maintain a
consistent religious service such as that which they had overthrown,
partly to the revulsion created by the fanatical vapourings of the
Puritans, but above all to the efforts of the "seminary priests," as
the men who returned from Douay and the other colleges abroad were
called. The older generation of clergy who had been deprived on
Elizabeth's accession were content to minister to their flocks in
secret, and were happy so long as they could escape the meshes of the
law; but the new men who returned from Douay were determined to make
the country Catholic once more or to die in the attempt. They went
boldly from place to place exhorting the Catholics to stand firm, and
they seemed to have no dread of imprisonment, exile or death. Many of
them were arrested and kept in close confinement, while others, like
Thomas Woodhouse (1573), Cuthbert Mayne (1577), John Nelson, and
Thomas Sherwood (1578), gloried in being thought worthy of dying as
their Master had died.[29]

Nor did their fate deter others from following in their footsteps. It
was reported in 1579 that a hundred students had been ordained and
sent into England from Rome and Rheims. The result of the labours of
these apostolic men was soon evident. The government, alarmed at the
sudden resurrection of Popery, urged the bishops and officials to make
new efforts for its suppression. Throughout the various dioceses
inquiries were begun which served only to show that recusancy was no
longer confined to Lancashire or the north. The bishops were obliged
to admit (1577) with sorrow that papists "did increase in numbers and
in obstinacy." They recommended the infliction of fines, and furnished
the authorities with a list of recusants and the value of their
property. In York the archbishop reported that "a more stiff-necked or
wilful people I never knew or heard of, doubtless they are reconciled
with Rome and sworn to the Pope," and what was worse they preferred to
be imprisoned than to listen to the archbishop's harangues. From
Hereford it was announced that "rebellion is rampant, attendance at
church is contemptuous, and John Hareley read so loudly on his latin
popish primer (that he understands not) that he troubles both minister
and people." In Oxford and amongst the lawyers in the Inns of Court
and in the Inns of Chancery popery and superstition were still

To make matters worse it was soon bruited about that the Jesuits,
whose very name was sufficient to instil terror, were preparing for an
invasion of England. The invading force it was true was small, but it
was select. Persons and Campion,[31] both Oxford men, who having gone
into exile joined themselves to the Society of St. Ignatius, were
entrusted with the difficult undertaking. The government, warned by
its spies of their mission, had the ports watched to capture them on
their arrival, but the two priests contrived to elude the vigilance of
their enemies, and succeeded in arriving safely in London (1580). The
news of their arrival could not be kept a secret, and hence they
determined to leave London. Before they separated for the different
fields they had selected, to prevent future misrepresentation of their
aims, Campion wrote an open letter addressed to the lords of the privy
council in defence of his views, which letter having been published
was known as "Campion's challenge." Persons went through the country
from Northampton to Gloucester, while Campion preached from Oxford to
Northampton. They took pains to set up a small printing press, which
was removed from place to place, and from which was issued sufficient
literature to disconcert their opponents. Probably the most remarkable
volume published from the Jesuit printing-press was Campion's /Ten
Reasons/,[32] addressed particularly to the Oxford students amongst
whom it created a great sensation. At last after many hair-breadth
escapes Campion was captured at Lyford and committed to the Tower. He
had challenged his opponents to meet him in a public disputation, and
now that he was in their hands, worn out by his labours and
imprisonment, they determined to take up the challenge in the hope
that by overthrowing him they might shake the faith of his followers.
But despite his weakness and infirmity they found in him so dangerous
and so learned an adversary that the government thought it wiser to
bring the controversy to an end, or rather to transfer it to the law
courts. Even here the captive Jesuit showed that he was quite able to
hold his own with the lawyers. He had been guilty of no treason, he
averred; he acknowledged the queen to be his lawful sovereign; but he
refused to disown the Bull of Deposition. He was found guilty,
condemned to death as a traitor, and was executed with two other
priests in December 1581.[33]

During the wild start of alarm and vexation caused by the reports of
the rising strength of the recusants, the invasion of seminary priests
and of Jesuits, and the help given by Gregory XIII. to the Desmond
rebellion, Parliament met (Jan. 1581). An Act was passed immediately
making it high treason to possess or to exercise the power of
absolving or withdrawing anybody from the established church, and a
similar penalty was levelled against those who permitted themselves to
be reconciled or withdrawn, together with all aiders or abettors. The
punishment decreed for celebrating or assisting at Mass was a fine of
100 marks and one year's imprisonment. Fines of £20 per lunar month
were to be inflicted upon all those who absented themselves from
Common Prayer, and if their absence lasted for an entire year the
delinquents should be obliged to provide heavy securities for their
good behaviour. All schoolmasters or tutors not licensed by the bishop
of the diocese were declared liable to a year's imprisonment, and the
person who employed them to a fine of not less than £10 per month. The
Act was enforced with merciless severity. Fathers Campion, Sherwin,
and Briant were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn (Dec. 1581);
eleven other priests met a similar fate before the end of the
following year, and two priests and two school-masters were hanged,
drawn and quartered in 1583.[34] The news of the execution of Campion
and his fellow labourers created a profound impression on the country.
In reply to the protests that were raised Elizabeth thought at first
of issuing an official statement, but in the end the idea was
abandoned and Cecil, now Lord Burghley, published anonymously two
pamphlets to justify the action of the government. The jails were so
filled with popish recusants that in order to escape the expense of
supporting them, a plan was formed to convey them to North America,
but it could not be executed owing to the opposition of the Spanish
Government. The seminary priests did not, however, allow themselves to
be drawn away from their work either by the terrors of treason or by
the echoes of the wordy war, that was being carried on between Lord
Burghley and his friends on one side, and Dr. Allen and his friends on
the other. A catechism introduced by them was bought up so rapidly
that in a few months it was out of print. A great body of the English
noblemen still held the old faith. In the north Catholics were
numerous and active, and even in the southern and western counties and
in Wales opinion was veering rapidly towards Rome. Had the seminary
priests been left free to continue their work, unimpeded by foreign or
English political plots on the Continent, it is difficult to say what
might have been the result. Unfortunately new plots were hatched under
the protection of France or Spain for the release of Mary Queen of
Scotland, and for her proclamation as Queen of England. Throckmorton,
who had taken the principal part in this affair, was arrested and put
to death; the principal conspirators, men like the Earl of
Northumberland and the Earl of Arundel were sent to the Tower; the
jails were filled with Catholics, and five priests were put to death
at Tyburn (1584).[35]

Parliament met (1585) at a time when the discovery of the plot against
Elizabeth and the news of the assassination of William of Orange had
created great excitement through the country. An association that had
been formed to defend the life of the queen or to revenge her death
was granted statutory powers by Parliament. The queen was authorised
to create a special commission with authority to deal with all
plotters and to exclude from succession to the throne everyone in
whose interest she herself might be assassinated. An Act was passed by
which all Jesuits and seminary priests were commanded to leave England
within forty days under penalty of treason; all persons not in holy
orders studying in any foreign seminary or college were ordered to
return within six months and to take the oath of supremacy within two
days of their arrival if they did not wish to be punished as traitors;
all persons harbouring or assisting a priest were to be adjudged
guilty of felony; all who sent their children abroad except by special
permission were to be fined £100 for each offence, and all who had
knowledge of the presence of a priest in England, and who did not
report it to a magistrate within twelve days were liable to be fined
and imprisoned at the queen's pleasure.[36] This Act was designed to
secure the banishment or death of all the seminary priests, and if any
of them survived it was due neither to the want of vigilance nor to
the mildness of the government. Spies were let loose into every part
of England to report the doings of the clergy and laity. Wholesale
arrests were effected, and great numbers of the clergy put to death
merely because they were priests, and of the laymen merely because
they harboured priests. Three were executed in 1585, thirteen in 1586,
and seven in 1587. To secure the conviction of the prisoners, though
the law had made the conviction sufficiently certain, but more
especially to create popular prejudice against them in the minds of
loyal Englishmen, a series of questions were administered to them
known as the "bloody" or "cut-throat" questions, as for example,
"whose part would you take if the Pope or any other by his authority
should make war on the queen."[37]

The dismissal of the Spanish ambassador after the discovery of the
Throckmorton plot and the assistance given by England to the rebels in
the Netherlands helped to increase the hostility between England and
Spain, and to induce Philip II. to make renewed efforts for the
overthrow of Elizabeth's government, while at the same time the
merciless persecution of the Catholics in England drove many of them
who wished to remain loyal to co-operate with their brethren abroad
and to assist Philip's schemes. This unfortunate combination of
English Catholics with Spanish politicians did more to mar the work of
the seminary priests, and to set back the rising Catholic tide than
all that could have been accomplished by Elizabeth's penal laws or
merciless persecution. The large and increasing body of English people
who began to look with a friendly eye towards the old faith were
shocked by the adoption of such means, and when they found themselves
face to face with the necessity of selecting between an Anglo-Spanish
party and Elizabeth, they decided to throw in their lot with the
latter. The discovery of the Babington plot for the rescue of
Scotland's queen led to the death of its author and the execution of
the lady in whose favour it had been planned (1587). The news of
Mary's execution created a great sensation both at home and abroad. To
prevent hostilities on the part of Mary's son, James VI. of Scotland,
or of the Catholic sovereigns on the Continent, Elizabeth, pretending
to be displeased with her ministers for carrying out the sentence,
ordered the arrest of Davison the secretary to the council, and had
him punished by a fine of £10,000 and imprisonment in the Tower.
Philip II. was not, however, deceived by such conduct, or influenced
by the overtures made for peace. Elizabeth's interference in the
affairs of the Netherlands, the attacks made by her sailors on Spanish
territories and Spanish treasure-ships, and the execution of Mary
Queen of Scotland determined him to make a final effort for the
overthrow of the English government. The great Armada was got ready
for the invasion of England (1588). But the Spanish ships were not
destined to reach the English harbours, nor the Spanish soldiers whom
they carried on board to test their bravery and skill in conflict with
Elizabeth's forces on English soil.

Though there is no evidence either from English or Spanish reports
that Catholics in England welcomed the Armada, since both Lord
Burghley[38] and Philip II. were convinced that Spain could not rely
on their co-operation, and though in many parts of the country
Catholics volunteered for service to fight the invader, the government
determined to wreak its vengeance on the helpless victims in prison.
Within three days six priests and eight laymen were executed near
London (August); nine priests and three laymen were put to death in
October, and before the end of the year thirty-one had suffered the
terrible punishment reserved for traitors, merely because they refused
to conform. The prisons were so full of recusants that new houses were
opened for their detention. The government reaped a rich harvest by
the heavy fines inflicted on the wealthy Catholics and took pains,
besides, to annoy them at every turn by domiciliary visits in search
of concealed priests. Yet the reports from the country, especially
from such places as Lancashire and Cheshire, showed that the Papists
were still dangerously strong. A new proclamation was issued against
seminary priests and Jesuits (1591). Nine priests and two laymen had
been put to death in the previous year (1590), and in 1591 fifteen
were martyred, seven of whom were priests and the rest laymen.
Throughout the remainder of Queen Elizabeth's reign Catholics in
England were not allowed to enjoy peace or respite. If priests, they
were by that very fact liable to be hunted down and condemned as
traitors; if they were laymen of substance, they were beggared by
heavy fines imposed for non-attendance at the English service, or
punished by imprisonment, and if they were too poor to pay a fine they
could be driven from the kingdom for refusing to conform. Apart
altogether from the immense sums levied on Catholics by fines and
forfeitures, and from the number of people who died in prison either
from confinement or torture, one hundred and eighty-nine were put to
death for the faith under Elizabeth, one hundred and twenty-eight of
whom were priests; and yet, notwithstanding this persecution,
Catholics were still comparatively strong at the death of Elizabeth,
and the supply of clergy showed no signs of being exhausted. Over
three hundred and sixty priests were in England attending to the wants
of their co-religionists in 1603.

Unfortunately the dissensions among the Catholic party in England and
on the Continent did more harm to their cause than Elizabeth's
persecutions. The close co-operation of Allen and Persons with Spanish
political designs for the overthrow of Elizabeth and the invasion of
England was as distasteful to a large body of the lay Catholics in
England as it was to many of the clergy.[39] Though serious disputes
had broken out long before, it was only after the death of Cardinal
Allen in 1594 that the crisis reached a head. Many of the secular
clergy objected warmly to the influence of the Jesuits, and ugly
controversies broke out in England and in the English colleges abroad.
Persons and his friends were supposed to be plotting in favour of the
succession of a Catholic to the throne on the death of Elizabeth,
while most of their opponents favoured the succession of James VI. of
Scotland, from whom they expected at least toleration. To put an end
to what the latter regarded as the excessive authority of the Jesuits
they insisted on the appointment of a bishop who would take charge of
English affairs, but for various reasons the Holy See refused to yield
to their request. As a compromise, however, George Blackwell was
appointed archpriest (1598) with secret instructions, it was said, to
consult Garnet, the Jesuit superior in England. The selection was
singularly unfortunate, as neither from the point of view of prudence
nor of reliability was Blackwell fitted for the extremely delicate
position which he was called upon to fill. The seculars refused at
first to obey his authority and appealed again to the Pope, who
confirmed the appointment. As many of the seculars were still
unwilling to yield some of the leaders were censured by the
archpriest. A new appeal was forwarded to Rome. In 1602 Clement VIII.
issued a document upholding the authority of the archpriest, and,
while firmly defending the Jesuits against the charges that had been
made against them, warned Blackwell that he should not take his
instructions from any person except from the Pope or the Cardinal
Protector of England.[40] This controversy could not be kept a secret.
It was known to the entire Catholic body, and it was used with great
force and success by their opponents. The government took sides with
the secular clergy and offered them facilities for carrying their
appeals to Rome, but news of the secret negotiations between the
seculars and the authorities having been divulged Elizabeth issued a
new proclamation (1602) in which she announced that she had never any
intention of tolerating two religions in England.[41] The Jesuits and
their adherents were commanded to quit the kingdom within thirty days,
and their opponents within three months under penalty of treason. To
give effect to this proclamation a new commission with extraordinary
powers was appointed to secure the banishment of the Catholic clergy.
The seculars, who had opposed the archpriest, encouraged by the
distinction drawn in the proclamation between the two classes of
English priests, the loyal and the disloyal, determined to draw up an
address to the queen proclaiming their civil allegiance,[42] but
before it was considered Elizabeth had passed away, and the fate in
store for them was to be determined by a new ruler.

[1] Cf. F. W. Maitland in /Eng. Hist. Review/ (April, 1900). Father
    Pollen, S.J., in /The Month/ (Oct., 1900). Id., /Papal
    Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots/, xxvi.

[2] Wilkins, /Concilia/, iv. 180.

[3] Birt, /The Elizabethan Religious Settlement/, 36-8.

[4] On the constitution of the House of Commons, cf. Froude, /Hist. of
    Eng./, vii., 40-41.

[5] Wilkins, /Concilia/, iv., 179.

[6] For an account of this Conference, cf. /English Catholic Record
    Society/, vol. i. Foxe, /Acts and Monuments/, 1839, viii., 679

[7] Birt, op. cit., 91-2.

[8] Phillips, /The Extinction of the Ancient Hierarchy/, 112-114.

[9] For a full treatment of the attitude of the clergy, cf. Blirt, op.
    cit., chap. iv. The best history of the resistance and sufferings
    of the Marian Bishops is to be found in Phillips' /Extinction of
    the Ancient Hierarchy/, 1905.

[10] Cf. Estcourt, /The Question of Anglican Orders/, 1873. Barnes,
    /The Pope and the Ordinal/, 1898. Smith, S.J., /Reasons for
    Rejecting Anglican Orders/, 1896. Moyes (in the /Tablet/, 1895,
    Feb.-May, Sept.-Dec., also 1897).

[11] Cf. Birt, op. cit., chaps. iv., v., xii. Kennedy, /Parish Life
    under Queen Elizabeth/, 1914, chap. vii. Frere, /History of the
    English Church in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I./, 1904,

[12] Pollen, /Papal Negotiations/, etc., xlvi-vii.

[13] Dodd-Tierney, op. cit., iii., app. cccxi.

[14] Frere, op. cit., 60.

[15] Id., op. cit., 99.

[16] Hardwick, /Articles of Religion/, 1859. Gibson, /Thirty-nine
    Articles/, 2nd edition, 1898.

[17] Cf. Newman, /Tract 90/ (/Tracts for the Times/). Duchesne,
    /Églises Séparées/, 1896. Lingard, vii., 384 sqq. Moyes, /A Talk
    on Continuity/ (C. T. Society, authorities cited). /Tablet/ (1911-

[18] /Political History of England/, vi., chap. xv. (The Crisis of
    Elizabeth's Reign).

[19] Meyer, /England und die Katholische Kirche/, 64.

[20] Printed in Dodd-Tierney, iii., app. ii.

[21] Meyer, op. cit., 70 sqq.

[22] /Statutes/, 13 Eliz., c. 2.

[23] /Political History of England/, vi., 363.

[24] Rev. J. H. Pollen, S.J., /The Month/, Feb., 1902.

[25] Kennedy, /Parish Life under Queen Elizabeth/, chap. vii., viii.

[26] Haile, /An Elizabethan Cardinal/, 1914. Knox, /Letters and
    Memorials of William Cardinal Allen/, 1882. /Allen's Defence of
    Eng. Catholics/, 1913 (The Cath. Library, ii.).

[27] Cf. /The English Cath. Refugees on the Continent/, i., 1914.
    Lechat, /Les Refugiés anglais dans les Pays-Bas espagnols durant
    le règne d'Elisabeth/, 1914. Bellesheim, /Wilhelm Cardinal Allen
    und die Engl. Seminare auf dem Festlande/, 1885.

[28] Foley, /Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus/,
    ii. /Cath. Record Society of Engl./, ii., 1906.

[29] Bede-Camm, /Lives of the Eng. Martyrs/, ii., 204-49.

[30] Frere, op. cit., 206-15.

[31] Persons, /Memoirs Cath. Rec. Society of Eng./, ii., iv., 1906-7.
    Simpson, /Edmund Campion/, 1896.

[32] Published in Cath. Library Series, vol. 6, 1914.

[33] Allen, /Martyrdom of Edmund Campion, and his Companions/, edited,
    Father Pollen, 1908.

[34] Bede-Camm, op. cit., 249 sqq.

[35] Burton-Pollen, /Lives of English Martyrs/, vol. i., 1583-88,

[36] /Statutes/, 27 Eliz., c. 2.

[37] Burton-Pollen, op. cit., xvi. sqq.

[38] Burton-Pollen, op. cit., xxiv. sqq.

[39] Pollen, /Politics of the English Catholics during the reign of
    Elizabeth/ (/Month/, 1902-4). Law, /Jesuits and Seculars in the
    reign of Elizabeth/, etc., 1889. Id., /The Archpriest Controversy
    Documents/, etc., 1896 (Camden Society). /Eng. Catholic Record
    Society/, vol. ii.

[40] Dodd-Tierney, iii., app. xxxiv.

[41] Dodd-Tierney, app. xxxv.

[42] Id., app. no. xxxvi.



  See bibliography of chap. ii., iii., iv. /Calendars of State
  Papers/ (James I., Charles I., The Commonwealth, Charles II.).
  Knox, /Records of the English Catholics under the Penal Laws/, 2
  vols., 1882-84. Challoner, /Memoirs of Missionary Priests and
  other Catholics that suffered death in England/ (1577-1684), 2
  vols., 1803. Lilly-Wallis, /A Manual of the Law specially
  affecting Catholics/, 1893. Butler, /Historical Memoirs of
  English, Scottish, and Irish Catholics/, 3 vols., 1819-21. Id.,
  /Historical Account of the Laws respecting the Roman Catholics/,
  1795. Willaert, S.J., /Négociations Politico-Religieuses entre
  L'Angleterre et les Pays-Bas/, 1598-1625 (/Rev. d'Histoire
  Ecclés/, 1905-8). Kirk, /Biographies of English Catholics in the
  Eighteenth Century/ (edited by Rev. J. H. Pollen, S.J., and
  E. Burton, 1909). Morris, /The Condition of Catholics under
  James I./, 1871. Id., /The Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers/,
  1872-77. Payne, /The English Catholic Nonjurors of 1715/, etc.,
  1889. Id., /Records of English Catholics of 1715/, etc., 1891.
  Pollock, /The Popish Plot/, etc., 1903. /The Position of the
  Catholic Church in England and Wales during the last two
  Centuries/, 1892. Hutton, /The English Church from the Accession
  of Charles I. to the death of Anne/.

With the accession of James I. (1603-25) Catholics expected if not a
repeal at least a suspension of the penal laws. As a son of Mary Queen
of Scots for whose rescue Catholics in England and on the Continent
had risked so much, and as one whose religious views were thought to
approximate more closely to Catholicism than to Nonconformity, it was
hoped that he would put an end to the persecution that had been
carried on so bitterly during the reign of his predecessor. But
whatever might be the sentiments he entertained secretly or gave
expression to while he was yet only King of Scotland, his opinions
underwent a sudden change when he saw an opportunity of strengthening
his hold upon the English people, and of providing for the penniless
followers who accompanied him to his new kingdom. Unfortunately a
brainless plot, the "Bye Plot," as it is called, organised to capture
the king and to force him to yield to the demands of the conspirators,
afforded the more bigoted officials a splendid chance of inducing
James to continue the former policy of repression. Two priests named
Watson and Clarke joined hands with a number of malcontents, some of
whom were Protestants, others Puritans anxious to secure more liberty
for their co-religionists; but news of the plot having come to the
ears of the archpriest and of Garnet the provincial of the Jesuits,
information was conveyed to the council, and measures were taken for
the safety of the king, and for the arrest of the conspirators. James
recognised fully that the Catholic body was not to blame for the
violent undertakings of individuals, especially as he knew or was soon
to know that the Pope had warned the archpriest and the Jesuits to
discourage attempts against the government, and had offered to
withdraw any clergyman from England who might be regarded as disloyal.
James admitted frankly his indebtedness to the Catholics for the
discovery of the plot, and promised a deputation of laymen who waited
on him that the fines imposed on those who refused to attend the
Protestant service should not be exacted. For a time it was expected
that the policy of toleration was about to win the day, and the hopes
of Catholics rose high; but in autumn (1603) when the episcopal
returns came in showing that Catholics were still strong, and when
alarming reports began to spread about the arrival of additional
priests, the wonderful success of their efforts, and the increasing
boldness of the recusants, an outcry was raised by the Protestant
party, and a demand was made that the government should enforce the
law with firmness.[1]

Shortly before the meeting of Parliament in March (1604) James
determined to show the country that his attitude towards Catholicism
was in no wise different from that of his predecessor. In a
proclamation (Feb. 1604) he deplored the increasing number and
activity of priests and Jesuits, denounced their efforts to win
recruits for Rome, declared that he had never intended to grant
toleration, and ended up by commanding all Jesuits and seminary
priests to depart from the kingdom before the 19th March, unless they
wished to incur the penalties that had been levelled against them in
the previous reign.[2] In his speech at the opening of Parliament
(March 1604) after announcing his adhesion to the religion "by law
established" he outlined at length his attitude towards Rome. "I
acknowledge" he said "the Roman Church to be our mother church
although defiled with some infirmities and corruptions as the Jews
were when they crucified Christ;" for the "quiet and well-minded"
laymen who had been brought up in the Catholic faith he entertained
feelings of pity rather than of anger, but in case of those who had
"changed their coats" or were "factious stirrers of sedition" he was
determined if necessary to take measures whereby their obstinacy might
be corrected. The clergy, however, stood on a different footing. So
long as they maintained "that arrogant and impossible supremacy of
their head the Pope, whereby he not only claims to be the spiritual
head of all Christians, but also to have an imperial civil power over
all kings and emperors, dethroning and decrowning princes with his
foot as pleaseth him, and dispensing and disposing of all kingdoms and
empires at his appetite," and so long as the clergy showed by their
practices that they considered it meritorious rather than sinful to
rebel against or to assassinate their lawful sovereign if he be
excommunicated by the Pope, they need expect no toleration.[3]
Parliament soon showed that it was guided by the old Elizabethan
spirit. An Act was passed ordering that the laws framed during the
late reign against Jesuits, seminary priests, and recusants should be
rigidly enforced; all persons studying in foreign colleges who did not
return and conform within one year, as well as all students who should
go abroad for instruction in future should be declared incapable of
inheriting, purchasing, or enjoying any lands, chattels, or annuities
in England; all owners or masters of vessels who should convey such
passengers from the country were to be punished by confiscation of
their vessel and imprisonment, and if any person should dare to act as
tutor in a Catholic family without having got a licence from the
bishop of the diocese, both the teacher and his employer should be
fined £2 for every day he violated the law.[4] Lord Montague, having
ventured to speak his mind openly in the House of Lords against such a
measure, was arrested for his "scandalous and offensive speech," and
was committed to the Fleet. The old penal laws and the new ones were
enforced with unusual severity. Courts were everywhere at work drawing
up lists of recusants and assessing fines. Never before, even in the
worst days of Elizabeth, were the wealthy Catholics called upon to pay
so much. Numbers of priests were seized and conveyed to the coasts for
banishment abroad; one priest was put to death simply because he was a
priest, and two laymen underwent a like punishment because they had
harboured or assisted priests.

English Catholics were incensed at such pitiless persecution. Had it
been inflicted by Elizabeth from whom they expected no mercy, it would
have been cruel enough; but coming from a king, to whom they had good
reason to look for toleration, and who before he left Scotland and
after his arrival in London had promised an improvement of their
condition, it was calculated to stir up very bitter feeling. Forgetful
of the warnings of the Pope conveyed to the archpriest and the
superior of the Jesuits, some of the more extreme men undertook a new
plot against the king. The leading spirit in the enterprise was Robert
Catesby, a gentleman of Warwickshire, whose father had suffered for
his adhesion to the old faith. He planned to blow up the Parliament
House at the opening of the session of Parliament when king, lords,
and commons would be assembled. Hence his plot is known as the
Gunpowder Plot. His followers had to be ready to rise when the results
of this awful crime would have thrown the government into confusion.
They were to seize the children of the king and to assume control of
the kingdom. The scheme was so utterly wicked and impracticable, that
it is difficult to understand how any man could have conceived it or
induced others to join in its execution. Unfortunately, however,
Catesby secured the assistance of Thomas Winter, Guy Fawkes, an
Englishman who had served in the Spanish army, John Wright, Thomas
Percy, cousin of the Earl of Northumberland, Sir Everard Digby, and
Francis Tresham. A mine was to be run under the House of Commons
charged with gunpowder, which Fawkes undertook to explode. An
adjoining house was secured, and the cellar stretching under the
Parliament buildings was leased. Everything was arranged for the
destruction of the king, lords and commons at the opening of
Parliament fixed finally for the 5th November 1605, but Tresham,
anxious to save his brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle, sent him a letter
warning him to absent himself on the occasion. By means of this letter
the plot was discovered, and Guy Fawkes was arrested. The other
conspirators fled to Wales, where they hoped to stir up an
insurrection, but at Holbeche where they halted they were surrounded
by the forces of the sheriff of Worcester. In the struggle that ensued
Catesby and several of his followers, who defended themselves with
desperate courage, were killed, and the remainder were put to death
before the end of the month (Nov. 1605).

Whether the plot had not its origin in the minds of some of the
ministers, who in their desire for the wholesale destruction of
Catholics had employed agents to spur on Catesby and his companions,
or, at least had allowed them to continue their operations long after
the designs had been reported it is difficult to determine; but
immediately an outcry was raised that the plot had been organised by
the Jesuits Garnet, Gerard, and Greenway, for whose arrest a
proclamation was issued. Garnet had undoubtedly done much to persuade
Catesby from having recourse to outrage or violence, and had never
been consulted except in such a vague way that he could not possibly
have suspected what was in contemplation. He had even secured from
Rome a condemnation of violent measures, and had communicated this to
Catesby. Greenway was consulted after the plot had been arranged, but
apparently under the seal of confession with permission, however, to
reveal it to none but Garnet, and according to Greenway's own
statement he had done his best to persuade Catesby to abandon his
design. Garnet was then consulted by his Jesuit companion, from whom
he obtained permission to speak about the secret in case of grave
necessity and after it had become public. When Garnet and Oldcorn had
been arrested they were permitted to hold a conversation with spies
placed in such a position that all they said could be overheard.
Garnet, when informed of this, told his story plainly and frankly. He
was condemned and put to death, as was also Father Oldcorn. There is
no evidence to show that the Jesuits urged on the conspirators to
commit such a crime. On the contrary, both from the statements of the
conspirators and of the Jesuits, it is perfectly clear that the
Jesuits had used every effort to persuade the plotters to abandon
their design, and the worst that could be said of Garnet is that he
failed to take the steps he should have taken when he found that his
advice had fallen on deaf ears.[5]

Though Blackwell, the official head of the Catholic body in England,
hastened to issue a letter urging his co-religionists to abstain from
all attempts against the government (7th Nov. 1605), Parliament,
without attempting to distinguish between the innocent and the guilty,
determined to punish Catholics generally. Recusants who had conformed
were commanded to receive the Sacrament at least once a year under
penalty of a heavy fine. In place of the £20 per month levied off
those Catholics who refused to attend Protestant service, the king was
empowered to seize two-thirds of their estates. Catholics were
forbidden to attend at court, to remain in London or within ten miles
of London unless they practised some trade and had no residence
elsewhere, or to move more than five miles from their homes unless
they got the permission of two magistrates, confirmed by the bishop or
deputy-lieutenant of the county. They could not practise as lawyers or
doctors, hold any commissions in the army or navy, act as executors,
guardians, or administrators, appoint to benefices or schools, or
appear as suitors before the courts. Fines of £10 per month were to be
paid by anyone who harboured a servant or visitor who did not attend
the English service. In order to test the loyalty of his Majesty's
subjects it was enacted that a bishop or two justices of the peace
might summon any person who was suspected of recusancy, and require
him to take a special oath of loyalty embodied in the Act. If any
persons not of noble birth refused to take the oath they should be
committed to prison till the next quarter sessions or assizes, and if
in these assemblies they persisted in their refusal they incurred
thereby the penalty of Praemunire.[6]

Both in its substance and particularly in its form the oath of
allegiance was objectionable, and whether or not it was designed with
the intention of dividing the Catholic body, it succeeded in producing
that effect. Many Catholics thought that, as they were called upon to
renounce merely the authority of the Pope to depose princes or to make
war on them, they could take it as a sign of civil allegiance without
abandoning their obedience to the Pope as their spiritual superior.
Others thought differently, however, and as a consequence a violent
controversy broke out which disturbed the England Catholics for close
on a century. The archpriest Blackwell condemned the oath at first,
but in a conference with the clergy held in July 1606 he declared in
its favour. Acting on this opinion the lay peers and many of the
clergy consented to take the oath. The other side appealed to Rome for
a decision, and a brief was issued on the 22nd September 1606, by
which the oath was condemned as unlawful. Blackwell neglected to
publish the brief probably from motives of prudence, though other
grounds were alleged, and in the following year a new condemnation was
forwarded from Rome (Aug. 1607). Meanwhile Blackwell had taken the
oath himself, and had published letters permitting Catholics to act
similarly. As he was unwilling to recede from his position
notwithstanding the appeals of Father Persons and Cardinal Bellarmine,
he was deposed from his office and George Birkhead or Birket was
appointed archpriest (1608). The controversy now became general. James
I. entered the lists with a book entitled /Apologie for the Oath of
Allegiance/, in which he sought to meet the reasons contained in the
papal documents and in the letters of Father Persons and Cardinal
Bellarmine. Both writers replied to the royal challenge, and soon
hosts of others, both Catholic and Protestant hastened to take part in
a wordy war, the only result of which was to disedify the faithful, to
turn away waverers from the Church, and to cause rejoicings to the
enemies of the Catholic cause. Birkhead, who had been empowered to
suspend all priests who did not show some signs of repentance for
having taken the oath, acted with great moderation in the hope of
avoiding a schism, but at last he was obliged to make use of the
powers with which he was entrusted (1611).[7]

The old controversies between the Jesuits and a large section of the
seminary priests were renewed both at home and on the Continent. The
seculars objecting to the control exercised by the Jesuits in England,
in regard to English affairs at Rome, and in the foreign colleges,
continued to petition for the appointment of a bishop. Ugly disputes
ensued and many things were done by both sides during the heat of the
strife that could not be defended. The Holy See found it difficult to
decide between the various plans put forward, but at last in 1623 Dr.
Bishop was appointed Bishop of Calcedon /in partibus infidelium/, and
entrusted with the government of the English mission. During these
years of strife one important work, destined to have a great effect on
the future of Catholicism in England, was accomplished, namely the
re-establishment of the English congregation of the Benedictines. The
Benedictine community had been re-established at Westminster in 1556
with the Abbot Feckenham as superior, but they were expelled three
years later. Of the monks who had belonged to this community only one,
Dom Buckley, was alive in 1607. Before his death he affiliated two
English Benedictines belonging to an Italian house to the English
congregation, and in 1619 the English Benedictines on the Continent
were united with the English congregation by papal authority.[8] The
houses of the English Benedictines on the Continent were situated at
Douay (1605), at Dieulouard (1606), at Paris (1611), Saint-Malo (1611)
and Lambspring in Germany (1643). The members bound themselves by oath
to labour for the re-conversion of their country, and the list of
Benedictine martyrs who died for the faith in England bears testimony
to the fact that their oath was faithfully observed.

While these unfortunate controversies were weakening and disheartening
the Catholics the penal laws were enforced with great severity. One
martyr suffered in 1607, three in 1608, five in 1610, two in 1616, and
five in 1618. Great numbers of priests were confined in prison or
transported abroad. Laymen were ruined by imprisonment, and especially
by the high fines required by the king to meet his own expenses.
According to his own statement he received from the fines of Popish
recusants a net income of £36,000 a year. Parliament and the
Protestant party generally were anxious about the marriage of Prince
Charles, the heir to the throne, and of the princess Elizabeth his
sister. If they were married into Protestant families the religious
difficulty, it was thought, might disappear; but, if, on the contrary,
they were united to the royal houses of France or Spain the old battle
might be renewed. Hence the marriage of Elizabeth to the Elector
Frederick of the Palatinate, one of the foremost champions of
Protestantism in Germany, gave great satisfaction at the time, though
later on it led to serious trouble between the king and Parliament,
when Elizabeth's husband was driven from his kingdom during the Thirty
Years' War.

Regardless of the wishes of his Parliament the king was anxious to
procure for Prince Charles the hand of the Infanta Maria, second
daughter of Philip III. of Spain. To prepare the way for such a step
both in Spain and at Rome, where it might be necessary to sue for a
dispensation, something must be done to render less odious the working
of the penal laws. Once news began to leak out of the intended
marriage with Spain and of the possibility of toleration for Catholics
Parliament petitioned (1620) the king to break off friendly relations
with Spain, to throw himself into the war in Germany on the side of
his son-in-law, and to enforce strictly all the laws against
recusants. But the king refused to accept the advice of his Parliament
or to allow it to interfere in what, he considered, were his own
private affairs. The marriage arrangements were pushed forward, and at
the same time care was taken to inform the magistrates and judges that
the laws against Catholics should be interpreted leniently. In a few
weeks, it is said that about four thousand prisoners were set at
liberty. The articles of marriage were arranged satisfactorily (1623),
due provision being made for the religious freedom of the Infanta, and
a guarantee being given that the religious persecution should cease,
but for various reasons the marriage never took place. Parliament
promised the king to provide the funds necessary for war if only he
would end the negotiations for a Spanish alliance, and this time James
much against his will followed the advice of his Parliament (1624). A
new petition was presented for the strict enforcement of the penal
laws against priests and recusants, to which petition the king was
obliged to yield. But hardly had the negotiations with Spain ended
than proposals were made to France for a marriage between the prince
and Henrietta Maria, sister of Louis XIII., and once more it was
necessary to be careful about offending Catholic feeling. By a secret
article of the agreement with France James promised to grant even
greater freedom to Catholics than had been promised them in his
dealings with the Spanish court, and as a pledge of his good faith he
released many prisoners who had been convicted on account of their
religion, returned some of the fines that had been levied, and gave a
hint to those charged with the administration of the law that the
penal enactments should not be enforced. Application was made to Rome
for a dispensation, which though granted, was to be delivered by the
papal nuncio at Paris only on condition that James signed a more
explicit statement of his future policy towards his Catholic subjects.
Louis XIII., annoyed by the delays interposed by the Roman court, was
not unwilling to proceed with the marriage without the dispensation,
but for obvious reasons James refused to agree to such a course.
Finally all difficulties were surmounted, though not before James had
passed away leaving it to his son and successor to ratify the
agreement. In May 1625, Charles was married by proxy to Henrietta
Maria, and in the following month the new queen arrived in London.[9]

During the later years of the reign of James I. the foreign policy of
the king rendered a relaxation of the penal code absolutely necessary.
In the course of the marriage negotiations with France James I. had
pledged himself by a secret agreement to adopt a policy of toleration,
and on his death the agreement was ratified more than once by his son
and successor Charles I. (1625-1649). But Charles, though personally
well disposed towards the Catholics, was not a man to consider himself
bound by any obligations if the fulfilment of them should involve him
in serious difficulties. At the time of his accession public opinion
in England as reflected by Parliament was intensely hostile to
toleration. On the one hand the Puritan party, who had grown
considerably despite the repressive measures of Elizabeth and James
I., was determined to bring the Church into line with Calvinism, while
on the other hand a body of able and learned men within the Anglican
Church itself longed for a closer approximation towards Catholic
beliefs and practices. With both the Bible was still in a sense the
sole rule of faith, but the Puritan party would have the Bible and
nothing but the Bible, while the High Church men insisted that the
Scriptures must be interpreted in the light of the traditional usages
of the Christian world, and that in matters of doctrine and practices
some jurisdiction must be conceded to the teaching authorities of the
Church. The opponents of the latter stirred the people against them by
raising the cry of Arminianism and Papistry, and by representing them
as abettors of Rome and as hostile to the religious settlement that
had been accomplished. As a result of this controversy, in which the
king sided with Laud and the High Church party against the
Presbyterians and Calvinists,[10] Parliament, which supported the
Puritans, clamoured incessantly for the execution of the penal laws.

In the first Parliament, opened the day after Queen Henrietta's
arrival in England (1625) a petition was presented to the king praying
for the strict enforcement of the penal laws. Yielding to this
petition Charles issued a proclamation ordering the bishops and
officials to see that the laws were put into execution, but at the
same time he took care to let it be known that the extraction of fines
from the wealthy laymen and the imprisonment or transportation of
priests would be more agreeable to him than the infliction of the
death penalty. Louis XIII. and the Pope protested warmly against this
breach of a solemn agreement. Charles replied that he had bound
himself not to enforce the penal laws merely as a means of lulling the
suspicions of Rome and of securing a dispensation for his
marriage.[11] Still, though the queen's French household was
dismissed, the king did everything he could to prevent the shedding of
blood. The Parliamentarians, who were fighting for civil liberty for
themselves, were annoyed that any measure of liberty should be
conceded to their Catholic fellow-countrymen. They presented a
petition to Charles at the very time they were safeguarding their own
position by the Petition of Rights (1628) demanding that priests who
returned to England should be put to death, and that the children of
Catholic parents should be taken from their natural guardians and
reared in the Protestant religion.[12] Charles defended his own policy
of toleration on the ground that it was calculated to secure better
treatment for Protestant minorities in other countries, yet at the
same time he so far abandoned his policy of not shedding blood as to
allow the death penalty to be inflicted on a Jesuit and a layman
(1628).[13] So long however as he could secure money from the
Catholics he was not particularly anxious about their religious
opinions. Instead of the fines to which they had been accustomed, he
compounded with them by agreeing not to enforce their presence at the
Protestant service on condition that they paid an annual sum to be
fixed by his commissioners according to the means of the individual

The appointment of a bishop to take charge of the English Mission
(1623) did not unfortunately put an end to the regrettable
controversies that divided the Catholic party. On the death of Dr.
Bishop, Dr. Richard Smith was appointed to succeed him (1625), and was
consecrated in France. For a time after his arrival affairs moved
smoothly enough, but soon a more violent controversy broke out
regarding the respective rights and privileges of seculars and
regulars, and the obligation on confessors of obtaining episcopal
approbation. The dispute became public, and in a short time numerous
pamphlets were published in England and in France by the literary
champions of both parties. As the Puritans resented strongly the
presence of a bishop in England, Dr. Smith was obliged to go into
hiding, and ultimately made his escape to France, where he died in
1665. The Pope found it difficult to apportion the blame or to put an
end to the strife, but an opportunity was afforded him of learning the
facts of the case when an English agent deputed by the queen arrived
in Rome (1633). In return Urban VIII. determined to send an envoy into
England mainly to settle the controversy between the regulars and the
seculars, but also to discover the real sentiments of the court and
the country towards Rome. The person selected for this difficult work
was Gregory Panzani,[14] an Oratorian, who arrived in England in 1634
and had several interviews with the king and queen. Whatever might
have been the hopes of inducing Laud and some of the leading bishops
to consider the question of returning to the Roman allegiance, the
main object the king had in view in permitting the residence of a
papal envoy in London and in sending English agents to Rome was to
secure the help of Urban VIII. for his nephew of the Palatinate, and
especially to induce the Pope to favour a marriage between this nephew
and the daughter of the King of Poland. Very little was obtained on
either side by these negotiations, nor did the papal agents in England
succeed in composing the differences between the clergy.

In 1640 Laud published the canons framed by Convocation for the
government of the English Church. With the object of clearing himself
of the charge of Papistry he ordered a new persecution to be begun,
but the king intervened to prevent the execution of this measure. At a
time when Charles was receiving large sums of money by way of
compensation for non-attendance at the Protestant services, and when
he foresaw that in the conflict that was to come he could rely on the
Catholic noblemen to stand loyally by him, he had no wish to
exasperate the Catholics in England, or to outrage Catholic feeling in
France and at Rome. In 1640, however, Parliament returned to the
charge. The presence of papal agents in England, the payment of
£10,000 by the Catholic noblemen to help the king in his expedition
against the Scots, and the enrolment of a Catholic army in Ireland by
Strafford, were urged as arguments to prove that the king's failure to
carry out the laws against Catholics was due to causes other than had
been alleged. Indeed both before and after the outbreak of the Civil
War (1642) the king's cause was damaged badly by his secret alliance
with Rome. As a matter of fact the Catholics did rally to the standard
of the king, but the persecution to which they had been subjected
wherever the Parliament had control made it impossible for them to act
differently. During the years that elapsed between 1642 and 1651,
twenty-one victims, including priests, both secular and regular, and
laymen, were put to death for their religion.[15] When at last
Parliament had triumphed a new persecution was begun. An Act was
passed in 1650 offering for the apprehension of priests rewards
similar to those paid for securing the arrest of highway robbers.
Informers and spies were set at work, and as a result of their labours
many priests were captured and confined in prison or transported. Yet,
though the opponents of the king made it one of their main charges
against him that he refused to shed the blood of the clergy, they
adopted a similar policy when they themselves were in power. During
the whole Protectorate of Cromwell only one priest was put to death in
England. But recourse was had to other methods for the extirpation of
the Catholic religion, imprisonment, transportation, and above all
heavy fines exacted off those Catholics who held property in the

From Charles II. (1660-1685) Catholics had some reason to expect an
amelioration of their sad condition. They had fought loyally for his
father and had suffered for their loyalty even more than the
Protestant loyalists. In the hour of defeat they had shielded the life
of the young prince, and had aided him in escaping from enemies who
would have dealt with him as they had dealt with the king. Mindful of
their services and of promises Charles had made in exile, and well
aware that he had inherited from his mother, Queen Henrietta, a strong
leaning towards the Catholic Church, they hoped to profit by the
Declaration of Breda, which promised liberty of conscience to all his
subjects. But Charles, though secretly in favour of the Catholics on
account of their loyalty to his father and to himself, was not a man
to endanger his throne for the sake of past services, more especially
as his trusted minister, the Earl of Clarendon, was determined to
suppress Dissenters no matter what creed they might profess. A number
of Catholics, lay and cleric, met at Arundel House to prepare a
petition to the House of Lords (1661) for the relaxation of the Penal
Laws. The petition was received favourably, and as there was nobody in
the House of Lords willing to defend the infliction of the death
penalty on account of religion, it was thought that the laws whereby
it was considered treason to be a priest or to shelter a priest might
be abolished. But dissensions soon arose, even in the Catholic
committee itself. The kind of oath of allegiance that might be taken,
the extension of the proposed relaxations so as to include the
Jesuits, and the anxiety of the laymen to get rid of the fines levied
on rich recusants rather than of the penalties meted out to the
clergy, led to the dissolution of the committee, and to the
abandonment of their suggested measures of redress.[16]

Clarendon was determined to crush the Nonconformist party
notwithstanding the promises that had been held out to them in the
Declaration of Breda. He secured the enactment of a number of laws,
the Act of Uniformity (1662), the Conventicle Act (1664) and the Five
Mile Act (1665) known as the Clarendon Code, which, though directed
principally against the Dissenters, helped to increase the hardships
of the Catholic body. Once, indeed, in 1662-63, Charles made a feeble
attempt to redeem his promise to both Catholics and Nonconformists by
announcing his intention of applying to Parliament to allow him to
exercise the dispensing power in regard to the Act of Uniformity and
other such laws, but the opposition was so strong that the proposed
declaration of indulgence was abandoned. The terrible fire that broke
out in London (September 1666) and which raged for five days,
destroying during that time a great part of the city, led to a new
outburst of anti-Catholic feeling. Without the slightest evidence the
fire was attributed to the Papists, and an inscription to this effect
placed upon the monument erected to commemorate the conflagration
remained unchanged until 1830. When Parliament met a committee was
appointed to inquire into the increase of popery, and a demand was
made that proclamations should be issued for the banishment of all
priests and Jesuits.

On the fall of Clarendon (1667) the Cabal ministers succeeded to
power. These were Clifford, who was a convinced Catholic, Arlington
who if not a Catholic at this time had at least Catholic tendencies,
Buckingham, Ashley, a man of no fixed religious opinions, and
Lauderdale, a Scotch Presbyterian (1670).[17] The contest for the
succession to the Spanish throne was at hand, and Louis XIV. was as
anxious to secure the support of England as was Charles to escape from
the Triple Alliance and the domination of Parliament. Besides, his
brother James, Duke of York, and heir-presumptive to the English
throne, had announced his adhesion to the Catholic Church, and his
example produced such an effect upon the king's mind that he
determined to imitate it if only France would promise support. It was
resolved to conclude a secret treaty with France by which Charles
should pledge himself to profess openly the Catholic religion and to
assist Louis in his schemes against Holland and Belgium, provided that
Louis would supply both money and men to suppress the disturbance to
which the king's change of religion might give rise in England. The
treaty was signed in May 1670, but as Charles was more anxious about
the subsidies than about the change of religion, and as Louis XIV.
preferred that the religious question should not be raised till the
war against Holland had been completed, very little, if anything, was
done, except to publish a Declaration of Indulgence (1672) in which
Charles by virtue of his "supreme power in ecclesiastical matters"
suspended "all manner of penal laws against whatsoever sort of
Nonconformists and Recusants." By this document liberty of public
worship was granted to Dissenters, while Catholics were allowed to
meet for religious service only in private houses.

A strong Protestant feeling had been aroused in the country by the
rumour of the conversion of the Duke of York, by the certainty that
his first wife, the daughter of the Earl of Clarendon, had become a
Catholic on her death-bed, and by the suspicion of some secret
negotiations with France. When Parliament met (1673) a demand was made
that the Declaration of Indulgence should be withdrawn. The Duke of
York urged the king to stand firm in the defence of his prerogatives,
but as neither Charles nor his ally Louis XIV. wished to precipitate a
conflict with the Parliament at that particular period, the king
yielded to the storm by revoking his original declaration. Immediately
the Test Act was introduced and passed through both houses despite the
warm opposition of the Duke of York and of Lord Clifford of Chudleigh.
According to the terms of this measure it was enacted that all civil
or military officials should be obliged to take the oath of supremacy
and allegiance, to receive Communion according to the English service,
and to make a declaration "that there is not any Transubstantiation in
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or in the elements of bread and
wine at or after the consecration thereof by any persons whatsoever."
James, Duke of York, resigned his office of Lord High-Admiral and his
example was followed by Clifford and most of the Catholic noblemen

From this time forward the Protestant party concentrated their efforts
on securing the exclusion of the Duke of York from the English throne.
Charles II. had married Catharine of Braganza, by whom there was no
issue, and consequently his brother was the lawful heir. At the same
time it was clear to everybody, that James was so firmly attached to
the Catholic Church that neither the fear of losing the crown nor the
zealous efforts of Stillingfleet and other distinguished ecclesiastics
were likely to bring about his re-conversion to Protestantism. The
news, too, of his projected marriage with Mary the daughter of the
Duke of Modena, opening as it did the prospect of a long line of
Catholic rulers in England, was not calculated to allay the fears of
the Protestants. After he had been dismissed from office the Earl of
Shaftesbury set himself deliberately to fan the flames of religious
bigotry, in the hope of securing the exclusion of the Duke of York
from the throne. With this object in view it was proposed either that
Charles should procure a divorce from Catharine of Braganza, so as to
be free to marry some younger lady by whom an heir might be born, or
else that with the consent of Parliament he should vest the succession
in his illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth. Just then, when feeling
was running high in England, a wretch named Titus Oates came forward
with a story of a Popish Plot. Oates, formerly a preacher and minister
of the Established Church, had feigned conversion to Catholicism, and
had gained admission to the English colleges at Valladolid and St.
Omer from which he was dismissed. Acting in conjunction with Israel
Tonge he concocted the details of a plot, according to which the Pope
and the Jesuits were to bring about the murder of the king and the
overthrow of the Protestant religion. His story was so full of
contradictions and absurdities that it is difficult to understand how
it could have obtained credence among sane men, but in the state of
opinion at the time, it was seized upon by Shaftesbury and others as
the best means of stirring up a great anti-Catholic agitation that
would bar the way to the accession of the Duke of York. The mysterious
death of Sir Edmund Godfrey, a London magistrate to whom Oates had
entrusted a copy of his depositions, and the discovery of some French
correspondence amongst the documents of Father Coleman, the private
secretary of the Duchess of York, helped to strengthen public belief
in the existence of the plot. When Parliament met in 1678 both houses
professed their belief in the existence of a "damnable and hellish
plot," voted a salary to Oates, ordered all Catholics to leave London
and Westminster, procured the arrest of a number of Catholic peers,
and decreed the exclusion of Catholics from the House of Commons and
the House of Lords by exacting a declaration against the Mass,
Transubstantiation and the invocation of the Blessed Virgin (1678). It
was only with the greatest difficulty that the king succeeded in
securing an exemption in favour of the Duke of York. A number of
priests and laymen were arrested, one of whom was put to death in
1678, eleven in 1679, two in 1680 and one, the Venerable Oliver
Plunket, Archbishop of Armagh, the last victim put to death for
religion upon English soil, in 1681. In addition to this eight priests
were put to death during the agitation merely because they were

Three times the Exclusion Bill was introduced, but it failed to become
law owing to the determination of Charles II. to uphold the rights of
his brother. At last the storm of passion began to die away, and the
absurd statements of Oates, even though supported by the testimonies
of infamous hirelings like Bedloe and Dangerfield, were no longer
accepted as trustworthy. Shaftsebury was obliged to make his escape
from England; the Duke of York returned from exile to take up his
residence at court, and for the remainder of the reign of Charles II.
Catholics enjoyed a comparative calm. In February 1685 Charles II.
became seriously ill, and died in a short time, after having been
reconciled to the Catholic Church by the ministrations of Father
Hudleston, who had helped to save his life years before, and who had
enjoyed the special protection of the king.

The accession of James II. (1685-88)[19] was welcomed by the vast
majority of the English people, who had come to admire his honesty and
courage, as well as to sympathise with him on account of the violent
persecution to which he had been subjected by his unscrupulous
adversaries. He had made no secret of his religion and of his desire
to abolish the penal laws from which his co-religionists suffered, but
at the same time he declared his intention of maintaining the Church
of England as by law established. The Tory landowners and the cities
were equally loyal to him, and the first Parliament he called was not
unwilling to do everything to gratify his wishes, provided, however,
he left religion untouched. When the Duke of Monmouth arrived in
England to stir up a rebellion (1685) the country in the main rallied
to the king, although the cry of "Protestantism in danger" had been
utilised to stir up discontent.

The violent persecution that followed the rebellion, and above all the
"bloody circuit" of Judge Jeffreys, whose conduct was unworthy of his
judicial position, helped to dull the edge of the king's popularity.
The selection of advisers like the unprincipled Earl of Sutherland,
the position occupied at Court by Father Edmund Petre,[20] the public
celebration of Mass at which the king assisted in state, and the
opening of direct negotiations with Rome, were calculated to stir up
strong Protestant opposition. During the rebellion the king had found
it necessary to dispense with the Test Act in the appointment of
officers, and to raise a well equipped standing army, and people began
to be alarmed lest he should ally himself with Louis XIV., and by
means of French subsidies attempt to make himself absolute ruler of
England. Parliament met once more in November 1685. The king had set
his heart on securing a modification of the Test Act, so as to be free
to appoint Catholics to positions of trust, and had dismissed the Earl
of Halifax from the council because he refused to agree to the
proposal. But on the two questions, the maintenance of the Test Act
and of a standing army, Parliament was unbending in its refusal to
meet the wishes of James II., and was on this account prorogued (Nov.

Most of the prominent opponents were dismissed immediately from their
offices. The fact that the late king had embraced the Catholic
religion before his death was made known officially, and two papers,
in which Charles II. explained the motives which induced him to take
this step, were given to the public. The papal nuncio at London was
received at court, and Lord Castlemaine was dispatched to Rome to act
as the agent of James II. Dr. Leyburn arrived in England as vicar
apostolic, to be followed by another in the person of Dr. Giffard, and
a little later England was divided into four vicarates, over which
were placed four vicars with full episcopal orders and jurisdiction.
Several of the Protestant ministers, alarmed by these measures, opened
a violent campaign against Popery, particularly in London where anti-
Catholic feeling was easily aroused. The king appealed to the Bishop
of London to moderate the fanaticism of his clergy, and as the bishop
was unable or unwilling to comply with this request, the king
established once more a king of High Commission Court, to be presided
over by a number of bishops and laymen, with the avowed object of
keeping the clergy in subjection.

As Parliament had refused to abolish the Test Act James II. determined
to make use of the dispensing powers which he claimed to have as king.
To compensate for the absence of parliamentary confirmation, it was
decided to secure the approval of the judges. For this purpose Sir
Edward Hales, a recent convert to Catholicism, was brought into court
for having accepted and retained a commission in the army without
having made the necessary declarations. Hales pleaded as his excuse
that he had received a dispensation from the king, and that
consequently he was not obliged to comply with the terms of the Test
Act. The plea was accepted by the judges and the case against the
defendant was dismissed. As a result of this decision James II. felt
free to confer civil and military offices on Catholics. Four Catholic
peers, Lord Bellasis, Powys, Arundell of Wardour and Lord Dover, were
sworn in members of the privy council (1687), and later on Father
Petre, a Jesuit, took a seat at the council board. For the latter the
king sought to obtain a bishopric and a cardinal's hat, but Innocent
XI., who was not an admirer of the imprudent haste shown by James II.
for the conversion of the English nation, nor of his alliance with
Louis XIV., refused to grant either request. By virtue of royal
dispensations a Catholic master and three fellows were appointed to
some of the Oxford colleges.

The Tory party that had been so loyal to the king hitherto, took
offence at the favour shown to the Catholic body, and as there could
be no hope of winning their approval for the measures he had in
contemplation, James II. determined to appeal to the Dissenters. The
Earl of Rochester was dismissed from his office, and the Earl of
Clarendon was recalled from Ireland. In April 1687 a Declaration of
Indulgence was published, granting freedom of worship to Dissenters
and Catholics, and abolishing all religious tests as necessary
qualifications for office. For a time it seemed as if the king were
likely to secure the support of the Nonconformists, particularly as
measures were taken through the lords-lieutenant of the various
counties to influence public opinion in their districts. But the
hatred entertained by the Dissenters for Rome overcame their gratitude
to the king for the liberty he had granted them, and they preferred to
live in bondage rather than allow the Catholics to share with them the
advantages of religious toleration. The appointment of several
Catholic lords to the very highest offices of state, the public
welcome given to the papal nuncio, and the attempt to force a Catholic
president on the fellows of Magdalen College helped to increase the
feeling of dissatisfaction. Dangerous riots broke out in London, and
to prevent still more dangerous manifestations a force of 16,000 was
concentrated on Hounslow Heath. In April 1688 a second Declaration of
Indulgence was published. By a order in council, published some days
later, the clergy were commanded to read this declaration on two
consecutive Sundays in all their churches.

A petition was presented to the king by Archbishop Sancroft of
Canterbury and six of his episcopal colleagues requesting him to
withdraw this command to the clergy (18 May 1688). To make matters
worse thousands of copies of the petition were printed immediately and
circulated throughout the country. Annoyed by such opposition the king
summoned the bishops before the council, and as they refused to give
securities for their attendance at the trial, they were committed to
prison. The trial opened on the 29th June 1688, and ended with a
verdict of acquittal to the great delight of the vast body of the
English people.

So long as James II. had no heir many Protestants were inclined to
keep silent on the ground that at his death the succession of a
Protestant ruler was assured. But during the popular excitement
following upon the arrest of the bishops the news spread rapidly that
the queen had given birth to a son. Already negotiations had been
opened up with William of Orange to induce him to take up the cause of
Protestantism in England, but the fact that an heir was born to the
throne gave a new impetus to the insurrectionary movement. The state
of affairs on the Continent favoured the designs of William of Orange.
Louis XIV. was at war with the Emperor and with the Pope, and as James
II. was regarded as an ally of France no opposition might be expected
from the imperial forces in case William determined to make a descent
upon England. Had James II. taken the bold course of inviting Louis
XIV. to assist him, the invasion of England from Holland would have
been attended with much more serious difficulties, but till the last
moment James affected to regard such an invasion as an impossibility.
When at last he realised the gravity of the situation he was willing
to make some concessions, but soon, finding himself deserted by a
great many of the men on whom he had relied, by some of his own
relatives, and even by his own daughter, he determined to make his
escape from England (Dec. 1688).

During the weeks that preceded the withdrawal of James II. to France
violent riots had taken place in London, where several of the Catholic
chapels were attacked, and in many of the other leading cities.
William III. was not personally in favour of a policy of religious
persecution, particularly as he had promised his imperial ally to deal
gently with his Catholic subjects. But the popular prejudice against
them was so strong that a policy of toleration was almost an
impossibility. The Catholics were excluded specially from enjoying the
concessions made in favour of the Dissenters, and in the Bill of
Rights (1689) it was provided that no member of the reigning family
who was a Catholic or had married a Catholic could succeed to the
throne, and that any sovereign of England who became a Catholic or
married a Catholic thereby forfeited the crown. Catholics were
prohibited from residing within ten miles of London; magistrates were
empowered to administer the objectionable oath of allegiance to all
suspected Papists; Catholics were forbidden to keep arms, ammunition,
or a horse valued for more than ten pounds; they were debarred from
practising as counsellors, barristers, or attorneys; if they refused
to take the oath they were not allowed to vote at parliamentary
elections; they were incapacitated from inheriting or purchasing land;
and prohibited from sending their children abroad for education; while
priests were to be punished with imprisonment for life for celebrating
Mass, and spies who secured the conviction of priests were offered
£100 as a reward.[21]

During the reign of Anne (1702-14) and during the early portion of the
reign of George I. the persecution continued, especially after the
unsuccessful rebellion of 1715 in which many Catholics were accused of
taking part.[22] After 1722 the violence of the persecution began to
abate, and Catholics began to open schools, and to draw together again
their shattered forces. Fortunately at the time there was one amongst
them in the person of Richard Challoner, who was capable of infusing
new life into the Catholic ranks and of winning for the Church the
respect even of its bitterest opponents. Richard Challoner (1691-1781)
was born in London, and was converted to Catholicism at the age of
thirteen. He entered Douay College, in which he remained twenty-five
years, first as a student and afterwards as a professor, and vice-
president. He returned to London in 1730, and threw himself into the
work of strengthening the faith of his co-religionists in all parts of
the city. He went about disguised as a layman, visiting the poorest
quarters, and celebrating Mass wherever he could find a place of
security. Already he had published a book of meditations under the
title /Think Well On't/ (1728), and a little later he found time to
prepare for the press /The Christian Instructed in the Sacraments,
etc/. In 1740, much against his own will, he was appointed coadjutor
to Dr. Petre, vicar-apostolic of the London district. As coadjutor he
undertook to make a visitation of the entire district as far as it was
situated in England. But his work as bishop did not interfere with his
literary activity. In quick succession he published /The Gardin of the
Soul/, /The Memoirs of Missionary Priests/, containing the Lives of
the English Martyrs (1577-1681), the /Britannia Sacra/, or a short
account of the English, Scottish and Irish Saints, an edition of the
New Testament (1749), of the old Testament (1750), together with a
revised edition (1752).

Besides all this he founded two schools for boys, one at Standon
Lordship, the other at Sedgley Park, and one for poor girls at
Hammersmith. Though more than once he stood in the gravest danger of
having his career cut short by the activity of the priest-hunters, he
had the good fortune to survive the storm and to see the First Relief
Act of 1778 placed upon the statute book.[23]

[1] Frere, op. cit., 289-90.

[2] Dodd-Tierney, iv., app. no. iv.

[3] Id., iv., 10-13.

[4] /Statutes/, 1 James, c. 4.

[5] On the Gunpowder Plot, cf. Gerard, /What was the Gunpowder Plot/,
    1897. Rev. J. H. Pollen, /Arrest and Examination of Father
    Garnet/; /Trial and Execution of Father Garnet/ (/The Month/, July
    1888, Sept., 1888). /The Month/ (Oct., 1878, Sept.-Oct., 1897,
    Aug., 1898, Aug., 1904). Sidney, /A History of the Gunpowder
    Plot/, 1904.

[6] /Statutes 3/, 1 James, c. 4, 5.

[7] Many documents relating to this unfortunate controversy are to be
    found in Dodd-Tierney, op. cit., vol. iv. Appendix. /Memoirs of
    Gregorio Panzani/, edited by Berington, 1793.

[8] Guilday, op. cit., chap. vii.

[9] /Political Hist. of England/, vii., chap. v., vi.

[10] Hutton, /The Life of Laud/, 1895. Shaw, /The English Church
    during the Civil War and under the Commonwealth/, 2 vols., 1900.
    Neale, /History of the Puritans/, 4 vols., 1732-8.

[11] Lingard, vii., 157-9.

[12] Lingard, vii., 168.

[13] Burton-Pollen, op. cit., xxxvi.

[14] /The Memoirs of Gregorio Panzani/, 1634-36, etc. Transl. Ed. by
    Rev. J. Berington, 1793.

[15] Burton-Pollen, op. cit., xxxvi.

[16] /Memoirs of Panzani/, 308-11 (Supplement).

[17] /Political Hist. of England/, viii., 87.

[18] On the Titus Oates' Plot, cf. Gerard, /Some Episodes of the
    Oates' Plot/ (/Month/, Aug. 1894). Marks, /Further Light on the
    Oates' Plot/ (/Month/, Aug. 1903). Pollock, /The Popish Plot/,
    1903. Markes, /Who killed Sir Edmund Godfrey?/ 1905.

[19] Onno Klopp, /Der Fall des Hauses Stuarts/, 1875-9.

[20] Cf. Foley, /Records of the English Jesuits/, v., vii., /The
    Month/ (1886-87).

[21] Cf. Lilly-Wallis, /Manual of the Law specially affecting
    Catholics/, 1893.

[22] Payne, /Records of the English Catholics of 1715/, 1889.

[23] Cf. Burton, /The Life and Times of Bishop Challone (1691-1781)/,
    2 vols., 1909 (an excellent biography).



  Lang, /History of Scotland/, 1900-2. Bellesheim-Blair, /History of
  the Catholic Church in Scotland/, 1887 (tr. from the German, 2
  Bde., 1883). Forbes-Leith, S.J., /Narratives of the Scottish
  Catholics/, 1885. Id., /Memoirs of Scottish Catholics during the
  Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries/, 2 vols., 1909. Walsh,
  /History of the Catholic Church in Scotland/, 1874. Grub, /An
  Ecclesiastical History of Scotland/, 4 vols., 1861. Dawson, /The
  Catholics of Scotland (1593-1852)/, 1890. Pollen, S.J., /Papal
  Negotiations with Mary Queen of Scots (1561-67)/, 1901. Lang,
  /Mystery of Mary Stuart/, 1901. /Catholic Tractates of the
  Sixteenth Century/ (edited by Law, 1901). Theiner, /Vetera
  Monumenta Hib. et Scotorum (1216-1547)/, 1864. /Works of John
  Knox/, (edited by Laing), 1855-64. Herkless, /Cardinal Beaton/,
  etc., 1891. Gordon, /Scoti-Chronicon/, 1867. Tytler, /History of
  Scotland/, 1879.

In Scotland a long succession of infant kings and weak regents helped
to increase the power of the lords at the expense of the crown. The
king or regent had no standing army at his disposal, nor were the
resources of the royal treasury sufficient to allow the ruler to
invoke the assistance of foreign mercenaries. As a result the king was
dependent more or less on the lords, who were prepared to support him
if their own demands were conceded, or to form private confederations
or "bands" against him if they felt that they themselves were
aggrieved. Parliament, which included the spiritual and lay lords,
together with representatives of the lower nobility and of the cities,
did not play a very important part in the government of the country.
For years Scotland had been the close ally of France and the enemy of
England. Such an alliance was at once the best pledge for Scotland's
independence, and the best guarantee against England's successful
invasion of France.

To put an end to the controversies regarding the primatial rights
claimed by the Archbishop of York over the Scottish Church, Clement
III. issued a Bull in 1188 declaring the Church of Scotland subject
directly only to the Apostolic See.[1] A further step was taken by
Sixtus IV. in 1472, when St. Andrew's was erected into a metropolitan
See, under which were placed as suffragans the twelve dioceses,
Glasgow, Dunkeld, Aberdeen, Moray, Brechin, Dunblane, Ross, Caithness,
Candida Casa, Argyll, the Isles, and Orkney.[2] This measure was
resented by many of the bishops, but more especially by the Bishops of
Glasgow, who were unwilling to submit to the jurisdiction of St.
Andrew's even after it had been declared that the latter in virtue of
its office enjoyed primatial and legatine powers over Scotland (1487).
In the hope of putting an end to the controversy Glasgow was erected
into a metropolitan See with four suffragan dioceses, Dunkeld,
Dunblane, Galloway and Argyll (1492). The bishops of Scotland were
supposed to be elected by the chapters, but in reality the king or
regent enjoyed a decisive voice in the selection of candidates
especially during the greater part of the fifteenth and sixteenth

As a result of this enslavement of the Church, men were appointed to
bishoprics without reference to their fitness for this sacred office,
and solely with the intention of providing themselves and their
relatives with a decent income. Thus for example, James, Duke of Ross,
brother of James IV., was appointed to the See of St. Andrew's at the
age of twenty-one, and he was succeeded by Alexander Stuart, the
illegitimate son of James IV., when he had reached only his ninth
year. What is true of St. Andrew's is almost equally true of many of
the other dioceses of Scotland, though it would be very wrong to
assume that all the bishops of Scotland during the latter half of the
fifteenth or the first half of the sixteenth centuries were unworthy

The religious orders of men were well represented by the Benedictines,
Cistercians, Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians, etc., while in
most of the large cities and towns flourishing convents had been
founded. The state of discipline in these various institutions varied
considerably according to circumstances, but although serious attempts
were made to introduce reforms especially in the houses of the
Cistercians, Franciscans, and Dominicans, it cannot be contended for a
moment that the Scottish monasteries and convents were free from the
gravest abuses. Possibly the erection of such a multitude of
collegiate churches in Scotland during the fifteenth century was due
to the sad condition of so many of the religious houses, but if it
was, the remedy was almost as bad as the disease. In connexion with
the monasteries, the chapters, and the collegiate churches, schools
were carried on with a fair amount of success, sufficient at least to
prepare students for the higher education given at the Universities of
St. Andrew's founded by Benedict XIII. (1410), of Glasgow, founded by
Nicholas V. (1451), and of Aberdeen established through the exertions
of the learned and holy Bishop Elphinstone with the approval of
Alexander VI. (1495) and of James IV. Owing to the close connexion
with France many of the Scottish ecclesiastics pursued their studies
at Paris.

The Church in Scotland was comparatively wealthy at the beginning of
the Reformation movement, though it should be remembered that out of
its resources it was obliged to maintain the schools, hospitals, and
institutes of charity. Still the wealth of the Church in Scotland
instead of being a source of strength was in reality a source of
weakness, and in the end it proved to be one of the main causes of its
overthrow. It excited the cupidity of the hungry nobles, and made them
anxious to share in the plunder of religious houses, particularly
after the example had been set across the border by Henry VIII.'s
attack on the English monasteries. But before any steps were taken to
bring about the forcible seizure of the ecclesiastical property the
rulers and lords of Scotland adopted other means of controlling the
wealth of the Church and of the monasteries. Members of the royal
family or sons of the nobles were introduced into the bishoprics
irrespective of their merits, and were induced to enrich their
relatives by bestowing on them portions of the diocesan property. Many
others of a similar class were appointed as commendatory abbots of
religious houses solely for the purpose of controlling the revenue of
these establishments. In some cases those so appointed were only
children, in nearly all cases they were laymen, and in no case did
they do anything for the maintenance of discipline, for the
cultivation of a good religious spirit, or for the promotion of the
wishes of the founders and endowers of the monastic institutions. What
was true of the monasteries was equally true of the convents, in many
of which discipline was completely relaxed. Several attempts were made
to bring about a reformation, but on account of the exemptions and
special privileges claimed by the religious houses, such attempts were
doomed to failure, whether they were made by the bishops or by the
regular superiors. Nothing less than a papal visitation, in which the
visitors could have relied upon the full power of the Church and
State, would have sufficed to put an end to the evil, and
unfortunately no such step was taken in time to avert the calamity.

As elsewhere, so too in Scotland, it was no uncommon thing to find one
man holding several benefices to which the care of souls was attached,
notwithstanding all the canons that had been passed against such a
glaring abuse. The clergy, following the example of so many of their
superiors, showed themselves entirely unworthy of their position. Many
of them were quite negligent about preaching and instructing their
flock, completely regardless of clerical celibacy, and oftentimes they
devoted more attention to their farms and to their cattle than to
their religious obligations. One has only to refer to the decrees of
the diocesan synods held by Archbishop Forman of St. Andrew's (1515-
22),[3] to the national synods of 1549-1552, and to the letter of
Cardinal Sermoneta to the Pope in 1557[4] to see how grievous were the
abuses flourishing in all departments of the Church in Scotland at the
time when the very existence of Catholicism in the kingdom was
trembling in the balance. The root of all this evil was the
destruction of the independence of the Church, and its complete
subjugation to the crown and to the lords. As a result, when the
crisis came and when most of the lords went over to the party of Knox,
they found but little resistance from their unworthy relatives, whom
they had introduced into positions of trust, not that they might
promote religion, but that they might live by it, and in the end
betray it.

It was during the reign of James V. (1513-42) that the religious
revolution began on the Continent and in England. Henry VIII. of
England was his uncle, and he left no stone unturned to detach his
nephew from his alliance with France and from his submission to Rome;
but despite Henry's endeavours James V. refused to join in Henry's
attacks on the Pope, or to listen to the proposals for a closer union
with England. The Scottish Parliament held in 1525 forbade the
introduction of Lutheran books into the kingdom or the preaching of
Luther's doctrine, and a papal envoy was dispatched to the Scottish
court to exhort the king to stand firm in the defence of the Church.
The reply of James V. was reassuring. Soon however the new heresy
began to make its appearance in the kingdom. Patrick Hamilton,
commendatory abbot of Ferne and closely related to some of the most
powerful families in Scotland, had come into contact with Luther and
Melanchthon during his wanderings on the Continent, and on his return
home he set himself to spread their teachings amongst his countrymen.
He was arrested, tried for heresy, and handed over to the secular
authorities who inflicted the death penalty (1528). His execution did
not put an end to the movement in Scotland. In 1533 the Benedictine,
Henry Forest, was condemned to death for heresy; in the following year
a priest and a layman met a similar fate, and before the death of
James V. several others including Dominicans and Franciscans, laymen
and clerics, were either burned or obliged to seek safety in flight.
James V. set himself resolutely to the task of suppressing heresy, and
was supported by Parliament, which forbade all discussion on Luther's
errors except in so far as it might be necessary for their refutation,
and ordered all who had Lutheran writings in their possession to
deliver them to the bishops within a period of fourteen days.

Political influences, however, favoured the spread of the new
doctrine. It had been the dream of Henry VII., as it was also the
dream of his son and successor, to strengthen England at the expense
of France, by bringing about an alliance and if possible a union
between England and Scotland. It was in furtherance of this design
that Henry VII. had given his eldest daughter in marriage to James
IV., who was slain with most of his nobles in a battle with the
English on the fatal field of Flodden (1513). The schemes for a union
with Scotland were continued by Henry VIII., particularly after his
rupture with Rome had shown him the danger that might be anticipated
from the north in case the French or the Emperor should declare war in
defence of the Church. A regular contest began at the Scottish court
between the friends of Rome and of France and the agents of Henry
VIII., the latter of whom took care to encourage those who favoured
religious innovations. The queen-mother, sister of Henry VIII., and
many of the nobles favoured the plans of Henry, who sought to induce
the King of Scotland to join him in the struggle against Rome, and who
promised him in return for this service the hand of his daughter the
Princess Mary and the friendship of the English nation. James V.,
backed by the bishops and encouraged by messengers from Rome, refused
to come south for a conference with Henry VIII., or to give any
countenance to the schismatical policy of his uncle. As a sign that
Scotland was still true to France he married the daughter of Francis
I. of France (1537), and on her death shortly after her arrival in
Scotland, he took as his second wife (1538) Mary of Guise, daughter of
the Duke of Guise and sister of the Cardinal of Lorraine.[5]

He was ably assisted in his struggle against heresy and English
interference by David Beaton, Archbishop of St. Andrew's (1539-46) and
a cardinal of the Roman Church. The latter was at once a churchman and
a politician, loyal to Rome and to France, earnest in his defence of
Scottish independence, and determined to defeat the English schemes
against both the religion and liberty of Scotland. As friendly
remonstrances and invitations failed to produce any effect, Henry
VIII. determined to have recourse to war. He felt that he could rely
upon the assistance or the neutrality of many of the Scottish nobles
whom he had won over to his side, and soon events showed that this
confidence was not misplaced. The Scottish army was put to a shameful
flight at Solway Moss, probably more by treachery than by the
cowardice of the Scottish nobles, and James V. was so heartbroken by
the news of this disaster that he died in a few weeks (Dec. 1542)
leaving behind him an infant daughter, to be known later as Mary Queen
of Scots.

After the death of James V. the Earl of Arran, who as one of the
Hamiltons was next after the king's daughter the heir-presumptive to
the throne, and who favoured the new religion and English influence,
was appointed regent despite the resistance of Cardinal Beaton and of
the clergy. Henry VIII. believed that the favourable moment had come
for carrying out his plans. He hoped to be able to imprison his old
enemy Cardinal Beaton, to seize the person of the young princess, to
arrange for a marriage between her and his own son Prince Edward, and
to make himself virtual sovereign of Scotland. To their shame be it
said he induced a number of the Scottish nobles, the Douglasses, the
Earls of Cassilis, Glencairn, Bothwell, and Angus, together with many
others, to agree to his designs and to promise their assistance.
Unmindful of their duty to Scotland they consented to sell both their
country and their religion for English gold. The regent was only too
willing to lend his aid, and before the end of January the English
agents were able to announce to "their Sovereign Lord" that the
cardinal was a prisoner. Everything seemed to favour the religious
change and the plans of union with England. Parliament met in March
1543. It decreed liberty to all to read or to have in their possession
a copy of the Bible in the English or the Scottish tongue, and
appointed commissioners to treat with Henry for the marriage of Mary
to his son. But popular opinion in Scotland supported strongly the
religious and political policy of Cardinal Beaton. The clergy of the
diocese of St. Andrew's refused to continue their ministrations until
their archbishop was released. The people supported them in their
demands, as did several of the nobles, and in the end, despite the
protests of the English party, among the lords, the cardinal was set
at liberty. The regent, the Earl of Arran, deserted his former
friends, became reconciled with the Catholic Church, joined himself to
the party of the cardinal and of the queen dowager, and welcomed the
arrival of the French forces that had come to defend the kingdom
against an English invasion.

The Scottish nobles in the pay of Henry VIII. were convinced, as was
Henry VIII. himself, that so long as Cardinal Beaton was alive to
guide affairs in Scotland no advance could be made in the work of
destroying both the religion and the independence of the kingdom.
Several of the Scottish enemies of the cardinal entered into
communication with Henry himself or with his agents. They offered to
murder the cardinal if only Henry promised a sufficient reward, and
Henry expressed his approval of the step that was in contemplation.[6]
Meanwhile the cardinal was busy preparing schemes for a genuine reform
of the Church to be submitted to a national synod called for January
1546, and in making a visitation of his diocese for the purpose of
suppressing heresy. George Wishart, formerly a Greek master at
Montrose, had returned from the Continent, and had begun to stir up
religious dissension in several cities of Scotland. He was the close
ally of the Scottish lords who were in the pay of Henry VIII., and he
himself was the trusted messenger employed by Crichton, Lord of
Brunston, to communicate to the English court the projected murder of
Cardinal Beaton and the destruction of certain religious houses in
Scotland.[7] The cardinal, who was probably aware of his plots as well
as of his preachings, secured his arrest, and brought him to St.
Andrew's, where he was tried and executed for heresy (1546). The news
of the execution created considerable commotion especially in those
centres where Wishart had preached, and gave new impetus to the
movement for the assassination of the cardinal. In May 1546 some of
the family of Leslie, who had grievances of their own to revenge, with
a number of other accomplices secured an entrance to the palace of the
Archbishop of St. Andrew's, put his servants and attendants to flight,
and murdered him before any help could be summoned. The murder of
Cardinal Beaton was an irreparable misfortune for the Catholic Church
in Scotland. He was at once an able churchman and a patriot,
determined to maintain the independence of his country against the
group of pro-English traitors, who were determined to change the
religion of Scotland at the bidding of Scotland's greatest enemy. John
Knox, a fanatical priest, who had gone over to the new religion,
welcomed the murder of the cardinal as a veritable triumph for the
gospel and as a "godly act." He hastened to join the murderers who had
taken possession of the castle of St. Andrew's, and to whom he
preached as the first reformed congregation in Scotland.[8] Henry
VIII., no less jubilant for the disappearance of his strongest
opponent, was not slow to assist the murderers.

But the assassination of the cardinal did not mean the triumph of the
English party. It served only to embitter the feelings of the vast
majority of the people, and to force the regent and queen-dowager to
throw themselves more unreservedly into the arms of France. A French
fleet arrived at Leith and forced the murderers assembled in the
castle of St. Andrew's to surrender. Those of them who were not
fortunate enough to make their escape were taken prisoners and
condemned to the French galleys. An English army led by the Duke of
Somerset marched into Scotland to enforce the English demands, and
especially to secure the person of the infant queen. But though it
inflicted considerable havoc on Scotland, particularly on several of
the religious houses, and though it overthrew the forces of the regent
in the battle of Pinkie (1547), it was obliged to re-cross the borders
without having secured the submission of the nation. In the following
year (1548) a new French force arrived in England to assist the Scotch
in their struggle against England. A Scottish Parliament renewed the
alliance with France, approved of the betrothal of the young queen to
the Dauphin of France, and determined to provide for the safety of her
person by sending her into France. After several fruitless attempts
made by the English to secure a foothold in Scotland they were obliged
to give up the contest in despair, and to conclude a nine years'
peace. For so far the alliance between Catholicism and independence
had won the victory against heresy and English influence (1550).

The murder of Cardinal Beaton helped to force the bishops and clergy
to realise the danger of their position. They urged the regent to take
stern measures in defence of the church, and what was of much more
importance they attempted to set their own house in order as the best
preparation for the conflict. John Hamilton, brother of the regent,
was appointed Archbishop of St. Andrew's in succession to Cardinal
Beaton (1547). He assembled a national synod at Edinburgh (1549) which
was attended by the bishops, abbots, and representatives of the
chapters, religious houses, and collegiate churches.[9] Though the
presence of men like Lord James Stuart, the illegitimate son of James
V., as commendatory prior of St. Andrew's was not calculated to
inspire confidence in the decrees of the assembly, a very wholesome
scheme of reform was carried through, which, had it been enforced,
might have gone far to save Catholicism in Scotland. Severe laws were
passed against concubinage of the clergy, their neglect of their
primary duties of preaching and instructing their flocks, and against
the alienation of ecclesiastical property. Measures were taken to
ensure that priests should explain the principal points of Catholic
doctrine and the Scriptures regularly in their principal churches.
Another synod held in 1552 continued the work of reform. Its
references to the question of marriage and to the non-attendance of
the people at their religious duties seem to indicate that religion
was not then in a flourishing condition. The synods ordered the
publication of a catechism, and enjoined all priests who had care of
souls to explain a portion of it every Sunday before the principal
Mass. In accordance with this decree an excellent catechism[10]
containing a very full exposition of Catholic doctrine was published.
Had it come earlier, or had the clergy even then been able and willing
to explain it to their people, Knox and his companions might have
found themselves confronted with a much more difficult task.

Mary of Guise had shown great abilities during the contest with Henry
VIII. and the Protector. Though the Earl of Arran was nominally regent
it was she who guided his counsels and inspired his policy. The French
government, distrustful of the regent who was also the next claimant
for the Scottish throne, induced him to resign his office, for which
he received in return the empty title of Duke of Châtelherault, and
Mary of Guise undertook the government of Scotland for her infant
daughter. About the ability of the new regent or her devotion to the
Catholic Church there could be no difference of opinion, but
unfortunately she was more anxious to strengthen the French hold upon
Scotland than to take the necessary measures for the peace of the
kingdom and the suppression of heresy. She filled her fortresses with
French subjects, showing thereby that in her opinion Scotchmen could
not be trusted. As a result she gave great offence to the native
lords, aroused Scottish patriotism against France as it had been
aroused against England by the aggressive policy of Henry VIII., and
prepared the way for the dissolution of the alliance between
patriotism and Catholicism, an alliance that had hitherto been the
main barrier against the success of the reforming English party.

The Scots began to fear that with their young queen united in marriage
to the King of France Scotland stood in danger of becoming a French
province, and though the Scottish Parliament took care to safeguard
the independence of the country in the marriage settlement drawn up in
1558, the leading men had grave suspicions that the agreement would
have little effect. Besides, Mary of Guise had no longer anything to
fear from English Protestantism, which was rendered powerless after
the accession of Queen Mary. England was now united to Spain, the
mortal enemy of France, and French political interests would best be
served by maintaining an attitude of friendly neutrality towards
English Protestants, who were likely to prove more dangerous to
Spanish designs than to France. Such a policy of neutrality might
result, too, it was thought, in securing the throne of England for the
young Scottish queen, whose claims as the nearest legitimate heir
could not be questioned. For these reasons the regent was not
unwilling to allow Protestant refugees to take up their residence in
Scotland, and to permit the followers of the new religion to continue
their campaign so long as they did not disturb the public peace. In
her correspondence with the Pope she paid little attention to the
religious danger that was threatening the kingdom, and seemed to be
more anxious to obtain permission to tax the clergy than to secure an
energetic reform of the abuses that she painted in such dark
colours.[11] The Scottish lords, many of whom were offended by the
preponderance of French soldiers and French officials, were only too
willing to assist the new preachers, and what was worse, to stir up
their clansmen against the old religion by holding up the bishops and
clergy as the friends of France and the enemies of Scottish
independence. National patriotism was now utilised to help forward the
cause of Protestantism, by the very men who a few years before had
agreed to betray their country for English gold, and had striven with
all their might to make Henry VIII. the protector of Scotland.

Some Protestant refugees from England were soon at work in different
centres of the country, and encouraged by the regent's policy of
neutrality, the man, who was destined to be the apostle of the
Reformation, returned to his native land (1555). John Knox,[12] who
had shown his devotion to the Gospel by applauding the murder of
Cardinal Beaton as a "godly act," and who had founded the first
reformed congregation among the murderers gathered in the castle of
St. Andrew's, having been released from the French galleys, became a
pensioner of Edward VI., and took up his residence in some of the
northern towns of England. In a short time he was appointed royal
chaplain, and might have had the Bishopric of Rochester had he not
expressed the view that such an office was incompatible with devotion
to the true evangelical religion. On the accession of Queen Mary he
fled from England to Geneva, from which he returned to Scotland in
1555. His violent and overbearing manner, his extravagant
denunciations of his opponents, his misrepresentations of their
actions and policy, and his readiness both as a speaker and as a
writer, qualified him perfectly for the leadership of a revolutionary
party, were it not that at certain critical moments his anxiety to
avoid personal danger was calculated to shake the confidence of his
followers. He was welcomed by many of the discontented nobles, amongst
others by Lord Erskine afterwards Earl of Mar, Lord Lorne and his
father the Earl of Argyll, Maitland Lord of Lethington, the Earl of
Glencairn, and Lord James Stuart prior of St. Andrew's, who as Earl of
Moray was soon to betray his sister, Mary Queen of Scots.

Encouraged by the protection of such powerful patrons he preached
freely and with great success in several districts of Scotland. The
clansmen were so united to their lords that they were prepared to
follow their example even in matters of religion. The bishops and the
regent, to whom these proceedings must have been known, were strangely
oblivious to their duties, and when at last they mustered up
sufficient courage to summon Knox to appear at Edinburgh (1556), they
were so alarmed by the strength of his following that they abandoned
the trial. Knox, encouraged by their cowardice, preached openly in the
capital, and even went so far as to address a letter to the regent
calling upon her to open her mind for the reception of the truth.[13]
By this public challenge, however, he overshot the mark, and not being
gifted with any particular desire to suffer martyrdom for the faith,
he left Scotland suddenly and retired to the Continent (1556). For
years he was the leading spirit in many of the fierce and unseemly
disputes between the English Protestant exiles in Geneva and
Frankfurt. Although summoned more than once by his followers to
return, he contented himself with sending them written exhortations to
stand firm in the faith, or by publishing violent pamphlets such as
/The First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of
Women/, in which he undertook to prove that the rule of women is
repugnant to nature, contrary to God's ordinances, and subversive of
good order, equity, and justice. Though this document was aimed
principally against Catharine de' Medici, Queen Mary of England, and
Mary of Guise regent of Scotland, it rankled in the mind of Queen
Elizabeth after her accession, and did not serve to raise the apostle
of Scotland in her estimation.

The Protestant lords, undeterred by the absence of Knox, decided to go
forward with their programme. In December 1557 the Earl of Argyll, his
son Lord Lorne, Glencairn, Morton, Erskine of Dun, and others, met at
Edinburgh and signed a bond or covenant, by which they bound
themselves solemnly to establish the "Blessed Word of God," to
encourage preachers, to defend the new doctrines even with their
lives, and to maintain the Congregation of Christ in opposition to the
Congregation of Satan. They pledged themselves to introduce the Book
of Common Prayer, to insist on the reading of portions of the
Scriptures in the vulgar tongue on Sundays and holidays, and to
appoint preachers wherever the Catholic clergy were unable or
unwilling to undertake this work.[14] In many districts, where the
lords of the Congregation held sway, measures were taken at once to
enforce these resolutions. Confronted with this revolutionary step,
the regent and the bishops should have had recourse to strong action,
but the former was so interested in the approaching marriage of her
daughter to the Dauphin of France (1558) that she did not wish to
offend the lords, while the primate, as one of the Hamiltons, disliked
the regent because she had supplanted his brother, and contented
himself with gentle admonitions. The lords, confident in their
strength, met in November 1558, and presented a petition to the
regent, in which they demanded that the members of the Congregation
should be allowed to meet in the churches, and to follow their own
ritual in the vulgar tongue, that Communion should be administered
under both kinds, that private individuals should be at liberty to
explain difficult passages of the Sacred Scriptures, and that the
clergy should be reformed. The regent after consultation with the
primate consented to these requests, at least in regard to private
religious assemblies, but refused to yield to another petition
demanding the abolition of all laws against heresy.[15]

The religious controversies became more and more embittered during the
year 1559. The lords of the Congregation denounced the abuses of the
clergy, demanded permission to use the vulgar tongue in all public
religious services as well as in the administration of the sacraments,
and insisted on the admission of the lower nobles and of the people to
a voice in the appointment of bishops and of pastors. To put an end to
the abuses that were proving such a useful weapon in the hands of the
adversaries of the Church, and at the same time to give public and
formal expression to the faith of the Scottish nation, a national
synod[16] met at Edinburgh (April 1559). It denounced once again the
awful scandal of concubinage among the clergy, laid down useful
regulations regarding preaching and the appointment of bishops,
condemned plurality of benefices, nonresidence, and demands on the
part of the clergy for excessive fees. To raise the standard of
education among the clergy it ordained that those presented to
benefices should be examined, and that each monastery should maintain
some of its members at the universities. In its profession of faith
the synod emphasised the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist,
Transubstantiation, the propitiatory character of the sacrifice of the
Mass, the sufficiency of Communion in one kind, the existence of a
real priesthood, and purgatory, prayers for the dead, invocation of
the saints, fasting, and holidays. In response to the demands of the
Congregation the synod pointed out that it had not the power to change
the rites and ceremonies that had been handed down for centuries, that
as the Church was the definitely appointed guardian and interpreter of
the Scriptures private individuals were not permitted to expound them
at their will, and that in the appointment of bishops and pastors the
rules laid down in canon law were quite sufficient to prevent abuses
if only they were followed.

About the same time Quintin Kennedy, Benedictine Abbot of Crossraguel,
conferred an immense service on religion by his written apology[17]
for the Catholic Church. Starting with the Bible and its relation to
ecclesiastical authority, he undertook to show that from the very
nature of the case such a book required the presence of a divinely
appointed official interpreter, that the reading of the Scriptures was
not necessary for salvation though in many cases it might be useful,
and that the authority of the Church should not be overthrown even
though the existence of scandals among churchmen could not be denied.
Turning to his adversaries, he demanded what was the source of all the
abuses and scandals which they charged against the Church? Was it not,
he asked, the unwarrantable interference of the nobles in the
nominations to ecclesiastical benefices, an interference that was
responsible for having even children who were too young to hold an
apple in their hands appointed to the charge of populous parishes, in
order that the relatives of these children might grow rich on the
revenues, and was it not the very men who were guilty of such conduct
who were loudest in their denunciation of the Church? On the nobles he
laid the blame for oppressing the Church, for introducing unworthy
ecclesiastics into offices of trust, for depriving the poor of
instruction and education, and for promoting thereby heresy and

As the year (1559) advanced the state of affairs in Scotland became
daily more alarming. Preachers were everywhere at work under the
protection of the lords. The regent and the French authorities, who
had shown a fatal apathy in their dealings with Scottish heretics,
began to wake up to the political danger involved in such a movement.
A French agent, M. Béthencourt,[18] arrived in Scotland in April 1559,
and, whether it was due to his advice or not, the regent forbade the
preachers to continue their disturbances. On their refusal to submit
she summoned them to appear at Stirling for trial (10th May).
Encouraged by the return of Knox who had landed at Leith early in the
same month, and by the armed forces placed at their disposal by some
of their principal patrons, they refused to attend and were outlawed.
A number of the reforming lords immediately took possession of Perth,
and destroyed several Catholic churches in the city. When news of this
rising reached the regent she assembled her forces and marched against
Perth, but as neither side was anxious for civil war at the time, a
truce was agreed upon, and the forces of the regent were allowed to
occupy the town. From Perth the reforming lords retreated to St.
Andrew's, where they burned and destroyed the altars, pictures,
statues, and even the sacred vessels used for religious worship. The
abbey church of Scone, in which a long line of Scottish kings had been
crowned, was destroyed; Perth and Stirling were seized, and before the
end of June 1559 Edinburgh was in the hands of the lords of the
Congregation. The regent issued an appeal in the name of the king and
queen of Scotland calling upon all loyal subjects to defend the
government against the revolutionary Congregation, but her unfortunate
preference for French soldiers and officials gave the Protestant lords
the advantage of enabling them to pose as patriots engaged in the
defence of their country against foreigners. They were forced,
however, to capitulate and to surrender Edinburgh to the regent (26th

Early in this same month (1559) Henry II. of France died, and was
succeeded by Francis II., the husband of Mary Queen of Scots.
Elizabeth and her advisers were alarmed at the prospect that opened
before them. Mary Queen of Scots, as the nearest legitimate heir to
the English throne, was a dangerous neighbour, especially at a time
when England was thrown into confusion by a new religious revolution,
and when English Catholics might rally to her standard with the
blessing of the Pope and of the Kings of France and Spain. Even though
the Queen of Scotland did not resort to extremes, the very existence
of a Catholic kingdom in Scotland, united by bonds of friendship and
interest to France, constituted a grave danger for England; whereas if
Scotland could be induced to accept the Protestant religion and to
throw in its lot with its southern neighbour, the enemies of England
on the Continent might rage in vain. The rebellion of the lords of the
Congregation was, therefore, very welcome to Elizabeth and to Cecil.
It gave them an opportunity of interfering in Scottish affairs, not,
indeed, in the untactful manner in which Henry VIII. had interfered,
but as the apparent defenders of Scottish independence against a
French protectorate. On this occasion Scottish patriotism was to be
made subservient to English political aims and at the same time to
Protestant interests.

The lords of the Congregation, realising that without assistance they
could never hope to overcome the regent, turned to England for
support. Their petitions were welcomed by Cecil and the leading
counsellors of Elizabeth, but the queen herself distrusted Knox, and
disliked allying herself with open rebels. To give the movement an
appearance of constitutionalism the young Earl of Arran, who had been
brought to France and who had secretly embraced Calvinism, was induced
to make his escape into England. As a near claimant to the Scottish
throne he was welcomed at the English court, and was led to believe
that if he acted prudently he might become the husband of Elizabeth,
and the king of a united England and Scotland. He was dispatched into
Scotland, where he succeeded in detaching his father, the Duke of
Châtelherault, and several other nobles from the side of the regent.
Relying on the protection of England, from which a plentiful supply of
money was dispatched to the rebels, and on the new accessions to their
ranks, the lords of the Congregation announced the suspension of the
regent from her office (Oct. 1559) though they hesitated to take the
further step of proclaiming the Earl of Arran or Lord James Stuart
sovereign of Scotland. The regent replied to this act of rebellion by
marching on Edinburgh, forcing the rebels to retreat to Stirling
(Nov.), while the Earl of Bothwell seized large sums of money that
were being forwarded to the rebel camp from England. The English
advisers began to realise that money and secret assistance were not
enough to secure the triumph of the Congregation in Scotland, and that
the time had come when more decisive measures must be taken.

In December 1559 and January 1560, an armed force was dispatched to
the north, and Admiral Winter was commanded to blockade the Forth
against a French fleet. A little later a formal agreement was
concluded between the Duke of Norfolk representing Elizabeth, and Lord
James Stuart the commissioner for the Congregation. At first it was
proposed to act in common for "the maintenance of the Christian
religion," but as these words might have given rise to serious
complications on the Continent, it was decided that an alliance should
be concluded for the defence of the ancient rights and liberties of
Scotland. An English army of eight thousand men marched into Scotland,
and the English fleet blockaded the fortress of Leith which was the
key to the capital. Owing to the Huguenot risings in France the
assistance that had been promised could not be sent, but nevertheless
the invaders were thrown back in their first assault. In June 1560,
however, Mary of Guise, worn out by the anxieties and cares of her
difficult office, passed away, and three weeks later the garrison was
obliged to surrender. English and French plenipotentiaries met to
arrange the terms of peace. It was agreed that the French soldiers,
with the exception of about one hundred and twenty men, should be
drafted from Scotland, that no foreigners should be promoted to any
office in the kingdom, that until the arrival of the king and queen
the country should be governed by a council of twelve, seven of whom
were to be selected by Mary and Francis and five by the Parliament,
that the entire question of religion should be submitted to a Scottish
Parliament convoked to meet on the 1st August (1560), and that, in the
meantime, a kind of religious truce should be observed by both sides.
It was agreed, furthermore, that the spiritual peers should hold their
seats in Parliament as before, and that they should not be disturbed
in their ecclesiastical possessions.

The successful invasion of Scotland by the English troops had turned
the scales in favour of the lords of the Congregation. They were now
masters in Scotland, but, had the bishops and clergy been zealous men
worthy of their sacred office, the cause of the old Church in Scotland
would not have been even then hopeless. While Knox and his friends
were straining every nerve to consolidate their work by the
appointment of preachers and superintendents for the rising
congregation, many of the Catholic bishops and abbots, several of whom
were allied by blood and friendship with the lay lords, either
contented themselves with doing nothing, or went over to the enemies
of the Church for the sake of securing for themselves and their
descendants the ecclesiastical property that they administered. The
Archbishop of St. Andrew's and Primate of Scotland was the brother of
the Earl of Arran. Though a convinced Catholic himself, he was not the
man either to make a struggle or to inspire confidence at such a
crisis. Archbishop Beaton of Glasgow had fled already from the
kingdom; the Bishop of Argyll, another illegitimate scion of the house
of Hamilton, was a Protestant or was soon to become one; Adam
Bothwell,[19] whom the Pope had appointed the previous year to the See
of Orkney on the petition of the king and queen of Scotland, could not
be trusted, as his subsequent conduct showed; Alexander Gordon, who
claimed to be Bishop of Galloway, though he was never consecrated, had
gone over openly to the enemies of the Church, as had also the
provincial of the Dominicans, the sub-prior of the chapter of St.
Andrew's, and John Rowe a former agent of the Scottish bishops at the
Roman Court. With men such as these to guard the interests of
Catholicism in Scotland there could be little doubt about the result.

In August 1560 the Parliament met at Edinburgh. In addition to the lay
lords and representatives of the lesser nobles and of the cities,
there were present a number of bishops and abbots. Amongst these
latter it is interesting and instructive to note the presence of Lord
James Stuart, the bastard brother of the queen and one of the leaders
of the Congregation, as prior of St. Andrew's, of Lord James Hamilton
son of the Earl of Arran and a follower of Knox as abbot of Arbroath,
of John Stuart abbot of Coldingham, of the son of the Duke of Argyll
as bishop-elect of Brechin, together with a number of other laymen,
who, though holding high office in the Church, were determined to
promote the new movement for the sake of the property that they hoped
to obtain. The discussion opened under the presidency of Maitland,
Lord of Lethington, the Scottish Cecil, a double dealer who was even
more dangerous than an open enemy. A petition was presented
immediately on the part of Knox and his friends that doctrines such as
Transubstantiation, the sacrificial character of the Mass, Purgatory,
prayers for the dead, meritorious works, etc., which had been forced
upon the people by the clergy should be rejected. A confession of
faith was drafted and submitted to the assembly. The Primate and the
Catholic bishops present protested against the discussion of such a
document on the ground that according to the terms of the Treaty of
1560 the religious question should have been submitted previously to
the king and queen, and also because the treaty had never been
confirmed owing to the fact that the French commissioners had exceeded
their instructions. It was no doubt for this reason that a large
number of the ecclesiastical and lay lords who were strongly Catholic
had refused to attend the Parliament. Indeed the supporters of the old
religion, relying on the help of the queen, seemed to think that any
religious settlement made by Parliament was of no importance. Their
refusal to discuss the confession of faith was taken, however, as a
sign of their inability to refute it, and the confession was passed
with but few dissentients. Later on (24th August) three other acts
were formulated with the object of uprooting Catholicism in Scotland.
The jurisdiction of the Pope was abolished, and the bishops were
forbidden to act under his instructions; all previous Acts of
Parliament contrary to God's word or to the confession of faith as now
approved were declared null and void; and all persons were forbidden
to celebrate or to hear Mass under pain of confiscation of their goods
for the first offence, banishment for the second, and death for the

/The Book of Discipline/ which contained an exposition of the
ecclesiastical policy of the Scottish Reformers was compiled by Knox
and his companions. It dealt with the preaching of the Scriptures, the
two sacraments Baptism and the Eucharist, the suppression of religious
houses of all kinds, the election and appointment of ministers, elders
and deacons, and with the means to be provided for their support and
for the maintenance of education. Though the separate congregations
were left more or less free regarding the kind of religious service
that should be followed, the Book of Common Prayer formerly accepted
in Scotland was abolished to make way for the Calvinistic Book of
Common Order. In the general assemblies of the reformed Church
(December 1560-May 1561) decrees were issued for the destruction of
the religious houses and of all signs of idolatry, and individuals
were appointed to see that these decrees were put into immediate

Both parties in Scotland turned instinctively to their queen. Mary had
been married in 1558, and in 1559 her husband succeeded to the throne
of France under the title of Francis II. A minister was dispatched to
inform her of the proceedings in Parliament, but she refused to
confirm the terms of the treaty with England, or to sanction the
changes that had been decreed. The death of her husband Francis II.
(1560) threw her into great grief and forced her to consider the
question of returning at once to her kingdom. She believed that many
of those who opposed her previously, lest Scotland should become a
French province, might now abandon their league with Elizabeth, and
welcome home their own lawful sovereign. Nor was there anything at
this time to indicate that Mary had any intention of playing the part
of a champion of Catholicism,[22] or of running the risk of forfeiting
her throne in Scotland or her claims to the English crown by
undertaking a campaign against the new religion. Her years of
residence at the French court, where religious interests were only too
often sacrificed to political designs, could not fail to have produced
their natural effect. In February 1561 she sent commissioners to
assure the lords of her forgiveness for what they had done, and to
empower the Duke of Châtelherault and others to convoke a Parliament
in her name. At a meeting of the nobles held in January 1561 her
natural brother, Lord James Stuart, was deputed by the lords to offer
Mary their allegiance, while the Catholic party including the Earls of
Huntly, Atholl, Crawford, Sutherland, and some bishops, dispatched a
messenger to warn her against the Congregation, and to place at her
disposal a strong force in case she decided to land in the north. But
Mary, distrusting the motives of Huntly and his friends, treated their
offers of assistance with neglect, and welcomed as her saviour and
friend the man who even then was not unwilling to act as a spy on his
sister and his queen at the bidding of Elizabeth. Mary's selection of
him as her trusted adviser boded ill for the future of her reign.

At last with a heavy heart Mary determined to leave the country of her
adoption. As she was unwilling to confirm the treaty with England in
its entirety and to renounce her claims to the English throne,
Elizabeth refused to grant passports through England, but under the
shelter of a thick mist Mary succeeded in eluding all danger of
capture and landed safely at Leith (Aug. 1561). From the people
generally she received an enthusiastic welcome, but, when on the
following Sunday she insisted that Mass should be celebrated in the
private chapel of Holyrood, it required all the efforts of her brother
to prevent a riot. Knox and his brethren denounced such idolatrous
conduct as intolerable, and bewailed the misfortunes that God must
inevitably pour out upon the country in punishment for so grievous a
crime. A few days later Mary issued a proclamation announcing that no
change would be made in the religious settlement without the consent
of Parliament, but that in the meantime no attempt should be made to
interfere with her household. A new privy council was appointed, in
which the two principal members were Lord James Stuart and Maitland,
Lord of Lethington, both equally untrustworthy. None of the Catholic
bishops was offered a seat at the council board, and the Catholic
lords were represented only by the Earls of Huntly and Argyll. A
general assembly of the Reformers was held at Edinburgh (1561), which
succeeded in securing a share of the ecclesiastical endowments, and
another in 1562, which appointed John Craig as the assistant of Knox
in Edinburgh. For so far Mary could do little for her co-religionists
in Scotland, nor indeed does it appear that any serious effort was
made in that direction. Still her own example was not without its
effect. Several of the waverers especially in Edinburgh seem to have
returned to the Church. Pius IV., who was anxious to learn the true
state of affairs, commissioned the Jesuit Nicholas de Gouda (Goudanus)
to visit Scotland for the purpose of encouraging the queen and of
inviting the bishops to assist at the Council of Trent. He arrived in
Scotland (June 1561). After waiting six weeks in the house of a
Catholic nobleman he secured a secret interview with the queen at
Holyrood. With most of the bishops he was not even so successful.
Though he reported that they were for the greater part Catholics and
men of good intentions, some of them like Sinclair of Ross refused to
see him, from others he got no reply to his letters, and it was only
with the greatest difficulty he contrived to have a short conversation
with Bishop Crichton at Dunkeld.[23] There is no doubt that the
bishops were surrounded by powerful and watchful enemies, but it seems
strange that they should have effaced themselves so completely, at a
time when Knox and his opponents by means of general assemblies and
other such bodies were impressing the country with their strength and
activity. Even though the bishops were silent the old religion was not
without some able and energetic defenders in the person of Leslie,
soon to be the Bishop of Ross, Quintin Kennedy whose services have
been referred to already, and Ninian Winzet, who caused Knox
considerable embarrassment by his tracts, letters, and public

In his report Father de Gouda alluded to the imminent peril in which
the queen stood owing to her complete reliance on her unworthy
ministers. Her brother Lord James Stuart, and Maitland, both hostile
to the Catholic religion, were her principal advisers. Although the
Earl of Huntly had not played a very noble part in the disputes
between the regent and the Congregation, he was the recognised head of
the Catholic party. He had offered his services to the queen while she
was still in France, but at the instigation of her brother she had
refused to accept them. After her return to Scotland Huntly found that
he was treated with coldness, and the earldom of Moray that belonged
to his family was taken from him and conferred on his old rival, Lord
James Stuart. During the queen's journey to the north (August 1562)
she refused to visit Huntly. A dispute having broken out regarding the
execution of one of his followers, who was unwilling to open the gates
of a Gordon castle to the queen, Huntly took up arms. He was
overthrown and slain at Corrichie by the Earl of Moray (1562). In a
Parliament held in May 1563 the Earls of Huntly and Sutherland and
eleven nobles of the house of Gordon were attainted, and their goods
confiscated. The overthrow of this nobleman, on whom the bishops had
counted for support, helped to strengthen the Congregation in
Scotland, and to encourage it to persecute more rigorously the
followers of the old religion. During the spring of 1563 some of the
Catholic clergy seem to have adopted a more forward policy, but they
were accused of violation of the law. The primate and close on fifty
others were tried before the courts in Edinburgh for celebrating or
hearing Mass, and were committed to custody by the queen. To show that
she was still Catholic, however, Mary dispatched a letter to the
Council of Trent. It was read to the assembled Fathers in May 1563,
and it gave entire satisfaction if we may judge by the answer that was
prepared. The papal legates were not unwilling that the council should
declare sentence of excommunication against Queen Elizabeth, thereby
preparing the way for Mary's claims to the throne, but the opposition
of the Emperor and of Philip II. of Spain put an end to the

The question of Mary's marriage was of paramount importance,
particularly as it was probable that the issue of the marriage would
succeed to the thrones of Scotland and of England. The Pope and the
French favoured the Archduke Charles of Austria who was disliked by
the Scottish nobles as being too poor; Philip II., more for the
purpose of defeating a proposed marriage of the Queen of Scotland to
Charles IX. of France, suggested his own son Don Carlos as a probable
suitor, but he showed little real earnestness in pushing forward the
project, while Elizabeth was inclined to support her own former lover,
Dudley, who was created Earl of Leicester, as it is said, to prepare
the way for his marriage with the Scottish queen. But Mary, bewildered
and annoyed by the varying counsels of her friends, put an end to the
intrigues by marrying her cousin Lord Darnley, who as the son of the
Earl of Lennox and of Margaret Douglas, granddaughter of Henry VII.,
had very strong claims on the English and Scottish thrones. A papal
dispensation from the impediment of consanguinity was sought, but it
would appear that the marriage was solemnised (29th July 1565) before
the dispensation was granted.[25] Darnley was a young man of
prepossessing appearance, and as a Catholic he was the idol of his
co-religionists in England. His marriage with the Queen of Scotland
was agreeable to the Pope and to Philip II. of Spain, who hastened to
send Mary financial assistance as well as congratulations. Such a
union was, as might be expected, distasteful to the Protestant party
in England, and particularly distasteful to Elizabeth, who foresaw the
disastrous consequences that might ensue to England from the union of
two such formidable Catholic claimants to the English throne.

The Earl of Moray and the other reforming lords, realising that the
marriage was likely to destroy their influence, determined to take up
arms. Encouraged by Elizabeth, the Earls of Moray, Glencairn, the Duke
of Châtelherault and others rose in rebellion, nominally in defence of
Protestantism but in reality to maintain their own supremacy at court.
Mary, displaying more courage than she had displayed hitherto,
assembled her forces, overthrew the lords, and forced Moray and his
confederates to escape across the borders into England (Oct. 1565).
This victory gave new hopes to the Catholics in Scotland. Darnley
began to attend Mass openly, as did several of the nobles, while the
queen took steps to secure appointments to some of the vacant

But soon a new danger appeared from an unexpected quarter. Darnley was
a vain and foolish youth who treated his wife with but scanty respect.
He wished to be sovereign of Scotland, to secure the crown for the
family of Lennox to the exclusion of the Hamiltons, and to force the
queen to follow his counsels in all matters of state. As his wishes
were not granted he determined to revenge himself on Mary's secretary,
David Riccio, whom he pretended to regard as Mary's secret adviser.
For this purpose he turned for assistance to the reformed party whose
fears had been aroused by Mary's religious policy. A confederation was
formed consisting of Darnley, the Earl of Morton, Lord Ruthven, and
Lindsay for the murder of Riccio. The Earl of Lennox Darnley's father,
Moray, Argyll, and Maitland of Lethington, the English ambassador, and
apparently John Knox, were aware of the design and approved of it.[26]
When everything was ready for the opening of Parliament the murderers
forced their way into the presence of the queen, and slew her
secretary almost in her presence (9 March 1566). On the next day
Darnley issued a proclamation ordering those who had assembled for the
Parliament to leave Edinburgh, and on the same evening the Earl of
Moray arrived in the capital.

The conspirators had agreed to proclaim Darnley king of Scotland. For
this purpose the queen was to be held a prisoner or to be slain if she
attempted to make her escape, but she succeeded in eluding the
vigilance of her captors and in making her way to Dunbar, where she
was joined by Archbishop Hamilton, the Earls of Huntly, Atholl, and
Bothwell. She advanced on Edinburgh without meeting any resistance,
while the murderers of Riccio were obliged to make their escape into
England. Darnley deserted his fellow conspirators by communicating to
the queen the details of the plot. His desertion did not, however,
gain him the dictatorship he desired, as Mary pardoned Moray and
Argyll, and received them together with Huntly, Atholl, and Bothwell
into her councils. The birth of an heir to the throne would, it was
thought, lead to a better understanding between Mary and her husband,
but unfortunately it had no result. Though the baptism of the prince
was carried out in the chapel-royal of Stirling Castle with all the
pomp and splendour of Catholic ceremonial (December 1566) Darnley
refused to be present or to take any part in the festivities. A few
days later Morton and the other murderers of Riccio were pardoned, and
allowed to return to Scotland.

The Earls of Moray and Argyll and the other leading conspirators were
incensed against Darnley for having communicated to the queen their
share in the plot that led to Riccio's murder. Bothwell, who had done
so much to frustrate the conspiracy, detested Darnley almost as
fiercely as he himself was detested by both Darnley and the Earl of
Lennox. During the latter half of the year 1566 nearly all the great
lords of Scotland entered into a confederation or "band" against
Darnley. Whether they meant merely to assist the queen to procure a
legal separation from her husband with the support and approval of
Parliament, or whether they intended to bring about Darnley's death by
legal or illegal means is not sufficiently clear.[27]

Soon after the baptism of the prince, Darnley fell ill in Glasgow of
small-pox. The queen sent her physician to attend him, went herself to
visit him, and when he began to improve had him removed to a lonely
house outside Edinburgh, where she frequently spent hours in his
company. To all appearances a complete reconciliation had been
effected, and Darnley in his letters expressed his entire satisfaction
with the kindness and attention of his wife. Suddenly on the night of
the 11th February 1567 the house was blown up, and Darnley was killed.
Suspicion pointed to Bothwell as the author of the crime, and no doubt
the case against him was strong, though how far he was assisted and
encouraged by some of the other lords must for ever remain a mystery.
Mary's concurrence or implication in the design is not proved by any
reliable evidence, and were it not for her subsequent conduct it is
not likely that complicity in the murder of her husband would have
been laid to her charge. At the privy council on the day following the
murder an explanation was drawn up and forwarded to France, declaring
that a plot against the lives of the queen, king, and principal nobles
had been discovered, and that it was only by a happy accident that the
queen's life had been saved.

The Earl of Lennox, Darnley's father, charged Bothwell publicly with
the murder of the king and demanded that he should be brought to
justice. A day was fixed for the trial, but as Bothwell was powerful
in the councils of the queen and was both able and willing to resort
to force if force were necessary, it was very difficult to procure
evidence against him. Lennox pleaded unsuccessfully for a delay, and
as no one was prepared to come forward to prove the charges, Bothwell
was acquitted (12th April 1567). A few days later most of the lords
who had assembled in Edinburgh for the meeting of Parliament met at
Ainslie's tavern and signed an agreement (Ainslie's Band) pledging
themselves before God to defend Bothwell who had been declared
innocent of the murder, and, stranger still, to procure his marriage
with the queen. Various and contradictory lists of the signatories
have been published, but from an examination of these different lists
it is sufficiently clear that most of the great lords were attached to
the confederation.[28] As usually happened when a serious crisis was
approaching, Moray was absent from the country.

Bothwell, under pretence of punishing some of the robber bands,
mustered his forces, overcame the small guard that accompanied the
queen on her journey from Stirling to Edinburgh, and carried off
herself and Maitland as prisoners to Dunbar (19 April). That Bothwell
acted in collusion with Mary is not proved, but despite the advice of
her confessor, of the French representative, and of her best friends
Mary agreed to go through a form of marriage with Bothwell. Her new
husband was a Protestant, married already to the Earl of Huntly's
sister from whom he had obtained a separation. The marriage ceremony
was performed by the apostate Bishop of the Orkneys, who was soon to
prove as disloyal to his queen as he had proved dishonest towards the
Pope. Such a marriage celebrated under such circumstances created a
most painful impression amongst the Catholics at home as well as in
France and at Rome. It served to confirm their worst suspicions, and
made them fear that Mary was about to desert the religion of her
fathers. "With this act," wrote the papal ambassador who had been
deputed to come to Scotland but who remained at Paris, "so
dishonourable to herself, the propriety of sending any sort of envoy
ceases unless indeed her Majesty, in order to amend her error and
inspired by God, convert the Earl to the Catholic faith."[29]

Many of the lords, who had signed the bond to promote the marriage of
Bothwell and Mary, professed to be shocked when they learned that the
marriage had taken place. Relying upon the active intervention of
Elizabeth they took up arms to avenge the murder of their king. The
armies of the queen and of the lords met at Carbery Hill, where after
some discussion Mary surrendered herself to the lords, and Bothwell
was allowed to make his escape. The queen surrendered on the
understanding that she was to be treated as queen, but she soon
discovered that her captors intended to deprive her of her kingdom and
possibly of her life. As a first step in the proceedings she was
removed from Holyrood to Loch Leven (16th June). A document was drawn
up embodying her abdication of the Scottish throne in favour of her
infant son, and the appointment of her brother the Earl of Moray as
regent during the minority. Until Moray's return the government was to
be entrusted to a commission consisting of the Duke of Châtelherault,
Lennox, Argyll, Atholl, Morton, Glencairn and Moray. Lord Lindsay and
Sir Robert Melville were deputed to obtain the queen's signature,
which they succeeded in obtaining only by threats and violence (24th
July 1567). The young prince was crowned a few days later, John Knox
acting as preacher on the occasion, and the apostate Bishop of the
Orkneys as the chief minister. Steps were taken to ensure that Mary
should not make her escape from imprisonment, and Bothwell who had
fled to the Orkneys was forced to escape to Denmark, where he died in
1578. Moray hastened back from France, interviewed the queen at Loch
Leven, accepted the office to which he had been appointed, and was
proclaimed regent in Scotland. Severe measures were taken against the
Catholic clergy many of whom fled from the kingdom. The queen's chapel
at Holyrood was destroyed, and care was taken that the young king
should be reared in the Protestant religion.

The lords of Scotland had taken up arms to avenge the murder of
Darnley, but once they established themselves in power they took no
steps to bring the murderers to justice, for the obvious reason that
any judicial investigation must necessarily result in establishing
their own guilt. Sir James Balfour, who had been involved deeply in
the affair, was forgiven, on condition that he should surrender
Edinburgh Castle into the hands of the regent. Parliament met in
December 1567. It confirmed the abdication of the queen and the
appointment of Moray. The laws passed against the Catholic Church in
1560 were renewed. It was enacted furthermore that for the future the
kings and rulers of Scotland should swear to uphold the reformed
religion and to extirpate heresy. The queen had demanded that she
should be allowed to defend herself before Parliament against the
attacks of her enemies, but the regent and council refused to comply
with her request. Some of her friends, however, endeavoured to uphold
her good name, and when they were defeated in Parliament they appealed
to the people by publishing a defence of their sovereign.

Though every precaution was taken to ensure the safe-keeping of the
queen, she succeeded in escaping from Loch Leven (2 May 1568). She was
welcomed at Dunbar by the Primate of Scotland, the Hamiltons, Huntly,
Argyll, Seaton, Cassillis, and others, and soon found herself at the
head of an army of eight thousand men. She declared that her
abdication having been secured by violence was worthless, and that the
acts of the recent Parliament were null and void. She called upon all
her loyal subjects to flock to her standard. The regent, aware that
unless a sudden blow could be struck help would come to Mary from the
Catholics of the north as well as from France and Spain, determined to
take the field at once. The armies met at Langside, near Glasgow (13th
May), where the forces of the queen were overthrown. Mary accompanied
by a few faithful followers made her way south towards Galloway, and
at last against the advice of her best friends she determined to cross
the border to throw herself on the protection of the Queen of England.

The arrival of Mary in England created a great difficulty for
Elizabeth. If she were allowed to escape to France, both France and
Spain might join hands to enforce her claims to the English
succession, and if she were restored to the throne of Scotland, Moray
and his friends could expect no mercy. It was determined, therefore,
that Elizabeth should act as umpire between the queen and her
rebellious subjects, so that by inducing both sides to submit their
grievances to Elizabeth feeling between them might be embittered, and
that in the meantime a divided Scotland might be kept in bondage. In
her reply to the letter received from the Queen of Scotland Elizabeth
informed her that she could not be received at court nor could any
help be given to her unless she had cleared herself of the charges
brought against her. Both parties in Scotland were commanded to cease
hostilities, but at the same time Cecil took care to inform Moray
secretly that he should take steps to enforce his authority throughout

Mary, while repudiating Elizabeth's right to sit in judgment on her
conduct, consented that a conference should be held between her
commissioners and those appointed by Elizabeth and by the rebel lords.
The Dukes of Norfolk, Sussex, and Sir Ralph Sadler were the English
commissioners; Bishop Leslie, Lord Livingstone, and Lord Herries
represented Mary; while Moray, Morton, and Maitland of Lethington
appeared to present the case of the rebel lords. The conference opened
at York (October 1568). Several days were wasted in attempts made by
Maitland to effect a compromise so that the production of charges and
counter-charges might be unnecessary, and in considering inquiries put
forward by the Earl of Moray regarding Elizabeth's attitude in case
the charges against the Scottish queen were proved. Some of the
letters supposed to have been written by Mary to Bothwell were shown
secretly to the English commissioners, but they do not seem to have
produced any great effect on the Duke of Norfolk or even on the Duke
of Sussex who was certainly not prejudiced in Mary's favour. The
latter reported that Moray could produce no proofs except certain
letters the authorship of which the Queen of Scots would deny. In
fact, Sussex believed that were the affair to come to trial it would
go hard with the queen's accusers.[31] In a short time Elizabeth
ordered that the venue should be changed from York to London, and
Mary, believing that she would be allowed an opportunity to defend
herself before the peers and representatives of foreign governments,
accepted the change. She sent Bishop Leslie and Lord Herries to
represent her in London, but on their arrival they found that Mary
would not be allowed to appear in person, though her accusers were
received by the queen, nor would the foreign ambassadors be admitted
to hear the evidence.

The new commission opened at Westminster (4th Dec. 1568). The lords
brought forward their charges against the queen accusing her of
complicity in the murder of her husband. In proof of this they
produced a number of letters that were supposed to have been contained
in a casket left behind him by Bothwell in Edinburgh, when he fled
from that city in June 1567. This casket contained eight letters and
some sonnets, which, if really written by Mary, proved beyond doubt
that she was hand in glove with Bothwell in bringing about the murder
of Darnley. The Casket Letters considered in the light of her own
conduct furnished damaging evidence of Mary's guilt. Whether these
letters were genuine or forged is never likely to be established with
certainty,[32] but considering the character of Mary's opponents,
their well-known genius for duplicity, the contradictory statements
put forward by their witnesses and the indecent haste with which the
whole enquiry was brought to a close, it is difficult to believe that
the evidence of Mary's authorship was convincing. The commissioners
acting on Mary's behalf laboured under grave disadvantages from the
fact that their mistress was not at hand for consultation. As a
consequence they made many mistakes in their pleadings, but they were
on sure ground when they demanded that copies of the incriminating
letters should be forwarded to Mary for examination. This demand,
though supported by the French ambassador, was refused, and Mary was
never allowed an opportunity to reply to the main charge brought
against her. An offer was made that proceedings should be dropped if
Mary would consent to resign the throne of Scotland in favour of her
son, and when she refused this offer the conference was brought to a
sudden termination. Moray and his friends were informed that "nothing
had been produced against them as yet that might impair their honour
and allegiance; and on the other part there had been nothing
sufficiently produced or shown by them against the queen their
sovereign, whereby the Queen of England should conceive or take any
evil opinion of the queen her good sister for anything yet seen" (Jan.
1569).[33] The Earl of Moray and his companions were allowed to return
to Scotland, and nothing more was done either to establish the
innocence or the guilt of the Queen of Scotland. The object of
Elizabeth and her advisers had been attained. They had blackened the
character of Mary; they had driven a wedge between herself and her
nobles, and had allowed Moray to return to Scotland to rule as an
English dependent.

To prevent Queen Mary from falling into the hands of the Catholic
lords of the north she was removed from Tutbury to Coventry (26th
January 1569). Whatever might be said of Mary's conduct during her
early years in Scotland, or whatever doubt might have been entertained
about her orthodoxy by the Pope and by the Catholic powers of the
Continent, everything unfavourable to her was forgotten by them in
their sympathy for her sufferings, and in their admiration for her
fortitude and sincere attachment to her religion. Pius V. and Philip
II. were as deeply interested in her fate as were the Catholics of
Scotland and of England. A scheme was arranged to promote her marriage
to the Duke of Norfolk and to secure her succession to the English
throne, but Elizabeth anticipated the design by imprisoning the Duke,
suppressing the rebellion of the northern lords (1569), and by braving
the terrors of the papal excommunication levelled against her the
following year.

When later on a new plot was discovered with the same object in view
Norfolk was put to death (1572). While Mary was alive in England she
was a source of constant danger to Elizabeth's throne. English
Catholics driven to desperation by the penal laws were certain to turn
to her as their lawful sovereign, while the Catholic nations on the
Continent could fall back on the imprisoned queen whenever they chose
to stir up disorder, or possibly to attempt an invasion. Dangerous as
she was in prison, she might be still more dangerous if she were free
to effect her escape either to Scotland or to France. In her death lay
Elizabeth's best hope of peace, and as the rigour of her confinement
failed to kill her, an attempt was made to induce the Scots to
undertake a work that the English feared to undertake.[34] At last an
opportunity was given of bringing about her execution and of covering
the measure with an appearance of legality. A scheme for her release
was undertaken by Babington,[35] with every detail of which the spies
of Cecil were intimately acquainted, if they did not actually help to
arrange them. Babington's letters to Mary and her replies were
betrayed and copied. It is certain that Mary knew what was intended,
but there is no evidence to show that she approved of the murder of
Elizabeth. When the proper time came Babington and his accomplices
were arrested and put to death (October 1586), and Mary's fate was
submitted to the decision of Parliament. Both houses petitioned that
the Queen of Scotland should be executed, but Elizabeth, fearful of
the consequences and hoping that Mary's jailer Paulet, would relieve
her of the responsibility, hesitated to sign the death warrant. At
last, however, she overcame her scruples, and on the 8th February
1587, Mary Queen of Scots was beheaded at Fotheringay. Her attitude to
the last was worthy of praise. She died a martyr for her religion, and
by her death she expiated fully the imprudences and waverings of her
youth. Elizabeth pretended to be horrified by the action of her
ministers. Her secretary was imprisoned and fined to prove to
Scotland, France, and Spain that the Queen of England had no
responsibility for the tragedy of Fotheringay.

Meanwhile how fared it with Catholicism in Scotland? The Regent Moray
returned from England early in 1569. Acting on the repeated requests
of the General Assembly he undertook new measures against the Catholic
Church. Catholic officials and professors were removed from Aberdeen
University; several priests were arrested and punished though the
regent was unwilling to inflict the death penalty, and many
distinguished clerics and laymen, including the Primate and Bishop
Leslie, were outlawed and their goods confiscated. The regent was not
destined however to enjoy long the fruits of his treachery against his
sister. In 1570, at the very time when he was plotting with the
English government to get the Queen of Scotland into his power, he was
shot in Linlithgow by one of the Hamiltons, the hereditary enemies of
his house.

On his death there were two strong parties in Scotland. The majority
of the nobles, including the Duke of Châtelherault, Argyll, Huntly,
Atholl, and even Kirkcaldy and Maitland of Lethington, two former
supporters of Moray, ranged themselves on the side of their imprisoned
queen, and might have succeeded in re-establishing her authority had
not Elizabeth espoused the cause of Morton, Mar, Glencairn and
Ruthven, backed as these were by Knox and the preachers. Two English
armies were dispatched into Scotland, and with the help of the English
forces the Earl of Lennox, Darnley's father, was appointed regent
(July 1570). It was not the first time that he had sought to destroy
the independence of his country by invoking the assistance of the
English, and as he had gone over to Protestantism he was determined to
throw himself into the arms of the Reformers. The castle of Dunbarton
was still in the possession of the queen's supporters. He laid siege
to it, and captured it in April 1571. Here he seized the Primate of
Scotland, and had him put to death after a summary trial. The chapter
met and elected Robert Hay, but he was never consecrated, and for more
than three hundred years St. Andrew's was without a Catholic bishop.
In September 1571 Lennox was slain, and the Earl of Mar was elected
regent. During his short reign he was unable to enforce his authority
in the country. Negotiations were opened with him by Cecil's agents to
induce him to undertake the execution of the Queen of Scotland, who
was to be sent back from England for the purpose, but his sudden death
in 1572 put an end to the scheme.

He was succeeded by the Earl of Morton, another of Elizabeth's agents.
At first Morton was not unfavourable to the Catholics owing to the
disputes that arose between himself and the preachers about the
re-establishment of the episcopal form of government, but later on he
adopted a policy of violent opposition to the old religion. Some of
the priests were put to death; others were arrested or banished; a
list of Catholics including Beaton the Archbishop of Glasgow, Leslie
Bishop of Ross, and Chisholm Bishop of Dunblane was drawn up for
proscription, and steps were taken to suppress Catholic holidays and
to remove from the churches everything that called to mind Catholic

In 1578 the young king demanded Morton's resignation. A council of
twelve was appointed in his place, at the head of which stood the
Earls of Argyll and Atholl. Elizabeth was annoyed at the fall of her
minion, and took no pains to conceal her annoyance from the young
king. It looked as if friendly relations between the two courts might
be broken, and the Catholic party both at home and on the Continent
were filled with new hopes. In 1579 Esmé Stuart, Lord d'Aubigny, a
nephew of the former Earl of Lennox, arrived from France, where he had
been educated as a Catholic. He was welcomed at court by the king and
created Earl of Lennox. James fell completely under his sway, though
the preachers regarded d'Aubigny as a Catholic spy. Regardless of
Elizabeth's friendship, James was induced to open communications with
his mother, and when the Earl of Morton rose in rebellion against such
a policy he was arrested and put to death (1582). Though apparently
Lennox made profession of accepting the established religion in
Scotland, he was endeavouring secretly to bring about an understanding
between Mary and her son, to secure the release of the former from
captivity, and to assist the Catholic cause. The preachers took alarm
at the sudden and unexpected increase of Popery. "Before this French
court came to Scotland," said Walter Belcanqual in one of his sermons
in 1580 "there were either few or none that durst avow themselves
Papists, neither yet publicly in the country, neither in the reformed
cities, neither in the king's palace. But since that time, not only
begin the Papists within the realm to lift up their heads, but also
our Scottish Papists that were outside the realm swarm home from all
places like locusts, and have taken such hardihood unto them that not
only have they access to the French court, but also in the king's
palace, in the particular sessions of our kirks, and general
assemblies thereof, durst plainly avow their Papistry, and impugn the
truth, both against the laws of the realm and discipline of the
Church, contrary to all practice that we have had before."[36]

The members of the General Assembly, annoyed at the attempt of the
king to support the episcopal system of government, were determined to
remove Lennox, whom they regarded as an emissary of Rome. Elizabeth's
agents, too, were busy stirring up discontent. A plot formed by
Ruthven Earl of Gowrie, the Earl of Mar, and others, for the capture
of the king, was carried out successfully during a visit paid by James
to Ruthven's castle at Gowrie (The Gowrie Plot). He was seized and
lodged safely in Stirling. The Earl of Arran who attempted to rescue
his sovereign was made prisoner, and Lennox was obliged to flee to
France (1582).

For a time Melville and the preachers, who gloried in Gowrie's
successful machinations, held the king in bondage. The General
Assembly of 1582 expressed its approval of what had been done,[37] and
renewed its attacks upon the episcopal system. James, however,
succeeded in making his escape from confinement; the Earl of Arran was
recalled to court; Ruthven was declared a traitor and was beheaded,
and the other conspirators were obliged to make their escape to
England. James entered into close correspondence with some of the
Catholic powers abroad, and even went so far as to appeal to the Pope
for assistance against the enemies who surrounded him (1584). For a
time it seemed as if a great Catholic reaction was about to set in.
Priests who had escaped from England were labouring with success in
the Scottish mission-fields; a few Jesuits had arrived from the
Continent, and France, Spain, and the Pope were in correspondence
regarding the assistance that might be given to James and his mother.
But the spies of Elizabeth soon obtained knowledge of what was in
contemplation. France and Spain were too jealous of one another to
undertake an armed expedition, without which success was impossible.
Negotiations were opened up with a view of detaching James from the
Catholic party, and of inspiring him with distrust for his mother. As
he was always more anxious to secure his accession to the English
throne than to defend either his mother's life or her religion, he
succumbed completely to English influence.

Not even the execution of his mother in 1587 was sufficient to rouse
him to take serious action. Though he was urged by many of the
Scottish nobles to declare war he contented himself with angry
speeches and protests that passed unheeded. Even many of the
Presbyterian lords were ready to support him had he declared war, and
Catholic noblemen like the Earls of Huntly, Erroll, and Crawford, Lord
Maxwell, and Lord Hamilton, offered their assistance. It was well-
known, too, that Philip II. was preparing at the time for an invasion
of England. Had Scotland declared war the results might have been
disastrous for England, but James, instead of taking the offensive,
accepted a pension from Elizabeth and offered to assist in the defence
of the kingdom. He endeavoured at first to conciliate the Catholic
party by restoring John Leslie Bishop of Ross, who had been for years
a most zealous defender of Mary Queen of Scots, to his See and his
possessions, and by appointing the exiled Archbishop of Glasgow to be
his ambassador at the French court. The General Assemblies, however,
backed up by Elizabeth forced him to take strong measures against the
adherents of the old religion. In 1593 a proclamation was issued
ordering all Jesuits and seminary priests to leave Edinburgh within
two hours under pain of death, and a violent campaign was begun in
nearly every part of Scotland against the Catholic nobles and clergy.
The Catholic lords who were in close communication with Spain were
forced to take up arms. Their forces were mustered under the Earls of
Huntly and Erroll, and gained a complete victory at Glenlivet over the
Earl of Argyll who was dispatched against them. When the news of this
defeat reached the king at Dundee he displayed unwonted activity. He
assembled a large army to punish his rebellious subjects, and the
Catholic lords were at last forced to make their escape from the
country. With the flight of Huntly and Erroll (1595) and the dispersal
of their troops the triumph of Protestantism in Scotland was assured.

The great leader in the attack on the Catholic Church in Scotland was
John Knox who belonged to the Geneva school, and who worked hard for
the introduction of the Calvinist system of Church government. The
state of affairs in Scotland at the time was very favourable to his
designs. Obviously there could be no question of royal supremacy or of
a State Church being established after the English model, since the
Queen of Scotland was a staunch supporter of the Roman Church. Neither
could the principle of parliamentary control be accepted since the
Scottish Parliament was comparatively powerless. Had the revenues and
possessions of the Scottish bishoprics and ecclesiastical benefices
been left untouched the democratic form of government would have been
impossible, but as the hungry lords of Scotland had appropriated
already the wealth of the Church they had no special interest in the
ecclesiastical appointments. The result was that the General
Assemblies, composed of both preachers and laymen, became the
recognised governing body of the new religion, and they arrogated to
themselves full control of ecclesiastical affairs. The bishops who
were willing to conform were not, however, removed from office. They
were subjected to the control of the General Assembly, and were placed
on the same level as the recently named superintendents.

But the regents who governed Scotland during the minority of James VI.
were not inclined to receive with favour the idea of ecclesiastical
independence. In 1571 the Earl of Mar insisted on appointing an
archbishop to St. Andrew's without reference to the General Assembly,
and immediately the preachers were up in arms. They were handicapped
in their resistance by the fact that their great leader Knox was too
ill to afford them much assistance, and at last they were forced to
accept a compromise according to which the old system of
ecclesiastical government was left practically untouched. Archbishops,
bishops, deans and chapters were retained; the bishops were to be
elected by the chapters with the permission and approval of the king
and were to receive the temporalities by royal grant; and all persons
admitted to benefices were to promise obedience to their bishops. At
the same time it was agreed that the bishops should be subject to the
General Assemblies in spiritual matters, as they were subject to the
king in temporals. It was hoped that by means of this compromise peace
might be secured, but in a short time the attack on episcopal
government was renewed with still greater vigour. A new leader had
appeared in the person of Andrew Melville, the Principal of the
College of Glasgow, and the friend of the great Swiss Reformer, Beza.
Despite the fact that the regent espoused the cause of episcopacy the
General Assemblies were determined to continue the struggle for its
overthrow. The adoption in 1580 of the /Second Book of Discipline/,
involving as it did the overthrow of episcopal authority, the
rejection of state interference and the assertion that spiritual
authority was derived only from the people, was a severe blow to the
young king and his advisers; but they found some consolation in the
fact that the Scottish Parliament re-asserted the principle of royal
supremacy and recognised the authority of the bishops (1584).

A form of declaration was drawn up which all preachers were required
to sign under threat of dismissal. During the years 1585 and 1586
serious attempts were made by the government to reduce them to
subjection, but without any important result. In fact, at the
suggestion of Melville, the General Assembly pronounced sentence of
excommunication against Archbishop Adamson (1586), and the archbishop
was obliged to submit himself to the judgment of that body. From that
time things went from bad to worse till in 1592 Parliament gave its
formal sanction to Presbyterianism, though the /Second Book of
Discipline/ was not approved, nor were the bishops deprived of their
civil positions. Hardly had James been seated on the English throne
than he determined to make another effort to force episcopacy and
royal supremacy on the Scottish Church. He appointed several new
bishops to the vacant Sees (1603). As the preachers still offered a
strong opposition Melville was invited to a conference at Hampton
Court (1606) where a warm debate took place between the
representatives of the Presbyterians and their opponents. Melville and
his friends refused to yield, and when the former was summoned to
appear before the privy council to answer for certain verses he had
composed, he seized the Archbishop of Canterbury by the sleeves of his
rochet, denounced him as an enemy of the gospel truth, and assured him
that he would oppose his schemes to the last drop of blood. He was
arrested and thrown into prison. Parliament supported the king (1609);
a High Commission Court was established in 1610 to deal with the
preachers, and in the same year the nominees of James were consecrated
by English prelates. But despite the efforts of James and of his
successor Charles I., Presbyterianism still continued to flourish in

Though the flight of the Earls of Huntly and Erroll (1595) had assured
the triumph of Presbyterianism many of the people of Scotland,
particularly of those in the north, still remained devoted to the old
religion. The Jesuit Fathers had been untiring in their efforts, and
the labours of men like Fathers Creighton, Hay, Gordon, and Abercromby
were far from being unfruitful. Still the ecclesiastical organisation
had broken down; the supply of priests was likely to become exhausted,
and, unless some attempt was made to maintain unity and authority, as
well as provide means of education for clerical students, there was
grave danger that Catholicism might soon be extinguished. In 1598
George Blackwell received faculties as archpriest or superior of the
Scotch mission, and was provided with a number of consultors to assist
him in his difficult task. A Scotch college was established at Rome by
Clement VIII. to supply Scotland with priests (1600). Another college
of a similar kind was founded at Tournai in 1576 by Dr. James Cheyne.
Later on it was removed to Pont-à-Mousson and placed under the control
of the Jesuits, and finally it was brought to Douay. The old Irish
foundations at Würzburg and Regensburg were taken over by the Scotch,
and utilised for the education of priests. Scottish colleges were also
established at Paris and at Madrid (transferred to Valladolid).

The Catholics of Scotland expected some toleration from James I., but
they were doomed to disappointment. The king was unable and unwilling
to put an end to the violent persecution carried on by the kirk, which
aimed at wiping out every trace of Catholicity by directing its
attackings against the Catholic nobility of the north and against the
Jesuits, one of whom, Father Ogilvie was put to death (1516).
Similarly under Charles I. the persecution continued unabated, but,
notwithstanding all the penalties levelled against the clergy, many
priests were found willing and ready to help their co-religionists in
Scotland. Jesuits, Benedictines, Franciscans from Ireland, Capuchins,
and Vincentians[38] vied with each other in their efforts to confirm
the faith of those who remained true and to win back those who had
fallen away. During the Protectorate the Catholics could hope for no
mercy, nor did the accession of Charles II. make much change in their
sad condition. Under James II. they enjoyed a brief spell of liberty.
The chapel at Holyrood was opened once again, and some provision was
made from the private resources of the king for the support of the
missions, and of the foreign colleges.

But the favour of James II. led to still greater persecutions once he
had been overthrown to make way for William of Orange. During the
reigns of William and Mary, of Anne and of George I. the position of
the Scotch Catholics was even worse than that of their brethren in
England or Ireland. In his anxiety to encourage both the priests and
the laity Innocent XII. appointed Bishop Thomas Nicholson as vicar-
apostolic of Scotland in 1694, and, as it was impossible for him to
give sufficient attention to the districts in the north and west where
Catholics were still fairly numerous, Dr. Hugh MacDonald was appointed
vicar-apostolic of the Highlands in 1726. When the Pretender arrived
in Scotland the Catholics flocked to his standard, and when he was
defeated at Culloden (1746) they were obliged to pay a heavy penalty
for their loyalty to the old rulers. The Highland clans were either
cut up in battle or deported; the Catholic chapels were closed, and so
violent was the persecution that ensued that it seemed as if the
wishes of the kirk were about to be realised. But events soon showed
that those who imagined they had seen the extinction of Catholicism in
Scotland were doomed to disappointment.

[1] Theiner, /Vet. Mon. Scot./, 8.

[2] Id., 465-68.

[3] Robertson, /Concilia Scotiae (1225-1559)/, cclxx.-cclxxxv.

[4] Pollen, /Papal Negotiations/, etc., 525-30.

[5] Forneron, /Les ducs de Guise et lour époque/, 1877.

[6] Herkless, /Cardinal Beaton/, 263 sqq.

[7] Id., 289-301.

[8] /Cambridge Modern History/, ii., 556.

[9] Robertson, /Concilia Scotiae/.

[10] Law, /Archbishop Hamilton's Catechism/, 1884.

[11] Pollen, op. cit., xxv., xxiv.-vi.

[12] For a reliable account of Knox, cf. Lang, /John Knox and the
    Reformation/, 1905.

[13] Grub, /Ecc. Hist. of Scotland/, ii., 45-6.

[14] Bellesheim, i., 389.

[15] Grub, op. cit., ii., 53-54.

[16] Wilkins, /Concilia/, iv., 204 sqq.

[17] Published in 1558. Dedicated to the writer's nephew, "Gilbert
    Maister of Cassillis."

[18] Pollen, op. cit., xxxii. sqq.

[19] Pollen, op. cit., 56.

[20] Bellesheim, op. cit., i., 424-32.

[21] Grub, op. cit., ii., 89 sqq.

[22] Pollen, op. cit., xlix. sqq.

[23] On the mission of Gouda, cf. Pollen, op. cit., liv.

[24] Pollen, op. cit., 162-76.

[25] Pollen, op. cit., lxxxv.-xcviii.

[26] Lang, /The Mystery of Mary Stuart/, 54-9.

[27] Lang, /The Mystery of Mary Stuart/, 74 sqq.

[28] Lang, op. cit., 148 sqq.

[29] Pollen, op. cit., 293, cxxvi.-xxxiii.

[30] /Political History of England/, vi., 272.

[31] Rait, /Mary Queen of Scots/, 145.

[32] Cf. Hosack, /Mary Stuart and her Accusers/, 2 vols., 1870-4.
    Henderson, /Casket Letters/, 2nd edition, 1890. Id., /Mary Queen
    of Scots/, 2 vols., 1905. Fleming, /Mary Queen of Scots/, 2 vols.,
    1897-8. Nau-Stephenson, /History of Mary Stuart/, 1883. Lang,
    /Mystery of Mary Stuart/, 1904.

[33] Lang, /The Mystery of Mary Stuart/, 160-1.

[34] Bellesheim, ii., 129.

[35] Pollen, /Mary Stuart and the Babington Plot/ (/Month/, 1907).

[36] Grub, op. cit., ii., 210.

[37] Grub, op. cit., ii., 229.

[38] Bellesheim, op. cit., 283-98.



  /Annals of the Four Masters/. /State Papers/, 11 vols., 1832-5.
  /Papal Letters/, 9 vols. /De Annatis Hiberniae/, vol. i., Ulster,
  1912; vol. ii., Leinster (app. ii. /Archivium Hibernicum/, vol.
  ii.). Brady, /The Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland and
  Ireland (1400-1873)/, 3 vols., 1876. Theiner, /Vetera Monumenta
  Scotorum (1216-1547)/, 1864. Ware's /Works/, 2 vols., 1729.
  Wilkins, /Concilia Magnae Britanniae et Hiberniae/, iii. vol.,
  1737. /Reports of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records, Ireland/.
  /Reports of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts/. De
  Burgo, /Hibernia Dominicana/, 1762. Gilbert, /The Viceroys of
  Ireland/, 1865. Id., /Facsimiles of National Manuscripts of
  Ireland/, 4 vols., 1875. Lawlor, /A Calendar of the Register of
  Archbishop Sweetman/, 1911. Bellesheim, /Geschichte der
  Katholischen Kirche in Ireland/, 3 Bde, 1890. Malone, /Church
  History of Ireland from the Anglo-Norman Invasion to the
  Reformation/, 2 vols., 3rd edition, 1880. Brenan, /An
  Ecclesiastical History of Ireland/, 1864. Gogarty, /The Dawn of
  the Reformation in Ireland (I. T. Q.)/, 1913, 1914. Green, /The
  Making of Ireland and its Undoing (1200-1600)/, 1908. Bagwell,
  /Ireland under the Tudors/, 1885. Wilson, /The Beginnings of
  Modern Ireland/, 1912.

From the beginning of the fourteenth century English power in Ireland
was on the decline. The Irish princes, driven to desperation by the
exactions and cruelties of the officials, adopted generally a more
hostile attitude, while the great Norman nobles, who had obtained
grants of land in various parts of Ireland, began to intermarry with
the Irish, adopted their language, their laws, their dress, and their
customs, and for all practical purposes renounced their allegiance to
the sovereign of England.

Owing to the civil war that raged in England during the latter portion
of the fifteenth century the English colonists were left entirely
without support, and being divided among themselves, the Geraldines
favouring the House of York, and the Ormonds, the House of Lancaster,
they were almost powerless to resist the encroachments of the native
princes. Nor did the accession of Henry VII. lead to a combined effort
for the restoration of English authority. The welcome given by so many
of the Anglo-Irish, both laymen and clerics, to the two pretenders,
Simnel and Warbeck, and the efforts the king was obliged to make to
defend his throne against these claimants, made it impossible for him
to undertake the conquest of the country. As a result, the sphere of
English influence in Ireland, or the Pale, as it was called, became
gradually more restricted. The frantic efforts made by the Parliament
held at Drogheda (1494, Poynings' Parliament) to protect the English
territory from invasion by the erection "of a double ditch six feet
high" is the best evidence that the conquest of the country still
awaited completion.[1] In the early years of the reign of Henry VIII.
the Pale embraced only portions of the present counties of Dublin,
Louth, Meath and Kildare, or to be more accurate, it was bounded by a
line drawn from Dundalk through Ardee, Kells, Kilcock, Clane, Naas,
Kilcullen, Ballymore-Eustace, Rathcoole, Tallaght, and Dalkey. Within
this limited area the inhabitants were not safe from invasion and
spoliation unless they agreed to purchase their security by the
payment of an annual tribute to the neighbouring Irish princes; and
outside it, even in the cities held by Norman settlers and in the
territories owned by Norman barons, the king's writ did not run.[2]

Recourse was had to legislative measures to preserve the English
colonists from being merged completely into the native population.
According to the Statutes of Kilkenny (1367) the colonists were
forbidden to intermarry with the Irish, to adopt their language,
dress, or customs, or to hold any business relations with them, and
what was worse, the line of division was to be recognised even within
the sanctuary. No Irishman was to be admitted into cathedral or
collegiate chapters or into any benefice situated in English
territory, and religious houses were warned against admitting any
Irish novices, although they were quite free to accept English
subjects born in Ireland[3] (1367). This statute did not represent a
change of policy in regard to Irish ecclesiastics. From the very
beginning of the Norman attempt at colonisation the relations between
the two bodies of ecclesiastics had been very strained. Thus, in the
year 1217 Henry III. wrote to his Justiciary in Ireland calling his
attention to the fact that the election of Irishmen to episcopal Sees
had caused already considerable trouble, and that consequently, care
should be taken in future that none but Englishmen should be elected
or promoted to cathedral chapters. The Irish clerics objected strongly
to such a policy of exclusion, and carried their remonstrances to
Honorius III. who declared on two occasions (1220, 1224) that this
iniquitous decree was null and void.[4] As the papal condemnations did
not produce the desired effect, the archbishops, bishops, and chapters
seem to have taken steps to protect themselves against aggression by
ordaining that no Englishman should be admitted into the cathedral
chapters, but Innocent IV., following the example of Honorius III.,
condemned this measure.[5]

Notwithstanding its solemn condemnation by the Holy See this policy of
exclusion was carried out by both parties, and the line of division
became more marked according as the English power began to decline.
The petition addressed to John XXII. (1317) by the Irish chieftains
who supported the invasion of Bruce bears witness to the fact that the
Statutes of Kilkenny did not constitute an innovation, and more than
once during the fifteenth century the legislation against Irish
ecclesiastics was renewed. The permission given to the Archbishop of
Dublin to confer benefices situated in the Irish districts of his
diocese on Irish clerics (1485, 1493) serves only to emphasise the
general trend of policy.[6] Similarly the action of the Dominican
authorities in allowing two superiors in Ireland, one of the houses in
the English Pale, the other for the houses in the territories of the
Irish princes[7] (1484), the refusal of the Irish Cistercians to
acknowledge the jurisdiction of their English superiors, the boast of
Walter Wellesley, Bishop of Kildare and prior of the monastery of Old
Connal (1539) that no Irishman had been admitted into this institution
since the day of its foundation,[8] prove clearly enough that the
relations between the Irish and English ecclesiastics during the
fifteenth century were far from being harmonious.

In the beginning, as has been shown, the Holy See interfered to
express its disapproval of the policy of exclusion whether adopted by
the Normans or the Irish, but later on, when it was found that a
reconciliation was impossible, the Pope deemed it the lesser of two
evils to allow both parties to live apart. Hence the Norman community
of Galway was permitted to separate itself from the Irish population
immediately adjoining, and to be governed in spirituals by its own
warden (1484); and Leo X. approved of the demand made by the chapter
of St. Patrick's, Dublin, that no Irishman should be appointed a canon
of that church (1515).[9] But though the Holy See, following the
advice of those who were in a position to know what was best for the
interests of religion, consented to tolerate a policy of exclusion, it
is clear that it had no sympathy with such a course of procedure. In
Dublin, for example, where English influence might be supposed to make
itself felt most distinctly, out of forty-four appointments to
benefices made in Rome (1421-1520) more than half were given to
Irishmen; in the diocese of Kildare forty-six out of fifty-eight
appointments fell to Irishmen (1413-1521), and for the period 1431-
1535, fifty-three benefices out of eighty-one were awarded in Meath to
clerics bearing unmistakably Irish names.[10] Again in 1290 Nicholas
IV. insisted that none but an Irishman should be appointed by the
Archbishop of Dublin to the archdeaconry of Glendalough, and in 1482
Sixtus IV. upheld the cause of Nicholas O'Henisa whom the Anglo-Irish
of Waterford refused to receive as their bishop on the ground that he
could not speak English.[11]

But though attempts were made by legislation to keep the Irish and
English apart, and though as a rule feeling between both parties ran
high, there was one point on which both were in agreement, and that
was loyalty and submission to the Pope. That the Irish Church as such,
like the rest of the Christian world, accepted fully the supremacy of
the Pope at the period of the Norman invasion is evident from the
presence and activity of the papal legates, Gillebert of Limerick, St.
Malachy of Armagh, Christian, Bishop of Lismore, and St. Laurence
O'Toole, from the frequent pilgrimages of Irish laymen and
ecclesiastics to Rome, from the close relations with the Roman Court
maintained by St. Malachy during his campaign for reform, and from the
action of the Pope in sending Cardinal Paparo to the national synod at
Kells (1152) to bestow the palliums on the Archbishops of Armagh,
Dublin, Cashel, and Tuam. Had there been any room for doubt about the
principles and action of the Irish Church the question must
necessarily have been discussed at the Synod of Cashel convoked by
Henry II. to put an end to the supposed abuses existing in the Irish
Church (1172), and yet, though it was laid down that in its liturgy
and practices the Irish Church should conform to English customs, not
a word was said that could by any possibility imply that the Irish
people were less submissive to the Pope than any other nation at this

After the Normans had succeeded in securing a foothold in the country,
both Irish and Normans were at one in accepting the Roman supremacy.
The Pope appointed to all bishoprics whether situated within or
without the Pale; he deposed bishops, accepted their resignations,
transferred them from one See to another, cited them before his
tribunals, censured them at times, and granted them special faculties
for dispensing in matrimonial and other causes. He appointed to many
of the abbeys and priories in all parts of the country, named
ecclesiastics to rectories and vicarages in Raphoe, Derry, Tuam,
Kilmacduagh, and Kerry, with exactly the same freedom as he did in
case of Dublin, Kildare or Meath, and tried cases involving the rights
of laymen and ecclesiastics in Rome or appointed judges to take
cognisance of such cases in Ireland. He sent special legates into
Ireland, levied taxes on all benefices, appointed collectors to
enforce the payment of these taxes, and issued dispensations in
irregularities and impediments.

The fiction of two churches in Ireland, one the Anglo-Irish
acknowledging the authority of the Pope, the other the Irish fighting
sullenly against papal aggression, has been laid to rest by the
publication of Theiner's /Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum et Scotorum/,
the /Calendars of Papal Letters/, the /Calendars of Documents
(Ireland)/ and the /Annats/. If any writer, regardless of such
striking evidence, should be inclined to revive such a theory he
should find himself faced with the further disagreeable fact that,
when the English nation and a considerable body of the Anglo-Irish
nobles fell away from their obedience to Rome, the Irish people, who
were supposed to be hostile to the Pope, preferred to risk everything
rather than allow themselves to be separated from the centre of unity.
Such a complete and instantaneous change of front, if historical,
would be as inexplicable as it would be unparalleled.

Nor is there any evidence to show that Lollardy or any other heresy
found any support in Ireland during the fourteenth or fifteenth
centuries. During the episcopate of Bishop Ledrede in Ossory (1317-
60), it would appear both from the constitutions enacted in a diocesan
synod held in 1317 as well as from the measures he felt it necessary
to take, that in the city of Kilkenny a few individuals called in
question the Incarnation, and the Virginity of the Blessed Virgin, but
it is clear that such opinions were confined to a very limited circle
and did not affect the body of the people.[13] About the same time,
too, the dispute that was being waged between John XXII. and a section
of the Franciscans found an echo in the province of Cashel, though
there is no proof that the movement ever assumed any considerable
dimensions.[14] Similarly at a later period, when the Christian world
was disturbed by the presence of several claimants to the Papacy and
by the theories to which the Great Western Schism gave rise, news was
forwarded to Rome that some of the Irish prelates, amongst them being
the Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Ferns, were inclined to set
at nought the instructions of Martin V. (1424), but the latter pontiff
took energetic measures to put an end to a phenomenon that was quite
intelligible considering the general disorder of the period. The
appeal of Philip Norris, Dean of Dublin, during his dispute with the
Mendicants, to a General Council against the decision of the Pope only
serves to emphasise the fact that throughout the controversy between
the Pope and the Council of Basle Ireland remained unshaken in its
attachment to the Holy See.[15] Although the first measure passed by
the Parliament at Kilkenny (1367) and by nearly every such assembly
held in Ireland in the fifteenth century was one for safeguarding the
rights and liberties of the Church, yet the root of the evils that
afflicted the Church at this period can be traced to the interference
of kings and princes in ecclesiastical affairs. The struggle waged by
Gregory VII. in defence of free canonical election to bishoprics,
abbacies, and priories seemed to have been completely successful, but
in reality it led only to a change of front on the part of the secular
authorities. Instead of claiming directly the right of nomination they
had recourse to other measures for securing the appointment of their
own favourites. In theory the election of bishops in Ireland rested
with the canons of the cathedral chapters, but they were not supposed
to proceed with the election until they had received the /congé
d'élite/ from the king or his deputy, who usually forwarded an
instruction as to the most suitable candidate. As a further safeguard
it was maintained that, even after the appointment of the bishop-elect
had been confirmed by the Pope, he must still seek the approval of the
king before being allowed to take possession of the temporalities of
his See. As a result even in the thirteenth century, when capitular
election was still the rule, the English sovereigns sought to exercise
a controlling influence on episcopal elections in Ireland, but they
met at times with a vigorous resistance from the chapters, the
bishops, the Irish princes, and from Rome.[16]

Towards the end of the fourteenth century, however, and in the
fifteenth century, though the right of election was still enjoyed
nominally by the chapters, in the majority of cases either their
opinions were not sought, or else the capitular vote was taken as
being only an expression of opinion about the merits of the different
candidates. Indirectly by means of the chancery rules regarding
reservations, or by the direct reservation of the appointment of a
particular bishopric on the occasion of a particular vacancy, the Pope
kept in his own hands the appointments. Owing to the encroachments of
the civil power and the pressure that was brought to bear upon the
chapters such a policy was defensible enough, and had it been possible
for the Roman advisers to have had a close acquaintance with the
merits of the clergy, and to have had a free hand in their
recommendations, direct appointment might have been attended with good
results. But the officials at Rome were oftentimes dependent on
untrustworthy sources for their information, and they were still
further handicapped by the fact that if they acted contrary to the
king's wishes the latter might create serious trouble by refusing to
restore the temporalities of the See. Instances, however, are not
wanting even in England itself to show that the Popes did not always
allow themselves to be dictated to by the civil authorities, nor did
they recognise in theory the claim of the king to dispose of the

It is difficult to determine how far the English kings succeeded in
influencing appointments to Irish bishoprics. About Dublin, Meath, and
Kildare there can be no doubt that their efforts were attended with
success. In Armagh, too, they secured the appointment of Englishmen as
a general rule, and in Cashel, Waterford, Limerick, and Cork their
recommendations, or rather the recommendations of the Anglo-Irish
nobles, were followed in many instances. Outside the sphere of English
influence it does not seem that their suggestions were adopted at
Rome. At any rate it is certain that if they sought for the exclusion
of Irishmen their petitions produced little effect. During the early
years of the reign of Henry VIII. more active measures seem to have
been taken by the king to assert his claims to a voice in episcopal
appointments. In the appointments at this period to Armagh, Dublin,
Meath, Leighlin, Kilmore, Clogher, and Ross it is stated expressly in
the papal Bulls that they were made /ad supplicationem regis/.[18]

Unfortunately several of the ecclesiastics on whom bishoprics were
conferred in Ireland during the fifteenth century had but slender
qualifications for such a high office. On the one hand it was
impossible for Rome in many cases to have a close acquaintance with
the various candidates, and on the other the influence of the English
kings, of the Irish princes, and of the Anglo-Irish nobles was used to
promote their own dependents without reference to the effects of such
appointments on the progress of religion. The Archbishops of Dublin
and Armagh, and the Bishops of Kildare and Meath were more interested
as a rule in political and religious affairs than in their duties as
spiritual rulers. They held on many occasions the highest offices in
the state, and had little time to devote their attention to the
government of their dioceses. Absenteeism was as remarkable a
characteristic of the Church in the fifteenth century as it was of the
Established Church in the eighteenth, and in this direction the
bishops were the worst offenders. Very often, too, Sees were left
vacant for years during which time the king's officials or the Irish
princes, as the case might be, wasted the property of the diocese
either with the connivance or against the wishes of the diocesan
chapters. Of the archbishops of Ireland about the time of the
Reformation, George Cromer, a royal chaplain, was appointed because he
was likely to favour English designs in Ireland, and for that purpose
was named Chancellor of Ireland; John Alen, another Englishman, was
recommended by Cardinal Wolsey to Dublin mainly for the purpose of
overthrowing the domination of the Earl of Kildare; Edmund Butler, the
illegitimate son of Sir Piers Butler, owed his elevation to the See of
Cashel to the influence of powerful patrons, and Thomas O'Mullaly of
Tuam, a Franciscan friar, passed to his reward a few days before the
meeting of the Parliament that was to acknowledge Royal Supremacy, to
be succeeded by Christopher Bodkin, who allowed himself to be
introduced into the See by the authority of Henry VIII. against the
wishes of the Pope.

But, even though the bishops as a body had been as zealous as
individuals amongst them undoubtedly were, they had no power to put
down abuses. The patronage of Church livings, including rectories,
vicarages, and chaplaincies enjoyed by laymen, as well as by chapters,
monasteries, convents, hospitals, etc., made it impossible for a
bishop to exercise control over the clergy of his diocese. Both Norman
and Irish nobles were generous in their gifts to the Church, but
whenever they granted endowments to a parish they insisted on getting
in return the full rights of patronage. Thus, for example, the Earl of
Kildare was recognised as the legal patron of close on forty rectories
and vicarages situated in the dioceses of Dublin, Kildare, Meath,
Limerick, and Cork, and he held, besides, the tithes of a vast number
of parishes scattered over a great part of Leinster.[19] The Earl of
Ormond enjoyed similar rights in Kilkenny and Tipperary, as did the
Desmond family in the South, and the De Burgos in Connaught. The
O'Neills,[20] O'Donnells, O'Connors, McCarthys, O'Byrnes, and a host
of minor chieftains, exercised ecclesiastical patronage in their
respective territories. Very often these noblemen in their desire to
benefit some religious or charitable institution transferred to it the
rights of patronage enjoyed by themselves. Thus the monastery of Old
or Great Connal in Kildare controlled twenty-one rectories in Kildare,
nineteen in Carlow, one in Meath and one in Tipperary,[21] while the
celebrated convent of Grace-Dieu had many ecclesiastical livings in
its gift.

Owing to these encroachments the bishop was obliged frequently to
approve of the appointment of pastors who were in no way qualified for
their position. The lay patrons nominated their own dependents and
favourites, while both ecclesiastical and lay patrons were more
anxious about securing the revenues than about the zeal and activity
of the pastors and vicars. Once the system of papal reservation of
minor benefices was established fully in the fifteenth century, the
authority of the bishop in making appointments in his diocese became
still more restricted. Ecclesiastics who sought preferment turned
their eyes towards Rome. If they could not go there themselves, they
employed a procurator to sue on their behalf, and armed with a papal
document, they presented themselves before a bishop merely to demand
canonical institution. Though, in theory, therefore, the bishop was
supposed to be the chief pastor of a diocese, in practice he had very
little voice in the nomination of his subordinates, and very little
effective control over their qualifications or their conduct.

Very often benefices were conferred on boys who had not reached the
canonical age for the reception of orders, sometimes to provide them
with the means of pursuing their studies, but sometimes also to enrich
their relatives from the revenues of the Church. In such cases the
entire work was committed to the charge of an underpaid vicar who
adopted various devices to supplement his miserable income. Frequently
men living in England were appointed to parishes or canonries within
the Pale, and, as they could not take personal charge themselves, they
secured the services of a substitute. In defiance of the various
canons levelled against plurality of benefices, dispensations were
given freely at Rome, permitting individuals to hold two, three, four,
or more benefices, to nearly all of which the care of souls was
attached. In proof of this one might refer to the case of Thomas
Russel, a special favourite of the Roman Court, who held a canonry in
the diocese of Lincoln, the prebends of Clonmethan and Swords in
Dublin, the archdeaconry of Kells, the church of Nobber, the perpetual
vicarship of St. Peter's, Drogheda, and the church of St. Patrick in

This extravagant application of patronage and reservations to
ecclesiastical appointments produced results in Ireland similar to
those it produced in other countries. It tended to kill learning and
zeal amongst the clergy, to make them careless about their personal
conduct, the proper observance of the canons, and the due discharge of
their duties as pastors and teachers. Some of them were openly
immoral, and many of them had not sufficient learning to enable them
to preach or to instruct their flocks. It ought to be remembered also
that in these days there were no special seminaries for the education
of the clergy. Candidates for the priesthood received whatever
training they got from some member of the cathedral chapter, or in the
schools of the Mendicant Friars, or possibly from some of those
learned ecclesiastics, whose deaths are recorded specially in our
Annals. Before ordination they were subjected to an examination, but
the severity of the test depended on many extrinsic considerations.
Some of the more distinguished youths were helped by generous patrons,
or from the revenues of ecclesiastical benefices to pursue a higher
course of studies in theology and canon law. As the various attempts
made to found a university in Ireland during the fourteen and
fifteenth centuries[23] proved a failure, students who wished to
obtain a degree were obliged to go to Oxford, from which various
attempts were made to exclude "the mere Irish" by legislation,[24] to
Cambridge, Paris, or some of the other great schools on the Continent.
If one may judge from the large number of clerics who are mentioned in
the papal documents as having obtained a degree, a fair proportion of
clerics during the fifteenth century both from within and without the
Pale must have received their education abroad. Still, the want of a
proper training during which unworthy candidates might be weeded out,
coupled with the unfortunate system of patronage then prevalent in
Ireland, helped to lower the whole tone of clerical life, and to
produce the sad conditions of which sufficient evidence is at hand in
the dispensations from irregularities mentioned in the /Papal

As might be expected in such circumstances, the cathedrals and
churches in some districts showed signs of great neglect both on the
part of the ecclesiastics and of the lay patrons. Reports to Rome on
the condition of the cathedrals of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise[25]
indicate a sad condition of affairs, but they were probably overdrawn
in the hope of securing a reduction in the fees paid usually on
episcopal appointments, just as the account given by the Jesuit Father
Wolf about the cathedral of Tuam[26] was certainly overdrawn by
Archbishop Bodkin with the object of obtaining papal recognition for
his appointment to that diocese. The Earl of Kildare represented the
churches of Tipperary and Kilkenny as in ruins owing to the exactions
of his rival, the Earl of Ormond, while the latter, having determined
for political reasons to accept royal supremacy, endeavoured to throw
the whole blame on the Pope. Both statements may be regarded as
exaggerated. But the occupation of the diocesan property during the
vacancy of the Sees by the king or the nobles, the frequent wars
during which the churches were used as store-houses and as places of
refuge and defence, the neglect of the lay patrons to contribute their
share to the upkeep of the ecclesiastical buildings, and the
carelessness of the men appointed to major and minor benefices, so
many of whom were removed during the fifteenth century for alienation
and dilapidation of ecclesiastical property, must have been productive
of disastrous effects on the cathedrals and parish churches in many
districts. Yet it would be a mistake to suppose that such neglect was
general throughout the country. The latter half of the fourteenth
century and particularly the fifteenth century witnessed a great
architectural revival in Ireland, during which the pure Gothic of an
earlier period was transformed into the vernacular or national
composite style. Many beautiful churches, especially monastic
churches, were built, others were completely remodelled, and "on the
whole it would not be too much to say that it is the exception to find
a monastery or a parish church in Ireland which does not show some
work executed at this period."[27]

The disappearance of canonical election, the interference of lay
patrons, the too frequent use of papal reservations, and the
appointment of commendatory abbots and priors, led to a general
downfall of discipline in the older religious orders, though there is
no evidence to prove that the abuses were as general or as serious as
they have been painted. Even at the time when the agents of Henry
VIII. were at work preparing the ground for the suppression of the
monasteries, and when any individual who would bring forward charges
against them could count upon the king's favour, it was only against a
few members in less than half a dozen houses that grave accusations
were alleged. Even if these accusations were justified, and the
circumstances in which they were made are sufficient to arouse
suspicions about their historical value, it would not be fair to hold
the entire body of religious in Ireland responsible for abuses that
are alleged only against the superiors or members of a small number of
houses situated in Waterford or Tipperary. Long before the question of
separation from his lawful wife had induced Henry VIII. to begin a
campaign in Ireland against Rome, the Mendicant Friars had undertaken
a definite programme of reform. In 1460 the Bishop of Killala in
conjunction with the Franciscan Friar, Nehemias O'Donohoe, determined
to introduce the Strict Observance into the Franciscan Houses,[28] and
from that time forward in spite of obstacles from many quarters the
Observants succeeded in getting possession of many of the old
Conventual Houses, and in establishing several new monasteries in all
parts of Ireland, but particularly in the purely Irish districts. The
Dominicans, too, took steps to see that the original rules and
constitutions of the order should be observed. In 1484 Ireland was
recognised as a separate province, though the houses within the Pale
were allowed to continue under the authority of a vicar of the English
provincial, while at the same time a great reform of the order was
initiated. Several houses submitted immediately both within and
without the Pale, amongst the earliest of them being Coleraine,
Drogheda, Cork, and Youghal. The various religious orders of men did
excellent work in preaching, instructing the people, in establishing
schools both for the education of clerics and laymen, and in tending
to the wants of the poor and the infirm. In the report on the state of
Ireland presented to Henry VIII. it is admitted that, though the
bishops and rectors and vicars neglected their duty, the "poor friars
beggers" preached the word of God.[29] That the people and nobles,
both Irish and Anglo-Irish, appreciated fully the labours and services
of the Friars is evident from the number of new houses which they
established for their reception during the fifteenth century. The
convents of Longford, Portumna, Tulsk, Burishool, Thomastown, and Gola
were established for the Dominicans; Kilconnell, Askeaton,
Enniscorthy, Moyne, Adare, Monaghan, Donegal, and Dungannon for the
Franciscans; Dunmore, Naas, Murrisk and Callan for the Augustinians,
and Rathmullen, Frankfort, Castle-Lyons and Galway for the Carmelites.

The abuses that existed in the Irish Church at this period arose
mainly from the enslavement of the Church, and they could have been
remedied from within even had there been no unconstitutional
revolution. As a matter of fact those who styled themselves Reformers
succeeded only in transferring to their own sect the main sources of
all previous abuses, namely, royal interference in ecclesiastical
affairs and lay patronage, and by doing so they made it possible for
the Catholic Church in Ireland to pursue its mission unhampered by
outside control. It ought to be borne in mind that the faults of
certain individuals or institutions do not prove that the whole
organisation was corrupt, and that if there were careless and unworthy
bishops, there were also worthy men like the Blessed Thaddeus
MacCarthy of Cloyne, who though driven from his diocese by the
aggression of the nobles, was venerated as a saint both in Ireland and
abroad. The great number of provincial and diocesan synods held in
Ireland during the period between 1450 and 1530 makes it clear that
the bishops were more attentive to their duties than is generally
supposed, while the collections of sermons in manuscript, the use of
commentaries on the Sacred Scriptures and of concordances, the
attention paid to the Scriptures in the great Irish collections that
have come down to us, and the homilies in Irish on the main truths of
religion, on the primary duties of Christians, and on the Lives of the
Irish Saints, afford some evidence that the clergy were not entirely
negligent of the obligations of their office. Had the clergy been so
ignorant and immoral, as a few of those foisted into Irish benefices
undoubtedly were, the people would have risen up against them. And
yet, though here and there some ill-feeling was aroused regarding the
temporalities, probates, fees, rents, rights of fishing, wills, etc.,
there is no evidence of any widespread hostility against the clergy,
secular or regular, or against Rome. The generous grants made to
religious establishments, the endowment of hospitals for the poor and
the infirm, the frequent pilgrimages to celebrated shrines in Ireland
and on the Continent, the charitable and religious character of the
city guilds, and above all the adherence of the great body of the
people to the religion of their fathers in spite of the serious
attempts that were made to seduce them, prove conclusively enough that
the alleged demoralisation of the Irish Church is devoid of historical

Nor could it be said that the Irish people at this period were
entirely rude and uncultured. Though most of their great schools had
gone down, and though the attempts at founding a university had
failed, learning had certainly not disappeared from the country.
Clerics and laymen could still obtain facilities for education at the
religious houses, the cathedral and collegiate churches, at the
schools of Irish law and poetry, and from some of the learned teachers
whose names are recorded in our Annals during this period. Many of the
clerics, at least, frequented the English universities or the
universities on the Continent. During the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries one can point to several distinguished Irish scholars such
as O'Fihely, the Archbishop of Tuam, who was recognised as one of the
leading theological writers of his day, Cathal Maguire the author of
the Annals of Ulster, Bishop Colby of Waterford, the author of several
commentaries on Sacred Scripture, the well-known Carmelite preacher
and writer Thomas Scrope, Patrick Cullen Bishop of Clogher, and his
arch-deacon Roderick O'Cassidy, and Philip Norris, the determined
opponent of the Mendicants, and the Dominicans John Barley, Joannes
Hibernicus, and Richard Winchelsey.[30] The catalogue of the books
contained in the library of the Franciscan convent at Youghal about
the end of the fifteenth century affords some indication of the
attitude of the monastic bodies generally towards education and
learning. In addition to the missals, psalteries, antiphonies, and
martyrologies, the convent at Youghal had several copies of the Bible
together with some of the principal commentaries thereon, collections
of sermons by well-known authors, several of the works of the early
Fathers and of the principal theologians of the Middle Ages, the
Decrees of Gratian, the Decretals and various works on Canon Law,
spiritual reading-books, including the life of Christ, and works on
ascetic theology, the works of Boetius and various treatises on
philosophy, grammar, and music, and some histories of the Irish
province of the Franciscans.[31]

Similarly the library of the Earl of Kildare about 1534 contained over
twenty books in Irish, thirty-four works in Latin, twenty-two in
English and thirty-six in French,[32] while the fact that Manus
O'Donnell, Prince of Tyrconnell, could find time to compose a Life of
St. Columba in 1532, and that at a still later period Shane O'Neill
could carry on his correspondence with foreigners in elegant Latin
bears testimony to the fact that at this period learning was not
confined to the Pale. Again it should be remembered that it was
between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries that the great Irish
collections such as the Book of Lecan, the Book of Ballymote, the
Leabhar Breac, the Book of Lismore, etc., were compiled, and that it
was about the same time many of the more important Irish Annals were
compiled or completed, as were also translations of well-known Latin,
French, and English works.[33]

[1] Hardiman, /A Statute of the 40th Year of Edw. III./, p. 4.

[2] /State Papers, Henry VIII./, vol. ii., pp. 1-31 (/State of Ireland
    and plan for its Reformation/).

[3] Hardiman, op. cit., pp. 46-54.

[4] Theiner, /Vetera Monumenta Hibernorum/, etc., pp. 16, 23.

[5] /Calendar Pap. Documents/, an. 1254.

[6] Hardiman, op. cit., pp. 47-9.

[7] De Burgo, /Hibernia Dominicana/, p. 75.

[8] /State Papers Henry VIII./, xiv., no. 1021.

[9] Mason, /The History and Antiquities of ... St. Patrick's, Dublin/,
    1820, p. xviii.

[10] /De Annatis Hiberniae/, vol. i., 1912; vol. ii. (app. ii.
    /Archive Hib./ vol. ii.).

[11] Theiner, op. cit., 487-8.

[12] Wilkins, /Concilia/, ii., an. 1172.

[13] Carrigan, /History of Ossory/, i., 45-57.

[14] Theiner, op. cit., 261.

[15] Theiner, op. cit., 371. De Burgo, /Hib. Dom./ 68.

[16] /Irish Theol. Quarterly/, ii., 203-19.

[17] Capes, /History of the English Church in the Fourteenth and
    Fifteenth Centuries/, 1909, p. 222.

[18] Brady, /Episcopal Succession/ (see various dioceses mentioned).

[19] /Ninth Report of Commission on Hist. MSS./, pt. ii., 278.

[20] /Archiv. Hibernicum/, vol. i., 39-45.

[21] Id., app. ii., 40.

[22] /Archiv. Hibernicum/, app. ii., 6.

[23] By John de Lech, Archbishop of Dublin (1312); by his successor,
    Alexander Bicknor; by the Earl of Desmond in the Parliament at
    Drogheda (1465); by the Dominicans, 1475; and by Walter
    Fitzsimons, Archbishop of Dublin (1485-1511).

[24] Green, /The Making of Ireland/, etc., p. 271.

[25] /De Annatis Hiberniae/, i., 155-6.

[26] /Hib. Ignatiana/, 13.

[27] Champneys, /Irish Eccl. Architecture/, 1910, p. 172.

[28] Theiner, op. cit., pp. 425, 436. /Annals F. M./, 1460.

[29] /State Papers Henry VIII./, ii., 15.

[30] /Hib. Dom./, p. 540.

[31] Malone, op. cit., ii., 206 sqq.

[32] O'Grady, /Catalogue of Irish MSS. in British Museum/, p. 154.

[33] Green, op. cit., pp. 261 sqq.



  See bibliography, chap. vii. /Annals of the F. M./ (ed.
  O'Donovan), 7 vols., 1851. /Annals of Loch Cé/ (ed. Hennessy), 2
  vols., 1871. Theiner, /Monumenta Scotorum/, etc. (/ut supra/).
  Moran, /Spicilegium Ossoriense/, 3 vols., 1874-85. Publications of
  Catholic Record Society of Ireland, /Archivium Hibernicum/, 3
  vols., 1912-14. /De Annatis Hiberniae/, vol. i. (Ulster), 1912.
  /State Papers/, 11 vols., 1832-51 (vols. ii., iii.,
  /Correspondence between the Governments of England and Ireland/,
  1515-46). Brewer and Gairdner, /Calendar of Letters and Papers ...
  of Reign of Henry VIII./, 13 vols., 1862-92. /Calendar of State
  Papers, Ireland/, vol. i. (1509-1573). /Calendar of State Papers/
  (Carew), 1 vol., 1515-1574. Morrin, /Calendar of Patent Rolls/
  (Ireland), 1 vol., 1861 (Hen. VIII., Ed. VI., Mary, Elizabeth).
  Shirley, /Original Letters and Papers in Illustration of the
  History of the Church of Ireland during the Reigns of Ed. VI.,
  Mary and Elizabeth/, 1851. /Holinshead's Chronicles of England,
  Scotland, and Ireland/, 6 vols., 1807 (/Chronicle of Ireland/, by
  Holinshead; Stanyhurst, 1509-47; John Hooker, 1547-86). D'Alton,
  /History of Ireland/, vol. i., 1903. Bagwell, /Ireland under the
  Tudors/, 3 vols., 1885-90. Bonn, /Die Englische Kolonisation in
  Irland/, 2 Bd., 1896. Bellesheim, op. cit. Brenan, /An
  Ecclesiastical History of Ireland/, 1864. Mant, /History of the
  Church of Ireland/, 2 vols., 1840. Killen, /The Ecclesiastical
  History of Ireland/, 2 vols., 1875. Cox, /Hibernia Anglicana/,
  etc., 1689. /Hibernia Pacata/ (ed. O'Grady, 2 vols., 1896). Ware's
  /Works/ (ed. Harris, 1764). /Harleian Miscellany/, 10 vols., 1808-
  13. Moran, /History of the Catholic Archbishops of Dublin since
  the Reformation/, 1 vol., 1864. Renehan-McCarthy, /Collections on
  Irish Church History/, vol. i. (Archbishops), 1861. Brady,
  /Episcopal Success in England, Scotland, Ireland/, 3 vols., 1876.

When Henry VIII. ascended the English throne, though he styled himself
the Lord of Ireland, he could claim little authority in the country.
The neglect of his predecessors, the quarrels between the English
colonists, especially between the Geraldines and the Butlers, and the
anxiety of both parties to ally themselves with the Irish princes, had
prevented the permanent conquest of the country. Outside the very
limited area of the Pale English sheriffs or judges dare not appear to
administer English law; no taxes were paid to the crown; no levies of
troops could be raised, and the colonists could only hope for
comparative peace by paying an annual tribute to the most powerful of
their Irish neighbours. The barony of Lecale in Down paid £40 a year
to O'Neill of Clandeboy, Louth paid a similar sum to O'Neill of
Tyrone, Meath paid £300 a year to O'Connor of Offaly, Kildare £20 to
O'Connor, Wexford £40 to the McMurroughs, Kilkenny and Tipperary £40
to O'Carroll of Ely, Limerick city and county £80 to the O'Briens,
Cork £40 to the McCarthys, and so low had the government fallen that
it consented to pay eighty marks yearly from the royal treasury to

During the early years of his reign Henry VIII. was so deeply
interested in his schemes for subduing France and in continental
affairs generally that he could give little attention to his dominions
in Ireland. Sometimes the Earl of Kildare was superseded by the
appointment of the Earl of Surrey (1520), and of Sir Piers Butler, the
claimant to the Earldom of Ormond (1521), and of Sir William
Skeffington (1529), but as a general rule Kildare, whether as Deputy
or as a private citizen, succeeded in dictating the policy of the
government. By his matrimonial alliances with the Irish chieftains,
the O'Neills, the MacCarthys, O'Carroll of Ely, and O'Connor of
Offaly, his bargains with many of the other Irish and Anglo-Irish
nobles, and by his well-known prowess in the field, he had succeeded
in making himself much more powerful in Ireland than the English
sovereign. But his very success had raised up against him a host of
enemies, led by his old rival the Earl of Ormond, and supported by a
large body of ecclesiastics, including Allen, the Archbishop of
Dublin, and of lay nobles. Various charges against him were forwarded
to England, and in 1534 he was summoned to London to answer for his
conduct. Before setting out on his last journey to London he appointed
his son, Lord Thomas Fitzgerald (Silken Thomas), then a youth of
twenty-one, to take charge of the government. The latter had neither
the wisdom nor the experience of his father. Rumours of his father's
execution, spread by the enemies of the Geraldines, having reached his
ears, despite the earnest entreaties of Archbishop Cromer of Armagh,
he resigned the sword of state, and called upon his retainers to
avenge the death of the Earl of Kildare (1534).

The rebellion of Silken Thomas forced Henry VIII. to undertake a
determined campaign for the conquest of Ireland. His hopes of winning
glory and territory in France had long since disappeared. He was about
to break completely with Rome, and there was some reason to fear that
Charles V. might make a descent upon the English coasts with or
without the aid of the King of France. Were an invasion from the
Continent undertaken before the conquest of Ireland had been finished
it might result in the complete separation of that kingdom from
England, and its transference to some foreign power. It was well known
that some of the Irish princes were in close correspondence with
France and Scotland, that Silken Thomas was hoping for the assistance
of the Emperor, and that once England had separated herself definitely
from the Holy See, many of the Irish and Anglo-Irish nobles might be
induced to make common cause with the Pope against a heretical king.
Hitherto the king's only legal title to the Lordship of Ireland was
the supposed grant of Adrian IV., and as such a grant must necessarily
lapse on account of heresy and schism a new title must be sought for
in the complete conquest of the country. The circumstances were
particularly favourable for undertaking such a work. The royal
treasury was well supplied; England had little to fear for the time
being from Francis I. or Charles V., as the energies of both were
required for the terrible struggle between France and the Empire; the
friends of Ormond and the enemies of Kildare, both Irish and Anglo-
Irish, could be relied upon to lend their aid, and even the Irish
princes friendly to Kildare might be conciliated by fair promises of
reward. Relying upon all these considerations Henry VIII. determined
to reduce Ireland to submission, and at the same time to put an end to
its religious and political dependence on the Holy See.

William Skeffington was re-appointed Deputy and sent over to quell the
rebellion, together with Sir Piers Butler who, in consideration of the
bestowal upon him of the territories of the former Earls of Ormond,
agreed to resist the usurped jurisdiction of the Pope especially in
regard to appointments to benefices[2] (1534). The campaign opened
early in 1535, but as the new deputy was physically unable to command
a great military expedition, Lord Leonard Grey, the brother-in-law of
the Earl of Kildare, was soon entrusted with the conduct of the war.
Though in the beginning Silken Thomas had met with success, the news
that the rumoured execution of the Earl was untrue, the murder of the
Archbishop of Dublin by some of the Geraldine followers, and the
excommunication that such a deed involved, disheartened his army and
caused many of those upon whom he relied to desert him. At last in
August 1535 he surrendered to Lord Grey who seems to have given him a
promise of his life, but Henry VIII. was not the man to allow any
obligations of honour to interfere with his policy. After having been
kept in close confinement in the Tower for months he and his five
uncles were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn (1537). The king's
only regret was that the young heir to the Earldom of Kildare was
allowed to escape, and the failure to capture his own sister's son was
one of the gravest charges brought afterwards against Lord Leonard
Grey. As it was, the rebellion was suppressed; O'More of Leix,
O'Carroll of Ely, O'Connor of Offaly, and the other Irish adherents of
the Geraldines were reduced to submission, and thereby the work of
conquest was well begun.

In 1536, as a reward for the services he had rendered and in the hope
that he would carry the work of subjugation to a successful
conclusion, Leonard Grey was appointed Deputy. Henry VIII. had
separated himself definitely from the Catholic Church and had induced
a large number of English bishops, ecclesiastics, and nobles to reject
the jurisdiction of the Pope in favour of royal supremacy. In England
he owed much of his success to the presence of Cranmer in the
metropolitan See of Canterbury, and to the skill with which his clever
councillors manipulated Parliament so as to ensure its compliance with
the royal wishes. Hence, when he determined to detach Ireland from its
allegiance to Rome, he resolved to utilise the Archbishop of Dublin
and the Irish Parliament. Fortunately for him Dublin was then vacant
owing to the murder of Archbishop Alen during the Geraldine rebellion
(1534). After careful consideration he determined to confer the
archbishopric on George Browne, an Augustinian friar, who had merited
the royal favour by preaching so strongly against Henry's marriage
with Catharine of Aragon that most of the congregation rose in a body
and left the church. According to the imperial ambassador it was
Browne who officiated at the secret marriage of the king to Anne
Boleyn, and it was on that account he was created provincial of the
English Augustinians and joined in a commission with Dr. Hilsey, the
provincial of the Dominicans, for a visitation of the religious houses
in England.[3] The new archbishop received his commission from the
king without reference to the Pope, and his consecration from Cranmer
(1536). Browne was in every way a worthy representative of the new
spiritual dictator and of the "new learning." His nomination to Dublin
was condemned by the people of Lincoln because he had abandoned the
Christian faith. Hardly had he arrived in Dublin when he found himself
at loggerheads with Lord Grey, who treated him with studied contempt
and took very violent measures to cool his religious ardour. He was
assailed by his royal spiritual head for his arrogance and
inefficiency, and warned to take heed lest he who had made him a
bishop might unmake him. By his fellow-labourers and associates in the
work of spreading the gospel, Staples of Meath and Bale of Ossory, he
was denounced as a heretic, an avaricious dissembler, a drunkard, and
a profligate, who preached only two sermons with which the people
became so familiar that they knew what to expect once he had announced
his text.[4]

Before the arrival of Browne in Ireland careful steps were taken by
the deputy and the Earl of Ormond to ensure that only trustworthy men
should be elected as "knights of the shire," while the lawyers were
hard at work both in England and Ireland drafting the laws that
Parliament was expected to ratify. The assembly opened on Monday, 1st
May, at Dublin, was adjourned (31 May) to Kilkenny, then to Cashel (28
July), then to Limerick (2 Aug.), from which place it returned once
more to Dublin. The next session opened in September (1536), and after
several short sessions and long adjournments it was prorogued finally
in December 1537. As far as can be seen no representatives attended
this parliament except from the Pale and from the territories under
the influence of the Earl of Ormond and his adherents. It was in no
sense an Irish Parliament, as not a single Irish layman took part in
it, nor could it be described accurately even as a Parliament of
Leinster. It is generally assumed that together with the Act of
Attainder against the party of Kildare all the legislation passed
already in England, including the Act of Succession and of Royal
Supremacy, the Acts against the authority of the Bishop of Rome,
against appeals to Rome, and transferring to the king the First
Fruits, etc., were passed always immediately and with very little
opposition except a strong protest lodged by Archbishop Cromer of
Armagh. But an examination of the correspondence that passed between
the authorities in Dublin and in London reveals a very different

It is true that on the 17th May Brabazon informed Cromwell that the
Act of Attainder against Kildare, the Acts of Succession, of Royal
Supremacy and of First Fruits had already passed the Commons, and that
on the 1st June the Deputy wrote that all these, including the Act
against Appeals to Rome, had passed the Parliament, and that in the
same month Cromwell expressed his thanks to some of the Irish
officials for having secured the assent of Parliament to all these
measures. But in spite of these assurances of victory secured before
Parliament had been a month in session, there must have occurred some
very serious hitch in the programme. In October 1536, Robert Cowley
wrote to Cromwell to complain that certain acts had been rejected
owing to the action of some "ringleaders or bellwethers," who had
decided to send a deputation to England to argue stiffly against them,
that Patrick Barnewall, the king's sergeant was on the side of the
discontents, and that he declared in the House of Commons that "he
would not grant that the king had as much spiritual power as the
Bishop of Rome, or that he could dissolve religious houses." As
nothing could be done, the session was adjourned till February (1537),
when the Deputy announced that owing to the confusion caused in the
Commons by the reported return of Silken Thomas, and to the boldness
of the spirituality on account of the religious rebellion which had
taken place in England, no measures could be passed, and a further
adjournment was necessary. When Parliament met again matters were
still going badly for the king. The Deputy informed Cromwell that the
spirituality was still obstinate; that the spiritual peers refused to
debate any bill till they should receive satisfactory assurances that
the spiritual proctors or representatives of the clergy should be
allowed to vote, and that as the Parliament had refused to pass the
bill imposing a tax of one-twentieth of their annual revenues on the
holders of benefices, he was obliged to adjourn till July. He warned
Cromwell that as the proctors and the bishops had formed a combination
little could be passed until the proctors were deprived of their
votes, and he suggested that as a means of overcoming the resistance
of the spirituality the king should send over a special commissioner
to be present at the opening of the next session.

Acting on this suggestion a royal commission, consisting of Anthony
St. Leger, George Poulet, Thomas Moyle, and William Berners, was
dispatched to Ireland (July 1537) to deliver the following acts to be
passed by Parliament, namely, acts depriving the spiritual proctors of
their right to vote, and against the power of the Bishop of Rome,
together with acts giving to the king the tax of one-twentieth on
benefices, enforcing the use of the English language and dress, and
prohibiting alliances with the "wild Irish." At the same time Henry
wrote to the Deputy and council warning them to obey the instructions
of the commissioners, and to the House of Lords ordering them to
ratify the bills to be submitted, and telling them that if any member
be unwilling to do so, "we shall look upon him with our princely eye
as his ingratitude therein shall be little to his comfort." When
Parliament met again in October the spiritual proctors were deprived
of their votes, and it was only then that the Act against the Bishop
of Rome could be carried. The threats of royal vengeance seem to have
produced the same effects in the Dublin assembly as in the English
Parliament. Probably, as happened in England, those who could not
agree with the measures were content to absent themselves during the
discussions.[5] The truth is, therefore, that Archbishop Cromer was
supported in his attitude by the bishops and the representatives of
the clergy, and that the acts against the jurisdiction of the Pope
were carried against the wishes of the spirituality.

But the placing of the acts upon the statute book did not mean that
the cause of the king had triumphed. Steps must be taken to enforce
the laws against the jurisdiction of the Pope. Already in October 1537
the royal commissioners, who had been sent over by the king to overawe
the Parliament, undertook a judicial tour through the south-eastern
portion of Ireland to inquire into the grievances of the people, and
especially to secure grounds of complaint against the ecclesiastics,
so as to enable the government to overcome the opposition of their
representatives in Parliament. During their journey they held sessions
at Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, New Ross, Clonmel, and Tipperary. In
the circumstances it is not difficult to understand how easy it was
for them to find individuals ready to come forward with accusations
both against the lay lords and the clergy, especially as the
commissioners in some cases at least suggested the points of
complaint. In Wexford, for example, the crime alleged against the Dean
of Ferns and three other priests of having "pursued" Bulls from Rome
has a very suspicious ring. Against many individual clerics, including
the Archbishop of Cashel and the Bishop of Waterford, the priors and
heads of several religious houses and certain rectors and vicars, it
was alleged that they levied various exactions like the lay lords,
that they demanded excessive fees on the occasion of their
ministrations, and that they asserted claims to fishing weirs, etc.,
to which they were not entitled. If it be borne in mind that the
bishops, priors, and heads of religious houses were also landlords
like the lay lords, against whom charges of almost similar exactions
were lodged, the presentments of grievances at least in this respect
were not very convincing. For the same reason the fact that the
Archbishop of Cashel was said to have been in a boat which robbed a
boat from Clonmel and that he caused a riot in the latter city, that
the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore took bribes, or that Purcell, the
Bishop of Ferns, joined with O'Kavanagh in an attack upon Fethard need
not cause any surprise. It was only against James Butler, the
Cistercian abbot of Inislonagh and his monks, the Augustinian monks of
Athassel, the Carmelite priors of Lady Abbey near Clonmel and
Knocktopher, and the abbot of Duisk that grave charges of immorality
were made. Even if these charges were true, and the evidence is by no
means convincing, they serve only to emphasise the downfall of
discipline caused in the individual religious houses by the
interference with canonical election, and the intrusion oftentimes by
family influence of unworthy men as abbots or commendatory abbots.[6]

Henry VIII. was anxious to complete the conquest of Ireland even
before he had broken with the Pope, but after the separation of
England from Rome he realised more clearly the dangers that might
ensue unless the Irish and Anglo-Irish princes were reduced to
submission. As things stood, Ireland instead of contributing anything
was a constant source of loss to the royal treasury, and, were an
invasion attempted by some of his Continental rivals, Ireland might
become a serious menace to England's independence. The complete
overthrow of the Geraldine rebellion (1535) had prepared the way for a
more general advance, but the failure of the Deputy to capture the
young heir to the Earldom of Kildare was as displeasing to the king
personally as it was dangerous to his plans. The boy was conveyed away
secretly by his tutor, a priest named Leverous, who was advanced
afterwards to the See of Kildare, and was brought for safety to the
territory of O'Brien of Thomond. When Thomond was threatened by the
rapid advance of the Deputy, the young Earl of Kildare was conveyed to
his aunt, Lady Eleanor MacCarthy of Cork, who on her marriage to Manus
O'Donnell, Prince of Tyrconnell, brought the boy with her to Donegal

O'Connor of Offaly and O'Carroll had been compelled to sue for peace
(1535). In the following year Lord Grey made a tour of the south-
eastern parts of Leinster, proceeded through Tipperary, and directed
his march against the strongholds of O'Brien of Thomond. Partly by his
own skill and boldness, partly also by the treachery of one of the
O'Briens, he succeeded in capturing some of the principal fortresses
including O'Brien's Bridge. Had it not been for a mutiny that broke
out among his soldiers Lord Grey might have succeeded in forcing
O'Brien to make terms, but, as it was, he was obliged to desist from
further attack and to retreat hastily to Dublin. O'Brien soon
recaptured the positions he had lost; O'Connor of Offaly took the
field once more, and the unfortunate Deputy, harassed by his enemies
on the privy council and blamed by the king for his failure to get
possession of the hope of the Geraldines, found himself in the
greatest difficulties. But he was a man of wonderful military
resource, and knowing well that failure must mean his own recall and
possibly his execution, he determined to put forth all his energies in
another great effort. So long as the Irish in the Leinster districts
were active it was little use for him to undertake dangerous
expeditions towards the more remote districts, and for this reason he
turned his attention to O'Connor of Offaly. Before many months elapsed
he forced the MacMurroughs, the Kavanaghs, the O'Moores, the
O'Carrolls, MacGillapatrick of Ossory, and O'Connor to sue humbly for

But many difficulties still remained to be overcome before he could
boast of final victory. Con O'Neill, Manus O'Donnell, and many of
their adherents were still threatening; Desmond, O'Brien of Thomond
and the nobles of Munster generally could not be relied upon; while
the Irish and Anglo-Irish of Connaught paid but scanty respect to the
king or his deputy. Rumours, too, were in circulation that North and
South were about to unite in defence of the heir of the Geraldines,
that secret communications were carried on with Scotland, France, and
the Empire, and that the Pope was in full sympathy with the
movement.[7] Surrounded by discontented subordinates, who forwarded
complaints almost weekly to England in the hope of securing his
disgrace, Lord Grey was resolved to push forward rapidly even though
the campaign might prove risky. In 1538 he marched south and west,
passing by Limerick through the territories of O'Brien and Clanrickard
to Galway, having received everywhere the submission of the princes
except of O'Brien and the Earl of Desmond. In the following year
(1539) he directed his attention towards the North, but O'Neill and
O'Donnell, having composed their differences, and having strengthened
themselves by an understanding with the Earl of Desmond and the
adherents of the Geraldines, marched south in the hope of joining
hands with their allies. Having learned when in the neighbourhood of
Tara that the Deputy was on the march against them, they retreated
towards the confines of Monaghan, where they were overtaken and routed
at Bellahoe near Carrickmacross (1539). Their defeat seems to have
destroyed the spirit of the Irish princes. One by one they began to
beg for terms, so that before Lord Grey was recalled in 1540 he had
the satisfaction of knowing that he had vindicated English authority
in the country. Instead of rewarding his deputy for all that he had
done, Henry VIII., giving credence to the stories circulated by
Archbishop Browne and others that Lord Grey had connived at the escape
of the young Kildare and had supported the cause of Rome, committed
him to the Tower, and later on he handed him over to the executioner

Meanwhile how fared it with the new archbishop who had been sent over
to enlighten the Irish nation? In July 1537 Henry felt it necessary to
reprove his spiritual representative for his lightness of behaviour,
his vain-glory, and his remissness in preaching the pure word of God,
and to warn him that if he did not show himself more active both in
religious matters and in advancing the king's cause he should be
obliged to put a man of more honesty in his place.[8] The archbishop
issued a form of prayer in English to be read in all the churches,
extolling royal supremacy and denouncing the Pope, but it produced no
effect. Once, when the archbishop attended High Mass in St. Andrew's,
the rector mounted the pulpit to read the prayer, but immediately one
of the canons gave a signal to the choir to proceed, and the
archiepiscopal message was lost to the congregation. In January 1538
he acknowledged that though the influence of the king ought to be
greatest within the city and province of Dublin, yet, notwithstanding
his gentle exhortation, his evangelical instruction, his insistence on
oaths of obedience, and his threats of sharp correction, he could not
induce any one to preach the word of God or the just title of the
king; that men who preached formerly till Christians were tired of
them, would not open their lips except in secret, when they gave full
vent to their opinions and thereby destroyed the fruits of the labour
of their archbishop; that the Observant Friars were the worst
offenders of all, refusing to take the oath and showing open contempt
for his authority; that he could not persuade the clergy to erase the
name of the Pope from the Canon of the Mass and was obliged to send
his own servants to carry out this work; that a papal indulgence had
been published in Ireland of which many had hastened to take advantage
by fulfilling the conditions laid down, namely, fasting on Wednesday,
Friday, and Saturday and receiving Holy Communion, and that all
bishops "made by the king" except himself were repelled to make way
for these appointed by Rome.[9] Although the chapter in Dublin had
been packed carefully to prepare the way for the election of Browne,
the archbishop was forced to complain that he had been withstood to
his face by one of the prebendaries, James Humfrey, and that of the
staff of the cathedral, twenty-eight in number, there was scarce one
"that favoured the word of God."[10]

In a letter sent to Cromwell (1538) Agarde informed him that the power
of the Bishop of Rome was still strong, that the Observant Friars
upheld it boldly, that nobody dared to say anything against them as
nearly all in authority were in favour of the Pope except Browne,
Alen, Master of the Rolls, Brabazon the Vice-Treasurer, and one or two
others of no importance, and that the temporal lawyers who drew the
king's fees could not be trusted.[11] Everywhere throughout the
country it was the same story. Those who should set an example to
others resorted to the Friars for confession, and were encouraged in
their boldness; Nangle, who had been intruded into the See of Clonfert
by the king, was driven out by Roland de Burgo, the papal bishop, and
dared not show himself in his diocese; never was there so much "Rome-
running" in the country, four or five bishops together with several
priors and abbots having been appointed lately by the Pope, while a
friar and a bishop, probably Rory O'Donnell of Derry, who had been
arrested, were tried and acquitted at Trim,[12] because the people in
authority were hypocrites and worshippers of idols.[13]

From 1536 therefore till 1538 the new gospel had made small progress
in Ireland. Had the men entrusted with its propagation been of one
mind they might have used the king's power with some effect, but the
Deputy, the Archbishop of Dublin, and the Bishop of Meath were at each
others throats almost continually. The Deputy treated the archbishop
with studied contempt, spoke of him as a "poll-shorn" friar and
obstructed his plans. According to Browne and his friends Alen and
Brabazon, the Deputy befriended the papists and the friars, knelt in
prayer before the shrine of Our Lady of Trim, and supported a bishop
appointed by Rome against one appointed by the king. Edward Staples, a
former protégé of Cardinal Wolsey, by whom he was recommended to Rome,
was appointed by the Pope to Meath in 1530, but being a steady
opponent of the Geraldines he was obliged to escape to his own country
in 1534. There he took the side of the king against Clement VII., and
on his return to Ireland, after he had received a sharp admonition
from the king, he undertook to preach in favour of royal supremacy.
But his views did not coincide with those of the Archbishop of Dublin.
The latter was obliged to complain that Staples denounced him as "a
heretic and a beggar with other rabulous revilings," and that not
content with this, he preached in the church at Kilmainham where "the
stations and pardons" were used as freely as ever, and attacked the
archbishop before his face with "such a stomach as I think the three-
mouthed Cerberus of hell could not have uttered it more viperously."
He glossed every sentence (of the archbishops sermons) after such
opprobrious fashion that every honest ear glowed to hear it, and "he
exhorted them all, yea, and so much as in him lay he adjured them, to
give no credence to (their spiritual guide) whatsoever he might say,
for before God he would not."[14] The Bishop of Meath replied that the
archbishop had given himself such airs that every honest man was weary
of him and that he (the bishop) had come to the conclusion that "pride
and arrogance hath ravished him from the right remembrance of
himself." In reply to Browne's covert hint that Staples was conniving
at the authority of the Pope, the latter charged the archbishop, whom
he described as his purgatory, with abhorring the Mass, and prayed
that an inquiry should be held.[15] An attempt was made to patch up
the quarrel, but the archbishop was far from content that his
authority had not been upheld.[16]

For so far the Reformation had made little or no progress in Ireland,
and apparently bishops, clergy and people were still strong on the
side of Rome. But during the successful military expedition undertaken
by Lord Grey into the centre, south, and west of Ireland in 1538, he
claimed to have achieved great success. In March 1538 O'Connor of
Offaly made his submission, promising at the same time not to admit
the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff or to allow others to admit
it.[17] The Earl of Ormond and the Butler family generally were
attached to the king's cause on account of their opposition to the
Geraldines. O'Carroll of Ely agreed to accept the king's peace, but
there is no evidence that he agreed to the king's religious programme.
At Limerick, according to the Deputy's own story, the mayor and
corporation took the oath of Royal Supremacy, and renounced the
authority of the Pope, as did also the bishop, who promised
furthermore to induce his clergy to follow this example. Similarly in
Galway, he assured the king, he had sworn the mayor, corporation and
bishop to resist the usurped jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome.[18]
But as against the trustworthiness of this report it should be
remembered that it is contradicted in very important particulars by
another official account of the proceedings written by eye-witnesses,
that the Deputy's doings on this occasion were belittled and
disparaged by the privy council, that Browne charged Grey with having
deposed, while he was in the neighbourhood of Limerick, a bishop
appointed by the king to make room for a Franciscan friar provided by
the Pope,[19] and with having supported the Mayor of Limerick, who was
a strong adherent of the Geraldines, that according to the same
authority, while Grey was in Galway he entertained right royally a
bishop, probably Roland de Burgo, "who had expelled the king's
presentee from the Bishopric of Clonfert," and that, finally, in
Robert Cowley's opinion Grey's expedition had for its object not so
much the extension of the king's territory as the formation of a
Geraldine League amongst the Irish and Anglo-Irish of the South and
West to support O'Neill and O'Donnell.[20]

It is important to bear in mind that the highest English officials in
Ireland at this period were divided into two factions, one favouring
the Deputy, and another attempting to secure his downfall by charging
him with being too friendly towards the Papists and the Geraldines.
The leaders of the latter section, and, according to a trustworthy
witness, the only men in authority who favoured the campaign against
the Pope were Browne, Alen, the Master of the Rolls, Brabazon, the
Vice-Treasurer, and one or two others, amongst whom might be reckoned
Aylmer the Chief Justice.[21] They were annoyed at the reported
success of Lord Grey in 1538, and however much they tried to disparage
it, they felt that unless they could accomplish something remarkable
for the king's cause the triumph of the Deputy was assured. Early in
December 1538 a message had been received containing "an advertisement
for the setting forth of the Word of God, abolishing of the Bishop of
Rome's usurped authority, and extinguishing of idolatry."[22]
Immediately the members of the council hostile to Lord Grey saw their
opportunity of scoring a signal victory. If they could not penetrate
into the North or West they determined to make an excursion into the
"four shires above the Barrow" to assert the king's supremacy, "but
also to levy the first fruits and twentieth part with other of the
king's revenue." Leaving Dublin towards the end of December they
proceeded first to Carlow, where they were entertained by Lord James
Butler, and thence to Kilkenny, where they were welcomed by the Earl
of Ormond. On New Year's Day the archbishop preached to a large
audience setting forth the royal (or rather Cromwell's) Injunctions
(1536), several copies of which were supplied to the bishops and
dignitaries of the diocese for the use of the clergy. Something
similar was done in Ross, Wexford, and Waterford, except that in the
latter place they hanged a friar in his habit, and ordered that his
corpse should be left on the gallows "for a mirror to all others of
his brethren to live truly." Next they visited Clonmel, in which town
according to their own story they achieved their greatest success. "At
Clonmel was with us two archbishops and eight bishops, in whose
presence my Lord of Dublin preached in advancing the King's Supremacy,
and the extinguishment of the Bishop of Rome. And, his sermon
finished, all the said bishops, in all the open audience, took the
oath mentioned in the Acts of Parliament, both touching the king's
succession and supremacy, before me, the king's chancellor; and divers
others present did the like."[23]

Though, as shall be seen, there was probably some foundation for this
report, there are many things about it which would seem to indicate
that its authors were guilty of gross exaggeration. In the first place
it should be noted that though it is headed "The Council of Ireland to
Cromwell," it is signed only by Browne, Alen, Brabazon, and Aylmer,
the sworn enemies of the Deputy, and the very men who had denounced
him for magnifying his success in the previous year. Secondly, it
deals only in generalities, giving no particulars about the names of
the archbishops or bishops who were alleged to have been present,
though such details would have been of the highest importance.
Thirdly, as can be seen from the correspondence of the period, Browne
was not accustomed to hide his merits or his services, and yet in a
personal letter written to Cromwell a week later he merely states that
during the month he spent in Munster "he did not only preach and set
forth the word of God, but also my master, the King's Highness most
goodly purpose."[24] Lastly, it should not be forgotten that, though
Browne and his friends claim to have been honoured with the presence
of the bishops from the entire province of Munster, yet at that time
the Earl of Desmond and his adherents, O'Brien of Thomond, the
MacCarthys and nearly all the Irish and Anglo-Irish nobles of the
province, with the exception of the Ormond faction which controlled
only a portion of south-eastern Munster, were still loyal to Rome. The
object of the report, then, seems to have been to destroy the
influence of the Deputy and the effect of his victory, by showing what
his opponents had effected and could effect if only their hands were
not tied by the action of a superior who was leagued with the Papists
and the enemies of the crown. Any one acquainted with the miserable
intrigues and petty jealousies revealed by the official correspondence
of the period can have no difficulty in believing that the authors of
this report would have had little scruple in departing from the truth.

Though Browne, like his masters Cromwell and Cranmer, was inclined to
push forward rapidly with his radical schemes of reform, yet, well
aware of the state of feeling in Dublin and throughout the country, he
feared to give offence by proceeding at once to extremes. At first he
contented himself with issuing the "bedes" or a form of prayer for the
king as supreme head of the church, for Prince Edward, for the Deputy,
council, and nobles, and for the faithful departed. Encouraged,
however, by the wholesale attack on images and pilgrimage shrines
begun in England (1538), he determined to undertake a similar work in
Ireland in the same year. But such a work proved to be so distasteful
to the people that he was obliged to deny that he had any intention of
pulling down the image of Our Lady of Trim or the Holy Cross in
Tipperary, though in his letter to Cromwell he admitted that "his
conscience would right well serve him to oppress such idols."[25] In
August of the same year Lord Butler reported to Cromwell that the
vicar of Chester announced in the presence of the Deputy, the
archbishop, and several members of the council that the king had
commanded that images should be set up again and worshipped as before,
whereupon the Deputy remained silent, but some of the others answered,
that if the vicar were not protected by the presence of the Deputy
they "would put him fast by the heels," as he deserved grievous
punishment.[26] In October Lord Grey, the Archbishop of Dublin, and
others attended the sessions at Trim for the trial of a bishop and of
a Franciscan friar, and, to the no small indignation of the
archbishop, Lord Grey visited the shrine of Our Lady of Trim to pray
before the image.[27] The encouragement given to Browne and his
friends by Cromwell's instructions (Dec. 1538) strengthened them to
continue their campaign "for the plucking down of idols and the
extinguishing of idolatry." The shrine of Our Lady at Trim was
destroyed; the Staff of Jesus was burned publicly; the Cross of
Ballybogan was broken, and a special commission was established to
search for and to destroy images, pictures, and relics.[28] Even the
Deputy, who was accused of favouring idols and papistry, had already
despoiled the Cathedral of Down, the monastery of Killeigh and the
collegiate church of Galway, though in all probability this action was
taken not so much out of contempt for the practices of the Church as
with the hope of raising money to pay his troops, and of securing the
favour of the king.

In England Henry VIII. had turned his attention almost immediately
after the separation from Rome to the suppression of the monasteries
and religious houses. This step was undertaken by him, partly because
the religious orders were the strongest and most energetic supporters
of the Pope, and partly, also, because he wished to enrich the royal
treasury by the plunder of the goods and possessions of the
monasteries. In England, however, some form of justice was observed;
but in Ireland no commission was appointed to report on the condition
of the monasteries or convents, and no opportunity was given them to
defend themselves against the slanderous statements of officials, who
were thirsting to get possession of their lands and their revenues.
According to the estimate given by De Burgo, there were in Ireland at
the time of Henry VIII. two hundred and thirty-one houses of the
Canons Regular of St. Augustine, thirty-six houses belonging to the
Premonstratensians, twenty-two of the Knights of St. John, fourteen to
the Trinitarians or Crouched Friars, nine to the Benedictines, forty-
two to the Cistercians, forty-three to the Dominicans, sixty-five to
the Franciscans, twenty-six to the Hermits of St. Augustine, twenty-
five to the Carmelites, and forty-three belonging to various
communities of Nuns.[29] Though in many particulars this summary is
far from being accurate, it may be taken as giving a fairly correct
idea of the number of religious houses at the period. Many of these
institutions were possessed of immense wealth, derived for the most
part from lands and church patronage. According to a return drawn up
in 1536 the annual revenue of the religious houses in Meath was set
down at £900 Irish money, in Dublin at £900, in Louth at £600, and in
Kildare at £255. If steps were taken to suppress immediately the
houses within these four shires it was reckoned that the king might
secure an annual revenue of £3,000, but if the communities concerned
got warning of the danger it was thought that the king would lose
£1,000 of this.[30]

By Henry's orders steps were taken in 1536 to secure the approval of
Parliament for the suppression of the monasteries, but though the
Abbey of St. Wolstan near Leixlip, belonging to the Canons Regular of
St. Victor was suppressed, both the spiritual and the lay peers
together with the proctors of the clergy offered a strenuous
opposition to the attack on the religious establishments. They knew
better than the English officials the work that was being done by many
of these institutions for religion, education, and hospitality, as
well as for the comfort of the poor and the infirm. In October 1537,
however, an act was passed for the suppression of Bective, St. Peter's
beside Trime, Duisk, Duleek, Holmpatrick, Baltinglass, Taghmolin,
Dunbrody, Tintern, and Ballybogan. Their lands, houses and possessions
generally were to be vested in the king, and a pension was to be
secured to the abbots and priors.[31] Together with these, eight
abbies mentioned in a special commission under the great seal were

The other religious houses, alarmed by the course of proceedings both
in England and at home, began to cut down the timber on their
properties, to dispose of their goods, to hide their valuable church
plate, and to lease their farms. Urgent appeals were sent to Cromwell
from Archbishop Browne and others, requesting that a commission should
be issued instantly for the suppression of the monasteries and
convents. Henry VIII. and Cromwell were nothing loath to accede to
these demands, particularly as some of the Mendicants had been very
zealous in defence of the rights of the Pope; and accordingly a royal
commission was addressed to the Archbishop of Dublin, John Alen
Chancellor, William Brabazon Vice-Treasurer, Robert Cowley Master of
the Rolls, and Thomas Cusake empowering them to undertake the work of
suppression (April 1539). "From information of trustworthy persons,"
it was stated, "it being manifestly apparent that the monasteries,
abbies, priories and other places of religious or regulars in Ireland,
are at present in such a state that in them the praise of God and the
welfare of man are next to nothing regarded; the regulars and nuns
dwelling there being so addicted, partly to their own superstitious
ceremonies, partly to the pernicious worship of idols, and to the
pestiferous doctrines of the Romish Pontiff, that, unless an effective
remedy be promptly provided, not only the weak lower order, but the
whole Irish people, may be speedily infected, to their total
destruction by such persons." To prevent such a calamity the king
resolved to take into his hands the religious houses and to disband
the monks and nuns, for which purpose he commanded the commissioners
to notify his wishes to the heads of the religious houses, to receive
their resignations and surrender of their property, to offer to those
who surrendered willingly a benefice or a pension, and "to apprehend
and punish such as adhere to the usurped authority of the Romish
Pontiff and contumaciously refuse to surrender their houses."[33] It
should be noted that from the terms of this commission it is clear
that no serious abuses or irregularities could have been charged
against the religious houses, else in the decree condemning them to
extinction something more serious would have been alleged to their
charge than adherence to their own superstitious ceremonies, to the
worship of idols, and to the Roman Pontiff. A month later Alen,
Brabazon, and Cowley were appointed to survey and value the rents and
revenues of the dissolved monasteries, to issue leases for twenty-one
years of both their spiritualities and temporalities, to reserve for
the king the plate, jewels, and ornaments, and to grant to the monks
and nuns pensions for their maintenance.[34]

Although many members of the privy council in Ireland had petitioned
more than once for such a commission, yet when rumours reached Dublin
that it had been granted, a request was forwarded from the council to
Cromwell begging him to spare St. Mary's Abbey Dublin, Christ's
Church, Grace-Dieu, Conall, Kells (Co. Kilkenny), and Jerpoint, on the
ground amongst others that "in them young men and children, both
gentlemen children and others both of man kind and woman kind, be
brought up in virtue, learning and in the English tongue and
behaviour, to the great charge of the said houses; that is to say, the
woman kind of the whole Englishry of this land, for the more part, in
the said nunnery, and the man kind in the other said houses."[35] This
petition received but scant consideration, and no wonder; because,
although the Archbishop of Dublin had agreed to it, he wrote on the
same day to Cromwell asking him for the lands of Grace-Dieu,[36] and,
according to a letter addressed to Cromwell by another prominent Irish
official, the Deputy at that very time "had obtained from the abbot of
St. Mary's leases of all the good lodgings in the monastery, and of
the farms of Ballyboghill and Portmarnock on an agreement evidently
meant to defraud the king."

Hardly had the commission been received than Browne and his companions
went to work in good earnest to carry out the task entrusted to them.
The superiors of most of the monasteries and convents situated within
the Pale or in the territories dominated by the Ormond faction
surrendered their houses at the first summons. Not even the Abbey of
St. Mary's, which petitioned for mercy on the ground that it kept open
house for poor men, scholars, and orphans, was spared,[37] nor the
priory of Conall, which boasted that though it lay among the wild
Irish it had never any brethren unless they belonged to the "very
English nation."[38] During the years 1539, 1540, and 1541 nearly all
the monasteries and convents in the territories within the
jurisdiction of the king were suppressed. Amongst the communities and
institutions that suffered were St. Mary's and the Abbey of St. Thomas
the Martyr, the Carmelite, Dominican and Franciscan houses of Dublin;
the Hospital of St. John and the Augustinians and Franciscans of Naas,
the Priories of Conall and Clane, the Hospital of Castledermott, the
Dominicans of Athy; the Franciscans of New Abbey, the Carmelites of
Cloncurry, the Abbey of Baltinglass, and the College of Maynooth, the
Priory of St. John in Kilkenny together with the houses of the
Franciscans, and Dominicans, and the Hospital for Lepers near the same
city, Jerpoint, Inistoge, Kells (Co. Kilkenny), the Carmelites of
Leighlin Bridge, Knocktopher, Thurles, Clonmel, the Augustinians of
Callan, Tipperary and Fethard, the Franciscans of Cashel and Clonmel,
the monastery of Duisk, Hore Abbey, Kilcool and Inislonagh, Mellifont,
the Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary near Trim, and of Kells, the
Priories of St. Fechin at Fore, and of Mullingar, the Hospital of St.
John of Jerusalem at Kilmainham, together with several other religious
houses at Louth, Dundalk, Drogheda, Waterford, and Carlow. At the same
time most of the convents within the English sphere of influence
surrendered their houses and possessions, amongst the last to do so
being the celebrated convent of Grace-Dieu.[39]

As a rule whenever a house was suppressed a pension was assigned to
the superior, to be paid out of the tithes of some of the
ecclesiastical livings in the gift of the monastery or priory. The
amount of the pension depended to some extent upon the value of the
property which was owned by the particular house. The Abbot of St.
Thomas the Martyr's, Dublin, received £42 Irish, the Abbot of
Mellifont £40, the Prior of Fore £50, the Abbot of Jerpoint £10, the
Prioress of Grace-Dieu £6, the Abbess of Grane £4, and the Prioress of
Termonfechin £1 6s. 8d., etc. Grants were also made to the members of
the suppressed communities, but very frequently these were very small.
Of the community of Mellifont one received £4, two £3 6s. 8d., two £2
13s. 4d., six £2, and two £1, while five of the community at Granard
received 13s. 4d., and some from other institutions received only 4s.
Many of the superiors and religious merely threw off the habit of
their order to become secular clergymen, and to accept a rectory or
vicarage in some of the churches over which their community had
enjoyed the rights of patronage.[40]

Long before the commission for suppression arrived the scramble for a
share in the plunder had begun. In this contest the Deputy, Archbishop
Browne, and the principal members of the privy council led the way.
John Alen, Master of the Rolls, was the first to profit by the
spoliation of the religious houses by getting possession of the
property of St. Wolstan's (1536), Lord Grey secured for himself the
goods and possessions of the Convent of Grane. The Earl of Ormond and
the Butler family generally enriched themselves out of the lands of
the monasteries situated in the south-eastern portion of Ireland, as
did also a host of hungry officials and gentlemen in different parts
of Ireland, such as the Cowleys, Alens, St. Legers, Lutrells,
Plunketts, Dillons, Nugents, Prestons, Berminghams, Townleys, Aylmers,
Flemings, Wyses, Eustaces, Brabazons, etc.[41] Even Patrick Barnewall,
who had resisted so strenuously the suppression of the monasteries in
1536, could not resist the temptation of sharing in the plunder. He
secured for himself a large portion of the lands and advowsons of the
Convent of Grace-Dieu. In this way the Anglo-Irish nobles were bribed
into acquiescence with the king's religious policy, and were enabled
to transmit to their descendants immense territories over which they
were to rule as hereditary landlords long after the origin of their
title had been forgotten. Similarly, in order to put an end to the
opposition of the city authorities, which had good ground to complain
of the suppressions of houses that were doing so much in the cause of
charity and education, large grants were made to the corporations of
Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, Clonmel, etc. Wealthy merchants who had
money to invest were not slow in coming forward to secure leases of
portions of the monastic land and thereby to lay the foundations of a
new so-called aristocracy. The gold and silver ornaments, the sacred
vessels, the bells, and the church plate generally were sold for the
benefit of the king, but the officials were never particularly careful
about making the proper returns. From a partial account given by the
commissioners in 1541 it appeared that from the sales of the jewels,
reliquaries, pictures, and goods of the monasteries they had received
over £2,500 (Irish) of which they had given close on £500 to the
superiors, servants, etc., and retained £375 as travelling
expenses.[42] With the submission of the Earl of Desmond, O'Brien of
Thomond, O'Donnell, etc., a more determined campaign was initiated for
the total destruction of the religious houses, and particularly of
those belonging to the Mendicants, not merely in the Pale but
throughout Ireland. A special commission was issued (Aug. 1541) to the
Earl of Desmond and others "to take inventories of, to dissolve, and
to put in safe custody, all religious houses in Limerick, Cork, Kerry,
and Desmond." In return for his activity the Earl of Desmond was
rewarded with several grants of monastic land, and even O'Brien did
not think it beneath him to share in the plunder. In some places, as
for instance in Monaghan, the Franciscan Friars were put to death. But
in the Irish districts generally the decree of suppression was not
enforced, and even in the English portions of the country the
suppression of the monasteries did not mean the extinction of the
monks. The Franciscans and Dominicans in particular seem to have been
almost as numerous at the end of the reign of Henry VIII. as they had
been before he undertook his campaign against Rome.

The whole story of these sad years is summarised in a striking if
slightly exaggerated fashion by the Four Masters. "A heresy and new
error," they say, "sprang up in England through pride, vain-glory,
avarice, and list, and through many strange sciences, so that the men
of England went into opposition to the Pope and to Rome. . . . They
styled the king the chief head of the Church of God in his own
kingdom. New laws and statutes were enacted by the king and council
according to their own will. They destroyed the orders to whom worldly
possessions were allowed, namely, the Monks, Canons, Nuns, the
Crouched Friars, and the four Mendicant Orders, namely the Friars
Minor, the Friars Preachers, the Carmelites, and the Augustinians, and
the lordships and livings of all these were seized for the king. They
broke down the monasteries and sold their roofs and their bells, so
that from Aran of the Saints to the Iccian See 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 notice or heed. They
afterward burned the images, shrines, and relics of the saints of
Ireland and England; they likewise burned the celebrated image of Mary
at Trim, which used to perform wonders and miracles, to heal the
blind, the deaf, the crippled, and persons affected with all kinds of
disease; they burned the Staff of Jesus, which was in Dublin, and
which wrought miracles from the time of St. Patrick, and had been in
the hands of Christ while He was among men. They also appointed
archbishops and 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."[43] The Annalists might have added a fact
noticed by a distinguished Protestant historian that "instead of
bestowing their [of the monasteries] incomes on the amelioration of
the Church, or expending them in providing for the religious or
secular improvement of the people in any other way, caring little
apparently for the impoverishment of the Church, he [Henry VIII.]
misapplied those revenues for the purposes of promoting his own
gratification or enriching his favourites."[44]

Very early in his reign Henry VIII. had dreamt of the complete
subjugation of Ireland, but it was only after the successful overthrow
of the Geraldine Rebellion (1534-5) that the realisation of these
dreams seemed to be within measurable reach. The boldness and military
genius of Lord Leonard Grey bade fair to bring all Ireland within the
sphere of English jurisdiction, until the religious crisis arose to
complicate the issues. Many of the Irish princes took offence at the
doctrine of royal supremacy, the attack on images, pictures,
pilgrimages, relics, etc., and at the desperate efforts that were
being made to drive out entirely the monks and nuns. During the years
1537 and 1538 rumours of a great confederation reached the ears of the
English officials. It was represented that Con O'Neill, Manus
O'Donnell, O'Brien of Thomond, the De Burgos of Connaught, and the
Earl of Desmond had joined hands to protect the young Garrett
Fitzgerald and to defend the authority of the Pope. Messengers, it was
said, were passing constantly from Ireland to Scotland, and from
Scotland to Rome. It was reported in 1539 that the Irish princes
regarded Henry VIII. as a heretic, who had forfeited all title to the
Lordship of Ireland, that they were determined to uphold the authority
of the Pope, that they expected help from the Emperor, from France,
and from Scotland, and that if an invasion were attempted not even the
Anglo-Irish of the Pale could be relied upon on account of their
attachment to the Pope and to the Geraldines.[45]

But the successful expeditions against both the North and South
undertaken by the Deputy in 1539 seems to have put an end to all
concerted defence, and to have reduced the Irish princes to a state of
utter helplessness. One after another they hastened to make their
submission, to accept titles and honours and money from the king, and
to consent to hold their territories by royal patent. Already in 1534
the Earl of Ormond had accepted the religious policy of Henry VIII. in
the hope of scoring a triumph over his old rivals, the Geraldines.
Three years later (1537) MacGillapatrick of Ossory promised faithfully
to abolish the usurped jurisdiction of the Pope, to have the English
language spoken in his territories, and to send his son to be brought
up with a knowledge of the English language and customs. In return for
this he received a royal grant of his land and possessions, was
created Baron of Colthill and Castleton, and was promised a seat in
the House of Lords, a favour which he obtained in 1543, when he was
appointed a peer[46] with the title of Baron of Upper Ossory. Brian
O'Connor of Offaly and his rival Cahir made their submission in March
1538. They renounced the jurisdiction of the Pope, agreed to hold
their lands from the king, and to abandon all claims to tribute or
black rent from their neighbours of the Pale. Brian O'Connor was
created Baron of Offaly. He was followed in his submission by the Earl
of Desmond (1541), MacWilliam Burke, O'Brien of Thomond, Manus
O'Donnell (Aug. 1541) and finally by Con O'Neill (1542). All these,
together with a host of minor chieftains and dependents, renounced the
authority of the Pope, accepted re-grants of their lands from the
king, begged for English titles, and did not think it beneath their
dignity to accept gifts of money and robes. Con O'Neill became Earl of
Tyrone, his son Matthew Baron of Dungannon, O'Brien Earl of Thomond,
his nephew Donogh Baron of Ibricken, MacWilliam Burke Earl of
Clanrickard, while knighthoods were distributed freely among the
lesser nobles.[47] Although there may have existed in the minds of the
Irish chieftains a certain amount of confusion about the temporal and
spiritual jurisdiction of the Pope, especially as the Popes seem to
have claimed a peculiar sovereignty in Ireland, yet it is impossible
to suppose that they could have acted in good faith in signing the
documents of submission to which they attached their signatures. That
they recognised the dangerous and heretical tendencies of Henry's
religious policy is evident enough from the correspondence of the
years 1537-39, and that they never made any serious efforts to carry
out the terms of these agreements must be admitted. It is quite
possible that like the noblemen of England they were personally
willing to acquiesce in Henry VIII.'s religious policy for the sake of
securing good terms for themselves, but that they found it impossible
to do anything on account of the opposition of the vast body of the
people. Henry VIII. recognised that he was not in a position to
enforce his authority in case of O'Brien, O'Donnell, O'Neill,
MacWilliam Burke, etc., and hence he advised his officials to seek to
win these over by kindness and persuasion rather than by force. In
particular they were to endeavour "to persuade them discreetly" to
suppress the religious houses in their territories, but at the same
time no attempt was to be made "to press them overmuch in any vigorous
sort."[48] O'Brien of Thomond and Desmond were not unwilling to share
in the plunder of the monasteries, but as a rule the condition of
affairs as regards religion was but slightly affected by the
submissions of the chieftains.

The new Deputy, Anthony St. Leger (1540), was well fitted to profit by
the military successes of Lord Grey. As a royal commissioner three
years before he had ample opportunity of knowing the condition of
Ireland, the characters of the principal leaders, and the inducements
by which they might be tempted to acknowledge the authority of the
King of England. He relied upon diplomatic rather than military
pressure, and he was so completely successful that the privy council
could report in 1542 that Ireland was at peace. Already in 1537, Alen,
the Master of the Rolls, had called the attention of the royal
commissioners to the fact that many of the Irish regarded the Pope as
the temporal sovereign of Ireland and the King of England only as Lord
of Ireland by virtue of the Papal authority, and advised them that
Henry should be proclaimed King of Ireland by an Act of Parliament.
This advice was approved warmly by Staples, Bishop of Meath (1538),
and was endorsed by the Deputy and council in a letter addressed to
Henry VIII. in December 1540.[49] The suggestion was accepted by the
king, who empowered St. Leger to summon a Parliament to give it effect

Parliament met in June 1541. How many members attended the House of
Commons or what particular districts were represented is not known for
certain; but in all probability it was only from the eastern and
southern counties and cities that deputies were appointed. In the
House of Lords there were present two archbishops together with twelve
bishops, the Earls of Ormond and Desmond, and a number of viscounts,
lords and barons, nearly all of whom belonged to the Anglo-Irish
faction. O'Brien of Thomond did not attend, but he sent deputies to
represent him; O'Donnell and O'Neill held themselves aloof from the
proceedings; and Donogh O'Brien, MacWilliam Burke, Cahir MacArt
Kavanagh, O'Reilly, Phelim Roe O'Neill of Clandeboy, and Kedagh O'More
attended in person, but were not allowed to take an active part in the
proceedings or to vote.[50] A bill was introduced by St. Leger
bestowing on Henry VIII. the title of King of Ireland, and was read
three times in the House of Lords in one day. The next day it was
passed by the House of Commons. It was agreed that the monarch should
be styled "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, on earth the Supreme Head." The proclamation, it was
reported, was received with joyous acclamation in Dublin, where a
modified general amnesty was declared in honour of the happy event.
The report of what had taken place produced undoubtedly a great effect
on those princes who still held aloof, so that before the end of the
year 1542 even Con O'Neill had made an ignominious peace with the

While the questions of royal supremacy and the jurisdiction of the
Pope were being debated in Parliament (1536-7) the bishops and
proctors of the clergy incurred the wrath of Browne and the English
officials generally by their courageous resistance to the new
proposals, showing thereby that they had no sympathy with the anti-
Roman measures. Nor is there any reason to suppose that any
considerable body of them adopted a different attitude, though the
submission of their English brethren could not have failed to produce
some effect on them, particularly as some of them were Englishmen
themselves, and many of them must have received their education at
some of the English universities. In addition to Browne, who boasted
of being only "a king's bishop," the only men who can be proved to
have taken an active part in propagating the new views were Edmund
Staples of Meath and Richard Nangle, the bishop whom Henry VIII.
endeavoured to intrude into Clonfert (1536). The former of these was
an Englishman appointed by the Pope (1529) at the request of Henry
VIII. As might have been expected he took the side of the king against
the Earl of Kildare, and when the struggle began in Ireland between
the friends and the opponents of royal supremacy in Ireland he joined
the former. Like so many of the other Reformers he showed his anxiety
for the gospel by taking to himself a wife and by appropriating for
his own use the goods of the Church, but there is no evidence that his
efforts produced any effect on the great body of his clergy. Richard
Nangle of Clonfert found himself opposed by Roland de Burgo, the
bishop provided by the Pope to the See of Clonfert (Feb. 1539) Browne
announced that he intended personally to carry the light of the gospel
wherever English was understood, and that he had secured a suffragan
in the person of Dr. Nangle, Bishop of Clonfert, to set forth God's
Word and the king's cause in the Irish tongue.[51] Owing to the state
of open hostility existing between Browne and Staples the archbishop
did not regard the latter as a fellow-labourer. But evidently at this
period these were the only three bishops on whom any reliance could be
placed by Henry VIII. Similarly in a document drawn up in 1542
entitled /Certain Devices for the Reformation of Ireland/, Browne and
Staples alone were mentioned as favouring the gospel or as capable of
"instructing the Irish bishops of this realm, causing them to
relinquish and renounce all popish or papistical doctrine, and to set
forth within each of their dioceses the true Word of God."[52]

But though none of the Irish bishops appointed by the Pope, with the
single exception of Staples of Meath, took any active steps to assist
the king, few of them entered the lists boldly in defence of the Roman
See, and many of them, like their English brethren, tried to temporise
in the hope that the storm might soon blow past.[53] Edmund Butler,
the illegitimate son of Sir Piers Butler, afterwards Earl of Ormond,
seems to have joined with the rest of his family in acknowledging
royal supremacy. He took a seat in the privy council, acted as
intermediary between the government and the Earl of Desmond, signed as
a witness the document by which the latter renounced the authority of
the Pope, accepted for himself portions of the property of the
suppressed Franciscan Friary at Cashel, and was present at the
Parliament of 1541.[54] Hugh O'Cervallen of Clogher was appointed by
the Pope in 1535, but he went to London in 1542 as chaplain to Con
O'Neill, surrendered his Bulls of appointment, took the oath
proscribed by Henry VIII., and accepted a grant by royal patent of his
diocese, together with a pension of £40 a year.[55] Needless to say he
was repudiated by the Pope, who appointed another to take his place,
and was driven from his See. John Quinn of Limerick was reported by
Lord Grey to have taken the oath of royal supremacy in 1538,[56] but
the Deputy's leanings towards Rome even on this journey were
proclaimed so frequently by his opponents on the council that it would
be difficult to believe him, did not the name of the Bishop of
Limerick appear amongst the witnesses to the submission of the Earl of
Desmond.[57] Though his attitude at this period was at least doubtful,
it is certain that he stood loyal to Rome once he discovered the
schismatical tendency of the new movement, since it was found
necessary by the government to attempt to displace him in 1551 by the
appointment of one who was likely to be more pliable.

The fact that some of the bishops surrendered the religious houses of
which they were commendatory priors, as for example, Edmund Nugent of
Kilmore, Milo Baron of Ossory, and Walter Wellesley of Kildare,[58]
and accepted pensions from the king as a compensation for the loss
they sustained by the suppression of the monasteries, creates a grave
suspicion of their orthodoxy, though it does not prove that they
accepted royal supremacy. Baron was undoubtedly in close communication
with the government officials, and Nugent seems to have been removed
by the Pope. Again, several of the bishops, Roland de Burgo of
Clonfert, Florence Kirwan of Clonmacnoise, Eugene MacGuinness of Down
and Connor, and Thady Reynolds of Kildare[59] surrendered the Bulls
they had received from Rome, and accepted grants of their dioceses
from the king. Such a step, however, affords no decisive evidence of
disloyalty to the Holy See. For years a sharp controversy had been
waged between the Kings of England and the Pope regarding the
temporalities of bishoprics. The Popes claimed to have the right of
appointment to both the spiritualities and the temporalities, and gave
expression to these claims in the Bulls of appointment. The kings on
their part asserted their jurisdiction over the temporalities, and to
safeguard their rights they insisted that the bishop-elect should
surrender the papal grant in return for a royal grant. Such a custom
was well known before any schismatical tendencies had made themselves
felt in England, and compliance with it would not prove that the
bishops involved looked upon the king as the source of their spiritual
jurisdiction. The main point to be considered in case of the bishops
who surrendered their monasteries or their Bulls is what kind of oath,
if any, were they obliged to take. If they consented to swear the form
of renunciation prescribed for Irish bishops by the king their
orthodoxy could not well be defended, but it is possible that, as
Henry VIII. did not wish to press matters to extremes with the Irish
princes, he may have adopted an equally prudent policy in case of the
bishops, and contented himself with the oath of allegiance.

Fully cognisant of the importance of winning the bishops to his side,
Henry VIII. took care to appoint his own nominees as soon as a vacancy
occurred. By doing so he hoped to secure the submission of the clergy
and people, and to obtain for himself the fees paid formerly to Rome.
During the ten years, between 1536 and 1546, he appointed Dominic
Tirrey to Cork, Richard Nangle to Clonfert, Christopher Bodkin,
already Bishop of Kilmacduagh to Tuam, Alexander Devereux to Ferns,
William Meagh to Kildare, Richard O'Ferral, late prior of Granard to
Ardagh, Aeneas O'Hernan (or O'Heffernan), late preceptor of Aney, to
Emly, George Dowdall, late prior of Ardee, to Armagh, Conat
O'Siaghail, a chaplain of Manus O'Donnell to Elphin, and Cornelius
O'Dea, a chaplain of O'Brien of Thomond, to Killaloe. Though there can
be little doubt that some of these received their appointments as a
reward for their acceptance of royal supremacy, it is difficult to
determine how far they were committed to the religious policy of Henry
VIII. It is certain that none of them, with the possible exception of
Nangle, took an active part in favouring the cause of the Reformation
in Ireland once they understood the real issues at stake, and that the
fact of their being opposed in every single case by a lawful bishop
appointed by the Pope rendered it impossible for them to do much,
however willing they might have been to comply with the wishes of the

During this critical period in Irish history Pope Paul III. was in
close correspondence with several of the Irish bishops and lay
princes. Time and again the officials in Ireland complain of the
"Rome-runners," of the provisions made by the Pope to Irish
bishoprics, of the messengers passing to and fro between Ireland and
Rome, and of the Pope's co-operation in organising the Geraldine
League in 1538 and 1539. It should be noted, however, that the silly
letter attributed by Robert Ware to Paul III., wherein he is supposed
to have warned O'Neill that he and his councillors in Rome had
discovered from a prophecy of St. Laserian that whenever the Church in
Ireland should fall the Church of Rome should fall also, is a pure
forgery published merely to discredit the Pope and the Roman See.[61]
Undoubtedly Paul III. was gravely concerned about the progress of a
movement that threatened to involve Ireland in the English schism, and
was anxious to encourage the bishops and princes to stand firm in
their resistance to royal supremacy. In 1539 reports reached Rome that
George Cromer, the Archbishop of Armagh, who had resisted the measures
directed against the Pope during the years 1536-38, had yielded, and
as a result the administration of the See was committed (1539) to
Robert Wauchope, a distinguished Scotch theologian then resident in
Rome. What proofs were adduced in favour of Cromer's guilt are not
known, but it is certain that the official correspondence of the
period will be searched in vain for any evidence to show that Cromer
accepted either in theory or in practice the ecclesiastical headship
of Henry VIII. He held aloof from the meetings of the privy council,
never showed the slightest sympathy with the action of the Archbishop
of Dublin, and though his name appears on some of the lists of the
spiritual peers in the Parliament of 1541, the official report of St.
Leger makes it certain that he did not attend.[62] It is quite
possible that the Archbishop did not find himself in agreement with
the political schemes whereby the Irish princes and the King of
Scotland were to join hands for the overthrow of English authority in
Ireland, and on this account the King of Scotland was desirous of
having him removed to make way for his agent at the Roman Court.

The new administrator of Armagh, Robert Wauchope, though suffering
from weak sight, was recognised as one of the ablest theologians of
his day. He took a prominent part in the religious conference at Worms
(1540) and at the Diet of Ratisbon (1541). He attended the Council of
Trent during its earlier sessions, and rendered very valuable
assistance, particularly in connexion with the decrees on
Justification. The date of his consecration cannot be determined with
certainty. Probably he was not consecrated until news of the death of
Cromer (1543) reached Rome. In 1549 he set out for Scotland, and
apparently landed on the coast of Donegal in the hope of inducing
O'Neill and O'Donnell to co-operate with the French and the Scots. His
efforts were not, however, crowned with success. Finding himself
denounced to the government by O'Neill and by George Dowdall, who had
been appointed to the See of Armagh by the king, he returned to Rome
where he was granted faculties as legate to Ireland, but he died in a
few months before he could make any attempt to regain possession of
his diocese.[63] Before the death of Cromer Henry VIII., against the
wishes of some members of his council in Ireland, who favoured the
nomination of the son of Lord Delvin, had selected George Dowdall,
late prior of Ardee, to succeed him in Armagh. Dowdall went to London,
in company with Con O'Neill, and received from the king a yearly
pension of £20 together with the promise of the Archbishopric of
Armagh.[64] Though he must have given satisfactory assurances to the
king on the question of royal supremacy, Dowdall was still in his
heart a supporter of Rome, and as shall be seen, he left Ireland for a
time rather than agree to the abolition of the Mass and the other
sweeping religious innovations that were undertaken in the reign of
Edward VI.[65]

At the urgent request of Robert Wauchope Paul III. determined to send
some of the disciples of St. Ignatius to Ireland to encourage the
clergy and people to stand firm in defence of their religion. St.
Ignatius himself drew up a set of special instructions for the
guidance of those who were selected for this important mission. The
two priests appointed for the work, Paschasius Broet and Alphonsus
Salmeron, together with Franciscus Zapata who offered to accompany
them, reached Scotland early in February 1541, and, having fortified
themselves by letters of recommendation from the King of Scotland
addressed to O'Neill and others, they landed in Ireland about the
beginning of Lent. Their report speaks badly for the religious
condition of the country at the period. They could not help noting the
fact that all the great princes, with one exception, had renounced the
authority of the Pope and had refused to hold any communications with
them, that the pastors had neglected their duty, and that the people
were rude and ignorant, though at the same time not unwilling to
listen to their instructions. In many particulars this unfavourable
report was well founded, especially in regard to the nobles, but it
should be remembered that these Jesuits remained only a few weeks in
the country, that they were utterly unacquainted with the manners and
customs of the people, and that it would have been impossible for them
to have obtained reliable information about the religious condition of
Ireland in the course of such a short visit. It should be noted, too,
that they placed the responsibility for the failure of their mission
on the King of Scotland who failed to stand by his promises.[66]

During the last years of Henry VIII.'s reign St. Leger continued his
efforts to reduce the country to subjection not by force but by
persuasion. The religious issue was not put forward prominently, and
with the exception of grants of monastic lands and possessions very
little seems to have been done. The Deputy's letters contain glowing
reports of his successes. In the course of the warm controversy that
raged between him and John Alen, the Chancellor, during the years 1546
and 1547, the various reports forwarded to England are sufficient to
show that outside the Pale the English authorities had made little
progress. Although St. Leger was able to furnish a striking testimony
from the council as to his success, and although a letter was sent by
the Irish princes in praise of Henry VIII.[67] (1546), proofs are not
wanting that Henry's policy had met with only partial success.
According to a letter sent by Archbishop Browne in 1546 the Irish
people were not reconciled to English methods of government, and
according to the chancellor, the king's writ did not run in the Irish
districts. The Irishmen who pretended to submit did not keep to their
solemn promises. They still followed their own native laws regardless
of English statutes, and the king could not get possession of the
abbeys or abbey lands situated within their territories. Even the
council, which sought to defend the Deputy against these attacks, was
forced to admit that his Majesty's laws were not current in the Irish
districts.[68] One of the last steps taken by the council at the
suggestion of Henry VIII. was the appointment of a vice-regent in
spirituals for the clergy, to grant dispensations as they were granted
in England by Cranmer, so as to prevent the Irish from having recourse
to Rome for such grants.[69]

Henry VIII. died with the knowledge that he had done more than any of
his predecessors for the subjugation of Ireland. "The policy that was
devised," writes Cusacke, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, "for the sending
of the Earls of Desmond, Thomond, Clanrickard, and Tyrone, and the
Baron of Upper Ossory, O'Carroll, MacGennis, and others into England,
was a great help of bringing those countries to good order; for none
of them who went into England committed harm upon the King's Majesty's
subjects. The winning of the Earl of Desmond was the winning of the
rest of Munster with small charges. The making of O'Brien an Earl made
all that country obedient. The making of MacWilliam Earl of
Clanrickard made all that country during his time obedient as it is
now. The making of MacGillapatrick Baron of Upper Ossory hath made his
country obedient; and the having their lands by Dublin is such a gage
upon them as they will not forfeit the same through wilful folly."[70]
As far as religion was concerned, however, there was very little
change. The Mass was celebrated and the Sacraments were administered
as before. Here and there some of the bishops and clergy might have
been inclined to temporise on the question of royal supremacy, but
whatever documents they might have signed, or whatever appointments
they might have accepted from Henry's agents, the vast body of the
princes, bishops, clergy, and people had no desire to separate
themselves from the universal Church. Henry VIII. had, however,
rendered unintentionally an immense service to religion in Ireland by
preparing the way for the destruction of royal interference in
episcopal and other ecclesiastical appointments and of the terrible
abuse of lay patronage that had been the curse of the Catholic Church
in Ireland for centuries. All these abuses having been transferred to
the small knot of English officials and Anglo-English residents, who
coalesced to form the Protestant sect, the Catholic Church was at last
free to pursue her peaceful mission without let or hindrance from

The accession of Edward VI. made no notable change in Irish affairs.
The Deputy, St. Leger, was retained in office, as were also most of
the old officials. Some new members, including George Dowdall,
Archbishop of Armagh, were added to the council, and arrangements were
made for the collection of the revenues from the suppressed
monasteries and religious houses. A royal commission was issued to the
Deputy, the Lord Chancellor, and the Bishop of Meath to grant
faculties and dispensations in as ample a manner as the Archbishop of
Canterbury. From the terms of this commission it is clear that the
royal advisers were determined to derive some financial profit from
the royal supremacy. The fee for dispensations for solemnising
marriage without the proclamation of the banns was fixed at 6s. 8d.
(about £3 4s.), for marriage within the prohibited times at 10s., for
marriage within the prohibited times and without banns at 13s. 4d.,
and for marriages to be celebrated without the parish church of the
contracting parties at 5s.[71] Similarly, an order was sent that the
plate and ornaments of St. Patrick's Cathedral should be dispatched by
some trustworthy messenger to Bristol, there to be delivered to the
treasurer of the mint. This command must not have been carried out
completely, because seven months later (Jan. 1548) the Dean of St.
Patrick's was requested to deliver over for the use of the mint the
"one thousand ounces of plate of crosses and such like things" that
remained in his hands.[72]

From the very beginning of Edward's reign the Protector set himself to
overthrow the Catholic Church in Ireland by suppressing the Mass and
enforcing the Lutheran or rather the Calvinist teaching regarding
Transubstantiation and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
The /Injunctions/ of Edward VI. and the /Homilies/ of Cranmer were
dispatched for the guidance of the Archbishop of Dublin, and of those
who, like him, were supposed to favour religious innovations. In like
manner the English Communion service (1548) and the First Book of
Common Prayer (1549) were made obligatory in those districts where the
English language was spoken or understood. As in England, the great
subject of controversy in Ireland during the early years of Edward's
reign was the Blessed Eucharist. A Scotch preacher had been sent into
Ireland during the year 1548 to prepare the way for the abolition of
the Mass by attacking the Real Presence of Christ in the Sacrament of
the Altar. The Archbishop of Dublin, who had been noted previously for
his radical tendencies, objected to such doctrines, and complaints
were forwarded against him to the council. He was charged with having
leased or otherwise disposed of the greater portion of the property of
his diocese to his children and favourites, with having failed to set
forth his Majesty's /Injunctions/ and /Homilies/, with having
calumniated the Deputy and held secret communications with the Earl of
Desmond and other Irish princes, and with having neglected to preach a
single sermon between November 1547 and September 1548, when he took
occasion to inveigh against the Scotch preacher who condemned "the
abuse of the Bishop of Rome's masses and ceremonies."[73] About the
same time the Deputy felt obliged to reprove the Treasurer of Christ's
Church for having refused to allow the English Communion Service to be
followed in that church, and to warn him of the punishment in store
for him if he persisted in his obstinacy.

But if Browne were somewhat backward in adapting himself to the new
theories, his rival, Staples of Meath, who had prided himself hitherto
on his conservative tendencies, hastened to the relief of the
government. He went to Dublin to support the Scotch preacher in his
attack on the Mass and the Blessed Eucharist, but if we are to believe
his own story his stay in Dublin was hardly less agreeable than was
the welcome that awaited him on his return to Meath. His friends
assured him that the country was up in arms against him. A lady, whose
child he had baptised and named after himself, sought to change the
name of her baby, for she "would not have him bear the name of a
heretic." A gentleman would not permit his child to be confirmed by
one who had denied the Sacrament of the Altar. Many people who heard
that the bishop was going to preach at Navan the following Sunday
declared their intention of absenting themselves lest they should
learn heresy. A clergyman of his own promotion came to him in tears,
and having asked permission to speak his mind freely, informed him
that he was detested by the people since he had taken the side of the
heretics and preached against the Eucharist and Saints, that the
curses poured out upon him were more numerous than the hairs of his
head, and that he would do well to take heed as his life was in

Sir Edward Bellingham succeeded St. Leger as Deputy, and arrived in
May 1548. During the early months of his term of office he was busily
engaged against the O'Connors of Offaly, the O'Carrolls, and others,
who threatened the Pale once more. His efforts were crowned with
considerable success, and during the year 1549 he found himself in a
position to push forward with the religious campaign. From inquiries
made he learned that in all Munster, Thomond, Connaught, and Ulster
the monasteries and other religious establishments remained, and that
they followed still the old religious practices.[75] He wrote to the
secretary of the Protector asking him to inform his master of the lack
of good shepherds in Ireland "to illuminate the hearts of the flock of
Christ with His most true and infallible word," taking care at the
same time to recommend the Protector to appoint the clergymen who had
been brought over from England to vacant bishoprics, so that the
public funds might be relieved by the withdrawal of their pensions.
The mayor and corporation of Kilkenny were ordered to see that the
priests of the city should assemble to meet the Deputy and members of
the council. They promised that all the clergy should be present
without fail, but, as shall be seen, the instructions of Sir Edward
Bellingham and his colleagues produced but little effect even in the
very stronghold of the Ormonds (1549). Walter Cowley was sent on a
commission into the diocese of Cashel to "abolish idolatry, papistry,
the Mass Sacrament and the like," but he complained that the
archbishop, instead of being present to assist him, tarried in Dublin
although he had been warned that his presence was required.[76] The
truth is that, though the archbishop, as one of the Butlers, was
willing to go to great lengths in upholding the policy of Edward VI.,
he had no intention of taking part in a campaign against the Mass or
the Blessed Eucharist.[77] The latter written by this prelate (Feb.
1548), in which he praised highly the conduct of Walter Cowley, who
played such a prominent part in the suppression of the monasteries and
the seizure of ecclesiastical property, is often quoted as a proof
that he was strongly in favour of the Reformation, but such a
statement could be made only by one who has failed to understand the
difference between Ormondism and Protestantism, and the relations of
both Cowley and the archbishop to the former.

Bellingham was recalled to England in 1549, and soon after his
departure new disturbances broke out in Ireland. Desmond and O'Brien
were regarded as unreliable; a union between the two great rival
families of the Ormonds and the Desmonds was not improbable, and to
make matters worse, news arrived in Dublin that Robert Wauchope, the
papal Archbishop of Armagh, had arrived in the North to bring about a
league between O'Donnell, O'Neill, the Scotch, and the French (1550).
Dowdall, who had been introduced into Armagh by royal authority,
reported the presence of his rival in Innishowen, and O'Neill and
Manus O'Donnell pledged themselves to resist the invaders. The council
hastened to thank the northern chieftains for their refusal to hold
correspondence with the French emissaries, who had accompanied
Wauchope, and warned them that the French intended to reduce the Irish
to a state of slavery, and that the French nobility were so savage and
ferocious that it would be much better to live under the Turkish yoke
than under the rule of France.[78]

In July 1550 St. Leger was sent once more as Deputy to Ireland. He was
instructed "to set forth God's service according to our (the king's)
ordinances in English, in all places where the inhabitants, or a
convenient number of them, understand that tongue; where the
inhabitants did not understand it, the English is to be translated
truly into the Irish tongue, till such time as the people might be
brought to understand English." But as usual the financial side of the
Reformation was not forgotten. The Deputy was commanded to give order
that no sale or alienation be made of any church goods, bells, or
chantry and free chapel lands without the royal assent, and that
inventories were to be made in every parish of such goods, ornaments,
jewels, and bells, of chantry or free chapel lands, and of all other
lands given to any church, "lest some lewd persons might embezzle the
same."[79] On his arrival in Dublin St. Leger found affairs in a very
unsatisfactory condition. "I never saw the land," he wrote, "so far
out of good order, for in the forts [there] are as many harlots as
soldiers, and [there was during] these three years no kind of divine
service, neither communion, nor yet other service, having but one
sermon made in that space, which the Bishop of Meath made, who had so
little reverence at that time, as he had no great haste since to
preach there."[80] Rumours were once more afloat that the French and
Scotch were about to create a diversion in Ireland. A large French
fleet was partially wrecked off the Irish coast, and some of the
Geraldine agents in Paris boasted openly that the Irish princes were
determined to "either stand or die for the maintenance of religion and
for the continuance of God's service in such sort as they had received
it from their fathers."[81]

While St. Leger was not slow in taking measures to resist a foreign
invasion, he did not neglect the instructions he had received about
introducing the Book of Common Prayer in place of the Mass. He
procured several copies of the English service and sent them to
different parts of the country, but instead of having it translated
into Irish he had it rendered into Latin for the use of those
districts which did not understand English, in the hope possibly that
he might thereby deceive the people by making them believe that it was
still the Mass to which they had been accustomed. Apparently, however,
the new liturgy met with a stubborn resistance. In Limerick, although
the city authorities were reported to be favourable, the Bishop, John
Quinn, refused to give his consent to the proposed change, and
throughout the country generally the Deputy was forced to confess that
it was hard to plant the new religion in men's minds. He requested
that an express royal command should be addressed to the people
generally to accept the change, and that a special commission should
be given to himself to enforce the liturgy.[82]

The formal order for the introduction of the English service was
forwarded to St. Leger in February 1551, and was promulgated in the
beginning of March. Bishop Quinn of Limerick was forced to resign the
temporalities of his See to make way for William Casey, who was
expected to be more compliant. A number of bishops and clergy were
summoned to meet in conference in Dublin to consider the change. At
this conference the reforming party met with the strongest opposition
from the Primate of Armagh. Although George Dowdall had accepted the
primatial See from the hands of the king and had tried to unite
loyalty to Rome and to Henry VIII., he had no intention of supporting
an heretical movement having for its object the abolition of the Mass.
From the very beginning of the Protector's rule he had adopted an
attitude of hostility to the proposed changes, as is evident from the
friendly letter of warning addressed to him by the Lord Deputy
Bellingham.[83] The Primate defended steadfastly the jurisdiction of
the Bishop of Rome, and refused to admit that the king had any
authority to introduce such sweeping reforms by virtue of his office.
Finding that his words failed to produce any effect on the Deputy he
left the conference, together with his suffragans, except Staples of
Meath, and repaired to his own diocese to encourage the people and
clergy to stand firm. St. Leger then handed the royal commission to
Browne, who declared that he submitted to the king "as Jesus Christ
did to Caesar, in all things just and lawful, making no question why
or wherefore, as we own him our true and lawful king."[84]

Though St. Leger pretended to be a strong supporter of the new
religion, yet, according to Archbishop Browne, he contented himself
with the formal promulgation of the royal orders. He himself on his
arrival in Ireland assisted publicly at Mass in Christ's Church, "to
the comfort of his too many like Papists, and to the discouragement of
the professors of God's word." He allowed the celebration of Mass,
holy water, Candlemas candles, and such like to continue in the
diocese of the Primate and elsewhere without protest or punishment. He
seemed, even, to take the side of the Primate at the council board,
and sent a message to the Earl of Tyrone "to follow the counsell and
advice of that good father, sage senator and godly bishop, my lord
Primate in everything." He went so far as to present the Archbishop of
Dublin with a number of books written in defence of the Mass and
Transubstantiation, and when the archbishop ventured to remonstrate
with him on his want of zeal for God's word the only reply he received
was, "Go to, go to, your matters of religion will mar all."[85] St.
Leger's main object was the pacification of the country and the
extension of English power, both of which, he well knew, would be
endangered by any active campaign against the Mass.

St. Leger was recalled, and Sir James Crofts, who had been sent on a
special commission to Ireland a few months earlier, was appointed
Deputy in his place (April 1551). His instructions in regard to the
Book of Common Prayer and the inventory of the confiscated church
plate were couched in terms similar to those given to his
predecessor.[86] Anxious from the beginning to conciliate Primate
Dowdall, he forwarded to him a respectful letter (June 1551) calling
his attention to the respect paid by Christ Himself and St. Peter to
the imperial authority, offering his services as mediator between the
Primate and his opponents, Browne and Staples, and warning him of the
likelihood of much more serious changes, which he (the Deputy) pledged
himself if possible to resist.[87] To this communication the Primate
sent an immediate reply, in which he offered to meet his opponents in
conference, though he could hold out no hope of agreement, as their
"judgments, opinions, and consciences were different."[88]

The conference took place at St. Mary's Abbey in the presence of the
Deputy. The Archbishop of Dublin, Staples of Meath, and Thomas
Lancaster, who had been intruded into the See of Kildare by royal
authority, attended to defend the new teaching against the Primate.
The subjects discussed were the Mass and the Blessed Virgin. Staples
took the leading part on the side of the Reformers, and, as Dowdall
had anticipated, no agreement could be arrived at. The Primate
appealed to the terms of the oath of loyalty to the Pope taken by both
himself and his opponents at their consecration, but Staples had no
difficulty in proclaiming that he refused to consider himself bound by
this oath. The meeting broke up without any result.[89] Dowdall,
having forwarded a declaration to the Lord Chancellor that he could
never be bishop where the Holy Mass was abolished, fled from Ireland.
Browne wrote immediately to the Earl of Warwick beseeching him to
confer on Dublin all the primatial rights enjoyed hitherto by Armagh,
while the Deputy sought for instructions about the vacant See of
Armagh (Nov. 1551).[90] Dowdall was deprived of his diocese, and the
Primacy was transferred to Dublin (1551).

Still Crofts was forced to admit that the Reformation was making but
little progress in Ireland. The bishops and clergy gave him no
support, and in spite of all he could do "the old ceremonies" were
continued. He besought his friends in England to send over reliable
men from England to fill the vacant bishoprics and to set forth the
"king's proceeding," or if they could not do that, to send some
learned men to remain with him by whose counsel he might better direct
"the blind and obstinate bishops." The Sees of Armagh, Cashel, and
Ossory were then vacant, and, as the Deputy pointed out, it was of
vital importance to the Reformers that reliable priests should be
appointed. Cranmer nominated four clerics for the See of Armagh, from
whom the king selected Richard Turner, a vicar in Kent. But he
declined the honour, preferring to run the risk of being hanged by
rebels than to go to Armagh, where he should be obliged to "preach to
the walls and the stalls, for the people understand no English."
Cranmer tried to re-assure him by reminding him "that if he wilt take
the pains 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."
Notwithstanding this glorious prospect Turner remained obdurate in his
refusal, and at last Armagh was offered to and accepted by one Hugh
Goodacre.[91] Cashel was, apparently, considered still more hopeless,
and as nobody upon whom the government could rely was willing to take
the risk, the See was left vacant during the remainder of Edward VI.'s
reign. Though Crofts was strongly in favour of the new religion, he
had the temerity to suggest that Thomas Leverous, the tutor and former
protector of the young heir of Kildare, should be appointed to Cashel
or Ossory. "For learning, discretion, and good living," he wrote, "he
is the meekest man in this realm, and best able to preach both in the
English and the Irish tongue. I heard him preach such a sermon as in
my simple opinion, I heard not in many years."[92]

But as Leverous was well known to be not only a Geraldine but also a
strong Papist the Deputy's recommendation was set at nought, and the
See of Ossory was conferred on John Bale. The latter was an
ex-Carmelite friar, who, according to himself, was won from the
ignorance and blindness of papistry by a temporal lord, although
according to others, "his wife Dorothy had as great a hand in that
happy work as the Lord." On account of his violent and seditious
sermons he was thrown into prison, from which he was released by
Cromwell, with whom he gained great favour by his scurrilous and
abusive plays directed against the doctrines and practices of the
Church. On the fall of his patron in 1540 Bale found it necessary to
escape with his wife and children to Germany, whence he returned to
England after the death of Henry VIII. He was a man of considerable
ability, "with little regard for truth if he could but increase the
enemies of Popery," and so coarse and vulgar in his language and ideas
that his works have been justly described by one whose Protestantism
cannot be questioned as a "dunghill."[93]

The consecration of Goodacre and Bale was fixed for February 1553, and
the consecrating prelates were to be Browne, Lancaster, who had been
intruded by the king into Kildare, and Eugene Magennis of Down. At the
consecration ceremony itself a peculiar difficulty arose. Although the
First Book of Common Prayer had been legalised in Ireland by royal
proclamation, the Ordinal and the Second Book of Common Prayer had
never been enforced by similar warrant, and their use was neither
obligatory nor lawful. Bale demanded, however, that they should be
followed. When the dean of Christ's Church insisted on the use of the
Roman Ordinal, he was denounced by the bishop-elect as "an ass-headed
dean and a blockhead who cared only for his belly," and when Browne
ventured to suggest that the ceremony should be delayed until a
decision could be sought, he was attacked as "an apicure," whose only
object was "to take up the proxies of any bishopric to his own
gluttonous use." The violence of Bale carried all before it even to
the concession of common bread for the Communion Service.[94]

Goodacre was by English law the Archbishop of Armagh, but the
threatening attitude of Shane O'Neill prevented him from ever having
the pleasure of seeing his own cathedral. Bale was, however, more
fortunate. He made his way to Kilkenny where he proceeded to destroy
the images and pictures in St. Canice's, and to rail against the Mass
and the Blessed Eucharist, but only to find that his own chapter, the
clergy, and the vast majority of the people were united in their
opposition to him.

[1] /State Papers Hen. VIII./, ii., 9.

[2] /State Papers/, ii., 197.

[3] Gasquet, /Henry VIII. and the English Monasteries/, p. 51.

[4] /State Papers/, ii., 465, 539; iii., 1, 5, 8, 29, 35, 65. Bagwell,
    i., 379 sqq.

[5] This account of the Parliament, 1536-7, is taken from Brewer's
    /Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII./, vols. x.,
    xi., xii. The references can be found under the respective dates.

[6] For the account of the proceedings of this Commission, cf.
    /Letters and Papers of Henry VIII./ xii., pt. ii., pp. 294-316.

[7] /Letters and Papers Hen. VIII./, xii., pt. i., no. 1447; pt. ii.,

[8] /State Papers/, ii., 465-6.

[9] /Letter of Browne to Cromwell/, Id., 539-41.

[10] /Letters and Papers Henry VIII./, xiii., pt. i., no. 961.

[11] /State Papers/, ii., 570.

[12] Id., iii., 6.

[13] Id., ii., 516. /Letters/, etc., xii., pt. 1, 159, 658, 769;
    xiii., pt. 1, 1420.

[14] /State Papers/, iii., 1-3.

[15] /State Papers/, iii., 8, 29, 31.

[16] /Letters and Papers/, xii., pt. 2, no. 64.

[17] /State Papers/, ii., 560.

[18] Grey to Henry VIII., 26 July, 1538. Id. iii., 57 sqq.

[19] Browne to Cromwell, iii., 122-4.

[20] Id., 63-65.

[21] /State Papers/, ii., 570.

[22] /State Papers/, iii., 110.

[23] Id., iii., 18.

[24] /State Papers/, iii., 122.

[25] /State Papers/, iii., 35.

[26] Id., iii., 95.

[27] Id., iii., 103.

[28] /Annals of F. M./, 1537; /of Loch Cé/, 1538 (correct date,

[29] /Hib. Dominiciana/, pp. 726-52.

[30] /Letters and Papers Hen. VIII./, vol. xi., no. 1416.

[31] /Irish Statutes/, i., 127-32.

[32] /State Papers/, ii., 438.

[33] /Calendar of Patent Rolls, Ireland/, i., 55.

[34] /Calendar of Patent Rolls, Ireland/, i., 54-55.

[35] /State Papers/, iii., 130.

[36] /Letters and Papers/, xiv., 1st pt., no. 1006.

[37] /State Papers/, iii., 142-3.

[38] /Letters and Papers/, xiv., pt. 1, no. 1021.

[39] For surrenders, cf. /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 53-9.
    /Calendar of State Papers, Ireland (1509-73)/, 56-58.

[40] For the pensions granted to the religious, cf. /Fiants of Henry
    VIII./ (App. Seventh Report Public Rec. Office). /Calendar of
    Patent Rolls, Ireland/, i., 59 sqq.

[41] For these grants, cf. /Fiants of Henry VIII. Seventh Report of D.
    Keeper of P. R., Ireland./

[42] /Letters and Papers/, xvi., no. 775.

[43] Under year 1537. The date is not correct.

[44] Mant, /Church History of Ireland/, 1846, ii., 713.

[45] /State Papers/, iii., 56-7, 136-7, 147, 175-6.

[46] /State Papers/, ii., 514-5.

[47] Cf. /State Papers/, vol. iii. /Letters and Papers Henry VIII./,
    xiii.-xvii. /Calendar of Documents, Ireland (1537-41)/. /Calendar
    of Carew Manuscripts/, vol. i.

[48] /State Papers/, iii., 332-3.

[49] Cf. /State Papers/, ii., 480; iii., 30, 278.

[50] /Letters and Papers/, xvi., no. 935. There is a clear discrepancy
    between this document and the official report of St. Leger (/State
    Papers/, iii., 305) in regard to the ecclesiastics present.

[51] /State Papers/, iii., 123.

[52] Id., 431.

[53] Gogarty, /The Dawn of the Reformation in Ireland/ (/Ir. Th.
    Quart./, viii.).

[54] Cf. /State Papers/, vol. iii., 427 sqq., /Letters and Papers Hen.
    VIII./, xvi. p. 225, /Fiants of Hen. VIII./ (157, 387).

[55] /State Papers/, iii., 429.

[56] /Letters and Papers/, xii., pt. 1, no. 1467.

[57] Id., xvi., p. 225.

[58] Cf. /Fiants of Henry VIII./, nos. 104, 108, 147.

[59] Cf. Id., nos. 187, 262-3, 378.

[60] For these appointments, cf. /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i.,

[61] Bridgett, /Blunders and Forgeries/, 1890, 244.

[62] /State Papers/, iii., 305.

[63] Cf. Stuart-Coleman, /Historical Memoirs of Armagh/, xi., Moran,
    /Spicileg. Ossiriense/, i., 13-32.

[64] /State Papers/, iii., 429.

[65] Stuart-Coleman, xi. Gogarty, /Documents Concerning Primate
    Dowdall/, (/Archiv. Hib./, vols. i., ii.).

[66] Hogan, /Hibernia Ignatiana/, 1880, 6-8.

[67] /State Papers/, iii., 562. It is very probable, both from
    internal and external evidence, that this letter is a forgery.

[68] /State Papers/, iii., 555-66.

[69] Id., 580 sqq.

[70] /Carew Papers (1515-74)/, 245-6.

[71] /Calendar of Patent and Close Rolls/, i., 150.

[72] Shirley, /Original Letters and Papers/, 3, 31.

[73] Shirley, /Original Letters and Papers/, 18, 20.

[74] Id., 22-25.

[75] Shirley, /Original Letters and Papers/, 22.

[76] Id., 32-5.

[77] Shirley, /Original Letters and Papers/, 35. Renehan-McCarthy,
    /Collections on Irish Church History/, vol. i., 239.

[78] /Calendar of State Papers/ (Ireland), i., 107.

[79] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 226-7.

[80] Shirley, op. cit., 41-2.

[81] Bagwell, /Ireland under the Tudors/, i., 352.

[82] Shirley, op. cit., 47-8.

[83] /Archiv. Hib./, i., 260.

[84] Cf. /Archiv. Hib./, i., 264-76. Cox, /Hib. Anglicana/, 288-90.
    The report of the Conference is evidently garbled. It is due
    probably to the pen of Robert Ware.

[85] Shirley, op. cit., 54-60.

[86] /Calendar Carew Papers/, i., 231.

[87] /Archiv. Heb./, ii., 245.

[88] Id., 246.

[89] /Archiv. Hib./, ii., 246-55. (A very partial account of the

[90] Shirley, op. cit., 58-61.

[91] Bagwell, op. cit., i., 369.

[92] Shirley, op. cit., 62.

[93] Ware's /Works/, i., 416-17.

[94] From his own account in /Vocacyon of John Bale/, etc. (/Harl.
    Miscell./, vi.).



  See bibliography, ii. Hamilton, /Calendar of State Papers,
  Ireland/, 4 vols. /Calendar of State Papers/ (Carew), 6 vols.,
  1867-73. /Archivium Hibernicus/, vols. i., ii., iii. (1912-14).
  Moran, /Spicil. Ossor. Id./, Editions of the /Commentarius de
  Regno Hiberniae/ (Lombard), 1863, and of the /Analecta/ (Rothe),
  1884. O'Sullevan, /Historiae Catholicae Iberniae Compendium/ (ed.
  Kelly), 1850. Bruodin, /Passio Martyrum/, 1666. Molanus, /Idea
  togatae constantiae . . . cui adjungilur tripartita martyrum
  Britannicarum insularum epitome/, 1629. Shirley, op. cit. Brady,
  /State Papers Concerning the Irish Church in the Time of Queen
  Elizabeth/, 1866. Cotton, /Fasti Ecclesiae Hiberniae/, 6 vols.,
  1851-78. Hogan, /The Description of Ireland, etc., in 1598/, 1878.
  O'Daly-Meehan, /The Rise, Increase, and Exile of the Geraldines,
  Earls of Desmond/, etc., 1878. Spenser, /View of the State of
  Ireland/, 1633. Lynch-Kelly, /Cambrensis Eversus/, etc., 3 vols.,
  1848. /Liber Munerum publicorum Hiberniae/, 1152-1824, 2 vols.,
  1848. Gilbert, /History of the City of Dublin/, 3 vols., 1859.
  Id., /Facsimiles of National MSS. of Ireland/, 4 vols., 1875.
  Lodge, /Desiderata Curiosa Hibernica/, etc., 2 vols., 1772.
  /Pacata Hibernia/, 1633.

The death of Edward VI. (6 July 1553) and the accession of Queen Mary
put an end for the time being to the campaign against the Catholic
Church. The party of the Earl of Northumberland made a feeble attempt
in Ireland, as they had done in England, to secure the succession for
Lady Jane Grey, but their efforts produced no effect. On the 20th July
the privy council in England sent a formal order for the proclamation
of Queen Mary, together with an announcement that she had been
proclaimed already in London as Queen of England, France, and Ireland,
Defender of the Faith, and on earth Supreme Head of the Churches of
England and Ireland.[1] This command was obeyed promptly in Dublin and
in the chief cities in Ireland. In Kilkenny Lord Mountgarret and Sir
Richard Howth ordered that a Mass of thanksgiving should be
celebrated, and when Bale refused to allow such idolatry they informed
the clergy that they were no longer bound to obey the bishop. Mary was
proclaimed in Kilkenny (20 Aug.), and on the following day the clergy
and people took possession of the Cathedral of St. Canice. Crowds of
the citizens proceeded to attack the palace of the bishop, so that it
was only with the greatest difficulty that the Mayor of Kilkenny was
able to save his life by sending him to Dublin at night under the
protection of an armed escort. From Dublin Bale succeeded in making
his escape to Holland, from which he proceeded to Basle, where he
spent his time in libelling the Catholic religion and the Irish clergy
and people.

Shortly after the coronation of Queen Mary Sir Thomas St. Leger was
sent over to Ireland as Deputy with instructions that he was to take
steps immediately for the complete restoration of the Catholic
religion. Primate Dowdall was recalled from exile, and restored to his
See of Armagh; the primacy, which had been taken from Armagh in the
previous reign owing to the hostile attitude adopted by Dowdall
towards the religious innovations, was restored, and various grants
were made to him to compensate him for the losses he had sustained.[2]
In April 1554 a royal commission was issued to Dowdall and William
Walsh, formerly prior of the Cistercian Abbey of Bective, to remove
the clergy who had married from their benefices. In virtue of this
commission Browne of Dublin, Staples of Meath, Thomas Lancaster of
Kildare, and Travers, who had been intruded into the See of Leighlin,
were removed. Bale of Ossory had fled already, and Casey of Limerick
also succeeded in making his escape. O'Cervallen of Clogher, who had
been deposed by the Pope, was driven from his diocese, and an inquiry
was set on foot at Lambeth Palace before Cardinal Pole to determine
who was the lawful Archbishop of Tuam. Christopher Bodkin, Bishop of
Kilmacduagh, had been appointed to Tuam by the king in 1536, while two
years later Arthur O'Frigil, a canon of Raphoe, received the same See
by papal provision. At the inquiry before Cardinal Pole it was proved
that though Bodkin had contracted the guilt of schism he had done so
more from fear than from conviction, that he had been always a stern
opponent of heresy, and that in the city and diocese of Tuam the new
opinions had made no progress. Apparently, as a result of the inquiry,
an agreement was arranged whereby Bodkin was allowed to retain
possession of Tuam.[3] The other bishops were allowed to retain their
Sees without objection, a clear proof that their orthodoxy was

In place of those who had been deposed, Hugh Curwen, an Englishman,
was appointed to Dublin, William Walsh, one of the royal
commissioners, to Meath, Thomas Leverous, the former tutor of the
young Garrett Fitzgerald, to Kildare, Thomas O'Fihil, an Augustinian
Hermit, to Leighlin, and John O'Tonory, a Canon Regular of St.
Augustine, to Ossory, while John Quinn of Limerick, who had been
forced to resign the See of Limerick during the reign of Edward VI.,
was apparently restored. The selection of Curwen to fill the
archiepiscopal See of Dublin was particularly unfortunate. However
learned he might have been, or however distinguished his ancestry, he
was not remarkable for the fixity of his religious principles. During
the reign of Henry VIII. he had acquired notoriety by his public
defence of the royal divorce, as well as by his attacks on papal
supremacy, though, like Henry, he was a strong upholder of the Real
Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, and of Transubstantiation. Like a
true courtier he changed his opinions immediately on the accession of
Queen Mary, and he was rewarded by being promoted to Dublin and
appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland (1555). The Cathedral Chapter of
St. Patrick's that had been suppressed was restored to "its pristine
state;" new dignitaries and canons were appointed, and much of the
possessions that had been seized were returned.[4]

The Mass and Catholic ceremonies were restored without any opposition
in those churches in Dublin and Leinster into which the English
service had been introduced. A provincial synod was held in Dublin by
the new archbishop (1556) to wipe out all traces of heresy and schism.
Primate Dowdall had convoked previously a synod of the Northern
Provinces at Drogheda to undertake a similar work. In this assembly it
was laid down that all priests who had attempted to marry during the
troubles of the previous reign should be deprived of their benefices
and suspended; that the clergy who had adopted the heretical rites in
the religious celebrations and in the administration of the Sacraments
should be admitted to pardon in case they repented of their crimes and
could prove that their fall was due to fear rather than conviction;
that all the ancient rites and ceremonies of the Church in regard to
crosses, images, candles, thuribles, canonical hours, Mass, the
administration of the sacraments, fast days, holidays, holy water, and
blessed bread should be restored; that the Book of Common Prayer,
etc., should be burned, and that the Primate and the bishops of the
province should appoint inquisitors in each diocese, to whom the
clergy should denounce those who refused to follow the Catholic
worship and ceremonies. Arrangements were also made to put an end to
abuses in connexion with the bestowal of benefices on laymen and
children, with the appointment of clerics to parishes and dignities by
the Holy See on the untrustworthy recommendation of local noblemen,
with the excessive fees charged by some of the clergy, with the
neglect of those whose duty it was to contribute to the repairs of the
parish churches, and with the failure of some priests to wear a
becoming clerical dress.[5]

In July 1556 Lord Fitzwalter was sent to Ireland as Deputy. "Our said
Deputy and Council," according to the royal instructions, "shall by
their own good example and all other good means to them possible,
advance the honour of Almighty God, the true Catholic faith and
religion, now by God's great goodness and special grace recovered in
our realms of England and Ireland, and namely they shall set forth the
honour and dignity of the Pope's Holiness and Apostolic See of Rome,
and from time to time 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." They were commanded, too, to assist the commissioners and
officials whom Cardinal Pole as papal legate intended to send shortly
to make a visitation of the clergy and people of Ireland.[6] On the
arrival of the new Deputy in Dublin he went in state to Christ's
Church to assist at Mass, after the celebration of which he received
the sword of state from his predecessor before the altar, and took the
oath in presence of the archbishop. "That done, the trumpets sounded
and drums beat, and then the Lord Deputy kneeled down before the altar
until the /Te Deum/ was ended."[7]

The new Deputy was instructed to take measures for summoning a meeting
of Parliament in the following year to give legal sanction to the
restoration of the Catholic religion, and to deal with the
ecclesiastical property that had been seized. Possibly in the hope of
securing some of these again for the Church a commission was issued to
the Archbishop of Dublin, the Bishop of Kildare, and a number of
clerics and laymen "to inquire concerning the chalices, crosses,
ornaments, bells, and other property belonging to the parish churches
or chapels in the county of the city and county of Dublin and of sales
made thereof to any person or persons, the price, in whose hands they
then remained, and also in whose possession were the houses, lands,
and tenements, belonging to those churches." Similar commissions were
issued to others for the counties of Drogheda and Louth, Kildare,
Carlow, Wexford, Kilkenny, Meath, Westmeath, Waterford, Tipperary,
Limerick, Cork, and "for the county of Connaught."[8]

In June 1557 the Irish Parliament met. A Bull of absolution from the
penalties of heresy and schism was read by the Archbishop of Dublin on
bended knees, while the Lord Deputy, officials, and members, both
Peers and Commoners, knelt around him. When this ceremony was finished
all retired to the cathedral, where the /Te Deum/ was sung in
thanksgiving, and all pledged themselves as a sign of their sincere
repentance to abolish all the laws that had been passed against the
Holy See. The acts prejudicial to the rights of the Pope enacted since
the year 1529 were abolished. The title of supreme head of the church,
it was declared, "never was or could be justly or lawfully attributed
or acknowledged to any king or sovereign governor, nor in any wise
could or might rightfully, justly, or lawfully, by the king or
sovereign governor of the same realms, be claimed, challenged, or
used." "All Bulls, dispensations, and privileges obtained before the
year 1529 or at any time since, or which shall hereafter be obtained
from the See of Rome, not containing matter contrary or prejudicial to
the authority, dignity, or pre-eminence royal or imperial of these
said realms or to the laws of this realm" were allowed to be "put in
execution, used, and alleged in any civil court in Ireland and
elsewhere." The jurisdiction of the bishops was restored, the laws
against heresy passed in the reign of Richard II. and Henry IV. were
renewed, and the payment of First Fruits was suppressed. Care was
taken, however, to avail of the dispensation granted by the Holy See,
whereby those who had obtained possession of the property of churches
and monasteries should not be disturbed, although it was enacted that
none of the laymen who had obtained such grants could plead the rights
of exemption enjoyed by some of their former owners against the
jurisdiction of the bishops, and that notwithstanding the Statutes of
Mortmain those who then held "manors, tenements, parsonages, tithes,
pensions or other hereditaments" might bequeath or devise them to any
spiritual body corporate in the kingdom, such clause to have the force
of law for twenty years.[9]

From no quarter was the slightest opposition offered to the
restoration of Catholic worship, and consequently there was no need to
have recourse to persecution. There was no persecution of the
Protestants of Ireland by fire or torture during this reign. "In
truth, the Reformation, not having been sown in Ireland, there was no
occasion to water it by the blood of martyrs; insomuch that several
English families, friends to the Reformation, withdrew into Ireland as
into a secure asylum; where they enjoyed their opinions and worship in
privacy without notice or molestation."[10] Yet in spite of this
tolerant attitude of both the officials and people of Ireland an
absurd story, first mentioned in a pamphlet printed in 1681, is still
to be found in many books dealing with Mary's reign. According to this
story the queen appointed a body of commissioners to undertake a
wholesale persecution in Ireland, and she entrusted this document to
one of the commissioners, a certain Dr. Cole. On his way to Ireland
the latter tarried at Chester, where he was waited upon by the mayor,
to whom he confided the object of his mission. The landlady of the
inn, having overheard the conversation, succeeded in stealing the
commission and replacing it by a pack of cards. Dr. Cole reached
Dublin and hastened to meet the Lord Deputy and council. "After he had
made a speech relating upon what account he came over, he presents the
box unto the Lord Deputy, who causing it to be opened, that the
secretary might read the commission, there was nothing but a pack of
cards with the knave of clubs uppermost." Dr. Cole assured them that
"he had a commission, but knew not how it was gone." Then the Lord
Deputy made answer, "Let us have another commission and we will
shuffle the cards in the meanwhile." The messenger returned promptly
to England, "and coming to the court, obtained another commission, but
staying for a wind at the waterside, news came unto him that the queen
was dead. And thus God preserved the Protestants of Ireland."[11] This
ridiculous fabrication was first referred to in a pamphlet written by
that well-known forger, Robert Ware, in 1681, and was reprinted in his
"Life" of Archbishop Browne (1705). Its acceptance by later writers,
in spite of its obvious silliness, and unsupported as it is by the
official documents of the period, or by any contemporary authority,
can be explained only by their religious prejudices.[12]

But though Mary restored the Mass and re-asserted the jurisdiction of
the Pope, her political policy in Ireland differed little from that of
her father or her brother. She was as determined as had been Henry
VIII. to bring the country under English law, and to increase thereby
the resources of the Treasury. It is true that she allowed the young
Garrett Fitzgerald, who had found a refuge in Rome, to return to the
country, that she restored to him his estates and honoured him with a
seat at the privy council. Brian O'Connor of Offaly was also released
from prison and allowed to revisit his territories. During the time
St. Leger held office he followed the old policy of strengthening
English influence by conciliation rather than by force. But the Earl
of Sussex was of a different mind. He marshalled his forces and made
raids into the Irish districts, for the princes and inhabitants of
which he entertained the most supreme contempt. It was during the
reign of Mary that the plan of the English Plantations was first put
into force by the removal of the native Irish from large portions of
Leix and Offaly to make room for English settlers. And yet, in spite
of the warlike expeditions of Sussex, the country went from bad to
worse, so that Primate Dowdall could write to the privy council in
England (1557) that "this poor realm was never in my remembrance in
worse case than it is now, except the time only that O'Neill and
O'Donnell invaded the English Pale and burned a great piece of it. The
North is as far out of frame as it was before, for the Scots beareth
as great rule as they do wish, not only in such lands as they did
lately usurp, but also in Clandeboy. The O'Moores and O'Connors have
destroyed and burned Leix and Offaly saving certain forts."[13]

On the death of Queen Mary in November 1558, her sister Elizabeth
succeeded to the English throne. Although she had concealed carefully
her Protestant sympathies, and had even professed her sincere
attachment to the old religion during the reign of her predecessor,
most people believed that important changes were pending. As soon as
news of her proclamation reached Ireland early in December, the small
knot of officials, who had fallen into disgrace during the reign of
the late queen, hastened to offer their congratulations and to put
forward their claims for preferment. Sir John Alen, formerly Lord
Chancellor and Chief Commissioner for the dissolution of the
monasteries, wrote to Cecil to express his joy at the latter's
promotion, enclosed "a token," and reminded him of what he (Alen) had
suffered during the previous five years. Sir John Bagenall,
ex-governor of Leix and Offaly, recalled the fact that he had lost
heavily, and had been obliged to escape to France for resisting papal
supremacy. He petitioned for a free farm worth £50 a year. Bishop
Staples, in a letter to Cecil, took pains to point out that he had
been deprived of his See on account of his marriage, and had incurred
the personal enmity of Cardinal Pole because he presumed to pray "for
his old master's (Henry VIII.) soul."[14] For some time, however, no
change was made, and Catholic worship continued even in Dublin as in
the days of Queen Mary. The Lord Deputy Sussex went to England in
December 1559, and entrusted the sword of state to the Archbishop of
Dublin and Sir Henry Sidney, both of whom took the oath of office
before the high altar in Christ's Church after Mass had been
celebrated in their presence.

But the strong anti-Catholic policy of the new government soon made
itself felt in England, and though the ministers were more guarded as
far as Ireland was concerned, it was felt that something should be
done there to lessen the influence of Rome. In the instructions issued
to the Lord Deputy (July 1559) he was told that "the Deputy and
Council shall set the service of Almighty God before their eyes, and
the said Deputy and all others of that council, who be native born
subjects of this realm of England, do use the rites and ceremonies
which are by law appointed, at least in their own houses."[15] In the
draft instructions as first prepared a further clause was added "that
others native of that country be not otherwise moved to use the same
than with their own contentment they shall be disposed, neither
therein doth her Majesty mean to judge otherwise of them than well,
and yet for the better example and edification of prayer in the
Church, it shall be well done, if the said councillors being of that
country born, shall at times convenient cause either in their own
houses or in the churches the litany in the English tongue to be used
with the reading of the epistle and gospel in the same tongue and the
ten commandments."[16] Although Cecil struck out this clause with his
own hand, it helps to show that the government feared to push things
to extremes in Ireland.

On the return of the Earl of Sussex he paid the usual official visit
in state to Christ's Church, where apparently the English Litany
(probably that prescribed by Henry VIII.) was sung after the Mass. In
connexion with this celebration a story was put in circulation by
Robert Ware in 1683 that the clergy, dissatisfied with the change in
liturgy, determined to have recourse to a disgraceful imposture to
prevent further innovations. On the following Sunday when the
Archbishop and Deputy assisted at Mass, one of their number having
inserted a sponge soaked in blood into the head of the celebrated
statue of the Redeemer, blood began to trickle over the face of the
image. Suddenly during the service a cry was raised by the trickster
and his associates, "Behold Our Saviour's image sweats blood." Several
of the common people wondering at it, fell down with their beads in
their hands, and prayed to the image, while Leigh who was guilty of
the deception kept crying out all the time, "How can He choose but
sweat blood whilst heresy is now come into the Church?" Amidst scenes
of the greatest excitement the archbishop caused an examination to be
made; the trick was discovered; Leigh and his accomplices were
punished by being made "to stand upon a table with their legs and
hands tied for three Sundays, with the crime written upon paper and
pinned to their breasts"; and to complete the story, a recent writer
adds, "the Protestants were triumphant, the Roman party confounded,
and Curwen's orders to have the statue broken up were obeyed without
demur."[17] Needless to say there is no foundation for such a tale. It
first saw the light in that collection of gross inventions, /The
Hunting of the Romish Fox/, published by Robert Ware in 1683, and is
unsupported by any contemporary witnesses. It was not known to Sir
Robert Ware, from whose papers the author pretended to borrow it; it
was not known to Sir Dudley Loftus who devoted himself to the study of
Irish history, and who, as nephew of Elizabeth's Archbishop of Dublin,
would have had exceptional opportunities of learning the facts, nor
was it known to Archbishop Parker, to whom, according to Ware, a full
account was forwarded immediately.[18] The author of it was employed
to stir up feeling in England and Ireland so as to prevent the
accession of James II., and as a cover for his forgeries he pretended
to be using the manuscripts of his father.

For so far the Catholic religion was the only one recognised by law in
Ireland, and consequently when Elizabeth instructed the Deputy to see
that her English born subjects in Ireland should use the English
service in their private houses, she took care to promise that none of
them should be impeached or molested for carrying out her
commands.[19] But her Deputy was instructed to summon a Parliament in
Ireland "to make such statutes as were lately made in England /mutatis
mutandis/."[20] The Parliament met in Dublin on the 11th of January
1560. According to the returns[21] seventy-six members representing
several counties and boroughs were elected. Dublin, Meath, Westmeath,
Louth, Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, and Tipperary
were the only counties represented, each of them having returned two
members. Of the boroughs represented seventeen were situated in
Leinster, eight in Munster, two, Athenry and Galway, in Connaught, and
one only, namely, Carrickfergus, was situated in Ulster. Twenty-three
temporal peers were summoned to take their seats, all of whom belonged
to Anglo-Irish families except O'Brien of Thomond and MacGillapatrick
of Upper Ossory. According to the record preserved in the Rolls'
Office, three archbishops and seventeen bishops took their seats, the
only absentees being Clogher, Derry, Raphoe, Kilmore, Dromore,
Clonmacnoise, Achonry, Kilmacduagh, Kilfenora, and Mayo. Armagh was
vacant, Primate Dowdall having died in August 1558, and his successor
not having been appointed by Rome till February 1560. But for many
reasons it is impossible to believe that the twenty bishops mentioned
in this list were present at the Dublin Parliament. At best it is only
a rather inaccurate account of those who were summoned to take their
seats, as is shown by the fact that for seven of the Sees no names of
the bishops are returned; and that Down and Connor are represented as
having sent two bishops although both Sees were united for more than a
century. If it be borne in mind that according to the returns in the
State Paper Office four archbishops and nineteen bishops are
represented as having attended the Parliament of 1541,[22] although,
in his official report to the king, the Deputy stated expressly that
only two archbishops and twelve bishops were present;[23] and also
that gross errors have been detected in the lists of spiritual peers
supposed to have been in attendance at the Parliaments of 1569[24] and
1585,[25] it will be obvious to any unprejudiced mind that the return
for the Parliament of 1560 cannot be accepted as accurate.

No reliable account of the proceedings of the Parliament of 1560 has
as yet been discovered. It met on the 11th January, was adjourned on
the following day till the 1st of February, when it was dissolved.[26]
It is more probable, however, that it lasted till the 12th February.
According to the Loftus manuscripts the Parliament was dissolved "by
reason of [its] aversion to the Protestant religion, and their
ecclesiastical government." "At the very beginning of this
Parliament," according to another distinguished authority, "Her
Majesty's well wishers found that most of the nobility and Commons
were divided in opinion about the ecclesiastical government, which
caused the Earl of Sussex to dissolve them, and to go over to England
to consult Her Majesty about the affairs of this kingdom."[27] This
latter statement is confirmed by the fact that the Earl of Sussex
certainly left Ireland in February 1560. And yet, according to the
accounts that have come down to us, it was this assembly that gave
Protestantism its first legal sanction in Ireland. It abolished papal
supremacy, restored to the queen the full exercise of spiritual
jurisdiction as enjoyed by Henry VIII. and Edward VI., enjoined on all
persons holding ecclesiastical or secular offices the oath of royal
supremacy under pain of deprivation, imposed the penalty of forfeiture
of all goods for the first offence on those who spoke in favour of the
Pope, the punishment laid down for /praemunire/ in case of a second
such offence, and death for the third offence, and enjoined the use of
the Book of Common Prayer in all the churches of the kingdom. Any
clergyman who refused to follow the prescribed form of worship was
liable to forfeit one year's revenue and to be sent to prison for the
first offence, to total deprivation and imprisonment at will for the
second, and for the third to perpetual imprisonment. The laity were
obliged to attend the service under threat of excommunication and of a
fine of twelve pence to be levied off their goods and chattels by the
church-wardens. The First Fruits were restored to the crown, and the
formality of canonical election of bishops was abolished. For the
future in case of a vacancy the right of appointment was vested
directly in the sovereign.[28]

In view of the fact that the cities and counties from which the
members were returned resisted stubbornly the introduction of the
English service, that most of the lay peers clung tenaciously to the
Mass, some of them, like the Earl of Kildare, being charged with this
crime a few months after the dissolution of Parliament, and that the
bishops with one or two exceptions, opposed the change, the wonder is
how such measures could have received the sanction of Parliament.
According to a well-supported tradition they reached the statute book
only by fraud, having been rushed through on a holiday, on which most
of the members thought that no session would be held. Later on, when
objection was taken to such a method, the Deputy, it is said, silenced
the resisters by assuring them that they were mere formalities which
must remain a dead letter.[29]

It is sometimes said that the Irish bishops of the period acknowledged
Elizabeth's title of "supreme governor in spirituals," and abandoned
the Mass for the Book of Common Prayer. Nothing, however, could be
farther from the truth. With the single exception of Curwen, from whom
nothing better could have been expected considering his past
variations, it cannot be proved for certain that any of the bishops
proved disloyal to their trust. There is some ground for suspicion in
case of Christopher Bodkin of Tuam and Thomas O'Fihil, both of whom
were represented as having taken the oath, but the strong
recommendation of the former to the Holy See by the Jesuit, Father
David Wolf, and the fact that the latter is consistently passed over
by contemporary writers in their enumeration of the Protestant
bishops, show clearly that their lapse, if lapse there might have
been, was more or less involuntary. The fact that some of the bishops,
as for example Roland Fitzgerald of Cashel, Lacy of Limerick, Walsh of
Waterford, De Burgo of Clonfert, Devereux of Ferns, O'Fihil of
Leighlin, and Bodkin of Tuam, were appointed on government commissions
does not prove that they had ceased to be Catholics, just as the
appointment of Browne on a similar commission during the reign of
Queen Mary[30] does not prove that he had ceased to be a Protestant.
That the Irish bishops remained true to the faith is clear from some
of the official papers of the period. In 1564 two of the
commissioners, who had been appointed to enforce the Acts of Royal
Supremacy and Uniformity of Worship, reported that there were only two
worthy bishops in Ireland, namely, Adam Loftus, who had been intruded
into Armagh but who dare not visit his diocese, and Brady, who had
been appointed by the queen to Meath. "The rest of the bishops," they
say, "are all Irish, we need say no more." In the following year it
was announced that Curwen of Dublin, Loftus, and Brady were the only
bishops zealous "in setting forth God's glory and the true Christian
religion"; and in 1566 Sir Henry Sidney reported that, with the
exception of Loftus and Brady, he found none others "willing to reform
their clergy, or to teach any wholesome doctrine, or to serve their
country or common-wealth as magistrates."[31] In a document[32] drawn
up by one of Cecil's spies in 1571 the bishops of the province of
Armagh, Cashel, and Tuam are all described as /Catholici et
Confoederati/, while in the province of Dublin, Loftus, Daly,
Cavenagh, and Gafney, the three latter of whom had been intruded by
the queen into Kildare, Leighlin, and Ossory, are described as
Protestants, as is also Devereux of Ferns, about whose orthodoxy there
may be some doubt, though unfortunately there can be very little about
his evil life.

Hardly had the Acts of Royal Supremacy and Uniformity been passed when
a commission was addressed to a number of judges and officials to
administer the oath of supremacy. Of the bishops within the sphere of
English jurisdiction at this period Curwen had already given his
adhesion to these measures, William Walsh of Meath promptly refused,
as did also Thomas Leverous of Kildare (Feb. 1560).[33] Later on, when
the Lord Deputy returned from London, another attempt was made to
induce these bishops to change their minds, but without success. In
reply to the Deputy the Bishop of Kildare declared that all
jurisdiction was derived from Christ, "and since Christ did not deem
it right to confer spiritual authority on women, not even on His own
Blessed Mother, how, he asked, could it be believed that the Queen of
England was the supreme governor of the Church?" Thereupon the Deputy
threatened him with deprivation and the consequent loss of his
revenues unless he made his submission, but the bishop reminded him of
the words of Sacred Scripture, "What shall it profit a man to gain the
whole world if he suffer the loss of his own soul?"[34] He was driven
from the See, and for a time taught a private school in the County
Limerick, but he returned to his diocese, where he died near Nass
(1577).[35] The Bishop of Meath continued to oppose the religious
policy of the government. In 1565 he was summoned once more by the
commissioners, but "he openly protested before all the people the same
day that he would never communicate or be present where the service
should be ministered, for it was against his conscience and against
God's word." As he was a man "of great credit among his countrymen,
upon whom in causes of religion they wholly depend," he was thrown
into prison,[36] where he languished in great suffering till 1572,
when he contrived to make his escape to France. Later on funds were
supplied by the Holy See to enable him to continue his journey to
Spain. He died amongst his brethren, the Cistercians, at Alcalá in
1577. John O'Tonory, too, who had been appointed to Ossory after the
precipitate flight of Bale, seems to have given offence to the
government. Though the latter preferred to devote himself to
historical studies after the accession of Elizabeth rather than to
entrust himself to the tender mercies of the people of Kilkenny, his
rival does not seem to have been regarded by the government as the
lawful Bishop of Ossory. His name does appear on a list of
ecclesiastical commissioners appointed in 1564,[37] but this seems to
have been a mistake on the part of the officials or possibly a bait
thrown out to induce O'Tonory to make his submission. At any rate it
is certain that in 1561 the Bishopric of Ossory was returned as
vacant, and it was suggested that the appointment should be conferred
on the Dean of Kilkenny,[38] and in July 1565, before the death of
O'Tonory, in the instructions drawn up for Sir Henry Sidney and
corrected by Cecil, her Majesty is made to say that the "Bishopric of
Ossory has been long vacant."[39] As this can refer only to the death
of Bale, who died in 1563, it is clear that O'Tonory was bracketed
with Walsh and Leverous as far as Elizabeth's ministers were
concerned. Had it been possible for the government to do so, similar
measures would have been taken against the bishops in the other parts
of Ireland, but, faced as it was with Shane O'Neill in the North and a
threatened confederation of the whole Geraldine forces in the South,
it was deemed prudent not to precipitate a crisis by a violent
anti-Catholic propaganda in those parts of the country not yet subject
to English influence.[40]

Commissioners were appointed to administer the oath of supremacy to
the bishops, the judges, and higher officials, to the justices of the
peace, etc., in Kildare (1560), and to the officials in Westmeath.[41]
But unless bishops could be found willing to take the place of those
who refused to accept the new laws, no progress could be made. Curwen
of Dublin, following his old rule of accepting the sovereign's
religion as the true one, submitted to the Act of Supremacy and the
Act of Uniformity. In accordance with the queen's instructions he
removed the pictures and statues from Christ's Church and St.
Patrick's, blotted out the paintings and frescos on the walls, so as
to cover up all signs of "idolatry" and to prepare a back-ground for
carefully assorted Scriptural texts. He was not, however, happy in his
new position. He petitioned to be transferred from Dublin to Hereford,
basing his claim on the fact that "he was the man that of his coat
hath surlyest stood to the crown either in England or Ireland."[42]
But his petition was not granted. Two years later Adam Loftus, who
though nominally Archbishop of Armagh feared to visit his diocese,
charged Curwen with serious crimes which he was ashamed to
particularise, and probably as a result of this the queen instructed
her Deputy to induce him to resign on the promise of an annual pension
of £200 (1563).[43] But Curwen, fearing that "the leaving of the
archbishopric and not receiving another" might lead people to believe
that he was deprived, stood out boldly for better terms. Hugh Brady,
the queen's Bishop of Meath, then proceeded to attack him. According
to him everybody in Dublin from the archbishop to the petty canons
were "dumb dogs," "living enemies to the truth," "neither teaching nor
feeding any save themselves," and "disguised dissemblers."[44] As this
did not produce any effect, he wrote once more, demanding that the
authorities should "call home the old unprofitable workman," a
petition in which he was supported by Adam Loftus.[45] Their prayers
were heard at last, and Curwen was translated to Oxford. When the news
of his recall was announced to him he merely expressed the wish that
he could get "the last half-year's rent of the Bishopric of Oxford,"
and that he should be allowed to change quickly so that "he might
provide fire for the winter and hay for his horses."[46]

The See of Armagh which was vacant by the death of Primate Dowdall was
conferred by the Pope on Donat O'Teige (Feb. 1560). The latter was
consecrated at Rome, and arrived in Ireland probably towards the end
of the same year. In the summer of 1561 he was present at Armagh with
the army of Shane O'Neill whom he encouraged to go forward boldly
against the forces of the Deputy. Needless to say such a primate was
not acceptable to Elizabeth who determined to appoint one Adam Loftus,
then a chaplain to the Earl of Sussex. Loftus was a young man only
twenty-eight years of age, who had made a favourable impression on the
queen as well by his beauty as by his learning. Letters were
dispatched immediately to the Chapter of Armagh commanding the canons
to elect him, but as they refused to obey the order, nothing remained
except to appoint him by letters patent (1562). As he dare not visit
the greater part of his diocese he applied for and received the
Deanship of St. Patrick's, Dublin, and about the same time he became a
suitor for his brother that he might get the rectory of Dunboyne. In
1563 Elizabeth thought of changing him to Kildare, and in 1566 the
Deputy recommended him for Meath, believing that "he would thankfully
receive the exchange, and willingly embase his estate to increase so
much his revenue." But Loftus had set his heart on securing the
Archbishop of Dublin. Time and again he made the most damaging charges
against Curwen so as to secure his removal, although when the removal
was arranged he learned to his surprise that the authorities intended
to promote not himself, but his fellow-labourer, Hugh Brady of Meath.
In April 1566, when he thought that Brady had no chance of succeeding
to Dublin, he had recommended him for the appointment, but in
September, when he learned that there was danger of his recommendation
being followed, he wrote to warn Cecil that "if it would please his
honour to pause a while he could show such matter as he would, except
it were for the Church of God's sake, be loath to utter by any means,
but least of all by writing, upon knowledge whereof the matter, he
knows, should go no further." Brady having learned that Loftus had
gone to England wrote to Cecil to put him on his guard against
believing any charges against him that might be made by the Primate.
He returned in November without having succeeded, only to find that
Shane O'Neill had overrun his diocese so that it was not worth more
than £20 a year. He petitioned to be allowed to resign, "for," he
said, "neither is it [Armagh] worth anything to me, nor [am] I able to
do any good in it, for that altogether it lieth among the Irish." At
last in 1567 his wishes were granted, and he became Archbishop of
Dublin. But he was still dissatisfied. As the diocese, according to
him, was worth only £400 (Irish) a year (over £30,000) and had only
two hundred and forty acres of mensal land, he insisted that he should
be allowed to hold with it the Deanship of St. Patrick's, a request,
however, that was refused peremptorily by the queen.[47] In Dublin he
continued the same policy of grabbing everything for himself, his
relatives and dependents until at last the chapter, weary of his
importunities, obliged him to promise not to ask for anything more.
Fortunately his guarantee was entered in the records, as he appeared
soon again to solicit one last favour.

In place of Dr. Walsh of Meath, who refused to take the oath of
supremacy, Hugh Brady was appointed (1563). In his letters to Cecil he
complained that the payment of his fees and the expenses of the
consecration would beggar him, that he was opposed by both the clergy
and laity of his diocese in such a stubborn way that he would "rather
be a stipendiary priest in England than Bishop of Meath in Ireland,"
and that unless her Majesty pardoned the debts she was claiming he
must lose all hope, as he was very poor and obliged to entertain right
royally, "for these people," he wrote, "will have the one or the
other, I mean they will either eat my meat and drink or else myself."
The relations existing between Loftus of Armagh and the Bishop of
Meath were of the most strained kind. When Brady learned that Loftus
had been made Dean of St. Patrick's he addressed an indignant protest
to Cecil, but as both Loftus and himself aspired to become Archbishop
of Dublin, both united to attack Curwen so as to secure his removal.
Grave charges were made by Loftus against Brady in 1566, but once he
had attained the object of his desires, namely his promotion to
Dublin, he had no scruple in attaching his name to a very laudatory
commendation of Brady's labours and qualifications (1567).[48]

A certain Dr. Craik was appointed by Elizabeth to Kildare in
opposition to Dr. Leverous. The new bishop was far from being content
with the honour that had been conferred upon him. Writing to his
patron, Lord Robert Dudley, he complained that he was in continual and
daily torment owing to the fact that he was bishop in a diocese where
he could neither preach to the people nor could the people understand,
and where he had no one to assist him. He succeeded in securing for
himself the Deanship of St. Patrick's in Dublin, and was a strong
suitor for the Bishopric of Meath. Not content with his revenues, he
sold most of the episcopal lands in Kildare so that he reduced the
diocese "to a most shameful state of poverty."[49] Finally, he went
over to England to petition the queen for a remission of his fees, but
he was thrown into the Marshalsea prison from which he was released
only a few months before his death.[50] Donald Cavenagh was appointed
by the queen to Leighlin (1567), where he devoted himself principally
to enriching himself by disposing of the diocesan property; and John
Devereux, who, according to Loftus, was most unfit owing to the fact
that he had been deprived of the Deanship of Ferns "for confessed
whoredom,"[51] was appointed Bishop of Ferns (1566).

With men such as these in charge of the new religious movement it was
almost impossible that it could succeed. In spite of the various royal
commissions appointed between the years 1560 and 1564 to secure
submission to the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, the people still
clung tenaciously to the old faith. Though Elizabeth and her advisers
were anxious to destroy the Catholic religion in Ireland they deemed
it imprudent to do so immediately in view of the threatening attitude
of O'Neill and of several of the other Irish and Anglo-Irish nobles.
In case of the Act of Uniformity it had been laid down expressly that
in places where the people did not understand Irish the service might
be read in Latin, and as not even the people in Kildare knew English
at this time,[52] it followed that outside of Dublin the Book of
Common Prayer was not obligatory. Indeed outside Dublin, Meath,
Kildare, and portion of Armagh very little attempt seems to have been
made to put these laws into execution. From the draft instructions
drawn up for Sir Henry Sidney in 1565 it is perfectly clear that
outside the Pale territory zealous measures had not been taken to
enforce the new doctrines, and that even within the Pale the
authorities were not inclined to press matters to extremes. In the
various agreements concluded between Shane O'Neill and Elizabeth,
O'Neill was not called upon to renounce the Pope. It was thought to be
much more prudent to pursue a policy of toleration until the English
power could be placed upon a sound footing, and that if this were once
accomplished the religious question could be settled without much

Although the Lord Deputy was empowered to punish those who refused to
attend the English service by imprisonment (1561),[53] he was obliged
to report in the following year that the people were "without
discipline," and "utterly devoid of religion," that they came "to
divine service as to a May game," that the ministers were held in
contempt on account of their greediness and want of qualifications,
that "the wise fear more the impiety of the licentious professors than
the superstition of the erroneous Papists," and that nothing less than
a Parliamentary decree rigorously enforced could remedy the evil.[54]
The commissioners who had been appointed to enforce the religious
innovations reported in 1564 that the people were so addicted to their
old superstitions that they could not be induced to hear the new
gospel, that the judges and lawyers, however, had promised to enforce
the laws, that they had cautioned them not to interfere with the
simple multitude at first but only "with one or two boasting Mass men
in every shire," and that with the exception of Curwen, Loftus, and
Brady, all the rest of the bishops were Irish about whom it was not
necessary to say anything more."[55] In a document presented to the
privy council in England by the Lord Deputy and council of Ireland
(1566) a good account is given of the progress and results of the so-
called Reformation. They reported that Curwen, Loftus, and Brady were
diligent in their pastoral office, but that "howbeit it [the work]
goeth slowly forward within their said three dioceses by reason of the
former errors and superstitions inveterated and leavened in the
people's hearts, and in [on account of] want of livings sufficient for
fit entertainment of well-chosen and learned curates amongst them, for
that these livings of cure, being most part appropriated benefices in
the queen's majesty's possession, are let by leases to farmers with
allowance or reservation of very small stipends or entertainments for
the vicars or curates, besides the decay of the chancels, and also of
the churches universally in ruins, and some wholly down. And out of
their said dioceses, the remote parts of Munster, Connaught, and other
Irish countries and borders thereof order cannot yet so well be taken
with the residue till the countries be first brought into more civil
and dutiful obedience."[56]

In Dublin, where it might be expected that the government could
enforce its decrees, the people refused to conform, and even in 1565,
after several commissions had finished their labours, it was admitted
that the canons and clergy of St. Patrick's were still Papists. From
Meath the queen's bishop received such a bad reception that he
declared he would much rather have been a stipendiary priest in
England than Bishop of Meath. "Oh what a sea of trouble," he wrote,
"have I entered into, storms rising on every side; the ungodly lawyers
are not only sworn enemies to the truth, but also for the lack of due
execution of law, the overthrowers of the country; the ragged clergy
are stubborn and ignorantly blind, so as there is left little hope of
their amendment; the simple multitude is through continual ignorance
hardly to be won so as I find /angustiae undique/." But while Brady
was involved in a sea of difficulties, the Catholics of Meath rallied
round their lawful bishop, Dr. Walsh. According to the report of
Loftus, who ordered his arrest (1565), "he was one of great credit
amongst his countrymen, and upon whom as touching causes of religion
they wholly depended." Loftus petitioned to be recalled from Armagh
because it was not worth anything to him nor was he able to do any
good in it, since it lay among the Irish; and Craik, who was appointed
to Kildare, announced that he could not address the people because
they were not acquainted with the English language, nor had he any
Irish clergymen who would assist him in spreading the new gospel.[57]

In 1564 several bodies of commissioners were appointed to visit
certain portions of Leinster, Munster, and Connaught to enforce the
Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, and about the same time a royal
proclamation was issued enforcing the fine of twelve pence for each
offence on those who refused to attend Protestant service on Sundays
and holidays. Whether these commissioners acted or not is not clear,
but undoubtedly the commissioners appointed for the Pale made a
serious attempt to carry out their instructions. They brought together
juries chosen out of the parishes situated within the sphere of
English influence "and upon the return of their several verdicts they
found many and great offences committed against her Majesty's laws and
proceedings. But among all their presentments they brought nothing
against the nobility and chief gentlemen, who yet have contemned her
Majesty's most godly laws and proceedings more manifestly than any of
the rest, and therefore they determined to call them before them, and
to minister to them certain articles, unto which they required the
nobility to answer upon their honours and duty without oath. The rest
of the gentlemen answered upon their oaths. And when they brought
their several answers, they found by their own confession, that the
most part of them had continually, since the last Parliament,
frequented the Mass and other services and ceremonies inhibited by her
Majesty's laws and injunctions, and that very few of them ever
received the Holy Communion, or used such kind of public prayer and
service as is presently established by law." "Whereupon," Loftus
added, "I was once in mind (for that they be so linked together in
friendship and alliance one with another, that we shall never be able
to correct them by the ordinary course of the statute) to cess upon
every one of them, according to the quality of their several offences,
a good round sum of money, to be paid to your Majesty's use, and to
bind them in sure bonds and recognisances ever hereafter dutifully to
observe your Majesty's most godly laws and injunctions. But for that
they be the nobility and chief gentlemen of the English Pale, and the
greatest number too; I thought fit not to deal any further with them
until your Majesty's pleasure were therein specially known."[58] So
long as her Majesty required the noblemen of the Pale to fight against
Shane O'Neill and the other Irish chieftains she was too prudent to
insist on strict acceptance of her religious innovations.

In 1560 Pius IV. determined to send a special commissary into Ireland
in the person of the Irish Jesuit, Father David Wolf, who was a native
of Limerick, highly recommended to the Holy See by the general of the
Society. The commissary was instructed to visit and encourage the
bishops, clergy, and chief noblemen of the country to stand firm; he
was to draw up lists of suitable candidates for bishoprics, to
re-organise some of the religious houses and hospitals, and to
establish grammar schools where the youth of the country might receive
a sound education. He left Rome in August 1560, and arrived in Cork in
January 1561. According to his report the people flocked to him in
thousands to listen to his sermons, to get absolution, and to procure
the re-validation of invalid marriages. For so far, he was able to
assure the Roman authorities, heresy had made no progress among the
masses. From Cork he went to Limerick, and from Limerick he journeyed
through Connaught. During the course of this journey he learned a
great deal that was favourable about Bodkin the Archbishop of Tuam and
Roland De Burgo of Clonfert. He visited the greater part of the
country with the exception of the Pale, and, as he found it impossible
to go there, he empowered one of the priests to absolve from reserved
cases, particularly from the crimes of heresy and schism. In 1568 he
was arrested and thrown into prison together with Archbishop Creagh of
Armagh. Pius V. instructed his nuncio in Spain to request the good
offices of Philip II. to procure their release, but apparently the
representations of the Spanish government were without effect. In
1572, however, Father Wolf succeeded in making his escape from prison,
and before setting sail for Spain he had the happiness of receiving
the humble submission of William Casey, who had been promoted to the
See of Limerick by Edward VI. From Tarbet the papal commissary sailed
for Spain. Later on he returned once more to Ireland, and was active
in assisting James Fitzmaurice. He is supposed to have died in Spain
in 1578 or 1579.[59]

Father Wolf had been instructed specially to recommend to the Holy See
those priests whom he deemed qualified for appointment to vacant
bishoprics. This was a matter of essential importance, and as such he
devoted to it his particular care. Thomas O'Herlihy was appointed to
Ross (1561); Donald McCongail or Magongail, the companion of his
journeys, was appointed to Raphoe (1562); the Dominicans O'Harte and
O'Crean were provided to the Sees of Achonry and Elphin in the same
year at his request, and during the time he remained in Ireland his
advice with regard to episcopal nominations was followed as a rule. He
was instructed also to establish grammar schools throughout the
country, and he was not long in Ireland till he realised the necessity
of doing something for education, and above all for the education of
candidates for the priesthood. In 1564 he obtained from Pius IV. the
Bull, /Dum exquisita/,[60] empowering himself and the Archbishop of
Armagh to erect colleges and universities in Ireland on the model and
with all the privileges of the Universities of Paris and Louvain. For
this purpose they were empowered to apply the revenues of monasteries,
and of benefices, and to make use of the ecclesiastical property
generally. Unfortunately owing to the disturbed condition of the
country, and the subsequent arrest of both the archbishop and the
papal commissary, it was impossible to carry out this scheme.

In the earlier sessions of the Council of Trent the Archbishop of
Armagh had taken a leading part. When the Council opened for its final
sessions in January 1562 Ireland was represented by O'Herlihy of Ross,
McCongail of Raphoe, and O'Harte of Achonry. Nor were these mere idle
spectators of the proceedings. They joined in the warm discussions
that took place regarding the Sacrifice of the Mass, Communion under
both kinds, the source of episcopal jurisdiction and of the episcopal
obligation of residence, the erection of seminaries, and the
matrimonial impediments. It is said that it was mainly owing to their
exertions that the impediment of spiritual relationship was
retained.[61] After their return attempts were made to convoke
provincial synods to promulgate the decrees of the Council of Trent.
In 1566 apparently some of the prelates of Connaught assembled and
proclaimed them in the province of Tuam; in 1587 the Bishops of
Clogher, Derry, Raphoe, Down and Connor, Ardagh, Kilmore, and Achonry,
together with a large number of clergy met in the diocese of Clogher
for a similar purpose, and in 1614 they were proclaimed for the
province of Dublin by a synod convoked at Kilkenny.[62]

In 1560, and for several years after, the state of affairs in Ireland
was so threatening that Elizabeth and her advisers were more concerned
about maintaining a foothold in the country than about the abolition
of the Mass. In the North Shane O'Neill had succeeded on the death of
his father (1559), and seemed determined to vindicate for himself to
the fullest the rights of the O'Neill over the entire province of
Ulster. The Earl of Kildare refused to abandon the Mass, and was in
close correspondence both with his kinsman the Earl of Desmond, and
with several of the Irish chieftains. It was feared that a great
Catholic confederation might be formed against Elizabeth, and that
Scotland, France, Spain, and the Pope might be induced to lend their
aid.[63] Instructions were therefore issued to the Lord Deputy to
induce the Earl of Kildare to come to London where he could be
detained, and to stir up the minor princes of Ulster to weaken the
power of O'Neill. By detaining men like the Earls of Kildare, Desmond,
and Ormond in London, by stirring up rivalries and dissensions amongst
Irishmen, and above all by getting possession of the children of both
the Anglo-Irish and Irish nobles and bringing them to England for
their education, it was hoped that Ireland might be both Anglicised
and Protestantised.[64]

The most urgent question, however, was the reduction of Shane O'Neill.
At first Elizabeth was inclined to come to terms with him, but the
Earl of Sussex in the hope of overcoming him by force had him
proclaimed a traitor, and advanced against him with a large force
(1561). He seized Armagh, took possession of the cathedral, and
converted it into a strong fortress. O'Neill soon appeared accompanied
by the lawful archbishop, who exhorted the Irish troops to withstand
the invader. The English army suffered a bad defeat, and after the
failure of several attempts to reduce O'Neill by force, the Deputy
determined to try other methods. He hired an individual named Neil
Gray to murder O'Neill and acquainted Elizabeth with what he had
done,[65] but O'Neill was fortunate enough to elude the assassin. At
length O'Neill was induced to go to England (1562), where he was
forced to agree to certain terms; but, as he discovered that he had
been deceived throughout the entire negotiations, he felt free on his
return to assert his claims to Ulster. Elizabeth was not unwilling to
yield to nearly all his demands, even to the extent of removing Loftus
from the Archbishopric of Armagh and allowing the appointment of
O'Neill's own nominee. The Earl of Sussex, however, was opposed to
peace. Having been forced, against his will, to come to terms with
O'Neill (1563), he determined to have recourse once more to the method
of assassination. A present of poisoned wine was sent to O'Neill by
the Deputy as a token of his good will,[66] and it was only by a happy
chance that O'Neill and his friends were not done to death. The new
Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, succeeded in stirring up O'Donnell and the
other Ulster princes against O'Neill by promising them the protection
of England. Having been defeated in battle by O'Donnell in 1567, Shane
fled for aid to the Scots of Antrim, on whom he had inflicted more
than one severe defeat, and while with them he was set upon and slain.
By his disappearance the power of the Irish in Ulster was broken, and
the way was at last prepared for subduing the northern portion of

In the South of Ireland the young Earl of Desmond was in a
particularly strong position, but, unfortunately, he was personally
weak and vacillating, and by playing off the Earl of Ormond against
him Elizabeth was able to keep him in subjection to England, to use
him against Shane O'Neill, and to prevent him from taking part in a
national or religious confederation. In 1567 the Earl was arrested and
sent to London, where he was detained as a prisoner. Although the Lord
Deputy allowed himself to be received at Limerick by Bishop Lacy with
full Catholic ceremonial, still the appointment of Protestant
commissioners to administer the territories of Desmond, and the
intrusion of a queen's archbishop into the See of Cashel (1567) made
it clear that the government was determined to force the new religion
on the people. About the same time the Pope took steps to strengthen
the Catholics of Munster by appointing Maurice Fitzgibbon,
commendatory abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Mayo, to the vacant
See of Cashel. The new archbishop was in close correspondence with the
Desmond party in Ireland, and with Philip II. of Spain. On his arrival
in Ireland (1569) he found that James Fitzmaurice, the cousin of the
Earl of Desmond, was organising a confederation to defend the Catholic
religion. MacCarthy Mor, the O'Briens of Thomond, the sons of the Earl
of Clanrickard, and Sir Edmund Butler had promised their assistance.
The new archbishop came to Cashel, took possession of his cathedral in
spite of the presence of the royal intruder, and even went so far as
to force the latter to attend a solemn Mass in the cathedral. This is
the only foundation for the story that he suffered personal violence
to MacCaghwell or that he captured him and brought him a prisoner to

The Earl of Sidney mustered his forces to proceed against the rebels,
and the Earl of Ormond was sent over from England to detach his
brother Sir Edmund Butler from his alliance with the Desmonds. The
Archbishop of Cashel was dispatched into Spain to seek the assistance
of Philip II. (1569), and he brought with him a document purporting to
be signed by thirteen archbishops and bishops, and by most of the
leading Irish and Anglo-Irish nobles in Leinster, Munster, and
Connaught, asking the King of Spain to assist them in their defence of
the Catholic religion, and offering to accept as their sovereign any
Spanish or Burgundian prince whom Philip II. might wish to
nominate.[68] The fact that the Pope had published in February 1570
the Bull, /Regnans in excelsis/ announcing the excommunication and
deposition of Queen Elizabeth served to encourage the Catholics of
Munster, but notwithstanding this sentence the archbishop failed to
obtain any effective assistance either from Spain or from the Pope.
Undaunted by the ill-success of his agent, Fitzmaurice issued a
proclamation addressed to the prelates, princes, and lords of Ireland,
announcing that he had taken up arms against a heretical ruler who had
been excommunicated and deposed by the Pope, that a large body of
English Catholics were in rebellion or were ready to rise, that he had
been appointed by the Pope captain-general of the Irish Catholic
forces, and that it behoved them to rally to his standard to defend
the Catholic faith, to suppress all false teachers and schismatical
services, and to deliver their country from heresy and tyranny.[69]
Fitzmaurice was, however, disappointed in his hopes. The Earl of
Ormond hastened over to Ireland to hold the Butler territories for the
queen. Many of his confederates deserted him or were overthrown, and
after a long struggle he was overcome and obliged to make his
submission (1573-74).

In 1575 James Fitzmaurice fled from Ireland to seek assistance from
some of the Catholic rulers of the Continent. His petitions met,
however, with scant success in Paris, Lisbon, and Madrid, and it was
only from Pope Gregory XIII. that he received any promise of men and
arms. Already an English adventurer named Stukely had been intriguing
with the Pope to obtain a small army and fleet for a descent upon
Ireland, and the celebrated English theologian and controversialist,
Nicholas Sander,[70] who was working at the Roman Court on behalf of
the English exiles, also favoured the attempt. The expedition started
in 1578, but when Stukely, who was in supreme command, reached Lisbon,
he joined his forces with those of the King of Portugal in an attack
on the Moors, in the course of which he was killed, and his army was
destroyed. By the exertions of Sander and of the nuncio at Madrid,
Fitzmaurice was enabled to fit out a small ship, and in 1579,
accompanied by Sander as papal representative, he arrived in Dingle.
At once he addressed an appeal to the people to join him in fighting
for the faith against a heretical sovereign. So terrified were the
vast body of the noblemen by the punishments inflicted on them already
and by the fear of losing all their property in case of another defeat
that the proclamation met with only a poor response. Ormond joined Sir
William Pelham against the rebels, as did also several of the old
enemies of the Geraldines. Fitzmaurice himself was killed early in the
campaign by the Burkes of Castleconnell, and although the Earl of
Desmond at last decided to take up arms, there was no longer any hope
of success. For years the way was carried on with relentless cruelty
by Pelham and afterwards by Lord Grey de Wilton; the crops and the
cattle were destroyed in a hope of starving out the scattered
followers of Desmond, and a force composed of Spaniards and Italians
were butchered after they agreed to surrender the fortress of
Dunanore. Viscount Baltinglass hastened to take up arms against the
Deputy, and with the assistance of Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne he inflicted
a severe defeat on Lord Grey at Glenmalure (1580). But in the end the
rebellion was completely suppressed, and the Earl of Desmond was taken
and murdered (1583). Two years before, Nicholas Sander, the papal
representative, died in a wood near Limerick after having received the
last sacraments at the hands of the Bishop of Killaloe.[71]

After the death of Shane O'Neill Elizabeth's ministers deemed it
advisable to summon a second Parliament (1569). Unfortunately no list
of the members returned for the boroughs and counties has been
preserved, but from the account that has come down to us of the
opening debates it is clear that the most elaborate precautions were
taken to pack the assembly. New boroughs, which had not been
recognised hitherto as corporations, were created; the sheriffs and
deputies appointed by the government returned themselves as fit and
proper persons to sit in Parliament, and in a large number of cases
English officials and lawyers, who had never seen the constituencies
they were supposed to represent, were returned by the sheriffs at the
instigation of the Deputy and his agents.[72] From the list of peers
it would seem as if twenty-three archbishops and bishops took their
seats, but the list is so full of glaring inaccuracies that it cannot
be relied upon. At best it represents merely the number who were
entitled to sit, and was based entirely on the list drawn up for the
Parliaments of 1541 and 1560.[73]

When Parliament met James Stanihurst, Recorder of Dublin, was
appointed speaker. From the beginning it was evident that in spite of
all his efforts the government party was likely to meet with serious
opposition. Sir Christopher Barnewall took strong exception to the
methods that had been adopted to pack the assembly, but though the
judges when appealed to upheld his objections on two counts they
decided against him on the vital question, namely, the selection of
English officials who had never seen the constituencies they were
supposed to represent. Backed by the decision of the judges, the Lord
Deputy and the Speaker bore down all opposition. An act was passed for
the attainder of Shane O'Neill, for the suppression of the title The
O'Neill, and for securing to her Majesty the County Tyrone and other
counties and territories in Ulster. The spiritual peers resisted
strongly a proposal for the erection of schools to be supported out of
the ecclesiastical property, but in the end the measure was passed. It
enacted that a free school should be established in each diocese at
the expense of the diocese, that the salary should be paid by the
bishops and clergy, that the schoolmasters should be Englishmen or at
least of English extraction, and that their appointment should be
vested in the Lord Deputy except in the Dioceses of Armagh, Dublin,
Meath, and Kildare, in which the nomination of the teachers should
rest in the hands of the archbishop or bishop. The exceptions clearly
indicate that only the royal bishops could be relied upon to carry out
the educational policy of the government, and this was brought out
even more explicitly by the act empowering the Deputy to appoint to
all ecclesiastical dignities in Munster and Connaught. A bill for the
repair of the churches at the public expense was thrown out in the
House of Commons.[74]

The gradual extension of English influence in both the North and the
South enabled Elizabeth and her advisers to throw off the mask of
toleration, and to take more active measures for enforcing the new
religion. Already Bishop Walsh of Meath had been thrown into prison
(1565), from which he escaped in 1572 and fled to Spain; Bishop
Leverous had been driven from his See in Kildare, though on account of
the influence of his patron, the Earl of Kildare, he was permitted to
end his days in his own diocese; Bishop Lacy of Limerick was reported
by the Lord Deputy (1562) as "a stubborn and disobedient man in causes
of religion" and as having committed offences whereby he had forfeited
his bishopric by the laws of the realm. For some time Limerick was
regarded as vacant, but the threatening attitude of the Geraldines
made it impossible to interfere with its bishop, and when the Lord
Deputy visited the city in 1567 he even allowed himself to be received
by the bishop with full Catholic ceremonial. When, however, the power
of the Southern confederation was broken Bishop Lacy was deprived of
his See as far as royal letters patent could do it, and William Casey,
the nominee of Edward VI. was placed in possession. The latter had
made his submission to the Pope and had declared his sorrow for his
crimes in the presence of David Wolf. Though apparently he had fallen
once again, he was distrusted by those who had appointed him as is
shown by the fact that a Scotchman named Campbell was set over him in
1585 to attend "to the spiritual functions of the bishopric."[75]

The Pope appointed Donat O'Teige Archbishop of Armagh in 1560, and on
his death Richard Creagh was designated as his successor. The latter
was a native of Limerick, who had graduated at Louvain, and at the
time he was nominated by David Wolf for an Irish archbishopric he kept
a school in his native diocese. Having been consecrated in Rome in
1564 he arrived in Ireland towards the end of that year only to be
arrested and thrown into prison, from which he managed to make his
escape at Easter (1565). He returned to his diocese, but he soon found
himself in conflict with Shane O'Neill. The archbishop was an Anglo-
Irishman, who stood for loyalty to the queen, and who regarded O'Neill
and his followers as both rebels, and, in a sense, savages. Instead of
encouraging O'Neill's men to maintain their struggle he preached on
the duty of obedience, whereat O'Neill was so enraged that he was at
first inclined to drive the Primate from Armagh. He burned the
cathedral of Armagh not, however, as is sometimes represented, in
hatred of the archbishop, but because it had been used as a fortress
by the English. The relations between the spiritual and temporal ruler
of Ulster improved, and Creagh addressed a petition to the Deputy to
be allowed to continue the Catholic services in the churches (1566).
He was captured once again early in 1567, and put upon his trial. The
jury having refused to find a verdict against him, both they and the
accused were committed to prison in Dublin Castle. The archbishop
eluded his guards once again, and it was only after the Earl of
Kildare had promised that his life should be spared that his
whereabouts were discovered. In December 1567 he was lodged in the
Tower of London, in which he was kept a close prisoner, though he
still contrived to communicate with Rome and with his diocese. Despite
the intercession of the Spanish ambassador, and notwithstanding the
fact that he suffered from grievous bodily infirmities, he remained a
prisoner till his death in October 1585. As a guarantee had been given
by the Earl of Kildare that his life would be spared, it was not
deemed prudent to execute him, but according to well authenticated
evidence his death was brought about by poison.[76]

Thomas O'Herlihy was appointed Bishop of Ross on the recommendation of
Father Wolf in 1561, and after having been consecrated he attended the
Council of Trent. On his return to Ireland he took an active part in
encouraging James Fitzmaurice, and was deputed to accompany the
Archbishop of Cashel to seek for aid from Philip II. of Spain. He was
captured in 1571 and sent to the Tower of London, where he was kept
prisoner for about three years and a half. He came back once again to
his diocese, and laboured strenuously, not merely in Ross, but in
various districts in the South till his death in 1579 or 1580.[77]
Maurice Fitzgibbon, Archbishop of Cashel, went to Spain as the
representative of the Southern Geraldines and their allies. Having
failed to get any help from Philip II., he endeavoured at various
times to interest the King of France, the Duke of Anjou, and the Duke
of Alva in Irish affairs. Though he was certainly in Scotland, where
he was arrested in 1572, it is doubtful if he ever returned to his
diocese. According to one authority he was captured in Munster and
kept a prisoner in Cork till his death in 1578, but it is more
probable that he died at Oporto.[78]

After the suppression of the Geraldine uprising and after the decree
of excommunication had been issued against Elizabeth still more
violent measures were taken against the bishops and clergy. The
Franciscan, Bishop O'Hely, was taken, together with another member of
his order, at Kilmallock, and both were put to death (1578 or 1579).
Edmund Tanner, who had been appointed to Cork in 1574, and entrusted
with special faculties for the provinces of Dublin and Cashel, was
arrested shortly after his arrival in Ireland and was thrown into
prison. He succeeded, however, in escaping, and he continued his
labours in various parts of Munster and Leinster till his death in
1578 or 1579. Nicholas Skerrett, a graduate of the /Collegium
Germanicum/ in Rome, was appointed to Tuam in October 1580. He was
thrown into prison after his arrival in Ireland, and, having succeeded
in escaping from his captors, he made his way into Spain. He died at
Lisbon in 1583 or 1584. Maurice MacBrien was appointed to Emly in 1567
on the recommendation of Father Wolf. During the earlier stages of the
Desmond rebellion he took active steps to promote the Catholic
confederation. At this period it is not improbable that he went to
Spain to solicit the co-operation of Philip II., but he returned to
Ireland, was captured in 1584, and two years later he died in prison
in Dublin. Peter Power or de la Poer was provided to Ferns by the Pope
in 1582. He was arrested and while in prison was induced to make his
submission, but on his release, stricken with sorrow for the weakness
he had shown, he boldly confessed his error and was arrested once
more. How long he was detained is not certain, but it is clear from a
letter of the Bishop of Killaloe that he was treated with the utmost
severity. He died in Spain in 1587.[79]

In 1581 Dermot O'Hurley was appointed to the Archbishopric of Cashel.
He had been a distinguished student of Louvain, and was then a
professor of Canon Law at Rheims. Hardly had he reached Ireland when
the government spies were on his track. For some time he remained in
the vicinity of Drogheda, and then he withdrew to the castle of the
Baron of Slane, from which he proceeded through Cavan and Longford to
his diocese. Having learned, however, that the Baron of Slane was in
danger for having afforded him assistance he surrendered himself to
his persecutors. He was brought to Dublin, in the course of which he
admitted that he was an archbishop appointed by the Pope, but he
denied that he had come to Ireland to stir up strife or to encourage
treasonable conspiracies. On one occasion at least he was subjected to
horrible torture to extract from him some damaging admissions. At the
advice of Walsingham his feet and legs were encased in tin boots and
he was held over a fire. As he still refused to submit he was tried by
court-martial and condemned. In June 1584 he was hanged in Dublin.[80]
Edmund McGauran, who was translated from Ardagh to Armagh in 1587,
devoted himself earnestly to the task of inducing the Catholic princes
of Ulster to defend their religion and their territories. He was slain
during a battle between Maguire of Fermanagh and the English in
1593.[81] Redmond O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry, was specially active
throughout the whole province of Ulster, and so powerful were his
protectors that for years the government agents were afraid to arrest
him, but in the end he was slain together with three of his priests by
soldiers from the Lough Foyle garrison (1601).[82]

In the early years of Elizabeth's reign the government from motives of
prudence abstained from adopting violent measures to promote the
change of religion. But after 1570 there was a decided change, and
particularly after 1580 the persecution was carried on with great
bitterness. Many of the clergy, both secular and regular, were put to
death. Amongst the latter the few Jesuits who had come into the
country to help to carry on the work begun by Father David Wolf, the
Franciscans, and the Dominicans, were pursued with relentless
severity. Sometimes they were put to death by the soldiers without any
form of trial, sometimes they were executed according to the
proclamations of martial law, and sometimes they were allowed a form
of trial. But the fact that they were priests was sufficient to secure
their conviction. Several laymen were put to death for refusing to
change their religion, for harbouring priests, or for having studied
in some of the Catholic colleges on the Continent. Although Henry
VIII. had succeeded in destroying many of the religious houses, still
in a great part of the North, West, and South of Ireland the law had
not been enforced, and even in the districts where the English held
sway several of the monasteries enjoyed a precarious existence, partly
owing to the kindness of certain noblemen, partly also to royal
exemptions. But with the gradual subjugation of the country during the
reign of Elizabeth more determined measures were taken for the
suppression of such institutions. According to a return presented to
the authorities in London (1578) "thirty-four abbeys and religious
houses with very good lands belonging to them, never surveyed before
1569," were seized, as were also "seventy-two abbeys and priories
concealed from her Majesty."[83] From a revenue return presented in
1593 it can be seen that the suppression of these houses and the
seizure of their property helped considerably to strengthen the royal
exchequer. From the possessions in Ireland that belonged formerly to
religious houses in England the queen received annually in round
numbers £538, from the lands belonging to St. John of Jerusalem £776,
from those of the monastery of Thomastown £551, from the possessions
of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, £329, and from the monasteries and other
religious houses in Ireland £4,716.[84] The destruction of the
monasteries did not, however, mean the extinction of the Mendicant
Orders. They still continued to maintain themselves in the country, so
that during the worst days of the seventeenth century the Franciscans
and Dominicans were to be reckoned with as the most dangerous
opponents of the religious policy of the English government.

Only in case of one bishop, the notorious Miler Magrath, was Elizabeth
able to secure submission. He was a Franciscan friar, who, having been
sent to Rome to petition that the vacant See of Down and Connor should
be conferred on Shane O'Neill's brother, took steps to secure the
appointment for himself (1565). Finding on his return that he could
not hope to get any revenue from his diocese on account of the
opposition of O'Neill, he made his submission to the queen (1567) and
received as his reward the diocese of Clogher, and later on the
Archbishopric of Cashel (1570). For the greater part of his term of
office as archbishop he held the Sees of Waterford and Lismore, and
when he resigned them in 1607 he obtained a grant of Achonry and
Killala. While pretending to be scandalised by the toleration shown to
Catholics, and especially to Catholic officials, and to be anxious
that the laws should be enforced with the utmost rigour he took
measures to warn the clergy whenever there was danger of arrest. On
one occasion when he was in London, having learned that a raid was
contemplated against the priests, he wrote to his wife to warn Bishop
MacCragh of Cork to go into hiding at once, and to send away the
priests who had taken refuge in his own palace at Cashel lest he
should get into trouble. He was denounced by the officials in Dublin
as a traitor, a drunkard, and a despoiler of the goods of the Church.
He sold or leased the property of his dioceses, kept a large number of
benefices in his own hands solely for the sake of the revenue,
appointed his own sons, his daughter, and his daughter-in-law to
parishes to provide them with an income, built no schools, and allowed
the churches to go into ruins. His children made no secret of the fact
that they were Catholics, and the archbishop himself seemed to think
that though Protestantism had been useful to him in life, the old
religion would be preferable at death. In 1608 faculties had been
granted to Archbishop Kearney of Cashel for absolving Magrath from the
guilt of heresy and schism. Some years later he besought a Franciscan
friar to procure his reconciliation with Rome, promising that for his
part, if the Pope required it, he would make a public renunciation of
Protestantism. This request of his was recommended warmly to the Holy
See by Mgr. Bentivoglio, inter-nuncio at Brussels, but the love of the
archbishop for the revenues of Cashel and of his other bishoprics and
benefices seems to have proved stronger than his desire for pardon,
for he continued to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of
the State Church till his death in 1622. It was believed by his
contemporaries that on his death-bed he abjured his errors, and was
reconciled with the Church by one of his former religious

The destruction of the religious houses and collegiate churches during
the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth dealt a heavy
blow to Irish education. Here and there through the country, clergy
and laymen contrived to teach schools and to give their pupils a sound
knowledge of the classics as well as of the language, literature, and
history of their country. But the theological colleges were closed;
Oxford and Cambridge were no longer safe training-places for Irish
ecclesiastics, and unless something could be done at once there was
grave danger that when the bishops and clergy, who were then at work,
passed away, they would leave none behind them to take their places.
Fortunately the close and direct communication between Ireland and the
Catholic nations of the Continent suggested a possible method of
preventing such a calamity, by the establishment, namely, of Irish
colleges in Rome, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. These
institutions owed their existence to the efforts of Irish bishops and
priests, and to the generous assistance of the Popes, and the
sovereigns of Spain and France. They were supported by the donations
of individual benefactors, by grants from the papal treasury or the
royal treasuries of Spain and France, and by the fees paid by
students, some of whom were wealthy enough to bear their own expenses,
while others of them were ordained priests before they left Ireland so
that they might be able to maintain themselves from their /honoraria/
for Masses.

In Spain Irish colleges were established at Salamanca, Seville,
Alcalá, Santiago de Compostella, and Madrid. The college at Salamanca
was founded by Father Thomas White, S.J., a native of Clonmel, with
the approval of Philip II., in 1592 under the title of /El Real
Colegio de Nobles Irlandeses/. The King of Spain provided a generous
endowment, and the control of the college was entrusted to the
Jesuits. Shortly after its foundation complaints were made in the
names of O'Neill and O'Donnell that the administrators of the college
showed but scanty attention to the claims of students from Ulster and
Connaught (1602), a complaint which seems to be justified by the rolls
of matriculation, on which the names of very few students from these
provinces are to be found. Those who presented themselves at Salamanca
took an oath to return to labour in the Irish mission after the
completion of their studies, and to enable them to do this a certain
sum of money was granted to them from the royal treasury of Spain to
cover the expenses of the journey to Ireland. Many of the most
distinguished of the Irish bishops and priests during the seventeenth
century were men who had graduated at Salamanca.[86] The college at
Compostella was founded in 1605, was endowed partly by Philip III.,
and was placed in charge of the Jesuits. It served as an auxiliary to
Salamanca, and its students were sent there for their theological
training. The College of the Immaculate Conception at Seville owed its
origin (1612) to some of the Irish secular clergy. It was endowed very
generously by Philip III. who placed the Jesuits in control of it in
1619. To help to provide for the support of the students the Irish
merchants, who carried on a brisk trade with Seville and Cadiz at this
period, bound themselves to bestow on the college a certain percentage
on every cask of wine they shipped, while Paul V. granted permission
to the fishermen of the province of Andalusia to fish on six Sundays
or holidays on condition that they devoted the results of their
labours to the support of the Irish College. The college at Madrid was
founded by Father Theobold Stapleton (1629), and was used principally
as a hospice for the reception of Irish priests who had completed
their studies, and who came to the Spanish capital to receive the
money guaranteed by the king to enable them to return to Ireland. In
1657 George de Paz y Silveira, who was related on his mother's side to
the MacDonnells of Antrim, founded a college at Alcalá principally for
students from the North of Ireland. According to the directions of the
founder the election of the rector was vested in the hands of the
student body, a regulation that led to grave disorders, and finally to
the closing of the college. The Irish college at Lisbon owed its
existence to the activity of the Jesuits, notably of Father John
Holing. It was opened in 1593, but it was only two years later that
owing to the kindness of a Spanish nobleman a permanent residence was
acquired, over which Father White, S.J., was placed as rector. A
community of Irish Dominican Fathers was opened at Lisbon, as was also
a convent of Dominican Nuns.

Irish students received a friendly welcome not merely in Spain, but
also in the Spanish Netherlands. From the middle of the sixteenth
century several ecclesiastical students from Ireland fled to Louvain
for their education, but it was only in 1623 that Archbishop MacMahon
of Dublin succeeded in founding a separate institution, the celebrated
/Collegium Pastorale/ for the training of secular priests for the
Irish mission. Out of his own private resources he founded six burses
in the college, and at his earnest request six others were endowed by
the Propaganda. The college was formally approved by Urban VIII. in
1624, and Nicholas Aylmer was placed over it as its first rector.
Though many of the ablest of the Irish bishops and priests of the
penal times were educated in the Pastoral College, still Ireland is
even more indebted to another Irish establishment at Louvain, the
Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony of Padua. At the petition of
Florence Conry, Archbishop of Tuam, himself a Franciscan and a devoted
supporter of the Northern Chiefs, Philip III. recommended the project
of an Irish Franciscan College to his representative in the
Netherlands, and conferred on the institution a generous endowment.
With the blessing and approval of Paul V. the college was opened
formally in 1609, and so great was its success that it soon became the
leading centre of Irish missionary activity. Here Irish scholars like
John Colgan, Hugh Ward, Father Mooney, Bonaventure O'Hussey, Hugh
MacCaghwell, etc., found a home, and from the Louvain Irish printing-
press were issued a large number of catechisms, religious treatises,
and historical works, that did incalculable service for religion and
for Ireland. Another very important institution at Louvain was the
Irish Dominican Priory known as the Holy Cross founded in 1608. A
seminary for the education of secular priests was opened at Antwerp in
1629 as a result of the exertions and generosity of Father Laurence
Sedgrave and his nephew Father James Talbot. It was supported from the
revenues bestowed upon it by its founders, from the grants of the
papal nuncio at Brussels, and from the donations of Irishmen, laymen
as well as clerics. At Tournai a seminary for Irish priests was
founded by Father Christopher Cusack, and its students attended
lectures in the college belonging to the Jesuits. Nearly all the Irish
establishments in the Netherlands continued their work until they were
destroyed during the troubled period that followed on the outbreak of
the French Revolution.

In France, too, Irish students found a welcome and a home. Colleges
set apart entirely for their use were opened in Paris, Douay, Lille,
Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Nantes. The Irish College in Paris may be said
to date from the year 1578, when Father John Lee and a few companions
from Ireland took up their residence in the Collège Montaigu. Later on
a friendly nobleman, John de l'Escalopier, placed a special house at
their disposal, and Father Lee became the first rector of the new
seminary, which was recognised officially by the University of Paris
in 1624. Later on the Collège des Lombards was acquired, as was also
the present house in the Rue des Irlandais. The college in Paris was
favoured specially by the Irish bishops, as is evident from the fact
that in the year 1795 more than one-third of the Irish clerical
students on the Continent were receiving their training in the French
capital. The seminary in Douay was founded by Father Ralph Cusack in
1577. At that time Douay belonged to the Spanish Netherlands, and the
Irish seminary participated in the boundless generosity of the Kings
of Spain. The Irish seminary at Lille was founded also by Father
Cusack, and was placed under the control of the Capuchins. Though it
was intended principally for the use of students from the province of
Leinster, special attention was devoted to the Irish language, without
a knowledge of which no person could be appointed rector. The seminary
at Bordeaux was founded (1603) by Father Diarmuid MacCarthy, a priest
of the diocese of Cork, and later on it received special grants and
privileges from the queen-regent, Anne of Austria. The same kind
benefactress provided a home for the Irish students at Toulouse
(1659), while a few years later a seminary for Irish students was
established at Nantes.

Very early in Elizabeth's reign the question of providing priests for
the Irish mission engaged the earnest attention of the Roman
authorities. Gregory XIII. had arranged for the establishment of an
Irish college in Rome, and had provided the means for its support, but
as an expedition was then being prepared to aid James Fitzmaurice in
his struggle in Ireland, the project was postponed, and the money was
devoted to the purposes of the war. In 1625 the Irish bishops
addressed a petition to the Holy See praying for the establishment of
an Irish college in Rome. Cardinal Ludovisi, then Cardinal Protector
of Ireland, supported strongly this petition. He secured a house for
the accommodation of a few students, and in 1628 the college was
opened. In his will the Cardinal provided generously for the endowment
of the college, and he also expressed a wish that it should be
entrusted to the care of the Jesuits. They entered into control in
1635, and directed the affairs of the college till a short time before
the suppression of the Society.[87]

Elizabeth and her advisers were not slow to see the danger of allowing
Irish youths to be educated in Rome, France, or in the territories of
the King of Spain. For years the English government had been advised
to take measures for the establishment of a good system of English
schools as the best means of conquering the country. It was suggested
that with the suppression of the monasteries and the wholesale
confiscation of their possessions something might be done by Henry
VIII. or Edward VI. for the cause of education.[88] But these hopes
were doomed to speedy disappointment. The revenues of the religious
houses, which had provided centres of learning for the boys and girls
of the country, found their way into the royal treasury or into the
pockets of the dishonest commissioners, and no educational
establishments were erected in their place. The Deputy did, indeed,
inform the canons of St. Patrick's, Dublin, that their church should
be converted to a better use, namely, a university, but the promise
was made only to induce them to surrender without a struggle. The
valuable church plate, crosses, etc., were melted down and handed over
to the mint.[89]

At the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth a proposal was made to
carry out the promise of Henry VIII. by converting St. Patrick's into
a university. Archbishop Curwen objected strongly to such a
suggestion, nominally on the ground that a university would only serve
as an excuse for the Irish rebels to send their sons to the capital to
learn the secrets of the Pale, but in reality because he feared that
the project would interfere with his own income. At various times and
in various forms the plan was brought forward once more. Sir John
Perrott was anxious to signalise his term of office as Lord Deputy by
the establishment of a university in Dublin, but Archbishop Loftus,
who as Archbishop of Armagh had supported the conversion of St.
Patrick's into a university, having changed his mind once he had
secured his own transference to Dublin, opposed warmly the project of
the Deputy. When, however, he had succeeded in saving St. Patrick's
for his relatives and dependents he brought forward another proposal,
namely, that the Corporation of Dublin should hand over the site of
the old monastery of All Hallows for the establishment of a
university. The corporation agreed to this proposal, and in 1592 a
charter was granted by Elizabeth. An appeal was then issued for
subscriptions, and in a short time about £2,000 was collected, many of
the Anglo-Irish Catholics being amongst the subscribers. In 1593
Trinity College was opened for the reception of students. Though care
had been taken by the archbishop when discussing the subject with the
Corporation of Dublin, most of the members of which were still
Catholic, and by the Deputy when appealing for funds for the erection
of the buildings, not to raise the question of religion, yet Trinity
College was intended from the beginning to be a bulwark of
Protestantism as well as of English power in Ireland. Elizabeth had
already done much to forward the cause of the new religion by getting
possession of the children of the Anglo-Irish or Irish nobles and
bringing them to England to be reared up as Protestants and as
Englishmen,[90] and it was hoped that Trinity College, supported by
the diocesan schools, would do for the better class of the nation what
Oxford and Cambridge were doing for the unfortunate children of the
chiefs who were kidnapped in the name of religion and statesmanship.
The new college set itself to carry out exactly the wishes of its
founders, and in return from its compliancy it received large
endowments from the English crown mainly by grants of confiscated
territories in different parts of Ireland.[91]

Yet in spite of all the measures that were taken, commissions, fines,
executions, bestowal of honours and appointments, diocesan schools,
and kidnapping of children, the Reformation made but little progress.
The truth is that Elizabeth's representatives in Ireland had not the
power to enforce her wishes in regard to religion, nor did Elizabeth
herself desire to stir up a general insurrection by attempting to
punish the lay nobles for their flagrant disregard of her ordinances.
Thus in 1585 Walsingham sent over express instructions to the
Protestant Archbishop of Armagh (Long) that the gentlemen of the Pale
were to be excused from taking the oath of allegiance,[92] and in 1591
Sir George Carew informed Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam that the queen was
displeased with him because "she feared that he was too forward in
dealing with matters of religion," and that he (Carew) had attempted
to excuse the Deputy by pointing out that on account of the
forbearance of the government, "they of the Pale were grown insolent."
At one time Elizabeth wrote to the Deputy and council blaming them for
neglecting to push forward the interests of the new religion (1599),
while the very next year she instructed Lord Mountjoy not to interfere
by any severity or violence in matters of religion, until the power of
England was established so firmly that such interference could be
effective. The reason for this wavering attitude is not difficult to
understand. Elizabeth feared that a general attack upon religion as
such would be the best means of inducing all the Catholic noblemen to
forget their personal rivalries and unite in one great national
confederation. Such a turn of events might have proved disastrous to
English interests in Ireland, and hence care was taken to allow a
certain measure of toleration to the noblemen, and to explain away the
punishments inflicted on the clergy as having been imposed not on
account of religion, but on account of their traitorous designs. This
is brought out very clearly in a letter of Sir George Carew to the
privy council in 1600. The citizens of Waterford had been reported for
their complete and open disregard of the new religion, and Carew was
charged with the work of punishing such disobedience. He wrote that he
would "handle the matter of religion as nicely as he could," and that
he would endeavour to convict the leaders of the movement of treason
because, he added, "if it do appear in the least that any part of
their punishment proceeds for matter of religion, it will kindle a
great fire in this kingdom."[93]

In 1576 Hugh Brady, the Protestant Bishop of Meath, reported to the
Lord Deputy that the condition of the Established Church was
lamentable, that the priests, though deprived of their livings,
continued to maintain themselves on the voluntary offerings of the
people, that the churches had fallen into a state of decay, that no
ministers were at hand who could address the people in their own
language, and that to remedy this state of affairs Englishmen should
be sent over as bishops to organise the new religious body, and
Scotchmen should be requested to act as preachers.[94] When such a
state of affairs existed in the Pale districts it is easy to see that
Protestantism had as yet made little progress among the Irish people.
Two years later Lord Justice Drury and Sir Edward Fyton, Treasurer,
announced to the privy council that on their arrival in Kilkenny the
Protestant Bishop of Ossory reported to them "that not only the
chiefest men of that town (as for the most part they are bent to
Popery) refused obstinately to come to the church, and that they could
by no means be brought to hear the divine service there with their
wives and families (as by her Majesty's injunctions they are bound to
do), but that almost all the churches and chapels or chancels within
his diocese were utterly ruined and decayed, and that neither the
parishioners nor others that are bound to repair them and set them up
could by any means be won or induced to do so." The Lord Justice and
his companion called the chief men of Kilkenny before them, and bound
them in recognisances of £40 each "that they and their wives should
duly every Sunday and holiday frequent the church, and hear the divine

Waterford was equally bad. In 1579 Sir William Pelham reported that
Marmaduke Middleton, who had been appointed bishop by Elizabeth, had
met with a bad reception in Waterford, "partly through the
contemptuous and obstinate behaviour of the mayor and his brethren of
that city, and partly by the clergy of that church." The Dean of
Waterford had made himself particularly disagreeable, and on account
of his behaviour Pelham recommended that he ought to be deprived of
his dignity as an example to the citizens who were "the most arrogant
Papists that live within this state." Bishop Middleton was most
anxious to get himself removed from Waterford, where he feared that
his life was in danger. He reported that Waterford was given over to
"Rome-runners and friars," that clergy and people were united to
prevent her Majesty's most godly proceedings, that "Rome itself held
no more superstition" than the city over which he ruled, and that most
of the Protestant incumbents were little better than "wood-kerne."[96]
Even towards the end of Elizabeth's reign Waterford was still, as it
had been when she ascended the throne, strongly Catholic. The privy
council in England warned Sir George Carew that though "the evil
disposition of the Irish people in most places of that kingdom, and
especially of the inhabitants of Waterford, in matters of religion"
was perfectly well known, and though great toleration had been shown
them lest they should have an excuse to rise in rebellion, "yet
something must be done to repress the presumption and insolency of the
people." For it had been announced by the Archbishop of Cashel
(Magrath) "that in Waterford there are certain buildings, erected
under colour and pretence of almshouses or hospitals, but that the
same are in very deed intended and publicly professed to be used for
monasteries and such like houses of religion, and that friars and
popish priests are openly received and maintained in them . . . and
exercise their service of the Mass openly and usually in many places,
as if they were in no awe or fear of any exception to be taken
thereunto." It is noteworthy, however, as indicating the extent of
English influence at that time in Ireland, that the members of the
privy council warned the President of Munster that they "do not think
it convenient that any extraordinary course should be taken or any
disturbance made to inquire after or to punish them for their Masses
or any other popish superstitions, unless they show thereby openly to
the world an insolent contempt for her Majesty's authority."[97]

In 1597, when Lord Borough was sent over as Lord Deputy, Elizabeth
instructed him to discreetly inquire of the state of religion, whereof
we are informed," she wrote, "there hath been notorious negligence, in
that the orders of religion are in few parts of our realm there
observed; and that which is to be lamented, even in our very English
Pale multitudes of parishes are destitute of incumbents and teachers,
and in the very great towns of assembly, numbers not only forbear to
come to the church or divine service, but [are] even willingly winked
at to use all manner of popish ceremonies." She ordered him to examine
into the causes of "this general defection," to see what have the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners been doing all these years, and to
forward his views as to how "this general defection might be reformed,
in some convenient sort, and not thus carelessly suffered as though
she had granted toleration of Popery."[98] Three years later (1600)
Sir George Carew furnished a very gloomy report on the progress of the
new religion. "If the Spaniards do come hither," he wrote, "I know no
part of the kingdom that will hold for the queen, and the cities
themselves will revolt with the first. For it is incredible to see how
our nation and religion is maligned, and the awful obedience that all
the kingdom stands in unto the Romish priests, whose excommunications
are of greater terror unto them than any earthly horror whatsoever.
Until of late, although the townsmen have ever been obstinate Papists,
yet /pro forma/ the mayors and aldermen would go to the church. But
now not so much as the mayors will show any such external obedience,
and by that means the queen's sword is a recusant, which in my
judgment is intolerable. Nevertheless I do not think it good to insist
much upon it in this troublesome time. As for Masses and such slight
errants here, they are of no great estimation. I am not over-curious
to understand them, so as they be not used contemptuously and publicly
in derogation of the queen's laws. But the mayors of the cities and
corporate towns to be let run in so manifest contempts I do not

Nor is it strange that the new religion had made such little progress
in Ireland. Apart from the fact that the Irish people were thoroughly
Catholic at heart, the means adopted to bring about their apostasy was
not of such a kind as to ensure success. The English sovereigns, their
officials in Dublin, and a section of the Anglo-Irish nobles aimed at
getting possession of the ecclesiastical property and patronage, and
once they had attained their object they had but scant regard for the
claims of religion. Englishmen were sent over as archbishops or
bishops, who could not preach in a language that the people could
understand, and who had no other desire than to enrich themselves,
their children, and their relatives. Archbishop Browne had set an
example in this direction, which example was not lost on his
successor, Adam Loftus, who was so greedy in petitioning for
appointments that his chapter was forced to demand from him a pledge
that he would look for nothing more. Archbishop Long of Armagh (1584-
89) wasted the property of the diocese to such an extent that his
successor had barely an income of £120 a year and not a house to give
him shelter. Miler Magrath enriched himself out of Cashel, Emly,
Waterford and Lismore, Killala, and Achonry. Twenty of the parishes of
Emly were held by himself; twenty-six by his sons, daughters, and near
relations; nineteen were left vacant; men "fitter to keep hogs than to
serve in church" were appointed to some livings, and "in the two
dioceses (Cashel and Emly) there was not one preacher or good minister
to teach the subjects their duties to God and His Majesty." Craik of
Kildare, Cavenagh of Ossory, and Allen of Ferns were accused of
alienating the diocesan property of their respective Sees. With the
single exception of Brady, the Protestant Bishop of Meath, against
whom Loftus declared he could bring such charges as he would be loath
to utter, hardly one of the men appointed by Elizabeth to Irish
bishoprics was worthy of his position. Loftus was an impecunious
courtier; Magrath had no religion except to make money and indulge his
passion for strong drink; Knight the Scotchman, who was sent to Cashel
to watch him, was removed on account of public drunkenness; Devereux
was appointed to Ferns, although, according to Loftus, he had been
deprived of his deanship on account of confessed immorality; Richard
Dixon was deprived of his See within one year after his appointment by
the queen for manifest adultery, and Marmaduke Middleton of Waterford
having been translated to St. David's was accused of "grave
misdemeanours," the most serious of which was the publication of a
forged will, and was degraded by the High Commission Court. With such
men in charge of the work of "reforming" the clergy and people of
Ireland, it is no wonder that the Reformation made so little

The men into whose hands the property and patronage of the Church had
passed took no steps to look after the repair of the church buildings
or to provide clergy to preach the new religion. In some cases their
neglect was due to the fact that they themselves were Catholic in
their sympathies, and in other cases because they did not want to
incur any expenses. As a consequence, the churches were in ruins and
roofless, and no religious service of any kind was provided. Few
English ministers of good standing in their own country cared to come
to Ireland except possibly in the hope of securing a bishopric in the
Pale districts, and as a consequence, the men who came were "of some
bad note," on account of which they were obliged to leave their own
country. Hence, in order to provide ministers to spread the new gospel
it was necessary to ordain those who were willing to receive orders as
a means of making their living. It is no wonder, therefore, that
Edmund Spenser described the Irish Protestant clergy of the period as
"bad, licentious, and most disordered." "Whatever disorders," he
writes, "you see in the Church of England, you may find in Ireland,
and many more, namely, gross simony, greedy covetousness,
incontinence, careless sloth, and generally all disordered life in the
common clergyman. And, besides all these, they have their particular
enormities; for all Irish ministers that now enjoy church livings are
in a manner mere laymen, saving that they have taken holy orders, but
otherwise they go and live like laymen, follow all kinds of husbandry,
and other worldly affairs as other Irishmen do. They neither read the
Scriptures, nor preach to the people, nor administer the communion." A
good account of the motley crowd who had been enlisted to carry out
the work of reform is given by Andrew Trollope, himself an English
lawyer and a Protestant. Although he referred particularly to Munster
his account may be taken as substantially correct for the rest of
Ireland. "In truth," he wrote, "such they [the clergy] are as deserve
not living or to live. For they will not be accounted ministers but
priests. They will have no wives. If they would stay there it were
well; but they will have harlots . . . And with long experience and
some extraordinary trail of those fellows, I cannot find whether the
most of them love lewd women, cards, dice, or drink best. And when
they must of necessity go to church, they carry with them a book of
Latin of the Common Prayer set forth and allowed by her Majesty. But
they read little or nothing of it, or can well read it, but they tell
the people a tale of Our Lady or St. Patrick, or some other saint,
horrible to be spoken or heard, and intolerable to be suffered, and do
all they may to allure the people from God and their prince, and their
due obedience to them both, and persuade them to the devil and the
Pope." The Lord Deputy sent a report to England in 1576 "on the
lamentable state of the Church" in Ireland. "There are," he wrote,
"within this diocese [Meath] two hundred and twenty-four parish
churches, of which number one hundred and five are impropriated to
sundry possessions; no parson or vicar resident upon any of them, and
a very simple or sorry curate for the most part appointed to serve
them; among which number of curates only eighteen were found able to
speak English, the rest being Irish ministers, or rather Irish rogues,
having very little Latin, and less learning and civility. . . . In
many places the very walls of the churches are thrown down; very few
chancels covered; windows or doors ruined or spoiled. . . . If this be
the state of the church in the best-peopled diocese, and best governed
country of this your realm, as in truth it is, easy is it for your
Majesty to conjecture in what case the rest is, where little or no
reformation either of religion or manners hath yet been planted and
continued among them. . . . If I should write unto your Majesty what
spoil hath been, and is of the archbishoprics, of which there are
four, and of the bishoprics, whereof there are above thirty, partly by
the prelates themselves, partly by the potentates, their noisome
neighbours, I should make too long a libel of this my letter. But your
Majesty may believe it, upon the face of the earth where Christ is
professed, there is not a Church in so miserable a case."

Spenser drew a sharp contrast between the Catholic clergy and the
ministers of the new gospel. "It is great wonder," he wrote, "to see
the odds which are between the zeal of the Popish priests and the
ministers of the gospel. For they spare not to come out of Spain, from
Rome, and from Rheims, by long toil and dangerous travelling hither,
where they know peril of death awaiteth them, and no reward or riches
are to be found, only to draw the people unto the Church of Rome;
whereas some of our idle ministers, having a way for credit and
estimation thereby opened unto them, and having the livings of the
country offered unto them without pains and without peril, will
neither for the same, nor any love of God, nor zeal of religion, nor
for all the good they may do by winning souls to God, be drawn forth
from their warm nests to look out into God's harvest."[101]

But though the attempts to seduce Ireland from the Catholic faith had
failed to produce any substantial results, yet there could be no
denying the fact that Elizabeth had gone further to reduce the country
to subjection than had any of her predecessors. The overthrow of the
Geraldines and their allies in the South, the plantation of English
Undertakers in the lands of the Earl of Desmond, the seizure of
MacMahon's country, and the attempted plantation of Clandeboy, the
appointments of presidents of Munster and Connaught, the reduction of
several counties to shire-lands, the nomination of sheriffs to enforce
English law, and the establishment of garrisons in several parts of
the country, made it clear to any thoughtful Irishman that unless some
steps were taken at once, the complete reduction of their country was
only a matter of a few years. In the North Hugh O'Neill, son of
Matthew O'Neill, was looked upon as the most powerful nobleman of the
province. Like his father he had been in his youth an English O'Neill,
and for that reason he was created Earl of Tyrone (1585), and was
granted most of the territories of Shane the Proud. But he distrusted
the English, as he was distrusted by them. The treacherous seizure of
Hugh O'Donnell, the planting of an English garrison at Portmore along
the Blackwater, and the warlike preparations begun by Sir Henry
Bagenal made it evident to him that the government aimed at the
complete overthrow of the Irish chieftains.

Having strengthened himself by alliances with Hugh O'Donnell, Maguire,
and the principal nobles of the North, he rose in arms, seized the
fortress of Portmore, laid siege to Monaghan, and inflicted a very
severe defeat on the English forces at Clontibret (1595). Whatever
might have been his ulterior object, O'Neill put the question of
religion in the forefront. Already it had been noted by the English
officials that O'Neill, though brought up in England, was attached to
the "Romish Church." In their negotiations with the government after
the defeat of the English forces at Clontibret, both O'Neill and
O'Donnell demanded that "all persons have free liberty of conscience."
Similar demands were made by the other chieftains of Ulster, and later
on by all the Irish nobles in Connaught, Leinster, and Munster. In
reply to these demands the commissioners announced that in the past
the queen had tolerated the practice of the Catholic religion, and "so
in likelihood she will continue the same." When the report of these
negotiations reached England Elizabeth was displeased. The request for
liberty of conscience was characterised as "disloyal." O'Neill was to
be informed that "this had been a later disloyal compact made betwixt
him and the other rebels without any reasonable ground or cause to
move them thereunto, especially considering there hath been no
proceeding against any of them to move so unreasonable and disloyal a
request as to have liberty to break laws, which her Majesty will never
grant to any subject."[102]

Though the negotiations were continued for some time neither side was
anxious for peace. Elizabeth and her officials strove to secure the
support of the Anglo-Irish of the Pale and of a certain section of the
Irish nobles. Unfortunately she was only too successful. Most of the
Anglo-Irish nobles, though still devoted to the Catholic faith,
preferred to accept toleration at the hands of Elizabeth rather than
to fight side by side with O'Neill for the complete restoration of
their religion.[103] O'Neill and O'Donnell turned to Spain and Rome
for support. From Spain they asked for arms, soldiers, and money to
enable them to continue the struggle. From the Pope they asked also
for material assistance, but in addition they demanded that he should
re-publish the Bull of excommunication and deposition issued against
Elizabeth by Gregory XIII., that he should declare their war to be a
religious war in which all Catholics should take the side of the Irish
chiefs, that he should excommunicate the Catholic noblemen who had
taken up arms in defence of the queen, that he should grant them the
full rights of patronage enjoyed in Ulster by their predecessors, and
that he should appoint no ecclesiastics to vacant Sees without their

These requests were supported strongly at Rome by Peter Lombard
(1601), who was appointed later on Archbishop of Armagh, and as a
result Clement VIII. determined to send a nuncio to Ireland in the
person of Ludovico Mansoni (1601). Philip III. of Spain at last
consented to dispatch a force into Ireland, but instead of landing in
the North where O'Neill and O'Donnell were all-powerful, the Spanish
exhibition under command of Don Juan del Aquila arrived off Kinsale,
and took possession of the town (Sept. 1601). For the three years
preceding the arrival of the Spaniards the Northern chiefs had been
wonderfully successful. They had defeated Marshal Bagenal at the
Yellow Ford (1598), had overthrown the forces of Sir Conyers Clifford
at the Curlieu Mountains (1599), and had upset all the plans of the
Earl of Essex, who was sent over specially by Elizabeth to reduce them
to subjection. Hardly, however, had the Spaniards occupied Kinsale
when they were besieged by the new Deputy, Lord Mountjoy, and by
Carew, the President of Munster. An urgent message was dispatched by
them requesting O'Neill and O'Donnell to march to their assistance,
and against their own better judgment they determined to march South
to the relief of their allies. Even still, had they been satisfied
with hemming in the English forces, as O'Neill advised, they might
have succeeded, but instead of adopting a waiting policy, they
determined to make an attack in conjunction with the Spanish force. As
a result they suffered a complete defeat (1602). O'Neill conducted the
remnant of his army towards Ulster; O'Donnell was dispatched to seek
for further help to Spain from which he never returned, and Aquila
surrendered Kinsale and other fortresses garrisoned by Spaniards.
Carew laid waste the entire province of Connaught, while Mountjoy
marched to Ulster to subdue the Northern rebels. The news of the death
of O'Donnell in Spain, the desertion of many of his companions in
arms, and the total destruction of the cattle and crops by Mountjoy
forced O'Neill to make overtures for peace. An offer of terms was made
to him, and good care was taken to conceal from him the death of Queen
Elizabeth. He decided to meet Mountjoy and to make his submission

[1] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 304.

[2] Id., i., 315.

[3] Moran, /History of the Archbishops of Dublin/, 52-54. Brady,
    /Episcopal Succession/, ii., 133 sqq.

[4] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 327-335.

[5] Lynch-Kelly, /Cambrensis Eversus/, ii., 780 sqq.

[6] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 252-53.

[7] Id., 258.

[8] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 169-70.

[9] /Irish Statutes/, vol. i., 239-74.

[10] /Lib. Munerum/, i., 38.

[11] Cox, /Hib. Anglicana/, 308-9.

[12] Bridgett, /Blunders and Forgeries/, 217-21.

[13] /Calendar of Documents, Ireland/, i., 140.

[14] /Calendar of Documents, Ireland/, i., 151-52.

[15] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 279-80.

[16] Shirley, op. cit., 90-1.

[17] Bagwell, /Ireland under the Tudors/, ii., 354.

[18] Bridgett, /Blunders and Forgeries/, 229-36.

[19] Shirley, op. cit., 91.

[20] Cox, /Hib. Angl./, 313.

[21] The return is printed in /Tracts Relating to Ireland/, ii.,

[22] /State Papers/, iii., 306-7.

[23] Id., 305.

[24] Litton Falkiner, /Essays Relating to Ireland/, 236.

[25] Kelly, /Dissertations on Irish Church History/, 363.

[26] /Lib. Mun./, ii., pt. 6, 10.

[27] Brady, /Irish Reformation/, 32, 33.

[28] /Irish Statutes/, i., 275-320.

[29] Cf. Lynch-Kelly, /Cambrensis Eversus/, ii., 19-23. Rothe,
    /Analecta/ (ed. Moran, 1884), 235-7.

[30] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 303-4.

[31] Shirley, op. cit., 140, 234, 265.

[32] Brady, /The Irish Reformation/, 169-73.

[33] /Fiants of Elizabeth/, no. 199.

[34] Mason, /History of St. Patrick's/, 162.

[35] Moran's, /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 83.

[36] Shirley, op. cit., 220.

[37] /Fiants of Elizabeth/, no. 666.

[38] Shirley, op. cit., 101.

[39] Id., 207.

[40] Cf. Letter of J. A. Froude in Brady's /Irish Reformation/,

[41] /Fiants of Elizabeth/, nos. 198, 221, 223, 363.

[42] Shirley, op. cit., 94.

[43] Id., 125.

[44] Shirley, op. cit., 162.

[45] Id., 201, 226.

[46] Id., 249-250.

[47] Cf. Shirley, op. cit., 98-9, 120, 184, 214, 239, 242, 272, 278,

[48] Shirley, op. cit., 130, 135, 180, 189, 271, 313 sqq.

[49] Ware's /Works/, vol. i., p. 391.

[50] Shirley, op. cit., 96, 104, 106, 122.

[51] Id., 271.

[52] Id., 95.

[53] /Calendar of State Papers/ (Ireland), i., 171.

[54] Shirley, op. cit., 117 sqq.

[55] Shirley, op. cit., 139.

[56] Id., 233 sqq.

[57] Shirley, op. cit., 160-3, 135-6, 220, 279, 95.

[58] Shirley, op. cit., 195-96.

[59] Cf. Hogan /Hibernia Ignatiana/, 10-24. Moran, /Archbishops of
    Dublin/, 77-83. /Cal. State Papers/ (Ireland), i., 255, 472, 524.

[60] /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 32-8.

[61] Cf. Theiner, /Acta genuina S. Concil. Trid./, 4 vols., 1875.
    Bellesheim, op. cit., ii., 142-44.

[62] Renehan, /Archbishops/, 435 sqq. Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/,
    441 sqq.

[63] /Cal. of Carew Papers/, i., 297, 301 sqq.

[64] Id., 292, 297, 310 sqq. /Cal. of State Papers/ (Ireland), 188.

[65] /Cal. of State Papers/, i., 179.

[66] Id., 233.

[67] Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., i., 241 sqq.

[68] /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 59-62.

[69] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 397-400.

[70] Gillow, /Bib. Dict. Eng. Catholics/, v., 476.

[71] /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 94.

[72] /Hooker's Diary/ (printed in Litton Falkiner's /Essays Relating
    to Ireland/, 237 sqq.).

[73] Id., 235-6.

[74] Cf. /Irish Statutes/, i., 312 sqq. /Calendar of Carew Papers/,
    ii., 334 sqq.

[75] Cf. /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 347. Shirley, op. cit.,
    206-7. Brady, /Ep. Succession/, ii., 43. Ware's /Works/, i., 511.

[76] Cf. /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 38, sqq. Shirley, op. cit., 164, 171,
    176, 287, 306, 324. /The Analects of David Rothe/ (ed. Moran),
    1884, xlvi.

[77] O'Sullevan, /Compendium Hist. Cath. Iber./ (ed. by Kelly), 1850,

[78] Renehan's /Archbishops/, 241 sqq. Brady, op. cit., ii., 5 sqq.
    /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 83.

[79] Cf. Brady, op. cit., Rothe's /Analecta/ (ut supra), 381 sqq.
    /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 82 sqq.; iii., 35 sqq. /Ir. Ecc. Record/,
    i., ii.

[80] Cf. Rothe's /Analecta/ (Introduction), xiii. sqq.

[81] Brady, op. cit., 221-3.

[82] /Annals F. M./, ann. 1601.

[83] /Cal. Carew Papers/, ii., 137.

[84] Id., iii., 494.

[85] Cf. /I. E. Record/, (1884). Bagwell, op. cit., iii., 462-69.
    /Archiv. Hib./, i., 277-311.

[86] O'Doherty, /Students of the Irish College, Salamanca, 1595-1700/,
    (/Archiv. Hib./, ii., iii.).

[87] On the Irish Colleges on the Continent, cf. Boyle, /The Irish
    College in Paris (1578-1901)/. Murphy, /College of the Irish
    Franciscans, at Louvain/, (/Journal R.S.A., I./, 1898). Proost,
    /Les réfugiés anglais et irlandais en Belgique/, etc. (/Messager
    des Sciences historiques/, 1865), Daumet, /Notices sur les
    établissements religieux anglais, écossais et Irlandais/, etc.,
    1912. /Irish Eccl. Record/, vii., viii., ix., x. Hogan, /Irish
    Worthies of the Sixteenth Century/, 1886. /Catholic Encyclopedia/
    (art. Irish College, Rome--Mgr. O'Riordan).

[88] /State Papers/ (Ireland), iii., 30.

[89] Shirley, op. cit., 13, 31.

[90] Green, /The Making of Ireland and its Undoing/, 401-439.

[91] Stubbs, /The History of the University of Dublin/, 1889. Heron,
    /The Constitutional History of the University of Dublin/, 1847.
    /Trinity College Calendar/, 1833.

[92] /Cal. State Papers/ (Ireland), ii., 588.

[93] /Cal. Carew Papers/, iii., 58, 316, 356, 469.

[94] /Cal. State Papers/, ii., 92-93.

[95] /Carew Papers/, ii., 144.

[96] /Cal. State Papers/, ii., 229, 235, 245.

[97] /Carew Papers/, iii., 457-8.

[98] /Carew Papers/, iii., 213.

[99] Id., 387-8.

[100] Cf. Shirley, op. cit., 95, 271. Ware, /Works/, i. (under the
    dioceses mentioned). Bagwell, op. cit., iii., 459 sqq. Moran,
    /Archbishops of Dublin/, 163 sqq.

[101] Cf. Spenser, op. cit. (ed. Morley, 1890), 123-28, 202 sqq. /Cal.
    State Papers/ (Ireland), iii., 424, 427, 428. Bagwell, op. cit.,
    iii., 459 sqq.

[102] /Cal. Carew Papers/, iii., 105, 133, 151-3.

[103] O'Sullevan, op. cit., 140 sqq.

[104] Cf. Hagan, /Some Papers Relating to the Nine Years' War/ (/Arch.
    Hib./, ii., 274 sqq.).



  See bibliography, chap. vii.-ix. /Calendar of State Papers,
  Ireland/ (James I.), 5 vols., 1872-80. Idem (Charles I.), 5 vols.
  /Calendar of the Clarendon Papers/, 2 vols., 1869-72. Carte,
  /History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormonde/ (1610-88), 3
  vols., 1736. French, /Historical Works/, 2 vols., 1846. /Report on
  the Franciscan MSS./, i., 1906. Russell-Prendergast, /Report on
  the Carte Papers in the Bodleian Library/, 1871. Gilbert,
  /Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland/ (1641-52), 1879-80.
   Bagwell, /Ireland under the Stuarts/, 2 vols., 1909. Prendergast,
  /Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland/, 2 ed., 1875. Lecky, /History
  of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century/, new imp., 1913. Coffey,
  /O'Neill and Ormond/, 1914. Dunlop, /Ireland under the
  Commonwealth/, 2 vols., 1913. Murray, /Revolutionary Ireland and
  its Settlement/, 2 vols., 1911. Boulger, /The Battle of the
  Boyne/, 1911. Burke, /The Irish Priests in the Penal Times/ (1660-
  1760), 1914.

The news of the death of Queen Elizabeth and of the accession of James
I. came as a welcome relief to the great body of the Catholics of
Ireland. As the son of Mary Queen of Scots, and in a sense, the
descendant of the Irish Kings of Scotland[1] he was regarded with
favour both within and without the Pale. While King of Scotland he had
been in communication with the Pope, with the Catholic sovereigns of
the Continent, and with O'Neill, and even after he had been proclaimed
in London he promised some of the leading Catholic lords that they
might expect at least toleration. Without, however, waiting for any
such promises the Catholics in the leading cities of the East and
South made open profession of their religion. In Kilkenny, Thomastown,
Waterford, Wexford, Cashel, Cork, Limerick, etc., they took possession
of the churches, abolished the Protestant service wherever it had been
introduced, and restored the Mass. James White, Vicar-general of
Waterford, made himself especially conspicuous as the leader in this
movement in the south-eastern portion of Ireland.[2]

Lord Mountjoy was in a difficult position. He was uncertain as to the
religious policy of the king, but in the end he determined to suppress
the Catholic movement by force. He marched South to Kilkenny and
thence to Waterford, where he had an interview with Dr. White.
Everywhere the churches were restored to the Protestants, though it
was hinted that the Mass might still be celebrated privately as in the
days of Elizabeth. In Cork the condition of affairs was much more
serious, and it was necessary to bring up the guns from Haulbowline
before the mayor and citizens could be induced to submit. Reports came
in from all sides that the country was swarming with Jesuits and
seminary priests, that they were stirring up the people to join hands
with the King of Spain, and to throw off their allegiance to James I.
These rumours were without foundation, as is shown by the fact that
most of the towns and cities in Leinster and Munster which were noted
as specially Catholic, had not stirred a finger to help O'Neill in his
war against Elizabeth. But they were put in circulation to prejudice
the mind of King James against his Irish Catholic subjects, and to
wean him away from the policy of toleration which he was said to
favour. Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, and Jones, Bishop of Meath,
hastened to warn the king against a policy of toleration. They threw
the whole blame of the late war on the Jesuits and seminary priests,
and cast doubts upon the loyalty of the Catholic noblemen of the Pale.
They called upon his Majesty to make it clear "even in the morning of
his reign," that he was ready "to maintain the true worship and
religion of Jesus Christ," to let the people understand that "he will
never permit and suffer that which in his godly zeal he so much
abhors, to devise some means of preventing the plots and aims of
Jesuits and seminary priests, who "come daily from beyond the seas,
teaching openly that a king wanting the Pope's confirmation is not a
lawful king," to send over some "learned and discreet preachers" to
the principal cities and towns, and to compel the people "by some
moderate co-actions to come to church to hear their sermons and

As a means of spreading the new gospel amongst the Irish people it was
recommended that "a learned ministry be planted, and that the abuses
of the clergy be reformed;" that all bishops, Jesuits, seminary
priests, and friars should be banished from the kingdom, that no
lawyers be admitted to the bar or to the privy council unless they
attended the Protestant service, and that all sheriffs, mayors,
justices of the peace, recorders, judges, and officials be forced to
take the oath of supremacy. Loftus and Jones insisted, furthermore,
that Catholic parents should be forbidden to send their children to
Douay and Rheims, and should be compelled to send them to the
Protestant diocesan schools. They reported that although the Bishop of
Meath had opened a school in Trim at great expense to himself, only
six scholars attended, and that when the teachers began to use prayers
in the school and to show themselves desirous of bringing their pupils
to church, the pupils departed, and the teachers, though graduates of
the University, were left without any work to do.[4]

As James showed great reluctance to take any active measures against
the Catholics, Brouncker, the President of Munster, Lyons, Protestant
Bishop of Cork, and the other members of the Council of Munster issued
a proclamation (14 Aug. 1604) ordering "all Jesuits, seminaries, and
massing priests of what sort soever as are remaining within one of the
corporate towns of the province" to leave before the last day of
September, and not to return for seven years. Any persons receiving or
relieving any such criminals were threatened with imprisonment during
his Majesty's pleasure and with a fine of £40 for every such offence,
and "whosoever should bring to the Lord President and Council the
bodies of any Jesuits, seminaries, or massing priests" were promised a
reward of £40 for every Jesuit, £6 3s. 4d. for every seminary priest,
and £5 for every massing priest. Fearing, however, that his action
might be displeasing to the king, Brouncker took care to write to
Cecil that the cities of the South were crowded with seminary priests
who said Mass publicly in the best houses "even in the hearing of all
men," and that he had delayed taking action till they began to declare
boldly that his Majesty was pleased "to tolerate their idolatry."[5]

Sir John Davies, a native of Wiltshire, who was made Solicitor-General
for Ireland on account of his poetical talent, was not opposed to the
policy of repression, but at the same time he held firmly that until
the Protestant Church in Ireland was itself reformed there could be no
hope of converting the Irish people. Writing to Cecil (Feb. 1604) "he
is informed," he says, "that the churchmen for the most part
throughout the kingdom are mere idols and ciphers, and such as cannot
read, if they should stand in need of the benefit of their clergy; and
yet the most of those whereof many be serving men and some horseboys,
are not without two or three benefices apiece, for the Court of
Faculties doth qualify all manner of persons, and dispense with all
manner of non-residences and pluralities. . . . The churches are
ruined and fallen to the ground in all parts of the kingdom. There is
no divine service, no christening of children, no receiving of the
sacraments, no Christian meeting or assembly, no, not once in a year;
in a word, no more demonstration of religion than among Tartars or
cannibals." In his opinion there was no use in asking the bishops of
the Pale to hold an inquiry into the abuses, for they themselves were
privy to them. "But if the business is to be really performed, let
visitors be sent out of England, such as never heard a cow speak and
understand not that language, that they may examine the abuses of the
Court of Faculties, of the simoniacal contracts, of the dilapidations
and dishersion of the churches; that they may find the true value of
the benefices, and who takes the profits and to whose uses; to deprive
these serving men and unlettered kern that are now incumbents, and to
place some of the poor scholars of the College who are learned and
zealous Protestants; to bring others out of that part of Scotland that
borders on the North of Ireland, who can preach the Irish tongue, and
to transplant others out of England and to place them within the
English Pale."[6]

At last, yielding to the advices that poured in on him from all sides,
James I. determined to banish the Jesuits and seminary priests in the
hope that when they were removed the people might be induced to
submit, and to insist on compliance with the terms of the Act of
Uniformity. He issued a proclamation (4 July 1605) denying the rumour
that he intended "to give liberty of conscience or toleration of
religion" to his Irish subjects, and denouncing such a report as a
libel on himself, "as if he were more remiss or less careful in the
government of the Church of Ireland than of those other churches
whereof he has supreme charge." He commanded "all Jesuits, seminary
priests, or other priests whatsoever, made and ordained by any
authority derived or pretended to be derived from the See of Rome," to
depart from the kingdom before the end of December. All priests who
refused to obey or who ventured to come into Ireland after that date,
and all who received or assisted such persons were to be arrested and
punished according to the laws and statutes of that realm, and all the
people were exhorted "to come to their several parish churches or
chapels, to hear divine service every Sunday and holiday" under threat
of being punished for disobedience.[7]

The royal proclamation produced little or no effect. The Jesuits and
seminary priests remained and even increased in numbers by new
arrivals from the Continental colleges and from England where the law
was more strictly enforced. Nor could the leading citizens, the mayors
and the aldermen of the principal cities, be forced to come to church,
because they preferred to pay the fine of twelve pence prescribed in
the Act of Uniformity for each offence. The government officials
determined, therefore, to have recourse to more severe if less legal
remedies. They selected a certain number of wealthy citizens of
Dublin, addressed to each of them an individual mandate in the king's
name ordering them to go to church on a certain specified Sunday, and
treated disobedience to such an order as an offence punishable by
common law. Six of the aldermen were condemned to pay a fine of £100,
and three citizens £50, one half of the fine to be devoted to the
"reparing of decayed churches or chapels, or other charitable use,"
the other half to go to the royal treasury. In addition to this, they
were condemned to imprisonment at the will of the Lord Deputy, and
declared incapable of holding any office in the city of Dublin, or in
any other part of the kingdom (22 Nov. 1605). A few days later other
aldermen and citizens of Dublin were brought before the Irish Star
Chamber, and having been interrogated "why they did not repair to
their parish churches," they replied "that their consciences led them
to the contrary." They were punished in a similar manner. Thus, two
methods were adopted for enforcing obedience to the Act of Uniformity,
one the infliction on the poor of the fine of twelve pence prescribed
for each offence by the law of 1560, the other, the promulgation of
individual mandates, disobedience to which was to be punished by the
Court of Star Chamber. The noblemen of the Pale, alarmed by such high-
handed action, presented a petition against the measures taken for the
suppression of their religion, praying that the toleration extended to
them hitherto should be continued. In reply to their petition the
Viscount Gormanston, Sir James Dillon, Sir Patrick Barnewall, and
others were committed as prisoners to the Castle, and others of the
petitioners were confined to their houses in the country, and bound to
appear before the Star Chamber at the opening of the next term (Dec.
1605). Sir Patrick Barnewall, "the first gentleman's son of quality
that was ever put out of Ireland to be brought up in learning beyond
the seas" was the ablest of the Catholic Palesmen, and was sent into
England at the request of the English authorities.

The appeal of these Catholic lords, backed[8] as it was by the danger
of a new and more general rebellion, was not without its effects in
England. In January 1607 the privy council in England wrote to Sir
Arthur Chichester, Lord Deputy, that although "the reformation of the
people of Ireland, extremely addicted to Popish superstition by the
instigation of the seminary priests and Jesuits, is greatly to be
wished and by all means endeavoured, still, a temperate course ought
to be preserved." There should be no question of granting toleration,
but at the same time there should be no "startling of the multitude by
any general or rigorous compulsion." The principal men in the cities
who show themselves to be the greatest offenders should be punished;
the priests and friars should be banished, but no "curious or
particular search" should be made for them; Viscount Gormanston and
his companions should be released under recognisances, except Sir
Patrick Barnewall who was to be sent into England; the Dublin aldermen
should be treated in a similar manner but should be obliged to pay the
fines, and the Protestant clergy should be exhorted to take special
pains to plant the new religion "where the people have been least

But Chichester, Davies, Brouncker, and their companions had no
intention of listening to the counsels of moderation. They continued
to indict the poorer classes according to the clauses of the Act of
Uniformity and to cite the wealthier citizens before the Star Chamber
for disobedience to the royal mandates.[10] In Waterford Sir John
Davies reported "we proceeded against the principal aldermen by way of
censure at the council table of the province for their several
contempts against the king's proclamations and the special
commandments of the Lord President under the council seal of Munster.
Against the multitude we proceeded by way of indictment upon the
Statute of 2 Elizabeth, which giveth only twelve pence for absence
from church every Sunday and holiday. The fines imposed at the table
were not heavy, being upon some £50 apiece, upon others £40, so that
the total sum came but to £400; but there were so many of the
commoners indicted that the penalty given by the statute (twelve
pence) came to £240 or thereabouts."[11] Punishments of a similar kind
were inflicted in New Ross, Wexford, Clonmel, Cashel, Youghal,
Limerick, Cork, and in all the smaller towns throughout Munster. In
Cork the mayor was fined £100, and in Limerick more than two hundred
of the burgesses were indicted, the fines paid by these being given
for the repair of the cathedral.[12] Steps were also taken in
Connaught to enforce attendance at the Protestant service. Five of the
principal citizens of Galway were summoned before the court and fined
in sums varying from £40 to £20, and punishments of a lesser kind were
inflicted in other portions of the province. In Drogheda "the greatest
number of the householders together with their wives, children, and
servants," were summoned and fined for non-attendance at church. In
Meath, Westmeath, Longford, King's County, and Queen's County the
government officials were particularly busy.

But though here and there a few of the prominent citizens and of the
poorer classes were driven into public conformity by fear of
punishment, the work of winning over the people to Protestantism made
little progress. In Cashel the Commissioners reported (1606) that they
found only one inhabitant who came to church, and even "the
Archbishop's (Magrath) own sons and sons-in-law dwelling there" were
noted as obstinate recusants."[13] Brouncker, President of Munster,
was particularly severe in his repressive measures, so much so that on
his death (1606) his successors were able to announce "that almost all
the men of the towns are either prisoners or upon bonds and other
contempts," but they added the further information that many of those
who had been conformable in his time had again relapsed. The
Protestant Bishop of Cork complained (1607) that in Cork, Kinsale,
Youghal, and in all the country over which he had charge no marriages,
christenings, etc., were done except by Popish priests for seven
years, that the country was over-run by friars and priests who are
called Fathers, that every gentleman and lord of the country had his
chaplains, that "massing is in every place, idolatry is publicly
maintained, God's word and his truth is trodden down under foot,
despised, railed at, and contemned of all, the ministers not esteemed
--no not with them that should reverence and countenance them." "The
professors of the gospel," he added, "may learn of these idolators to
regard their pastors."[14] Sir John Davies with his usual keen insight
placed the blame for the comparative failure of the Protestant clergy.
"If our bishops, and others that have care of souls," he wrote (1606),
"were but half as diligent in their several charges as these men [the
Jesuits and seminary priests] are in the places where they haunt, the
people would not receive and nourish them as now they do. But it is
the extreme negligence and remissness of our clergy here which was
first the cause of the general desertion and apostasy, and is now
again the impediment of reformation."[15] The Catholics had protested
continually against the proceedings under royal mandates as illegal,
and their protests were brought before the English privy council by
Sir Patrick Barnewall, who had been sent over to London as a prisoner.
The judges in England condemned the proceedings in Ireland as
unwarrantable and without precedent. Barnewall was allowed to return
to Ireland in 1607, and the new method of beggaring or Protestantising
the wealthier class of Irish Catholics was dropped for the time.

The king had been advised, too, to enforce the oath of supremacy in
case of all officials of the crown. Though in the beginning of the
reign of Elizabeth something had been done in that direction, yet, in
later times, owing to the dangerous condition of the country Catholic
officials were not called upon to renounce the Pope. As a result, when
James ascended the throne many of the judges were Catholic, as were,
also, the great body of the lawyers. In response to the advice from
Ireland that judges who refused to attend church and to take the oath
should be dismissed, and that "recusant" lawyers should be debarred
from practising in the courts, James instructed the council to induce
John Everard, a Justice of the Common Pleas, to resign or conform. The
mayors and aldermen of the cities, too, had never taken the oath of
supremacy. In 1607 the Lord Deputy and council of Ireland informed the
privy council in England that, "most of the mayors and principal
officers of cities and corporate towns, and justices of the peace of
this country birth refuse to take the oath of supremacy, as is
requisite by the statute, and for an instance, the party that should
this year have been Mayor of Dublin, avoided it to his very great
charges, only because he would not take the oath." The contention
apparently was that the mayors not being crown officials were not
bound to take the oath, but the lawyers decided against such a view,
and steps were taken to imprison those mayors who refused, and to
destroy the charts of recusant corporations. Still in spite of the
attempted banishment of the clergy, the enforcement of attendance at
church by fines, and the punishment inflicted on the officials who
refused to take the oath, the Deputy and council were forced to admit
that they had made no progress. "The people," they wrote (1607), "in
many places resort to Mass now in greater multitudes, both in town and
country, than for many years past; and if it chance that any priest
known to be factious and working be apprehended, both men and women
will not stick to rescue the party. In no less multitudes do these
priests hold general councils and conventicles together many times
about their affairs; and, to be short, they have so far withdrawn the
people from all reverence and fear of the laws and loyalty towards his
Majesty, and brought their business already to this pass, that such as
are conformed and go to church are everywhere derided, scorned, and
oppressed by the multitude, to their great discouragement, and to the
scandal of all good men."[16]

Although the persecution of James I. was violent the Catholics were
well prepared to meet the storm. The Jesuits had sent some of their
best men to Ireland, including Henry Fitzsimon, who was thrown into
prison, and after a long detention sent into exile, Christopher
Holywood, James Archer, Andrew Morony, Barnabas Kearney, etc., and,
although there were complaints that their college in Salamanca showed
undue favour to the Anglo-Irish, this college as well as the other
colleges abroad continued to pour priests into Ireland both able and
willing to sustain the Catholic religion. The Dominicans and
Franciscans received great help from their colleges on the Continent
so that their numbers increased rapidly, and they were able to devote
more attention to instructing the people. As in England, the young
generation of priests both secular and regular, sent out from the
colleges in France, Spain, and the Netherlands were much more active
and more determined to hold their own than those who had preceded
them. They were in close touch with Rome where their agents kept the
Papal Court informed of what was going on in Ireland. Clement VIII.
hastened to send his congratulations to James I. on his accession to
the throne, and to plead with him for toleration for his Catholic
subjects. James White, Vicar-general of Waterford, wrote (1605) to
inform Cardinal Baronius of the measures that had been taken to
suppress the Catholic religion and to offer his good wishes to Paul V.
The latter forwarded a very touching letter in which he expressed his
sympathy with the Irish Church, commended the fidelity of the Irish
people, and exhorted them to stand firm in the face of
persecution.[17] The only weak point that might be noted at this
period was the almost complete destruction of the Irish hierarchy.
O'Devany of Down and Connor, Brady the Franciscan Bishop of Kilmore,
and O'Boyle of Raphoe were the only bishops remaining in the province
of Ulster since the murder of Redmond O'Gallagher of Derry. Peter
Lombard had been appointed Archbishop of Armagh (1601), but he never
visited his diocese. In the province of Leinster Matthew de Oviedo, a
Spanish Franciscan, had been appointed to Dublin (1600), and had come
to Kinsale with the forces of Spain. He returned to plead for a new
expedition to Ireland. Another Spanish Franciscan, Francis de Ribera,
had been appointed to Leighlin (1587), but he died in 1604 without
having done any work in his diocese. The rest of the Sees in Leinster
were vacant. In Munster, David O'Kearney was named Archbishop of
Cashel (1603), and soon showed himself to be a man of great activity
and fearlessness. Dermod McCragh of Cork had been for years the only
bishop in the province, and had exercised the functions of his office
not merely in the South, but throughout the province of Leinster. In
the province of Tuam all the Sees were vacant. Wherever there was no
bishop in residence care was taken to appoint vicars. In Dublin
Bernard Moriarty who acted as vicar was arrested in the Franciscan
convent at Multifernan in 1601, and died in prison from the wounds he
received from the soldiers. Robert Lalor who acted in the same
capacity was arrested, tried, and banished in 1606.[18]

Although the Earl of Tyrone had been restored to his estates and had
been received graciously by the king (1603), he was both distrusted
and feared by the government. Sir Arthur Chichester, who had come to
act as Lord Mountjoy's deputy in 1605, and who was appointed Lord
Lieutenant on the death of the latter (1607), was determined to get
possession of Ulster either by driving O'Neill into rebellion or by
bringing against him some charge of conspiracy. New and insulting
demands were made upon O'Neill; the Protestant Archbishop of Armagh
and the Protestant Bishop of Derry and Raphoe claimed large portions
of his territories as belonging to their churches, and some of the
minor chieftains were urged on to appeal against him to the English
authorities. Having learned in 1607 that he stood in danger of arrest,
he and Rory O'Donnell determined to leave Ireland. In September 1607
they sailed from Rathmullen, and on the 4th October they landed in
France. After many wanderings they made their way to Rome, where they
received a generous welcome from Paul V. O'Donnell died in 1608, and
O'Neill, who had cherished till the last a hope of returning to
Ireland, died in 1616.[19] Both chieftains were laid to rest in the
Church of St. Pietro di Montorio. Although the flight of the Earls
caused a great sensation both in England and Ireland, and although
James I. was said to have been pained by their departure and even to
have thought for a time of granting religious toleration, Chichester
and his companions were delighted at the result of their work. The
flight of Tyrone and Tyrconnell, the attempted rebellion of Sir Cahir
O'Doherty, and the trumped-up charges brought against some of the
other noblemen in the North opened up the prospect of a new and
greater plantation than had ever been attempted before. Tyrone,
Fermanagh, Donegal, Derry, Armagh, and Cavan were confiscated to the
crown at one stroke, and preparations were made to carry out the
plantation in a scientific manner. The greater portion of the
territory was divided into lots of two thousand, one thousand five
hundred, and one thousand acres. The Undertakers who were to get the
largest grants were to be English or Scotch Protestants and were to
have none but English or Scotch Protestant tenants, those who were to
get the one thousand five hundred acres were to be Protestants
themselves and were to have none but Protestant tenants, while the
portions of one thousand acres each might be parcelled out amongst
English, Scotch, or Irish, and from these Catholics were not excluded.
Thousands of acres were appropriated for the support of the Protestant
religion, for the maintenance of Protestant schools, and for the
upkeep of Trinity College. A small portion was kept for a few of the
old Catholic proprietors, and the remainder of the population were
ordered to leave these districts before the 1st May 1609. Many of them
remained, however, preferring to take small tracts of the mountain and
bog land from the new proprietors than to trust themselves among
strangers; but a great number of the able-bodied amongst them were
caught and shipped to serve as soldiers in the army of Sweden.[20]

For some time after the flight of the Earls there seems to have been a
slight lull in the persecution, the king and his advisers fearing
perhaps that their action was only a prelude to a more general
rebellion in the course of which O'Neill might return at the head of a
Spanish force. But once it was clear that no danger was to be
apprehended the Irish officials began to urge once more recourse to
extreme measures. Fines were levied on Catholic towns, some of which,
however, were remitted by the king. It was represented to Salisbury
(1609) that the Catholics had grown much more bold even in Dublin,
that in the country they drew thousands to "their idolatrous
sacrifices, and that the Jesuits stir up the forces of disloyalty."
The writer of this letter recommended that the fine of twelve pence
should be exacted off the poor every time they absented themselves
from religious services, that so much should be levied off the rich as
would suffice to repair all the churches and build free schools in
every county, and he himself undertook to pay £4,000 a year for the
right to collect the fines of the "Recusants" in Munster, Leinster,
and Connaught, provided only that he could count on the support of the
ecclesiastical and civil authorities.[21] In the following year
Chichester informed the authorities in England that "the mayors of
cities and towns for the most part refused to take the oath of
supremacy, as did also the sheriffs, bailiffs, etc.," and he inquired
in what manner he should act towards them. To put an end to this state
of affairs Andrew Knox was sent over to Ireland as Bishop of Raphoe,
and was commissioned to take measures to stir up the Protestant
bishops and to suppress Popery. On his arrival he found that he had a
heavy task before him. In a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury
(1611) he wrote that there were only four men in the ministry "who
have knowledge or care to propagate the Evangell." "The defection," he
wrote, "is so great of those who sometime professed the truth, that
where hundreds came to several churches before, there resort now
scarce six; the gathering and flocking in great numbers of Jesuits,
seminary priests, friars, and gidding Papists of all sorts are so
frequent from Rome and all parts beyond the seas, that it seems to him
the greatest lading the ships bring to this country are burdens of
them, their books, clothes, crosses, and ceremonies; natives and
others in corporate towns publicly profess themselves their
maintainers. There is no diocese but it has a bishop appointed and
consecrated by the Pope, nor province that wants an archbishop, nor
parish without a priest, all actually serving their time and the
Pope's direction and plenteously maintained by the people, so that the
few ministers that are, and bishops that profess to do any good,
profit no more than Lot did in Sodom. And sure it may be expected that
if God, the king, and his Grace prevent not this unnatural growth of
superstition, the face of the kingdom will be shortly clad with this

He lost no time in summoning a meeting of the bishops (1611), most of
whom, according to him, were not very reliable. The Archbishop of
Dublin (Jones) was "burdened with the cares of state;" the Archbishop
of Armagh was "somewhat old and unable;" the Archbishop of Cashel
(Magrath) was "old and unable, whose wife and children would not
accompany him to the church;" the Archbishop of Tuam was "well willed
and best learned, but wanted maintainers and helpers," and the Bishops
of Waterford and Limerick were described as "having no credit." In
accordance with the instructions that had been forwarded to them by
the king, they agreed that they would take common action for "the
suppression of papistry and the plantation of religion;" that they
would observe the law of residence in their several dioceses; that
they would make visitations every year of their parishes, and inquire
into the condition of the churches and the behaviour of their
ministers; that by authority of his Majesty's commission they would
"carefully tender the oath of allegiance to every nobleman, knight,
justice of the peace, and other officers of corporate towns," and make
a return to the Lord Deputy of those who took the oath as well as of
those who refused it; that they would admit no cleric "to any
spiritual promotion" who would not willingly take the oath of
supremacy, and that they would inquire in every deanery "what persons
receive or harbour trafficking priests, Jesuits, seminaries and
massing priests, and friars, and will present their names together
with the names of the said priests and Jesuits to the Lord

A royal proclamation was issued (1661) ordering all Jesuits and
priests to depart from the kingdom immediately; the laity were
commanded to attend the Protestant service under threat of severe
penalties, students in foreign colleges were ordered to return at
once, and Catholic schoolmasters were forbidden to teach within the
kingdom. Backed by all the powers of the crown, Knox and his fellow
bishops set up a terrible inquisition in every part of the country,
and spared no pains to hound down the clergy and those who entertained
them, to drive the poorer classes by brute force into the church, to
harass the better classes by threats and examinations, and to wipe out
every vestige of the Catholic religion. Cornelius O'Devany, a
Franciscan, who had been appointed Bishop of Down and Connor (1582),
was arrested together with a priest who accompanied him, was tried in
Dublin, and was hanged, drawn, and quartered (1612).[24] Almost at the
same time the Protestant Bishop of Down and Connor was accused of
"incontinence, the turning away of his wife, and taking the wife of
his man-servant in her room, subornation of witnesses," and alienation
of the diocesan property. He fled from his diocese, was arrested,
degraded, and died in prison. The Archbishop of Glasgow and Bishop
Knox of Raphoe, himself a Scotchman, hastened to London to secure the
appointment of one of their countrymen as his successor; but
Chichester wrote that though he would not say that Scotchmen were not
good men, he could aver that they were "hot-spirited and very griping"
and "such as were not fit for these parts."[25] Several attempts were
made to arrest Dr. Eugene Matthews or MacMahon, who had been
transferred (1611) by the Pope from Clogher to the Archbishopric of
Dublin. He was detested especially by the government, because it was
thought that he owed his promotion to the influence of O'Neill, who
was also suspected of having had a voice in the appointment of the
learned Franciscan, Florence Conry to Tuam (1609).[26] During the
course of these years jurors were threatened by the crown lawyers with
the Star Chamber unless they found a verdict of guilty, and were sent
to prison for not returning a proper verdict against those accused by
the Protestant ministers of not attending church; wards of court
though Catholic were committed to the guardianship of Protestants, and
in every grant a special clause was inserted "that the ward shall be
brought up at the college near Dublin (Trinity College) in English
habit and religion;" the Irish were excluded from all offices; men of
no property were appointed as sheriffs; and the fines for non-
attendance at church were levied strictly. Instead of being applied to
the relief of the poor they found their way, according to the Catholic
Lords of the Pale, into the pockets of the ministers. In reply to this
last charge Chichester asserted that they were not given to the poor,
because all the poor were recusants, but they were employed "in the
rebuilding of churches, bridges, and like charitable purposes."[27]

Yet Knox did not succeed in uprooting the Catholic faith in Ireland.
According to a report furnished (1613) to the Holy See by Mgr.
Bentivoglio, Internuncio at Brussels, whose duty it was to superintend
affairs in Ireland, heresy had made little progress even in the
cities, while the nobility and gentry were nearly all Catholic. There
were then in Ireland about eight hundred secular priests, one hundred
and thirty Franciscans, twenty Jesuits, and a few Benedictines and
Dominicans, of whom the Franciscans were held in special esteem. The
best of the secular clergy were those who came from Douay, Bordeaux,
Lisbon, and Salamanca.[28] In the following year (1614) Archbishop
Matthews of Dublin held a provincial synod at Kilkenny at which many
useful regulations were made regarding the conduct of the clergy,
preaching, catechising, the celebration of Mass, the administration of
the sacraments, the relations between the secular and regular clergy,
the reading of controversial literature, and the observance and number
of fast-days and holidays.[29] In the province of Armagh Dr. Rothe,
acting under authority received from Peter Lombard, convoked a
provincial synod at Drogheda (1614). It was attended by vicars from
the several dioceses and by representatives of the various religious
orders, and passed regulations somewhat similar to those enacted at
Kilkenny. In both synods the clergy were warned to abstain from the
discussion of state affairs and from disobedience to the civil rulers
in temporal matters. At Drogheda the new Oath of Allegiance framed by
James I. was condemned as being opposed to faith and religion;
Catholics were commanded not to have recourse to prevarication or
wavering in regard to it, but to reject it openly, and were warned
against attendance at divine worship in Protestant churches even
though they had previously made a declaration that they meant only to
pay a mark of respect to the civil rulers.[30] At the same period the
Franciscans and Dominicans founded new colleges on the Continent, at
Douay and Lisbon, to supply priests for their missions in Ireland.

During the later years of Elizabeth's reign the disturbed condition of
the country made it impossible to convene a Parliament, and after the
accession of James I. his advisers feared to summon such a body lest
they might be unable to control it. Still, they never lost sight of
the advantage it would be to their cause could they secure
parliamentary sanction for the confiscation and plantation of Ulster,
and for the new methods employed for the punishment of recusants.
These for so far had behind them only the force of royal
proclamations, and their legality was open to the gravest doubt. The
great obstacle that must be overcome before a Parliament could be
convoked was the fact that both in the House of Commons and in the
House of Lords the Catholics might find themselves in a majority. To
prevent such a dire catastrophe it was determined to create a number
of new parliamentary boroughs so that many places "that could scarcely
pass the rank of the poorest villages in the poorest country in
Christendom" were allowed to return members, provided only that it was
certain they would return Protestants. Nineteen of the thirty-nine new
boroughs were situated in Ulster, where the plantations had given the
English and Scotch settlers a preponderance. In the House of Lords the
situation was also critical, but it was hoped that by summoning all
the Protestant bishops and also certain peers of England who had got
grants of territory in Ireland the government could count on a
majority, especially as some of the Catholic lords were minors, and as
such not entitled to sit. For months the plans for packing the
Parliament and for preparing a scheme of anti-Catholic legislation
were being concocted, and the Catholic lords, knowing well what was
going on, felt so alarmed that they lodged a solemn protest with the
king against the erection of towns and corporations "consisting of
some few poor and beggarly cottages" into parliamentary boroughs,
against the wholesale exclusion of Catholics from office on account of
their religion, and conjured the king "to give order that the
proceedings of Parliament may be conducted with moderation and
indifferency." In spite of this protest the new boroughs were created,
and the elections were carried out in the most high-handed manner, the
sheriffs hesitating at nothing so long as they could secure the
nomination of Protestant representatives.

On the day preceding the opening of Parliament (fixed for 18th May
1613) the Catholic Lords of the Pale addressed a protest to the Lord
Deputy. They asserted that while several of the Irish Catholic nobles
entitled to sit in the House of Lords were not summoned, English and
Scotch lords "already parliant in other kingdoms" had been invited to
attend, that new corporations had been created, many of them since
Parliament was summoned, without any right or title except to assure a
Protestant majority, that the sheriffs and returning officers had
acted most unfairly during the election, and that a Parliament sitting
"in the principal fort and castle of the kingdom," surrounded by
"numbers of armed men," could not be regarded as a free assembly. When
the House of Commons met on the following day the Catholics proposed
that Sir John Everard, who had been dismissed from his office of judge
because he refused the oath of supremacy, should be elected speaker,
while the Protestants proposed Sir John Davies for this position. The
Catholics, knowing well that if the returns of the sheriffs were
accepted they would find themselves in the minority, maintained that
the members against whose return objection had been lodged should not
be allowed to vote. On this being refused, they tried to prevent a
vote being taken, and when the supporters of Davies left the chamber
to take a count, the Catholics installed Sir John Everard in the
chair. The Protestants, claiming that they had a clear majority, one
hundred and twenty-seven out of a possible two hundred and thirty-two,
removed Sir John Everard by force, and adopted Sir John Davies as
speaker. The Catholics then left the chamber, and both Lords and
Commoners refused to attend any further sessions until they should
have laid their grievances before the king. In consequence of their
refusal it was necessary to suspend the parliamentary session, and
both parties directed all their attention to an appeal to the king.
The Catholics sent to London as their representatives, Lords
Gormanston and Dunboyne, Sir James Gough and Sir Christopher Plunkett,
William Talbot and Edward FitzHarris, and a general levy was made
throughout the kingdom to raise money to pay their expenses. A great
deal of time was wasted in inquiries in London and in Ireland. James
found it difficult to decide against the Lord Deputy, while at the
same time he could not shut his eyes to the justice of several of the
claimants brought under his notice by the Catholics. At one time he
promised their delegates that he would not interfere with the free
exercise of their religion provided they admitted it was not lawful to
deprive him of his crown or to offer violence to his person, but when
the Lord Deputy wrote warning him of the effect this speech had
produced in Ireland, James, while not denying that he had used the
words attributed to him, issued a proclamation announcing that he
would never grant religious toleration, and ordering all bishops,
Jesuits, friars, and priests to depart from the kingdom before the
30th of September (1614). In April 1614 the king decided to annul
thirteen of the returns impeached by the Catholics, but in regard to
the other matters of complaint he gave judgment in favour of the Lord
Deputy. In a personal interview with the Catholic lords he pointed out
that it was his privilege to create as many peers and parliamentary
boroughs as he liked. "The more the merrier, the fewer the better
cheer." He informed them, too, that they were only half subjects so
long as they acknowledged the Pope, and could, therefore, expect to
have only half privileges, and expressed the hope that by their future
good behaviour in Parliament they might merit not only his pardon but
"his favour and cherishing."

In October 1614 Parliament was at last ready to proceed with its
business. During the course of the negotiations it would appear that
the plan of passing new penal legislation against Catholics was
abandoned. It was intended at first to enact a very severe measure for
the expulsion of Jesuits and seminary priests, and another framed with
the intention of making the laws against Catholics in England binding
in Ireland. But these clauses were struck out, probably as a result of
a bargain between the Catholic lords and the king. In return for this
toleration the Catholic lords agreed to support the Act of Attainder
passed against O'Neill and O'Donnell, together with their aiders and
abettors, and to approve of the wholesale confiscation that had taken
place in Ulster. In vain did Florence Conry, Archbishop of Tuam, call
upon the Catholic members to stand firm against such injustice. His
warning, that if they consented to the robbery of their
co-religionists of the North their own turn to be robbed would surely
come, fell upon deaf ears. Their loyalty to England had nerved them to
draw their swords against O'Neill, and it nerved them also to assist
Chichester and Davies to carry on the Ulster Plantations. Well might
the latter boast in his letter to the Earl of Somerset that the
service performed by this Parliament was "of such importance, as
greater has not been effected in any Parliament of Ireland these
hundred years. For, first, the new erected boroughs have taken place,
which will be perpetual seminaries of Protestant burgesses, since it
is provided in the charters that the provost and twelve chief
burgesses, who are to elect all the rest, must always be such as will
take the Oath of Supremacy. Next, all the states of the kingdom have
attainted Tyrone, the most notorious and dangerous traitor that ever
was in Ireland, whereof foreign nations will take notice, because it
has been given out that Tyrone had left many friends behind him, and
that only the Protestants wished his utter ruin. Besides, this
attainder settles the Plantation of Ulster."[31]

Chichester, who had planned the Plantation of Ulster, and who had
enriched himself out of the spoils of the Northern princes, was
removed from office in 1615, and was succeeded by Sir Oliver St. John,
who came to Ireland determined to support the anti-Catholic campaign.
In a short time more than eighty of the best citizens of Dublin were
in prison because they refused the oath of supremacy, and throughout
the country, jurors who refused to convict the Catholics were
themselves held prisoners, so that the jails were soon full to
overflowing. Immense sums were levied off both poor and rich for non-
attendance at Protestant religious service. In the County Cavan, for
example, the fines for one year amounted to about £8,000,[32] while
large sums were paid by the Catholic noblemen for protection from the
Protestant inquisitors. New plantations were undertaken, on the lines
of the Ulster Plantation, in Wexford, Longford, King's County, and
Leitrim, though, not having been carried out so thoroughly or so
systematically as the former, they had not the same measure of
success. All Catholic noblemen succeeding to property were obliged to
take the oath of supremacy, though apparently they could procure
exemption from this test by the payment of a fine, but the Court of
Wards took care that minors should be entrusted to Protestant
guardians, and should be sent if possible to Trinity College. By means
such as these Elizabeth and James succeeded in Protestantising a
certain number of the heirs to Irish estates. Proclamations were
issued once more against the clergy, both secular and regular, and so
violent was the persecution that the Bishops of Ireland addressed a
petition to the Catholic rulers of Europe, and especially to the King
of Spain, asking them to intercede with James on behalf of his Irish
Catholic subjects (1617).[33]

The negotiations for the marriage of Prince Charles to a Spanish
princess made it necessary for the king to be more guarded in his
religious policy in Ireland. Oliver St. John, who had shown himself to
be such a bitter enemy of the Catholics, was removed from office, and
Lord Falkland was sent over as Deputy in 1622. Rumours were afloat on
all sides that his policy was to be one of toleration. The Protestants
were alarmed and at the installation of the new Deputy (Sept. 1622)
James Ussher, then Protestant Bishop of Meath, taking as his text, "He
beareth not the sword in vain," preached a violent sermon in favour of
religious persecution. Primate Hampton wrote immediately to the
preacher, reproving him for his imprudence, asking him to explain away
what he had said about the sword, and advising him to spend more of
his time in his own diocese of Meath, where matters were far from
being satisfactory.[34] On the return of Charles from Spain a new
proclamation was issued (1624) ordering all "titulary popish
archbishops, bishops, vicars-general, abbots, priors, deans, Jesuits,
friars, seminary priests, and others of that sect, made or ordained by
authority derived from the See of Rome or other foreign parts to
depart from the kingdom within forty days under pain of his Majesty's
indignation and penalties. If any of these dared to remain, or if any
persons dared to receive them, the offenders were to be lodged in
prison, "to the end such further order may be taken for their
punishment as by us shall be thought fit."[35]

A full account of the position of the Catholics of Ireland is given in
a letter written from Dublin in 1623. Catholic minors were compelled
to accept the oath of supremacy before they could get letters of
freedom from the Court of Wards (established 1617); all mayors,
magistrates, officials, etc., of corporate towns were commanded to
take the oath under penalty of having their towns disenfranchised;
priests were arrested and kept in prison; laymen were punished by
sentences of excommunication and by fines for non-attendance at
Protestant worship; they were summoned before the consistorial courts
for having had their children baptised by the priests and were
punished with the greatest indignities; Catholics were forbidden to
teach school and Catholic parents were forbidden to send their
children abroad; the Catholic inhabitants of Drogheda were indicted
before a Protestant jury, and having been found guilty of recusancy,
they stood in danger of having all their property forfeited; in Louth
the juries were ordered to draw up a list of Recusants; when three
Catholic jurors refused they were thrown into prison and obliged to
give security to appear before the Dublin Star Chamber; and in Cavan
proceedings of a similar kind were taken.[36]

Amongst the distinguished bishops of the Irish Church at this period
were Peter Lombard, Archbishop of Armagh (1601-25), a native of
Waterford, who studied at Oxford and Louvain, was appointed a
professor at the latter seat of learning, took a very prominent part
in the /Congregatio de Auxiliis/, published some theological treatises
together with an ecclesiastical history of Ireland, entitled, /De
Regno Hiberniae, Sanctorum insula, Commentarius/,[37] but who on
account of the danger of stirring up still greater persecution never
visited his diocese; Eugene Matthews or MacMahon, Bishop of Clogher
(1609) and Archbishop of Dublin (1611) who did splendid work for the
Irish Church by the decrees passed in the provincial synod at Kilkenny
(1614) as well as by his successful efforts for the foundation of the
Pastoral College at Louvain; David O'Kearney, appointed to Cashel
(1603) as successor to the martyred Archbishop O'Hurley, who though
hunted from place to place continued to fill the duties of his office
till about the year 1618, when he went to Rome; and Florence Conry,
Archbishop of Tuam, a Franciscan, who served with the army of the
Northern Princes, and who was specially detested by the English
government on account of his loyal defence of O'Neill. Not being
allowed to return to Ireland, he devoted himself to the study of
theology, and was the author of several very important works, some of
which were not, however, free from the suspicion of something akin to
Jansenism. By far the most useful book he composed was his celebrated
Irish Catechism published at Louvain in 1626.[38]

During the opening years of the reign of Charles I. (1625-49) the
persecution was much less violent, and as Charles was married to a
French Catholic princess and as he had promised solemnly not to
enforce the laws against Catholics, it was hoped that at long last
they might expect toleration. The distinguished Franciscan Thomas
Fleming, son of the Baron of Slane, who had received his education in
the Irish Franciscan College at Louvain, was appointed Archbishop of
Dublin (1623), and arrived in Ireland two years later. He was able to
report that the conduct of the Catholics not only in Dublin but
throughout Ireland was worthy of every praise, and to point to the
fact that many who made the pilgrimage to St. Patrick's Purgatory in
Lough Derg were obliged to return without satisfying their pious
desires because the island was so crowded that there was no room for
them to land. Chapels were opened in some of the less pretentious
streets in Dublin; communities of religious orders took up fixed
residences in the capital; and the Jesuits summoned home some of their
ablest teachers to man a Catholic University which they opened in Back
Lane (1627). The government stood in need of money to equip and
support a new army, then considered necessary on account of the
threatening attitude of France, and in order to obtain funds a large
body both of the Protestant and Catholic nobility were invited to come
to Dublin for discussion. They were offered certain concessions or
"Graces" in return for a subsidy, and to placate the Catholic peers it
was said that the fines for non-attendance at church would not be
levied, and that they might expect tacit toleration.

The very mention of toleration filled the Protestant bishops with
alarm, and, considering the fact that they were dependent upon
coercion for whatever congregations they had, their rage is not
unintelligible. James Ussher, who had become Protestant Primate of
Armagh, convoked an assembly of the bishops. They declared that: "The
religion of the Papists is superstitious and idolatrous, their church
in respect of both, apostatical. To give them, therefore, a
toleration, or to consent that they may freely exercise their
religion, and profess their faith and doctrine is a grievous sin, and
that in two respects. For it is to make ourselves accessory, not only
to their superstitions, idolatries, and heresies, and in a word, to
all the abominations of Popery; but also, which is a consequent of the
former, to the perdition of the seduced people, which perish in the
deluge of Catholic apostacy. To grant them toleration, in respect of
any money to be given, or contribution to be made by them, is to set
religion to sale, and with it, the souls of the people, whom Christ
our Saviour hath redeemed with His most precious blood."[39] The Irish
deputies arrived in London to seek a confirmation of the "Graces" at
the very time that the third Parliament of Charles (1627) was
petitioning him to put in force the laws against the Recusants. The
members of the English House of Commons complained that religious
communities of men and women had been set up in Dublin and in several
of the larger cities, that Ireland was swarming with Jesuits, friars,
and priests, that the people who attended formerly the Protestant
service had ceased to attend, that in Dublin there were thirteen mass-
houses, and that Papists were allowed to act as army officers, and
Papists were being trained as soldiers."[40] In these circumstances
the Catholic members of the deputation consented to abandon their
claims for full toleration, though it was understood that the fines
levied on account of absence from Protestant service would not be
enforced, but they were promised that Catholic lawyers would be
allowed to practise without being obliged to take the oath of
supremacy. In return for the promised "Graces," which were to be
ratified immediately in Parliament, the Irish nobles promised to pay a
sum of £120,000 for the support of the new army.

The promised Parliament was not held, nor were the "Graces" conceded
either to the Irish generally or to the Catholics. Still, there was no
active persecution for some time. The provincial of the Carmelites in
Dublin was able to report to the Propaganda (1629) that "all the
ecclesiastics now publicly perform their sacred functions, and prepare
suitable places for offering the holy sacrifice, and that with open
doors; they now preach to the people, say Mass, and discharge all
their other duties without being molested by any one." The Carmelites,
he wrote, "had a large church, but not sufficient to contain one-sixth
of the congregation; the people flocked in crowds to Confession, and
Holy Communion; the Franciscans, Dominicans, Capuchins, and Jesuits
were hard at work; and the parishes were supplied with parish priests
who resided in their districts and were supported by the voluntary
offerings of the people."[41] From a report of the year 1627, it is
clear that the Dominicans had over fifty priests of their Order in
Ireland, together with several novices and students.[42]

But already the enemies of the Catholic religion were at work, and, as
a result, a proclamation was issued by Lord Falkland in 1629
commanding that all monasteries, convents, colleges, and religious
houses should be dissolved, that all religious and priests should
cease to teach or to perform any religious service in any public
chapel or oratory, or to teach in any place whatsoever in the kingdom,
and that all owners of religious houses and schools should apply them
to other uses without delay (1629). At first no notice was taken of
this proclamation in Dublin or in any of the cities of Ireland. Ussher
wrote to complain of the "unreverend manner" in which the proclamation
was made in Drogheda. "It was done in scornful and contemptuous sort,
a drunken soldier being first set up to read it, and then a drunken
sergeant of the town, making the same to seem like a May-game." The
priests and friars merely closed the front doors of the churches, he
said, but the people flocked to the churches as usual by private
passages.[43] Lord Falkland does not seem to have made any determined
effort to carry out the royal proclamation in Dublin, but
unfortunately he was recalled in 1629, and in the interval from his
departure till the arrival of Sir Thomas Wentworth (1632) Loftus,
Viscount of Ely, and Lord Cork were appointed as Lords Justices.
Immediately the persecution began. The Protestant Archbishop of
Dublin, accompanied by a body of soldiers, made a raid upon the
Carmelite Church in Cook Street while Mass was being celebrated on St.
Stephen's Day, destroyed the altar and statues, and seized two of the
priests; but the people set upon the archbishop and the soldiers, and
rescued the prisoners. The troops were called out at once, and several
of the Dublin aldermen were lodged in prison. Most of the churches
were seized, and the Jesuit University was given over to Trinity
College. Attacks of a similar kind were made on the houses and
churches of the regular clergy in Cork, Waterford, Limerick, and in
various other parts of the country. An order was issued by the Lords
Justices that St. Patrick's Purgatory together "with St. Patrick's bed
and all the vaults, cells, and all other houses and buildings should
be demolished, and that the superstitious stones and material should
be cast into the lough." Catholic deputies hastened to London to lay
their grievances before the king, but, though he was not unwilling to
help them, he found it difficult to do much for them on account of the
strong anti-Catholic feeling in England. Queen Henrietta Maria did
appeal to the new Deputy to restore St. Patrick's Purgatory, but, as
it was situated "in the midst of the great Scottish Plantation," he
feared to grant her request at the time. Lord Cork reported that "he
had set up two houses of correction in dissolved friaries, in which
the beggarly youths are taught trades." But soon the king and
Wentworth grew alarmed about the storm that the justices were creating
in Ireland. The Catholic lords threatened that unless an end were put
to the persecution, which was contrary to the "Graces" that had been
promised, they would refuse to pay the subsidy they had promised, and
letters were sent both by the king and Wentworth throwing the blame on
Loftus and Lord Cork, and reproving them for what they had done.[44]

In 1632 Sir Thomas Wentworth, afterwards Earl of Strafford, arrived in
Ireland as Lord Deputy. He was a strong man, intensely devoted to the
king, and determined to reduce all parties in Ireland to subjection.
In religion he was a High Churchman of the school of Laud, and opposed
to the Scotch Presbyterians of the North of Island almost as much as
to the Irish Catholics. From the beginning he was determined to raise
the revenues of the crown in Ireland, to establish a strong standing
army, and to secure the future peace of the country by carrying out a
scheme of plantations in Connaught and Munster along the lines
followed by the advisers of James I. in case of Ulster. One of his
first acts after his arrival in Ireland was to commission Dr. John
Bramhall, afterwards Protestant Bishop of Derry and Primate, to hold
an inquiry into the state of the Protestant Church. The latter, after
having made some investigations, informed Archbishop Laud that he
found it difficult to say "whether the churches were more ruinous and
sordid or the people irreverent in Dublin," that one parochial church
in Dublin had been converted into a stable, another had become a
nobleman's mansion, while a third was being used as a tennis-court, of
which the vicar acted as keeper. The vaults of Christ's Church had
been leased to Papists "as tippling rooms for beer, wine, and
tobacco," so that the congregation stood in danger of being poisoned
by the fumes, and the table for the administration of Holy Communion
was made "an ordinary seat for maids and apprentices." "The inferior
sorts of ministers were below all degrees of contempt, in respect of
their poverty and their ignorance," and it was told him that one
bishop held three and twenty benefices with care of souls.[45]

Wentworth lost no time in trying to raise money for the army, but many
of the lords, both Catholic and Protestant, were so annoyed at the
refusal to confirm the "Graces" and at the delay in calling the
Parliament that had been promised, that Wentworth was forced to make
some concession. Parliament was convoked to meet in 1634, and the Lord
Deputy nominated his own supporters in the boroughs, so as to counter-
balance the representation from the counties, which representation he
could not in all cases control. The Catholics were strong in the Lower
House particularly, but care was taken that they should be in a
minority. The main question was the granting of subsidies, but several
of the Protestants and all the Catholics demanded that the "Graces"
should first be confirmed. Both Protestant and Catholic landowners
were interested in safeguarding the titles to their property by having
it enacted that sixty years' possession should be regarded as a
sufficient proof of ownership. As such an enactment would have upset
all Wentworth's plans for a wholesale plantation, he succeeded in
resisting such a measure, and partly by threats, partly by underhand
dealings with particular individuals he obtained a grant of generous
subsidies without any confirmation of the "Graces." In April 1635
Parliament was dissolved, and almost immediately the Lord Deputy made
preparations for acting under the commission for inquiring into
defective titles granted to him by the king. "All the Protestants are
for plantations," he wrote, "and all the others are against them. If
the Catholic juries refuse to find a verdict in favour of the king,
then recourse must be had to Parliament, where a Protestant majority
is assured." Portions of Tipperary, Clare, and Kilkenny were secured
without much difficulty, but nothing less than the whole of Connaught
would satisfy the Deputy. Roscommon was the first county selected, and
the Commissioners, including the Lord Deputy, arrived in Boyle to hold
the inquiry (July 1635). The jury, having been informed by Wentworth
that, whether they found in his favour or not, the king was determined
to assert his claims to their county, and that their only hope of
mercy was their prompt obedience, delivered the required verdict.
Sligo and Mayo also made their submission. In Galway, however, the
jury found against the king. In consequence of this the sheriff was
fined £1,000 and placed under bail to appear before the Star Chamber,
and the jurymen were threatened with severe punishment. They were
fined £4,000 each and ordered to be imprisoned till they should pay
the full amount. In this way the whole of Connaught, with the
exception of Leitrim which was planted already, together with a great
part of Clare, Tipperary, and Kilkenny was confiscated to the crown.
But Wentworth postponed the plantation of Connaught to a more
favourable period, and before any such period arrived he had lost both
his office and his head. The danger to Charles I. from the Scotch
Covenanters was already apparent, and Charles urged his Deputy to
raise an army in Ireland. During the years 1639 and 1640 the work of
training the army, many of the officers of which and most of the
soldiers, were Catholics, was pushed forward, but the triumph of the
Scots and the execution of the Earl of Strafford in April 1641 made it
impossible to use it for the purpose for which it was designed. Acting
on the instigation of the English Parliament, Charles sent an order
that the Irish troops should be disbanded, and added that he had
licensed certain officers to transport eight thousand troops to the
aid of any of the sovereigns of Europe friendly to England. For one
reason or another very few of the soldiers left Ireland, as both their
own leaders and the king knew well that their services would be soon
required at home. Parliament had met in Ireland in March 1640,[46]
and, having voted several subsidies to aid the king, it adjourned.
When it met again in 1641 the Catholics were actually in the majority,
and seemed determined to hold their own. The king wrote to confirm the
"Graces," and to suggest that a bill should be introduced to confirm
defective titles in Tipperary, Clare, and Connaught, but the
obstructive tactics of the Earl of Ormond, and the unfavourable
attitude of the Lords Justices, Sir William Parsons and Sir William
Borlase, towards Catholic claims, prevented anything being done.
Parliament was adjourned till the 9th November, but before that date
arrived the issues had been transferred to another and a different

From 1632 till 1640, though the Deputy was doing his best to rob a
large portion of the Catholic owners of their property on the ground
of defective titles, and though in many districts the Protestant
bishops and ministers created considerable difficulties for their
Catholic neighbours, still the religious persecution was carried out
only in a half-hearted manner. The king was shrewd enough to recognise
the important part that might be played by the Irish Catholics in the
civil struggle that he foresaw, and he was anxious not to antagonise
their leaders. This period of comparative calm was providential for
the Church in Ireland, by enabling it to organise its forces and to
prepare for the terrible days that were soon to come. In accordance
with the advice given by Archbishop Lombard years before, Rome decided
to fill several of the Sees that had been left vacant. Hugh
MacCaghwell (/Cavellus/), a distinguished Irish Franciscan, who had
been instrumental in founding the College of St. Anthony at Louvain,
and whose theological works caused him to be regarded by his
contemporaries as the ablest theologian of the Scotish school in
Europe, was appointed Archbishop of Armagh (1626), but he died in Rome
a few weeks after his consecration. Less than two years later it was
decided to transfer Hugh O'Reilly from Kilmore to the primatial See
(1628). Thomas Fleming had been appointed to Dublin in 1623, and
despite the efforts of his enemies he succeeded in eluding the
vigilance of those who wished to drive him from Ireland. Malachy
O'Queely, who had acted for years as vicar-apostolic of his native
diocese of Killaloe, was appointed to Tuam (1630) in succession to
Florence Conry, and Thomas Walsh, a native of Waterford, was promoted
to the See of Cashel (1626). Amongst the distinguished ecclesiastics
who were promoted to Irish dioceses during the reign of James I. and
Charles, were the learned David Rothe (Ossory, 1618), Roche MacGeoghan
(/Roccus de Cruce/), who had done so much for the restoration of the
Dominican houses in Ireland (Kildare, 1629), and Heber MacMahon (Down,
1642, Clogher, 1643). As a result of the long persecution and of the
absence of bishops from so many dioceses a certain amount of
disorganisation might be detected in several departments, and to
remedy this provincial synods were held to lay down new regulations,
and to adjust the position of the Church to the altered circumstances
of the country. A synod was held at Kilkenny (1627) which was attended
by bishops from Leinster and Munster; another very important one, the
decrees of which were confirmed by the Holy See, was held for the
province of Tuam in 1632, and a third attended by the Leinster bishops
was held in the County Kilkenny in 1640.[48] The Irish colleges on the
Continent continued to pour able and zealous young priests into the
country, while the colleges for the education of the Franciscans,
Dominicans, and Jesuits supplied new recruits to replenish the ranks
of the religious orders. The Capuchin founded Irish colleges on the
Continent, at Lille, Antwerp, and at Sedan, and so earnestly did they
work in Ireland that a special letter in praise of the Capuchins was
forwarded to Rome by a number of the Bishops in 1642. The results of
this renewed activity were soon apparent in every part of the country.
Thus, for example, in a report presented (1631) from the diocese of
Elphin, then ruled by Bishop Boetius Egan, it can be seen that
although all the churches, including the cathedral, had been destroyed
or taken possession of by the Protestants, there were at the time
forty priests at work in the diocese; the decrees of the Council of
Trent had been promulgated; the parishes had been re-arranged, and the
learning of the parish priests appointed had been tested by
examination; regular synods, visitations, and conferences of the
clergy were being held, and steps had been taken to ensure that the
people should be instructed fully in their religion.[49]

In the Parliament of 1641 the Catholics were in the majority, and they
insisted that the "Graces" must be confirmed. The king granted their
demands, and the bill was actually on its way to Ireland when the
Lords Justices, Parsons and Borlase, who administered the government
of the country prorogued the session. They wished for no settlement
with the Catholics lest a settlement might put an end to their hopes
of a plantation, and the Earl of Ormond tried also to block the
passage of the bill in the hope of saving the king from the odium
which he would incur in England and Scotland by granting toleration to
the Irish Catholics. The Catholic noblemen of Ireland, whether Irish
or Anglo-Irish, had good reason to complain. They had seen the
Catholics driven out of the good lands of Ulster to make way for
English and Scottish planters, and they well knew that the danger of
similar transactions in Connaught, Munster, and Leinster had not
passed away with the death of Strafford. They had seen the operation
of the Court of Wards, and they could not fail to realise that as a
result of its work the landowners of Ireland would soon be
dispossessed or Protestantised. They knew something of the Protestant
Inquisition courts as run by the ministers and bishops, of the
persecution of their clergy, the fees and fines levied on the
unfortunate Catholic peasantry, and of the still graver danger that
lay before them in case the Covenanters and the Puritans were to
overthrow Charles I., or to succeed in forcing him to accept their
policy. Were they to remain passive, they believed, they could have no
hope of redress or even of safety, and hence many of them made up
their minds that the time for negotiations had passed, and that they
could rely only on force. Never again were they likely to get such a
favourable opportunity. England was torn by internal dissensions; the
disbanded Irish soldiers, who had been trained for service against the
Scots, were still in the country; and with so many distinguished
Irishmen scattered through the countries of Europe there was good hope
that they might get assistance from their co-religionists on the
Continent. The distinguished Waterford Franciscan, Father Luke
Wadding, who had founded the College of St. Isidore in Rome and had
taken such a prominent part in the foundation of the Irish College,
was in Rome ready to plead the cause of his countrymen at the Papal
Court. His fame as a scholar was known throughout Europe, and his
active support could not fail to produce its effect in Europe, and
particularly in Spain where he was esteemed so highly by Philip IV.
Owen Roe O'Neill, who had achieved a remarkable distinction in the
army of Spain by his gallant defence of Arras against the French,
Colonel Preston, uncle of Lord Gormanston, and a host of others, who
had learned the art of war in France, Spain, and the Netherlands, were
willing to return to Ireland and to place their swords at the disposal
of their country.

Early in 1641[50] Rory O'More, who was closely connected with both the
Irish and the Anglo-Irish nobles, suggested to Lord Maguire of
Enniskillen the idea of an appeal to arms, and hinted at the
possibility of a union between the Irish nobles and the Lords of the
Pale. In a short time most of the important leaders of the North, Sir
Phelim O'Neill, Turlogh O'Neill, Lord Maguire, Hugh MacMahon, Arthur
MacGennis of Down, Philip and Miles O'Reilly of Cavan had come to an
understanding. The war was to begin in Ulster on the night of the 23rd
October 1641, and on the same night an attempt was made to seize
Dublin Castle. The latter portion of the programme could not be
carried out owing to the action of an informer who betrayed Maguire
and Hugh MacMahon to the Lords Justices; but at the appointed time the
Irish Catholics of Ulster rose almost to a man, and in a very short
time most of the strong places in the province were in their hands. In
such a movement it was almost impossible for the leaders to prevent
some excesses, particularly as many of the men who took part in it had
been driven from their lands to make way for the Planters, and had
suffered terribly from the harshness and cruelty to which they and
their families had been subjected. Naturally they seized their own
again, and in some cases they may have used more violence than the
situation required, but it is now admitted by impartial historians[51]
that the wild stories of a wholesale massacre of Protestants are
without any more solid foundation than the fact that the Protestants
were for the most part driven out of Ulster in much the same way as
the Catholics had been driven to the mountains thirty years before.
Most of the few who were killed were probably struck down while
attempting to defend their homes, and in no case is there evidence to
prove that the leaders countenanced unnecessary violence or murder. If
the historian wishes to look for organised lawlessness and murder he
can find it much more easily in the campaign of the infamous Sir
Charles Coote or in the raids carried out by the forces of the Scotch
Covenanters of the North. The Catholic Lords of the Pale hastened to
Dublin Castle to offer their services against the Northern rebels, but
they were received so discourteously by the Lords Justices that they
recognised the absolute necessity of joining with the Catholics of
Ulster. In announcing their defection the Lords Justices positively
gloated over the splendid prospect of having the province of Leinster
planted with English settlers (Dec. 1641).[52] The action of the
English Parliament in decreeing that for the future there should be no
toleration allowed to Irish Catholics (Dec. 1641) and in putting up
for sale two million five hundred thousand acres of fertile land in
Ireland, the proceeds to be expended in a war of extermination,
strengthened the hands of the Irish leaders, and helped to bring over
the waverers to their side.

The Catholic clergy had sympathised with the movement from the
beginning, but they had exerted themselves particularly in moderating
the fury of their countrymen, and in protecting the Protestants, both
laymen and clerics, from unnecessary violence.[53] But, as there was a
danger that the movement would break up and that the Irish forces
would be divided, it was necessary for the bishops to take action.
Religion was nearly the only bond that was likely to unite the Irish
and the Anglo-Irish nobles, and the Church was the only institution
that could give the movement unity and permanency. A meeting of the
bishops and vicars of the Northern province was held at Kells (May
1642) under the presidency of Dr. Hugh O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh.
They prescribed a three days' fast, the public recitation of the
Rosary and the Litanies, and a general Communion for the success of
the war, issued a sentence of excommunication against murderers,
mutilators, thieves, robbers, etc., together with all their aiders and
abettors, denounced the Catholic Irishmen who refused to make common
cause with their countrymen, and ordered all bishops, vicars-general,
parish priests, and heads of religious houses to spare no pains to
raise funds immediately for the support of the soldiers.[54] In May
(1642) a national synod was held at Kilkenny. It was attended by the
Primate of Armagh, the Archbishops of Tuam and Cashel, by most of the
bishops either personally or by procurators, and by representatives of
the religious orders and of the secular clergy. They declared that the
war was being waged for the defence of the Catholic religion, for the
preservation of the rights and prerogatives of the king, for the just
and lawful immunities, liberties, and rights of Ireland, for the
protection of the lives, fortunes, goods, and possessions of the
Catholics of Ireland, and that it was a just war in which all
Catholics should join. They condemned murder, robbery, and violence,
advised all their countrymen to lay aside racial and provincial
differences, took measures for the restoration of the cathedrals and
churches to their owners, exhorted all, both clergy and laymen, to
preserve unity, and called upon the priests to offer up Mass at least
once a week for the success of the war.[55]

During the year 1642 the war had spread into all parts of Ireland, and
most of the prominent nobles, with the exception of the Earl of
Clanrickard, had taken the field. Owen Row O'Neill and Colonel Preston
had arrived with some of the Irish veterans from the Continent, and
had brought with them supplies of arms and ammunition. Urban VIII. had
forwarded a touching letter addressed to the clergy and people of
Ireland (Feb. 1642) and had contrived to send large supplies of
weapons and powder. A general assembly of Irish Catholics was called
to meet at Kilkenny in October 1642. There were present, eleven
spiritual peers, fourteen lay peers, and two hundred and twenty-six
representatives from the cities and counties of Ireland, under the
presidency of Lord Mountgarrett. Generals were appointed to lead the
forces in the different provinces, as unfortunately owing to the
jealousy between the Anglo-Irish and the Irish nobles Owen Roe O'Neill
could not be appointed commander of the national army. Arrangements
were made for sending ambassadors to the principal courts of Europe,
for the establishment of a printing-press, for raising money, and for
the promotion of education. The Irish Franciscans of Louvain were
asked to transfer their press and library to Ireland to help in the
creation of a great school of Irish learning. Father Luke Wadding was
appointed the Irish representative at the Papal Court, and agents were
dispatched to France, Spain, the Netherlands, and to several of the
German States. Urban VIII., yielding to the entreaties of the Irish
ambassador gave generous assistance, and wrote to nearly all the
Catholic rulers of Europe recommending them to assist their
co-religionists in Ireland.

In 1643 the well-known Oratorian, Father Francesco Scarampi, landed in
Wexford as the accredited agent of the Pope, bringing with him
supplies of money and arms. Hardly, however, had he arrived, when he
discovered that though the Irish armies had met with considerable
success both against the Royalist forces in Dublin and the Scotch
Covenanters in the North, negotiations had been opened up for an
extended truce. The Anglo-Irish nobles had never been enthusiastic for
the war as an Irish war. They fought merely to preserve their estates
and to secure a certain degree of liberty of worship, but in their
hearts they were more anxious about the cause of the king than about
the cause of Ireland. The Marquis of Ormond, whom the king had created
his Lord Lieutenant in Ireland, had many friends amongst the Lords of
the Pale, and by means of his agents he succeeded in bringing about a
cessation (Sept. 1643). The Irish Catholics were to send agents to the
king for a full discussion of their grievances, and were to help him
with supplies. Anxious to secure the help of the Irish Catholics, and
fearing to give a handle to his parliamentary opponents by granting
religious toleration, Charles was in a very difficult position, and to
make matters worse Ormond was determined not to yield to the demands
of the Catholics. He was prepared to make a conditional promise that
the laws against them would not be enforced, but beyond that he was
resolved not to go.

After long and fruitless negotiations with Ormond the war was renewed
(1644). Representatives from France and Spain had arrived in Kilkenny,
and it was thought that if the Pope could be induced to send a nuncio
such a measure would strengthen the hands of the Irish ambassadors on
the Continent. At the request of Sir Richard Bellings, Secretary to
the Supreme Council, Innocent X. consented to send Giovanni Battista
Rinuccini as his representative to Ireland (1645). The latter landed
at Kenmare in October, and proceeded almost immediately to Kilkenny.
In the meantime Charles I. was being hard pressed in England, and as
he could have no hope of inducing Ormond to agree to such terms as
would satisfy the Catholics of Ireland, he commissioned the Earl of
Glamorgan, himself a Catholic, and closely connected with some of the
Irish families by marriage, to go to Kilkenny and to procure
assistance from the Catholic Confederation at all costs. Shortly after
his arrival he concluded a treaty in the name of the king (Aug. 1645)
in which he guaranteed "the free and public exercise of the Roman
Catholic religion." All churches possessed by the Irish Catholics at
any time since October 1641 were to be left in their hands, and "all
churches in Ireland other than such as are now actually enjoyed by his
Majesty's Protestant subjects" were to be given back to the Catholics.
All jurisdiction claimed by Protestant bishops or ministers over Irish
Catholics was to be abolished, and all temporalities, possessed by the
Catholic clergy since October 1641, were to be retained by them, two-
thirds of the income, however, to be paid to the king during the
continuance of the war. Charles had already addressed a letter to the
nuncio promising to carry out whatever terms Glamorgan would concede,
and adding the hope that though this was the first letter he had ever
written to any minister of the Pope it would not be the last.[56] The
terms were to be kept a secret, but in October 1645 Archbishop
O'Queely of Tuam was killed near Sligo in a skirmish between the
Confederate and Parliamentary forces, and a copy of the treaty which
he had in his possession fell into the hands of the enemy. As soon as
it was published it created a great sensation in England, and Charles
immediately repudiated it. Glamorgan was arrested in Dublin by Ormond,
but was released after a few weeks, and returned coolly to Kilkenny to
conduct further negotiations.

Since his arrival in Kilkenny (1645) the nuncio was anxious to break
off negotiations with Ormond, and to devote all the energies of the
country to the prosecution of the war. But the Anglo-Irish of the Pale
were bent upon accepting any terms that Ormond might offer; and soon
the Supreme Council was divided into two sections, one favouring the
nuncio, the other supporting Ormond. Negotiations had been opened
directly with Rome by Queen Henrietta through her agent Sir Kenelm
Digby. In return for promises of men and money the latter signed a
treaty even much more favourable to the Irish Catholics than that
which had been concluded with Glamorgan (1645), but as the original of
this treaty had not come to hand, and as it was feared that there was
little hope of its being put in force, the Supreme Council patched up
an agreement with Ormond (March 1646). Although the latter had got a
free hand from the king he granted very little to the Catholics. The
oath of supremacy was to be abolished in the next Parliament, as were
to be also all statutory penalties and disabilities; "his Majesty's
Catholic subjects were to be recommended to his Majesty's favour for
further concessions;" all educational disabilities of Catholics were
to be removed, and all offices, civil and military, were to be thrown
open to them. Even this treaty was kept a secret, but in the meantime
the Confederation should send troops to the assistance of the king.
But before the troops could be sent Charles was driven to take refuge
with the Scots at Newcastle (May 1646), from which place he wrote
forbidding Ormond "to proceed further in treaty with the rebels or to
make any conditions with them."[57]

Notwithstanding Rinuccini's earnest entreaties the majority of the
Supreme Council insisted on accepting Ormond's terms. The
Confederation had been so weakened by dissensions that General Monro
thought he could march south and capture Kilkenny, but at Benburb he
found his way barred by the forces of O'Neill, and he was obliged to
retreat to Coleraine, having left a great portion of his army dead on
the field, and his standards, guns, and supplies in the hands of
O'Neill (5 June 1646). The news of the great victory was brought to
the nuncio at Limerick, where the captured banners were carried in
procession through the streets and deposited in the cathedral. General
Preston had also scored some successes in Connaught, so that once
again the tide seemed to have turned in favour of the Confederates.
Rinuccini was more than ever determined to refuse half measures, such
as were being offered by the terms of Ormond's treaty. He summoned a
meeting of the bishops in Waterford (Aug. 1646), and after long
discussion it was agreed that those who accepted Ormond's terms were
guilty of perjury, because they had thereby broken the terms of the
oath of confederation. According to this oath the members had pledged
themselves to be content with nothing less than the free and public
exercise of their religion, while Ormond left nearly everything to the
good-will of the king, from whom nothing could be expected considering
the state of affairs in England. In spite of all remonstrances the
Supreme Council published the Peace in Kilkenny, but their messengers
were refused admittance into several of the cities of the South.
Ormond was invited to Kilkenny, where he received a royal reception
from his friends. But O'Neill marched south and compelled Ormond to
beat a hasty retreat towards Dublin. Rinucinni returned to Kilkenny,
and some of the prominent adherents of Ormond were arrested. A new
Supreme Council was chosen, and O'Neill and Preston were commissioned
to march on Dublin, but, though they brought their armies close to the
city, yet, owing to underhand communications carried on between
Ormond's agent, the Earl of Clanrickard, and Preston, and the jealousy
between the generals, the attack was not made.

A new General Assembly had been elected and met at Kilkenny (10 Jan.
1647). After a long discussion the Ormond Peace was condemned, and a
new form of oath was drawn up to be taken by all the Confederates.
Ormond, who could have done so much for his master had he obeyed his
instructions and made some satisfactory offers to the Irish Catholics,
surrendered Dublin into the hands of the Parliamentarians, and fled to
France. To make matters worse Preston was defeated by the
Parliamentarians at Summerhill (Aug. 1647), and Lord Inchiquin was
carrying all before him in the South. Everywhere he went he had acted
with great savagery, and was especially violent in his opposition to
the Catholic religion. But early in 1648 he changed his politics, and
declared for the king against the Parliament. Immediately the former
friends of Ormond on the Supreme Council insisted on making terms with
Lord Inchiquin. Rinuccini opposed such a step as a betrayal, and his
action was approved by a majority of the bishops. The nuncio left the
city and went towards Maryborough, where O'Neill was encamped. In May
1648 the truce with Lord Inchiquin was proclaimed, and in a few days
Rinuccini issued a sentence of excommunication against all who would
receive it, and of interdict against the towns which recognised it.
The Supreme Council replied by appealing to the Pope. The only result
was that the division and confusion became more general. Several of
the bishops and clergy were to be found on both sides. The Supreme
Council dismissed O'Neill from his office, and afterwards declared him
a traitor. The nuncio went to Galway, from which port he sailed in
1649. Though it is difficult to entertain anything but the greatest
contempt for the Ormond faction on the Supreme Council, and though
Rinuccini was an honest man who did his best to carry out his
instructions, still he did not understand perfectly the situation. He
allowed himself to show too openly his preference for O'Neill, and
displayed too great an inclination to have recourse to high-handed
methods. His arrest of the Ormondist faction on the Supreme Council
and the censures which he levelled against his opponents, however
justifiable these things might have been in themselves, were not
calculated to restore unity and confidence.[58]

Ormond returned to Ireland in 1648 and received a great welcome from
those of the Supreme Council who were opposed to Rinuccini and
O'Neill. In January 1649 he concluded a peace with them by which he
guaranteed that in the next Parliament to be held in Ireland the free
exercise of the Catholic religion should be conceded; that the Act of
Uniformity and the Act of Royal Supremacy should be abolished; that
all offices, civil and military, should be thrown open to Catholics
provided they were willing to take a simple oath of allegiance; that
all plans for any further plantations in Munster, Leinster, and
Connaught should be abandoned, that all Acts of Attainder, etc.,
passed against Irish Catholics since October 1641 should be treated as
null and void; that the clergy should not be molested in regard to the
churches, church-livings, etc., until his Majesty upon full
consideration of the desires of the Catholics, formulated in a free
Parliament, should express his further pleasure; and that the regular
clergy who would accept this peace should be allowed to continue to
hold their houses and possessions. Further concessions were to be
dependent on the king's wishes.[59] The Catholic Confederation as such
was dissolved, and Ormond was installed as Lord Lieutenant to govern
the country in conjunction with twelve Commissioners of Trust
appointed by the Confederates. But O'Neill and his army still held out
against any terms with Ormond, and a large number of the cities
refused to hold any communications with him. Still he hoped to capture
Dublin from the Parliamentarians before help could arrive from
England, but he suffered a terrible defeat at Rathmines (2 Aug. 1649).
Less than a fortnight later Oliver Cromwell[60] arrived in Dublin with
a large force to crush both the Royalists and the Catholics.

Cromwell, having taken a little time for his troops to recruit,
marched on Drogheda, then held for the king by Sir Arthur Aston, and
so earnestly did he push forward the siege that in a short time he
carried the city by assault, and put most of the garrison and a large
number of the citizens to death. Over a thousand were slaughtered in
St. Peter's Church to which they had fled for refuge, and special
vengeance was meted out to the clergy, none of them who were
recognised being spared. Similar scenes of wholesale butchery took
place at Wexford, into which his army gained admission by
treachery.[61] Ormond was unable to make headway against such a
commander, and frightened at last by the prospect that opened out
before him, he made overtures to O'Neill for a reconciliation. O'Neill
agreed to lend his aid against Cromwell. He sent a portion of his army
south, and he himself, though ill, was already on the march when he
died at Cloughoughter (6 Nov. 1649). His death at such a time was an
irreparable loss both to the Catholic religion and to Ireland. Had he
lived, and had Ormond and his faction co-operated with him, the
campaign of Cromwell might have had a very different termination.
During the closing months of 1649 the situation in Ireland seemed
hopeless. Though as an unscrupulous diplomatist Ormond had few equals,
he was utterly worthless as a soldier, and to make matters worse he
was still distrusted by the great mass of the Irish people. In the
hope of restoring unity and of encouraging the people to continue the
struggle a synod of the bishops and clergy assembled at Clonmacnoise
(Dec. 1649). They issued a declaration warning the people that they
could expect no mercy from the English Parliament, that the wholesale
extirpation of Catholicism was intended, as was evidenced by the
actions of Cromwell, and that the lands of the Irish Catholics were to
be handed over to English adventurers. They called upon them to forget
past differences, to sink racial and personal jealousies, and to unite
against the common enemy.[62] But the country distrusted Ormond, and
refused to rally to his standard. Another meeting consisting of the
bishops and of the Commissioners of Trust was held at Loughrea, in
which it was agreed that there should be a general levy of all men fit
to bear arms, and the monastery of Kilbegan was fixed as the place of
rendezvous. Several of the cities and leading men refused, however, to
take any part in a movement controlled by Ormond, and as a last
desperate resort, at the meeting of the bishops held at Jamestown (12
Aug. 1650) the bishops declared that there could be no hope of unity
unless Ormond surrendered his trust to some person in whom the entire
country had confidence.[63] Very reluctantly Ormond agreed to this
request and left Ireland in December, having appointed the Earl of
Clanrickard as his successor. The latter was a Catholic who had played
a very ignoble part throughout the war. Had he displayed years before
but half the energy he displayed in its later stages things might
never have come to such a pass.

As it was, Cromwell made great progress in the South, though he was
forced to raise the siege of Waterford, and suffered a bad defeat at
Clonmel from the nephew of O'Neill. He left Ireland in May 1650, and
entrusted the command to Ireton. Owing to the state of disunion Ireton
was enabled to take city after city. Limerick was taken in 1651, and
Terence O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, was put to death. Bishop MacMahon of
Clogher, who had assumed the leadership of the army of Owen Row
O'Neill after the latter's death was defeated at Scarrifhollis (1650).
Later on he was captured, and put to death, his head being impaled on
the gates of Enniskillen as a warning to his co-religionists. The
submission of Clanrickard in 1652 practically put an end to the war,
and before another year had elapsed all effective resistance had

During the Kilkenny Confederation the Catholic Church was restored to
its original position. In the districts controlled by the Confederates
the bishops and clergy were allowed to occupy once more their houses
and churches wherever these had not been destroyed, and religious
communities of both men and women were set up again close to their
former monasteries and convents, though at the same time the Catholic
Lords of the Pale were alert lest they should be asked to return any
of the ecclesiastical or monastic lands that had been granted to them
by royal patent. In Dublin and wherever Ormond and the Royalists had
authority, both clergy and people enjoyed complete toleration, but in
certain portions of the North, and wherever the Puritans and
Parliamentarians held sway, persecution was still the order of the
day. When Dublin was surrendered to the Parliamentarians (1647) the
priests, and later on, all Catholics, were expelled from the city. In
the South of Ireland Lord Inchiquin acted in the most savage manner in
Cashel and generally in the cities which he conquered, while the
Parliamentarian party in the North showed no mercy to the Catholics
who fell into their hands. After the arrival of Cromwell the prospect
became even more gloomy. Though he announced that he would interfere
with no man's religion, he declared that on no account could he
tolerate the celebration of Mass.[64] The clergy were put to the sword
in Drogheda and Wexford. The Archbishop of Tuam was killed during the
war (1645); Boetius Egan, Bishop of Ross, fell into the hands of Lord
Broghill and was put to a cruel death because, instead of advising the
garrison of Carrigdrohid to surrender, he encouraged them to continue
the struggle (1650); Terence Albert O'Brien, Bishop of Emly, was
captured by Ireton after the siege of Limerick, and was hanged; Heber
MacMahon, Bishop of Clogher, was put to death by the orders of Coote
(1650); Bishop Rothe of Ossory died as a result of the sufferings he
endured, and Bishop French of Ferns, after undergoing terrible trials
in Ireland, was obliged to make his escape to the Continent.

In arranging the terms of surrender the Cromwellian generals sometimes
excluded the bishops and clergy from protection, and at best they
granted them only a short time to prepare for leaving the country. The
presence of the priests was regarded as a danger for the projected
settlement of Ireland, and hence the order was given (1650) that they
should be arrested. In 1650 a reward of £20 was offered to any one who
would betray the hiding place of any Jesuits, priests, friars, monks,
or nuns. At first those clergy who were captured were sent into France
and Spain, but later on large numbers of them were shipped to the
Barbadoes. Thus, for example, in 1655 an instruction was sent to Sir
Charles Coote that the priests and friars then captive in Galway who
were over forty years of age should be banished to Portugal or France,
while those under that age were to "be shipped away for the Barbadoes
or other American plantations." For those who returned death was the
penalty that was laid down. Since the priests still contrived to elude
their pursuers by disguising themselves as labourers, peasants,
beggars, gardeners, etc., an order was issued in 1655 that a general
search should be made throughout Ireland for the capture of all
priests. Five pounds was to be paid to any one who would arrest a
priest, and more might be awarded if the individual taken were of
special importance. When the jails were well filled, another
instruction was issued that the priests should be brought together at
Carrickfergus for transportation. Here it was claimed that some
offered to submit to the terms of the government rather than allow
themselves to be sent away, but as the statement comes from an
unreliable source it should be received with caution. In 1657 Major
Morgan, representative of Wicklow in the United Parliament of England
and Ireland, declared: "We have three beasts to destroy that lay heavy
burthens upon us. The first is the wolf, on whom we lay five pounds a
head of a dog, and ten pounds if a bitch. The second beast is a
priest, on whose head we lay ten pounds, and if he be eminent, more.
The third beast is a Tory, on whose head, if he be a public Tory we
lay twenty pounds, and forty shillings on a private Tory." Towards the
end of the Protectorate the government, instead of transporting the
priests abroad, sent them in crowds to the Island of Aran and to
Innisbofin. "The Lord Deputy and Council," wrote Colonel Thomas
Herbert (1658), "did in July last give order for payment of £100 upon
account to Colonel Sadleir, to be issued as he should conceive fit for
maintenance of such Popish priests as are or should be confined to the
Isle of Boffin, according to six-pence daily allowing, building cabins
and the like. It is not doubted but care was taken accordingly, and
for that the judges in their respective circuits may probably find
cause for sending much more priests to that island, I am commanded to
signify thus much unto you that you may not be wanting to take such
care in this business as according to former directions and provision
is made."[65]

Already in 1642 the English Parliament had passed measures for the
wholesale confiscation of Catholic Ireland, and had pledged the land
to these "adventurers" who subscribed money to carry on the war. In
1652, when the reduction of Ireland was practically complete, it was
deemed prudent to undertake the work of clearing Leinster and Munster
of its old owners to prepare the way for the adventurers and for the
soldiers, whose arrears were paid by grants of farms or estates.
According to the terms of the Act and of the Instructions issued in
connexion with it all Irish Catholics were commanded to transplant
themselves to Connaught before the 1st May 1654 under pain of being
put to death by court-martial if they were found after that date east
of the Shannon. Exceptions were indeed made in the case of those women
who were married to English Protestants before December 1650, provided
that they themselves had become Protestant; in case of boys under
fourteen and girls under twelve in Protestant service and who would be
brought up Protestants, and lastly in case of those who could prove
that for the previous ten years they had maintained "a constant good
affection" towards the Parliament. The order to transplant was
notified throughout Ireland, and a commission was set up at Loughrea
to consider claims and to make assignments of land in Connaught, all
of which was to be at the disposal of the Irish except a prescribed
territory along the sea-board. Even the inhabitants of Galway, who had
submitted only on the express condition of retaining their lands, were
driven out of the city, and the city itself was handed over to the
corporations of Gloucester and Liverpool to recoup them for the losses
they had suffered during the Civil War. Petitions began to pour in for
mercy or at least for an extension to the time-limit, but though on
the latter point some concessions were made, few individuals were
allowed any reprieve. The landowners were marked men, and they were
obliged to go. It would be impossible to describe the hardship and
miseries suffered by those who were forced to leave their own homes,
and to seek a refuge in what was to them a strange country. To ease
the situation large numbers of the men capable of bearing arms were
shipped to Spain, or to others of the Continental countries, but soon
it was thought that this was bad policy likely only to serve some of
England's rivals. It was then determined to transport large numbers to
the West Indies, the Barbadoes, Jamaica, and the Caribee Islands.
Ship-loads of boys and girls were seized according to orders from
England, and were sent out of the country under the most awful
conditions to a land where a fate awaited many of them that was worse
than death.[66] The magistrates had no scruple in committing all
Catholics who remained east of the Shannon and who were brought before
them, as vagrants, and then they were hurried off to the coast.

At first the idea was to remove the native population entirely from
Leinster and Munster lest the soldiers and "adventurers" might be
contaminated, and stern measures were taken to prevent any of the
officers or men from taking Irish wives. Ireton laid it down that any
officer or soldier who dared to marry an Irish girl until she had been
examined by a competent board to see whether her conversion flowed
"from a real work of God upon her heart," should be punished
severely.[67] But later on petitions poured in from the new Protestant
landowners to be allowed to keep Catholics as servants and labourers,
and on the understanding that the masters would utilise this
opportunity to spread the true religion, their requests were granted.
Some obtained dispensations or at least managed to secure delays;
others probably were able to come to terms with the soldiers to whom
their farms had fallen in the general lottery, and others still
preferred to risk the danger of transportation by remaining in their
own district rather than to seek a new home. Had the Protectorate
lasted long enough the policy of transplanting might have succeeded,
but as it was the Cromwellian planters soon disappeared or became
merged into the native population, and in spite of all the bloodshed
and robbery, the people of Ireland generally were as devoted to the
Catholic religion in 1659 as they had been ten years before.[68]

When it became clear from the course of events in England that Charles
II. was about to be restored to the throne Lord Broghill and Sir
Charles Coote, both of whom had helped to crush the Irish Royalists
and had profited largely by the Revolution, hastened to show their
zeal for the king's cause. The Catholics who had fought so loyally for
his father hoped that at last justice would be done to them by
re-instating them in the lands from which they had been driven by the
enemies of the king. But Charles was determined to take no risks. He
sent over the Duke of Ormond, the most dangerous enemy of the Catholic
religion in Ireland, as Lord Lieutenant (1660). A Parliament was
called in 1661, and as the Catholics had been driven from the
corporate towns during the Cromwellian régime and as the Cromwellian
planters were still in possession, the House of Commons was to all
intents and purposes Protestant. An Act of Settlement was passed
whereby Catholics who could prove their "innocence" of the rebellion
were to be restored, but the definition of innocence in the case was
so complicated that it was hoped few Catholics, if any, would succeed
in establishing their claims (1661). A Court of Claims composed of
five Protestant Commissioners, was set up to examine the individual
cases, but in a short time, when it was discovered that a large number
of Catholics were succeeding in satisfying the conditions laid down by
law for restoration to their property, an outcry was raised by the
planters, and the Court of Claims was suspended (1664). The Act of
Explanation was then passed to simplify the proceedings, as a result
of which act two-thirds of the land of Ireland was left in the hands
of the Protestant settlers. Close on sixty of the Catholic nobility
were restored as a special favour by the king, but a large body of
those who had been driven out by Cromwell were left without any

In consequence of the Cromwellian persecution nearly all the bishops
and a large body of the clergy, both secular and regular, had been
driven from Ireland, but after the accession of Charles, who was known
to be personally friendly to the Catholics, many of them began to
return. It would be a mistake, however, to imagine that the
persecution had ceased, or that the laws against the clergy were not
put in force in several districts. Ormond returned to Ireland as
hostile to Catholicity as he had been before he was driven into exile;
and as he thought that he had a particular grievance against the Irish
bishops he was determined to stir up the clergy against them, to
divide the Catholics into warring factions, and by favouring one side
to create a royalist Catholic party as distinct from the ultramontane
or papal party. For this work he had at hand a useful instrument in
the person of Father Peter Walsh, a Franciscan friar, who had
distinguished himself as a bitter opponent of the nuncio and as a
leader of the Ormondist faction in the Supreme Council. In 1661 it was
determined by some leading members, both lay and clerical, to present
an address of welcome to Charles II., but by the influence of Walsh
and others the address, instead of being a mere protestation of
loyalty, was framed on the model of the Oath of Allegiance (1605),
which had been condemned more than once by the Pope. Many of the
Catholic lords indicated their agreement with this address or
Remonstrance, as it was called, and some of the clergy, deceived by
the counsels of Father Walsh, expressed their willingness to adhere to
its terms. Ormond, who spent money freely in subsidising Walsh and his
supporters,[69] had good reason to be delighted with the success of
his schemes. Grave disputes broke out among the clergy, which the
government took care to foment by patronising the Remonstrants and by
wreaking its vengeance on the anti-Remonstrants on the grounds of
their alleged disloyalty. To bring matters to a crisis it was arranged
by Walsh and Ormond that a meeting of the bishops, vicars, and heads
of religious orders should be held in Dublin (June 1666). In addition
to Dr. O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh, Bishops Plunkett of Ardagh, and
Lynch of Kilfenora, there were present a number of vicars of vacant
dioceses together with representatives of the Franciscans, Dominicans,
Augustinians, Capuchins, and Jesuits.[70] Dr. O'Reilly spoke strongly
against the terms of the Remonstrance as being highly disrespectful to
the Pope, and the majority of those present supported his contention.
They expressed their willingness to present an address of loyalty from
which the objectionable clauses should be omitted. But Walsh,
dissatisfied with anything but a complete submission, shifted the
ground of the debate, by endeavouring to secure the acceptance of the
assembly of the pro-Gallican declaration of the Sorbonne (1663). Even
still his efforts were far from being successful, and the meeting was
dissolved by Ormond. The primate was kept a prisoner in Dublin for
some months, and then transported to the Continent, while the other
members present were obliged to make their escape from Ireland or to
go into hiding. By orders of Ormond close watch was kept upon the
clergy who sided against the Remonstrance, and many of them were
thrown into prison.[71]

In 1669 Ormond was recalled, and after a short time Lord Berkeley was
sent over as Lord Lieutenant. Though he was instructed to "execute the
laws against the titular archbishops, bishops, and vicar-generals,
that have threatened or excommunicated the Remonstrants,"[72] yet, as
the personal friend of the Duke of York, and as one who knew
intimately the king's own views, he acted in as tolerant a manner
towards Catholics as it was possible for him to do considering the
state of mind of the officials and of the Protestant bishops and
clergy. From 1670 till the arrival of Ormond once more in 1677, though
several proclamations were issued and though here and there individual
priests were persecuted, Catholics as a body enjoyed comparative calm.
The Holy See took advantage of this to appoint to several of the
vacant Sees. Amongst those appointed at this time were Oliver Plunket
to Armagh (1669), Peter Talbot to Dublin, which had not been filled
since the death of Dr. Fleming in 1655, William Burgat to Cashel
(1669), and James Lynch to Tuam. Dr. Plunket had accompanied Scarampi
to Rome (1645), where he read a particularly brilliant course as a
student of the Irish College, and afterwards acted as a professor in
the Propaganda till his nomination to Armagh. Dr. Talbot was born at
Malahide, joined the Society of Jesus, was a close personal friend of
Charles II. during the latter's exile on the Continent, and after the
Restoration enjoyed a pension from the king. Shortly after his
appointment an outcry was raised against him because he and his
brother, Colonel Talbot, were supposed to be urging a re-examination
of the Act of Settlement, and Charles II. was weak enough to sign a
decree banishing him from the kingdom. He returned to Ireland only in
1677, the year in which Ormond arrived for his last term of office as
Lord Lieutenant.

Already Shaftesbury's two subordinates, Titus Oates and Tonge, were
concocting the infamous story of the Popish Plot in the hope of
securing the exclusion of the Duke of York from the throne. In this
plot, according to the account of its lying authors, the Catholics of
Ireland were to play an important part, the Jesuits and the
Archbishops of Dublin and Tuam being supposed to be particularly
active. In October 1678 a proclamation was issued ordering all
archbishops, bishops, vicars, abbots, and other dignitaries of the
Church of Rome, and all others exercising jurisdiction by authority of
the Pope, together with all Jesuits and regular priests, to depart
from the kingdom before the 20th November, and all Popish societies,
convents, seminaries, and schools were to be dissolved at once.[73]
This was followed by a number of others couched in a similar strain,
and large numbers of priests were sent to the coast for
transportation. The chapels opened in Dublin and in the principal
cities were closed, and the clergy who remained were obliged to have
recourse to various devices to escape their pursuers. Dr. Talbot was
arrested and thrown into prison (1678), where he remained till death
put an end to his sufferings in November 1680. Though both the king
and Ormond were convinced of his innocence, yet such was the state of
Protestant frenzy at the time that they dare not move a hand to assist
him. Dr. Plunket, after eluding the vigilance of his pursuers for some
time, was arrested in 1679. He was brought to trial at Dundalk, but
his accusers feared to trust an Irish court, the case was postponed,
and in the meantime his enemies arranged that he should be brought to
London for trial. Every care was taken to obtain a verdict. The judges
refused a delay to bring over witnesses for the defence, and made no
attempt to conceal their bias and their hatred for the Catholic
religion, the very profession of which was sufficient to condemn him
in their eyes. He was executed at Tyburn (1681), and he was the last
victim to suffer death in England on account of the plot of Oates and
his perjured accomplices.[74] But in Ireland Ormond had no intention
of dropping the persecution. Several of the bishops and vicars-general
were arrested and either held as prisoners or banished, and spies were
sent through the country to track down those who defied the
proclamation of banishment by remaining to watch over their dioceses.

On the accession of James II. (Feb. 1685) the Catholics of Ireland had
reason to hope for an improvement of their position, and this time at
least they were not disappointed. The Duke of Ormond was recalled, and
the Earl of Clarendon was sent over as Lord Lieutenant. He was
instructed to maintain the Act of Settlement, but at the same time to
allow Catholics full freedom of worship, and to consider them eligible
for civil and military appointment. With him was associated as
military commander Colonel Richard Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnell, brother
of the late Archbishop of Dublin. In accordance with the well-known
wishes of the king, Catholic officers were appointed in the army,
Catholics were allowed once more to act as sheriffs, magistrates, and
judges, and steps were taken to see that the corporations, which had
been closed against Catholics for years, should be no longer safe
Protestant boroughs. The Irish bishops hastened to present an address
of welcome to the king, and they were assured of his Majesty's favour
and protection. Religious communities of both men and women were
re-opened in Dublin, and in the principal cities throughout Ireland,
and synods of the clergy were held to restore order and
discipline.[75] Irish Catholics as a body were delighted with the
royal edicts in favour of religious toleration, but the small
Protestant minority in the country were alarmed at seeing Catholics
treated as equals, and particularly at the prospect of seeing the Act
of Settlement upset, and their titles to their estates questioned by
the real owners whom they had despoiled twenty years before. Their
fears were increased when the Earl of Clarendon, whom they regarded as
in some sort their protector, was recalled (1687) to make way for the
Earl of Tyrconnell as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. The new Lord
Lieutenant was far from being perfect, nor was he always prudent in
his policy or his actions, but if his conduct towards the small body
of Protestants in Ireland be compared with that of his predecessors
for more than a century, or with that of his successors, towards the
Irish people, he ought to be regarded as one of the most enlightened
administrators of his age.

The revolution that broke out in England (1688), the arrival of
William of Orange (1688), and the flight of King James to France were
calculated to stir up strife in Ireland, though it is remarkable as
showing the fair treatment they had received that a great body of the
Irish Protestant bishops were in favour of supporting James against
the usurper, and that it was necessary to have recourse to lying
stories of an intended general massacre to stir up opposition to the
king. Tyrconnell, who had long foreseen such a course of events, had
made wonderful preparations, considering the situation of the country
and the constitution of his council. Had James II. contented himself
with inducing Louis XIV. to send arms and ammunition to Ireland and to
utilise to the fullest the splendid French navy, Tyrconnell, aided by
the able Irish officers who flocked to his standard from all parts of
Europe, might have bidden defiance to all invaders.

But James insisted on returning to Ireland. He landed in March 1689
and proceeded to Dublin, where a national Parliament was summoned to
meet in May. As a result of allowing the majority of the people to
have some voice in the selection of the members, the House of Commons
in 1689 was almost as Catholic as that of 1662 had been Protestant. In
the House of Lords the Protestants might have been in the majority had
all the spiritual and temporal peers taken their seats, but as several
of the bishops were absent from the country, and as many of the lay
lords had either joined the party of William or were waiting to see
how events would go, few of them put in an appearance. From the
beginning it was clear that the ideals of James were not the ideals of
the Irish Parliament. He wished merely to make Ireland the stepping-
stone to secure his own return to England, while the representatives
of Ireland were determined to provide for the welfare and independence
of their own country. They began by laying down the principle that no
laws passed in England had any binding force in Ireland unless they
were approved by the king, lords, and commons of Ireland. They next
affirmed the principle of liberty of conscience for all, whether
Catholic or Protestant, thereby setting an example which unfortunately
was not followed either in England or in later parliamentary
assemblies in Ireland. They decreed further that for the future
Catholics should not be obliged to pay tithes for the support of the
Protestant ministers, but rather that both Catholics and Protestants
should contribute to the support of their respective pastors, a system
which no impartial man could condemn as unfair. They repealed the Acts
of Settlement and Explanation, and declared that those who held
estates in Ireland in October 1641 should be restored to them, or if
they were dead that their heirs should enter into possession. The
soldiers and adventurers were deprived thereby of the property which
they had acquired by legalised robbery and had held for over twenty
years, but it was provided that those who had purchased lands from the
Cromwellian grantees should be compensated from the estates of those
who were then in rebellion against the king. In view of what had taken
place in Ulster under James I., of what the Earl of Wentworth had in
contemplation for portions of Munster and Connaught had his plants not
miscarried, and of what had been done by Cromwell in nearly all parts
of Catholic Ireland, the action of the Parliament of 1689 was not
merely justifiable. It was extremely moderate. An Act of Attainder was
also passed against those persons who had either declared for William
of Orange, or who had left the country lest they should be regarded as
taking sides with James II. Such men were called upon to return within
a certain time unless they wished to incur the penalty of being
regarded as traitors and punished as such. It is not true to say that
there was any secrecy observed in regard to this act, or that
knowledge of it was kept from the parties concerned till the time-
limit had expired. It was discussed publicly in the presence of the
Protestant bishops and Protestant representatives, and its provisions
were well known in a short time in England and Ireland.[76]

Derry and Enniskillen had declared against King James towards the end
of 1688, and all efforts to capture these two cities had failed. In
August 1689 the Duke of Schomberg arrived at Bangor with an army of
about fifteen thousand men, but little was done till the arrival of
William of Orange in June 1690. Had the Irish and French military
advisers had a free hand they might easily have held their own, even
though William's army was composed largely of veteran troops drawn
from nearly every country of Europe. Had James taken their advice and
played a waiting game, by retiring behind the Shannon so as to allow
time to have his own raw levies trained, and to hold William in
Ireland when his presence on the Continent against Louis XIV. was so
urgently required, the situation would have been awkward for his
opponent; and even when James decided to advance had he gone forward
boldly, as was suggested to him, and insisted upon giving battle north
of Dundalk in the narrow pass between the mountains and the sea where
William's cavalry would have been useless, the issue might have been
different. But with a leader who could not make up his mind whether to
give battle or to retreat, and who, having at last decided to fight in
the worst place he could have selected, sent away his heavy guns
towards Dublin with the intention of ordering a retirement almost when
the decisive struggle had begun, it was impossible for his followers
to expect any other result but defeat. In the battle of the Boyne the
brunt of the fighting fell upon the Irish recruits, and both the Irish
cavalry and infantry offered a stubborn resistance. James fled to
Dublin, and in a short time left Ireland (1690). The Irish and French
commanders then fell back on the line of the Shannon, according to
their original scheme. They defended Limerick so bravely that William
was obliged to raise the siege, but the capture of Athlone (1691) and
the defeat of the Irish forces at Aughrim turned the scales in favour
of William. Towards the end of August 1691 the second siege of
Limerick began. Sarsfield, who was in supreme command, made a vigorous
defence, but, as it was impossible to hold out indefinitely, and as
there seemed to be no longer any hope of French assistance, he opened
up negotiations with General Ginkle for a surrender of the city. As a
result of these negotiations the Treaty of Limerick was signed on the
3rd October 1691.[77]

[1] /Cambrensis Eversus/, iii., 53. /Arch. Hib./ iii., 273 sqq.

[2] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 17-26.

[3] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 58-60.

[4] Id., 134, 152-3.

[5] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 190-3.

[6] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 143-44.

[7] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 301-3.

[8] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 362 sqq.

[9] /Cal. State Papers, Ireland/ (James I.), i., 389-90.

[10] Cf. Introduction to vol. ii. /Calendar of State Papers/ (James
    I.) lxxi. sqq.

[11] Id., ii., 14 sqq.

[12] Id., i., 474.

[13] Cf. Introduction to vol. ii. /Calendar of State Papers/ (James
    I.), i., 475.

[14] Id., ii., 131-33.

[15] Cf. Introduction to vol. ii. /Calendar of State Papers/ (James
    I.), i., 476.

[16] /State Papers, James I./, i., 67, 78, 134, 299; ii., 309-11.

[17] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 260 sqq.

[18] Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/, 218 sqq.

[19] Cf. Walsh, /The Flight of the Earls/ (/Archiv. Hib./, ii., iii.,
    app. i.). Meehan, /Fate and Fortunes of the Earls of Tyrone and
    Tyrconnell/, 1886.

[20] Hill, /An Historical Account of the Plantation of Ulster/, (1608-
    20), 1877.

[21] /State Papers/, iii., 284 sqq.

[22] /State Papers/, iv., 80 sqq.

[23] Cf. /Archiv. Hib./, ii., 164-65. /State Papers/, iv., 80-3.

[24] Rothe's /Analecta/ (ed. Moran), xciii. sqq.

[25] Ware's /Works/, i., 206. /Cal. of State Papers/, iv., 171, 232,

[26] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 284 sqq.

[27] /Cal. State Papers/, iv., 373 sqq.

[28] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 300.

[29] Meagher, /Life of Archbishop Murray/, 111 sqq. /Constitutiones
    Provinciales et Synodales Eccl. Metropolit. et Primatialis
    Dublinensis/, 1770.

[30] Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., 428 sqq.

[31] For a full account of this Parliament, cf. /Calendar of State
    Papers/, iv. (Introduction, xxxvi. sqq.). Meehan, op. cit., 255

[32] Rothe, /Analecta/, 32 sqq.

[33] Rothe, /Analecta/, 270 sqq.

[34] Ussher's /Works/, (ed. Elrington), i., 58.

[35] /Cal. Carew Papers/, vi., 432-3.

[36] /Hist. MSS. Commission/ X. Report, app. v., 349-50.

[37] Ed. Moran, 1863.

[38] Cf. Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., i., 20 sqq., 187 sqq., 258 sqq.,
    395 sqq.

[39] Ussher's /Works/, i., 72-4.

[40] Bagwell, /Ireland under the Stuarts/, i., 182.

[41] Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/, 313-15.

[42] Moran, /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 156 sqq.

[43] Ussher's /Works/, i., 94-95.

[44] Cf. Townshend, /The Life and Letters of the Earl of Cork/, 1904,
    186 sqq. Bagwell, op. cit., i., 186-9. Moran, /Archbishops of
    Dublin/, 317 sqq.

[45] Bramhall's /Works/, i., lxxix.

[46] /Irish Commons Journal/, 1640-1.

[47] Dunlop, /Ireland under the Commonwealth/, i., cix.

[48] Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/, 434-36. Id., /Memoirs of
    Archbishop Plunket/, 386-88. Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., 438 sqq.

[49] /Archiv. Hib./, iii., 359 sqq.

[50] For War, 1641-53, cf. Gilbert, /Aphorismical Discovery of
    Treasonable Faction, or a Contemporary History of Irish Affairs,
    1641-52/, 6 vols., 1879-80. Id., /History of the Irish
    Confederation/, 7 vols., 1882-91. Carte, /History of the Life of
    James, Duke of Ormond/, 3 vols., 1736.

[51] Dunlop, op. cit., i., cxvii. /English Historical Review/, i., ii.
    Lecky, /Ireland in the Eighteenth Century/, 61 sqq.

[52] Carte, /Life of Ormond/, i., 260-1.

[53] Lecky, op. cit., 96 sqq.

[54] /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 2-8.

[55] Id., i., 262-8.

[56] Bagwell, op. cit., ii., 88-9.

[57] Bagwell, op. cit., 115.

[58] Cf. Aiazzi, /Nunziatura in Irlanda di Mgr. G. B. Rinuccini/, 1844
    (tr. Hutton, 1873). /Ninth Report Hist. MSS. Commission/, App.
    ii., 1884.

[59] Cox, /Hib. Anglicana/, app. 43.

[60] Murphy, /Cromwell in Ireland/, 1883. /The History of the War in
    Ireland, 1641-53/ (ed. Hogan, S.J., 1873).

[61] On Cromwell's /Massacres/, cf. /Nineteenth Century and After/
    (Sept., 1912; Dec., 1912; April, 1913). /Irish Eccl. Record/
    (June, 1913; Nov., 1913).

[62] /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 38-43.

[63] Id., ii., 85 sqq.

[64] /Declaration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, etc., 1641/.

[65] Cf. Dunlop, op. cit. (the official documents are given in this
    book). Prendergast, /The Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland/, 2nd
    ed., 312 sqq. (References to P. R. Doc.). Moran, /Spicil Ossor./,
    i., 374-428.

[66] Williams, /The Regicides in Ireland/ (/Irish. Ecc. Record/, Aug.,

[67] Prendergast, op. cit., 232 sqq.

[68] On the Cromwellian Plantation, cf. Dunlop, op. cit. (Introduction
    and Documents). Prendergast, /Cromwellian Settlement/.

[69] Burke, /Irish Priests in the Penal Times/, 11-12.

[70] /Irish Eccl. Record/, 1st ser., vi., 501-15.

[71] Walsh, /History and Vindication of the loyal Formulary or Irish
    Remonstrance, etc., 1672/.

[72] Cox, /A Letter/, etc., 11.

[73] Cox, op. cit., 14.

[74] For an account of the Ven. Oliver Plunket, cf. Moran, /Memoir of
    the Ven. Oliver Plunket/, 1861. Id., /Life of Oliver Plunket/,
    1895. Burke, op. cit., 77 sqq.

[75] Moran, /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 289 sqq.; iii., 109 sqq.

[76] On this Parliament, cf. Davis, /The Patriot Parliament of 1689/,
    1893. Dunbar Ingram, /Two Chapters of Irish History/, 1888. King,
    /State of the Protestants of Ireland, 1691/. Leslie, /An Answer to
    a Book entitled the State of the Protestants of Ireland under the
    late King James, 1691/. Murphy, /Two Irish Parliaments/ (/Record
    of the Maynooth Union/, 1907-8).

[77] For an account of the war, cf. /A Jacobite Narrative of the War
    in Ireland/ (ed. Gilbert, 1892). /Macariae Excidium or the
    Destruction of Cyprus/ (ed. Crofton Croker, 1841, O'Callaghan,
    1850). Boulger, /The Battle of the Boyne/, etc., 1911 (based on
    the French military reports).



  Burke, /The Irish Priests in the Penal Times (1660-1760)/, 1914 (a
  valuable book, based on the State Papers preserved in the Record
  Office, the Bodleian Library and the British Museum). Curry, /An
  Historical and Critical Review of the Civil Wars in Ireland from
  the Reign of Queen Elizabeth to the Settlement of King William
  III./, 2 vols., 1786. Klopp, /Der Fall des Hauses Stuart u.s.w./,
  14 Bde., 1875-88. Madden, /Historical Notice of the Penal Laws
  against Roman Catholics/, 1865. Lecky, /History of Ireland in the
  Eighteenth Century/, 5 vols. (new imp., 1913). Parnell, /History
  of the Penal Laws/, 1808. Id., /An Historical Apology for the
  Irish Catholics/, 1807. /Works and Correspondence of Edmund
  Burke/, 8 vols., 1851. Butler, /Historical Memoirs of English,
  Irish, and Scotch Catholics/, 4 vols., 1819. Scully, /The Penal
  Laws/, 1812. Murray, /Revolutionary Ireland and its Settlement/,

When the Irish leaders entered into correspondence with General Ginkle
they were by no means reduced to the last extremity. The situation of
the besiegers was rendered difficult by the approach of winter, and
there was a danger that the city might be relieved at any moment by
the appearance of a French fleet in the Shannon. Hence to avoid the
risks attendant on the prolongation of the siege and to set free his
troops for service on the Continent, where their presence was required
so urgently, General Ginkle was willing to make many concessions.
Before the battle of Aughrim William had offered to grant the
Catholics the free exercise of their religion, half the churches in
the kingdom, and the moiety of the ecclesiastical revenues.[1] But the
position of both parties had changed considerably since then, and
Sarsfield and his companions could hardly expect so favourable terms.
They insisted, however, on toleration, and though the first clause of
the treaty dealing expressly with that subject was drafted badly, they
certainly expected they had secured it. In addition to the military
articles the Peace of Limerick contained thirteen articles, the most
important of which were the first, and the ninth. By these it was
provided that the Catholics should enjoy such privileges in the
exercise of their religion as is consistent with the laws of Ireland,
and as they did enjoy in the reign of Charles II.; that their
Majesties as soon as their affairs should permit them to summon a
Parliament would endeavour to procure for Irish Catholics "such
further security in that particular as may preserve them from any
disturbance upon account of their religion;" and that the oath to be
administered to Catholics should be the simple oath of allegiance to
William and Mary. "Those who signed it [the Treaty]," writes Lecky,
"undertook that the Catholics of Ireland should not be in a worse
position, in respect to the exercise of their religion, than they had
been in during the reign of Charles II., and they also undertook that
the influence of the government should be promptly exerted to obtain
such an amelioration of their condition as would secure them from the
possibility of disturbance. Construed in its plain and natural sense,
interpreted as every treaty should be by men of honour, the Treaty of
Limerick amounted to no less than this."[2] The Treaty was ratified by
the sovereigns in April 1692, and its contents were communicated to
William's Catholic ally, the Emperor Leopold I. (1657-1705) as a proof
that the campaign in Ireland was not a campaign directed against the
Catholic religion.

The king was, therefore, pledged to carry out the agreement, and by
means of the royal veto and the control exercised by the English privy
council he could have done so notwithstanding the bigoted fanaticism
of the Protestant minority in Ireland. Nor can it be said that the
conduct of the Irish Catholics afforded any pretext for denying them
the rights to which they were entitled. Once their military leaders
and the best of their soldiers had passed into the service of France
there was little danger of a Catholic rebellion, and during the years
between 1692 and 1760, even at times when the Jacobite forces created
serious troubles in Scotland and England, the historian will search in
vain for any evidence of an Irish conspiracy in favour of the exiled
Stuarts. The penal laws were due solely to the desire of the
Protestant minority to wreak a terrible vengeance on their Catholic
countrymen, to get possession of their estates, to drive them out of
public life, by excluding them from the learned professions and from
all civil and military offices, to reduce them to a condition of
permanent inferiority by depriving them of all means of education at
home and abroad, to uproot their religion by banishing the bishops and
clergy, both regular and secular, and in a word to reduce them to the
same position as the native population of the English plantations in
the West Indies.

For some years, however, after the overthrow of the Irish forces, it
was deemed imprudent by the king and his advisers to give the Irish
Protestants a free hand. Louis XIV. was a dangerous opponent, and till
the issue of the great European contest was decided it was necessary
to move with caution at home. Besides, Leopold I., William's faithful
ally, could not afford, even from the point of view of politics, to
look on as a disinterested spectator at a terrible persecution of his
own co-religionists in Ireland. But once the fall of Namur (1695) had
made it clear that Louis XIV. was not destined to become the dictator
of Europe, and above all once the Peace of Ryswick (1697) had set
William free from a very embarrassing alliance, the Protestant
officials in Ireland were allowed a free hand. Parliament was convoked
to meet in 1692. The Earl of Sydney was sent over as Lord Lieutenant,
and in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Limerick Parliament
should have confirmed the articles. But men like Dopping, the
Protestant Bishop of Meath, took care to inflame passion and bigotry
by declaring that no faith should be kept with heretics, and when
Parliament met it was in no mood to make any concessions. The few
Catholic members who presented themselves were called upon to
subscribe a Declaration against Transubstantiation prescribed by the
English Parliament, but which had no binding force in Ireland. Having
in this way excluded all Catholics from Parliament, an exclusion which
lasted from 1692 till the days of the Union, the Houses passed a bill
recognising the new sovereigns, and another for encouraging foreign
Protestants to settle in Ireland,[3] but they refused absolutely to
confirm the Treaty of Limerick. After Parliament had been prorogued
the privy council endeavoured to induce the Earl of Sydney to issue a
proclamation ordering the bishops and clergy to depart from the
kingdom, but under pretence of consulting the authorities in England
he succeeded in eluding the would-be-persecutors, who were obliged to
content themselves with indirect methods of striking at the priests,
until Sydney was recalled, and until Lord Capel, a man after their own
heart, arrived as Lord Lieutenant in 1695.

In August of that year Parliament met once more. In his opening speech
the Lord Lieutenant struck a note likely to win the approval of his
audience. "My Lords and Gentlemen," he said, "I must inform you that
the Lords Justices of England have, with great application and
dispatch, considered and re-transmitted all the bills sent to them;
that some of these bills have more effectually provided for your
future security than hath ever hitherto been done; and, in my opinion,
the want of such laws has been one of the greatest causes of your past
miseries; and it will be your fault, as well as misfortune, if you
neglect to lay hold of the opportunity, now put into your hands by
your great and gracious king, of making such a lasting settlement,
that it may never more be in the power of your enemies to bring the
like calamities again upon you, or to put England to that vast expense
of blood and treasure it hath so often been at for securing this
kingdom to the crown of England."[4] The measures taken to secure the
Protestant settlement will repay study. It was enacted that no parent
should send his children beyond seas for education under penalty, both
for the sender and the person sent, of being disqualified "to sue,
bring, or prosecute any action, bill, plaint, or information in course
of law, or to prosecute any suit in a court of equity, or to be
guardian or executor, or administrator to any person, or capable of
any legacy, or deed of gift, or to bear any office within the realm."
In addition such persons were to be deprived of all their property,
both real and personal. Any magistrate, who suspected that a child had
been sent away could summon the parents or guardians and question them
under oath, but failing any proof the mere absence of the child was to
be taken as sufficient evidence of guilt. Popish schoolmasters in
Ireland were forbidden to teach school under threat of a penalty of
£20 and imprisonment for three months. But lest the Catholics might
object that they had no means of education, it was enacted that every
Protestant minister should open a school in his parish, and every
Protestant bishop should see that a "public Latin free-school" was
maintained in his diocese. Having fortified Protestantism sufficiently
on one flank, the members next proceeded to forbid Papists to keep
"arms, armour, or ammunition," empowered magistrates to search the
houses of all suspected persons, threatened severe penalties against
all offenders, forbade the reception of Popish apprentices by
manufacturers of war materials, prohibited all Catholics from having
in their possession a horse over the value of £5, and empowered
Protestant "discoverers" of infringements of this measure to become
owners of their Catholic neighbour's horse by tendering him five
pounds. Lest these laws might become a dead letter it was enacted that
if any judge, mayor, magistrate, or bailiff neglected to enforce them
he should pay a fine of £50, half of which was to go to the informer,
and besides, he should be declared incapable of holding such an office
for ever. To prevent any misconception it was explained that all
persons, who, when called upon, refused to make the Declaration
against Transubstantiation, should be regarded as Papists.[5]

For so far, however, the opportune moment for a formal rejection of
the Limerick Treaty had not arrived. But when Parliament met in 1697
it was deemed prudent to carry out the instruction of the Bishop of
Meath, that no faith should be kept with Catholics. The Articles of
Limerick were confirmed with most of the important clauses omitted or
altered. The first clause guaranteeing toleration was deemed unfit to
be mentioned in the bill. It is clear that in the House of Lords grave
difficulties were urged against such a wholesale neglect of the terms
of the treaty, and that it was necessary to invoke the authority of
the king and of the English privy council before the measure was
passed. Seven of the lay lords, and six of the Protestant bishops
lodged a solemn protest against what had been done. Amongst the
reasons which they assigned for their disagreement with the majority
were: "(1) Because we think the title of the Bill doth not agree with
the body thereof, the title being, An Act for the Confirmation of
Articles made at the Surrender of Limerick, whereas no one of the said
articles is therein, as we conceive, fully confirmed; (2) because the
said Articles were to be confirmed in favour of them, to whom they
were granted, but the confirmation of them by the Bill is such, that
it puts them in a worse condition than they were before, as we
conceive; . . . (4) because several words are inserted in the bill,
which are not in the Articles, and others omitted, which alter both
the sense and meaning, as we conceive."[6]

The way was now clear for beginning the attack upon the clergy. An Act
was passed ordering "all Popish archbishops, bishops, vicars-general,
deans, Jesuits, monks, friars, and all other regular Popish clergy,
and all Papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction" to depart
from the kingdom before the 1st May 1698, under threat for those who
remained beyond the specified time, of being arrested and kept in
prison till they could be transported beyond the seas. They were
commanded to assemble before the 1st May at the ports of Dublin, Cork,
Kinsale, Youghal, Waterford, Wexford, Galway, or Carrickfergus,
register themselves at the office of the mayor, and await till
provision could be made for transporting them. All such ecclesiastics
were forbidden to come into the kingdom after the 29th December 1697,
under pain of imprisonment for twelve months, and if any such person
ventured to return after having been transported he should be adjudged
guilty of high treason. If any person knowingly harboured, relieved,
concealed, or entertained any popish ecclesiastic after the dates
mentioned he was to forfeit £20 for the first offence, £40 for the
second, and all his lands and property for the third offence, half to
go (if not exceeding £100) to the informer. Justices of the peace were
empowered to summon all persons charged upon oath with having aided or
received ecclesiastics and to levy these fines, or to commit the
accused person to the county jail till the fines should be paid. All
persons whatsoever were forbidden after the 29th December 1697, to
bury any deceased person "in any suppressed monastery, abbey, or
convent, that is not made use of for celebrating divine service,
according to the liturgy of the Church of Ireland as by law
established, or within the precincts thereof, under pain of forfeiting
the sum of ten pounds," which sum might be recovered off any person
attending a burial in such circumstances. Justices of the peace were
empowered to issue warrants for the arrest of ecclesiastics who came
into Ireland, or remained there in defiance of these statutes, and
were commanded to give an account of their work in this respect at the
next quarter sessions held in their counties. Finally, it was provided
that any justice of the peace or mayor who neglected to enforce this
law should pay a fine for every such offence of £100, half of which
was to be paid to the informer, and should be disqualified for serving
as a justice of the peace. An Act was also passed "to prevent
Protestants intermarrying with Papists." If any Protestant woman, heir
to real estate or to personal estate value £500 or upwards, married a
husband without having first got "a certificate in writing under the
hand of the minister of the parish, bishop of the diocese, and some
justice of the peace," and attested by two witnesses that her intended
husband was a Protestant, the estates or property devolved immediately
on the next of kin if a Protestant; and if any man married without
having got a similar certificate that the lady of his choice was a
Protestant he became thereby disqualified to act as a guardian or
executor, to sit in the House of Commons, or to hold any civil or
military office, unless he could prove that within one year he had
converted his wife to the Protestant religion. Any clergyman assisting
at such marriages was liable to a penalty of £20, half of which was to
be paid to the informer.[7]

In order to secure that none of the bishops or regular clergy should
escape, the revenue officers in the different districts were
instructed to make a return of the names and abodes of all priests on
the 27th July 1697. According to the digest compiled from these
returns there were then in Ireland eight hundred and ninety-two
secular priests and four hundred and ninety-five regulars. The houses
of the regular clergy were broken up; their property was disposed of
or handed over in trust to some reliable neighbour, and the priests
prepared to go into exile. During the year 1698 four hundred and
forty-four of them were shipped from various Irish ports, several
others were arrested and thrown into prison, and a few escaped by
passing as secular priests. Many of the unfortunate exiles made their
way to Paris, where they were dependent upon the charity of the French
people and of the Pope. Similar vigorous action was taken to secure
the banishment of the bishops and vicars, in the hope that if these
could be driven from the country the whole machinery of the Catholic
Church in Ireland would become so disorganised that its total
disappearance in a short time might be expected. Several of the
bishops had been declared traitors for having supported the cause of
James I., and had been obliged to flee to the Continent. Two others
were shipped in accordance with the law of 1697; three were discovered
by the revenue officials, of whom the Bishop of Clonfert was arrested,
rescued, and died; the Bishop of Waterford made his escape after a few
years of hiding, and the Bishop of Cork was arrested and transported
(1703). So that there remained in Ireland only the Archbishop of
Cashel and the Bishop of Dromore. News of what was taking place in
Ireland was conveyed to the Emperor, who instructed his ambassador to
lodge a strong protest, but the ambassador was put off with empty
promises or with a bold denial of the truth of his information. Nor
were these acts allowed to remain a dead letter. The revenue
officials, the magistrates, sheriffs, judges, Protestant bishops, and
Protestant ministers joined in the hunt for regulars, bishops, vicars,
deans, etc., and generous rewards were offered to all informers.[8]

The accession of Queen Anne (1702-14) led only to a still more violent
persecution. Parliament met in September 1703, and proceeded almost
immediately to attack both priests and lay Catholics. Most of the
bishops were dead or had been driven from the country. The regulars,
it was thought, could not survive. It was determined, therefore, to
attack the remaining secular clergy in two ways, first by enforcing
strictly the laws against Catholic education in Ireland, and by making
more severe the laws against going to colleges abroad,[9] as well as
by enacting that any priest who entered Ireland after 1st January 1704
should be punished in accordance with the terms of the law laid down
previously against bishops and regulars,[10] so that by these means
the supply of clergy might be cut off; and second, by obliging all the
priests in Ireland to register themselves so that the government could
lay hold of them whenever it wished to do so. According to this latter
measure all priests were commanded to give an account to the clerks of
the peace of their district, of their place of abode, their parishes,
together with the time and place of their ordination, and were to
provide two securities of £50 for their future good behaviour; those
who neglected to make this return were to be imprisoned and
transported; and it was provided later on that no parish priest could
have an assistant or curate.[11] To crush the Catholic laymen it was
enacted that in case the eldest son became a Protestant his father
could not sell, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of the family property;
that no Catholic could act as guardian to orphans or minors, but that
these should be handed over to the custody of some Protestant who was
required to bring them up in the Protestant religion; that no Catholic
could purchase any lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or any profits
or rents from such possessions, or acquire leases for a term exceeding
thirty-one years or inherit as nearest of kin to any Protestant; the
estates of a Catholic landowner dying without a Protestant heir were
to be divided equally among his sons; no person could hold any office,
civil or military, without subscribing to the Declaration against
Transubstantiation, and the oath of abjuration, and receiving the
sacrament; no Catholics, unless under very exceptional circumstances,
could be allowed to live in Galway and Limerick, and no person could
vote at any election without taking the oaths of allegiance and
abjuration. Sir Theobald Butler appeared at the bar of the House of
Commons to plead against these measures, and to point out that as no
laws of the king were in force in the days of Charles II. the proposed
bill was in direct opposition to the terms of the Treaty of
Limerick,[12] but his protest produced no effect in England or in

The whole army of government officials, Protestant ministers, and
spies were set to work to discover what persons had left Ireland to go
abroad for education, to seize all priests found entering the country,
and to take measures against those in the country who neglected to
register themselves as they had been commanded to do. One hundred and
eighty-nine priests were registered in Ulster, three hundred and
fifty-two in Leinster, two hundred and eighty-nine in Munster, and two
hundred and fifty-nine in Connaught.[13] Against the laity, too, the
full penalties of the law were enforced, but yet it is satisfactory to
note that in the year 1703 only four certificates of conformity were
filed, sixteen in 1704, three in 1705, five in 1706, two in 1707, and
seven in 1708.[14] It was clear, therefore, that if the Catholic
religion was to be suppressed recourse must be had to even more
extreme measures. In 1709 an act was passed ordering all priests to
take the Oath of Abjuration before the 25th March 1710, unless they
wished to incur all the pains and penalties levelled against the
regular clergy.[15] By the Oath of Abjuration they were supposed to
declare that the Pretender "hath not any right or title whatsoever to
the crown of this realm or any other the dominions thereunto
belonging," that they would uphold the Protestant succession, and that
they made this declaration "heartily, willingly, and truly." Rewards
were laid down for the encouragement of informers, £50 being allowed
for discovering an archbishop, bishop, vicar, or any person exercising
foreign jurisdiction, £20 for the discovery of a regular or a non-
registered secular priest, and £10 for the discovery of a Popish
schoolmaster. To facilitate the arrest of the clergy it was provided
that any two justices of the peace might summon Catholics before them
and interrogate them under oath when and where they heard Mass last,
what priest officiated, and who were present at the ceremony. Failure
to give the required information about Mass, priests, or school-
masters was to be punished by imprisonment for twelve months or until
the guilty person paid a fine of £20. A pension of £20 a year,
increased afterwards to £40, was provided for those priests who left
the Catholic Church.[16] As regards lay Catholics further measures
were taken to encourage the children of Catholic parents to become
Protestant by ordaining that in such a case the Court of Chancery
could interfere and dictate to the father what provision he must make
for such children. Similarly wives of Catholics were encouraged to
submit by the promise that the Court of Chancery would interfere to
safeguard their interests. Stringent regulations were made to ensure
that all pretended converts engaged in the professions and in public
offices should rear their children in the Protestant faith, and to
ensure that no Catholic could teach school publicly or privately or
even act as usher in a Protestant school.

The priests, though not unwilling to take a simple oath of allegiance,
refused as a body to take the Oath of Abjuration, and immediately they
became liable to all the punishments directed against the bishops and
regulars. Wholesale arrests took place over the country; spies were
employed to track them down; the men who had gone security for their
good behaviour in 1704 were commanded to bring them in under threat of
having the recognisances estreated; judges were ordered to make
inquiries at the assizes; and Catholics were called upon to discover
on their clergy by giving information about the priests who celebrated
Mass. The search was carried on even more vigorously in Munster and
Connaught than in Ulster and Leinster, so that during the remainder of
the reign of Queen Anne no priest in any part of Ireland could
officiate publicly with safety.[17] Petitions were drawn up and
forwarded to all the Catholic sovereigns of Europe, asking them to
intercede for their co-religionists in Ireland, but though many of
them did instruct their representatives in London to take action,
their appeals and remonstrances produced very little effect.[18] At
the same time the laws in regard to Catholic property, and Catholic
education were enforced with great severity, particular care being
taken that only Protestants should be recognised as guardians of
Catholic minors or orphans, and that the guardians should rear the
children as Protestants. Against the law, the wishes or even the last
testament of a dying father were of no avail.[19]

During the reign of George I. (1714-27) there was very little
improvement in the condition of the Catholics of Ireland. Indeed, in
regard to legal enactments their condition was rendered much worse.
They were obliged to pay double the contribution of their Protestant
neighbours for the support of the militia; their horses could be
seized for the use of the militia; they were prevented from acting as
petty constables or from having any voice in determining the amount to
be levied off them for the building and repairing of Protestant
churches or for the maintenance of Protestant worship. In 1719 a new
and more violent measure was passed by the House of Commons, according
to one of the clauses of which all unregistered priests caught in
Ireland were to be branded with a red-hot iron upon the cheek. The
Irish privy council changed this penalty into mutilation, but when the
bill was sent to England for approval the original clause was
restored. For purely technical reasons the bill never became law.[20]
In 1742 another bill was introduced and passed by both Houses in
Dublin by which all unregistered priests who did not depart out of
Ireland before March 1724 were to be punished as guilty of high
treason unless they consented to take the Oath of Abjuration; a
similar punishment was decreed against bishops, vicars, deans, and
monks without allowing them any alternative; all persons adjudged
guilty of receiving or affording assistance to priests were to be put
to death as felons "without benefit of clergy;" Popish schoolmasters
and tutors were to undergo a like punishment, and to ensure that the
law would be enforced ample rewards were given to all informers. But
when the bill was sent to England it failed to receive the sanction of
the king and privy council, and was therefore allowed to lapse.[21]

The results of these laws made to secure the extirpation of the
Catholic religion were to be seen in 1731 when a systematic inquiry
was conducted by the Protestant ministers and bishops into the
condition of the Catholics in every single parish in Ireland. In
Armagh there were only twenty-five "Mass-houses," some of them being
mere cabins; in Meath there were one hundred and eight; in Clogher
only nine although in addition it was reported that there were forty-
six altars where the people heard Mass in the open air; in Raphoe one
"old Mass-house," one recently erected, "one cabin, and two sheds;" in
Derry there were nine Mass-houses, all "mean, inconsiderable
buildings," but Mass was said in most parts of the diocese in open
fields, or under some shed set up occasionally for shelter; in Dromore
there were two Mass-houses, and "two old forts were Masses are
constantly said;" and in Down there were five Mass-houses, but in
addition the priests celebrated "in private houses or on the
mountains." In the diocese of Dublin it was reported that the number
of Mass-houses amounted to fifty-eight, sixteen of which were situated
within the city; in Ferns there were thirty-one together with eleven
"moveable altars in the fields;" in Leighlin, twenty-eight, besides
three altars in the fields and three private chapels, and in Ossory
their were thirty-two "old Mass-houses" and eighteen built since the
reign of George I. In Cashel there were forty "Mass-houses," and it
was noted particularly that one was being built at Tipperary, "in the
form of a cross, ninety-two feet by seventy-two;" in Cloyne there were
seventy Mass-houses. In Tuam the Protestant archbishop reported that
there were Mass-houses in most parishes; in Elphin it was reckoned
that there were forty-seven "Mass-houses," a few of them being huts;
in Killala there were four, in Achonry thirteen, in Clonfert forty,
and in Kilmacduagh there were thirteen. But in a remarkable fact that
in spite of all the legal penalties directed against the priests, and
of all the work that was being done by the government officials, the
"priest-catchers," whose profession according to the Irish House of
Commons was an honourable one, and by the magistrates, and ministers,
there was a very large number of secular priests still ministering to
the people and also of friars, who were reported as being active in
preaching to the people sometimes in private houses and sometimes in
the open fields. And it is even still more remarkable that despite the
vigilance of the Protestant bishops there were even then over five
hundred "popish schools" in some of which the classics were taught,
and there were besides several schoolmasters who moved from place to
place. The Protestant Bishop of Derry announced with a considerable
amount of pride that there were not any popish schools in his diocese.
"Sometimes," he said, "a straggling schoolmaster sets up in some of
the mountainous parts of some parishes, but upon being threatened, as
they constantly are, with a warrant, or a presentment by the church-
wardens, they generally think proper to withdraw."[22]

During the reign of George II. (1727-60) the persecution began to
abate, though more than one new measure was added to the penal laws.
Primate Boulter, who was practically speaking ruler of the country
during his term of office, was alarmed at the large number of Papists
still in the country--five to one was his estimate--and at the
presence of close on three thousand priests, and suggested new schemes
for the overthrow of Popery. The Catholics were deprived of their
votes at parliamentary or municipal elections lest Protestant members
might be inclined to curry favour with them by opposing the penal
code; barristers, clerks, attornies, solicitors, etc., were not to be
admitted to practice unless they had taken the oaths and declarations
which no Catholic could take; converts to Protestantism were to be
treated similarly unless they could produce reliable evidence that
they had lived as Protestants for two years, and that they were
rearing their children as Protestants. Very severe laws had been laid
down already against marriages between Catholics and Protestants, but
as such marriages still took place, it was declared that the priest
who celebrated such marriages was to be reputed guilty of felony, that
after the 1st May 1746 all marriages between Catholics and persons who
had been Protestants within the twelve months preceding the marriage,
should be null and void, as should also all marriages between
Protestants if celebrated in the presence of a priest. Later on the
death penalty was decreed against priests who assisted at such
unions.[23] Finally, through the exertions of Primate Boulter and
Bishop Marsh, the Charter Schools were established. They were
intended, as was explained in the prospectus, "to rescue the souls of
thousands of poor children from the dangers of Popish superstition and
idolatry, and their bodies from the miseries of idleness and beggary."
The schools were entirely Protestant in management, and the children
were reared as Protestants. Once a Catholic parent surrendered his
children he could never claim them again. In 1745 the Irish Parliament
appropriated the fees derived from the licences required by all
hawkers and pedlars to the support of the Charter Schools, and it is
computed that between the years 1745 and 1767 these same institutions
received about £112,000 from the public funds.[24] Though emancipation
was still a long way off, yet after 1760 it began to be recognised
that the penal code had failed to achieve the object for which it had
been designed.

[1] Lecky, op. cit., i., 140.

[2] Lecky, op. cit., i., 140.

[3] /Irish Statutes/, iii., 241 sqq.

[4] /The Journals of the House of Commons/ (Ireland) ii., 44-5.

[5] /Irish Statutes/, ii., 249-67.

[6] /Journals of the House of Lords/ (Ireland), i., 635-6.

[7] /Irish Statutes/, ii., 339 sqq.

[8] Cf. Burke, op. cit., 131 sqq.

[9] /Statutes/, 2 Anne, cap. 6.

[10] Id., 2 Anne, cap. 3.

[11] Id., 2 Anne, cap. 7; 8 Anne, cap. 3.

[12] Curry, op. cit., ii., 387.

[13] Cf. /Irish Eccl. Record/, 1875. /Cath. Directory/, 1838.

[14] /Ir. Th. Quart./, ix., 148.

[15] /Statutes/, 8 Anne, cap. 3.

[16] /Statutes/, 2 Anne, cap. 7; 8 Anne, cap. 3. In 1780 it was
    enacted that this pension should "be levied off the inhabitants of
    the country or town wherein such priest resided or officiated
    before conformity" (19 & 20 George III., cap. 39).

[17] Cf. Burke, op. cit., chap. iv. (a full account given of the
    proceedings against the clergy in all the dioceses of Ireland).

[18] Cf. Moran, /Spicil. Ossor./, ii., 399 sqq.

[19] Lecky, op. cit., i., 154 sqq.

[20] Lecky, op. cit., i., 162-3.

[21] Id., 164-5.

[22] /Report on the State of Popery, 1731/. /Archiv. Hib./, i., ii.,

[23] /Statutes/, 19 George II., cap. 13; 23 George II. cap. 10.

[24] Lecky, op. cit., i., 234. /Reports of Royal Commission on
    Education/, 1825, 1854.

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