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alien and yet unconquered shores.* After receiving the homage of the King of Desmond, who came forth voluntarily with offers of submission and iribute, Henry advanced, at the head of his army, to Lismore, and from thence, after a sojourn of about two days, proceeded to Cashel, near which, on the banks of the river Suir, he was met by Donald O'Brian,t King of Thomond, who, surrendering to him his city of Limerick, became tributary and swore fealty. Having placed rulers of his own over Cork and Limerick, the king next received the submission of Donchad of Ossory, and O'Faolan of the Desies; and the example of these princes was speedily followed by all the inferior potentates of Munster, each of whom, after a most courteous reception, was dismissed to his territory laden with royal gifts.
From Cashel Henry returned, through Tipperary, to Waterford, where his prisoner Fitz-Stephen being again brought before him, the sight of so brave a man in chains, after the many gallant services performed by him, touched the king's heart with compassion, and, at the intercession of some of his nobles, he readily consented to set him frce. Act. ing on the same principle, however, as in Strongbow's case, he asserted his own right to the possession of Wexford, and annexed that town and the territory belonging to it to his royal demesne in the island. It is satisfactory, too, to learn that some of those base wretches, who, having possessed themselves of Eitz-Stephen by treachery, gave him up as a tribute of servility to a new, inaster, suffered, themselves the ignominious death they so richly deserved.
After remaining for a short time at Waterford, the king marched to Dublin,-a city which from the extent of its commerce, had risen at that time, to such importance, as to have become, according to an old English chronicler, the rival of London. Here he was joyfully, we are told, received by the inhabitants; while all the neighbouring lords and chieftains hasten to proffer their allegiance; and among the rest O'Ruarc of Breffoy, so long the liegeman of Roderic, now joined in the train of the English sovereign, and became his tributary and vassal. In the midst of this general defection, the monarch Roderic himself,—an object, for the first time in his life, of sympathy and respect,--having collected together his provincial troops, and taken up a position an the banks of the Shannon, appeared disposed for a time to follow the example of the hardy Ultonians, and to make a last stand for the independence of the nation. This show of resistance, however, was not of long duration; as, shortly after, he consented to meet, on the borders.of his Connaught kingdoms, Hugh de Lacy and William Fitz-Aldelm, the persons: em. powered to receive his act of homage, and treat of the tribute he was to pay. These preliminary matters having been arranged, peace was. declared between the two. sovereigns.
The festival of Christmas being now at hand, the English king, who was no less knowingly practised: in all the lesser and lighter policy of his station, than in the deeper
* It has been stated by Bromton, by the abbot of Peterborough, and by others, that all the archbishops and bishops of Ireland waited upon Henry on his arrival, and not only tendered their own obedience, but gave him letters with their seals attached ("Jjieras," says Bromton, “cum sigillis suis in nodum cartæ pendentibus,") confirming to him and his heirs ihe sovereignty over Ireland for ever. But there is not the slightest founda. tion for this story, of which neither Giraldus nor any of our Irish authorities say a single word. A still more glaring mistake respecting the history of this period has been fallen into by Camden, who supposes a meeting of the states of Ireland to have taken place on Henry's arrival, at which Roderic O'Connor and most of the other princes attended, and there made over to him, by charters signed and delivered, their whole power and authority; in consequence of which, as he states, Pope Adrian invested Henry with the sovereignty of that. kingdom. It need hardly be added, that no such proceeding of the states occurred, and that ihe grant: Lo Henry, by the pope, of the sovereignty of Ireland, bad taken place near sixteen years before.
1. This brave but unprincipled chiesain was one of the first, according to the Munster Annals, cited by Vallancey, who availed himself of the alliance of the new comers in making war against bis own country. men. In the year 1170 he fought several battles against Roderic, assisted by the forces of Fitz-Stephen; in 1171, he paid homage and delivered hostages to the same prince; and, in a few months after, as we see, swore homage and allegiance to Henry II.
1" Divelinum, urbem maritimam, totius Hiberniæ Metropolim, portuque celeberrimo in commerciis, et commeatibus nostrarum æmulam Lundoniarum."--Guliel. Neubrig Rerum Angl. I. 2. xxvi.
& Adverting to the “vain and ridiculous parade" as he describes it, " of English writers" respecting Henry, O'Halloran says,—" We are told that his army proceeded in slow and solemn marches throughout the country, in order to sirike the rude inhabitants with the splendour and magnificence of their procession; and we have been already entertained with the terror which the appearance of Fitz-Stepben and his armed forces impressed on the natives, who had never be held the like! Assertions of this kind might indeed appear plausible, had this people dwell on the other side of the Atlantic; but, when a brave and polished people were the subjects, the futility of the assertion diverts our thoughts from cholor and contempt. The reader has been already sufficiently acquainted with the distinguished figure which the Irish nation cut in arts and arms: he has heard how remarkably attentive they were to the article of their armour; that their corslets and head-pieces were ornamented with gold; that ihe handles of their swords were of the same metal; and the shields of the knights and of the nobility were mostly of pure silver: he has been informed that their heavy. armed infantry were cased in armour from head to foot; and he must be convinced that the equestrian orders among the Celte of Europe originated froin hence."--Book xiii. chap. 2.
Could any thing add 10 the feeling of melancholy and shaine with which this sad period of our history is contemplated, it would be assuredly the pompous vapour thus thrown around it by such weak and vauni. ing historians as O'Halloran.
and more important, proposed to celebrate that festive season in the metropolis of his new kingdom, with all the state which the limited resources of his present situation would permit; and, as the city afforded no building sufficiently large to contain his numerous court, a large pavilion was raised temporarily without the walls, constructed of smoothed twigs, or wattles, according to the Irish fashion;* and here the guests, both English and native, were feasted with sumpluous hospitality. The Irish princes and nobles, present on this occasion, appear to have come but as curious spectators of the feast: till, being invited by the king to join in the Christmas cheer, they took their places at the royal board, and were, it is said, struck with adıniration both at “ the plenty of the English table and the goodly courtesy of the attendants.”+
Early in the year 1172 a synod was held, by the order of Henry, at Cashel, conA. D. 1172. cerning the acts of which there has been handed down, from historian to historian,
much of ignorant, and, in some instances, wilful misrepresentation. It will be recollected that the principle object which Adrian professed to have at heart in bestowing the sovereignty of Ireland on the English monarch, was the reformation of the alleged abuses of the Church of that realm, for which he looked to the pious efforts of its new sovereign; and, the synod now held being meant as a redemption of this pledge, it is obvious that as strong a case yould be made out against the Irish Church as could decently be hazarded, for the purpose both of justifying the grounds or pretext upon which the pope bad acted, and enhancing the merit of his royal vicegerent in performing effectually so urgent and arduous a task. With all these pretences, however, of reforma. tion, it will be seen in the following decrees,--the most important of all those passed by the synod, -how insignificant, after all, was the amount of reform which it appeared the Irish Church wanted, and to obtain which was the pretended object of Adrian's grant of Ireland to the English king.
It was decreed, “1. That all the faithful throughout Ireland should contract and observe lawful marriages, rejecting those with their relations, either by consanguinity or affinity. 2. That infants should be catechized before the doors of the Church, and baptized in the holy font in the baptismal churches. 3. That all the faithful should pay the tithe of animals, corn, and other produce to the church of which they are parishioners. 4. That all ecclesiastical lands, and property connected with them, be quite exempt from the exactions of all laymen. And especially, that neither the petty kings, nor counts, nor any powerful men in Ireland, nor their sons with their families, should exact, as was usual, victuals and hospitality, or entertainments, in the ecclesiastical districts, or presume to extort then by force; and that the detestable food or contributions which used to be required four times in the year, by the neighbouring counts, from farms belonging to the churches, should not be claimed any more.
These, and one or two other such regulations, having no reference whatever to religious dogmas, to matters of faith, or even to points of essential discipline, comprise the whole of the wonderful reforms, for which a kingdom was not thought too costly a price; and, in speaking of which, a court-flatterer of those times says, “It was worthy and just that Ireland should receive a better form of living from England, seeing that to its magnanimous king she entirely owed whatever advantages she enjoyed both as to church and state, and that the manifold abuses which had prevailed in the country, had, since his coming, fallen into disuse. "
* " Ibi fecit sibi construi palatium regium miro artificio de virgis levigatis ad modum patriæ illius con. structum, in quo ipse cum Rigibus et principibus Hiberniæ festum solemne tenuit die Natali Domini." Hoveden.
† “ Dubliniam terræ illius principes ad Curiam videndam accessere quam plurimi. Ubi et lautam Angli. canæ mensæ copiam venustissimum quoque verna obsequium plurimum admirantes." It is also mentioned by the chronicler that, at Henry's desire, they were induced to partake of some crane's flesh,-a food which, till then, it seeins, Jhey had always held in abhorrence.--"Carne gruina quam hactenus abhorruerant, regia voluntate passim per aulam vesci ceperunt."--Hibern. Erpug. I. i. c. 32.
1 Among these there is one regulating the testamentary dispozal of property, the chief provision of which is as follows:-" That all the faithful lying in sickness do, in the presence of their confessor and neighbours, make their will with due solemnity, dividing, in case they have wives and children (their own debts and servants' wages being excepled.) all their moveable goods into three parts, and bequeathing one for the chil. dren another for the lawful wife, and a third for the funeral obsequies.."
$ Hibern. Expug. 1. i. c. 34.-The whole of this passage, which clearly, on the face of it, is nothing more than a laudatory comment annexed by Giraldus to his report of the proceedings of the synod, is strangely represenled, both by Lord Lyttelton and Leland, as the language of the synod itself,-a comment of that body on their own acis, and a tribute of flattery to their royal master. This; mistake, which, in two such writers, was clearly not wilful, can only be accounted for by their having relied too much upon Hookers translation, in which the passage is made to assume an appearance of the import they have given to it: and that such was the source of iheir mistake appears the inore probable from their having also followed Hooker in a mistranslation made by him, not without design, of a passage which soon aner follows. Giraldus, still speaking in his own person, remarks, that the manifold abuses which had prevailed in the church previously to Henry's coming, had now gone into disuse" in desuetudinem abiere." But to say that the synod had. met but for the purpose of abolishing abuses which had already gone into disuse, would have appeared, of
As neither in the nature nor in the extent of the few abuses which the synod of Cashel professed 10 rectify, is there found any thing to justify this pompous vaunt, succeeding writers have endeavoured to prop the misrepresentation by invention,-alleging that the decree relative to marriage, which regarded really only the degrees of consanguinity within which it was lawful to marry (and which were extended to an unusually rigorous point in Ireland,*)was enacted in consequence of the prevalence of polygamyt among the Irish.
According to the same veracious authorities, the decree relating to baptism had for its object to put down a practice also common, as they allege, among the richer natives, of baptizing their new-born infants in milk. For neither of these often repeated assertioris does there appear to have been the least foundation in truth.
In addition to the decree of this synod, above-mentioned, exempting lands and other property belonging to the Church from all impositions exacted by the laity, there was also another relieving the clergy from any share in the payment of the eric, or blood-fine, which the kindred of a layman, convicted of homicide, were compelled to pay among them to the family of the slain; and the extension of such favours and immunities to the Church, though by no means in accordance with Henry's general policy, appeared to him an expedient necessary to be adopted in Ireland, where the support of a strong party among the natives, was indispensable towards the establishment of his power; and the great influence gained by the clergy, over all ranks, rendered them the most useful and legitimate instruments he could employ. From the same motive, doubtless, the payment of tithes, which the Irish had never, during their unreformed state, observed, was now enjoined by Henry's council, with a hope that they would serve as a lasting bribe to the Church. But the people of this country were as little disposed to adopt new observances as to forget or surrender the old; and accordingly, when Cambrensis visited Ireland, several years after the date of this synod, he found marriages within the seven prohibited degrees still practised, and tithes still unpaid.
Besides this synod, which was employed almost wholly upon ecclesiastical affairs, there is stated to have been also held by Henry, a council, or parliament, at Lismore,"in. which “ the laws of England were gratefully accepted by all present, and, under} the sanction of a solemn oath, established.” It is by no means improbable that, among the acts of authority exercised by him, while in Ireland, he may have, more than once, held what was called a “ Curia Regis," or Council of the Realm, for the purpose of conferring with his prelates and magnates on the important matters in which he was engaged. But to apply to a council of this kind the name of “parliament,” is, if not an anachronism in language, at least a use of the lerm calculated to mislead ;ll as that form of legislative council to which we, at present, give the name of Parliament, did not develope itself, however long its rudiments may have been in existence, for more than a hundred years after this period.
With regard to the important act of policy which is said to have arisen out of the deliberations at Lismore,—that of communicating to Ireland the laws and usages of England,--a very false notion has been entertained by some writers, who, taking for granted that, under the head of “ Ireland," the natives themselves must have been in. cluded, conceive the Irish to have been equally sharers in the benefit of this transaction,
course, ridiculous. In order, therefore, to accommodate the meaning of the passage to the supposition of its having formed a part of the synod's decrees, the words in desuetudinem abiere" have been rendered by Hooker, "are now abolished;" and in this mistranslation both Lord Lytlellon and Leland have, without reference to the original, followed him.
In Wilkins's Concilia, as well as in the account of the synod, by Lanigan (chap. xxix. note 12..) the Acts of the synod and Giraldus's comment upon them are kept correctly distinct.
• While the Church, in general, did not extend the prohibition of marriage beyond the fourth degree of consanguinity, the canons of the Irish Church would not, for a long time, allow of marriage within the seventh. Thus, in the treatise de Statu Ecclesiæ, preserved by Usher, it is said, “ Conjugatorum est, nullam usque in sextam, vel etiam septimam progeniem sanguine sibi conjunctam, aut illi quam habuerit aut quam habuit proximas, vel commatrem ducere uxorem."-Vel. Epist, Hibern. Sylloge. Ep. xxx.
# The chronicler Bromton even goes so far as, on the strength solely of this decree, to accuse the Irish of marrying their sisters :-** Plerique enim, illorum quot uxores volebani tot habebant; et etiam cognatas suas et germanas habere solebant uxores."
Aner stating that, in the whole course of his inquiries into the religious practices of the Irish, he found no instance of this sort of baptism, Dr. Lanigan adds, that “perhaps the notion of baptizing in milk was taken from the Irish baving probably retained the ancient practice of giving milk to the newly baptized, which, as those ignorant calumniators did not understand the meaning of it, they changed into actual baptism in milk."-Chap. xxix. $ 4.
"Sed rex pater, antequam ab Hybernia rediret apud Lissemor Concilium congregavit, ubi leges Angliæ ab omnibus sunt gratanter recepte, et, juratoria cautione præstita confirmatæ.- Maith. Paris.
In reference to this council, held by Henry, at Lismore, Mr. Shaw Mason mentions, as rather a curious circumstance, that "the duke of Ruiland, when viceroy, called a privy council at the castle of Lismore, and issued proclamations from it."- Parochial Survey.
The question with respect to the “ Modus tenendi Parliamentum" said to have been sent into Ireland by Henry II., I shall have, at a later period, a more fit opportunity of considering.
and to have received thankfully the substitution of the laws of England for their own.* But such was by no means the real nature of this legislative act of the king, the sole object of which was to insure to his English subjects, settling in Ireland, the continued enjoyment of the laws and usages of that country from whence they had sprung, in return for their continued allegiance to him and his heirs in the new territories which they had adopted.
So far was Henry, indeed, from wishing to innovate on the ancient laws of the land, that in the synod held, as we have seen, at Cashel, under his authority, a direct sanction was tacitly given to some of the most inveterate of those old Irish abuses of which so much is heard in the subsequent history of the country. For it is clear, that, in exempting specially the body of the clergy from Coynet Coshering, the payment of Eric, and other such exactions, that synod leti these old laws and customs still in full force, as regarded the laity. We shall find, as we proceed, that the attachment to traditional usages and observances which so strongly characterized the native Irish, was by them communicated, together with inany other features of the national character, to the descendants of the foreigners who had seitled among them; insomuch, that the spirit of English legislation has been forced to accommodate itself to this jealous reverence of the past;I and, throughout the statutes and ordinances extended to Ireland, exceptions in favour of the old usages and customs of the land will be found of very frequent occurrence. Even in the Magna Charta, as extended to this country, a recognition of its old laws and usages is to be traced ;-a number of minute differences being discoverable between the English and Irish charlers, all referrible to the over-ruling force of the customs of ancient Ireland, before which even the legislation of her foreign masters was compelled to bow. So far was this deference, indeed, carried, that in the few instances which occur in later times, of the grant of dignities to native chieftains, it was thought expedient, in consequence of the ancient Irish law of suecession, according to wbich honours and possessions did not descend hereditarily, but by election, to confer such dignities only during life.
Among the enactments of the king and his council, at this time, was one known, at a later period, as the statute of Henry Fitz-Empress, by which it was provided, that, in case of the death of any chief governor, the chancellor, treasurer, chief justices, and certain other officers should be empowered, with the assent of the lords spiritual and temporal, to proceed to the election of a successor to that office.
It is almost superfluous to observe that, in all the laws and ordinances enacted by Heury, during his brief stay in Ireland:ll for the foundation and future government of the new settlement, he was guided wholly by the spirit and principles of the feudal polity according to which the great body of the English laws was at that time modelled. Thus the estates and dignities conferred by him upon his officers, who had been already most of them tenants in capite from the crown, were granted on consideration of homage and fealty, and of military or honorary services to be rendered to himself and his heirs. Of such importance did he conceive the general acceptance of this system, and of the duties, services, and conditions enforced by it, that, even in the instance of Strongbow, who, as we have seen, acquired, by his marriage with Eva, the principality of Leinster, it was imperatively required, that he should resign the possession of that estate, and accept a new grant of it from the king, subject to the feudal conditions of homage and military service. With the view, too, of balancing the weight of so powerful a vassal, he granted by charter to Hugh de Lacy, whom he had appointed Justiciary of Ireland, the seignory of the land of Meath, to be held of him and his heirs by the service of fifty knights.
Thus Lord Lyttelton :-"It is reasonable to inser that a reformation had been made, not only in the spiritual, but civil, state of Ireland, before this time (the time of the synod of Cashel.) by giving the Irish a hetter constitution of government, and a better rule of life and action than their barbarous Brebon law. Accordingly we are told by Matthew Paris, that a council, or parliament," &c.; and again :-" However, this may have been, the comniunicating to Ireland the laws and customs of England was unquestionably a great boon to the people of that country, and a most wise act of policy in the king who did it.'"--Book iv.
It is rather singular that a notion, so wholly at variance with all subsequent facts, should have acquired so wide a currency. See Warı:, who adopts the same false view. Even Mr. O'Connor (Dissert. secl. 20.) understands the result of the council at Lisinore to have been “a grant of the laws and constitution of England to the Irish,"-a conclusion in which he is followed, almost verbally, by Plowden.-Hist. Review.
| Called by the Irish themselves. Bonaght. “This extortion (says Sir John Davies) was originally Irish; for they used to lay Bonaght upon their people, and never gave their soldiers any other pay."--Hist. Discov.
1 See Lynch's View of tko Legal Institutions, &c., in which several of these variances in the iwo charters are pointed out.
§ A remarkable instance of this sort of compliance with the spirit of the ancient law of Ireland is found in the reign of queen Mary, when Kavenagh, a descendant of the kings of Leinster, was created a peer, by the title of baron Balyane, but still, in conformity with the old Irish custom, was, by the same patent, nomi. nated captain of his sept, or nation; and, as such, was permitted to have a body guard of hoblers (horse) and kerns, or infantry.
| 'To Henry is attributed, by Leland and others, the credit of having caused the territories subject to him to be divided into shires, or counties; as well as of appointing therein sheriffs and other officers, according to the English model. But it was clearly in John's reign that these institutions were for the first time introduced into Ireland.
With respect to Meath, we have already seen that the Irish monarch, Roderic O'Connor, baving taken forcible possession of this territory, which belonged, hereditarily, to the princes of the house of Melachlin, had appointed his trusty liegeman, O'Ruarc, to be the temporary ruler of East Meath, retaining the western parts of the province in his own hands. Following but too closely this flagrant example of usurpation, Henry granted the same territory to one of his own followers; and thus, with a disregard to the national feelings as impolitic as it was unjust, left to remain as a standing insult in the eyes of succeeding generations, the spectacle of an English lord holding possession of the ancient patrimony of the kings of Tara. *
The territory thus transferred to Hugh de Lacy contained, as it appears, about 800,000 acres; and the baron himself, and his family after him, held their courls, therein with an extent of jurisdiction and cognizance of pleas which, as trenching ypon the rights of the crown, it was found, at a subsequent period, necessary to repress. It seems to have been also soon after the arrival of Henry that large possessions in the counties of Limerick, Cork, and Kerry were granted to the ancestors of the earl of Desmond.
There was yet another source of honour and wealth of which the politic king adroitly availed himself, as well for the reward of his most active chiefs, as for the establishment in his new kingdom of a feudal nobility attached hereditarily to the crown by oath of fealty and honorary services; and this was the introduction into Ireland of the various high offices of constable, marshal, seneschal, and other such hereditary dignities, which had been attached to the king's court in England from the time of the Norman conquest. On the favoured Hugh de Lacy the office of lord constable was bestowed, I while the dignity of lord marshal is supposed to have been borne by Strongbow; and either during the king's stay in Ireland, or some time after the office of high steward, or seneschal, was conferred upon Sir Bertram de Vernon.
Among the ancient honorary offices of the court, both in France and England, none stood higher in rank or estimation than the “Pincerna Regis," or king's butler,--an officer who, in the former country, even disputed the precedency of the constable of France. On Theobald Walter, the ancestor of the earls of Ormonde, this high dignity was conferred by Henry soon after 1170, and from a motive, it is said, which somewhat enhances the interest and memorableness of the event. Desirous of relieving his character from the weight of odium which the fate of Becket had drawn down upon it, the king availed himself at this time of every opportunity of conferring wealth and honours upon the relatives of that prelate:|| and it is supposed that to the circumstance of their being descended from the sister of Thomas à Becket, the family of Le Boteler were chiefly indebted for the high dignities they enjoyed.
Early in February 1172, the king removed from Dublin to Waterford, having left Hugh de Lacy his governor of the former city, with a guard of twenty knights, assisted by Maurice Fitz-Gerald and Robert Fitz-Siephen, with a similar train. During the whole of the winter months so remarkably tempestuous had been the weather, that all communication with the coasts of England was interrupted.; and, the continued storms preventing the arrival of intelligence from his other dominions, the mind of the king was kept in a constant state of suspense. At length about the middle of Lent, there arrived couriers from the continent with alarming intelligence, to the effect that the Cardinals Albert and Theodine, who had been sent into Normandy to investigate the circumstances of Becket's death, had summoned Henry to appear before them, threatening, in the event of his not soon presenting himself, to lay all his kingdom under an interdict. T
He had intended, with a view of the subjection of Roderic, to defer his departure to
" The transferring an ancient kingdom of Ireland from the present Irish possessors, and from every branch of that race which could legally claim the inheritance of it, to an English lord and bis heirs, was a measure · which the nation would not easily appruve, or even forgive."-Lord Lyttelton, book iv.
† " One of the territories thus oblained by them was a district now called the barony of Connal, or Con. nelloe, in the county of Limerick, containing upwards of 100,000 acres of land; and this tract, which in ancient documents is called “Okonayl" and "Ogonneloe, was ceded to them by the native family, or sept, of O'Connel, in consideration of lands assigned them in the counties of Kerry and Clare, where branches of that family continue to the present day."-Lynch.
In the year 1185 he witnessed, as Constable of Ireland, prince John's charter to the abbey of “Valle Salulis," as well as several other charters executed in that reign.-Lynch, Feudal Dignities.
§ A still more lony notion may be formed of the honour attached io this office from the circumstance of Henry himself having attended on his son, as chief butler, at that prince's coronation.
He hoped," says Cainden, “ to redeem his credit in the world by preferring the relations of Thomas Becket to wealth and honours."
According to Carte and Lodge, the butlership was not conferred upon Theobald Walter till the year 1177, a lapse of time which seems to lessen a good deal the probability of the favour having originated in a feeling of the king respecting Becket.
For the tremendous consequences of a sentence of interdict, see Hume chap. 11.