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1460. ture no persons should be obliged by any command

ment under any other seal but that of Ireland to answer any appeal, or any other matter, out of the said land; and that no officer, to whom such commandment might come, should put the same in execution, under the penalty of forfeiture of goods and chattels, and 1000 marks, half to be paid to the King, and the other to the prosecutor ; and further, that all appeals of treason in Ireland should be determinable before the constable and marshal of Ireland, and in no other place. And finally, that if any person should appeal to any other person, within the land of Ireland, and the matter should be found false, the prosecutor should suffer death: and that no pardon in the

case should avail him. Duke of . After the victory obtained by the Yorkists at NorthYork comes over fromí ampton, the Duke of York came over from Ireland, Ireland to England, attended by great numbers of partisans, at the head

of whom he arrived in London, where he was declared successor to Henry, in a parliament surrounded and intimidated by his forces. Margaret raised a powerful army in the north to oppose him. He marched with five thousand men, mostly Irish, to meet them; was attacked at Wakefield by twenty thousand, and in this unequal contest, fell with a

great part of his army on the field of action. The con This defeat of the duke was nearly fatal to the

English interest in Ireland. The native chieftains fell its inter- upon the deserted pale, and obliged every English Ireland. settler there to submit to them, as to their sovereign

lords. The English, thus reduced, were constrained

and falls in battle.

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tests in England weaken

est in



to purchase their peace on any terms. In this enfeebled state, parliament was summoned at the interval of a few months, and subsidies wantonly imposed without necessity, and beyond the abilities of the people to bear. To remedy this grievance, a law passed for eight years, forbidding the holding of more than one parliament in the year. The unfortunate contests of the two Roses in England served but to foment disunion and feuds between the dwindled and reduced lords of the pale in Ireland, and to feed the insolent turbulency of the native chieftains. The unfortunate reign of Henry VI. ended twelve years before his death; for he departed out of this life on the 21st of May, 1472. Amongst the articles ex. hibited against this monarch, one was, that, “ by the instigation of divers lords about him, he had written letters to some of the Irish enemy, whereby they were encouraged to attempt the conquest of the said land of Ireland.”

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The Reign of Edward IV.



reign of

1461. The fourth day of March, in the year 1461, was Bloody the commencement of the reign of Edward IV. who Edward iv. then was in the 20th year of his age. His personal

comeliness and graceful address endeared hini to the multitude. Though entitled by hereditary right, he acquired possession of the crown, by the tumultuary election or acclamation of his party. What he procured in turbulence, he preserved in severity. The unfortunate kingdom beheld during his reign the scaffold and the field stream with the noblest blood of the land, immolated alternately to the vengeance of

the prevailing party. Duke of After the fatal action at Wakefield, the King's Clarence, the King's council, in exercise of their ancient right, elected as brother, made lord governor, Thomas Earl of Kildare, until the royal for lift. pleasure should be known: he was afterwards con

firmed by patent from the new King; and the acts of his administration exercised in the name of Henry VI. were ratified by the Irish parliament. He was speedily superseded by the appointment of George Duke of Clarence, the brother of Edward IV. to the

lieutenancy for life. Death of. The Earl of Ormond, one of the most zealous the Earl of Ormond. supporters of the house of Lancaster, was attainted

and executed upon a scaffold. The Irish parliament,


of his enge

in unison with that of England, passed an act for the 1462. attainder of several noblemen, and others of the family of Butler for adhering to the King's enemies. But Sir John Butler, brother of the late Earl, raised a large force from amongst his dependents, and bade defiance to the King's deputy. He was opposed by Desmond at the head of 20,000 men, and completely routed. Thus ended the only effort made in Ireland, to op- Desmond

falls into pose the Yorkists. Desmond for his services was ap- the snares pointed lord deputy. The authority of government, mies. united to his personal consequence, inflated this inexperienced young nobleman to such a degree, that he soon fell a victim to his vanity and imbecility. He was defeated and taken prisoner by O'Connor of Offaly, who generously released him. He involved himself in a quarrel with the bishop of Meath, and was accused by the enemies of the Geraldines, who were very powerful in Ireland, as an oppressor of the King's subjects, and violator of the laws. The bishop first sent his agents into England, to make such representations to the court of Edward; and after Desmond had convened a parliament of his own at Wexford, from which he procured honorable testimonials of his good conduct, he repaired to England, where he was graciously received by the King. He returned to his government, elated with this mark of royal favor, and became more open to the designs of his enemies.

A parliament convened at Dublin enacted, that Act for pay. or whereas the liege people had been heretofore re- black rent, duced to pay a tallage called black rent to the Irish ing Irish


ment of

and punish

not excommuni. cating dis.

1463. enemy and English rebels, such tallage should for the prelates for future be paid to the King's deputy, for the better sus

i tenance of his army.” This was a plan insidiously cal

culated to throw disgrace upon the treaties lately made loyal subjects,

by Desmond ; for any attempt to execute such an act would have been instantly productive of insurrection. Another statute of this parliament shows the iniquitous abuse of power, which the animosity of those days occasioned; and how mischievously the spiritual power of the church was prostituted to the purposes of the state. In all the indentures of the Irish, executed on their submissions to the chief governor, there was an express provision, that in case of any violation of their compact, they would submit to the excommunication of the church. The Irish bishops situated at a distance from the seat of government, were not always ready or anxious to denounce this formidable sentence against their countrymen. A statute * to the following purport was therefore passed.. " Whereas our holy father Adrian pope of Rome was possessed of all the seignory of Ireland in right of his church, which for a certain rent he alienated to the King of England, and his heirs for ever; by which grant the subjects of Ireland owe their obedience to the King of England as their sovereign lord; it is therefore ordained, that all archbishops and bishops of Ireland, shall upon the monition of forty days, proceed to the excommunication of all disobedient subjects; and if such archbishop or bishop be remiss in doing their

* 7 Edw. IV. c. 9.

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