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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 a 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 bold. 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.t
* 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
Anxious to atone for their double rebellion, and to reimburse themselves for the heavy fines twice levied on them, the nobles of the Pale were disposed to renew the struggle of races, which had been suspended for more than a century. The statute of Kilkenny forbidding intermarriages was, from the first, a dead letter in two thirds of the island. Fitzgeralds, Burkes, and Butlers had constantly intermarried with O'Connors, O'Neils, and O'Briens. There was a near prospect of national unity, when Poynings, under the instigation of his royal master, insinuated the Roman policy, "divide and conquer.” In 1504, we find the new loyalists, with their Milesian connections, engaged in the deadly battle of Knoc-Tuadh with the native Irish under O'Connor and O'Brien, and the naturalized Normans under Burke of Clanrickarde and Bermingham of Athenry. Kildare, Gormanstown, and Howth commanded for King Henry, and the dead who were left on that hard-fought field would outnumber those who fell at Bosworth and Stoke piled together. Knoc-Tuadh (“ the hill of the battleaxes”) is one of the most memorable battles in the warlike history of the Irish. Henry was well avenged that day for the aid Ireland had given to the pretended dukes of Clarence and York. He did not live to reap all the fruits of his great victory; but this, with many other advantages, he bequeathed to his successor.
In 1509, at the age of eighteen, the future 6 reformer? found himself a king. His very first act was significant of his evil career. Immediately after his coronation, he sent for the oath he had publicly sworn, and privately altered it.
" He had sworn to maintain of Holy Church, granted " by the ancient Christian Kings of England;' he added,
as far as they will not be prejudicial to his jurisdiction " and royal dignity. He had sworn to maintain peace “ between Holy Church, the clergy, and the people;' for 6 this he substituted that he should endeavor to work
Kildare, the Archbishop of Dublin, Eustace, Lord Portlester, Preston, Lord Gormanstown, the Barons of Howth, Trimbleston, Slaine, and Dun. sany, the Abbot of St. Mary's, Dublin, and the Prior of Holmpatrick, Wicklow.
" with the people and clergy under the royal dominion.' “ He had sworn to maintain justice and equity, and yet 4 to be merciful;' this he altered into a promise to grant
mercy to him who, according to his conscience, should « merit it. He had sworn to maintain the laws of the “ kingdom, and the customs of the nation;' without “ prejudice,' he wrote, “to the rights of the crown, or his
imperial dignity.' Henry, after making these altera“ tions, closed the book, and said not a word of what 6 he had done." *.
It is not our place to detail the history of this reign. For the first twenty years of his life, Henry was gov. erned by a great but unscrupulous minister, Cardinal Wolsey. On the 30th of November, 1530, the cardinal's body was lowered into a vault at Leicester, and with him was buried the last restraint upon the terrible passions of the master he had so long served and controlled.
The seeds of “reformation" were silently growing up in England before and during Wolsey's time. The controversy upon the king's divorce, and the heat it produced, gave vigor to the rank productions of schismatic scholars. So early as 1523, the king began to express scruples touching the lawfulness of his marriage with Katherine, who had been betrothed to his elder brother, Arthur, and after Arthur's death married to him. For ten years, he tried every art and every influence to obtain the dispensation of Rome, but in vain.
His own power, the book against Luther so highly valued, the mediation of France, all failed to procure the desired divorce. At length, devoured by passion and impatience, he resolved to cast off the bonds of spiritual obedience which had united England with Christendom for eight centuries. The successive steps of the schism followed rapidly on each other. In 1529, he proposed, but postponed, the law for the confiscation of the lesser monasteries. In 1531, he obliged the clergy, under the penalty of præmunire, (transportation from the realm,) to acknowledge his supremacy in spirituals. In 1532, from the national convocation of the clergy, he obtained his divorce. In
* Audin's Henry VIII. p. 28.
1533 took place his marriage with Anne Boleyn, and the birth of Elizabeth, which followed rather quickly In 1535, the royal “order in council"
appeared, ordering the omission of the name of the bishop of Rome from every liturgical book;” and the same year Lord Chancellor More and Bishop Fisher died, martyrs of the faith, for their resistance to the new ordinances.
While these events were transpiring in England, Henry, through his agents, was urging forward a favorite project in Ireland - the conversion of his title from a lordship granted by the pope, to a kingship by election of the estates, and the consequent modification of the titles, tenures, and laws of Ireland, upon the feudal basis. To this design, Gerald, Earl of Kildare, seems to have been an obstacle, and accordingly was summoned to 'London. There he was charged with having, among other offences, married one of his daughters to O'Donnell, and another to O'Connor, of Offally. He was sent to the Tower, where, the following December, he died. A false report having reached Dublin, in 1534, of his execution, his son, called, from the splendor of his dress,“ Silken Thomas," and others, his relatives, flew to arms. O'Neil, O'Connor, and O’Moore sent him supplies and
He began the siege of Dublin, and entered into a treaty with the citizens, and exchanged hostages to insure their neutrality. At Clontarf he cut off a small reënforcement which had landed from England; and greater supplies, under skilful captains, followed. After keeping the field, with various fortunes, for more than a year, he was induced to surrender to the king's mercy. His five uncles followed his example; but in February, 1536, they all six suffered death at Tyburn, with some of their adherents. This danger, and the consideration shown abroad to the emissaries of the Irish leaders, increased Henry's anxiety to be possessed of the crown of Ireland by a title apparently legal and spontaneous. Whether. the project originated with Wolsey, or in the controversy with Rome, or earlier, it certainly was much more zealously urged after the revolt of Silken Thomas than it had been before.
The nature of the divorce controversy was not gen