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The same fierce contest of nationalities was carried into the monastic houses. Mellifont totally excluded men of English birth, for which it was severely censured by the chapter of the order. Donald O'Neil complains, by name, of English monks who preached the extermination of the Irish ; at Bective, Conal, and Jerpoint, no Irish brother of the order may enter. Many years and many reprimands were needed to take the edge off this deadly, criminal quarrel, and to establish religious unity between the two races. Happily, in the fourteenth century, this better spirit generally prevailed. The statute of Kilkenny (A. D. 1367) enacted in vain a decree of non-intercourse; the union went on.*

Through warfare, and faction, and national controversies, the great duty of education was not neglected. Flan O'Gorman and other scholars of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, it is written, “studied twenty years in the schools of France and England.” Armagh College being declared sole school of theology, seven thousand scholars are counted there at one time. The Dominicans of Dublin bridge the Liffey for the convenience of their scholars; Archbishop de Bicknor projects and commences a University of St. Patrick's, for which bulls are issued at Rome; St. Nicholas College, at Galway, begins to make itself known to the learned. At Oxford, there are national feuds between the three nations," and a serious riot on Palm Sunday, 1274. The Irish students are prohibited from entering the English colleges after this, and so remain at home, or betake themselves to Paris. The great mental rivalry between the two races was favorable to learning.

Among the laity, even the noblest, there is no lack of devotion. Godfrey and Richard count some of them among their followers, as the zealous Tasso sings : “the concert of Christendom” was completed by “the Irish harp." Ullgarg O'Rorke died beside the Jordan in

* The native saints were popularly supposed to avenge their invaded country. Dermid McMurrogh died by the interposition of St. Columbcille, and Strongbow by St. Bridge's; St. Kiaran saved Clonmacnoise " from the King of England's constable ;” i. e., De Lacy.

Hugh O'Connor, grandson of Roderick, died on his return from Jerusalem in 1224. Roderick himself died in the religious habit, at Cong, in 1198, having spent five

years in the cloister. In his will he left offerings to the churches at Rome and Jerusalem. During the two succeeding centuries, almost every second obituary of an Irish noble states that he “gained the victory over the devil and the world," in the religious house and habit of some regular order. When St. John of Matha founded his noble brotherhood for the redemption of captives, Ireland erected fifty-three houses of that order

as many as England and Scotland put together. Such was the Irish church of the middle

ages. In the state, the provincial rulers still maintained their rank and title ; but though many noble names are mentioned as “worthy heirs of the crown of Ireland," no regular election to that high office seems to have taken place during the three centuries following the death of Roderick.




The election of Henry VIII. of England as King of Ireland is one of the primary facts irf the history of both nations. To our present purpose its consideration is indispensable.

The Kings of England, from Henry II. to Henry VII., had always claimed the lordship of a part of Ireland. Sometimes, in the purposely indefinite language of diplomacy, they had styled themselves “ Dominus Hibernice," without qualification. This title they assumed in the same sense that the Danish Vi-kings of Dublin and


Waterford, in the tenth and eleventh centuries, had styled themselves “ kings” of the whole country. The bulls of Popes Adrian and Alexander, which were relied on as the foundation of their title, were couched in very general terms, and the non-fulfilment of their conditions necessarily rendered the title conditionally given of no legal authority. During the thirteenth century, the Holy War, in the fourteenth, the wars with France and Scotland, postponed the formal assertion of sovereignty. At the close of the fourteenth, the young Richard II., a candidate for the empire, was tauntingly told, by the German electors, to " conquer

Ireland first.” Under the instigation of this taunt, his expeditions of 1394 and 1399 were undertaken, in which Art. McMurrogh won a deathless name, Henry IV. his knightly spurs, and Richard II. lost his early character for courage, and finally his

While Richard was absent in Ireland, the banished Duke of Lancaster returned to England, seized the government, and captured his luckless predecessor. Thus commenced, with the next century, that civil war of the roses, which closed on Bosworth Field in 1485. Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, the conqueror upon that day, was a bastard, like William of Normandy; he conquered, like William, with foreign men and arms. Still, the parliament confirmed his title; and his marriage with Elizabeth of York, the lawful representative of the royal line, as well as the strong desire of all Englishmen for peace at any price, gave a sanction and a strength to his claims, which no other king had obtained in the same century, The present British monarchy properly dates from the battle of Bosworth Field.

Henry VII's administration needs to be known, in order to understand the more important reign of his

The one prepared the way for the other, in church and state, in Ireland and in England. The leading idea of the new king was, the centralization of all power and patronage in the hands of the sovereign. Money was his darling object; taxation and confiscation his favorite means. An insurrection in Yorkshire, in the second year of his reign, and the successive attempts of two claimants to the throne, in the Yorkist interest, gave him the desired opportunities. The Duchess of Burgundy, the Kings of France and Scotland, patronized both “ the pretenders.” But their main strength lay in Ireland, among the Geraldines and other nobles of the Pale,” who, whatever they may have thought of the title of Simnel or Warbeck, were politic enough to see that a strongly-established dynasty would be likely to enforce its authority over their baronial demesnes. In 1486, they crowned Simnel at Dublin, and paid him homage. Joined by two thousand Burgundians under Schwartz, they invaded England the following June, landed at Foudray, in Lancashire, and gave battle to Henry at Stoke upon the Trent. They were defeated. Among the dead were the Lords Maurice and Thomas Fitzgerald, the Earl of Lincoln and Martin Schwartz. Simnel was taken prisoner, and made a scullion in the king's kitchen. Soon a more formidable pretender appeared, under the title of Richard, Duke of York, second son of Edward IV. In 1495, he landed at Cork, where the mayor of the city, O'Water, the Earl of Desmond, and many others, declared their belief in his legitimacy, and rendered him homage. He tried his fortune in Kent, failed, and returned to Flanders. He again went to Ireland, and from Ireland landed in Cornwall, where he gained three thousand adherents. Advancing towards London, his forces were surrounded near Taunton, and himself captured. In 1498, he was executed on charge of attempting to escape from the Tower. The mayor of Cork and his son suffered with him at Tyburn.


With his usual policy, Henry VII made these attempts occasions for new taxes and new confiscations. The insurgents were pardoned at so much per head; the poor for twenty pence, the rich for two hundred pounds. Cities and corporations were taxed according to their numbers, the London merchants paying not less than ten thousand pounds. The Parliament of 1497 voted him twelve thousand pounds and three fifteenths of the revenues.

Sir William Capell compounded for one thousand pounds; the Earl of Derby was pardoned


for six thousand pounds. We need not wonder, that in a few years Henry became one of the richest kings in Europe.

Not only did he gather in riches, but power also. In his reign the feudal law of "maintenance," which made the followers of each lord his dependants, in peace or war, was abolished. The sheriffs of counties, instead of being local administrators, were now royal deputies. The Parliament at Westminster swallowed all the palatine and ducal courts of the kingdom, and in its fulness became the contented slave of the king. Private property was converted into royal fiefs; estated orphans were made royal wards; common lands were enclosed and sold. The same arbitrary and avaricious policy was attempted with the church. The chapter of York purchases a concession with one thousand marks; the Bishop of Bath, at his nomination, undertakes to pay one hundred pounds per year to the king; a Carthusian monastery, for the renewal of its charter, pays five thousand pounds. In these signs it is not difficult to foresee another Henry improving on the paternal examples of avarice and absolutism.

Ireland had been dangerous to the new dynasty in its first years, but the double defeat of the Yorkists had taught the Pales-men wisdom. The Earls of Kildare and Desmond paid heavily for Henry's forgiveness; and the colonial Parliament, which sat at Drogheda in 1497, was quite as slavish as that which sat at Westminster. The English deputy in Ireland, Sir Edward Poynings, was a fit minister for such a master. He obtained the consent of the Parliament, that, in future, all heads of bills should be sent into England for the previous approval of the king and council. This act, known as Poynings's law, is celebrated in Irish parliamentary discussions, both of the last and the previous century.* For the time, it effectually secured the dependence of the Anglo-Irish barons on the new dynasty.

* In 1782, and at the time of the legislative union, Poynings's law was a principal, topic of parliamentary debate in both kingdoms.

† Among those who did homage at Dublin were Gerald, Earl of

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