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1536. only of the first fruits of bishopricks and other secular
promotions in the church of Ireland, but by another act he was vested with those of abbies, priories, colleges, and hospitals. By a further act the authority of the bishop of Rome was more solemnly renounced, and the maintainers of it in Ireland made subject to a præmunire. Officers of every kind and degree were required to take the oath of supremacy; and every person refusing it was declared, 'as in England, guilty of high creason. Payment of pensions and suing for dispensations and faculties to Rome were utterly prohibited, by accommodating to Ireland the English law made for this purpose. By one act twelve religious houses, by another the priory of St. Wolstan's particularly, were suppressed, and their demesnes vested in the crown.
Servile con. As to the inheritable right of succeeding to the lord. Irish parlia. ship of Ireland, the parliament annulled the marriage of
the King with Catharine of Arragon, and confirmed the sentence of separation by the Archbishop of Canterbury. It declared the inheritance of the crown to be in the King and his heirs by Queen Ann (of Boleyn). It made it high treason to oppose that succession, and misprision of treason to slander it, or refuse the new oath for establishing it. On the execution of Ann Boleyn, and the King's marriage with the Lady Jane Seymour, the Irish parliament, in servile imitation of that of England, instantly repealed their late act, and passed an act of attainder on the late Queen Ann, George Boleyn, Lord Rochford,
William Brereton, and Mark Smeaton, as accomplices 1536. in the supposed guilt of that unhappy lady. Both the former marriages of Henry were declared null; the : succession was new modelled, and declared to be in the King and his heirs by the Lady Jane, his then Queen; and, in default of such heirs, he was empowered to dispose of the inheritance of the lordship of Ireland (as of the crown of England) by letters patent, or by will. · Other acts were made for the attainder of the Impolitic Earl of Kildare and others, and for enforcing forcing the
reformasome invidious and mischievous regulations, which tion. tended only to gratify the resentment, lust, avarice, and ambition of Henry, and rendered the English power contemptible and odious to the Irish nation *.
In order to remove a powerful opposition to the in- Proctors troduction of the royal supremacy, a previous act was from Parpassed to exclude from parliament the two proctors
* This policy of the English to discourage all connexion of the colony with the native Irish, the late Lord Clare observed, in the Irish House of Lords on the 10th of Feb. 1800, was not “ to be reconciled to any principle of sound policy: it was a declaration of perpetual war, not only against the native Irish, but against every person of English blood, who had settled beyond the limits of the pale, and from motives of personal interest or convenience had formed connexions with the natives, or adopted their laws and customs; and it had the full effect, which might have been expected: it drew closer the confederacy it was meant to dissolve, and implicated the colony of the pale in ceaseless warfare and contention with each other, and with the inhabitants of the adjacent districts. It was equally hopeless and impolitic to call upon the people at once to abjure the religion of their ancestors, and to subscribe to new doctrines."
1536. from every diocese, who had usually attended the par.
liaments in Ireland. This was considered by the nation an act of the most tyrannical oppression. The non-reforming party, though deprived of the assistance of so powerful a body both in the lords and com. mons, joined in expressing their abhorrence of the spiritual authority assumed by the King, whilst the ministers of Henry were equally determined in de fence of it. Archbishop Browne took the lead, and unequivocally pronounced those who opposed him to have no right to be treated as loyal subjects. Fear conquered persuasion; and the oppugners of the su. premacy reserved themselves for a clandestine opposition to the execution of laws, which they could not prevent from being enacted. But the hand of power was called in, and an act passed to make felony the attempt to invalidate any of the laws passed during that session of parliament. To enforce so presumptuous a decision of the legislature, it became necessary to add extraordinary vigilance and activity in the field. It was obvious, that religious controversy would aggravate the disorders of the country. * At this time a new schisin arose, which has been the bane and pestilence of Ireland. Religion was made a common cause, and afforded so powerful a pretence for insurrection, as for the time to have absorbed all the other grievances which Henry had heaped upon the Irish.
* Lord Clare's speech, p.7. In this instance we hope, that noble earl was less accurate in predicting the future than in rehearsing the past. He continues, “ It has rendered her a blank amidst the nations of Europe, and will, I fear, long continue to retard her progress in the civilised world.”.
Archbishop Browne, the great agent of the Irish 1539, reformation, found the utmost difficulty even in the
Archbishop seat of government to counteract the influence of Browne Cromer. The clergy of his cathedral opposed his the retorattempis to remove their images and relicks, which the commissioners exposed to sale without decency or reserve. Lord Gray burnt the cathedral of Down. and destroyed the ancient monuments of the saints Patrick, Bridget, and Columbkille. Several relicks, and among others the crozier of St. Patrick, which the natives held in great veneration, were indignantly committed to the flames. This violence offered to the feelings of the natives, superadded to other provocations and insults, produced collisions in the country, that threatened its very existence.'
Nearly four centuries had elapsed since the invasion Religion of Ireland : it had been a chequered scene of ar- excuse for
insurrection rogant oppression and servile humiliation, intemperate conquest and calamitous defeat, rancorous perfidy and hostile outrage. But from the introduction of the reformation, religious differences exacerbated civil dissentions. O'Nial, O'Bryan, and other Irish chieftains made religion their pretext for rising in arms. They failed, and submitted to the King. Henry learnt by experience to increase his power over the Irish rather by grace and favor, than severity or force. He bestowed honors and titles upon several of the chief families of those who came in, and induced them to resort to his court, where he honoured them with particular marks of attention, and loaded them with presents. In order the more effectually to
1542. reconcile them to the English government, he granted
to each ofthe newly created peers, a house and lands near Dublin, for their more convenient attendance on the lord lieutenant and parliament. Thus the reformation made considerable progress with the great,
but advanced more slowly with the lower orders. The lord To second the disposition of the Irish, which now ship conserted into appeared favorable to peace, and to give weight and the kingdom of Ire- brilliancy to the English government; St. Leger was
commissioned to summon a parliament, which enacted, that forasmuch as the King and his progenitors ever rightfully enjoyed all authority royal by the name of Lords of Ireland, but for lack of the title of King were not duly obeyed, 'his Highness and his heirs for ever should have the style and honor of King of Ireland, and that it should be deemed high treason to impeach that title, or to oppose the royal authority. Amongst several salutary statutes of this session, an excellent law t was passed, that electors in future were to be possessed in freeholds of forty shillings a year; and that such as were elected for counties, cities, and towns, should be resident in the places for which they were elected. One act however was passed in this parliament, which most injudiciously tended to create fresh jealousies, and alienate the affections of the Irish ; viz. that on the death,
* 33 Hen. VIII. c. 1.
+ This act was announced with great joy and exultation, and was followed up with a royal proclamation, which may be seen in the Appendix to my Historical Review, No. IV.