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and killed some of his retinue, particularly two sons of 1210. Armoric of St. Lawrence, his nephews, and although De Courcy with his usual prowess seized a large wooden cross, and with this weapon killed thirteen of his assailants, yet the survivors overpowered, bound, and led him captive to De Lacy, who paid them, indeed, the reward of their treachery, but afterwards ordered them to be hanged. De Courcy was conveyed to England, and confined to the Tower *. The vigour and activity of Meilar Fitzhenry in the Proceed.

ings against southern expedition against De Burgo and his adhe. De Burgo. rents gave the English interest a firmer establishment in this part of Ireland, than it had abtained for some years; these successes were followed up by measures for adding splendor and consequence to the English government, by building a tower and palace in Dublin. Upon the vacancy of the primacy of Armagh, John had appointed one Tickhull an Englishman, to whom

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* There he remained unnoticed, until a champion of Philip king of France appeared at the court of John, and proposed to assert his master's claim to Normandy in single combat. De Courcy was recommended to meet the French champion, and after some indignant denials, at last accepted the challenge. When he entered the lists, the Frenchman, terrified at his stern aspect and gigantic size, declined the combat, and basely retired. De Courcy at the request of the two kings, who were present, gave a proof of his bodily strength, by cleaving at one blow a helmet, coat of mail, and stake, on which they were fastened. John gave bim bis liberty, restored him to his possessions, and in compliance with a singular request of De Courcy, granted to him and his heirs the privilege of standing covered in their first audience with the kings of England.

VOL. I.

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1210. the suffragans of that province, and the whole Irish

people objected. Afterwards with the countenance of the see of Rome, Eugene, an Irishman, a prelate of exem

plary virtue, was promoted in his place to that see. John fearful John, having been on that occasion threatened with munication. excommunication, and fearing a consequent conspira

cy of the Irish chieftains, demanded of several noble. men their sons as hostages, and amongst others the son of William de Braosa, lord of Brecknock, a grantee of a large tract of land in Thomond. His lady answered, with indiscreet severity, that her children never should be intrusted to the man, who had murdered his own nephew. Vengeance was instantly denounced against William: and John was not ashamed to assign the necessity of reducing and punishing this lord and his adherents, as the reason for his expedition into Ireland, where he arrived in June

1210. Sohna lands Soon after his landing, more than 20 dynasts attend

ed to do him homage. The English Barons, Hugh and Walter de Lacy, conscious of their misconduct, retired to France, whither William de Braosa also fled, leaving his wife and children still concealed in Ireland*. Cathal king of Connaught, agreeably to his former stipulations, and O’Nial, prince of Tir Owen, who had long proved a formidable enemy to De Courcy, and had lately been reinstated in his territory, also attended the King; and their submission was accepted.

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* They afterwards fled to Scotland, where they were taken by an agent of John, and committed to Bristol goal, where they pe. rished from want and hardship.

John went over with several men of learning in 1212. his retinue, by whose council and assistance, a regular John framed code and charter of English laws was drawn up and .com for me deposited in the exchequer of Dublin, under the King's land. seal, for the common benefit of the land (as the public records express it). And for the regular and ef. fectual execution of these laws, beside the establishment of the King's courts of judicature in Dublin, John caused a new division of the King's lands into counties, where sheriffs and other officers were ape pointed. The twelve counties then established, viz. Dublin, Meath, Kildare, Argial, now called Louth, Katherlagh, Kilkenny, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, and Tipperary, mark the extent of the English territory as confined to a part of Leinster and Munster, and to those parts of Meath and Ar. gial, which lie in the province of Ulster. This division justifies the Irish annalists in stating, that the chiefs in the remoter districts of Ulster had not given John the dominion of their lands.

John resided only three months in Ireland, during John which he attempted nothing by force of arms. He doen had not even the resolution to oppose or reduce Hugh Ireland. O’Nial, who, at the time when John was marching through his territory, boldly defied his power, and renounced his sovereignty. Upon the king's departure, the administration of his government in Ireland was committed to John de Grey, bishop of Norwich, who continued for three years to administer it with a vigour and justice till then unknown in any of his predecessors.

ohn resid. ed three month's in

1213. - In 1213 the Archbishop of Dublin, Henry de LonDe Londres dres, was invested with the king's government of Irear bublin? land; which was, however, for the most part admi

nistered by his deputy Geoffry Morris, or de Maurisco, an eminent English settler in Munster. The Archbishop was obliged to attend his royal master in England, whose full confidence he possessed, being admitted to his councils, and possessing particular influence over him. This prelate is named first of the Lords present at the execution of the deed, by which John resigned the kingdoms of England and Ireland to the see of Rome, and basely consented to hold them as a fief by the service of one thousand marks, to be paid annually, seven hundred for England, and three hundred for Ireland. He was present when John did homage to Pandolph ; and is honourably mentioned as having been on that occasion the only prelate, who ventured to express his indignation at the degradation

‘of the King, and the insolent haughtiness of the legate. Death of In the famous contest between John and his Barons, King John.

the Archbishop of Dublin attended the congress of Runingmede on the king's side with the few Lords, who still adhered to him, and was allowed place imme. diately after the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the preamble of the great charter he is mentioned as one of those prelates and Barons, by whose counsel it is alleged to have been granted. From this time to his demise at Newark in 1216, this unfortunate monarch was too much engrossed with the domestic troubles and civil war in England to attend to the government of Ireland, ..

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CHAPTER IV.

The Reign of Henry III. After the unexpected death of king John, his in- 1216. fant son Henry, of the age of ten years, was crowned Earl of King at Gloucester. The earl of Pembroke, who at Pembroke the time of John's death was Earl Marshal of Eng. Englan land, being by his office at the head of the army, became during the convulsed state of civil war the head of the whole government, which necessarily then was under martial law. Such were the fidelity and ability of that nobleman in the administration of public affairs in those arduous times, that in order to enlarge his powers, and invest him with legal authority to act in all civil concerns of state, to which the jurisdiction of earl marshal did not extend, he was in a general council of the Barons at Bristol, in No, vember 1216, solemnly elected protector of the kingdom. At this council Pembroke advised and procured the renovation and ratification of the great charter of English liberties, signed by king John at Runingmede.

Actuated by the like spirit of securing and trans. Magna mitting to posterity this valuable summary of civil tended to freedom, the Irish-Barons availed themselves of the general spirit of the times, and transmitted in the same year a list of grievances, particularly of the en. croachments upon their rights suffered in the late reign. They supplicated the young monarch (or rather the earl of Pembroke, who had lived amongst

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Ireland.

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