Imágenes de páginas

resignation, or recall of a deputy, the chancellor 1542, should issue writs to the privy counsellors to assemble and choose for Governor, during the King's pleasure, a layman of English birth, and if none such could be procured, two laymen of English blood and surname to be lords justices, to whom the lord chancellor should administer the oath and give patents. This distinction in favor of the English, wounded and insulted the feelings of the Irish, to whom it must have appeared evident, that men born and having property and a natural interest in that country were the persons the most natural, and best qualified to be intrusted with the government of it.

So notorious was it, that the acts of the Irish par- Ordinances liament, though nominally affecting the whole king- served withdom, produced no effect beyond the pale, that the government passed some ordinances for the regulation of such parts of the kingdom, as were without the pale. These were not entirely consonant with the English laws, but such as might tend to the gradual reformation of those, who (as the preamble of the ordinances expresses it) were not “ so perfectly acquainted with the laws, that they could at once live and be governed by them.” They were published by way of proclamation, on the 12th of July, 1542*.

to be ob

out the pale.


* They were called temporary constitutions made by the lord deputy and council in magno parliamento pro reformatione habi. tantium hujus regni in partibus Mumoniæ qui nondum sic sapiunt leges el jura, ut secundum ea jam immediate vivere aut regi possint. Any public act of parliament to this effect wonld have been inconsistent with the statutes published in the 33d of Henry VIII.

vies' state

ut the time.

1542. And although no attempts were as yet made to intro

duce a new system of jurisprudence into other quarters of the island, yet a number of commissioners were appointed for each province, who were to exér. cise the office of the ancient Brehons, to hear and decide occasional controversies, or refer them to the deputy or council, when the cause was perplexed or

the parties obstinate. Sir J. Da · Sir J. Davies fairly represents the state of Ireland of Ireland at this period of Henry's reign. “ For all this while,

the provinces of Connaught and Ulster, and a good parte of Leinster, were not reduced to shire ground. And though Mounster were anciently divided into counties, the people were so degenerate, as no justice of assize durst execute his commission amongst them, None of the Irish lords or tenants were settled in their possessions by anie graunte or confirmation of the crowne, except the three great earls before named; who, notwithstanding, did govern their tenants and followers by the Irish or Brehon law, so as no treason, murther, rape, or theft, committed in those countries, was inquired of or punished by the law of England.” And he also remarks: “ That the abbies and religious houses in Tyrone, Tirconnel, and Fermanagh, though they were dissolved in the 33d year of Henry VIII. were never surveyed nor reduced into charge, but

therefore this half-measured compromise came out as an act of the deputy and council, and was notified to the subject by way of proclamation. The ordinances are to be seen in the App. to my Historical Review, No. V.

apply to the

• France,

clines as

were continually possessed by religious persons until 1544.the reign of James I.”

In this state of things, O'Nial, O'Donnel, O'Dog, The Irish. herty, and some other Irish chieftains, either repent- King of ing of their too hasty, submission, or weary of their who dedependance upon the English, proposed terms to the sisting French King to become his subjects, on condition of

in of them. his sending over a sufficient force to enable them , to shake off the English yoke. Francis the First sent over the Bishop of Valence to reconnoitre and report to him the situation of the country, and the probability of expelling the English. This prelate found the chieftain of Tyrconnel, and some other of the Irish dynasts to whom he applied, either so staunch to their engagements with Henry, or so averse from submitting to a foreign yoke, that the French monarch declined engaging in the affair. On the other hand the Irish showed themselves ever ready to fight the battles of England; and Henry was attended to the siege of Boulogne by a corps of Irish infantry, who distinguished themselves by their activity, prowess, and loyalty. Some fresh contests broke out between the Irish Death and

character of chieftains and their dependants, and were settled by Henry. the arbitration of the chief governor. The unusual degree of tranquillity which the country enjoyed during the remainder of Henry's reign was evidently the effect of terror. Of all monarchs, who ever sat on the British throne, Henry was unquestionably the most arbitrary and despotic. He never was known to spare man in his rage, nor woman in his lust. The


change he effected in the national religion, has rendered it difficult to meet with any historian who has not brightened or blackened his character to exaggeration. He reigned thirty-seven years, and died in the 56th year of his age.


The Reign of Edward VI.



Edward the only son of Henry VIII. was but in 1546. the 10th year of his age, at the death of his father, Reign of

Edward afHis infancy, and the short duration of his reign call fected not our attention merely to the general effects of forcing the reformation of religion upon the Irish, in unison with the spirit of reform, which actuated the regency of England during the whole of this reign, which lasted only six years, five months, and nine days.

Shortly after the demise of Henry, O’Moore, Insurgent O'Byrne, O'Connor and some other chieftains showed subdued by

Bellingham. themselves in arms, hoping to take advantage of the weakness of the English government during the infancy of the monarch. They were subdued by Sir Anthony Bellingham, who had been seasonably sent over with a reinforcement of four hundred foot and six hundred horse. Desmond also having shown symptoms of turbulency was surprised in his house by the deputy and carried prisoner to Dublin. Bellingham so worked upon him by reason and mildness, that Desmond made sincere atonement, was released upon giving sureties for his future conduct, and con. tinued peaceable and loyal to his death *. Belling

[ocr errors]

* Desmond after his release daily prayed for the deputy by the name of the good Bellingham.

« AnteriorContinuar »