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come-upon the borders of which we are arrived, may safely be hurried over both by the historian and his readers, through more than one century of its course, without losing much that either the pen or the memory can find any inducement to linger upon or record. However wanting in distinctness and interest may have been the details of Ire. land's struggle with the Danes, and however confused, occasionally, froin factious alliances, may have been the relations between the two parties, it is certain that each is, in general, found in its own natural sphere of action, and pursuing the course that might be expected from it, whether of aggression or resistance; while the ultimate result was such as reason, humanity, justice, must all approve-namely, the triumph of the people of the land, in defence of their own soils, and the utter rout and expulsion of their insolent invaders.
In the course, of affairs however, which we are now about to contemplate, all is reversed, preposterous, and unnatural, --wholly at variance, not only with right, but even with the ordinary course of injustice and wrong. The people of Ireland, the legitimate masters of the soil, disappear almost entirely from the foreground of their country's history, while a small colony of rapacious foreigners stand forth usurpingly in their place. Expelled, on the one hand, as enemies and rebels, from their rightful possessions, by the English, and repulsed, on the other, as intruders, by the native septs, into whose lands they were driven,* a large proportion of the wretched people, thus rendered homeless and desperate, were forced to fight for a spot to exist upon, even in their own land. Compared with the fate, indeed, of the miserable multitudes whom we shall find froin time to time dispossessed by the English extermination would have been mercy.
To second the sword in this mode of governing, the weapon of the legislator was also resorted to, and proved a still more inhuman because more lingering, visitation. Giving a name to its own work, the Law called “enemies” those whom its injustice had made so; and, for the first time in the annals of legislation, a state of mutual hostility was recognised as the established relationship between the governing and the governed. While such was the sad history of the people themselves, through many a dark age of suffering and strife, the acts of the rulers by whom so rampant a system of tyranny was administered will be found no less odious to remember, no less painful to record; though in so far pregnant with lessons of warning, as showing what penalties wait upon wanton misrule, and how sure a retribution tyranny provides for itself in the rebound of its own wrong.
The kindly feelings of Richard I. towards his unworthy brother, John, were shown not more in the favours and dignities so prodigally lavished upon him both in Normandy and England, than in the easy and generous confidence with which he still left him in unrestricted possession of the grant of the lordship over Ireland, which had been bestowed on him by the late king. With the slight exception, indeed, of the mention of Ireland among those parts of the British dominions for which he requested a legate to be appointed by Pope Clement III., Richard appears not to have at all interfered with that country during his short, chivalrous reign. It is to be observed, however, that, in the pope's rescript complying with this request, the range of the legate's authority in Ireland is limited strictly to those parts of the country * in which John, earl of Mortagne, the brother of the king, has power or dominion." We find the same terms employed in a charter of franchises granted at this period by John himself. While, in other instruments conferring immunities and privileges, he acknowledges, in like manner, the subordinacy of his own power, by annexing exceptions and reservations of all that belonged or related to the English crown.
Allusion has been made, in the preceding chapter, to a question raised in later times, respecting the consequences of Henry's grant of the kingdom of Ireland to his son John, a question which, at inore than one crisis of our history, has been agitated with a warmth and earnestness which could be infused into it only by the political spirit and ferment of the moment. By one of the parties in this controversy it has been contended that the act of Henry, in making his son king of Ireland, produced a great and fundamental
* "The septs that were thus expelled from their habitations in vain sought an asylum in the more inaccessible parts of the country, since hostile septs, to which they were as invaders, opposed their inroads.”Brodie, History of the British Empire. Introduction. # The first instance, I believe, of any decided difference of opinion on this point, occurs in the decisions of the judges of England, on the precedent of the Staple Act (2 Hen. Vi.,) when to the question, " Whether the Staple Act binds Ireland ?" two directly opposite opinions were given, on the two several occasions when the case was brought under their consideration. The opinion pronounced, however, by the chief justice Hussey on the last of these two occasions, and to which all the other judges assented, was, that “the statutes made in England did bind those of Ireland ;"-a view of the case confirmed, in later times, by the bigh authority of chief justice Cook, and likewise of sir John Davies.
The tirst public controversy to which the question gave rise, was that which took place on the passing of the Act of Adventurers, 17 Car. I., between sir Richard Bolton (or, rather, Patrick Darcy, assuming that name) and sergeant Maynart, whose respective pamphlets on the subject may be found in Harris's Hibernica. At the close of the same century, the question was again called into life by Molyneux, in behalf of the Irish woollen manufacture, and received new grace and popularity from his manner of treating it. About fifty years later
change in the relations between the two kingdoms; that, by this transfer, he had superseded or voided whatever claim he could pretend to, from conquest, over Ireland, leaving it to all intents a separate and independent kingdom;* while, by the introduction among that people, as well in his own reign as in that of his son John, of the laws and institutions of England, they were provided with the means of internal government, and thereby exempted from all dependence on the English legislature.
This view of the question, though leading to conclusions which cannot but be welcome to all advocates of Ireland's independence, is, unluckily, destitute of foundation in historical fact. The title of king of Ireland, bestowed on the young prince, was, as we have seen, withdrawn almost as soon as announced ; and though Henry afterwards again contemplated the same step, and had even a legate sent over from Rome to assist at his son's coronation, the same misgivings again came over him, and he abandoned the project ;t apprehending, perhaps, from the actual possession of the title by John, those very pretentions which afterwards arose from the mere presumption of his having been invested with that title. I
It may be said that, though John was styled only " Lord of Hibernia,” none of the succeeding kings of England took any higher title, and yet were not the less invested with regal authority over that country. But, to put his son independently in possession of that power, Henry must have surrendered all hold of it himself; and that he did not do so, is abundantly proved by all the subsequent acts and instruments of his reign, by his appointment of all the ministers and officers of the government in Ireland, by his recalling from that country the young Lord of Hibernia himself
, and committing the charge and command of the kingdom to John de Courcy in his stead. He also made numerous grants of lands in that realm, some to be held of himself alone and his heirs, others by tenure of him and John and their heirs; still reserving, in all these grants, certain services to himself, and thus clearly establishing that in him the right and title of the property lay.
While thus weak are the grounds derived from the supposed kingship of John, for regarding Ireland at this time as a distinct and independent kingdom, the inferences drawn from the alleged introduction into that realm, of the laws and institutions of Eng. Jand,--thereby enabling, as it is said, the Irish people to legislate for themselves, -aro no less fallacious and unsubstantial.
In order to give dignity to this supposed dawn of English legislation in Ireland, the Curia Regis, or Common Council, held by Henry at Lismore, is styled, prematurely, a Parliament,—that term not occurring even in English records till towards the middle of the 13th century; while, in order to instruct his new subjects in the art of law inaking, a sort of Formulary, still extant, containing rules and directions for the holding of parliaments, is pretended to have been transmitted by him to Ireland for that purpose.
The claims of this document to so high an antiquity, though sustained by no less an authority than sir Edward Coke, were shown satisfactorily by Prynne, Selden,ll and others, to be wholly without grounds. Notwithstanding which, it was again, at later period, appealed to by Molyneux in proof of the antiquity of Irish parliaments; and again, with equal ease and success, was set aside by his various opponents in the controversy. The
the Irish demagogue, Lucas, revived the topic, in his own coarse but popular strain. Nor has the subject, even in our own times, been permitted to slumber; as a learned argument in favour of Darcy's and Molyneux's view of the question has appeared, not long since, from the pen of Mr. Monck Mason.
* " We shall observe that by this donation of the kingdom of Ireland to king John, Ireland was most eminently set apart again as a separate and distinct kingdom by itself from the kingdom of England."- Moly. neur.
It is not a little curious that chief justice Cuke should have been of the very same opinion with Molyneux, as to Ireland being “a distinct dominion separate from the kingdom of England," though drawing so per. fectly different a conclusion from it :-adding: " Yet the title thereof being by conquest, the same by judgment of law might, by express words, be bound by the parliaments of England.” Sir John Davies, with far more consistency, in asserting the power of the English parliament to bind this country, so far from considering Ireland as a distinct, separate kingdom, pronounces her to be but "a member appendant and belonginge, or unyted and annexed to the imperial crowne of England." See his speech, in 1613, as speaker of the Irish house of commons, first published by Leland, in the Appendix to his second volume.
In the face of this historical fact, Molyneux persists, for the sake of his argument, in giving to John the title of king throughout.-See preceding note. In a similar manner, he says elsewhere, “During which space of twenty-two years, both whilst his father Henry II., and his brother Richard I, were living and reigning, king John made divers grants and charters to his subjects," &c. &c.
1 On John's own seal, of which Speed has given an engraving, no higher title is assumed than that of Lord of Hibernia ; " Sigillum Johannis filli Regis, Domini Hiberniæ." It is strange that Prynne, with all these facts before his eyes, should have committed the inistake of asserting that John, created king of Ireland by his father at Oxford, "enjoyed that title till his death."-On the Institutes, c. 76. $ " Modus tenendi Parliamentum," &c. This record is given, at length, in Harris's Ware, chap. 13.
Selden pronounces it to be "a late imposture of a bold faney, not exceeding the reign of Edward III." (Titles of Honour.) See Prynne (on the Fourth Part of the Institutes) for the numerous proofs he brings against the antiquity and authority of this document,
original roll of this record, which was in the possession of Molyneux himself, and which he had before him, as he states, while writing his “ Case of Ireland,” is now lost; and how far even the exemplification of this roll, said to have been made in the 6th year of Henry V., may be received as authentic, is yet a farther question. But enough of incongruities and anachronisms have been pointed out in the substance of the “ Modus" itself, to disqualify it totally as authentic evidence respecting the times to which its pretended date refers.
The great and leading mistake, however, of those now obsolete champions of Ireland's independence, who appealed in its behalf to the Anglo-Norman code, was their overlooking the fact, that, froin all this boasted system of law and polity introduced by the invaders into the country, the natives themselves were entirely excluded; that neither at the period where we are now arrived, nor for many centuries after, were the people of Ireland, properly speaking, the native inhabitants of the land, admitted to any share whatever in the enjoyment of those foreign institutions and privileges which yet have been claimed, in their most unrestricted form, for the Ireland of modern days, on the sole presumption of their having been at that period her own. It will be found, as we proceed, that within the narrow circle of the Pale alone were confined, for many centuries, all the advantages resulting from English laws;* and the few instances that occur, from time to time, of the admission, at their own request, of some natives of Ireland to this privilege, only show, by the fewness and formaliiy of the exceptions, how very general and strict was the exclusion.t
At what period parliaments, properly. so called, began to be held by the English in Jreland, there appear no means of ascertaining; but it is the opinion of sir J. Davies, that for 140 years after the time of Henry II., there was but one parliament for both king. doms, and that the councils held occasionally, by the Lords of the Pale, during that interval, were, as he expresses it, rather Parlies than Parliaments. Neither were the interests of the English settlement left wholly unrepresented during that period, as we learn from the records of the reigns of the first three Edwards that Ireland sent representatives to the English parliament under all those kings.
It has been naturally an object with those who have adopted the views of Molyneux on this subject, to prove that parliaments were among the very earliest of the institutions bestowed on Ireland by her new masters; because, in a separate and self-willed legisla. ture, they found a mark of that disjunction and separateness of the two realms which forms a vital part of their theory; and because, during whatever interval the new king. dom may have been left unprovided with a parliament of its own, it must, for that period, be held to have been subject to the Statute Laws of England, and the theory of its independence and self-government must, in so far, be relinquished.||
There are yet a few other points connected with Molyneux's view of the history and attributes of the Irish parliament, which shall be noticed as cases arise which require recurrence to the subject. But it may be adverted to here, as at least curious, that
* With reference to a writ sent by Henry III, in the thirtieth year of his reign, to the archbishops and others in Ireland, for the strict observance of the laws of England in that country, Prynne says, “ Yet, not. withstanding, this privilege of using the laws of England in Ireland was never intended by king John nor king Henry to extend to all the native Irish in general, but only to the English inhabitants transplanted thither, or there born, and to such native Irishinen as faithfully adhered to these kings, and the English in Ireland, against the Irish rebels."
| Among the records in the Roll's Office, Dublin, are many of these licenses granted to particular Irish to use the English laws; some of them bưing Irish women, whose husbands were English. Thus, for instance, "Quia Rado Burges (Anglico qui Hibi continue moratr) maritata est qd ipa et bedes sui utanır legib Anglic'."-See Inquisit in Office. Rotul Cancellar. Hibern., fc. Several of such records of licenses to use the English laws are given by Prynne, chap 76.
1 This assertion may, doubtless, admit of dispute; and Mr. Mason has produced some instances of councils beld-in Ireland in the reigns of Edward I. and Edward II , to which the name of Parliament may fairly be allowed. "In the third of Edward II.," he says " previous to the period fixed upon by sir J. Davies for the commencement of Irish legislation, there was a parliament ia Ireland, the enactments of which were printed by sir Richard Bolton (the chief baron that was cotemporary with sir John Davies,) in his edition of Irish Statutes, A. D. 1621.”
§ It is clear that Molyneux, though, in one sense, so warm a champion of Ireland's independence, would have hailed a Union, such as now exists between the two countries, with welcome. In noticing the fact above stated, he says:-"If from these last mentioned records it be concluded that the parliament of England may bind Ireland, it must also be allowed that the people of Ireland ought to have their representatives in the parliament of England. And this, I believe, we should be willing enough to embrace :- but this is a happiness we can hardly hope for."
To this obvious objection Molyneux necessarily laid himself open, by acknowledging that till the time of Henry III., no regular legislature had yet been established in Ireland. He likewise not merely admits, but demonstrates, that from the ninth of Edward I., to the finieth of Edward III., a period occupying about a century, the representatives of Ireland came over to sit in the parliament of England;-a fact which, concurring with the absence of all evidence as to any councils having been beld previously in Ireland, except buat memorable one convoked by Henry II., at Lismore, seem strongly to corroborate the opinion advanced by sir John Davies respecting the time when a regular legislature was first established in this country.
writers, whose object it is to prove that the parliament of England was entitled neither by right or precedent to bind by its acts the people of Ireland,* should yet have taken as the main foundation of their argument the act of a parliament at Oxford, which, without any reference whatever to the consent of the people affected by its legislation, constituted a youth of only twelve years of age king of Ireland.
The solemn enactment, in our own times, of a legislative union between the lwo countries, would seem to have reduced the question, here noticed, to a mere theme of eurious historical speculation; and certainly, on no slight grounds should the claims of Ireland to legislative independence be again put forth as a practical question. But should the course of political events ever bring back into public discussion a subject now quietly left to repose in the page of the historian and the antiquary, the right of Ireland to legislate for herself must assuredly be asserted on some more tenable grounds than the obsolete grant of her realm to a stripling king, or the occasional pretensions of the English parliament of the Pale.
The deputy appointed by John to the government of this country, on the accession of his brother Richard, was Hugh de Lacy, son of the first lord of Meath; in consequence of which, John de Courcy, finding himself, unfairly, as he thought, supplanted, retired dissatisfied to his own possessions in Ulster, and there assumed, in the midst of his followers, a tone and attitude of independence which threatened danger to the English interests in that quarter. In the mean while the native princes, encouraged by the diversion to the shores of the East, under Richard's banner, of the energies and resources of England, began to form plans among themselves of combined warfare against the foreigners, and even to suspend their intestine quarrels for the general object of crushing the
common foe. In Connaught, where still some lingering pretensions to the sove. reignty were kept alive, two of the ill-fated race of O'Connor were at this time contending for the barren prize; and a battle fought between the two factions, in which each could boast of English auxiliaries in its ranks, terminated in favour of Cathal O'Connor, called, from the number of battles fought by him, O'Connor of the Bloody Hand. With the strange notions of piety prevalent in those times, when the God of peace was made a party in every sanguinary feud, this devout warrior founded an abbey on the spot where the battle was won, and called it, in remembrance of that for
1190. tunate event, the Abbey of the Hill of Victory.
Among the chiefs who agreed at this crisis to postpone their mutual feuds, and act in concert against the enemy, were O'Brian of Thomond, and Mac Carthy of Desmond, here. ditary rulers of north and south Munster, and chiefs respectively of the two rival tribes, the Dalcassians and the Eugenians. By a truce now formed between these princes, O'Brian was left free to direct his arms against the English; and, having attacked their forces at Thurles, in O'Fogarty's Country, gave them a complete overthrow, putting to the sword, add the Munster Annals
, a great number of their knights. We have seen already how deeply the course and character of this warlike chief were marked with the laint of those habits of treachery which a long life of faction is sure to engender. Notwithstanding the truce he had now entered into with Mac Carthy, we find him, at no long interval after, encouraging secretly the views of the English on that prince's possessions, and even allowing them to erect a fort, the castle of Breginnis, within his own territories, to protect and facilitate their hostile incursions into the teritory of his rival.t
While some of the natives were thus bringing disgrace on the Irish name, the English colonists had begun, even thus early, to exhibit symptoms of that state of degeneracy and insubordination into which at a later period we shall find them so shamefully sunk. The independent position assumed by De Courcy on his usurped territory, setting at de
Among the countless dilemmas and embarrassments which would arise practically out of such a state of relationship between the two countries as Molyneux's theory would establish, that which must arise on the accession of a new monarch to the throne of England is thus kernly put by the ablest and acutest of his opponents, Carey, a merchant of Bristol. Molyneux having allowed that a king declared by the parliament of England, though he was not king before such declaration, becomes thereby, ipso facto, king of Ireland, the Bristol merchant thus entangles him in his own argument :-"Is it any better ihan contradiction to hold that a king of England, as created or declared in a parliament of England, is thereby, or at the same instant, king of Ireland, and yet that Ireland is a kingdom so complete in itself, that he is no king till the act of par. liament, creating or declaring him king, is contirmed by a parliament in Ireland? Or, take it the other way,no act of parliament in England is of any force till confirmed in Ireland; and yet a king declared by a par. liament of England, though he was not king before such declaration, is thereby, or ipso facto, king of Ireland; -hat is, an act of parliament of England is not of force in Ireland till confirmed there, and yet is of force, ipso facto, by being enacted here. Does it not, therefore, follow that sich an annexation of Ireland to the crown of England as makes the king of England, ipso facto, king of Ireland, destroys the supposition that their parliaments have authority to confirm or rejeci laws made by the legislature of England 1 or otherwise, that the supposition of such an authority in the parliament of Ireland destroys that annexation which Mr. Molyneux himself yields ?"
It is to be regretted that Dr. Lanigan should have suffered his nationality to prevail so far over his sense of right and wrong, as to lead him, in recording the death of O'Brian, to call hiin" that good and brave prince."Chap. Xui. $ 10.
fiance the delegate of royalty,—the spectacle of English soldiers opposed to each other in the ranks of contending Irish chieftains,—these and a few other such anomalies, which began to present themselves, at this period, were but the foretaste of evils inevitably yet to come; the first stirring of embryo mischiefs which time and circumstances brought, at a later period, to baneful maturity.
In the year 1194 died Donald O'Brian, king of Thomond and Ormond,—a 1194.
prince, whose mixture of warlike and religious propensities rendered him popular
alike among the laity and the clergy of the country. The wrong done by him to the cause of Irelands independence, by being among the first of the native princes who proffered submission to Henry II., was in some degree atoned for, though never to be repaired, by the vigour and obstinacy of his resistence afterwards to the English, on finding that their object was to make of himself and his brother princes not merely tributaries but slaves. One of the last acts of his long and stormy life was, as we have seen, to add to the redeeming portion of his long career, by a brilliant victory over the invaders. He was succeeded in the principality by his eldest son, Mortogh Dall, a chief who had, in like manner, tarnished his name by defection from the national ca use, having been the first that introduced the English' into Munster (1177,) and for the old, factious purpose of employing them as auxiliaries against his own kinsmen and neighbours, the Eugenians of Desmond.
Of the numerous religious houses established by Donald O'Brian, a due and grateful remembrance is cherished in our ecclesiastical annals. Besides several monastic foundations, he established a nunnery for Augustin canonesses at Kiloen, in the Barony of Islands; and formed also an establishment, under the name of St. Peter, in the city of Limerick, for black nuns of the order of St. Augustin.* To him also Limerick and Cashel were indebted for their respective cathedrals ;-chis own palace having been bestowed upon the Church for the foundation of the former structure,t while the great cathedral of Cashelf was erected by him, adjoining king Çormac's chapel, which beautiful building was made from thenceforth to serve as a vestry or chapter house.
After a struggle, not without bloodshed, among the remaining sons of Donald,—the aid of the English being called in by one of the contending factions, -Carbrach, the youngest brother, was raised to the sovereignty, though clearly with but nominal power, as it appears that the capital of his kingdom, Limerick, was in the year 1195 under the rule of English authorities.
In the mean time, the quick change of deputies, in the administration of the colony, showed how uneasy and difficult was the task. After a short, but apparently unsuccessful experintent of office, Hugh de Lacy was succeeded by William Petit, for whom, shortly after, we find substituted William Marshall, or Mareschall
, srcond earl of Pembroke. This powerful nobleman, who, in right of his new dignity, bore the golden staff& and cross at the coronation of Richard I., had, together with his earldom, received from that monarch the band of Isabel, daughter and heir of the late earl, and became thus invested with her princely Irish possessions. But, whatever advantage this connexion with the country may have given him, the results of his government were by no means prosperous. Presuming on the tameness with which the Irish had yielded to aggression, their haughty invaders now began to add insult to wrong: but not with equal impunity. Far more alive to contempt than to injury, those who had witnessed unmoved the destruction of their ancient monarchy, now flew to arms with instant alacrity, under the sure goad of English insolence and scorn: and the two most active and popular of the native princes, Cathal of Connaught and Mac Carthy of Desmond, held forth their ever ready banner to all whose war cry was vengeance against the English. So great was the success, accordingly, of the national cause, during the short government of the earl Marshall, that, in spite of the perfidy which, as usual, found its way into the Irish councils, Mac Carthy, aided by the forces of Cathal and those of O’Lochlin, succeeded in re
* Lanigan, chap. xxxi. $ 10.
| The Cistercian Abbey of Holy Cross. “A famous abbey, heretofore," says Camden," which makes the country about it to be commonly called the country of the Holy Cross of Tipperary. This church enjoys cer. lain privileges granted in honour of a piece of Christ's Cross preserved there." See Lanigan, ch. xxx. g 2, also Dr. Milner's Inquiry, &c. Letter 14 ; and Mr. Crofton Croker's Researches in the South of Ireland.
& According to Prynne, this ceremony was not introduced till a later period:—“This is to be observed," he says, " that, ihough there were divers lords marshals of England before the reign of Richard II., yet Richard II., created Tho. Mowbray, first earl marshal of England, per nomen Comitis Mareschalli Angliæ. He and his successor earl marshal being enabled by this charter to carry a golden staff before the king, and in all other places, with the king's arms at the top
of it, and his own at the lower end, when all the marshals before his creation carried only a wooden staff."-On the Institutes, Chap. 1.