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of Henry's reign, during the remainder of which nothing worth notice happened in Ireland. Henry died of a consumption in the 52d year of his age, after having reigned twenty-three years and eight months.



fc. 8c.







The Reign of Henry VIII. Henry was but in the nineteenth year of his age 1509. when his father died. In his person were united alla the pretensions of the houses of York and Lancaster. and cha He succeeded to the throne to the uncommon joy of Henry VIII. the people, who had long been disgusted with the increasing jealousy, severity, and avarice of his father. Henry was endowed with extraordinary accomplish. ments both of mind and body. He complied with his father's request by marrying the Princess Catharine of Arragon, the betrothed widow of his elder


brother Prince Arthur, within six weeks after his father's decease, and before his coronation. Henry VII. had it in contemplation to seat his second son Henry in the see of Canterbury, and in that view had given him a classical and learned education, in order to qua

lify him for that station. English and Such is the peculiarity of the events, which mark ascendancy. this period of Irish history, that truth and candor be

come forniidable to the historian, who seeks the approbation of his cotemporary readers. We have seen how the interests of Ireland suffered from an English ascendancy, whilst both countries professed the same religion. We shall hereafter trace the origin and progress of the protestant ascendancy, which arose out

of the change of the national religion. I lenry inat- Vanity and ambition prompted Henry to interfere the affairs in the politics of the continent, and to lose sight of

Ireland. Kildare and the other ministers of state were continued in office. The same spirit of loyalty, by which the deputy had been distinguished during the latter part of the reign of Henry the Seventh, attached him to the interests of his son. He advanced against a body of insurgents of the district contiguous to Des.. mond, and depopulated their country, but suffered greatly. He returned to Dublin, and soon after died. Upon his death the council elected his son Gerald deputy, and Henry confirmed the choice. The insurrections suppressed by Kildare broke out afresh, but Gerald quickly re-established tranquillity. The honors conferred upon him excited the envy of Peter Butler Earl of Ormond, who, the more effectually

tentive to

of Ireland


to injure the deputy, paid court to Wolsey, and ac• 1521. cused Kildare of having unjustly alienated the King's revenue, and of having entered into secret connections with the enemies of his government. The deputy was summoned to England to answer for his conduct, was deprived of his office, and Thomas Earl of Surry substituted in his place as lord lieutenant, who effece tually opposed O’Nial, accepted his submission, and conferred on him the honour of knighthood, and other marks of royal favor. Surry was as much distinguished by his civil as his Ormond in

power, Kita military conduct. After a residence in Ireland of two dare impri

soned. years, he returned to England, when he was placed at the head of the troops, with which Henry had prepared to invade France. Ormond succeeded Surry as de. puty in Ireland. His administration was not agreeable to the generality of the pale, and Kildare, who had been out of the kingdom for some time, returned and renewed his animosity against the viceroy. Their mutual complaints were transmitted to England. Kil. dare succeeded; and the reins of government being taken from Ormond, were committed to him: but his honours were transient. The King of France, then at war with England, to embarrass Henry, proposed to enter into a treaty with Desmond, who listened to the offer. Henry highly provoked commanded the deputy to seize him. Kildare, from partiality to his kinsman, made a show of obedience, but did not execute the order. His enemies represented his conduct to the King, who cast him into prison, from which he was with difficulty afterwards enlarged.



Many circumstances combined to render the Eng* Overbear- lish monarch, who was known only at a distance by ing influ. ence of Kil- his Irish subjects, rather hateful than gracious. The

Earl of Kildare, who on the death of Wolsey had regained the height of favor, felt himself confirmed in the lieutenantcy almost beyond the power of opposition, and instead of the relative dignity of a vicegerent, he affected the sovereign grandeur of an Irish chieftain. The lords of the old Irish race crowded round him, and were received as his kinsmen and associates. Two of his daughters were given in marriage to O'Connor of O’Faly, and O'Carroll, two powerful chieftains in defiance of the law, which prohibited such connections. The whole pale, except the partisans of Kildare, was not only shut out of

favour, but even protection. Kildare Kildare had thus sharpened the envy and efforts of and his son his enemies. He was summoned to England under a Lord Thomas exe peremptory mandate to commit the government to some

person in his absence, for whom he should be responsi. ble: he unfortunately intrusted it to his son Lord Thomas Fitzgerald, an amiable and accomplished youth of twenty-one years of age. Kildare, soon after his landing in England, was committed to the Tower; and false reports were circulated in Ireland, that he had been beheaded. They no sooner reached his son, than he instantly flew into open rebellion, and was supported by numerous malecontents amongst the Geraldines, who had been supplied with arms and ammunition by Kildare before his departure, in contemplation of the probability of such an event. After various disasters produced by the temerity of


mas executed.

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