• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Epoch the first: From A.D. 400,...
 Epoch the second: From A.D. 1171...
 Epoch the third: From A.D. 1327...
 Epoch the fourth: From A.D. 1558...
 Epoch the fifth: From A.D. 1641...
 Epoch the sixth: From A.D. 1690...
 Epoch the seventh: From A.D. 1801...
 Back Cover






Group Title: The youth's history of Ireland : with descriptive scenes and incidents of its numerous rebellions, civil wars, etc., from the earliest dawn of authentic record to the present time
Title: The youth's history of Ireland
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 Material Information
Title: The youth's history of Ireland with descriptive scenes and incidents of its numerous rebellions, civil wars, etc., from the earliest dawn of authentic record to the present time
Physical Description: viii, 248 p. : ill. ; 13 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Tillotson, John
Smith, J. J ( Binder )
Partridge and Oakey ( Publisher )
W.J. and J. Sears ( Printer )
Publisher: Partridge and Oakey
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: W.J. and J. Sears
Publication Date: <1852-1853>
 Subjects
Subject: History -- Juvenile literature -- Ireland   ( lcsh )
Smith -- Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1853   ( rbbin )
Smith -- Signed bindings (Binding) -- 1853   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1853
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Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by John Tillotson.
General Note: Date of publication from the publisher's address listed on P. Brown, London publishers and printers, c. 1800-1870.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00020333
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
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oclc - 45964498
notis - AMF2568

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
    Frontispiece
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    Title Page
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    Table of Contents
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    Introduction
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Full Text

THE YOUTH'S


HISTORY OF IRELAND

WITH

DESCRIPTIVE SCENES AND INCIDENTS

OF ITS NUMEROUS

REBELLIONS, CIVIL WARS, ETO.,

FROM
THE EARLIEST DAWN OF AUTHENTIC RECORD
TO THE PRESENT TIME.



BY JOHN TILLOTSON, Esq.





tnnhnu.
PARTRIDGE AND OAKEY, 84, PATERNOSTER ROW:
AND 70, EDGEWARE ROAD.



























WV. J. AND J. SKARS, PRINTERS, IVY LAE, ST. PAUL'S.











CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION 1
The Island in the Sea. Fables connected with its ancient
history. Giants. The Giant's Causeway. Fairies. Fairy
rings. Heroes and demi-gods. Lead imported into Greece
from Ireland. Aristotle's "World." lernis. Albion. Abo-
rigines of the Island. The language, habits, manners, and
customs of the people. Druidical worship. The resources and
mineral wealth of the country. Scots. Ptolemy's Geographi-
cal Tables. The Sacred Island. Ring-money. Thirty-two
kings in Ireland. Their mode of succession. The Betrayer.
Round Towers. Antiquities of the country. The old Ilka d
of the princess transformed into a swan. The bell for Chris-
tian worship.
EPOCH THE FIRST 13
Faox a.C. 400 TO A.D. 1171.
The Baal fire festival. The frst Missionaries. The policyof
St. Patrick. The feast of Samhin. Druidical stones. The
Nuns of St. Briget. Slavery partially abolished. Monasteries
and religious houses. Colleges and schools. Ireland celebrated
for its learning. Celestius and Jerome. Danes invade Ireland.
The Norse kings. Their conquests and triumphs. The
wonders which preceded their coming. Warfare between
the Danes and Irish. Ossory, Lismore, and other places
plundered and burnt. The shrine of St. ComgaL Armagh
pilaged and destroyed. The Danish chief. Turgesiu inades
reland. The fends between the Irish chiefs. Death of Nial
Coilne. Turgesius seizes the crown of Ireland. He is asass
nated by O'Melachlin, who is chosen. king. The Danes
defeated. Quarrels among the Irish ptinees The Dan
settle.in Ireland as merchants. Dublin. Waterford. Linulick.
Danes extend their power. Nose money. Brian Bore. His
victory over the Danes at Sulcoid. lie defeat them at tte





vi CONTENTS.

battle of Tara. Disputes with King Malachy. Assumes the
crown. His long and happy reign. The legend of the
beautiful maiden. The green oasis. Ireland described by a
French chronicler. The battle of Clontarf. Defeat of the
Danes. Murder of Brian Born. The struggles that ensued.

EPOCH THE SECOND 84
FRoM A.D. 11. TO A.D. 1897.
Irish Christianity. Refusal to submit to Roman authority.
Henry U. appeals to the Pope. Adrian IV. grants a license
for the conquest of Irelanl. The Pope's bull. Dermot
M'Murrough elopes with the wife of O'Ruarc of Breffny.
O'Ruarc lays waste the territory of Dermot,who is driven from
the country. Dermot appeals to Henry II. The English king
receives him favourably, and bestows upon him the right to
collect troops in England. Earl Strongbow. Dermot's beau.
tiful daughter. Fitzstephen and Fitzgerald. Dermot returns
to Ireland. The Abbey of Ferns. Norman soldiers contrasted
with the poor Irish. Siege of Wexford. Strongbow sails from
Milford Haven. Siege of Waterford. Marriage of Strongbow
and Eva. Roderic O'Connor. Sieze of Dublin. Dissatis-
faction of Henry II. He recalls the English from Ireland.
Strongbow submits to the king's authority, and surrenders all
into the royal hands. The king a missionary. A mission to
Ireland. Items of expense. Henry Il. in Dublin. The royal
tour. The king's levee. The abuses and scandals of the
Irish church. Milk baptism. Murder of Archbishop Becket.
Letter to the Pope. Henry II. leaves Ireland, submits to the
Pope's authority. Hugh de Lacy. Attempted assassination.
Death of O'Ruarc. A century of struggles between the English
Colony a~d the Irish nation. Hugh de Lacy murdered by an
Irish labourer. Geraldus Cambrensis' report on the Irish.
Prince John, and the young courtiers. Beard plucking.
Disturbances in Ireland. Edward, son of Henry III., obtains
a grant of Ireland. The Irish employed against the Scotch
and Welsh. Tame Elephants. Irish law. Robert Bruce.
Letter to the Pope. The oath of vengeance.

EPOCH THE THIRD 60
FoxM A.D. 127 TO A.D. 1568.
&a episode in the Irish warfare. The disturbances all over
the country. Chivlry. English by birth, and Eglish by





CONTENTS. vii
blood. Mere Irishmen" disqualified for any public office The
Irish Bards. Richard 1. The solemn pmp of his progress
through Ireland. The Irish people of that period; their homes,
habits, customs, arms, and warfare. The black rent. Taming
the Wild Irish. Prayers, in the cathedral of Dublin, for the
success of English arms against the Irish people. Henry VI1.
Rebellion in Ireland. Short notes from O Neill to O'Donnell,
and O'Donnell to O'Neill. Poynings. State of the country.
Condition of the people. Old enmity. The rebellion of Silken
Thomas. His defeat and death. Martin Luther. The He,
formation. Protestantism in Ireland. The Pope and the
Irish people. Progress of the Reformation under Edward VI.
The revival of Catholicism under Mary. National joy at the
revival. Accession of Queen Elizabeth.

EPOCH THE FOURTH 79
Faox A.D. 1658 TO A.D. 1641.
Shane O'Neill in London. His interview with the Queen.
His promises of submission. His rebellion in Ireland. Slau~h.
tears his Scottish allies. Assassinated at a banquet. Rebellion
of the Earl of Desmond. James Fitzmaunce. The holy ban.
ner. The Earl a traitor. Help from Spain. Sir Walter
Raleigh. Romantic adventures of the Earl of Desmond.
His discovery and death. Sir John Perrot, Viceroy in Ireland.
Plantation of Munster. Hugh O'Neill obtains the title of Earl
of Tyrone. He organizes an insurrection. The long struggle.
The varying success. The Spanish invasion. Cost of the war.
Ireland under Queen Elizabeth. pRenser's View of Ireland.'
Manners of the people. Dress ot the men. The Irish mantle.
The glibs or tufts of hair. Bardism. The Irish soldiery.
Famine and sword. A remedy for tlfe disease of Ireland.
Death of Queen Elizabeth. "The Golden Age." Final con.
quest of Ireland. James I. Penal laws. Religious agitation.
Confiscations. English settlers. Ireland under the" Scottis
Solomon."
EPOCH THE FIFTH 107
FaoM A.D. 1641 TO A.D. 1690.
Charles I. His policy in Ireland. The dangerous calm. The
hop of the Irish. God. our Lady, and Roger Moore." The
beginning of the rebellion. The frightful massacre. The
fugitives m Dublin. Cr teltics of the Irish Ghost stories con-





Ilii CONTENTS.
nected with the massacre. The story of Portadown bridge.
Superstition of th1 people. Fairies, Banshees, Death-cars, &e.
The long'struggle. Impolitic policy. Troubles in England.
The civir war. Charles I. a prisoner. His last interview with
his family; his execution at Whitehall. Cromwell in Ireland.
The siege of Drogheda. Massacre of the Garrison. The
curse o' Cromwell. Owen Roe O'Neill. The Comnmonwealth.
Restoration of Charles 11. Religious disturbances. James II.
a Catholic. The Prince of Orange. The siege of Derry.
Battle of the Boyne.

EPOCH THE SIXTH 145
FRox A.D. 1690 TO A.D. 1801.
Confiscations. Ruin of the small farmers. The White Boy.
The Right Boys. Hearts of Oak. Hearts of Steel. Peep-o'.
Day Boys. Orange Lodges. Catholic Defenders. United
Irishmen. The unhappy state of the Country. Martial law.
Cruelties of the Orange party. Escape of Hamilton Rohan.
Shan Van Vaugh. Case of William Orr. Lord Edward Fitz.
gerald. His arrest, and heroic struggle. His death. Military
preparations. The beginning of the insurrection. The horrors
of 1798. Vinegar hill. Suppression of the rebellion. Cost of
life and property. The Union of Ireland and England.

EPOCH THE SEVENTH. 178
FROM A.D. 1801 TO A.D. 1853.
Opposition to the Union. Daniel O'Connelt Catholic
Emancipation. Repeal. Father Matliew. Formation of the
Repeal Association. The "Rint." Monster Meetings. Pro.
clamation forbidding the meeting at Cloatarf. Trialof O'Con-
nell. The reversal of his sentence. His speech to the people.
His triumphal procession. Disturbances in Conciliation Hall.
Death of O'Connell. The famine in Ireland. Young Ireland.
Siui h O'Brien. Trial of the state prisoners. Dolly's Brae.
Qucen't visit to Ireland. Ireland anil the Exhibition of 1651.
Great Industrial Exhibition at Dublin. Conclusion.










tfr Mistnor of Srrlane


INTRODUCTION.
IN glancing over a map of the world we
might very easily pass unnoticed two small
islands which have played a very considerable
part in modern history. We could not
readily overlook China, nor Russia, nor
America; but Great Britain and Ireland
require something more than a casual glance
to arouse attention and excite enquiry. From
the vast extent of the Chinese Empire one
might expect great things. But long-tailed
Chinamen have done but little for the rest of
the yorld. Russia might be regarded as a
country of peculiar importance; but only in
very modern times has Russia risen from a
state of barbarism, and even now is but the
very seat of despotism. In America we
might fancy to ourselves the greatest and
the noblest achievements, but the history of
independent America is not a hundred years
B.





2 HISTORY 0F IRELAND.
old. Far more important than China, "with
its strange old notions and wonderful pagodas,
far more important than Russia, with great
capital and barren wastes, far more important
than 'America, great and important as is that
rising country, are these two islands in the
sea. Britain has a world-wide fame; her
ships ride victoriously upon the waters, her
flag is honoured everywhere, her commerce is
extended to the ends of the earth, and on her
dominions the sun never sets. And the sister
island is not less important. Old Hibernia is
a noble country, and still a land of promise.
Lord Bacon said, more than two hundred years
ago, that Ireland was endowed with so many
dowries of nature, considering the fruitfulness
of the soil, the ports, the rivers, the fishing,
the quarries, the woods, and other materials,
but especially the race and generation of men,
valiant, hard, and active, as it is not easy, no,
not upon the continent, to find such confluence
of commodities, if the hand of man did.join
with the hand of nature. And what Bacon
said, so long ago, is true now of that beautiful
land whose shores are washed by the Atlantic.
The history of Ireland reaches far back
into the past, into a dim mysterious twilight
where fact and fiction are so blended together
that it is hard to say where the one ends and





HISTORY 09 IRELAND. 8
the other begins. Old Irish bards tell us of
wonderful.things accomplished, by men most
wonderful, in a wonderful old time; men, at
whose fodtfall the earth trembled, and the
heavens shook; men, mighty in battle, who
did so many cruel and murderous deeds that
they were accounted the very champions of
the land. Stories of wars and rumours of
wars, of giants mountains-high, of mysterious
magicians, who with solemn incantation ruled
the earth and sea,make up that ancient history,
Giants, that after viewing all the world had
done, all its towers, temples, pyramids, met
together in county Antrim, and in one night
reared that mighty structure which still mocks
the labour of man, and still is called the
Giants' Causeway; giants so tall that they must
have found Ireland an incommodious home;
giants that were always falling out with one
another and playing havoc in the land; giants
whose pugilistic fists were great and strong
as the Hill of Howth. And not only giants,
but fairies were in the land ; bright beautiful
fairies, sleeping in the cowslips, hidden under
the heather, lurking behind the blades of
waving grass, or riding on a wisp of gos.
samer as it sauntered about in the golden air;
fairies that, under the bright beams of the full
moon, danced and sang their merry roundelay,




4 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
and left behind those fairy rings which shep-
herds looked upon with wonder; fairies that
were ever ready to lend a helping hand to those
who never interrupted them, but were terrible
enemies to those whose curiosity incited them
to look upon their revels. And then the great
shadowy spirits, half heroes, half gods, that
minstrels sang of to their harps, with mystic
shapes, that never existed but in the song of
the bard. These strange old stories of the
natural and the supernatural go far, far away
to a period when time itself was young. But
apart from all fable, apart from all these wild
outlandish stories, true history bestows on
Ireland a high antiquity.
Thirteen hundred years before Christ came
into the world lead was imported into Greece
from Ireland, and games were instituted to
celebrate the event. These were called the
Isthurian Games. When Solomon was king
.over God's chosen people, and the beautiful
temple at Jerusalem was attracting the eyes of
the whole world, the Phoenicians had planted
colonies upon the Irish coast, and the mineral
wealth of Ireland was enriching the mother
country. The merchants who first discovered
its hidden treasures tried to hide the secret of
their riches, and represented the people in the
far-off isle to be atrociously wicked, cruelly





HISTORY 01 IRELAND. 5
inhospitable, and given much to cannibalism,
which last statement deterred many an ad-
venturous spirit from daring the voyage, and
attempting a landing; for though men, in the
old time, thought it rather a brave thing to
knock or be knocked on the head like a bul-
lock, they had no relish for being eaten like a
bullock afterwards.
In an old, old Greek poem Ireland is men-
tioned under the name of lernis, and in
Aristotle's "World," dedicated to Alexander
the Great, Britain and Ireland are both
mentioned : the first as Albion, the second as
lerne. By whom the country was originally
peopled is a matter of doubt. They were
most probably the same Celtic stock that
supplied France, Spain, and Britain. Some
suppose that the first inhabitants came from
Spain, others that it was peopled from Britain.
Most likely it was the resort of men of dif-
ferent nations, and the mixture of the Irish
language would seem to favour this idea.
There the Spanish, German, Scandinavian, and
Celtic are united, the last predominating over
them all. Carthage established a colony on
the Irish coast. The North poured forth
swarms of a different race. From Britain, the
island of honey, the country of green hills,
came a body of fugitives, a hardy race of





6 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
hunters who, instead of dogs, trained foxes
and wild cats in the chase. These settled in
lerne or Erin, and spread to the western isles.
But the race which obtained ascendancy in
Ireland was called Scoti, or Scots. Some
few of these formed a colony on the coast of
Caledonia, which they called Scotia, and from
which the whole of that country afterwards
took the name of Scotland.
A fine, dark-haired, handsome race were
the men of ancient Ireland. They loved
deeply; they hated thoroughly; they were
strong in passion, bold, reckless, daring, but
of a social temper; now wild and fearful as
the mountain blast, and now sweet as the
breath of the morning. The wealth of the
people consisted chiefly in herds and flocks.
It does not appear that any coins were used
by them, although ring-money, such as is now
made at Birmingham for circulation among
the natives of Africa, was commonly employed.
Agriculture was but very imperfectly under-
stood, but wheat and other kinds of grain
were produced in sufficient quantity for the
wants of the people. Their religion was that
of the Druids; and sacred groves, and holy
wells, and stone circles, and tomb-altars, and
unhewn pillars, attest that the Druidical
system was thoroughly established. A nu-




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


7


merous and well-organized priesthood ruled
the land. Human sacrifices were offered, and
on the first of May, a fire festival in honour of
Baal was celebrated.
There are still remaining many monuments
of the old religion ; broken altars, and rough
stones, which set the mind a wandering into
the past, and call up before us such scenes as
once were common by the Blackwater of
Munstcr, and in the golden vale of Tipperary.
In imagination we seem to hear the solemn
strains which Druid priests and poets chaunt
together, and to look upon the stately proces-
sion of white-robed songsters, as they begin
the rites of their strange faith. We look
upon the host of people gathered at the service;
we notice the ardent expression of devotion
which rests upon each face; we observe the
strange costume, the strange weapons, the
strange language, but most of all regard the
sacrifice which bleeds upon the altar; no
bullock, sheep, nor goat, but man made in
God's image, and as we look and listen the
music of the Druid song is changed, and we
seem to hear the words of the old Hebrew
psalm, The dark places of the earth are full
of the habitations of cruelty."
Ireland was known in the ancient world, as
the isle of the blessed. It was accounted a




8 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
very paradise, the birth-place of all goodness,
the home of every virtue. True they feared
its people, and dreaded to approach its shores,
but it was still the mysterious land of unsullied
pleasure, and immortal youth. There is a
story told of an Irish chief, who fled to the
Roman Emperor, Agricola, and requested him
to invade Ireland; a single legion, said he,
would be sufficient for the conquest. Agricola
listened to the story and "prepared for the
invasion, but from some unknown cause the
conquest was never attempted. Britain was
under Roman power; but no proud centurion
ever pressed Irish ground, and Ireland had
never to confess that she had no king but
Caesar. This story of the Irish chief brings
forward this fact, that the people of Ireland
were divided into different clans, led and
governed by their several chiefs. At some
remote period the country had been divided
into five kingdoms: Leinster, Ulster, Munster,
Connaught, and Meath, the latter exercising
a supremacy over the rest. Each of these
kingdoms was again subdivided into other
sovereignties. This sort of government was
not peculiar to Ireland. Ancient Britain was
likewise subdivided, and the Saxons divided it
into seven kingdoms.
In the year 120, Ptolemy, in his geographi-




HISTORY OP IRELAND. 9
cal tables, presented a view of Ireland, very
accurate for the time, pointing out the har-
bours and rivers, giving the names of the
numerous tribes then peopling the country,
and the sites of their principal towns, which
were most numerous on the eastern side of
the island. Ireland is again described in the
geographical poem of Festus Avienus. It
appears that the manners and customs as well
as the religion of the people, resembled
those of the ancient Britons. Poets were
their lawgivers. The bards were honoured
next to the kings. A simple-hearted, earnest
race, were they of old Ireland; a nation so
antique that no monument remains of its first
beginning.
Before the introduction of Christianity
mention is made of thirty-two kings as having
reigned in Ireland :
Some good, some bad;
Of bad, the larger scroll."
And a terrible picture it is of murder and
violence which the chronicle of that period
presents. It seems that the very plan most
likely to end in murder was the plan which
was adopted for the line of succession. The
son did not, by right, succeed his father on the
throne, for though the sovereignty was heredi.






10 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
tary in blood, it was elective in person; that
is to say, certain families were royal, but any
of the male branches of that family might be
elected king. Any of the royal blood might
aspire to the crown. To make matters still
worse, the successor to the throne was elected
when the sovereign himself was chosen. The
heir-elect soon found an opportunity of ridding
himself of his predecessor. Out of these two-
and-thirty kings, three only died a natural
death, the rest were stabbed, or strangled, or
poisoned, by their immediate successors, who
after a brief reign, gave way, in turn, to their
successors, and laid down in the grave-
Unwept, unhonoured, and unsung."
Every petty lord, and every man who could
command' a handful of half-naked retainers
was a lord, exerting himself to encroach upon
his neighbour's territory ; and many a turf-
built sheeling was levelled with the ground, and
field of waving corn made barren, in these
struggles. Towns and cities were little better
than encampments, for there was no peace and
no security. The mass of the people were
serfs or slaves, sold with the land, with no
more power to helpthemselves than a stock
or a stone. They dwelt in mud hovels, and
became the victims of a harsh and cruel rule.





IHNSTORY OF IRELAND.


But amid all their privations, they forgot. their
wrongs in their natural buoyancy of dispo-
sition, their manly sports, and faction-fights ;
for many of those old struggles of which
the poets sang so grandly, were little more
than a fight at Donnybrook fair.
Some historians cling to the notion that,
antecedent to the period at which Ireland
became known to the rest of Europe, she had
attained a high degree of civilization, but had
fallen from her ancient grandeur. At Bally-
castle mining operations had been carried on
to some extent. Of these operations there is
no account in any ancient annals. In the bogs
and fields costly articles of dress have been
discovered, ornaments of gold and silver, rings
and chains, and brazen swords of a very
ancient make, and above all the remaining
monuments of architecture, the inscrutable
round towers, still exist to puzzle and perplex
antiquarians. Others have argued that the
mining works only prove the skill of the
Phoenician colonists; that the antiquities
discovered have nothing to do with the ability
of native artists, and only prove that Ireland
was resorted to, after the fall of the Roman
empire, by the great and the wise; and that
the round towers are of christian origin, used
as beacons and watch towers, and that they


11




12 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
were no more connected with the Fire Wor-
shippers of the East than they were with the
builders of the Eddystone Lighthouse.
However this may be, reliable history
carries us far back into the past. The picture
it presents is a painful one, and it is with
a feeling akin to melancholy that we think of
that fair and beautiful land, that flower of
the ocean, and gem of the sea, torn by con-
tending parties at so early a period in its
annals. Thus much for pagan Ireland.
Christianity had been announced. The first
mission had begun. Rome had listened to
the great Apostle of the Gentiles. The new
faith had made great way in England, and
Claudia, the noble British lady, had been
mentioned by Paul in one of his letters. The
true light had not yet dawned upon Ireland.
A strange legend of the time tells us that a
certain damsel had fallen under the power ot
a magician, that by his incantations she had
been compelled to assume the form of a swan,
and so to remain till the first bell for Christian
worship should sound over the hills and val-
leys of fair Ireland:
"Sadly, O Moy, to thy winter wave weeping,
Fate bids me languish long ages away;
But still in her darkness does Erin lie sleeping,
Still doth the pure light its dawning delay."




13


EPOCH THE FIRST.

FROM A.D. 400, TO A.D. 1171.


IT was the 1st of May, and all nature was
clothed in her brightest garb; the air was
sweet with the breath of the summer flowers;
the fields spread out a grassy carpet, in
rainbow colours the flowers bloomed, and tall
trees cast a pleasant shadow on the ground ;
the deep blue sky, unbroken by a cloud, looked
down upon the earth, and was mirrored in the
clear still waters;-the waves of the Atlantic
were slowly advancing, and breaking on the
shore in a shower of spray ; far over the
water not a sail was seen;-there was a
solemn stillness over all things in the deep
green valleys, on the high gray mountains, in
the deep thick shadowy woods;-it was a
sacred day to the false god Baal ;-from all
parts crowds had collected, and in one particu-
lar spot had arrived and settled down; the
high and the low were there, the chief, the




14 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
lord, and the serf; and while all around was
beautiful and gay, the rites of heathenism
were observed-Druids chaunted their solemn
songs, blood stained their altars, attention was
absorbed, all other things forgotten;-when a
company of chrsitain preachers in their white
robes appeared among them. He who led them
was Patrick, afterwards chosen as the patron
saint of the nation; and he it was who before
kings, and priests, and people, declared the
purpose of his coming, and commended to
them all the Christianity he professed. This
was not the first time they had heard of christia-
nity, but as yet, Druidism had been too strong
for the new faith. The mountains, the woods,
the rivers of Ireland were all associated with
the old idolatry, but St. Patrick was a diplo-
matist; he acted cautiously, and by slow degrees.
Truly his way of converting the people was very
unlike what the first preachers of the cross
attempted. They denounced what was wrong.
St. Patrick conciliated, by adopting all the
forms of paganism, and uniting with them the
teachings of his church. The rulers listened
with attention. The Druids forgot to be
angry. The ladies were particularly attracted
by the white robes of the missionaries, and
the ancient system of idolatry began to give
way. St. Patrick found that the feast of





HISTORY OF JIOLAD.,


Samhin fell.very near the time of Easter, so
he bid the people keep it still, but in memory
of the resurrection. The pagan Irish were
wont to light up fires on the hill-tops, to wel-
come in the summer,-he bid them do so still,
but in honour of St. John. On the Druidical
stones he engraved the name of the Redeemer :
the sacred groves he consecrated to religion :
the order of J)ruidesses was continued as the
nuns of St. Bridget, and the wonders of the
misletoe, in the miraculous oak at Kildare.
But the Christianity of St. Patrick did much
Sfor Ireland. No longer human sacrifices were
permitted. The state of slavery in which the
people had been kept was greatly ameliorated.
In other matters the old forms were still
adhered to. Ireland soon became celebrated
for the scholars it produced. Many of the
English resorted thither for instruction.
Camden says, "no men came up to the Irish
monks in Ireland, and in Britain, for sanctity
and learning: and they sent forth swarms of
holy men all over Europe, to whom the monas-
teries of Luxueli in Burgundy, Pavia in
Italy, Wurtzburg in Franconia, St. Galt in
Switzerland, owe their origin. 0 The
Saxons flocked to Ireland as to a mart of lite-
rature." From Ireland came the most cele-
brated men of those early times, bright and


15




16 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
shining lights in those dark ages. In the
sixth century were founded the three great
schools of Bangor in Down, Clonard in Meath,
and Clonmacnoise on the Shannon. In 603,
St. Carthogh founded the great school of
Lismore on the Blackwater. At Armagh was
a celebrated college.
The Irish clergy differed from those of
Rome. They had no archbishops, acknow-
ledged no pope, were subject to taxation, and
the laws of the country, and held doctrines
which had been severely denounced by Jerome.
These last errors of doctrine which called
forth the anger of the good father were derived
from Celestius, whom he had described as a
blockhead swollen with Irish flummery, a
great corpulent barking dog, fitter to kick with
his heels, than to bite with his teeth, who
deserved to be knocked on the head, and put
to eternal silence.
While Ireland was advancing in literature,
and the fame of her scholars filled the world,
the country was not free from the petty
quarrels of her princes, and the evil consequent
thereon,but now more than this,inward struggle
harassed the land. The Danes invaded Ire.
land, and terror heralded their approach, while
desolation followed them. Terrible fellows
were those old Danes, always at warfare with





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


neighboring nations, swooping down on
lesser birds of prey, and making themselves
dreaded all over England as well as Ireland.
They called themselves kings of the sea, but
other people would have called them pirates,
for the incursions they made; were made for
plunder. They in their quarrels
Spared neither lands nor gold,
Nor limbs, nor life, nor son nor wife
In the good days of old.'
Good days indeed, if theft and murder be the
realization of all the beatitudes, if to devastate
a country, depopulate its villages, plunder its
wealth, and subvert its government, be the
highest style of virtue. Well enough it sounds
to talk of brave old Norse kings, and call
their career one of heroism, and their deaths
deaths of glory; for in a floating fire ship,
surrounded by regal state, those monarchs of
the ocean in their dying hours drifted out to
sea, and perished on the waters; but stripped
of all the romance and poetry which clings
about it, viewed in the bright noonday, and
not in the empurpled dawn, it assumes ano-
ther aspect, and the brave Norse kings become
cruel and merciless plunderers, their lives a
narrative of huge wrong-doing, their fire-ships
no better than the burning pile of the Hindoo
c


17




18 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
widow. Viewed in a right light many of those
old romantic stories sink into insignificance, or
assume another aspect, and well is it to look
at these things as they really were, and not as
they present themselves to us when clothed in
a poetic vesture.
To the Danes, Ireland was what Australia
now is to the rest of the world. It was a fertile
country, a genial climate, and had but a thin
population. The Danes could make an easy
conquest, for they were trained to arms; and
battle was their business. They were pagans,
and they worshipped brute force; every god
was a fighting man; their heaven a company
of fighting heroes, who drank strong ale out
of human sculls; their worship the devotion of
blood and wounds, and their most acceptable
sacrifice a field of slaughter. In the eighth
century these Norsemen began to pillage the
English and Irish coasts. Say the chroniclers,
the stars fought in their courses, and there
were signs in the heavens above, and signs in
the earth beneath. Whirlwinds swept over
the isle of Erin, tore upoher forest trees like
saplings in a giant's hand; thunders loud and
terrible seemed to shake the earth; the wild
waves of the Atlantic beat with unwonted
violence upon her shores, and morq than all,
if report speak true, which it does not, fiery





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


dragons of a wondrous wild and terrible ap-
pearance, flew in the air, and with a hideous
noise settled on her lofty mountain heights.
Then came the Danes, strong, hardy, valorous.
Twice the monastery of lona was burned, and
its shrines plundered; in Roscommon village
homes were desolate, her men slain, her women
captives; the people of Ulster were subdued.
Munster, Ossory, Lismore, bore terrible evi-
dence of the Norsemen's presence. Nine
hundred monks were slaughtered at St.
Comgall; the noble Abbey of Bangor was
destroyed by fire. Armagh was taken and
occupied by the invaders:-
" Pity, O St. Patrick, that thy prayers did not save
When the Danes with their axes were striking thy
derthech."*
All petty quarrels, all civil commotions were
forgotten in the spirit of defence. Faction-
fight lost all its glory, and every hand was
lifted to beat out the Danes, but the rough
invaders were not easily defeated. They
fought as if every man was a host, and every
host, a host invincible. In the Shannon, and
the Barrow, and the Liffey, their vessels proudly
rode. Colonies were established on the coast,
and the people lived on plunder. We thought
Theoratory of the church.


19




WU -.HISTORY 01 IRELAND.
anon of beautiful Ireland, with its green valleys
and fertile fields cursed by the presence of
paganism. Paganism had departed. The
true light shone, the bell for christian worship
had sounded, but the spell of disaster was still
upon Ireland. Here an Abbey lies in ruins,
plundered and destroyed ; here a heap of
smoking ruins, tell where a hamlet lately
stood; here a field of battle with dead un-
buried lies naked and open to the day; here,
where the yellow corn was ripening, all is
desolation; here a flock of gentle bleaters,
here a herd of lowing cattle, are driven forward
by the Norsemen's spears, while their lawful
owner lies dead in the pasture. Unhappy
Ireland, what to her was her mineral wealth,
her fisheries, her fields and valleys, when there
went up a cry from the face of the earth,
lamentation and mourning and woe, a cry
which mingled with the fierce song of the
northern conquerors, echoing from every hill
and mountain pass, and making every heart
to tremble.
As yet the Danish invaders had arrived in
small companies, and every man had done
what was right in his own eyes. But at the
early part of the ninth century a Danish
chief named Turgesius, renowned for his
warlike exploits, arrived with a band of well-




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


trained followers on the Irish coast. At his
appearance all the Danes already in Ireland
flocked to his standard, and submitted to his
authority. He intended to subdue the country
and put it under Danish rule. The wealth of
Ireland became its curse. Enemies were
attracted to its shores, enemies whom its people
were not strong enough to resist. Soon the
whole of Ulster was at the mercy of the Danes.
But the Irish chiefs were again at warfare
among themselves. Petty feuds sprung up
between them. Union is strength. Irish
chiefs forgot all public policy in private ven-
geance, and as the Danish conquest was
extended they still carried on their old disputes,
and one by one were washed away in the
advancing tide. The clergy denounced the
crimes and vices of the people, and declared
that they alone had brought down the ven-
geance of heaven on themselves. People and
princes were in antagonism. Princes with
princes struggled for victory; priests regarded
with indignation both princes and people; a
house divided against itself cannot stand, and
still the Danes advanced, and still the stoutest
hearts began to tremble at the name of
Turgesius.
When Nial Coilne, the king of Ireland.
died, Turgesius seized upon the crown, ana


21





82 HISTORY OF IRELAND*
assumed the sovereignty of the nation. Thirty
years the people groaned in bitterness of
spirit; with brutal oppression they were ground
down to the lowest state of degradation, and
hope died out. Now there lived at that
time a certain O'Melachlin, who had in him
the right stuff for a king, if kings are really
cunning men. Turgesius was assassinated,
and O'Melachlin chosen king; a general
massacre of the Danes followed, and for a
time the brave sea-kings were driven from the
island. All might have gone on well had
not the petty princes still kept up their old
animosities, and insisted on playing the game
of war. Reports of the struggles which were
going on reached the Danes; once more they
determined to descend upon Ireland, but not
as invaders. Kenneth, the Prince of Meath,
was in want of help to triumph over a brother
prince; the Danes volunteered their services,
were accepted, and uniting with the Irish
forces, plundered and laid waste the domains
of the Nials of Connaught. Shortly after-
wards a number of Danish traders came and
established themselves at Dublin, Waterford
and Limerick. These they gradually erected
into fortified towns, and obtained nearly the
whole of the trade of the country. They then
began to extend their rule, and imposed a tax




HISTORY OF IRELAND.
*


called Nose Money, the non-payment of
which was punished by the loss of the nose.
So the old struggle was renewed, a struggle
marked by the utmost cruelty and violence,
in which Hugh Finlaith assumed the crown,
and put out the eyes of the Prince of Meath.
Battle followed battle with variable success;
but in most cases the Danes obtained the
victory. Cormac, king of Munster, is defeated
and slain; Nial Glundubh is killed in battle
with the Danes; the Danish fleet goes round
the coast and takes hostages from the petty
princes; for five-and-twenty years the Irish
monarch Donough is troubled by the incur-
sions of the Northmen. Murkertach defeated
the Danes in a great battle, and slew eighty
of their chieftains. He was one of the most
renowned princes of his age, but at last died
in an engagement with his old enemies. In
fact, nearly every king of Ireland perished in
this way, for in those early days to be-a king
was to be a soldier, and the king not only
made the quarrel, but fought when it was
made. The Danes, aided by the men of
Leinster, made plundering expeditions every
year, but not always with success. In 962
they were beaten by the men of Ossory, and
in 966 sustained a defeat from the Irish king;
but a strange foe was soon to arise, one who


23




24 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
should be the hope of his country, and the
terror of her foes.
Brian Borumha, or Brian Boru, was the
son of Kennedy, the brother of Mahon, king
of Munster. His whole life was spent in the
cause of his oppressed country ; his heart was
filled with ardent love for every inch of that
beautiful land; he longed for the day when
her old institutions should be revived, and her
glory shine out as the morning sun. His
first great decisive victory was at the pass of
Sulcoid, about a day's march from Limerick.
There he inflicted a terrible vengeance on the
Danish invaders, and left three thousand of
*them dead on the field. In the retreat many
more were slain, and together the Danes and the
Irish entered Limerick. There the work of
death was continued, and in the streets and
on the threshold of their own homes many a
proud Norseman breathed out his last. The
town was sacked, the houses burned, the
fortifications destroyed, spoils of gold, silver,
and merchandise carried away. During
several successive years similar triumphs
attended the arms of this hero. Maolmua,
envying the glory thus brought to the king
of Munster, invited that monarch to a con-
ference, where he was carried off by a band
of conspirators and murdered in the mouna




HISTORY OP IRELAND.


tains. So Brian Born ascended the throne,
and brought down signal vengeance on
Maolmua, whom he defeated and slew in a
bloody combat. Brian then turned his atten-
tion toward the Danes. He cleared the
islands of the Shannon till there was not a
Norseman left; he despoiled and laid waste
their stronghold at Iniscarthy. King Malachy
had also routed the Danes, and carried off as
trophies the golden collar of Toma, and the
sword of Carlus. But Brian and Malachy
were at enmity. A warfare was going on
between them. The very same year in which
Malachy seized the Danish trophies, Brian
defeated him in battle. Next year he burned
the royal palace at Tara. In 997 Malachy
and Brian made peace with each other, and
united their forces against the Danes ; but
rivalry still burned in the hearts of each.
With Brian indeed there was generosity, with
Malachy nothing but distrust. He deceived,
betrayed, and injured his colleague in every
way ; laid waste his dominions, and then
sued for peace. At last Brian deposed the
monarch, who quietly took the place of a
subordinate prince, while the hero of Munster
received the homage of the people in the halls
of Tara, and was acknowledged as king ovel
Ireland.


25




N( HISTORY OF IRELAND.
His brightest dream was now to be realized;
his fondest desires fulfilled. He made a
royal progress through his dominions, and was
everywhere hailed with enthusiasm, and joy.
The petty warfare of the princes ceased,
the Danes were awed into submission. Bright
and happy days were those for Ireland. The
shepherds watched their flocks and feared no
evil; herdsmen and tillers of the soil abode
in peace. The fields were rich with golden
corn ripe for the sickle, the sounds of useful
industry rose up from towns and villages, on
the sun-lit waters the boats of the fishermen
were seen as their nets weltered with silvery
spoil; the schools and colleges were opened
afresh, and the churches were once more filled
with the people. It seemed as if men had
beaten their swords into ploughshares, and
their spears into pruning hooks. There was a
steady advancement in both art and science;
commerce was extended, trade prospered,
religion and law were recognized. The funds
of the state were not wasted in useless and
expensive warfare, but in objects of public
utility. So great was the reformation every-
where, that the fable tells us a beautiful
maiden, unattended and clothed in costly
vestments travelled all over Ireland without
any attempt being made to do her any injustice,




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


everywhere received, by people of all classes
and all ages, with respect and attention, though

Rich and rare were the gems she wore,
And a bright gold ring on a wand she bore."

And this is saying much for the honour and
virtue of the people. We have read in eastern
travels of how a pilgrim host have traversed
the vast deserts ; how the hot sun has blazed
down all day upon the burning, parching sand,
how east and west and north and south has
stretched away that same illimitable sand-
plain; nothing but the burning sun above,
nothing but the burning sand below ; not a
tree, a leaf, a flower, and worse than all, not
one drop of cooling water; and how with
weary limbs and aching eyes, and suffering
the most parching thirst, the travellers have
come at length upon a green spot in the
desert, where the grass sprang up luxuriantly,
mingled here and there with wild flowers ;
where tall trees have cast their refreshing
shadow, and where the water-springs have
bubbled upward, giving life and joy and hope
Such a scene as this is near akin to the reign
of Brian Boru. That reign of peace, order
and happiness, is us the green oasis in the
desert of Irish history, for all around is nothing


27





ZE HISTORY OF IRELAND.
but the barren sand-plain of foreign warfare
and intestine struggle.
But during this peaceful and happy period
the Danes were busied in plotting and con-
triving to overthrow Brian Boru. They sent
envoys in every direction to solicit help from
the northern powers. From Scotland and its
islands, from Shetland and the Isle of Man,
from Denmark, Norway, and other Scandina-
vian regions, a vast multitude poured forth.
An invading fleet arrived off the Irish coast,
a country which, says a French chronicler,
"contained twelve cities, most ample bishop-
rics, and abundant wealth." Brian had now
grown old, but martial glory still dwelt in his
heart: he immediately prepared for the de-
fence of his country. He marched directly
to the plain of Dublin, and encamped on the
high ground at Kilmainham. He then des-
patched a portion of his army to attack the
king of Leinster, who had joined with the
invaders. It was to Brian and his army a
holy season, that season which the church
had appointed in remembrance of Christ's
death. It was on Good Friday, April 23rd,
1014, that the Irish forces encountered the
band of adventurers on the plain of Clontarf,
to the north of Dublin. The morning sun
looked down upon the gathered host, and




HISTORY OF TRELAND. 29
each man felt the importance of the struggle.
There a thousand strong are the Northmen,
clad in coats of steel from head to foot, and
commanded by two Norwegian princes; with
them are the Danes of Dublin, men trained
to battle, and loving nothing so well as the
fight. There the forces of the king of
Leinster, commanded by the monarch in
person, and joined by a large battalion of
Danes. There a mixed multitude from Scot-
land, Shetland, Britain, and Wales, under
*their own princes, all with high enthusiasm,
all anxious for the fray, true Northmen, with
the spirit of the thunder-god, ready to smite
poor Ireland into a thousand pieces. Here
was the army of Brian divided into three
bodies. The first, commanded by his son
Morough, and composed of the men of
Meath, the Delgais, and a body of men from
Western Connaught. In the second division
were troops from the south of Ireland, com-
manded by O'Carroll, prince of Orgiall, and
the prince of Fermanagh. The third division
was commanded by O'Connor, son of the
king of Connaaght. When all was arranged
in the Irish army, there was a dead pause;
suddenly the silence was broken; a sound
arose not unlike the murmuring of the wind
in a sea-shell, but a sound which swelled




OU HISTORY 01 IRELAND.
louder and louder .into a mighty shout that
spread from rank to rank as an old white-
headed man passed before the line of troops.
It was Brian Boru. He exhorted the men to
be of good courage, to remember their former
heroism, to remember the cruelty and oppres-
sion of their invaders, to smite for their
faith, their homes, their happiness. "The
Blessed Trinity," said he, "hath at length
looked down upon our sufferings, and given
you the power this day to cast out at once
and for ever the tyranny of the Danes over
Ireland; thus punishing them for their in-
numerable crimes and sacrileges, by the
avenging power of the sword." And while
he spoke he held high up before them a
crucifix dipped in blood ; high above his head
he held it, and in the other waved his sword,
saying, Was it not on this day Christ him-
self suffered death for you ?" He then gave
the signal for action, and the battle began.
Brian was eighty-eight year sold; too old
to engage in the struggle. He retired to
his tent in the vicinity of the field of action,
and throughout that day he remained for the
most part alone. He listened to the sounds
of the battle, to the clash of swords and the
clatter of hoofs, and the shouts and party
cries which arose from the scene of strife.




HISTORY OF ILELAND.


Those sounds awakened all his old military
ardour. He was young again while he listened
to them, and as he looked down upon the
battling heroes in that fierce struggle, and
saw the nodding plumes and waving pennons,
and the air darkened with the showers of
arrows,-old thoughts, old feelings, came
rushing back upon him. As the sun went
down, and he watched its last expiring ray, a
shout from the battle-field proclaimed the
issue of the fight. The Danes retreated,
fled in precipitate haste; the old man lifted
up his hands to heaven and joined in the
shout, then down he sank to prayer, and with
the bloody crucifix before him poured forth
his thanks for the victory achieved; but while
he yet was kneeling, the hangings of his tent
were lifted and a fugitive Dane rushed in.
In a moment the king lay at his mercy, the
dagger was buried to its hilt in the body of
the sovereign, and flourishing that blade still
warm with his victim's blood, the murderer
exclaimed, "Let it be proclaimed from man
to man that Brian has fallen by the hand of
Bruadair!" The assassin was seized, and
died a death of lingering torture.
In the memorable battle of Clontarf an
immense number of leaders fell on both
sides. The number of Irish killed is un-


81




32 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
certain, the loss of the Danes is estimated at
more than six thousand. The victory was deci-
sive, but its glory was tarnished by the death of
Brian Boru. Slowly on the following day,
slowly and solemnly his remains were borne
by the monks of St. Columba, to the monastery
of Swords, from thence to the monastery of
St. Ciaran, thence to Louth, where the bishop
of Armagh awaited their coming, and in the
cathedral of which city they were buried with
great pomp and solemnity. In the meantime
the wounded were conveyed to Kilmainham.
The remains of the army having then
collected proceeded homewards with their
wounded companions, but were stopped in
Ossory by M'Gilla Patrick, who commanded
that they should submit to his authority. ere
they were permitted to pass through his
territory. The messengers from M'Gilla
Patrick demanded hostages or battle. Let
it then be battle," said the son of Brian,
"for never yet was it heard that a prince of
the race of Brian gave hostages to a M'Gilla
Patrick !"
The busy -note of preparation sounded
through the camp. Some of the bravest were
ordered to take care of the sick, but the
wounded disdained protection; they




HISTORY OP IRELAND.


Remembered the glories of Brian the brave,
Though the days of the hero were o'er,
Though lost to Momonia, and cold in his grave,
He returned to Kinkora no more.
The star of the field, which so often had poured
Its beam on the battle, was set,
But enough of its glory remained on each sword
To light them to victory yet."
"Let stakes," cried the wounded, be
fixed in the ground, and to each of them let
one of us be firmly tied, holding our swords
in our hands." This was done, and when the
men of Ossory saw it, their hearts were
softened and they gave way, and permitted
Brian's army to pass on unmolested.
The period which succeeded was again
characterized by the old feuds and party war-
fare. The family of Brian still maintained
an ascendancy, but it was by constant and
destructive warfare. The king of Norway
attempted to conquer the island, but failed.
It was a season of turbulence and oppression;
the strong hand had the best of it; force
overturned law and order, and bloodshed and
anarchy spread over the land.


D


33





34


EPOCH THE SECOND
FROM A.D. 1171 TO 18/7.


THE christianity of the Irish people was
not altogether that sort of christianity which
was consonant to the Roman see. Their
teachers had not been knocked on the head
and put to eternal silence, as we have seen
Jerome charitably desired, and they had
enough of the "corpulent barking dog" to
refuse allegiance to the pontiff. They man-
aged their church affairs independent of the
popedom. They appointed and consecrated
bishops without a papal bull, they had greater
reverence for St. Patrick than they had
for St. Peter, and loved their beautiful
mountains more than the seven hills of the
eternal city. So the pope looked askance on
Irish christians. England had submitted;
France and Germany knelt at his feet; all
the continent did his will; but Ireland still
maintained its independency, and preached
and prayed and praised as it thought best.




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


The pope regarded the Irish christians as little
better than pagans, and when Henry II. of
England submitted his project for the conquest
of Ireland to Pope Adrian IV., that monarch's
message was graciously received and replied
to in the following bull.
Adrian, bishop, servant of the servants of
God, to his very dear son in Christ Jesus, the
illustrious king of England, apostolical greet-
ing and benediction.
"Thou hast communicated unto us, our
very dear son in Jesus Christ, that thou
wouldst enter into the island of Hibernia, to
subject that land to obedience to laws, to
extirpate the seeds of vice, and also to pro-
cure the payment there to the blessed apostle
Peter of the annual tribute of a penny for
each house. Granting this thy laudable and
pious desire the favour which it merits, we
hold it acceptable that for the extension of
the limits of the holy church, the propagation
of the christian religion, the correction of
morals, and the sowing the seeds of virtue,
thou make thy entrance into that island and
then execute at thy discretion whatever thou
shalt think proper for the honour of God and
the salvation of souls. Let, therefore, the
people of that country receive and honour
thee as their sovereign lord and master, saving


35





36 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
the rights of the church, which must remain
untouched, as also the annual tribute of one
penny from each house due to the blessed
Peter; for it is beyond a doubt (and thy
noble nature has itself recognized the truth
thereof) that all the islands upon which
Christ the Sun of Justice hath shone, and
which have been taught the doctrines of, the
faith, belong of lawful right to St. Peter and
the most holy and sacred church of Rome.
If then thou think fit to put in execution
what thou hast conceived in thy thoughts,
use thy endeavours to form the people to
good morals, and let the church in that
country, as well by thine efforts, as by those
of men of acknowledged sufficiency in faith
in words and in life, be adorned with fresh
lustre; let the true religion of Christ be
planted there and increase; in a word, let
everything which concerns the honour of God
and the salvation of souls be by thy prudence
so ordered that thou shalt become worthy of
obtaining in heaven a reward everlasting, and
upon earth a name illustrious and glorious in
all ages."
This to modern notions seems a very
strange method of procedure, but it was a
way the popes had with them in the good old
times, mixing up. piety, Peter's pence, and





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


persecution in a manner marvellous to relate.
Here a whole nation was given over to the
spoiler to have their morals mended by
English pikes and broadswords, to have their
doctrines set right by bows and bills, and to
have their notions of christianity improved
and enlarged by soldiers of fortune and men-
at-wms. A very arbitrary measure was this
of Adrian's, and certainly very unlike the
sort of letter that Simon Peter, the fisher-
man, was wont to write to christian people,
and a sore blow it was for Ireland, and a sad
day when the missive was duly signed and,
sealed and forwarded to the English monarch.
But for a long time it lay harmless in the
royal treasury, and not until certain unforeseen
events brought a desirable opportunity was it
exhibited to the world.
Dermot M'Murrough, king of Leinster,
was a terror to the whole land: active, ambi-
tious, and cruel. The horrors which he com-
mitted are too fearful to relate. His battle-
cry made many a stout heart quake, and the
story of his doings blanched the cheeks of
old and young. He had quarrelled with
O'Ruarc, the prince of Breffny, and many a
hamlet, calm and cheerful in its happy in-
dustry as the red sun sank, was a blackened
ruin before the morning. When men saw a


87





38 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
ruddy glow in the sky they knew that Dermot
was revenging himself on O'Ruarc, or
O'Ruarc on Dermot M'Murrough. Now
O'Ruarc had a beautiful wife, and he loved
her very dearly, but affairs of state led him
away from his home, and he was obliged to
leave her behind him. His house was on an
island surrounded, or nearly so, by a deep
bog, and hence he thought she would escape
detection. Every night, in her turret window,
a lamp was to be placed, that he might see it
on his return and know that all was well.
So time passed on; but when at last the
gallant cavalier came back there was no light
in the turret, no soldier on the rampart, no
retainer in the hall, no loving voice, no
smiling face, no eyes of tenderness, no cheer-
ful greeting. He flew to the room of his
beautiful bride, but all was dark and still.
The truth flashed upon his mind; Dermot
had been there; his castle had been taken,
and his wife had proved unfaithful, and fled
with his foe. It was too true. The vengeance
of the injured man was terrible. With the
assistance of the king of Connaught he in-
vaded the dominion of Dermot. The wretched
people fell victims to his wrath; he knew no
mercy; Dermot was defeated, and driven




.HISTORY OF IRELAND. 89
from the kingdom an exile and a wanderer on
the face of the earth.
Dermot proceeded to Guienne in France,
where England's king, Henry II., was then
residing. Henry received him with favour,
listened to the story with attention, doubtless
thinking of his own fair Rosamond in Wood-
stock bower, and moreover considering this a
favourable time for beginning the invasion of
Ireland which he had long delayed. He pre-
sented the fugitive with splendid presents, and
gave him a letter authorising any of his
English subjects to join Dermot against the
Irish, and with the kindest wishes for his
success, bid him farewell. So Dermot came
to Bristol, and soon afterwards met with a
certain Earl Strongbow, a great military lord
and soldier of fortune. He was a young
man of great talent and vigour, ready to en-
gage in any enterprise which promised money
and renown. To him Dermot made earnest
application. If any man could subdue Ireland
Strongbowwas that man; Dermotwould give his
fortune, influence, honour, aye, even his beau-
tiful daughter Eva, whose charms the harpers
sang, and for a smile from whose lips many a
gallant Irishman would have walked to
Palestine and done battle with the Turks,-
yes, all he asked was help, and Strongbow





40 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
should have Eva, aye, more, he should be heir
to his domain, and reign king over Leinster.
The earl received the proposal favourably,
but waited for special licence from the absent
king. Meanwhile Dermot found other friends.
The two Fitz-Stephens were young men of
high rank, ready to break a lance with the
noblest knight that was ever clad in harness.
These young heroes he engaged in his service,
and then secretly returned to Ireland. One
dark, cold, cheerless winter's night, he landed
on the Irish coast, and passed unobserved to
the monastery of Ferns. But his arrival was
soon made known. The rumour of his return
spread far and wide ; concealment was impos-
sible ; and at the head of his small band of ad-
herents, he seized upon that part of his territory
which extended along the Slaney from New-
town Barry to Wexford. Roderic O'Connor
was soon in arms against him, but )ermot
retired to the woods and mountains, avoiding
a close engagement till reinforcements should
arrive. At last came Robert Fitz-Stephen.
He was accompanied by thirty knights, sixty
men in armour, and three hundred archers.
A few hours later came Maurice de Prender-
gast, with two hundred bowmen, and ten
knights. These all joined, and made open
attack on the town of Wexford.





HISTORY OF IRELAND. 41
A gallant show they made as they gathered
before the walls of the town. The knights,
clothed in complete armour, which gaily
flashed in the rays of the sun, were mounted
on stout, beautiful horses, clothed like the
knights, in armour, and having a long sharp
steel point protruding from the breast. Each
knight carried on his left arm an oval shield,
and his weapons were a long lance, a dagger, and
a two-edged sword. The men-at-arms were clad
in coats of steel; and the archers, with their
long bows, and cloth-yard shafts, were clad in
quilted jackets of mail, with helmets on their
heads. Strangely different was this gallant
array from the rude weapons and armour of
the Irish soldiers. Armour they had scarcely
any, and the weapons were commonly a pike,
two javelins or darts, and a long knife called
a skene. Their Scythian hatchets were indeed
terrible weapons, but their bows and arrows
were so short as to render but little service.
Dermot- and the Normans laid siege to
Wexford; but with small success. In the
plain their victory would have been certain,
but in a siege they were comparatively pow-
erless. At last the city was betrayed into
their hands, and a terrible slaughter ensued.
Then came days of feasting and revelry. The
men of Ossory were defeated: three hundred




42 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
heads had been brought to Dermot, who had
them laid on the ground, and danced around
them with savage joy. He then proceeded to
waste the land of his enemies, and against
the Danes exercised peculiar enmity. They
had treacherously murdered his father, and
buried his body with the carcass of a dog;
he had sworn vengeance, and urgent entreaties
sent he to Earl Strongbow, for English aid.
The earl listened to the request, and pretending
to interpret the silence of Henry II. into
acquiescence, he sent Raymond le Gros, with
ten knights, and seventy archers, to Dundonolf,
near the city of Waterford; thither, with
twelve hundred men, he proceeded shortly
afterwards, and then the fighting began in
earnest. Raymond le Gros was for striking
terror into the Irish. At Dundonolf he had
routed three thousand men, slain five hundred
with the sword, and cast numbers headlong
into the sea; and now having made prisoners
seventy of the people of Waterford, he had
their limbs broken, and then thrown into
the ocean. The city was soon subdued, and
young and old, and rich and poor, and wise
and simple, died together. Two men of high
renown were indeed spared at the solicitation
of Dermot's daughter; who, at the same
time, received Strongbow as her future hus-




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


band. Amid the smoking ruins,.and bloody
traces of the siege, the marriage was celebrated
at once, and then the army marched for Dublin.
Dublin shared the fate of Waterford, and its
streets were thronged with the dead and the
dying; a few, but a very few, escaped to the
Orkneys, and O'Connor, the king, marched off
on a marauding expedition, in which he was
followed by Dermot and Strongbow. Villages,
towns, and hamlets, became but smouldering
ruins; fields of plenty fields of blood. Glory
is written in strange characters; in widows'
tears, and orphans' cries, and homes deserted,
and in unhonoured graves, in broken swords,
and blighted hopes, hollow promises end cruel
wrong. But is it really glory that marches
through a land of beauty and leaves it black
and scathed ? Is it really glory to trample
down, with iron heel, the flowers of goodness,
purity and peace? To make all honest
industry lay idle ? To bring want and famine
to a land of plenty ? To lift the hand of
violence and death, and cover God's beautiful
earth with that condemning crimson stain
which dashed the naked feet of Cain ? To
Mars, the god of war, the ancients used to
consecrate the fiercest and most ravenous
creatures;-the horse for his vigour, the
wolf for his rapaciousness, the dog for his


43





44 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
vigilance, -and the vulture for preying on
human flesh. His statues were never crowned
with boughs of trees, but with long grass which
had grown in places irrigated by human blood,
or in towns which war had left without inhab-
itants. Rightly they called him the enemy of
Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and art,
because war tramples on them as well as on
learning and justice.
And like a true worshipper of the old
heathen god, Strongbow marched through
Ireland, and left his foot-prints everywhere,
devastating Meath and Breffny with fire and
sword, not sparing even the churches. The
Irish released all English prisoners, imagining
that the wrath of heaven was upon them ; but
this in no way abated the cruelty of Strongbow,
nor the fierceness of Dermot, and the warfare
still continued with unabated fury. In France
Henry II. had heard with pleasure of the
English success, but now he began to see in
Strongbow a dangerous rival, so he ordered
all his liegemen to return to England, on pain
of the forfeiture of their lands and chattels,
and forbad any English vessel to touch on the
Irish coast. Strongbow, thus deprived of
help, began to negotiate peace with the Irish,
and sent his lieutenant, Raymond le Gros, to
pacify the English king. The king at first




HISTORY OF IRBLAND.


refused to listen, and commanded the immedi-
ate return of Strongbow; but at last the
whole of the possessions which had been
acquired in Ireland having been surrendered
into his hands, and Strongbow having sub-
mitted entirely to the king's pleasure, a
reconciliation was effected; his possessions,
which the king had confiscated,were restored to
him, and Dermot having died, and Strongbow
succeeded as heir, his title was recognized as
Earl of Leinster.
Henry now prepared for the invasion of
Ireland. He was resolved as a very dear
son in Jesus Christ," to obey the pope's behest,
and subject Hibernia to obedience and the
payment of Peter's pence. It seemed good
to the king also, For the honour of God, and
salvation of souls," to tax all England, to pay
for the invasion, preparations for which were
made on a very extensive scale. Among a num-
ber of smaller items in the pipe roll of 1171,
there is one of 333. 6s. 8d. to John the
marshal, to carry over the king to Ireland;
and 200 to the king's chamberlain to bring
his majesty from that country: there is also
12. 10s. for a hundred pounds of wax;
5. 18s. 7d. for five hundred and sixty-nine
pounds of almonds; 1. 6s. 2d. for adorning
and gilding the king's swords. The royal


45




46 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
army met on the western coast of Pembroke-
shire. It was a missionary expedition, and
devoutly the king and his courtiers worshipped
in the church of St. David's. They commended
their cause to heaven, they undertook the
expedition in the name of God, they did it for
the increase of holy church; did it, said they,
by divine right; but, alas, it looked more
like a diabolical wrong. Every soldier was to
be a missionary of the Prince of Peace; rather
an extensive mission, by the way, for it included
four hundred ships, five hundred knights, and
four thousand men-at-arms. They sailed from
Milford Haven, and landed at Waterford on
the 18th of October, 1171. No opposition
was offered to the royal progress; one after
another the various chiefs submitted as his
vassals; Henry marched with great pomp at
the head of his army to Lismore. He ordered
a castle to be erected at the Blackwater, and
after two days proceeded to Cashel. There he
was met by the archbishop, and hailed as the
friend of the church. O'Brien, king of
Thomond, surrendered the city of Limerick;
the Princes of Ossory and Decies submitted in
like manner. The king then marched to
Dublin, and found it almost deserted. There
he ordered a palace to be erected of wood,
polished and painted in the Irish fashion.




HISTORY OF JRELAND.


Henry adopted the title of Lord of all
Hibernia, and summoned the kings and
petty princes of the land to submit to him as
their sovereign master. Many flocked to
Dublin, and kneeling before the king placed
their hands between his hands as a token of
homage and fealty. But the king of Con-
naught refused to repair to the court, saying
that he himself was monarch of all Ireland.
He collected an army and made a show of
resistance, and the mountains and morasses
enabled him both to elude and harass the
English troops. But the chief part of the
Irish nation submitted to the Anglo-Norman
yoke. In high state Henry kept his court,
and the grandeur of his courtiers, the costli-
ness of his furniture, the magnificence of his
retinue, the valour of his soldiers, the sump-
tuousness of his feasts, excited the admiration
of the people. Never before had those people
looked upon such splendour; as far as gran-
deur was concerned, it far eclipsed the glory
of Brian Boru. The strains of the Norman
music filled their hearts with delight, the
songs of the minstrels were listened to with
admiration, the curious sports of the period,
unknown in Ireland, were a source of constant
wonderment, but more than all the pomp of
piety attracted their attention. Their worship


47




405 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
had been conducted with comparative sim-
plicity, but the Anglo-Norman priests and
bishops exhibited a grandeur never surpassed
in the service of the altar. Their costly robes
and jewelled mitres, their golden crooks and
chalices of precious metal, the incense rising
upward and flung about by boys clothed all
in spotless white, the music of the mass, the
lifting of the host, the adoration of the multi-
tude-deeply impressed the Irish people. At
Cashel a synod was held, a great missionary
meeting, to introduce the true christian faith.
There the letter from the pope was read, and
the Irish clergy acknowledged its authority.
As to reformation, it was at first difficult to
find anything to reform in the primitive sim-
plicity of the Irish church, but at last it was
stated that children were baptized by immer-
sion in milk; a great mistake, by-the-way,
but something that gave occasion for the synod
to forbid it. One or two other matters of a
like nature were decreed, and Ireland having
been. brought under the papal see, the refor-
mation was said to be complete, a reformation
which had cost so much blood and so much
misery, and was only the sad pretext for inva-
sion and wrong doing.
How much injustice, cruelty and wrong
have been done in the name of religion !





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


How many black spots on the page of history
are associated with the Gospel! Here a
massacre, there a crusade; here a martyr-fire,
there an outcast family; here under Char-
lemagne the converted Britons are sacrificed
for refusing to acknowledge the Bishop of
Rome; there the inhabitants of the Isle of
Wight are converted being threatened with
death if they refuse compliance; here thirty
Baptists are whipped through Oxford and
starved to death in the open fields; there the
Hebrews are attacked with swords and clubs,
and their dwellings fired so that the poor old
birds are burnt in their nests; here Jewish
women drown themselves in the blue Moselle
for fear of Christian chivalry; there by one
another's hands die all the Jews of York
for fear of Christian mercy; here men are
said to be savouring of the frying pan because
they refuse to accept peculiar teachings; there
Rome converts with fire and faggot, and
English reformers retaliate with iron collars
and blazing brands; here nonconformists are
hanged, whipped, set in the pillory with their
ears cut off, there Covenanters are shot down
like wild fowl on the hills of Scotland, and all
this is done in the name of the religion of
Jesus Christ. 0 Religion! 0 Humanity 0
E


49




50 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
Justice what atrocities are committed in
your names.
While matters went on thus in Ireland,
Henry II. was suddenly informed that his
presence was necessary in England. It must
be recollected that Archbishop Becket, whose
pride, ambition, and independence had excited
the anger of the monarch, had been murdered
at Canterbury; it was said with the connivance
of Ienry. This had of course brought down
upon him the severe censure of the church.
The pope resented the death of the archbishop
as a high offence against all ecclesiastical
dignity. Henry's political rivals had laid
hold of this charge and endeavoured to over-
throw his power, so that his crown and kingdom
were in a critical position. The king of
France wrote to the pope saying, Let the
sword of St. Peter be drawn from the scab-
bard to avenge the martyr of Canterbury; for
his blood cries in the ears of the universal
church and demands satisfaction of her."
The Count of Blois wrote to the pontiff in a
similar strain, saying, The blood of the
church has been shed; the dogs of the court,
the familiars, the domestics of the king of
England, have made themselves the ministers
of his crime. Most holy father, the blood of
the just cries to you; may the Almighty




HISTORY OF IRELAND. 51
Father inspire you with the will and grant
you the power to avenge it." These letters
might be put into very different language and
yet convey their real meaning. What they
meant was this :-" Give us authority to
do battle with Henry; side with us in seizing"
his crown, overturning his throne, invading
his land, emptying his treasury, burning his
palaces, slaying his people, ruining his country,
and making it our own." The court of Rome
made a great clamour, but when the cardinals
had seen the king's gold, and really it is
astonishing what gold will do, they became
much more tractable, and two of their body
were sent to Normandy to set the matter
straight.
It was the arrival of the cardinals that
necessitated Henry quitting Ireland, which he
did, leaving it under the care of Hugh de
Lacy. Articles of peace were soon concluded
between him and the court of Rome; the
promises he made he took on oath to execute
honestly and without mal engine that is, an
evil mind. He then received absolution; the
bishop was made a saint, and when the letter
of canonization was read in Westminster Hall,
all men who had been formerly whipped
and pilloried if they said a word in favour of.
the bishop were called upon to reverence him





52 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
as a saint and martyr. But the priests and
laymen had pliable consciences, and when
they knew it was the will of the pope, they
sang the canticle of rejoicing, melting at last
into tears and saying, "Alas! alas! unhappy
that we are; we did not reverence our father
as we ought to have done. We confess our
error and iniquity." So everybody was
satisfied and Henry was again invested with
authority to subdue Ireland, while all who
dared to dispute the right of the king and his
heirs were excommunicated and handed over,
body and soul, to the powers of darkness.
We have seen that Henry left Ireland under
the care of Hugh de Lacy, who was created
Lord of Meath, and eight hundred thousand
acres of the best land were bestowed upon
him. But the conquest of Ireland was not
complete. Henry did not leave behind one
Irish heart that loved him, one Irish hand to
do him service; he had established a little
England on the eastern coast of Ireland, but
that was all. Strong enough were the Irish
to have beaten out their foes; they wanted
not for courage, but the inward struggle
betrayed them; shivered into fragments by
party quarrels they could make no stand
against a united force, every man's hand was
against his brother, and clasbip got the bette





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


of patriotism. It was the glory of Roman con-
quest that the conquered and the conquerors
were soon amalgamated, and that both learned
to regard Rome as a friend; but the English
pursued a different policy with regard to the
Irish. There they made it their business to
render the difference between the victors and
the vanquished as apparent as possible, and
in their daily conduct, in their laws and
customs, to preserve the identity of both.
A long period of aggression, suffering and
intolerance followed ; a severe struggle
between the Irish and the Anglo-Norman
lords. The records of thaftime give a shock-
ing account of the state of the unhappy
country; the jealousy of contending chiefs,
the intolerance of the conquerors, the misery
of the conquered ; treachery and murder
revenged by treachery and murder; the
English settlers regarded as a common enemy.
European chivalry was attracting the attention
of the world. War was waged against the
infidels of the east. The crusaders were on
their way to Palestine, and the troubadours
were singing of knightly exploits. The
crusaders sang as they marched on their
victorious way, The wood of the cross is the
banner of our chief; it is the standard which
our army follows." The whole world rang


53




54 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
with applause, but Ireland had no share in
those battles, triumphs and defeats. Her
own land was her only battle-plain; her own
fair fields were fields of carnage, her forests
were the hiding-places of her chiefs; on rocky
crags and mountain-tops her great men were
concealed. Not a village but bore some
evidence of Anglo-Norman vengeance; a head
or limb of a noble champion rotting and
blackening in the sun; a gibbet with some
gallant chieftain swaying to and fro. Far
away men fighting for the holy sepulchre and
doing battle in the name of Christ; and here at
home, a noble heated christian people were
beaten down and trampled in the dust.
O'Ruarc of Breffny, had obtained the king-
dom of Meath, but his right was set aside, and
his land bestowed on Hugh de Lacy. A con-
ference was held, each party accompanied by
a stipulated number of attendants. In that
conference O'Ruarc attempted to slay de Lacy
with a ponderous axe. A short and terrible
contest ensued, which ended in the defeat of
O'Ruarc, whose head was cut off and sent to
Henry, while his body was gibbeted with his
feet uppermost-" a woeful spectacle to the
Irish." Strongbow with his men-at-arms
played havoc in the land; he rewarded his
soldiers by permitting them to pay themselves




HISTORY Of IRELAND. 65
by foraging on the Irish. Unhappy Irish!
miserable Ireland! rent by contending fac-
tions, her fame, her glory, her commerce and
her industry all blighted and checked by bale-
ful feuds, and Anglo-Norman lords. We read
of feasts to which Irish chiefs were invited,
and at which they were cruelly slain ; of false
promises and hollow-hearted greetings, of a
black tempest of calamity that swept over the
land, but the genius of the people was not
destroyed, they were still the same noble,
gallant, light-hearted men as gathered round
the throne of Brian Boru.
A writer of that period says that the Irish
were a most filthy race, not understanding
even the common rudiments of faith, but the
only proofs which he brings forth are-that
they refused to pay tithes, or to bring first
offerings! He contemptuously remarked that
they had but few martyrs in their calendar,
and they replied that their countrymen were
not so wicked as to kill the servants of the Lord,
but that now with Englishmen among them,
and Henry for their king, they might expect
martyrs enough.
When Prince John came to Ireland with his
young courtiers all in the height of the Nor-
man mode, with short cloaks, shaven beards,
and curled hair-the Irish nobility flocked to




56 HISTORY ^FP IRBLAND.
do him homage, but so different was their cos-
tume from these models of fashion, so strange
were their uncouth robes, their bushy beards
and long hair, that the gay courtiers could not
restrain their laughter, and even went so far
as to repulse them with every mark of contempt,
some even-droll fellows that they were !-
plucked their beards as they turned them from
the royal apartments. The Irish lords had
not a natural aptitude for having their beards
plucked, so they raised a revolt, which was
attended with very fearful consequences to the
English. De Lacy, while giving directions
concerning the erection of a castle, had his
head struck off by an Irish labourer. O'Con-
nor, of the bloody hand, seized the crown of
Ireland, and O'Brian of Thomond, won a
great victory over the English at Thurles.
John was recalled, but the rivalries of the
Anglo-Norman lords, their cruel exactions on
the Irish, the threatening posture of the coun-
try induced him, when king, to return to
Ireland. This time John brought with him
" discreet men, skilled in the laws, by whose
advice he commanded the laws of England to
be obeyed in Ireland, and left the said laws,
reduced into writing, under his seal in the
Fxchequer of Dublin." But during the whole
of the reign of John and his successor, Henry




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


III., the people of the country were still
regarded as the Irish enemy," and the privi-
leges which John had granted theirs only in
name.
Edward, son of Henry III., got a grant of
Ireland from his father on condition that it
should never be separated from the English
crown. The Irish were then frequently called
upon to fight for the English sovereign against
freedom in Scotland and Wales. This was to
them a hard and dishonourable fate. In India
they capture wild elephants by the sagacity of
tame ones, the captured elephant is made the
betrayer of the free-so Edward Longshanks
served the Irish, not only slaves themselves,
but tools in his hands to make slaves of others.
Ireland was still torn by civil warfare all through
the reign of Edward I. When Robert de
Ufford, the lieutenant of Ireland, was called to
account for permitting the factions to destroy
each other, he answered that he thought it not
amiss to let rebels murder one another, as it
would save the king's coffers, and purchase
peace for the land. The people prayed that
English law might be extended to them.
100,000 were offered him on condition that
he would grant their request. They had been
deprived of their own laws, and the will of their
conquerors was the only law they now knew.


57




58 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
" Crimes were sanctioned by theletter of the law,
and a host of evils let loose by its spirit." If
an Englishman murdered an Irishman it was
considered no crime: no native widow of an
Englishman could claim a dower. Any
English lord could set aside the will of his
native subjects, and dispose of their property
as he pleased. Killing was no sin. Father
Simon, a brother of the bishop of Connor,
stated, that the killing of an Irishman was so
slight a matter, that he would not hesitate to
say mass immediately after doing so. A
council was held to take into consideration the
offer of the Irish people, but their application
was finally refused.
So looking abroad for foreign help the at-
tention of all Ireland was drawn toward
Robett Bruce, the Scottish hero. They heard
of his courage and daring, and sought his help,
offered their nation, tendered.the crown, would
he but free them from Anglo-Norman rule.
Bruce consented, but the struggle was ineffec-
tual. In Scotland he found the truest unity,
in Ireland discord and confusion. After a
long campaign, he returned to Scotland with-
out being able to render the Irish any efficient
aid. Still they lay at the mercy of their
conquerors, without help and without hope.
John O'Neil, the Irish king of Ulster, wrote




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


to the pope concerning the state of the nation,
and detailing the wrongs it suffered. How its
people were driven from their homes, and com-
pelled to take shelter in the mountains,
marshes, woods and caverns of the rocks ; how
there was no law fPr their protection, no justice
to which to appeal, but in place of both a de-
testable code which made their very nationality
a high crime and misdemeanor; how the
first men of the nation had been invited to
banquets and treacherously killed; and con-
cluding with expressing a determination to
resist to the end. We cherish in our breasts
an inveterate hatred, produced by lengthened
recollections of injustice, by the murder of our
fathers, brothers and kindred, and which will
not be extinguished in our time, nor in that of
our sons. So long as we have life we will
fight against the English-we will make war
upon them to the death, to recover the inde-
pendence which is our natural right; being
compelled thereto by very necessity, and
willing rather to face danger like brave men
than to languish under insults."
Four hundred years ago this promise of war
to the, death was made, but it is not yet forgot-
ten, and it is a melancholy fact but worthy of
remark,that in our own days blood has flowed
in Ireland from the old quarrel of the conquest,


59




60


EPOCH THE THIRD.

FROM A.D. 1327 TO A.D. 1558.


IT was the hour of vespers. The sun was
sinking to his rest, and gilding the clouds of
coming night with his departing glory. There
was a beautiful calmness over every thing, and
as the people gathered round the altar of a
village church, they felt the solemnity of the
hour. Long drawn shadows fell upon the
pavements of the aisle, and here and there the
light fell on a sculptured tomb or tattered flag.
The strains of the evening worship rose upward
from that little assembly-for not more than
eighty were within the church-the priest, a
mild and venerable man, stretched forth his
hands to bless the kneeling throng, the holy
name of God was on his lips, and old and young
bent down before him. Suddenly a loud, wild
shout was heard without, a shout that echoed
far and wide, and made every heart tremble.
The men started upward and seized their wea-





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


pons, which lay upon the ground; the women
and children huddled together in terror and
dismay-a moment-and that quiet village
church was thronged with an armed multitude,
an ocean of brute force, more merciless than
wild Atlantic waves.
Stand back," cried one of the worshippers,
a tall, strong built fellow, as he planted him-
self before the altar, "You stand on holy
ground, stand back, in heaven's name !"
But the throng of wild Irishmen pressed
around him. "Do as ye will with us," he
cried, "but lay no hand upon the priest."
The other worshippers caught up his words,
but no answer was returned. Again a shout
of vengeance, that made the blood run cold.
" War to the death-no English lords-no
hollow-hearted bishops-death death !" A
short and terrible struggle followed, lighted
brands cast upon the scene a strange, unearthly
light, the priest above his head held up the
host, and charged them in the holy name, to
honour the sanctity of the place, but a ruffian
dashed the silver vessel from his hand, and
planted a dagger in his heart. Shouts and
cries arose from every side, the shrill shriek
of womanhood, the infant's feeble wail, the
bitter defiance of men, the sharp clash of
awvods and knives, and then the cry of fire.


61





62 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
The church was fired, higher and higher mount
the flames, casting their red and lurid glare
for many a mile around, making that happy,
peaceful spot, a scathed and blackened ruin.
Such scenes as this were common in the
warfare of that age. Vengeance knows no
gallantry, no sanctity, no mercy, and no true
courage. All over th.e country the Irish peo-
ple had arisen and bettered the example which
Anglo-Norman lords had taught them. The
story of the horrible outrages committed filled
the minds of men with fear and trembling, and
well they might.
Edward the Third was king. Chivalry was
at its height; minstrels sang of knightly valour
and of lady's love; the monarch fought with
bravery unparalleled, and brought fresh hon-
our to the British arms ; his court was the
noblest and the most magnificent of any king
in christendom, but still Ireland felt none of
his glory, the sun of his glory was ever eclipsed
to her. Many of the English who had settled
in Ireland had united themselves by marriage
with the people, had extended their influence,
and were in their own way petty princes.
Edward resolved that this should last no longer.
He dreaded the power of the Anglo-Irish
houses. A council was called at Kilkenny,
where it was commanded, that Englishmen by





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


birth, that is to say, men born in Englald,
should alone hold office in Ireland, and this
gave rise to the distinction, English by
birth," and" English by blood." It was also
ordered, that all estates which had been ac-
quired by those entrusted with Irish affairs,
should be restored to the king. No "mere
Irishman" was permitted to be a mayor, a
bailiff, or officer of any town, nor to be raised
into holy orders, nor supposing him to be a
priest already, could he by any means be pro-
moted. It was said that Englishmen had de-
'generated by union with the Irish, and it was
further enacted, that to marry an Irish woman,
to adopt an Irish child, or to become sponsor
for one at baptism, should be accounted high
treason; and that if any Englishman used an
Irish name, or spoke the Irish language, or
wore the Irish dress, or in any way, at any
time, or at any place, conformed to Irish man-
ners, he should at once forfeit all his lands,
and any property he might possess. More
than this; old Ireland loved her harpers, and
every body has heard old romantic stories
about these wandering minstrels. With their
long, loose robe, came they, with their well-
strung harps, singing in the chieftain's hall,
the old, jld story of his father's triumphs.
Spirit-stirring ballads. they sang, breathing


63




64 HISTORY Of IRELAND.
the very soul of Irish nationality. Now all
the colonists, or the Anglo-Irish, were forbid-
den to entertain a minstrel; and still further,
they were strictly enjoined, upon no account
whatever, to permit an Irishman to graze his
cattle on English ground! Any man who
disobeyed was threatened with all the penalties
of high treason, and the curse of the church
besides.
The great design of all this, was to make
the two races as distinct as possible ; to se-
parate, as by a wall of fire, the English from
the Irish; to continue the feud, wretched
and unhappy as it was, between the conquerors
and the conquered. Richard II. adopting the
same line of policy, visited Ireland, and at-
tempted to dazzle the natives by his royal
.magnificence. In high state and glory he
held his court, being careful to make the
utmost possible display, and then invited two
or three of the Irish chieftains to a banquet,
that he might awe them by his solemnity and
robes of state. Most of us have heard of
Froissart. This chronicler was with the king
during his residence in Ireland, and has left
an account of the condition of the men. Very
wretched and degraded that condition was, but
they had still much of their old ardour, and
he describes them as scouring the sills and





HISTORY OF IRELAND.


valleys on horses swifter tlian deer, and throw.
ing large javelins with such force, that they
pierced through hauberks and plates of steel.
"Ireland," he says, "is one of the evil
countries of the world to make war upon, or
to bring under subjection, for it is strongly
and widely enclosed with lofty forests and great
waters, and marshes and uninhabitable places;
it is hard to enter in so as to do them of the
country any damage. Thus ye shall find no
towns, or persons to speak with, for the men
draw to the woods and dwell in caves and
small cottages under trees, and among bushes
and hedges like wild savage beasts-a man-
at-arms, be he never so well horsed, and let
him run as fast as he can, the Irishman will
run as fast as he, and overtake him-yea, and
leap upon his horse behind him, and drag
him from it."
The leader of the Irish during the time of
Richard II. was a lad not sixteen years of age.
His name was Arthur M'Murrough O'Kava.
nagh, and he is described as tall and well-
made, with a fierce look, bright eyes, re-
markably strong, and mounted on a swift and
stately horse, without a saddle. He collected
his forces in the mountains, and made the cry
" Kavanagh" a word of ill omen in English
ears. With loud and wild cries, not unlike
I


C5





66 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
those of the North American Indians, he would
suddenly rush upon the English troops, now
from the deep green forest depths, now from
the deep thickets clothing the mountain side.
The very suddenness of the attack dismayed
the troops, and many a gallant band fled be-
fore him. Once, indeed, he held a parley with
one of the king's envoys, but the interview
was unsatisfactory, and he refused to come to
terms. Every attempt to seize him failed,
and while Richard for the second time lingered
in Ireland, the British shores were invaded by
the Duke of Lancaster, who soon ascended
the throne of England, under the title of
Henry IV.
This change in the English government
brought no change to Ireland; there, indeed, it
gave birth to a new epoch of suffering, and
threw back the hopes of those who sighed for
tranquillity and peace. The son of the new
king was sent over as viceroy ; but M'Mur-
rough still continued to harass the English
troops, and the story of Ireland goes on with
petty quarrels, chiefs deposed, imprisoned,
maimed, and killed; with fresh aggressions,
and fresh resistance, and the oft-told tale of
towns burned and robbed, and fields laid waste.
Some of the Irish chieftains instituted what
was called black-mail; that is, they seized




HISTORY 01 IRELAND. 67
on so much property, so many flocks and
herds, so many sheaves of corn, and slew the
owner, and burned his house, if he ventured
to object. A law was made that no Irishman
should leave the country, and the Earl of
Ormond was sent over to tame the wild Irish;
and, while with fire and sword, he carried
ruin through the land, twice a week the Dublin
clergy marched in procession to the cathedral
to pray for his success. When Henry VI.
became king, a parliament was assembled to
consult about the state of Ireland, and decreed
that the Irish enemy should be proceeded
against with rigour.
Alas, they had tried this rigorous policy
long enough, one would think, to find out how
ineffectual it was. Once upon a time Alexan-
der lashed the ocean because it destroyed
his fleet, but the ocean could not be whipped
into obedience; and to tame the wild Irish,
as they called them, with unjust laws, and
cruel enactments, to expose them century
after century to violence and wrong-doing,
was as senseless a proceeding.
Furnival, Earl of Shrewsbury, was sent to.
Ireland, attended by seven hundred chosen
soldiers. The chroniclers say this Furnival
was a man of curses for his venom, and a devil
for his evils, and the learned say of him that





68 HISTORY OP IRELAND.
there came not from the time of Herod, by
whom Christ was crucified, any one so wicked
in evil deeds." At a parliament which he
held at Trim, in 1447, it was enacted, that any
man who did not keep his upper lip shaved
should be treated as an Irish enemy ; that is,
knocked on the head or run through the body,
as the case might be. Things had, indeed,
come to a strange pass, when a man's safety,
honour, and life, depended on soap, lather,
and a sharp razor!
During the battle of the roses, that long
contest between York and Lancaster, which
covered England with blood, Ireland was, for
the most part, left to take care of itself, and
English lords, and degenerate English, and
Irish enemies, fought to their hearts' content,
sending a few more thousand souls
To death, and deadly night"
When the claims of York and Lancaster
were united in the person of Henry VII., his
accession to the throne was greatly regretted
in Ireland, and there two rebellions of a some-
what dangerous character arose. These, how-
ever, were both suppressed, and the Irish
chiefs went on with their work of robbery and
slaughter. O'Donnellof Tyrconnell, and O'Neill
of Tyrone, were the two principal leaders.





HISTORY OF IRELAND*


Between them there was a deadly enmity.
In consequence of some offence, O'Neill wrote
to his rival:-
Send me tribute; or else--- "
To which O'Donnell replied:-
I owe you no tribute; and if-- "
The meaning of these simple dashes is easily
understood. Terrible things were meant by
those black lines-threats too long and terrible
to write. These strange laconic epistles are
worthy of the old despatch-" I came; I saw;
I conquered."
The troubled state of Ireland drew the
attention of Henry, and he sought advice from
the Archbishop of Dublin: that worthy pre-
late had an easy way of accounting for all
Irish disorders; the people, he said, were
naturally idle and turbulent. So Sir Edward
Poynings was sent over to reform them. The
new viceroy assembled a parliament, and
decreed that the laws which were passed for
the people of England, and which were adapted
for the Irish nation, should be executed in
that country; and that no act of the Irish
parliament should be law until it had been
submitted to the English legislature. Having
done thus much he returned to the king, and


69




U HISTORY OF IRELAND.
the Earl of Kildare took his place. A decisive
battle followed, and the Irish were signally
defeated.
At this period the English rule extended
only over half of the five counties of Louth,
Meath, Dublin, Kildare, and Wexford, and
even there the great mass of the English sub-
jects were native Irish. If we take a map of
Ireland, and draw a line from Dundalk to the
towns of Dervor and Ardee in Louth ; thence
to the towns of Sydden, Kells, and Dangan, in
Meath; thence to the towns of Kilcock,
Claine, Naas, and Kilcullen Bridge, in the
county of Kildare; to Ballymore in the
county of Dublin ; and then back to Rathmore
in Kildare; and thence to Rathcole, Tallaght,
and Dalkey, in the county of Dublin; we
shall have before us the boundary of the
English rule, or as it was called, the English
pale. The other portions of the country
were divided between the English rebels, and
the "Irish enemies." There were yet re-
maining more than sixty chief captains, some
of them "with regions as big as a shire,"
over which they were paramount lords. The
names of these chieftains are those which are
still borne by the Irish peasantry. Besides
O'Neill of Tyrone, and O'Donnell of Tyrconnell,
the two great kings of the north, there were




HISTORY OF IRELAND


seven others in that province; and so on with
the rest. Every one of these petty princes
made war or peace as he pleased. Truly
their armies were small enough, for the largest
did not exceed five hundred spears, five
hundred allow glasses, or heavy armed in-
fantry, and one thousand kerns, who had no
armour at all. And even in these armies,
small as they were, there were various chiefs
and captains, who often fell out among them-
selves and had a private battle, with their
respective followers, on their own account.
In the beginning of the reign of Henry VIII.
we find Ireland still convulsed with civil war.
It was feared that the lords of the Irishry "
would all combine against England, that the
scattered staves would be bound together by
the strong cord of nationality. Easy enough
it might be to snap them stave by stave, but
once united, once firmly bound together, what
could English lords effect ? The king began
to conciliate his Irish subjects, and sent a
collar of gold to the great O'Neill, thus re-
opening the old feuds; and O'Neills, and
O'Donnells, and Geraldines, and Butlers, were
once more in open fight.
The English in Ireland were as much at
enmity with one another as they were with
the Irish, or the Irish with themselves. The


71





72 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
government of the unhappy country occasioned
much trouble and annoyance, and Henry's
deputy, the Earl of Kildare, was accused of
treason. He was summoned to return to
England, but for a long time delayed ; at last
delivering the sword ofstate to his son Thomas,
then only twenty-one years old, he repaired to
London. On his arrival he was committed to
the Tower. Months passed on and nothing
was known of his fate; at last came the report
that he had been poisoned while in prison.
When the young lord-deputy heard the rumour,
his anger know no bounds. This young man
was commonly known as "Silken Thomas,"
for he was always dressed with the utmost
splendour, and in that description of attire
which best set off his tall and graceful person.
The 11th of June, 1534, was a solemn day in
Dublin. Crowds were in the streets as the
young lord, clad in his robes of state, and
bearing his sword of office, rode to the council.
He was attended by a hundred and forty horse-
men in coats of mail, besides a vast number of
armed followers. With a firm, but hasty step,
Ye strode into the council chamber, and cast-
ng the sword of state upon the table, renoun-
ced his allegiance to the English king. All
was consternation and affright. The lord
chancellor in vain remonstrated with him on




HISTORY OF IRLLAND. 70
the rashness of the step he was taking. But the
young lord was deaf to all entreaties, and while
the chancellor was speaking, an Irish harper
raised a warlike strain, and in a fine, clear,
manly voice began a song of vengeance. Away
rushed the young man with his wild troop of
followers, disregarding all sage counsel and
advice, and declaring himself at once, and for
ever, the mortal foe of King Harry. Dublin
had lately suffered from the plague, and the
people were ill able to defend the city ; for a
short time Silken Thomas had it all his own
way, and ruled with despotic tyranny. At
last the people closed the gates against him,
and begun a parley, but they were still too
feeble to withstand his power, and this short
respite only afforded time for the Archbishop
of Dublin to escape. This prelate was sup-
posed by Silken Thomas to be the great foe of
his family, and he had sworn to take his life.
In disguise the bishop made his way to the
sea-coast, embarked in a fishing vessel, intend-
ing to sail for England, but the ship was
wrecked near Clontarf, and the unhappy man
discovered by his enemies. With barbarous
triumph the wild Irish dragged him to their
lord, before whom the old man kneeled and
besought mercy.
Have pity on me," he cried, "as the




74 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
young man, in all his silken bravery, and
mounted on a stately horse, regarded his sup-
pliant foe. "Have pity on me, for the
sake of Christ: spare me, as we both are
christians, and hope for mercy at the judg-
ment day; spare me, for the priestly rank I
hold; spare the bishop, if you will not spare
the man!"
Without deigning a reply, the young lord
turned his horse, and exclaimed in the Irish
language, Take away the churl!" In a
moment a hundred swords were flashing in the
light, and a score of pikes at the old man's
breast; another, and he lay dead on the sea-
shore, literally hewn to pieces.
Meanwhile messengers had been dispatched
to England, and Henry had promised to send
over help. The people of Dublin closed their
gates and made prisoners of all within their
walls. Lord Thomas affected the utmost in-
dignation. Then came a rapid reverse of
fortune; the English army arrived, and battle
followed battle, and from a daring rebel at the
nead of a strong army, the young lord found
himself a fugitive, and an outlaw. To add to
his distress, news reached him that his father
was still alive, but now on the very point of
death, so horrified was he at the. position his
son had taken. So the old earl died, and the




HISTORY OF IRELAND.


young lord surrendered, and in the spring of
1536 was hanged at Tyburn.
While these events were going on, Martin
Luther, an Augustine monk, had begun the
Reformatio?. Henry VIII. at first opposed
the new doctrines, but afterwards rejected the
authority of the pope, and declared himself the
head of the church, adopting many of the re-
formed doctrines, and insisting, with the force
of law, with gibbet, axe, and fire, that all his
subjects should receive them too. Some people
call these the good old times, as if such
things as these were something to be proud of,
to point at and say," We were not always what
we now are: we were not always compelled
to do what we pleased; our fathers lived in
happier times, they enjoyed the shade of the
deadly upas; they could not say, without the
risk of the lash, the wheel, and the gibbet,
that even their souls were their own : but, alas!
we are compelled to the hard and bitter drud-
gery of being our own masters-the good old
faith of the good old time, we shall never see
its like again."
Henry VIII. having resolved to change the
good old faith, and, in the spirit of the king of
.Babylon, to convince all gainsayers by cutting
them to pieces, and making their houses dung-
hills, soon turned his attention to Ireland, and


75




76 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
set about establishing the Reformation there.
For four long centuries the popes had. sided
with the kings of England against the un-
happy Irish people; now the tables were
turned; the whole power and Influence of
Rome was given to the "wild Irish." And
they who had been accustomed to regard the
pontiff as one of their bitterest foes, found in
him a staunch and constant friend. The
Reformation brought a new element of discord
into Ireland. It was introduced by invaders.
They who had made the law, that any English
gentleman might cut off the head of an Irish
enemy if he supposed he was engaged in some
bad errand, and claim a reward for so doing,
now came with a remodelled faith, and with
pains and penalties commanded the people to
receive it. What followed were fresh scenes
of cruelty and wrong. To the mass of the
Irish people, the teachings of the reformers
were unintelligible, for they spoke in English,
and they regarded it merely as another act of
aggression on the part of the English. One
or two specimens of how the Reformation went
on, and of those who were sent to do it, may
not be uninteresting.
John Bale was appointed bishop of Ossory.
He was a thorough-going protestant, as hot
anld fiery as John Knox himself. The wor-




HISTORY OF IRELAND. 77
ship, he says, in the cathedral at Waterford,
appeared to him gross idolatry. They wailed
over the dead with prodigious cowlings and
patterings as if their souls had not been-
quieted in Christ; and were guilty of many
other heathenish behaviours; and positive he
was, that Christ had there no bishop. Further
on he notes in his diary, that sundry priests
had been poisoned "for preaching God's
verity." And on the 25th July writes:-
"The priests are strangely excited, but as
pleasantly disposed as may be, they are going
by heaps from tavern to tavern to seek the
best Rob Davy and aq~ua vitca, which are their
special drinks." The cause of their joy he
presently found out to be the death of king
Henry VIII. Throughout the days of
Edward VI. Ireland was terribly disordered,
and a general massacre of the English expected.
On the 20th August, 1553, Queen Mary was
proclaimed, and the Roman Catholic party
were once more in the ascendant. Bale says:
" They rung all the bells in the cathedral,
minster, and parish churches; they flung up
their caps to the battlements of the great
temple, with smiling and laughing most
dissolutely, the Justice himself being therewith
offended; they brought forth their copes,
candlesticks, holy water, crosses and censers;




78 HISTORY 01 IRELAND.
they mustered forth in general procession
most gorgeously all the town over, with Sainta
Maria, ora pro nobis, and the rest of the
Latin liturgy ; they chattered it, they chanted
it, with great noise and devotion; they ban-
quetted all the day after, for that they were
delivered from the grace of God into a warm
sun."
The queen dropped the title of supreme
head of the church. But the religion of her
majesty did little for unhappy Ireland. There
the English rule was maintained with the
same severity, and there the war of chief with
chief still went on. Towering high above the
rest of petty chiefs and sovereigns stands
Shane O'Neill. This man played a conspicu-
ous part in Irish history.
Mary reigned but a short period. She
died on the 17th of November, 1558; with
her the papal supremacy in England and Ire.
land expired, and the Princess Elizabeth
ascended the throne.




79


EPOCH THE FOURTH.

FROM A.D. 1558, TO A.D. 1641.


SHANE O'NEILL was in London. Strange
stories were told of his wonderfully wild and
terrible appearance, and the good citizens
were all anxious to obtain a sight of the wild
Irishman. Shane O'Neill was the gossip of
the day ; the swaggerers in Paul's Walk
talked of his barbarism and want of soldierly
address; tradesmen began to calculate the
damage he had done to trade and commerce;
'prentices at the Bear Garden and theatres on
Bankside discussed of nothing else but his
great courage and glory; he was the one
great topic, and any one who had been fortu-
nate enough to see him as he went to have
audience of the queen, who had noticed his
body-guard of gallow glasses, bare-headed and
armed with axes, their curling hair hanging
down, with saffron-dyed shirts, long sleeves,
short coats, and hairy mantles, became notable
at once.




80 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
Shane O'Neill had been elected Earl of
Tyrone, by his clan. His physical strength
and daring courage rendered him with them a
popular favourite. He had set the govern-
ment at open defiance. He had put one of
his own men to death in a disgraceful manner
merely for eating English biscuit. He had
erected a strong fortress, to which he gave the
name of Fooghnagall-" the abomination of
Englishmen," to whom he expressed the
deepest and most lasting hatred. He had
beaten the English forces in two or three en-
gagements, but at last had come to terms, and
was now in London, for the purpose of ten-
dering his submission to the queen. At court
he was favourably received, was fully par-
doned, permitted to retain his earldom, and
presented with 300. On his return to Ire-
land, he exhibited some outward deference for
the queen's government, but attempted to
compel all the other chiefs to submit to his
authority. He demanded the crown of Ulster,
and began to correspond with foreign courts.
Again he came into collision with the English,
and was again reconciled, promising this time
to break off connexion with the Scotch, whom
he enlisted in his service in the prosecution of
his designs. An ingenious way had Shane
O'Neill of getting rid of his Scottish friends,




HISTORY OF IRELAND. Ol
namely, attacking them with the rest of his
army, and at the first onset slaying seven
hundred. Wherever he went, fire and sword
went with him, and heaps of smoking ruins
marked the track he took. War was the very
,air he breathed, glory the food on which he
lived : as to his domestic manners, we read
that he ate and drank enormously. He would
drink and booze till his body became so
heated, that he was conveyed into a deep pit,
and standing upright in the same, the earth
was cast round about him up to his chin, and
there he would remain until his body had
cooled down ; but says the chronicler, though
he came after in some better plight for the
time, yet his manners and condition daily
became worse. And in the end, his pride
joined with wealth, drunkenness and insolency;
he began to be a tyrant, and to tyrranise over
the whole country."
Professing to be king of Ulster, he af-
fected," one says, the manners of the Grand
Turk," and was always guarded by six hundred
armed men. His troops were strong and his
influence great; and having overrun the
lands of Tyrconnell and Fermanagh, heinvaded
lower Connaught, and spent a week in burning
the corn, and driving away four thousand head
of cattle. He ravaged the whole country, from
G




82 U1STORY OF IRELAND.
Donegal to Newvry. He declared that he had
never made peace with the queen, but that
the queen had made peace with him; that he
could bring into the field one thousand horse
and four thousand foot; and was able to burn
and spoil to Dublin gates, and come away
unfought. He made the warfare a crusade
against the Reformation, and burned the pro-
testant churches and turned out the ministers.
At last the tide of his fortune began to ebb.
At Dundalk he was defeated; at Derry he was
put to flight; a terrible battle at Lough Swilly
decided his fate; his army was scattered and
destroyed, and he himself a fugitive. In dis-
guise he wandered from place to place, until
having made proposals to the Scotch once
more to aid him, proposals which they accepted,
he went in perfect confidence to a feast in
their camp. The Scotch were burning with
revenge for his cruelty to their countrymen;
and a scheme was laid for O'Neill's destruc-
tion. At the feast a quarrel began between
some of the Scotch and Irish retainers, swords
were drawn, when a body of Caledonians sud-
denly rushed in, and every Hibernian perished.
The body of O'Neill was buried in a ruined
church, and his head was set on the highest
tower of Dublin Castle. Two yearslater the title
of "THE O'NEILL was abolished for ever.





HISTORY OF IRETAND.


Warfare was not over ; if Ulster had peace,
the hostilities broke out afresh in Munster.
There the Earl of Desmond rebelled against the
English government, and lamentation and
mourning and woe again spread over the
country. It was in the absence of the Earl
of Desmond that the rebellion broke out. Sir
James Fitz-Maurice, a younger brother of the
house, raised the standard of revolt. The
king of Spain sent an emissary to Munster,
with a view to an invasion. The rebel army
overran the counties of Waterford and Wex-
ford. Sir John Perrot was sent against them.
They retired to the woods, but suddenly
making a descent upon the English-garrisoned
town of Kilmallock, scaled the walls, hanged
the mayor, plundered the houses, and treated
the inhabitants with great brutality. They
then set fire to the town, and nothing was left
but the stone walls. Thus, says the old
annalist, Kilmallock became the abode of
wolves, in addition to all the misfortunes that
had befallen it before that time. Another
writer, who saw it soon after, found there
only one inhabitant, an Englishwoman, crying
and tearing her long hair over the grave of
her husband and three sons, whose bones she
had collected from the black and smouldering
ruins, and buried them in thedismantled abbey.


83




84 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
In the forest of Harlow, James Fitz-Maurice
continued to lead the life of an outlaw,
together with his merry men, under the green-
wood trees. But not like our Robin Hood,
with any gentleness or love in his heart: but
hiding, as leopard or tiger might hide, till the
prey was at hand. Perrot was in pursuit of
the outlaw, and two years passed slowly and
sadly. The fair and beautiful country was
laid waste. Cold, hunger, and danger,
gradually thinned his adherents; he saw that
there was nothing but surrendering before him,
and he signified to Perrot his readiness to do
so. A day was appointed, and the English
collected around the ruined abbey of Kilmal-
lock; its broken pillars and shattered walls
were overgrown with creeping plants ; all was
very bleak and desolate. At the hour of
meeting, James Fitz-Maurice, and many of his
followers, entered the abbey. Silence, as at
the dead of night, reigned over the throng, as
the outlaw knelt down before the Lord Presi-
dent, and, uplifting his clasped hands, confessed
his crime--
"And now, therefore," said he, "with the
eyes of my heart sore weeping, and bewailing
my most devilishlife past, I acknowledge myself
to have most wickedly rebeled against God, and
undutifully against my prince, and most uni-





HISTORY OP IRELAND.


naturally against my native country ; and that
for my offences I deserve to be condemned as
the rankest traitor alive." All the time he
spoke, the Lord President held the point of a
drawn sword at his throat; the weapon he
humbly kissed, and surrendered his own
sword ; then falling prostrate on the earth, he
went on, "And now this earth of Kilmallock,
which town I most traitorously sacked and
burned, I kiss, and on the same I lie prostrate,
overfraught with sorrow upon this present
view of my past life."
While these things were going on in
Dublin, the Earl of Desmond and his brother
had been confined as prisoners in London.
After the submission of Fitz-Maurice, they
were permitted to return to Ireland; the
queen giving them some silks and money, as
amends for their long imprisonment. But
after a short peace the fighting was renewed.
Sir James, who had been pardoned and set
free, was busy on the continent seeking for
foreign help to put down English rule in
Ireland, and overthrow the Reformation. A
letter from the pope was granted, commanding
all true Irishmen to join the standard of
James Fitz-Maurice; a banner, solemnly
consecrated, was delivered to that champion.
Spain granted eight hundred men, who were,


85




au HISTORY 01 IRELAND.
however, afterwards employed for another
purpose. With about eighty Spaniards, a
smaller number of Italians, a few English and
Irish fugitives, Fitz-Maurice returned to Ire-
land, and landed on the coast of Kerry.
Fitz-Maurice supposed that the Earl of
Desmond would immediately join him with his
forces, but in this he was disappointed. After
remaining a month at Smerwick, the invaders
went on what they called a pilgrimage to the
Holy Cross in Tipperary; but what was, in
truth, a plundering expedition.
On their march they were intercepted by
some rival chieftains, and though they defeated
them, their leader, JamesFitz-Maurice, received
a mortal wound. Still went on the fighting;
the catholic army, as it was called, disregarding
all other feelings but those of revenge, and
knowing neither humanity nor justice. The
Spainards had joined in the rising, and a
general engagement was come to with the
English forces. Before them the Irish gave
way and fled to the woods; the fields were
covered with the slain, and letters were dis-
covered implicating the Earl of Desmond in
the charge of treason. The Earl was sum-
moned to surrender, and was publicly pro-
claimed a traitor. The desolation that
followed was most appalling. A general




HISTORY OF IRELAND. 67
destruction of houses, churches, barns and
fields, by the wild Irish ; the English, in fierce
retaliation, burning and slaying without mercy.
The wretched people, driven to the woods for
shelter, crept out at night to eat water-cresses
or other herbage that sprang up by the water-
side. Mothers saw their little ones perish
for lack of food, and hunger taught 'them to
see it unmoved; all the gentler feelings of
nature were banished, and famine and death
stalked over the land. Spenser says, that the
famine roused the cannibal in the Irish, and
that they ate one another; all was black and
bitter despair.
Earl Desmond, now in open rebellion, for a
long time eluded the pursuit of the English.
Now he lay concealed in a rocky cavern, now
on the top of a lofty mountain, now in the
shadowy depths of the forest; his beautiful
Countess shared his wild retreats, every day
anticipating to find herself a widow, for the
house of Desmond was doomed. During the
summer of 1588 about seven hundred Spanish
and Italian soldiers landed on the Irish coast;
they took possession of a fort, and defied the
English. The Earl of Desmond fancied that
now indeed his fortune might be bettered, but
for him there was no hope. The Spanish
garrison was besieged and compelled to sur-




88 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
render. Sir Walter Raleigh was commanded
to grant no quarter, and through that day no
work was done by gallant English soldiers
but that of cruel murder in the fort. So
the wild warfare, the terrible warfare, the
unceasing warfare, still raged over the land.
High and low suffered alike. Search was
everywhere making for the Earl of Desmond,
but there was true-heartedness in his followers,
and they would never betray their lord.
A strange life was that of the earl's. Some-
times he led on a strong band of followers,
and at his battle-cry the English troops fell
back. Sometimes he feasted as though in
royal state, and listened to the loud acclaim
of those who did his bidding. Sometimes
friendless and alone, he wandered in the
forest or lay beneath the shadow of its moss-
covered trees. To-day he was a powerful
leader, to-morrow a fugitive and an outlaw.
One after another he saw his friends taken
captive and dying traitors. Vengeance for
their deaths made him do cruel wrong; now
murdering one hundred and fifty helpless
women, now betraying and slaughtering four
hundred of the enemy, now laying waste the
country, so that wolves prowled where towered
palaces had once arisen, and birds of prey
came down on fields of blood that once were




HISTORY Of IRELAND. 89
fields of corn. The stranger might journey
from Dunkeen to Cashel and meet no traveller,
and hear no sound of human life, neither the
lowing of cattle nor the voice of the plough-
man. So cold, bleak, barren winter had
settled down on the land. The snow lay thick
on the ground, a pure white winding-sheet.
In a small wretched mud hovel, in the centre
of a thick wood, and by the side of a river, the
Earl of Desmond lay concealed. His retreat
was discovered, and he was pursued. The
noise of those who came to seize him awakened
him from his sleep ; he fled from the cabin, and
leaping into the river, hid under a bank up to
his chin in water. So he escaped detection for
that time. A little later, when spring time had
come, we see the earl again, sitting with a few
of his followers, who have dressed a portion of
horse-flesh for the mid-day meal. Suddenly
they are surprised : some are put to the sword
-but again the earl escapes. Still later we
learn that some of the wild Irish have driven
away cattle from the strand at Tralee, that the
owners have followed in pursuit. Twilight is
deepening into night, as we watch some thirty
men, seven of. them English musketeers,
making their way to the woody valley of Glen-
akilty. As they enter the shadowy district, a
light gleaming through the trees attracts their




90 HISTORY O0 IRELAND.
attention. One of the party is sent to recon*
noitre. He returns with the intelligence that
it is a ruined building containing five or six
people. With the intention of attacking the
dwelling, the party advance, but when they.
arrive at the spot, the house is empty, and one
man, an old man, lies stretched before the fire.
Kelly, one of the party, rushes in and smites the
old man with his sword. The old man leaps
to his feet, there is a deep flush in his sunken
cheek, a wild fire in his glance, Stand back !"
cries he, 1 am the Earl of Desmond."
Then down again he sinks, faint from the loss
of blood, and his captors fearing a rescue,
strike off his head. So ended the Desmond
rebellion. The head of the unfortunate noble-
man was sent to London, and exposed on the
bridge gate.
A period of tranquillity succeeded, but it was
rest and not peace. It was only a cessation in
the great national storm which had swept for
centuries over unhappy Ireland. The lands
of the Earl of Desmond were all forfeited to
the crown, together with those of a hundred and
forty, who had engaged with him in the rebel-
lion, amounting, it is said, to five hundred and
seventy-four thousand six hundred and twen-
ty-eight acres. The queen and her ministers
.proposed a scheme, which they called the




HISTORY OF IRELAND. V1
Plantation of Munster by English settlers, and
these confiscations considerably aided them.
All people of an adventurous disposition, who
were not to be scared by the "wild Irish,"
were encouraged to take up their abode in
Ireland. Estates were offered at a rent of
two-pence or three-pence per acre, the rent to
begin at the end of three years. No native
Irishman was allowed to become a tenant, and
the land was to be parcelled out into small
estates. But the scheme turned out a failure,
and the English colony in Ireland was soon
abandoned to the original possessors.
Sir Richard Bingham was the lord president
of Connaught, and with him there was but one
way of quieting the Irish, and a very curious
plan it was. He first drove them by cruel
oppression into rebellion, and then hanged
them for taking up arms against the queen.
It was about this period that Hugh O'Neill,
with every profession of loyalty, besought her
majesty to grant him the title and lands of
Earl Tyrone. After some persuasion the
queen consented, for the Irish chief presented
in such glowing colours, the service he could
render in maintaining her rule, and introducing
English customs, and he was withal so gallant
a gentleman, that the heart of the maiden
queen was fairly touched, and she gave him all





92 HISTORY OF IRELAND.
he asked. In high favour he returned to
Ireland, and his influence and power were felt
at once. He built himself a palace, kept an
army, subdued minor quarrels, established
himself in his new position, and finally broke
out into open rebellion, carrying terror and
disorder among the English residents. Every
day help was expected from the King of Spain ;
never had insurrection been so well organized.
At the same time Red Hugh O'Donnell, who
had been kidnapped and confined in Dublin
Castle, was scattering everything before him,
" in large columns of fire, and dense dark
clouds of smoke." The two forces united and
struck terror into English hearts; at last
O'Neill made terms of peace, but all his terms
of peace were insincere,-he waited but for
foreign succour. So great was his power and
influence, that the English feared him; indeed,
when they came to open fight, the English
troops retreated; so negotiation after negocia-
tion was held, and again and again O'Neill
promised, on the knees of his heart," and
"as he hoped to see Christ in the face," that
he was still a loyal subject: and again and
again, the English felt the power of his ven.
geance, in siege, in battle plain, and in night
attack.
There was an old prophecy that at a place




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