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up a host of English enemies, and was distrusted by the king. In 1540 he was recalled, and charged with treasonable practices, the chief accusation being his supposed partiality for the Geraldines. It was even said that he had connived at the escape of young Gerald in 1540. Grey at first treated his accusers with contempt, but in the end they proved too many for him, and he perished on the scaffold in July 1541.
an act of retributive justice, for Grey had foully done Thomas Fitzgerald and his uncles to death in 1537. Yet there was no proof that he was faithless to England, and it is most probable that he fell a victim to the envy and jealousy of Ormond, by whom he was detested as a formidable rival in the government of Ireland. The fruits of his vigorous administration were reaped by others. In 1541 his successor, Sir Anthony St Leger, summoned a parliament at Dublin, which may be said to have crowned the efforts of Grey, and which certainly forms an epoch in AngloIrish history. The Irish chiefs attended for the first time. O’Moore, O'Reilly, MacMurrough, and even O'Brien of Thomond sent representatives. The submission of Ireland seemed complete. O'Neil renounced his ancient title, and became Earl of Tyrone; O'Brien was made Earl of Thomond; MacWilliam Burke, Earl of Clanricarde; O'Donnell was promised the earldom of Tyrconnell; MacMurrough abandoned the name of his fathers, and became plain Mr Kavanagh.
All the chiefs agreed henceforth to hold
their lands on English tenure and to accept English law.
The title of 'king' instead of 'lord') of Ireland was conferred on Henry, and he was acknowledged head of the Church, for the Protestant Reformation had already (1534) taken place in England, and Henry had abjured the spiritual supremacy of Rome. The Irish chiefs had given way all along the line, and when Henry died in 1547 he left Ireland in a state of comparative peace.
But the English were soon to learn that the submission of the chiefs, precarious enough in its way, was not the submission of the people.
During the reign of Henry VIII. the Protestant Reformation simply meant the spiritual supremacy of the king, instead of the spiritual supremacy of the Pope. No serious effort was made to enforce the doctrines of the new creed in Ireland, though the religious sentiments of the people were outraged in other respects. Churches and monasteries were wrecked and plundered, holy images and venerated shrines were pillaged and destroyed, and a sacred relic, devoutly believed to be the crozier of St Patrick, was wantonly burned in the streets of Dublin by the instruments of the English monarch.
During the reign of Edward VI. (1547-1553) the Reformation still made little or no progress in Ireland, and, indeed, the masses of the people were completely ignorant of the great religious changes which were convulsing Europe and England.
The chiefs had, as we have seen, submitted
to Henry VIII. in 1541, but in the reign of Edward some of them were in arms again. O’Moore and O'Connor of Leix and Offaly rose in rebellion, and invaded the Pale. But the rebellion was mercilessly crushed, the two chiefs were banished to England, and in the reign of Mary (1553-1558) their confiscated territories were converted into English shires, and called respectively the Kings and Queens County.
And now arose the most formidable foe who had crossed England's path in Ireland since the death of Art MacMurrough.
HANE O'NEIL was the eldest
son of Conn O'Neil who had been made Earl of Tyrone by Henry VIII., his mother being a daughter of the Earl of Kildare. The earl had a younger
Matthew, who, though
born out of wedlock, was his favourite child. Asked by Henry VIII. to name the heir to his lands and title, Tyrone named Matthew, who was immediately created Baron of Dungannon. When Shane grew up, he resented the slight which had been put upon him, and claimed his rights as the eldest and lawful son. At first the father was unwilling to grant the just demands of Shane, but, in the end, he yielded. Matthew appealed to the English government for support, and
the government took up his cause. The lorddeputy summoned Tyrone to Dublin to account for his conduct in disowning Matthew. But Tyrone, remaining firm in his resolve to stand by Shane, was kept in captivity within the Pale. Incensed at the action of the lord - deputy, Shane roused his people to rebellion, and hurled defiance at the government. In 1551 and 1552 expeditions were sent to Ulster to subdue the young rebel; but they returned unsuccessful. Towards the end of 1552, Tyrone was released in the hope that he might re-establish peace; but the hope was doomed to disappointment. Shane was bent
In 1553 the lord-deputy sent another force into Ulster; but Shane held his ground, and the lord - deputy left him master of the situation. 'We find nothing in Shane,' say the authorities at Dublin Castle, but pride and stubbornness.'
Unmolested by the government during the years 1554 - 1558, Shane determined to unite all Ulster under himself, and boldly asserted the title of his house to the sovereignty of the province. His energy and ambition soon involved him in quarrels with rival clans, foremost among whom were the O'Donnells of Tyrconnell, and their allies the MacDonnells, a Scotch colony in Antrim. But Shane presented a defiant front to all his enemies within and without.
In 1558 Matthew O'Neil was killed in a brawl with some of Shane's retainers, and in 1559 the Earl of Tyrone died. Shane im