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The Reign of Henry IV.




1399. 'LITTLE was it to be expected, that Henry IV. sur

named Bullingbroke from the place of his nativity in Turbulent reign of Lincolnshire, should enjoy a reign of serenity, when Hen. IV. not benefi- he had worked his way to the throne, by procuring cial to Ire

or countenancing the deposition and murder of the King, and the exclusion of the right heir from the crown he himself was wearing. His personal accomplishments had acquired him, whilst Duke of Lancaster, the estimation and interests of a large party in the nation, by means of which he had the address, notwithstanding his want of' title, to engage Arundell, archbishop of Canterbury, to place the crown upon his head. In his accession were sown the seeds of those disastrous feuds of the houses of York and Lancaster, which afterwards spread their baneful consequences even to Ireland. This King was however too constantly engaged in domestic troubles and insurrections, even to attempt any measures beneficial or im

portant to that country. Insignifi- Ireland at this time appeared of such insignificance to cance of Ireland to the monarch, that the English parliament in the first monarch." year of his reign, granted him*a subsidy for three years,




* Cot. Rec. 1, H.IV. p. 390.



and one dişme and one fifteenth towards the provision "1401. for Ireland, amongst other objects of state necessity. So ill were the affairs of this country administered, that in less than two years four chief governors were successively appointed, who seemed to vie with each other in their address to increase the discontents and turbulency of the kingdom. The archbishops of Armagh and Dublin were deputed by the Irish parliament, to lay before the King the national grievances. They were graciously received, and probably occasioned the extraordinary appointment of the King's son, Thomas Duke of Lancaster to the government for twenty-one years.

The arrival of his royal highness in Ireland for the Duke of time gave weight to the English government. Some made lord of the native chieftains were subdued: some few made for twentyof repeated their external submission to the lord lieutenant. Ulster was for a time freed from the Scotch marauders, who, from the commencement of this reign had harassed that province in separate detachments. In this year (3 H. IV.) a parliament was holden at Dublin, and an ordinance issued for enforcing the statute against Irish absentees, soon after which the Duke of Lancaster returned to England on account of the troubles raised against his father, “ so that,” according to Sir J. Davies, “ the seed of reformation took no root at all.” In the fifth of this King's reign, under the Earl of several par

liaments in Ormond, chief justice, another parliament was con- Ireland. vened at Dublin, wherein the statutes of Kilkenny, and of Dublin, and the charter of Ireland were confirmed.

, one years.




3404. Several other parliaments were assembled in this

reign, at some of which tallages were granted, and
many wholesome ordinances enacted, though they
were not observed. The King's wishes appear to
have exceeded his power to improve the internal state
of the country. During his reign, which only lasted
{hirteen years, his son the Duke of Lancaster was
twice more appointed lord lieutenant for twelve, and
for seven years. It appears from the Irish annals,
that the holding of parliament was offensive to the
rative Irish; for it is particularly remarked, that dur-
ing a parliament convened in the 14th of Hen. IV.
" the Irish fell to burning in divers places, as they had
often done in parliament times; wherefore a tallage

was demanded, but not granted.” Singular The terms, on which the Duke of Lancaster accepted he Duke of his third and last appointment were singular. . Besides to send the provision made for his attendants, and their pay, milies out he was allowed at the King's charge, to transport

m a family or two out of every parish in England,

to inhabit Ireland. Had this provision been acted upon, an influx of above 20,000 indigent individuals might have been thrown upon a distressed country, which, from the long continuance of war and . famine, was little able to support its own population.

This appears to have been the first idea of plantations in Ireland, afterwards so fatally mischievous to that country. He was also enabled to grant benefices, and appoint his own deputy. It was further provided that all the demesnes of the crown should be resumed, and the acts of absentees executed. Some

power to

over two fa

of each pa.



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historians relate, that the Duke of Lancaster was wounded under the walls of Dublin ; but they all agree, that he returned to England within three months after this last appointment. Nothing important to Ireland happened during the remainder of this reign. Sir J. Davies indeed has remarked, that “after this the state of England had no leisure to think of a general reformation in the realm, till the civil dissen tions of England were appeased, and the peace o that kingdom settled by Henry VII.”


The Reign of Henry V.

ment of the

1413. HENRY V. of Monmouth succeeded his father with. Heroic

out opposition from any quarter. The nobility swore commence- allegiance to him before his coronation. The settled Jeign of doctrine of the hereditary right to the crown appears Hensy V.

then to have been, that it devolved by operation of law upon the heir of the person, who died last seised. This young prince, then only in the 24th year of hiş age, had during his father's life, formed an intimacy with several young gentlemen of amiable accomplishments, though rather dissolute habits, who flattered and seduced him into some of the irregularitics incidental to youth. One of the first acts, however, after his accession to the throne, was to forbid any one of his favourite companions, to approach within ten miles of his royal presence : so determined was he to act without partiality or favor for the welfare and prosperity of his people.

The mistaken policy of those days directed the from Ire: energies of this young prince to the recovery and preconquests servation of his continental possessions in France,

which were crowned with the ever memorable victory of Agincourt, where ten thousand brave Englishmen, half famished, fatigued, reduced by disease, and surrounded, routed one hundred and forty thousand

Henry withdrawn

land by his

in France.

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