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claration set the country in a blaze. Desmond and the Norman lords spoke openly of rebellion. They made a powerful appeal to the king, dwelling upon the unfitness of English strangers to govern Ireland, and asserting their own claims and privileges. Edward's wars with France did not leave him free to face the prospects of an Irish rebellion and he resolved to grant the demands of the Norman lords. The policy of Morris was reversed, the English-born officials were dismissed, and the Norman nobles restored to favour. In 1344, Morris was succeeded in the viceroyalty by Sir Ralph Ufford. But Ufford determined to begin as Morris had begun-to curb the authority of the Norman lords, and to govern the country in the English interest alone. The Norman lords, on the other hand, resented the appearance of Ufford as they had resented the appearance of Morris. The new viceroy summoned a parliament, but Desmond once more refused to attend, whereupon Ufford marched into the territories of Desmond, seized his castles, pillaged his lands, and Aung his kinsman, the Earl of Kildare, into prison. After two years of reckless misgovernment, Ufford died. Desmond was restored to favour. Kildare was released, and the Norman lords again became a power in the land.

During the next fifteen years, Ireland continued in the old state of division and anarchy. But the fusion of races went on, and the hostility to English rule remained the same. The three powerful Norman nobles, Desmond, Ormonde and Kildare, would bend the knee to 1361-1367] STATUTE OF KILKENNY


no English viceroy; and the native princes, the O'Briens, the O'Tooles, the MacMurroughs, lost no opportunity of striking at English authority. The result was that the limits of the Pale grew smaller, and the power of the Crown continued to decline.

Our Irish dominions,' wrote Edward about this time, ‘have been reduced to such utter devastation, ruin and misery, that they may be totally lost if our subjects there are not immediately succoured.' To save the colony, Edward sent his son Lionel, Duke of Clarence, as viceroy in 1361, and again in 1364, and again in 1367. But Clarence's viceroyalty was an utter failure, and he finally came to the conclusion that the conquest of Ireland was hopeless, and bent all his energies simply to preserve the English colony such as it was.

To secure this object Clarence believed it was of vital importance to cut off all communication between the natives and the Norman settlers; to end the fusion of races, and to set up a barrier of hostility between the old and the new inhabitants of the island. summoned a parliament in 1367 to pass a memorable Act—the well-known Statute of Kilkenny.' This measure provided that marriage, fosteragel or gossipred2 with the Irish, or acceptance of the Irish (Brehon) laws should be considered and punished as high treason. If any man of English descent used an Irish name,

1 That is, entrusting children to be reared by Irish nurses or foster-mothers.

2 Standing sponsor for a child at baptism.

For this purpose he


the Irish language, or Irish customs, he should suffer forfeiture. It was declared penal to present a 'mere Irishman'—that is, one who had not purchased a charter of denization—to any benefice, or to receive him into any monastery. It was forbidden to entertain any native bard, minstrel or story-teller, or to admit Irish cattle to pasturage on English lands.

This was a strong measure, but it required a strong government to enforce it, and there was no such government in Ireland. The Statute of Kilkenny,' accordingly, became a dead letter, and the condition of Ireland remained unchanged. Edward III. died in 1377, leaving his Irish dominions a worse plight than he had found them.

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FAMOUS Irish chieftain now appeared upon the scene-Art MacMurrough, King of Leinster. Art MacMurrough was born about 1357, and ascended the throne of Leinster in 1375. About the same time he mar

ried the daughter of Maurice Fitz-Gerald, Earl of Kildare. This act was a bold defiance of the ‘Statute of Kilkenny,' and the English government seized the opportunity thus given to them of confiscating the vast estates of the bride. MacMurrough retaliated by declaring war against the government; and a memorable struggle began. MacMurrough marched through Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow and Kildare, devastating the country, and scattering his enemies before him. Alarmed at his progress, the viceroy sued for peace, and


MacMurrough received a subsidy of eighty marks to refrain from further hostilities. A truce followed, but it was only used by MacMurrough to prepare for a fresh encounter. Meanwhile he defied the authority of England, and reigned supreme within his own dominions.

Richard II. (1377-1399) resolved to crush MacMurrough and to reduce rebellious' Ireland to complete submission. In October 1394 he landed at Waterford with a force of 34,000 men. This was the most imposing English army that had yet invaded Ireland. The Irish princes were duly impressed by its numbers and discipline, and showed a ready disposition to treat with the king.

In 1395 Richard despatched Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, to receive the submission of the southern princes. He met them at Ballygorry, near Carlow. All came in, even the dreaded MacMurrough. Peace was made, and the Irish kings, O'Neil of Ulster, O'Conor of Connaught, O'Brien of Munster, and MacMurroughof Leinster waited on the English king in Dublin, where, amid much rejoicing and many festivities, cordial relations were apparently established, and hearty friendships pledged. Richard was highly gratified. He felt that he had come, that he had seen, that he had conquered. But the whole negotiations were a sham, and

a Richard returned to England as poor as he had

'The king,' says Sir John Davies, 'returned into England with much honour, and small profit, for though he had spent a huge masse of treasure, yet did hee not increse his revennew



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