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the Geraldines at. tainted.
duties in the premises, they shall forfeit one hundred 1467. pounds." The lord deputy, Tiptoft Earl of Worcester and his party affected by a vigorous administration to support the interest of the crown, though they chiefly levelled their severity against Desmond and his friends.
The parliament was adjourned to Drogheda *, where Heads of the Yorkists procured an act“ for attainting of trea- dines acar son Thomas Earl of Desmond, Thomas Earl of Kil. dare, and Edward Plunkett, Esq. for alliance, fostering, and alterage with the King's Irish enemies, for furnishing them with horses, harness and arms, and supporting them against the King's subjects, declaring their goods and lands forfeited, and that whoever should not discover their goods to the Earl of Worcester, within fourteen days after the rising of parliament, should be attainted of felony." Kildare was imprisoned, but either escaped or was released. Desmond repaired to the chief governor to justify his conduct, but was instantly brought to the scaffold and beheaded. A rare example of a great man falling the victim to a code of severity, which had never been practised on the multitude. So prompt in those factious days was the vindictive animosity of party. Some ineffectual attempts were made to revenge the Feeble ef
fort of Ger death of this earl, by Gerrat, one of the surviving rat to re
venge the branches of the family of Desmond, for which he was at- death of
Desmond. tainted. The enemies of that house enjoyed but a short
* Of several laws passed in this parliament, two unly are printed, one of which expressly extends to Ireland the English statute against rapes, and all other statutes theretofore made in Eng. land.
1470 lived triumph. Kildare, who had escaped to England,
easily obtained his pardon. The very parliament, which condemned him in obsequious submission to the royal mandate, reversed his attainder, and restored him to his estate and dignity. To complete his triumph, he was soon after constituted lord deputy in the room of Tiptoft, who was recalled to England, and suffered on the scaffold under a sentence similar to that, which he had executed upon Desmond. Thus was the Geraldine ascendancy once more established, and all the acts repealed, which had been passed to the prejudice of the Earl of Kildare. The goods belonging to the late deputy were moreover vested in their present governor, as a compensation for his imprisonment, and
the other damages he had sustained. Duke of
On the restoration of Henry VI. through the vieute. gorous interposition of the Earl of Warwick, the
Duke of Clarence had been created by a new patent lord licutenant of Ireland for 20 years: but no change was made in the actual administration of the Irish government, by this short lived revolution *. Kildare continued in the station of lord deputy, but the English of Ireland were generally left to their own resources, which were so pitiably slender, that † the act for supplies provided for no more than an establishment of one hundred and sixty archers, and
* The whole business of parliament was to reverse attainders, in which was that of Ormond, to repeal all the acts of Edward IV. and to declare him an usurper. He and his adherents were attainted.
† 13 Edw. IV. c. 61.
hood of St.
sixty-four spearmen, of whom twenty-four were to 1473. form the particular retinue of Kildare's son Gerald. They were to be retained for three months in the counties of Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Argial, and to be paid out of the revenue ; and in aid of the appointment the officers were empowered to quarter their soldiers in all such places, as they should resort to for the public weal. This was in fact a renovation of the execrable system of coigne and livery, or free quarters, the sure forerunner and concomitant of bad times.
Kildare's next parliament provided a more perma- Brothernent military establishment, which still however be- George. spoke the exility of their means. They instituted a society of thirteen persons of the first consequence in the pale; namely, the Earl of Kildare, Lord Portlester, and Sir Rowland Eustace for the county of Kildare; Lord Howth the mayor of Dublin, and Sir Robert Dowdal for that of Dublin ; Lord Gormanstown, Edward and Alexander Plunkett, and Barnaby Barnwall for the county of Meath; and the mayor of Drogheda, Sir Lawrence Taaff, and Richard Bellew for Argial. They were to assemble annually at Dublin, on St. George's day, to renew their pledges of zeal for the English government, and were stiled the Brotherhood of St. George. To their annual captain were assigned, as his train, one hundred and twenty archers on horseback, and forty other horsemen with one attendant to each. To support this armament, the fraternity was empowered to de. mand twelve pence in the pound upon all merchandize sold in Ireland, except hides, and the goods of the
1474, freemen of Dublin and Drogheda. They were also
empowered to make by-laws for the regulation of their society, to elect new members on vacancies ; and their captain had particular authority to apprehend outlaws, rebels, and all who refused due obedience
to law. Restoration In the mean while John Earl of Ormond had the followed by address to ingratiate himself with the King, who high
ly estimated his attractive accomplishments, and he was fully restored to his estate and dignity. This restoration of the family of Butler, accompanied by the dismissal of Kildare from the government, soon rekindled the flame of discord throughout Ireland. Edward sent his commission to the archbishop of Armagh to act as umpire between the contending parties, and to determine their differences in the fulness of royal authority. The Geraldine party once more gained the ascendancy, and Gerald the young Earl of Kildare assumed the government; yet he was opposed by other deputies appointed by the King, who increased the disasters of this unfortunate country, by keeping up opposite establishments, holding opposite parliaments (or conventions) at the same time, and passing contrariant laws (or ordi
nances). Kildare in. The Earl of Kildare, on his second appointment
to the government, received from the King special and full instructions to compose the disorders of the late short and tumultuous administrations. The con. troversy between the two co-existing parliaments, each claiming its own legality, was submitted to the decision
vested with larger powers.
of the King. He pronounced in favor of neither, but 1480.
m directed certain acts made by both to be established or annulled in the ensuing parliament, and pointed out such provisions in cach, as the interest of the crown or the welfare of the state required. Kildare, during the remainder of this reign is represented by the Irish annalists as taking too interested a part in the local quarrels of the old natives, who still continued to oppose each other by inforcing the usual provisions for the defence and security of the English settlements. Sir John Davies has in very few words given a strong etching of the state of Ireland at this tumultuous period *. “ After his (Henry VI.) death, when the wars between the houses were in their heat, almost all the good English blood, which was left in Ireland, was spent in those civil dissentions: so as the Irish became victorious over all without blood or sweat. Only that little canton of land, called the English pale, con : taining four small shires, did maintain a bordering war with the Irish, and retain the form of English government. But out of that little precinct, there were no lords, knights, or burgesses summoned to the parliament ; neither did the King's writ run in any other part of the kingdom ; and yet upon the marches and borders, which at that time were grown so large, as they took up half Dublin, half Meath, and a third part of Kildare and Lowth; there was no law in use, but the march law, which in the statutes of Kilkenny, is said to be no law, but a lewd custom."
* Dav. Disc.