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HISTORY OF IRELAND,
INVASION OF HENRY II.
ÎNCORPORATE UNION WITH GREAT BRITAIN.
· BOOK I.
COMPRISING THE PERIOD OF TIME FROM THE IN
VASION UNDER HENRY PLANTAGENET, TO THE
VASION UNDER HENRY PLANTAGENET
The Reign of King Henry II. The first book comprises a period of nearly 400 1154. years. It demands peculiar attention, inasmuch as it for four was a long test of the mụtual disposition and relative e conduct of the two nations of England and Ireland to each other, whilst both professed the same religion. religion. It is the more necessary not to lose sight of this cir- . cumstance, by how much Ireland, in later days, has suffered on the score, under the pretext, or by the abuse of religious prejudice. No prepossessions on either
and and Ireland of the same
1155. side can be so ungovernable, as to preclude the most
poignant grief, that the sacred cause of religion should have ever been perverted to ends so diametrically opposite to its benign institution. Whatever jealousy, diffidence, or oppression then shall be found to have existed during these four centuries, will be naturally placed to the account of national, not religious anti
pathy. Pope Adrian The latter part of the Irish history immediately preking Henry ceding the close of the Milesian dynasty, presents a 11.
continued scene of intestine dissentior., turbulence, and faction. But it would exceed the scope of this history to trace the causes which led to the weakening, and uluimately brought about the dissolution of the Irish moq .narchy. No historian, either Irish or British, gives any account of the public or secret manæuvres of the kings of England to acquire the dominion of Ireland. About this time * William of Malmesbury said, as did afterwards Sir James Ware, that our Henry the First had Mortough and his successors so much at his devotion, that they would not write or do any thing without his approbation. It appears however that Henry II. must have bent his mind most determinately to the acquisition of Ireland from his accession to the throne
* Mortough was the immediate predecessor of Roger O'Connor. William of Malmesbury was a very accurate and industrious investigator of antiquity, and (barring the propensity of his time to rehearse miracles) a faithful annalist; he was a Cluniac monk of the abbey of Malmesbury, and died in 1142, in the troubled days of king Steven. He was consequently cotemporary with Henry I. who died A. D. 1135,
of England. He is, indeed, said to have often se riously meditated the conquest of that country; he had even, in 1155, summoned a council at Win. chester to consult upon the expediency of such a measure *. He was crowned in the twenty-second year of his age, by Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, on the 19ch of December, 1154. As this young, enterprizing, and ambitious prince thought proper to rest his right and claim to the sovereignty of Ireland upon a papal bull or donation, it is necessary to notice, that on the 6th of December in the very same year, 1154, Nicholas Breakspear, an Englishman of low parentage, then cardinal bishop of Albano, was elected to the papacy; and he filled the pontifical chair, under the name of Adrian the IVth, four years, eight months, and twenty-nine days. It is remarkable, that few or none of his bulls are dated according to the year of his pontificate: a circumstance entirely unprecedented. Our English historians have represented Henry's application to the Pope, and Adrian's conduct in consequence of it in a manner widely different from the Irish. They inform us, that Henry, having been invited by the inhabitants of Ire. land to take possession of that kingdom, acquainted the Pope with his design of invading it, in order to extend the bounds of the church, to instruct that ignorant and unpolished people in the truth of the christian religion, to extirpate vice and plant virtue in its room; and to facilitate that undertaking, he begged
* Int. to sir R. C. Hoare's Tour, xxxii.
1155. the advice and favor of the apostolic see, promising
the yearly pension of a penny to St. Peter from every house in the island. The pope commended so pious and laudable a design, assuring him, that not only Ireland, but all the islands, that had received the christian faith, undoubtedly belonged to St. Peter and the holy Roman church, as the King himself well knew; and that he therefore granted him his petition, and approved his design of invading Ireland for the above purposes, and making himself master of that island, upon condition of causing a penny a house to be yearly paid to St. Peter, and his preserving ențire the rights
of the church * Great synod The year of Christ 1152 is the epoch, at which all
our writers, from archbishop Usher down to Dr. Leland, fix the full and unequivocal submission of the Irish church to the see of Romet. Usher has laboured to prove a difference in the Irish church from
at Kells in 2152.
* Cod. Vatican apud Bar ad an. 1159. tom x. Concil. Raduph. de Dicet. in Imagin. Hist. p. 529. Matth. Paris ad ann. 1159. Gerald. Cambrens. L. ii. c. x. &c.
+ Dr. Leland says, p. 7: Thus was the correspondence opened · with the church of Ireland, and the preeminence of Rome formally acknowledged. From the unaccountable and perhaps unjustifiable purport of this bull, breve, or ). iter of Adrian, by which he gave Ireland to Ferry the Second, some catholic writers have conceived it impossile, that it should bave really issued fiom the holy see. Father Alford, an English jesuit, strongly denied its authenticity (Bow. Hist. of Popes, vol. vi. p. 108); and 'Abbé Geoghegan most strenuously labors to prove it a forgery from a variety of seasons, which he works up into a dissertation upon the subject. One of the chief grounds of his assertion is the profligate character of Henry, which rendered him unfit for an apostle. He contends, that the pope was misinformed as to the state and cultivation of
the church of Romebefore this period, in doctrine, discipline, and communion; yet he and all other writers admit, that at the synod at Kells, where there were three thousand of the clergy with several princes and nobles convened, to express their entire union and communion in all things with the see of Romes the four archbishops of Armagh, Dublin, Cashels and Tuam formally received the pall from cardinal Paperon. He was admitted into Ireland with a legan. tine commission for this special purpose; and thenceforth the Irish prelates submitted to and recognized the spiritual supremacy of the bishop of Rome. It appears incredible, that so very soon after this Adrian's
1 bull, and solemn treaty with, and unequivocal submission of Alexander's
confirma the Irish clergy in all matters of discipline to the see of Rome, this singular bull or donation of Adrian should have issued to a christian prince. For the purpose of this history, the specific date of Adrian's bull is not material. It must have been written between 1154 when he was elected, and 1159 when he
religion in Ireland; he denies his holiness's assumption of a right to dispose of all islands, that ever had received the light of christian faith ; and concludes, that it was a forgery from its not having been published till the year 1171, although it bear date in December 1154. (Vide Geog. Hist. vol. i. p. 438 to 462.) The Abbé also draws another reason in support of his favorite thesis from its appearance in Baronius without a date. But, assuredly, an author of Baronius's credit and respectability, possessing the readiest means of ascertaining the truth, never will be suspected of having published a forgery as an authentic act of the sovereign pontiff.