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1323. duction of the original bull. This they conceived the
most plausible pretext for resisting the unconstitutional exercise of papal power to tax or appropriate the property of the kingdom. They had twice be
fore resisted these exactions *. Edward II. The misfortunes and tragical end of Edward II. şislator to having taken place in England, we cannot properly
introduce them into the history of that part of his dominions, which took no share in them. Ireland owes more to this King's efforts to improve their country by legislation, than to those of any of his predecessors. The salutary statutes and ordinances made by this monarch at different periods are stated at large by Riley and Prynne t; the latter of whom ushers in those passed in the seventeenth year of his reign, at Nottingham, “ for the better government of Ireland, and preventing corruptions and abuses in his officers there, to his own or his subjects' injury or oppression," with this observation; a notable precedent worthy imitation in all ages and places throughout the
King's dominions. Edward II. A strong tide of adverse fortune ran against this
monarch. He had probably received favourable imIreland.
pressions of Ireland from the reports of his favourite Gavaston; and, in the pressure of his misfortunes in
* It cannot escape the reader's observation, that the modem Irish Roman catholic clergy has upon oath renounced and dise claimed all temporal power in the Pope.
+ Ril. Pl. Parl. App. aad Prynne's Anim. p. 264.
England, he is reported to have seriously attempted to throw himself into the arms of his Irish subjects. Amongst the charges against this unfortunate prince, his enemies most unwarrantably laid at his door the loss of his Irish dominions.
: CHAPTER VII.
The Reign of Edward III.
1327. EDWARD III. upon the resignation of his unfortunate
father, was proclaimed king, in the sixteenth year of Rapid succession of his age. A regency of twelve governors was placed governors impolitic. over him, but they were merely nominal ; and Isabella,
the queen mother, with her favourite Mortimer, exercised the power of the realm. Upon a general review of this King's reign, which continued fifty years, seven months, and twenty-seven days, the observation recurs, which has before been made upon the rapid succession of governors intrusted with the administration of Irish affairs ; a system, which must essentially have defeated the effects of sound policy upon an unsettled and naturally turbulent government. There were, during this reign, no fewer than forty-three changes of governors; thus none had the fair opportunity of correcting the errors of his predecessor, or reaping the fruits of his own harvest, however perfect the seed and the preparation of the soil for its rendering fruit in
due season. Internal in- The whole of our third Edward's reign was an unmidno od the interrupted tissue of the defection and reduction, con
cilia:ion and relapse, punishment and revenge of different chieftains both English and Irish. They indiscriminately affected sovereignty, prosecuted and defended their private claims by force of arms, concluded
and followed up alliances among themselves-like inde 1327. pendent potentates, although they all affected to treat the British monarch as the common sovereign paramount. The particulars of this general insubordination would disclose little of the political relations of the two kingdoms. The English and Irish historians are often ai variance in detailing the successes and effects of these domestic contests. The sole instruction to be drawn from the history of these unsettled times will be from the acts of state, which solemn record places out of uncertainty or doubt. They display a real anxiety in the British monarch to promote the happiness and welfare of his Irish subjects, and the fatal counteraction of the personal benevolence of the King by the corrupt government of deputies and their clerks.
The English nation considered the disgrace and mis. Reigns of fortunes of the late reign of Edward Iļ. as far as they and Edward concerned England, to have been cured by the vigor different as and glory of his successor. As to Ireland, the general effects of the reigns of father and son were not so different. The final subjugation and amelioration of the Irish people by legislation, appears to have been the common object of Edward II, and Edward III.; yet the latter, with all the power, which he acquired and preserved over his turbulent bai ons and English subjects during his long and prosperous reign, appears to have advanced the English interest in Ireland very little beyond what he found it on the resignation of his unfortunate father.
In the first year of this King's reign the Lord Arnold Two parliaPower, Lord Morris Fitz-Thomas, the Lord Morris Kilkenny
Ill. not very
1327. Butler and their confederates were in open war.
fare: whereupon the Earl of Kildare, then lord justice of Ireland, and others of the King's council summoned them to appear at a parliament at Kilkenny, where the Lord Morris Butler and Morris Fitz-Thomas demanded the King's charter of peace of the King's council, which took till Easter to advise thereon. In the second year of Edward the Third, there was a parliament at Dublin, at which the Earl of Ulster and all the nobles of Ireland were present, and at which some of the Irish petitioned the King for a general statute, that all Irishmen might use the laws of England, without purchasing particular charters to enable them ; which petition was remitted to the next para
liament. Parliament In the year 1329, the nobles of Ireland came to the of Dublin.
parliament at Dublin, where a peace was renewed between the Earl of Ulster, the Lord Morris Fitz-Thomas, and others; and these lords, with the King's council ordained, that is the King's peace should be fully kept, so that every nobleman and chieftain should keep in his own sept, retinue, and servants.”
In the next year a parliament was holden at Kilkenny, at which was expelled Briene O'Briene out of
Urkuffs. The most In 1331, Anthony, Lord Lucy; justice of Ireland, liament" convened a parliament at Dublin, which several of the been con- old lords did not attend; whereupon he removed to Ireland. Kilkenny, proroguing the parliament to a more distant
day, Here Lord Thomas Fitz-Thomas and others,