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erally understood in Ireland. Henry's book against Luther was better known than his correspondence about the queen. His “Confession" of 1536, with the essential exception of the Papal supremacy, was altogether Catholic. His “ Six Articles " of 1539 all affirmed Catholic doctrines. It was the policy of Henry that the Irish

. should be as much in doubt of his real purpose as diplomacy could leave them. In 1535, he had appointed George Browne, a partisan of the divorce, and an Englishman, Archbishop of Dublin ; but when the new prelate caused the Baculus Jesus and other sacred relics to be burned, he was rebuked for his precipitancy. In June of that year, he writes to Mr. Secretary Cromwell, that “there goeth a common rumor," that he intended to pluck down our Lady of Trim, and other idols; “which indeed,” he adds, “ I never attempted, although my conscience would right well serve me to oppresse such ydols.” In 1539, Con O'Neil, Prince of Ulster, taking alarm at the rumors which had reached him, marched southward, and after taking Ardee and Navan, reviewed his troops at Tara. On his return, at Bellahoe, in Monaghan, he was surprised and defeated by the Lord Deputy Grey, who, after the battle, proceeded to Trim, where the famous statue of our Lady stood, and the deputy, “very devoutly kneeling before her, heard three or four masses ; the archbishop and Lord Butler, the treasurer, refused to go in. The next year, this deputy was superseded by

. Anthony St. Leger, who, in 1541, succeeded in assembling "the great court” at Dublin, for the long-desired election.

Those who attended for this purpose were of two classes – Anglo-Irish barons, and Milesian-Irish chiefs ; the clergy, by a device of St. Leger's, contrary to all former usage, were not summoned. Of the barons, the Earls of Desmond and Ormond, and nearly all the Leinster viscounts were present; of the Celtic chiefs, those of secondary rank were numerous, but the principals were few. Until their suffrages were taken, it was felt necessary to postpone the proclamation. The absent chiefs were separately consulted, and their consent obtained on terms such as usually existed between vassal and sovereign in continental countries. O'Brien, O'Connor Faily, and O'Dun acknowledged the title in June and July, 1541 ; O'Donnell acknowl, edged it on the 6th of August, in the same year; O'Neil at Maynooth, in 1542; O'Moore on the 13th of May; M'Carthy, O'Sullivan, O'Callaghan, and O'Ruarc, in September; and M'Donnell of the Glens, and M' William Burke, on the 18th of May, 1543. In each case, the acknowledgment was made on the stipulation that each chief was to remain "head of his nation,” and that the ancient rights and laws of each clan were to be respected. With this guaranty, they agreed that the national crown, which from the thirteenth century had not been conferred upon any aspirant, should be united to the crown of England. In 1542, the Dublin heralds announced that “his majesty is now, as he hath always of right been, acknowledged by the nobility and commons of Ireland to be king of the same,&c. In January, 1543, he was proclaimed, in similar terms, in London; and in 1544, when the suffrages of the chiefs were complete, the old seals of office in Ireland were cancelled, and new ones sent to Sir William Brabazon, who was the first viceroy. “ The collation of this royal dignity by the Irish nation alone,” says Mr. Plowden," is a proof and a full recognition by England of the absolute sovereignty and independence of the Irish nation." * The absence of the bishops and lord abbots from the great court is a memorable omission. The Irish church stands acquitted of imposing the present dynasty on that country.

The English ambassadors abroad were directed to procure the acknowledgment of the new title, which, after some diplomatic delays, was universally conceded. One of the parties, who was most reluctant to admit it, was the King of Scotland.t

* Plowden's Ireland, vol. i., p. 62.

+ Pinkerton's History of Scotland. The Irish sovereignty was considered one of the most ancient in Europe, as the following anecdote proves : At the council of Constance, in 1417, where the legate of Henry V. disputed precedence with the legate of France, priority was awarded to the English agent expressly on account of his king's partial sover

The chiefs of the great court proceeded in 1542 to Greenwich Palace, where they formally presented Henry the crown of Brian and of Roderick. In exchange, patents of mobility were made out for them; and O'Neil, O'Brien, and Burke returned Earls of Tyrone, of Thomond, and of Clanrickarde. These new titles, and the new code which they announced, gave great dissatisfaction to the clans, who now began to understand on what business their chiefs had been summoned to Dublin. They truly foresaw that this was but the beginning of actual conquest; and, in fact, at the very time the new earls were inspecting their patents at Greenwich, Henry had before him a detailed project for the confiscation of the entire soil of Ireland, prepared for his consideration by the chief baron of his Dublin exchequer.* Confiscation and Protestantism were born at a birth in the fertile mind of the newly-elected King of Ireland. Whatever charges we can bring against the Catholic Plantagenets, they certainly never proposed wholesale confiscation. That was reserved for the Defenders of the Faith and Supreme Heads of the Church, by law established.

The election over, the crown fitted to the chosen head, the earls graciously dismissed to their homes, the first attempt to introduce the reformation begins. Archbishop Browne had been a Protestant from the time of his nomination by the king; and, in his zeal for the new doctrines, had more than once impeded his master's diplomacy. In 1538, he was reprimanded for his imprudence; the same year, he made a visitation of his province, accompanied by the chancellor and others. They extended their journey as far south as Clonmel, where they were met by the Archbishops of Cashel and Tuam, and the Bishops of Leighlin, Ferns, Lismore, “Inmolacen," and Limerick. Browne preached; “ his sermon finished," writes his friend the chancellor, “ 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 there present did the like." This statement, said to be copied from the original in the State Paper Office, is not borne out by Browne's reports of the same year, 1539, to Secretary Cromwell. He states, “I endeavor myself, and also cause others of my clergy, to preach the gospel of Christ, and set forth the king's cause;

eignty in ancient Ireland. The authority of Albertus Magnus and Bartholomæus, on that occasion, was cited, for they had divided universal history thus:

“ In the division of the world, Europe was subdivided into four great kingdoms - 1. That of Rome ; 2. That of Constantinople ; 3. That of Ireland ; 4. That of Spain ; Whence it appears the King of England, being also King of Ireland, is one of the most ancient kings of Europe.”

* Baron Finglas’s “Breviate of Ireland,” in Harris's Hibernica.

" with what success he does not say. The same year, Agard, an official, writes to Cromwell, that, “excepte the Archbishop of Dublin, only Lord Butler, the master of the rolls, Mr. Treasurer, and one or two more of small reputations, none may abide the hearing of it, (the king's supremacy,) spiritual, as they call them, or temporal.”

The burning of the “Baculus Jesus," this year, was a wanton and fruitless sacrilege. It was a relic which had been held in universal veneration from the earliest Christian times. Every Life of St. Patrick agrees in the tradition, that on his journey to Rome, it was given him by a herrnit of the Tyrrhene Sea, a's a staff which our blessed Redeemer himself had carried. Our earliest records notice it as existing at Armagh; that it was used to swear by, and to quell social war. Mailsheachlan, coming into the tent of the monarch, Thurlogh O'Brien, A. D. 1080, bearing this staff, induced him to turn back from an invasion of Leinster; in 1143, peace between Connaught and Ulster was ratified by an oath taken on this staff; in 1184, it was translated to Dublin, probably by Philip de Worcester; and so late as 1529, we find oaths taken “upon the holie Masebooke and the

*

* Correspondence

cited in the Preface to the Obits and Martyrology of Christ Church : Dublin, (published by the Archæological Society)

great relike of Erlonde, called Baculum Christi, in presence of the king's deputie, chancellor, tresoror, and . justice.” The public destruction of this venerable relic was sure to be bruited abroad over the kingdom, and equally, to produce indignation and opposition. The politicians interposed to prevent the repetition of such indiscretions. In another letter, Browne writes that he has contradicted a rumor that he “intended to pluck down our Lady of Trim and other idols," although he adds, his heart well enough inclined him thereto.

At the “ Great Court” of 1541, an abstract of the laws and ordinances of the Pale was made and decreed the basis of the future Irish code. One of these ordinances, thus confirmed, was in these words :

“ I. That the church of Ireland shall be free and enjoy all its accustomed privileges.

« II. That the land of Ireland shall hereafter enjoy all its franchises and privileges, as it used to do before." *

Notwithstanding these guaranties, the election of Henry was scarcely over when the reformers renewed their work. When asked their authority, they produced a commission “dated two years before,” which constituted Dr. Browne and four others a tribunal of inspection and examination. Armed men attended them from church to church, hewing down the crucifix with their swords, defiling the sacred vessels, and defacing the monuments of the dead. 6. There was not,” says the contemporary annalist, “ a holy cross, nor an image of Mary, nor other celebrated image in Ireland,” within the reach of the reformers, or near their fortresses,“ that they did not burn." † The celebrated image at Trim, so

* Cited in the Irish Commons' Journals, A. D. 1641. Of course "the Church of Ireland,” in Henry VH.'s reign, could only mean the Holy Roman Catholic church.

† “ A. D. 1537. A heresy and a new error broke out in England, the effects of pride, vainglory, avarice, sensual desire, and the prevalence of a variety of scientific and philosophical speculations, so that the people of England went into opposition to the pope and to Rome. At the same time they followed a variety of opinions, and the old law of Moses, after the manner of the Jewish people, and they gave the title of Head of the Church of God to the king. There were enacted by the king

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