Richard H.Ii-.tt












against unlike all other islands it is circled round IRELAND with mountains. her harbours opened to the sunrising. her natural . Neither history nor geography allows this theory. whose precipitous cliffs rising sheer above the water stand as bulwarks thrown up against the immeasurable sea.IEISH NATIONALITY CHAPTER I THE GAELS IN IRELAND lies the last outpost of Europe the vast flood of the Atlantic Ocean. Great Britain lay turned to the east. and her first traffic was across the narrow waters of the Channel and the German Sea. The life of the two countries was widely separated. It is commonly supposed that the fortunes of the island and its civilisation must by nature hang on those of England. But Ireland had another aspect.

They drove the earlier peoples.8 IRISH NATIONALITY swelled harbours with the waves of the Atlantic. Celts and English. We do not know when the Gaels first entered Ireland. the Iberians. her outlook was over the ocean. and an old Irish tract gives the definite Gaelic monarchy as beginning in the fourth century B. One invasion followed another. more in number than their conquerors. they lived apart. The two their islands had a were different trade-routes not the same. cliffs their organisation to the country. while . the people of Ireland crossed a wider ocean-track. history. and developed apart their civilisations. The Gaels gave their language and trenchments that guarded tain passes. The peoples of Britain. who lived on under the new rulers. from the stupendous stone forts and earthen en- and mounThe name of Erin recalls the ancient inhabitants. coming according to ancient Irish legends across the Gaulish sea.C. from northern France to the shores of the Bay of Biscay. came to her from the opposite lowland coasts. and long before history begins her sailors braved the perils of the Gaulish sea.

from about 300 B. towards their sheds and their All met in the middle of full cattle-fields. its lakes and rivers for fishing. where the cattle from the mountains "used to go in their running crowds to the smooth plains of the province.THE GAELS IN IRELAND many customs and race lingered on people. and its share of the rich central plain. as the chief lord in the confederation of the many states. to 800 A. The Roman Empire which overran Great Britain" barbarians left Ireland outside it. There the high-king held his court.C. its Mun- and Connachtjiad stretch of seaboard its and harbours. at the Hill of Usnech. where the Stone of Division still stands. its hill pastures. Leinster. The . mountain strongholds.D." the island. 9 traditions of the older and penetrated the new Over a thousand years of undisturbed life lay before the Gaels. The who swept over the provinces of the empire and reached to the great Roman Wall never crossed the Irish Sea. Each of the prov- Out of the inces later ster known as Ulster. grouping of the tribes there emerged a division of the island into districts made up of many peoples.

the thronged entrenchments that thicken round the Gap of the North and the mountain pass from Dundalk and Newry into the plains of Armagh and Tyrone. and a spear flaming in her hand. line of .10 IRISH NATIONALITY rich lands of Mg^th were the high-king's domain. Against him Queen Maeve gathered at her majestic fort of Rathcroghan in Roscommon fifteen hundred royal mercenaries and Gaulish soldiers a woman comely and white-faced. her crimson cloak fastened at the breast with a gold pin. the champion of the north. Heroic tales celebrate the prehistoric conas of giants by which the peoples fixed flicts the boundaries of their power. with gold yellow hair. and of his sister's son Cuchulain. as she led her troops across the Boyne. of They tell Nessa who began to reign in the year that Mark Antony and Cleopatra died. who went out to Conor Mac battle in from the vast entrenchments still seen Emain Macha near Armagh. show how the soldiers' march was the same from the days of Cuchulain to those of William of Orange. The battles of the heroes on the Boyne and the fields of Louth.

greatest stones for his fortress. had sent his knights and warriors through all Ireland to seek out the a rival of Cuchulain. the appearance of rivers. Gaelic conquerors had entered on a wealthy land. the first digging of wells: of the making of forts. of lowlands cleared of wood. and conflicts the Amid such fixed there the centre of Irish life. arms and ornaments. They told of the smelting of gold near the Liffey about 1500 B. on a shelf of rock over two thousand feet above the sea extreme point of Curoi near Tralee. to the Munster. The Dublin Museum preserves relics of that heroic time. and of the Wicklow artificer who made cups . Connacht kings pressed eastward from Usnech to Tara. with a shadowy line of monarchs reaching back. where son of Dare. Irish chroniclers told of a The vast antiquity. the making of roads and causeways.THE GAELS IN IRELAND The story tells 11 how the whole island shared in the great conflict.C. as they boasted. the trappings of war-chariots and horses. for some two thousand years before Christ: they had legends of lakes springing forth in due order. of invasions and battles and plagues.

that mines of copper and silver were worked. purple and blue and green. that scanty remnant of what have been lost or melted down. Later researches have in fact shown that Irish commerce went back some fifteen hun- it was the most famous gold-producing country of the west. and of a of foreign trade of an artificer lady's hair all ablaze with Alpine gold. Scotland. their weight is five hundred and seventy ounces against a weight of tewnty ounces in the British Museum from England. Some five hundred golden ornaments of old times have been gathered together in the Dublin Museum in the last eighty years. and silver shields. . a dred years before our era. and how the ranks of distinguished henceforth by the colour of their raiment. and of torques of gold from oversea. and Wales.12 IRISH NATIONALITY and brooches of gold and silver. They had traditions men were drowned while bringing golden ore from Spain. and of the discovery of dyes.probably carried on the manufacture of bronze and gold on what is now the bog of Cullen. and that a race of goldsmiths . and golden chains for the necks of kings.

barbarians who became the notion . The new of bronze. tillage. different it from that of mediaeval Europe. but was not The Roman Empire stamped on of its subject peoples. and the mode was ment and uncivilised. the minds and on the Teutonic its heirs. who used iron tools instead could clear forests and open plains for Agriculture was their pride. This as the of mark was not true of the Gaels. preservation. The tribal system has been much derided a savage people. to the Irish the lies in their But Gaels main interest of the conception of how to create an enduring state or nation. 13 earth too was fruitful. while multitudes of reapers were at work cutting the heads of the grain with the little sickles which we may still see in the Dublin Museum.THE GAELS IN IRELAND The settlers. Their essential of its govern- idea of a state. and nobles and queens drove chariots along their far-reaching lines. and their legends told of stretches of corn so great that deer could shelter in them from the hounds. or at least of a race unable to advance beyond political infancy into a real national existence.

essential life of the nation came to be expressed in the will and power of its master. by a central ruler. The Gaelic idea was a wholly different one. Such an instinct the heroes. and the like were secondlearning. They never lost their trust in it. the adminison the other hand was divided into the widest possible range of self-governing communities. in a willing federation. while the sovereign was supreme in the of a state as domain of force and maintenance of order. history The ary matters which might be left to the people. Hence they never exalted a central authority. for their law needed no such sanction.14 IRISH NATIONALITY an organisation held together. which were bound together The forces of union spiritual. The law with them was the law of the people. who shared the same same glorious memory of same unquestioned law. and the same pride of literature. were not material but cohesion but in and the life of the people consisted not in its military its joint spiritual inheritance in the union of those tradition. tration While the ^ode was one for the whole race. defended. governed and policed. whatever lay outside that domain art. the .

The privileges of the various chiefs. The tribe owed to the greater tribe above it nothing . of At the least the Irish tribal scheme government contained as much human virtue and happiness as the feudal scheme which became later the promise of political creed of England. nor need we despise it because it was opposed to the theory of the middle ages in Europe. were handed down from generation to generation. poets. captains. land belonged to the whole community. and the chief had no power over the soil save as the elected trustee of the people. Irish history can only be understood by realising this intense national life with its sure basis on the broad self-government of the people. judges. and so on. which kept exact pedigrees of the families who had a right to share in the ground for tillage or in the mountain pasturage. but which was never accepted in Ireland.THE GAELS IN IRELAND of national life 15 was neither rude nor con- temptible. and could depose him The if he acted against law. historians. it its own elected its own chief. Each tribe was supreme within borders. In all these matters no external power could interfere.

in ransom of prisoners and The same right of self-government extended through the whole hierarchy of states up to the Ardri or high-king at the head.kings and ollaves together round the high-king. together. ' on which ye are. seven hundred and sixty feet long and ninety feet wide. The "hearth of Tara" was the centre of all the Gaelic states. warriors and reavers. namely." said the the island in which ye are. while outside was for young men and maidens - because their mirth used to entertain them. the youths and maidens and the proud foolish folk in the chambers round the doors. Tar a. even Ireland. 'This then is my fostermother. the like. in war." There the Ardri was crowned at the At Tara. and the demesne of the Ardri." the people of all Ireland island is the hill gathered at the beginning of each high-king's reign. and learned men. and were entertained for seven days and nights . "the fort of poets pillar-post. Huge earthen banks still mark the site of the great Hall. and the familiar knee of this ancient sage.16 IRISH NATIONALITY but certain fixed dues. such as aid in roadmaking. with seven doors .

The same tribes traditions and genealogies bound the .THE GAELS IN IRELAND to east 17 and as many more to west. of science. where and chiefs sat each under his own kings crimson cloaks with gold brooches. in The supreme lord and arbitrator among them. He could impose no new law. recited in every tribal by The same law was assembly. men and the druids. all accepted the one code which had been fashioned in the course of ages the genius of the people. he could demand no service outside the law. the of the race. of the whole national But his rested on the tradition of the people power and on the consent of the tribes. shield. which represented as were the common mind of the people. drew all its national tradition. teachers and He was the representative life. which seemed from a body of strength and a universal code of of union. the bards Ardri. and chroniclers. and spears with golden sockets and rivets of red bronze. The political bond so loose. it law. was surrounded by his councillors the law-men or brehons. Separate and independent spontaneous creation as the tribes were. with girdles and shoes of gold.

noble history. There To were schools of lawyers to expound the law. "for such inwas meet that we should gather of And at the recittogether. schools of historians to preserve the genealogies. . and schools first of poets to recite the traditions of the race." ing of the historic glories of their past. sirs. The gifts learned men were paid at by the but the chief among them were later endowed with a settled share of the of the people. their common history was the concern of the whole people. the boundaries of lands. ". their gathering One of the tales pictures at Tara. and the rights of classes and families. the whole congregation arose up together ourselves "for in their eyes it was an augmenting of the spirit and an enlargement of the mind.Victory and blessings attend you. when before the men of Ireland the ancients related their and Ireland's chief scholars heard and corrected them by the best tradition." preserve this national tradition a learned class was carefully trained.18 IRISH NATIONALITY together as having a single heritage of heroic The preservation of descent and fame." the men it struction Erin said.

it was the warrior's duty to protect them as they moved from court to court. An ancient tells tale how the chiefs of Emain near Armagh placed sentinels along the North to turn back every poet Gap of the who sought to . While each tribe had its schools. Irish for centuries long lines of distin- men added fame its to their country and drew to schools students from far their and Through work the spirit of the found national expression in a code of law which showed not only extraordinarily acute and trained intelligence but a true sense of equity. Professors of every school were free of the island. they were bound to train up ily in each generation that one of the household who was most fit to carry on learning.THE GAELS IN IRELAND tribe land in perpetuity. in a literary language of great richness and of the utmost musical beauty. system of meterical rules for poets shaped with infinite skill. these were linked together in a national system. and thus guished wide. The Irish nation and in a had a pride in its language beyond any people in Europe outside of the Greeks and Romans. 19 So long as the famheld the land.

commerce." It is in this exaltation of learning in the national life that we must look for the real significance of Irish history the idea of a society loosely held in a political sense. who are of equal value with himself. democracy. aristocracy. law. sport. art. The greatest of the teachers of "Professors of all were given the dignity Learned the Gaels.20 IRISH NATIONALITY leave the country and to bring on their way with honour every one who sought to enter in. '' against every class of persons except those of the two orders of religion and learning. said king the laws. There was no stagnation where competition extended over the whole island. The assemblies which took place in every province and every petty state were the guarantees of the national civilization. - literature. but bound together in a spiritual union. display." men in their degrees ranked with kings and and high-professors sat by the highand shared his honours. kingtradition. The king. religion. The . could by his mere word decide chiefs. They were periodical exhibitions of everything the people esteemed craft. even rustic years between one festival - buffoonery.

in serious preparation a multitude of maxims were drawn up to direct the conduct of the people. of equity and history. united in one and belonging to one country. and even in the darkest times of their history. the people . Their unity is symbolised by the great genealogical compilations in which all the Gaels are traced to one ancestry.THE GAELS IN IRELAND and another were spent for the next. thereon themselves as one race. and in the collections of topographical legends dealing with hundreds of places. where every nook and corner of the culture supposed to be of interest to the whole of Ireland. of the clan was the learned race. 1 still gathered to "meetings on hills' to exercise their law and hear their learned men. The tribal boundaries were limits to the material power of a chief and island is to that only: they were no barriers to the national thought or union. In the time of the fore. obedient to one law. So deeply was their importance felt that the Irish kept the tradition diligently. down to the seventeenth century. the Irish looked Roman Empire. all The learned man man of the Gaelic the higher matters of language By and learning.

but they have been exaggerated. dis- plundering raids in the orders were multiplied. not mainly by human contentions. but by the forests and marshes. like larger European states. and to suffer some expense of trained soldiers. they said. unity of their land within the circuit of the ocean.IRISH NATIONALITY of Ireland were one. Tonn Rury at Dundrum and Tonn Tuaithe at the mouth of the Bann sounded Tx) the men of Ulster. and "a young exploit. to snatch land or booty. hindered. summer A country divided for purposes government was weakened These or for joint action in military evils were genuine. A noble figure told the of Erin. lakes and rivers in flood that lay over a country heavy . Candidates for the chiefdom had to show their fitness. : lord's first spoil' was a necessary There were wild nights. in of offence. to raid borders. The weaknesses of the Irish system are The numerous small territories apparent. The Three Waves smote upon the shore with a foreboding roar when danger threatened the island. Common action was matters. Cleena's wave called to Munster at an inlet near Cork. while were tempted.

or from some list of sudden or murders deaths in battle. poets. and householders who died peacefully in natural accident. among a martial race and strong men of hot passions. and had their special organisation and rites and rules of war. It has been supposed that in the passion of tribal disputes perished by murder and battleand the life of every generation slaughter. Historical evidence moreover shows us a country of . but Ireland was in fact no prominent example of mediseval anarchy or dis- Local feuds were no greater than order.THE GAELS IN IRELAND with Atlantic clouds. of European states and which and cities through the middle ages. was by violence shortened to less than the men mostly common average of thirty years. those which afflicted England down to the Nor- man Conquest and marked the life long after it. The professional war bands of Fiana that hired themselves out from time to time were controlled and recognised by law. Irish genealogies prove on the contrary that the generations must be counted at from thirty-three to thirty-six years: the tale of kings. outruns the an honoured old age. 23 Riots and forays there were. judges.

its benefits have been for- All Irish history proved that the division of the land into separate military districts. they were only put in force just so far as the king had power to compel men to obey. and had an intense local them a power of defence which made conquest by the foreigner impossible. Such industries and virtues do not flourish in regions given over to savage strife.24 IRISH NATIONALITY widening cornfields. he had first to exterminate the entire people. If the disorders of the Irish system have been magnified gotten. how- ever excellent were the central codes. or growing commerce. cant that Irish chiefs who And it is signifimade great wars hired professional soldiers from oversea. and schools covered the land. In mediaeval states. where wealth was gathered. and that power often fell very far short of the nominal boundaries of his kingdom. But in Ireland every community and every individual was . where art and learning swept like a passion over the people. foot of where the fighting men knew every ground. The same division into adpatriotism. gave ministrative districts gave also a singular authority to law.

" said breaking an English judge. 25 interested in maintaining the law of the peo- the protection of the common folk. nor any rising of the poor against lords. Rights inheritance." The gence tribal system had another benefit the diffusion of a high intelli- for Irishmen among the whole people. fixity of tenure. refusal to allow great men to seize forests for their chase: fixity of rates for under their this people's law no Peasant Revolt of ever arose. without them for any favour or reward. were accurately preThe authority and continuity of served. Irish land laws. in spite were of the changes that gradually covered the land with fenced estates. A varied .THE GAELS IN IRELAND ple. due solemnities of election. security of improvement. for example. 'The Irish are more fearin their country firm v ful to offend the law than the English or any other nation whatsoever. did actually preserve through all the centuries popular rights the land. Irish recognised by wondering Englishmen "They observe and keep such laws and statutes which they make upon hills law was and stable. nor its landmarks ever submerged or destroyed.

men and women making their circuit. messengers from tribe to men gathering to public assemblies. poets. merchants. artists soldiers. or site "raths. But entrenchments of earth. that there was made in early time a "road-book "or itinerary. They built no towns nor needed any in the modern sense. In some sequestered places in Ireland we can still trace the settle- ments made by Irish communities. and boats carried travellers along rivers and lakes. historians. of Ireland. fer- that administered its own Every countryside affairs must of needs possess a society rich in all the activities that go to make up a full community chiefs. doctors. where men lived in close association. perhaps some early form of map. huntsmen. craftsmen. dealers in hides and wool. poets." thickly gathered together. tillers of the ground. mark a Roads and paths great and small were maintained according to law. and craftsmen. many centres. . raisers and trainers of horses. So frequent were the journeys of scholars. traders. tribe. skilled herds.26 IRISH NATIONALITY education. judges. innkeepers. dyers and weavers and tanners. spread over tilized the general life.

THE GAELS IN IRELAND This life 27 of opportunity in thickly congre- gated country societies gave to Ireland its wide culture. It was to these country settlements that the Irish how owed the richness of their civilisation. and the incredible number of scholars and artificers that it poured out The over Europe with generous ardour. modern thoughts . not by a perpetual tending towards the middle course. 'Vested interests are shameless" was one of their old observations. the generosity of their learning. explain learning broadened. and the passion of their patriotism. now of intense where equilibrium was maintained by opposites. Ireland was a land then as contrasts. and how Christianity spread over the land like a flood. and the rapid intercourse of all these centres one with another. side by side with eager readiness and great success in grasping the latest progress in arts or commerce. multitudinous centres of discussion scattered over the island. In things political and social the Irish showed a conserv- atism that no intercourse could shake. In their literature strikingly jostle against the most primitive crudeness.

The balance of opposites gave colour and force to their civilisation. and as the new came by free assimilation old and new did not conflict. nobility of that experiment.28 IRISH NATIONALITY In Ireland the old survived beside the new. and Ireland until the thirteenth century and very largely until the seventeenth century. and conscious guardians Their history is of its tradition. throughout a record of the It would be a mechanical theory of human life which denied to the people of Ireland the praise of a true patriotism or the essential spirit of a nation. . escaped or survived the successive steam rollings that reduced Europe to nearly one of a true common level. In the Irish system we may see the shaping a society in which democracy ever-broadening masses of the people are made intelligent sharers in the national life.

the Irish were which a free themselves to choose those things were suited to their circumstances and character. armies or lie not necessary to be under its police ceived While the neighbouring peoples rea civilisation imposed by violence and maintained by compulsion. and the isation of civil- an empire. its it is subject to control. But there was Roman conquest. . 600 THE Roman Agricola had proposed the conquest of Ireland on the ground that it would have a good effect on Britain by removing the spectacle of liberty. 100-C.CHAPTER II IRELAND AND EUROPE C. and thus to shape 29 for their people liberal culture. The Irish remained outside the Empire. They showed that to no share in the trade. as free as the men of Norway and Sweden. the culture. democratic and national.

all kinds of skins and furs. to the eastern and the western coasts. with high poops standing from the water like castles. sailing across the Gaulish sea in wooden ships built to confront Atlantic gales. and religion. learning. tourists. to the Shannon and the harbours of Down. and great leathern sails stout hulls steered by the born sailors of the Breton coasts or the lands of the Loire and Garonne. But this material trade was mainly important to the Irish for the other wealth that Gaul had to give art.30 It is IRISH NATIONALITY important to observe what it was that tribal Ireland chose. Irish themselves served as in the ocean traffic. and probably brought tin to mix with Irish copper. There was frequent trade. travelled as merchants. The sailors and pilots pilgrims. Ireland sent out great dogs trained for war. and what it rejected. scholars and and Trading-ships carried the wine of Italy and later of Provence. and perhaps gold and copper. Of art the Irish craftsmen took all that Gaul . hides. wool. in great tuns in which three men could stand upright. for from the first century Irish ports were well known to merchants of the Empire.

smiths travelled oversea to bring back bracelets. national. draughtboards "one half of its figures are yellow gold. The Learning was as freely imported. its woof it is of pearl. rings. or so before the mission of St. their gold and enamel work has never been surpassed. not transitory or local. the others are white bronze. Latin alphabet came over at a very early and knowledge of Greek as a living tongue from Marseilles and the schools of Narbonne.IRELAND AND EUROPE possessed 31 the great decorated trumpets of bronze used in the Loire country. but permanent and stantinople. and in writing and illumination they went beyond the imperial artists of Con- Their schools throughout the country handed on a great traditional art." They borrowed afterwards interlaced ornament for metal work and illuminated manuscripts. Patrick a . By the same road from Marseilles Christianity must have come a hundred years time. the late-Celtic designs Goldfor ornaments of bronze and gold. it is the wonder was wrought. the fine enamelling in colours. In of smiths how such arts they outdid their teachers.

But these estates seem . was national. He came to a land where there were already men of erudition and 'rhetoricians' education. learning. religion. they never adopted anything of Roman methods of government in church or state.IRISH NATIONALITY Christianity carrying the traditions and rites and apocalypses of the East. who scoffed at his lack of The tribes of Ireland. And this culture. the country was scored with fences. free from barbarian invasions as they had been free irom Roman armies. They made.D. Irish But while the from the Empire drew to themselves art. like the art. It was from Gaul that St. Patrick afterwards sailed for his mission to Ireland. and farms were freely bequeathed by will. developed a culture vhich was not surpassed in the West or even in Italy. As early as the second centralized authority their century Irishmen had learned from Gaulish landowners to divide land into estates marked out with pillar-stones which could be bought and sold. spread over the whole land. The Ro- man was opposed to whole habit of thought and genius. therefore. no change in their tribal administration. and by 700 A.

canon law. In the same way the foreign learning brought into Ireland was taught through the tribal system of schools. Lay schools formed by the Druids in old time went on as before. as heirs together of the national tradition and The most venerable saints. gathered their scholars within the were revered also as guardians of Irish history and law. highest ecclesiastics. The monasteries in like manner "rath" or earthern entrenchment. the language. used various sources. where students of law and history and poetry grouped their huts round the dwelling of a famous teacher. and not to have followed the methods of Roman proprietors throughout the Empire. and taught them Latin. and the poor among them begged their bread in the neighbourhood. who wrote in Irish the national tales as competent scribes and not mere copyists men who knew all the traditions. Monastic and lay schools went on side by side. and shaped their story with the independence of learning.IRELAND AND EUROPE still 33 to have been administered according to the common law of the tribe. and divinity. No parallel can be found in any other country to the writing down of national epics in their .

fair the tale". clerics as well as laymen preserved the native tongue in worship and in hymns. as at Clonmacnois where the praises of St. which was beguiling. there is but one Latin inscription among over two hundred inscribed grave slabs that have been saved from the many art. where kings and scholars and pilgrims of all Ireland came to lie. "some in Latin. In the same way European culture was not allowed to suppress the national language. every chief's house had such a fence.34 IRISH NATIONALITY pagan form many centuries after the country had become Christian. Columcille were sung. and in its famous cemetery. The plan was familiar to all the Irish. and every bardic school had its circle of thatched where the scholars spent years in study and meditation. adapted to monastic church gathered a group of huts with a common refectory. Monastic "families" which branched off from the first house were cells grouped under the name of the original founder. Like the learning and the worship the new custom. the whole protected by a great rampart of tribal was Round the little earth. lost. some in Irish. in free federal union like that of .

In their dedications the Irish took no names of foreign saints.IRELAND AND EUROPE the clans. the Ireland before the highking: he prayed. Colman one day saw A his legend monks reaping the wheat sorrowfully. territory given to the ated from monastery was not exempted from the com- mon law. like kings and judges of the tribe." felt St. and angels came to him at once from heaven and performed three races yearly assembly of all for the toiling monks after the manner of the national feast. 35 As no land could be wholly alienthe tribe. it was ruled by abbots elected. The words used by the common people were steeped in its imagery. Never was a church so truly national. and the monks in some cases had to pay the tribal dues for the land and send out fighting men for the hosting. told that St. out of the house which under tribal law had the right of succession. but of their own holy men. it was the day of the celebration of Telltown fair. . of the Gael. so entirely was the spiritual commingled with the national. Bridgit became the "Mary There was scarcely a boundary life between the divine country and the earthly.

shone with a radiant The prayers and hymns that survive from the early church are inspired by an exalted devotion." . by Islands. tears. with a wet cloak about him measurements. to set a rock. hand lifted up. every people which won the veneration of who came into touch with the On mountain cliffs. were fitted to the tribal communities and to their unworldly and spiritual worship. Eyes shedding And mouth praying. An old song tells of a saint building. a profound and original piety.36 IRISH NATIONALITY which thus sprang out of the heart of a people and penetrated every part religion The of their national spiritual fervour. the little buildings preserved for centuries some ancient tradition of apostolic and in their narrow and austere dimensions. and their intimate solemnity. who small in size though made by masons could fit and dovetail into one another great stones from ten to seventeen feet in length. on secluded valleys. Hand on a Knee bent stone. lie ruins of their churches and oratories. the water-side. other lamentation. life. in people of Ireland.

could make all men he ever saw laugh . Culture was as frequent and honourable in the Irish chief or warrior as in the cleric. a monastic some passionate religious rath' may have fallen :< back to fell its original use as a fort. in rivalry.IRELAND AND EUROPE 37 Piety did not always vanquish the passions of a turbulent age. There were local quarrels and battles. a learned class of laymen. In some hot temporal controversy. Plunderers on a trading centre like Clonmacnois. The national tradition of monastic and lay schools preserved to Erin what was lost in the rest of Europe. But it is evident that disturbances were not transport across universal or continuous. and yet he was a Christian. the sanctuary given in them for hundreds of years to innumerable scholars not of Ireland alone. Such things have been known in other lands. shows the large peace that must have prevailed on their territories. Oral tradition told for many centuries of a certain merry- man who long ago. The extraordinary work of learning carried out in the monastic lands. Gaiety and wit were prized. where goods landed from the Shannon for country offered a prize.

the broad tolerance of the church in Ireland never allowed any persecution for religion's sake. so that even his skull on a high stone in the churchyard brought mirth to sorrowful souls." answered the archbishop. but now a people is come into country that is accustomed and knows to how make martyrs. that by the Irish system certain forms of hostility were absolutely shut out. We must remember. Albans. "have never been accustomed to stretch forth their hands against the saints of this God. Now Ireland too . Again.38 IRISH NATIONALITY however sad they were. too. At the invasion Normans a Norman bishop mocked of to the archbishop of Cashel at the imperfection of a church like the Irish which could boast of no martyr. "The Irish. There is not a single instance in Irish history of the conflicts between a monastery and its lay dependents which were so frequent on the continent and in as. England where the monks paved their church with the querns of the townsfolk to compel them to bring their corn to the abbey mill. and thus shut the door on the worst form the of human cruelty. at St. for example.

It was will the companion of the people. the Irish church never became. the ally. tion: life . or the master of the state. the heart of the nation. the servant. learning.IRELAND AND EUROPE 3 39 have martyrs. Such was the spectacle of liberty which the imperial Agricola had feared. and national. to enrich their ancient law and tradistate. The free tribes of Ireland had therefore by some native the instinct of democratic life re? jected for their country the organisation of and had only taken the highest forms of its art. To its honour it never served as the instrument of political dominion. Roman and through their own forms of social they had made this culture universal among the people. and it never was degraded from first to last by a war of religion. and religion.' Finally. as in other lands.

1000 THE fall of the Roman Empire brought to the Irish people opportunities. Burgundians and Franks. Once more Ireland lay the last unconquered land of the West. 560-C. and south across the Mediterranean to Africa. driving back the Celts and creating a pagan and Teutonic England. new dangers and new Goths and Vandals. and for the . all nations to right and left Europe to expand in. poured west over Europe to the Atlantic shore. From the fell time when their warriors rejoiced in 40 on the Roman a thousand years of Empire they uninterrupted war and conquest. The peoples that lay in a circle round the shores of the of German Ocean were in the thick human affairs.CHAPTER III THE IRISH MISSION C. while the English were pressing northward over Great Britain. of them.

darkness and chaos. In Ireland. Close at their back now lay the German invaders of Britain a new wave of the human tide Before them always flowing westward. have fought and trafficked over the whole earth. where it would be little wonder to see in the sombre solitude some strange shape of the primeval world. where the very grass and trees have a blacker hue. pass these people round that when the Irish sailor St. he might seem to pass as over the edge of the earth into the vast Eter- . Even now we stand to the far westward on the gloomy heights of Donegal. some huge form of primitive man's So closely did Infinity comimagination. on the other hand.THE IRISH MISSION 41 thousand years that followed traders. now from this shore of the German sea and now from that. we see a race of the bravest warriors that ever fought. Brendan or another launched his coracle on the illimitable waves. we seern to have entered into a vast antiquity. who had pushed on over the Gaulish sea to the very marge and limit of the world. in face of the everlasting storm. stretched the Atlantic. no boundary known to that sea.

of learning. Ireland therefore not only preserved her . or of liberty. therefore. its civili- Ireland did not share in the ruin of sation. 'They came/ :< JSlfred tells us in his chronicle. the awful fascination of the immeasurable flood in the story of the three Irishmen that We were washed on the shores of Cornwall and carried to King Alfred. The boat in wrought of three hides which they fared was and a half. At the fall of the Empire. passed safely to Gaul over the ocean routes. The Teutonic invaders stopped at the Irish Sea. The story of the Irish mission shows how they answered to such a call. in a boat without oars from Hibernia.42 IRISH NATIONALITY see nity where space and time were not." Ultimately withdrawn from the material business of the continent nothing again drew back the call Irish to any share in the call affairs of Europe save a spiritual a of religion. And while traffic all continental roads were from Irish ports still interupted. whence they had stolen away because for the love of God they would be on pilgrimage they recked not where. and they took with them enough meat for seven nights.

In way that mission we may see the strength and the spirit of the tribal civilisation. and the Celts of . The heathen Picts had marched westward to the sea.THE IRISH MISSION culture unharmed. Two great leaders of the Irish mission were In all Columcille in Great Britain and Columbanus in Europe. the Irish or :e Scot v settle- ments along the coast. he crossed the sea in 563 to set up on the bare island of Hii or lona a group of reed-thatched huts In that wild peopled with Irish monks. amid the ruins of Christian settlements. and saint After founding thirty-seven monasteries in Ireland. poet. destroying the Celtic churches. scholar. from Derry on the northern coast to Durrow near the Munster border. but the 43 lay open for her missionaries to carry back to Europe the knowledge which she had received from it. debatable land. is no greater figure than Columcille states- man and patriot. swept by heathen raids. threatening alike the Picts. Irish history there St. began a work equally astonishing from the religious and the political point of view. The pagan English had set up in 547 a monarchy in Northumbria and the Lowlands.

He watched the wooden ships with great sails that crossed from shore to shore. From his cell at lona he dominated the new federation of Picts and Britons and Irish on both sides of the sea the greatest missionary that Ireland ever sent out to proclaim the gathering of peoples in free association through the power of human brotherhood. and spread Irish monasteries from Strathspey to the Dee. who told . On the western shores about Cantyre he restored the Scot settlement from Ire- land which was later to give its name to Scotland. to the Tay. learning. and consecrated as king the Irish Aidan. Columcille opposed the idea of a peaceful federation of peoples in the bond of Christian He converted the king of the Picts at Inverness in 565. and religion. the high leader of the Celtic world.44 IRISH NATIONALITY Against this world of war Strathclyde. he talked with mariners sailing south from the Orkneys. and from the Dee piety. ancestor of the kings of Scotland and England. He established friendship with the Britons of Strathclyde. For thirty-four years Columcille ruled as abbot in lona. and others coming north from the Loire with their tuns of wine.

< hour without study or prayer or writing. . 'to search all the books that would be good for any soul".THE IRISH MISSION 45 him European tidings. or some other holy occupation and still in these he was beloved by all. His large statesmanship. the passionate and poetic temperament that filled men with awe and reverence." He desired. stopped to ask a blessing as they passed. his lofty genius." "Seasons all and storms he perceived. one with his milk pail. After his death the Irish monks carried his . one of his poems tells us. and how a town in Istria had been wrecked by earthquake. give a surpassing dignity and beauty to his life. three hundred books. the splendid voice and stately figure that seemed almost miraculous gifts. the stars of heaven. one with his butcher's knife. he harmonised the moon's race with the branching sun. sitting with open cell door. . where the brethren. He could never spend the space of even one . and with his own hand he copied. he was skilful in the course of the sea. the power of inspiring love that brought dying men to see his face once more before they fell at his feet in death. it is said. he would count .

and gave them the letters which were used among them till the Norman Conquest. made little progress. For a hundred years wherever the monks by of lona passed men ran to be signed their voice. and monasteries gave shelter to travellers. for the Roman missionestablished in 597 by Augustine in Canterbury. speaking no English and hating 'barbarism. and after reverses were practically confined to The first cross of the English borderland was set up in 635 by men from lona on a heather moorland called the Heaven-field. From the forge-hammer. and with its famous school of art and learning. They taught the English writing. Labour and learning went hand in hand.46 IRISH NATIONALITY of work over the whole aries England." some Kent. rejoicing to change the brutalities of war for the plough. A heathen land lay before them. by the ramparts of the Roman Wall. their hand and blessed by . with its church of hewn oak thatched with reeds after Irish tradition in sign of poverty and lowliness. Columban monks made a second lona at Lindisf arne. the winnowing fan: waste places were reclaimed. the ports were crowded with boats. the king's court nobles came.

Fleets of ships bore students and pilgrims. who forsook their native land for the sake of divine studies. was a Frenchman who had been trained for years in Ireland. . * Saxon Quarter' 1 Armagh. and Irish. Agilberct of Wessex. making for them a Irish most . The great school of Malmesbury in Wessex was founded by an Irishman. supthem without charge food and books plying to and teaching. and this bishop.THE IRISH MISSION 47 Their missionaries wandered on foot over middle England and along the eastern coast and even touched the Channel in Sussex. The willingly received them all.Britons. as that of Lindisfarne had been in the north. Picts. Under in the old university of the influence of the Irish teachers the spirit of racial bitterness was checked. In of 662 there was only one bishop in the whole England who was not of Irish consecration. For the first time also Ireland became known to Englishmen. and a new intercourse sprang up between English. For a moment it seemed as though the British islands were to be confederation and drawn into one peaceful communion and a common . welcoming them in every school from Derry to Lismore.

taste. and a fine rhetoric. now left by the barbarians a wilderness for wild beasts. 575) left Bangor on the Belfast Lough.48 IRISH NATIONALITY worship bounded only by the ocean. a finished scholar bringing from Ireland and Hebrew. They probably sailed in one of the merchant from the Loire. Columcille had been some dozen years in lona when Columbanus (c. and books hanging from their waists in leathern satchels. with long hair falling on their shoulders. of and poetry. once the meeting-place of among great highways from Italy and France. his monastery where he died in 615. Crossing Gaul ships trading to the Vosges Columbanus founded his monas- tery of Luxeuil a Roman the ruined heaps of city. Other houses branched out into France and Switzerland. Greek. . aflame with religious pas- sion. A stern ascetic. of Bobio Finally he founded in the Apennines. leading twelve Irish monks clad in white homespun. The peace of Columcille. rested on the peoples. Columbanus battled for twenty years with the vice and ignorance of a half-pagan a knowledge of Latin. the fellowship of learning and of piety. geometry.

astonished at the apathy of Italy as compared with the zeal of Ireland in teaching. . he who depreciates the :< work depreciates the Author. Christianity had come to Ireland from the East tradition said from St. indifferent to danger. Rome John. 49 Scornful of ease. as Rome Instantly the fiery saint. But it was his mission that first brought the national patriotism of Ireland into conflict with the organisation of in Europe. rose from his prayer to repudiate the slight: Brother. and is still. Benedict. detecting the secret thought." passion of his piety so that for a time it seemed peoples." For a hundred years before Columbanus there had been Irish pilgrims and bishops in Gaul and Italy.THE IRISH MISSION Burgundy. his flower. who was then. held in special veneration by the Irish. and Columbanus lay prostrate in the church the Pope praised God in his heart for having given such great power to so small a man. my as The awed the if that of St. the rule of Columbanus might outdo It was told that in Gregory the Great received him. of speech he argued and denounced with "the freedom which accords with the custom of country.



John's wort, had for them peculiar virtues, and from it came, it was said, the saffron hue

as the national colour for their dress.


a national pride that their date for celebrating Easter, and their Eastern tonsure from ear to

had come to them from




loved Jesus, they said, but it was John that Jesus loved "the youth John, the foster-




own bosom"




was with a very passion of loyalty that they clung to a national church which linked them to the beloved apostle,

and which was the close bond of their whole race, dear to them as the supreme expression of their temporal and spiritual freedom, now



others in Europe for
of its scholars,


roll of its saints



ennobled by the company of its patriots and the glory of Columcille. The tonsure and
the Easter of Columbanus, however, shocked
foreign ecclesiastics as contrary to the discipline of

Rome, and he was required

to re-

nounce them.

protested his loyalty to St. John, to St. Columcille, and to the church of his fathers. It was an unequal

He vehemently


Ireland, he

was answered, was a

small island in a far corner of the earth:



was people that they should fight against the whole world. The Europe of imperial tradition had lost comprehension of the
passion of national loyalty: all that lay outside that tradition was "barbarous," the
Irish like the

Saxons or the Huns.


battle that

was thus opened was the
in Irish history.

beginning of a

new epoch

Augustine, archbishop of Canterbury (597), was ordered (603) to demand obedience

to himself from the Celtic churches
setting aside of their customs.

and the The Welsh

and the Irish refused to submit, Augustine had come to them from among the English, who were still pagan, and still fighting for the extermination of the Celts, and on his lips
were threats of slaughter by their armies to the disobedient. The demand was renewed
sixty years later, in a



synod at Whitby in that time Christianity had been

carried over

England by the

Irish mission;

on the other hand, the English were filled with imperial dreams of conquest and supremacy. English kings settled on the Roman province began to imitate the glories of Rome, to have





banner of purple and gold car-

ried before them, to hear the






peror of the whole of Britain," and to project the final subjugation to that of empire the Celt and Pictish peoples. The Roman






government and their ambitions. In the synod the tone of imperial contempt made itself heard against those marked out for rude and barbarous' conquest Celts Picts and Britons, accomplices in obstinacy


in those

two remote

islands of the world."






plicity," said the English leader,

had 'that

of yours," like Peter, the keeping the keys of heaven? With these first bitter words, with the condemnation of the



Irish customs, Irish

and the



of the

monks from

to enter in.

Lindisfarne, discord began Slowly and with sorrow the

Irish in the course of sixty years


their traditional

customs and adopted the

But the work of Columcille was undone, and the spiritual bond by which the peoples had been united was for ever loosened. English armies marched ravaging




over the north, one of them into Ireland (684), "wasting that harmless nation which had

always been most friendly to the English, not sparing even churches or monasteries."


gracious peace which

had bound the

hundred and twenty years was broken, and constant wars again divided Picts, Scots, Britons, and Angles.
races for a

hundred years to out missionaries to Europe. come poured They passed through England to northern
Ireland, however, for four

France and the Netherlands;



Gaulish sea and by the Loire to middle France; by the Rhine and the way of Luxeuil

they entered Switzerland; and westward they reached out to the Elbe and the Danube, sending missionaries to Old Saxony, Thuringia,

Bavaria, Salzburg and Carinthia; southwards they crossed the Alps into Italy, to Lucca,

Rome, the






Their monasteries formed rest-

lem, settled

through France and Europe itself was too narrow for

their ardour,

and they journeyed to Jerusain Carthage, and sailed to the

discovery of Iceland.


church of any land



has so noble a record in the astonishing work of its teachers, as they wandered over the
ruined provinces of the empire among the pagan tribes of the invaders. In the Highlands they taught the Picts to compose
in their



tongue; in a

monastery founded
at St. Gall

by them

in Yorkshire

was trained the

English poet in the

new England;

they drew up a Latin-German dictionary for the Germans of the Upper Rhine and Switzerland,

and even devised new German words to

express the

new ideas of

Christian civilisation;

near Florence one of their saints taught the natives how to turn the course of a river.

Probably in the seventh and eighth centuries no one in western Europe spoke Greek who was not Irish or taught by an Irishman. No
of learning,

land ever sent out such impassioned teachers and Charles the Great and his

successors set

them at the head

of the chief

schools throughout Europe. can only measure the originality of the Irish mission by comparing with it the work


of other races.




people to

had not hardship, nor given them


interest in barbarians.



THE IRISH MISSION in 595 55 was sent on the English mission he turned back with loathing. But the Irish missionaries feared nothing. with the Irish. enveloped by the ardour of their fiery enthusiasm. Finally. the English felt a special call to preach among those "from whom the English race had its origin. of one apostle The death of another. all out a break for over six hundred Instead of the Irish zeal for the welfare of peoples whatsoever. and finally took a year for his journey. was but the coming The English missions again could not compare Every English missionary from the seventh to the ninth century had been trained under Irish teachers or had been for years in Ireland. he also took a year be found in Rome on his way. neither hunger nor weariness nor the outlaws of the woods. till in 668 Theodore was fetched from Syria. among Teutonic peoples politics ." and their chief mission was to their own stock in Frisia. when this powerful influence was set aside English mission work died down for a thousand years or so. Their succession never ceased. The Irish missionaries continued withyeai\s. In 664 no one could to send to Canterbury.

and no barbarities to man. The Teutons were out to conquer. viper and sword. . The that lay behind the tribal government and the tribal church of Ireland gave to the Irish mission in Europe conception of human a singular and lofty character. and enforce it by fire and water. But the Irish had no theory of dominion to push. were bred up where men believed in voluntary union of men in a high tradition. A score of generations of missionaries in the tribal communities of Ireland. persuasion for Their method was one of spiritual life ends alone. In the dis- broad humanity that was the great tinction of their people persecution part. and in the lust of dominion a conqueror might make religion the sign of obedience.56 IRISH NATIONALITY went hand in hand with Christianity. had no No war of religion stained their faith.

But the times of peace were ended. of But fresh hordes were gathering in the north. calling to the land. conquerors of the ocean. the Irish suffered their first FOR invasion. The Teutonic peoples. . The Scandinavians had sailed out on 'the gulf's enormous warriors bounds abyss.D. shouting as 57 he goes.CHAPTER IV SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 800-1014 a thousand years no foreign host had settled in Erin. where before their eyes the vanishing of the earth were hidden in gloom." old English riddle likened the shattering An the iceberg swinging terror of down from as it Arctic waters to the pirate's war-ship the leader on the prow plunged through the sea. About 800 A. triumphant con- querors of the land. had carried their victories over the Roman Empire to the edge of the seas that guarded Ireland.

bitter in the battle-work. eager for slaughter. the all ask how The Danes met the on land of the Picts northward. covering the country with their forts. and an alien population within the island.58 IRISH NATIONALITY with laughter terrible to the earth. The social order they had built up was confronted with two new tests violence from without. may the shores of England from the Forth to the Channel. plundering the rich men's raths of their . and Bretland of the Britons from the Clyde to the Land's End: in Ireland they sailed up every and shouldering their boats marched from river to river and lake to lake into every creek. "great scourers of the seas desperate in attempting other realms. their civilisa- were threatened by strangers. tribeland. their learning. swinging his sharp-edged sword. lona and the country of the Scots to the west. Irish civilisation fell We trial. During two hundred years their national tion. grim in hate." a nation the conquest of of the ocean for The Scandinavian campaigns affected Ireland as no continental wars the creation or the destruction of the Roman Empire had done. They came. life.

In Ireland. their armour. sacking the schools and monasteries and churches. on the other hand. gave them an overwhelming advantage against the Irish with.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 59 cups and vessels and ornaments of gold. as they said. and in their place set up their own kings in Northumbria and East Anglia. These wars brought a very different fate to the English and the Irish. Monks and scholars gathered up their manuscripts and holy ornaments. bodies and necks and gentle heads defended only by fine linen. and by law.< . At the last Wessex itself was conquered. and made England a vast Danea land ruled by Danish law. Their heavy iron swords. They slew every English king and wiped out every English royal house save that of Wessex. their discipline of war. and entering every great king's grave for buried treasure. the invincible of all middle . In England. and fled away for refuge to Europe. when the Danes had planted a colony on every inlet of the sea (c." confederations of Danish towns. and a Danish king ruled over all England (1013). 800). they took horse and rode conquering over the inland plains.

The Danes. who held long and king of secure possession of England. no kingdom was extinguished. The long war was one of "confused noise . A Nor- wegian leader. and no national supremacy of the Danes replaced the national supremacy of the Irish. Every foot of land its was soil. Through two hundred years of war no Irish royal house was destroyed. defended. Thorgils. But in the end Thorgils was taken by the Meath and executed. being cast into Loch Nair. and the great skin pouch of charms. while his wife the high altar of in the prophetess's cloak set with stones to gave her oracles from Clonmacnois on the Shannon. made one supreme fixed his capital at effort at conquest. the hem. He Armagh and set up at its shrine the worship of Thor.60 IRISH NATIONALITY of the tribal power the system for defence barred way of invaders. and Normandy. every tribe fought for own There could be no subjection clans except of the Irish by their extermination. the necklace of glass beads. were never able to occupy permanently any part of Ireland more than a day's march from the chief stations of their fleets. the staff. great part of Scotland.

her fields of corn. boats of whale-fishers and walruskillers. her woods gave timber for shipbuilding. of Danish hosts driven out of England or Normandy." 1 sea-kings roaming the ocean or gathering for a raid on Scotland or on France. As "the sea vomited up floods of foreigners into Erin so that there was not a . Norwegians and Danes fought sea-ports." provisioned their crews. furiously for possession of the now each other. buccaneers seeking "the spoils of the sea. her cattle ' driven to the shore for the "strand-hewing." Ireland. No against the Irish. now against victory or defeat counted beyond the day among the shifting and multiplying fleets of new marauders that for ever swarmed round the coasts emigrants who had flung themselves on the sea for freedom's sake to save then old laws and liberties. whether they could conquer it or not. Voyagers guided their way by the flights of birds from her shores. the harbours of "the great island sheltered them. stray com- panies out of work or putting in for a winter's shelter.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND and garments rolled in 61 blood. was of vast importance to the Scandinavians as a land of refuge for their fleets.

the whole commerce of the seas was in their hands." battle swung backwards and forwards between old settlers and new between Norsemen and Danes. with its traditional harbours. But the Scandinavians were not only sea- rovers. or sailed the Atlantic from the Orkneys and Hebrides round the Irish coast to the Bay of Biscay. pirates.62 IRISH NATIONALITY point without a fleet. between both and the Irish. its wealth. The new-made empire of Charles the Great was opening Europe once more to a settled life and the possibilities of traffic. They had . and carried back the wares of Asia to the Baltic. and planted colonies over the inland country to supply the trade of the ports. and the Danish mer- chants trade. and commerce with France. From the time of Charles the Great to William the Conqueror. westward they poured along the coasts of Gaul by the narrow seas. Mer- chants made settlements along the coasts. they were the greatest merchants that northern Europe had yet seen. seized the beginnings of the new Ireland lay in the very centre of their its seaways. Eastward they pushed across Russia to the Black Sea.

fostered their children.will. and in war they joined with their Irish neighbours. and there created a naval power which reached along the coast from Waterford to Dundalk. A mighty confedera- . Between the two peoples there was respect and good. brought their goods. Norsemen set up their The moot on the Mound over the river Liffey (near where the Irish Parliament House rose in later days). They intermarried with the Irish. and formed meeting-ground.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 63 come to Ireland for business. capital at York. the link which united the Northmen of Scandinavia and the common Northmen of Ireland. and they wanted peace and not war. welcomed Irish poets into their forts. The enterprise of the sea-rovers and the merchant settlers created on Irish shores two Scandinavian "kingdoms" kingdoms rather of the sea than of the land. A race of "Gall-Gaels." or "foreign Irish. accepted by the Irish as of their community. The Dublin kingdom was which had the its closely connected with the Danish kingdom of Northumbria." grew up. listening to Irish stories for their new models own and taking literature.

was the mart of the merchant princes of the Baltic trade: there men of Iceland and of Norway landed with their plunder. The Irish were on good terms with the of the riveted stones. organised as Irish clans and giving an Irish form to their names." :< Limerick the kingdom lying on the Atlantic was a rival even to Dublin. Other Munster harbours were held. and in York. and their fleets took the way of the wide ocean.64 IRISH NATIONALITY tion grew up." . wide-flung war. The Irish Channel swarmed with their fleets. was the common highway which linked the powers together. some by the Irish. maintained the inland trade. kings of the same house ruled in Limerick and the Hebrides. looking east. in Man. some by the Danes. :< their merchandise or Limerick of the swift ships. Members of the same house were kings in Dublin. became the centre of a The sea Its harbour. and the sea was held by fleets of swift long-ships with from ninety to a hundred and fifty rowers or fighting men on board. while Norse settlements scattered over Limerick. Dublin. Kerry and Tipperary. the rallying-point of roving marauders.

:< On of the other hand. and become leaders troops in war. the Irish never ceased from war with the sea-kings. They sum- moned assemblies in north and south of the The Irish copied not the Scandinavian building of war-ships." great riches. We read oars sails and in :< 900 of Irishmen along the Cork shores in whose resolve is quiet Munster of the prosperity. in fact. Thorgils. From the time high-kings of Tara one after another led the perpetual contest to hold Ireland and to possess Dublin. of Danish and Norse The spirit ." high beauty. to assemble at the summons for the united war-fleet. learned their lesson so well that they were able to undertake the re-conquest of their country. The Irish. only but their method of raising a navy by dividing the coast into districts. equip and man ten ships. 65 They learned to build the new ships invented by the Scandinavians where both were used." and in 950 of "Munster of the swift ships. each of which had to confederated chiefs. silken raiment and abundance of wine. and traded in their own ports for treasures from oversea.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND traders. Every province seems to have had its fleet.

'the hosting of the frost. 'Murtagh of the Leather Cloaks. smote the Danes at Carlingford and Louth in 926. '' he defeated the foreigners' in the north. more the assembly of Telltown. 1 and they left two hundred and forty heads. king of Tara. and led southern and northern O'Neills to the aid of Munster against the Gentiles.66 IRISH NATIONALITY of the people rose high. king of Cashel. their victories increased even amid for a Strong kings arose among them. good and good fighters. with his linen-coated soldiers against entire circuit of Ireland. in 933. a year of great danger. took up the fight. Again. over lakes and rivers frozen by the mighty frost. directing the men of Leinster in the campaign a gallant war. king of Ailech or Tirconnell." from the first midwinter campaign known in Ireland. Niall. and so came victorious to the assembly at Telltown." when he led his army from Donegal. . later. ever under shelter of leather cloaks. round the Some ten years Cellachan. and all their wealth of spoils. From 900 disaster. In 941 he won his famous name. Murtagh. celebrated once In 916. and hundred years one organisers leader followed hard on another.

meet the Danish ships at The Norsemen used armour. sleeping still on : 'hard knotty wet roots. and a fleet from Ailech carried off and booty from the Hebrides. Cork.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 67 the mail-clad foreigners. to Dundalk. of Ireland to share in the struggle for Irish freedom. capturing Limerick. six or seven score of them." he "It is refused to yield. with their strong enclosures of linen cloth. Cashel and Waterford. He plunder was followed by Brian Boru. and rough chains of blue iron to grapple the enemies' ships. not hereditary to us." From beyond the Shannon he led a fierce guerrilla war. he swept the whole of Munster. fifteen Left with but followers alive. :< came According to the saga of his triumph." and tough ropes of hemp to fling over the enemies' prows. till he closed his campaign by calling out the Munster fleet from Kinsale to Galway bay. 'Ill luck was it for the Danes when Brian was born." says the old saga. and joining armies to his their Danish own troops." he said. "to . Cellachan called the whole off victorious. 'when he inflicted not evil on the foreigners in the day time he did it in the next night. but the Irish sailors.

A free Irish nation of men who as they said. men men Wexford. England and Ireland. to round off their states. King Sweyn Forkbeard. to the rim of the Atlantic. of all king. drove out the Danish king from Dublin in 998. Norway. A greater struggle still lay before the Irish. lived. an old man of sixty or seventy years. Powerful kings of Denmark. such of them as were fit to go to sea. with London as the capital. conqueror England." and ruled at last in 1000 as Ardri of Ireland. 'on the ridge of the world' -a land of unconquered peoples of the open plains and the mountains and the . and they levied tribute from Saxons and Britons as far as the Clyde and Argyle. In 1005 he called out all the fleets of the Norsemen of Dublin. and. in the glory of success. was acknowledged in 1013 its But the imperial plan was not yet complete. submit. Waterford.68 IRISH NATIONALITY He became king of Minister in 974. pro- posed to create a Scandinavian empire from the Slavic shores of the Baltic across Den- mark. began to think of their imperial destiny. and of almost all of the of Erin. and of the of Munster.

Iceland. the hair of the warriors flying in the wind as thick as the sheaves floating in a field of oats. as in the days of made Rome. lay outside the new imperial system. of two hundred years of war. the Irish emerged with their national life kingdoms had lived on side by side with Danish kingdoms. At the end. when with the evening floodtide the remnant of the broken Danish host put to sea. The Scan- dinavian scheme of a northern empire was shattered on that day. for the landing at Clontarf. left 69 the Scandinavian empire with a ragged edge out on the line of the Atlantic commerce." islands. A Dublin bay "from all from Norway. therefore.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND sea. and his grandson lay dead. as in the time Roman still tinental empire. But for a hundred and fifty years to come Ireland kept dominion. the Baltic vast host gathered in the west of Europe. King Cnut sent out his men for the last conquest. Irish . the conunbroken. From sunrise to sunset the battle raged. of the England was once again. the Orkneys. his son. part of a conIreland. in spite of the strength of the Danish forces. its independ- ence. Brian Boru.

perils had kept their old order. that rose in the marshy glen now called Glan worth. They set up his shout of king. not far from Tara. had held the national assemblies of the country at Tell- town. There Cellachan. And when the champions of Munster heard these great words and the speech of the woman. and. and the business capacity of these fighters and traffickers. and gave thanks to the true magnificent God for having found him.70 IRISH NATIONALITY slant irruptions of new Danes. The high-kings had ruled without a break. the assembly met on a mound wood. the rightful heir. the tribes arose right readily to make Cellachan king. while his mother declared his title and recited a poem. held their meeting in a hidden marsh or Thus when Cashel was held by the Norsemen. demanded that the nobles should remember justice. if their ancient place of assembly had been turned into a Danish fort. except in a few years of special calamity. in the best of arms and dress. The tribesmen of the sub-kingdoms. it was the Irish who were Through steadily all coming they again to the top. The nobles then came to Cellachan and put .

SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND their 71 hands in his hand. and to Charles Irish culture. and their spirits were too. King ^Elfred has recorded the state of England after the Danish wars. and between its sackings trained scholars whose fame could reach to great King Alfred in Wessex. Hebrew. his diadem round and placed the royal head. Another. and train distinguished learning. clean was learning decayed But the Irish English folk. Greek. Throughout the wars. had not lost the tradition of learning. the tribes raised at the grand sight of him. the Latinists of . for example. he could not bethink of a single him one south of the Thames who could understand his ritual in English." ''so among the had never ceased to carry on schools. or translate aught out of Latin. and he could hear of very few north of the Thames to the Humber. king and bishop (f 905). the Great in Aachen. Latin. Cormac. and beyond the Humber scarce any. was skilled in Old-Irish literature. men a of Clonmacnois on the preserved truly Shannon. One of them in 868 was the most learned of all Europe. The Irish clergy still remained unequalled in culture. even in Italy.

the green-barked yew-tree which supports the sky. skill in variegated work. teachers had a higher skill than any others in geography and philosophy. By 900 the lawyers had produced at Europe in astronomy. of precedents.72 IRISH NATIONALITY Welsh. the red bracken and the long hair of the heather. probcentury. a number Triads. compiled the instructions of a king to his son "Learning glossary. knowledge of every language. Anglo-Saxon and Norse he might be compared with that other great Irishman of his time. A the ninth every art. count among the ornaments of wisdom. the talk of the rushes." The Irish poets. least eighteen law-books whose names are known. these are the sciences he recom- compiled about the same time. the large green of an . of the cuckoo with the grey mantle. men and women. were the of first in Europe to sing of Nature summer and winter. "abundance of knowledge. and a ably of lay scholar. John Scotus. Bald had made head of whom Charles the Irish his school. Side by side with monastic schools the lay schools had continued without a break. the blackbird's lay. pleading with established maxims" mends.

until she died. and of pilgrimage to Rome "the King seekest here. the fierce riders of the sea in death-conflict with the 3 mounting waves: "Bitter is the conflict with the tremendous tempest" "Bitter is the wind to-night.' They chanted the terror of the time. unless thou bring whom Him thou with white for thee thou dost not find". above I the pure sitting and to be a while praying God in every place". It tosses the ocean's white hair. of the great fidelities of love "the flagstone upon which he was wont to pray.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 73 oak fronting the storm. . she was upon it Her soul went to heaven. . craftsmen's schools were their still Even the in raths. heroes of the Irish race. preserving from gathered century to century the forms and rules of ." And in their own war of deliverance they sang of Finn and his Fiana on the battlefield. of the hermit's "shining scriptures candles . I do not fear the fierce warriors of Norway coursing on the Irish sea to-night. They sang of the Creation and the Crucifixion. And that flagstone was put over her face. when "dear God's elements were afraid".

churches of Clonmacnois One of the may date from the ninth century. Byzantine." perfection of their art in enamel we The and gold work has been the wonder of the old and of the modern world. soon after the battle of Clontarf read of "the chief artificer of Ireland. No jeweller's work was ever more perfect than the Ardagh chalice of the ninth or tenth century. a saints and scholars. from the title of 'king Cellachan of the lovely cups". and the golden case that enclosed the Gospel of Columcille in 1000 : was for its splendour "the chief relic from the western world. carried on their art.74 IRISH NATIONALITY their art. There were schools of skill. and the monolith ten feet high set up as a memorial . The metal-workers of Munster must have been famous. Many influences had come in Oriental.workers. of pure Celtic art with no trace of Danish influence. Scandinavian. but their art still remained Gaelic. carvers eminent for such as that of Holy Island on Lough Derg. of their native soil. French and the Irish took and used them all. five others from the tenth. too. finely sculptured gravestones commemorated high-cross." The stone.

< Boru. Irish artist 75 was carved by an of who was one the greatest sculptors of northern Europe." Such was the astonishing vitality of learning and art among the Irish. bridges and roads were made. the fortresses of Munster were strengthened. 'but if they misbehaved themselves oftener. was shown in warrior and His government was with patience. The temper their of the people hero-king Brian . and to buy books beyond the sea and the great ocean. King Brian thrice forall his outlaws the same fault. mercy and justice. and from this one may mark what a king he must have been.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND to king Flann about 914. Many churches were built and repaired by him. then he let them be judged by the law. and Brian himself gave the price of learning and the price of books to every one separately who went on this service." says a gave scholar. By their social system the intellectual treasures of the race . Scandinavian saga. because the writings and books in every church and sanctuary had been destroyed by the plunderers." 'He sent professors and masters to teach wisdom and knowledge.

they used the northern words for the parts of a ship. Irishmen were willing to absorb the foreigners. During two centuries of Danish invasions and occupations the Gaelic civilisation had not given way an inch to the strangers. to marry with them. call But in in what the Germans culture the ordering and law. and even at times to share their wars. and committed to their care. just as in our days the Japanese accepted the latest Western inventions. They had known how to the material skill and knowledge of profit by the Danes. of life and thought. They learned from them to build ships.76 IRISH NATIONALITY had been distributed among the whole people. And the Irish tribes had proved worthy guardians of the national faith. and the streets of a town. and live in towns. In outward and material civilisation they ac- cepted the latest Scandinavian methods. organise naval forces. of society . advance in trade. the Irish never abandoned their national loyalty.

their hurts A years of comlively. Throughout the Danish wars there had been a growth of industry and riches." they turned to repair and to build up their national life. stirring." But the position of the Gaels was no longer what it had been before the invasions. and wide bishoprics. and that had its own language. and a king. No people ever made a successful national rally wave of prosIt is not misery and degradation perity. ancient fifty and victorious people. that bring success. and Latin letters. The ''Foreigners'' called constantly for armed 77 . Already Ireland was unless they were on the rising known in country in France as "that very wealthy which there were twelve cities.CHAPTER V THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL 1014-1169 AFTER the Irish battle of Clontarf in 1014 the had a hundred and :< parative quiet.

and by political alliances and combinations fostered war among Nearly a hundred years after Clontarf king Magnus of the Irish states themselves. There he terror of fell by an Irish axe. Nor way (1103) led the greatest army that ever marched conquering over Ireland. a gateway like Quebec in Canada. and laid thereon a golden lion." "Mag- nus the terrible battles.78 IRISH NATIONALITY help from their people without. and to their feeling of a church. The glory and "Magnus of the swift ships. that commanded the country and that the country could never again close from within. his golden hair falling long over his red silken coat. with his shining helmet. The sea-kings had created in Dublin an open gateway into Ireland. strangers to the Irish idea of a state. The strangers to the Irish tradition. moreover. They had filled the city with Scandinavian settlers from the English and Welsh coasts pioneers ." was sung in Ireland for half-a-dozen centuries after that of last flaring-up of ancient fires. national life. was now threatened by the settlement of an alien race. In a dark fen the young giant flamed out a mark for all. his red shield.

therefore. this was the first foothold Canter- bury had got in Ireland. It was the rending in two of the Irish tradition. the degrading primacy of Armagh. in presence of the English king. Since the Irish in 603 had refused to deal with an archbishop of the English. of northmen of archbishop of Canterbury. so that their bishops were sent to be ordained at Canterbury. the admission of a foreign power. To state the the division of peoples within the Irish Danes added also the first division Olaf Cuaran. inclined to the views of their business clients in England and the Empire. overlord Dublin and York. and the triumph of the English over the Gaelic church. trading Europe. He formed the first converted Danes into a part of the English Church. had been baptized (943) in Northumberland by the in the Irish church. the first Danes anti-national element . their influence doubled the strength of the European pressure on Ireland as against the Gaelic civilisation. 79 A wealthy and compact community with all living on the seaboard. of the In church and had brought the state.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL of English invasion.

Clontarf. Italians at Clontarf the first great drops of the storm lords from Normandy. the people they called ish. and the old name of Eriu only remained in the speech of the Gaels themselves. had marked ominously the passing of an old age." leaving the name of "Scots" only to the Gaels who had crossed the sea into Alban. We may see the advent of the new men in the names of adventurers that landed with the Danes on that low shore navians. a Frenchman from Gaul.80 into Irish IRISH NATIONALITY life. too. In such names we see the heralds of the coming change. Already the peoples round the North Sea were sending Normans. a leader of mercenaries from England. Germans." a form of Eriu suited to " Irtheir own speech. The Danes coined the name Ire-land. Their trading ships carried the words far and wide. the beginning of a new. The Irish were therefore face to face with . English out traders to take the place of the Scandi- and the peoples of the south and Gauls were resuming their ancient commerce. and somewhere about that time Walter the Englishman. change of :< The change is marked by a name.

After Brian's death two learned set over the men were a lay- government all of Ireland. A first . man. wrote the chronicle of the Danish wars from ness of his of Cellachan to last. pouring in by powerful kings at the heads of armies. It is in this effort that we immense vitality of the Gaelic system the power of its its tradition. the Anchorite of Ireland. 'The land was governed like a free state and not like a mon- celebrated archy by them. and the spirit of people. poets and historians. Eye- witnesses of that great battle.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL questions of a 81 new order how to fuse two wholly different peoples into one community. how to make a united church within a united and how to use foreign influences on all sides so as to enrich without destroying the national life. and sang the glories and of Brian Boru in the greatlife and the majesty of his death. the Chief Poet. Here was the work of the next hundred and fifty years. and a devout man. Such problems have been solved in other lands nation." The victory of Clontarf was by a renascence of learning. in Ireland it was the work of the whole community see the of tribes.

Erin were revived. in monasteries. In kings' courts. Another translated from Latin a history of the Britons. one of the most learned The most famous among the many men in all . writers. triumphs of ancient kings.82 IRISH NATIONALITY scholar put into Irish from Latin the "Tale of Troy. Men laboured to satisfy the desire of the Irish to possess a complete and brilliant picture of Ireland from all antiquity. in schools. of Tara. The glories of ancient nel. of Connacht. of the O'Neills on Lough Swilly in the far north. Rath Cruachan Tales of heroes. genealogies of the tribes and old hymns of Irish saints. the neighbouring Celtic races across the Chan- In schools three or four hundred poetic metres were taught. Poets wrote of Usnech. and the same words are used for the rights and armour and ships of the Trojan as of the Danish wars." where the exploits and battle rage of the ancient heroes matched the martial ardour of Irish champions. of Ailech. of Brian Boru's palace of Kincora on the Shannon. annals of Ireland from the earliest to the latest time were composed. were written in the form in which we now know them. Clerics and laymen rivalled one another in zeal.



Europe in wisdom, literature, history, poetry, and science, was Flann the layman, teacher of
the school of Monasterboice, the old song.


died in 1056

"slow the bright eyes of his


head," ran

He made

for his pupils syn-

chronisms of the kings of Asia and of Roman emperors with Irish kings, and of the Irish
high-kings and provincial chiefs and kings of Scotland. Writings of that time which have escaped destruction, such as the Book of Leinster,

remain the most important



Celtic literature in the world.

There was already the beginning

of a uni-






lying on the famous hill where for long ages the royal tombs of the O 'Neills had been preserved.


strong burh of Tar a has died,"

they said, "while

Armagh lives filled with champions." It now rose to a great

three thousand scholars,


for its teachers,




Gorman who spent twenty-one years of study,
from 1133 to 1154, in England and France, it became in fact the national university for the It was Irish race in Ireland and Scotland.
appointed that every lector in any church in



Ireland must take there a degree; and in 1169 the high-king Ruaidhri O 'Conor gave the

annual grant to maintain a professor at Armagh "for all the Irish and the Scots."

succession of great bishops of Armagh laboured to bring about also the organisation
of a national church



under the government of From 1068 they began to make
whole country, and take
offerings in sign of the

visitations of the





journeyed in the old Irish

fashion on foot, one of

them followed by a

cow on whose milk he

lived, all poor,

servants, without money, wandering among hills and remote hamlets, stopping men on the

roadside to talk, praying for them all night by the force only of their piety and the fervour
of their spirit drawing all the communities

under obedience to the see of Patrick, the national saint. In a series of synods from 1100 to 1157 a fixed number of bishops' sees

and four archbishoprics representing the four provinces. The Danish

was marked

moreover, were brought into this union,

and made part of the Irish organisation. Thus the power of Canterbury in Ireland was



ended, and a national church set up of Irish and Danes. Dublin, the old Scandinavian

kingdom, whose prelates for over a hundred years had been consecrated in England (1036hold out against the union of churches, till this strife was healed by St. Lorcan ua Tuathail, the first Irish bishop
last to

was the

consecrated in Dublin.


carried to that

battleground of the peoples all the charity,

and asceticism

of the Irish saint: feed-

ing the poor daily, never himself tasting meat, rising at midnight to pray till dawn, and ever
before he slept going out into the graveyard to pray there for the dead; from time to time

withdrawing among the Wicklow hills to St. Kevin's Cave at Glendalough, a hole in the
overhanging the dark lake swept with storm from the mountain-pass, where twice a

week bread and water were brought him by a boat and a ladder up the rock. His life was spent in the effort for national peace and union, nor had Ireland a truer patriot or
wiser statesman.

Kings and
Irish synods,

chiefs sat with the clergy in the


in the state too there


signs of a true union of the peoples.




Danes, gradually absorbed into the Irish population, lost the sense of separate nationality.
of the peoples was seen in the increasing power of the Ardri. Brian's line maintained at Cachel the title of "kings

The growing union

of Ireland," strengthening their house with

Danish marriages; they led Danish forces and were elected kings of the Danes in Dublin. But in the twelfth century it was the Connacht kings who came to the front, the same race that a thousand years before had spread

power across the Shannon to Usnech and to Tara. Turlough O'Conor (1118-1156) was known to Henry I of England as "king of Ireland"; on a metal cross made for him he is styled "king of Erin," and a missal of his

time (1150) contains the only prayer yet known for "the king of the Irish and his
the sign, as we may see, of foreign influences on the Irish mind. His son, Ruai'



dhri or Rory, was proclaimed (1166) Ardri in Dublin with greater pomp than any king before him,

and held at Athboy


Meath an

assembly of the




bishops and clergy, princes and nobles, eighteen thousand horsemen from the tribes and



provinces, and a thousand Danes from Dubthere laws were made for the honour of lin

churches and clergy, the restoring of prey unjustly taken, and the control of tribes and

woman might traverse and the vast gathering the land in safety; broke up "in peace and amity, without battle or controversy, or any one complaining of anterritories, so

that a

other at that meeting."



said that


O'Conor's procession
miles in length.

when he held the

last of

the national festivals at Telltown was several

The whole

of Ireland is covered with the

traces of this great national revival.

We may



lonely fields,

along river-valleys, in innumerable ruins of churches

built of stone chiselled as finely as

man's hand

can cut it; and of the lofty round towers and sculptured high crosses that were multiplied over the land after the day of Clontarf The

number of the churches has not been counted. At first they were It must be astonishing.


style brought with plain round arches, from the continent, as Brian Boru made them about A.D. 1000; presently chancels were added, and doors and

in the


settings of stones and enamels and crys- as we may see in book-shrines. It was covered with raised an embroidery of gold in as good style. say the Annals. A romance wore a fine belt of Irish leather. intimate.work. decorated with freedom and boldness of design. in the great shrine of St. in the matchless pro- nois and many cessional cross of Cong. and tal. suited to the worship of the tribal communities. but always marked with the re- membrance of Irish tradition and ornament. indeed. windows and arches churches were still These as small. The vigour of Irish life overflowed. and a knight of Bavaria had from Ireland ribbon of gold-lace emFrench hero of broidered with animals in red gold. and signed by Irish masons on the stones. . in the crosiers of Lismore and Cachel and Clonmacothers. with inlaid work and filigree. There was a wealth of metal work of great splendour. time went on they were larger and more richly decorated. as a reliquary was ever covered in Ireland. Irish skill was known abroad.88 IRISH NATIONALITY richly carved. Manchan with twenty-four figures highly on each side in a variety of postures remarkable for the time.

Germany and Aus- An Irish in Bulgaria. and of timber. From time collect abbot was head of a monastery to time the Irish came home to money for their founda- . tella. preached to the Vandals betheir fine art of writing. bishop of Mecklenburg. and founded there a monastery of north Irishmen in 1068. Marianus "the Scot" on his pilgrimage to Rome stopped at Regensburg on the Danube. Ireland was already sold in England and it was soon to spread over all Europe. It is probable that export of corn and provisions had already begun. And the frequent mention of costly gifts and tributes. From the time Brian Boru learned to men poured over the continent. Out of these grew the twelve Irish convents of tria. to which was soon added a second house for south Irishmen. Pilgrims journeyed to Compos- Rome. and of surprisingly large sums of gold and silver show a country of steadily of expanding wealth. besides hides and wool. or through Greece to Jordan and Jerusalem composing poems on the way. tween the Elbe and the Vistula. making discourses in Latin. showing John.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL the 89 Cloth from bounds of the country.



and went back laden with gold from the kings at home. Pope Adrian IV (1154) re-

membered with esteem the Irish professor under whom he had studied in Paris University.

Irishmen were chaplains of the emperor

Conrad III (fll52) and
Frederick Barbarossa.



Strangers "moved by the love of study" still set out "in imitation of their ancestors to visit the land of the Irish
so wonderfully celebrated for its learning." While the spirit of Ireland manifested itself
in the shaping of a national university,




national church, in the revival of the glories

and in vigour of art and learnthere was an outburst too among the ing,
of the Ardri,


folk of jubilant patriotism.



hear the passionate voice of the people in the songs and legends, the prophecies of the enduring

of Irishmen


Irish land, the

popular tales that began at this time to run from mouth to mouth. They took to themselves two heroes to be centres of the national hope Finn the champion, leader of the

Patrick the saint.

Fiana," the war-bands of old time; and A multitude of tales sud-

denly sprang up of the adventures of Finn




the warrior worthy of a king, the son of wisdom, the mighty hunter of every mountain

whose death no minstrel cared to sing. Every poet was expected to recite the fame in life of Finn and his companions. Pedigrees were invented to link him


forest in Ireland,

with every great house in Ireland, for their greater glory and authority. Side by side with

Finn the people

set St. Patrick

keeper of

Ireland against all strangers, guardian of It was Patrick, their nation and tradition.

they told, who by invincible prayer and fasting at last compelled Heaven to grant that outlanders should not for ever inhabit Erin;

"that the Saxons should not dwell in Ireland,

by consent


or perforce, so long as I abide in shalt have this," said the

"Around thee," was the hope, "on the Day of triumphant Judgment the men of Erin shall come to
outwearied angel.


for after the twelve thrones of

the apostles were set in Judsea to judge the tribes of Israel, Patrick himself should at the

and call the people of Ireland to be judged by him on a mountain in their own





in the old Gaelic tradition, so



people fused in a single emotion the nation and the church. They brought from dusky woods the last gaunt relics of Finn's company,

sad and dispirited at the falling of the evening clouds, and set them face to face with Patrick
as he chanted mass on one of their old raths


twice as


as the




huge wolf-dogs, men "who were not

our epoch or of one time with the clergy." When Patrick hesitated to hear their pagan


of Ireland



graves, of




died for honour, of


war and hunting,

its silver bridles

and cups

of yellow gold, its

music and great feastings, lest such recreation of spirit and mind should be to him a destruction of devotion


dereliction of prayer,

angels were sent to direct him to give ear to the ancient stories of Ireland, and write them
for the joy of companies and nobles of the latter time. 'Victory and blessing wait on thee, Caeilte," said Patrick, thus called to


the national service;


for the future



and thyself are dear to me"; grand and knowledge is this thou hast uttered

to us."


too, Patrick, hast

taught us



good things," the warriors responded with courteous dignity. So at all the holy places
of Ireland, the pillar-stone of ancient

the ruined


of Tara, great

Usnech, Rath-Crua-



Connacht, the graves of mighty

champions, Pagan hero and Christian saint
sat together to

interchange of history and religion, the teaching of the past and the promise of the future. St. Patrick gave his
blessing to minstrels





to all craftsmen of Ireland




it all

"and to them that happiness." He mounted

to the high glen to see the Fiana raise their

warning signal of heroic chase and hunting.

He saw

the heavy tears of the last of the heroes till his very breast, his chest was wet.
laid in his

bosom the head
'By me

of the


hunter and warrior:

to thee," said


and whatsoever be the place in shall lay hand on thee, Heaven is For thy sake," said the assigned." be thy lord Finn mac Cumhall taken saint,
which God



out of torment,

if it

be good in the sight of

In no other country did such a fate befall a missionary coming from strangers to be



taken and clothed upon with the national passion of a people, shaped after the pattern
of their spirit,

made the keeper of the nation's

the guardian of

whole tradition.
for the

Such legends show how enthusiasm

country ran through every hamlet in the land, and touched the poorest as it did
the most learned.


They show

that the social

order in Ireland after the Danish settlements

was the triumph


an Irish and not a Danish


of the Irish,

democratic, embracing every emotion

of the whole people, gentle or simple,


powerful enough to gather into it the strong and freedom-loving rovers of the sea.

On all sides, therefore, we see the growth of a people compacted of Irish and Danes, bound together under the old Irish law and
social order,

with Dublin as a centre of the

united races,

Armagh a

national university,

a single and independent church under an Irish primate of Armagh and an Irish archbishop of Dublin, a high-king calling the
people together in a succession of national assemblies for the common good of the

The new union

of Ireland

was being

THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL 95 slowly worked out by her political councillors. ." so that art. On this fair hope of rising civilisation there fell a new and tremendous trial. her great ecclesiastics. 'The bodies and minds of the people abilities of were endued with extraordinary nature. learning and commerce prospered in their hands. her scholars and philosophers. and by the faith of the common people in the glory of their national inheritance.

from the Seine to the Euphrates. a land where he could live out of reach of the king's long arm. like his viking forefathers.CHAPTER VI THE NORMAN INVASION 1169-1520 AFTER the fall of conquerors of ion of the sea carried their the Danes the Normans. Every landless man was looking to make his fortune. Every baron desired. The spirit of conquest was in the air." they their cunning from the Tweed to the Mediterranean. the fruitfulness of the soil. They had marked out Ireland as their natural prey rich in plunder. the pleasant and commodious seats for habitation. and safe for 96 and large ports and havens lying open traffic." Norman . England. "a land very for and famed the good temperature of the air. entered on the domin- arms and "citizens of the world.

But they owed no small part of their military successes in Ireland to a policy of craft. The trade was well worth the venture. If the Irish fought hard to defend the lands they held in civil tenure. A greater empire-maker. his Hall at Westminster.THE NORMAN INVASION of Clontarf in 1014. from his ports of the Loire and the Garonne over the Gaulish sea. and Flemings from Pembroke. led the invasion that began in 1169. with Welsh followers. They were men trained to war. the churches had no great strength. holding both sides of the Channel. and the . Norman and French barons. 97 barons were among the enemy at the battle The same year first that Ireland saw the last of the Scandinavian sea kings (1103) she saw the of the Norman invaders prying out the country William Rufus (1087-1100) had fetched from Ireland great oaks to roof for a kingdom. Henry coast from the Forth to the Pyrenees. with armour and weapons un- known to the Irish. lord of a vast sea- and give him command of the traffic from his English ports across the Irish Sea. and planned the conquest of an island so desirable. needed Ireland to round off his dominions II.

in reply to comof the they pleaded that the churches were used by the hostile Irish as storing places Their occupation gave the for their goods. Henry II himself crossed in 1171 with a great fleet and army to over- awe his too-independent barons as well as the Irish. Norman skill the reduction of the surrounding country became much The during period plundered church lands. or fortify them. by names of places and families. Normans a great military advantage. therefore. many of them to Dublin through while spread over the country. annex. and by loanwords taken into Irish from the French. the Bristol trade. once the churches were risoned with fortified and gareasier. and turn them into Norman strongholds. The English who came over went chiefly to the towns. by Christian names. The invaders mean- Irish this sometimes French and Welsh and Flemings have left their mark in every part of Ireland.98 IRISH NATIONALITY no immediate settled plan seizing of a church estate led to rising out of the country. The Normans. but did not occupy. and from the wooden palace set . was to descend on defenceless church lands. for plaints.

No Irish chief. a landlord in the English sense. He had no power to hand the land of the tribe over to any one. services and demand return the feudal common in Normandy ideas. and their own free life had continued as of old. that the Irish In Henry's view this oath was a confession knew themselves conquered. The Normans took the oath. Henry's presence there gave him no lordship: and the independent . Whatever Henry's theory might be. and that the chief renounced the tribal system. or in England. and handed over the land to the king. He could admit no 'conquest. however. so that he as supreme lord of all the soil could allot in it to his barons. the taking of Dublin was not the taking of an Irish capital the people had seen its founding as the centre of a : foreign kingdom." for the seizing of a few towns and forts could not carry the subjection of all the independent chiefdoms. could have even understood these nor of He knew nothing of the feudal system. with some churchmen and half-a-dozen Irish chiefs.THE NORMAN INVASION up for 99 him in Dublin demanded a general oath of allegiance.

The empty words on either side did not check tion of the oath for a month the lust of conquest nor the passion of defence. justification of every later act of Another fraud was added by the proclamation of papal bulls. which according to modern research seem to have been mere forgeries. was used to confer on the king a technical legal right to Ireland.100 IRISH NATIONALITY of the Irish people temper after their was not likely. was made good. fiction this legal became the basis of the royal claims. yielded under misunderstanding. The oath. that they were to rule as fully and freely as before. and the violence. to be cowed of war. . The false display at Dublin was a deception both to the king and to the Irish. One royal object. impossible of fulfilment. and in recognition of the peace to give to Henry a formal tribute which implied no dominion. by two years Some cunning explana- was given to the Irish chiefs by the subtle Angevin king and his crafty Norman counsellors that war was to cease. however. claimed under false pretences. Danish experience.

no use no dealings save those of conquest and slaughter. and make good by only remained the sword the fictions of forgers. their nobles. speech. But they were held of no account and writers. A lieutenant-governor. quered tract was to be made into a little England. and were readily accepted by the invaders and their successors. among Irish annalists who make no mention of the hundred years. and sharply fenced off it. or laws. Kings carved out estates for The the territories nobles had to conquer Each congranted them.THE NORMAN INVASION They gave 101 the lordship of the country to Henry. from the supposed sea of savagery There was to be no trade with the of their dress. no relationship. it bulls during the next three Thus the grounds to of the English title to Ireland were laid down. set in or his deputy. enclosed within itself. no intercourse. was Dublin Castle to superintend the conquest and the adminis- . law and the falsehoods of to these Ireland According of the had been by the act will of natives and by the God conferred on a higher race. The colonists were to form an English parliament to enact English law. around Irish.

Officially they did not Their land had been parted out by kings among their barons 'till in title they were owners and lords of all. The people . was left to be granted to the natives. excom- The forced munications. A bishop of Waterford being once sent by the Lord Justice to account to Edward I for a battle of the Irish in which the king of Connacht of his and two thousand :< men lay dead. their The Irish were now therefore aliens in own country. stout men of war. IRISH NATIONALITY fighting garrison was reinthe planting of a militant church by bishops and clergy of foreign blood. ex- in policy he thought it explained that to wink at one knave cutting off pedient another. ready to aid by prayers.102 tration. whereat the king smiled and bade him return to Ireland. and the sword. so as nothing exist. They were refused the protection of English law. shut out from the king's courts and from the king's peace. and that would save the king's coffers and purchase peace to the land"." Duror ing centuries of English occupation not a single law was enacted for their relief benefit.

The vigilance of Westkings. fed from the sea. and dealing out anathemas and death in the service of a state of which rewarded dominion. and directed by kings by who had a more absolute power. no mere centre now of roving sea- was turned into an impregnable forby a garrison which was supported by the whole strength of England a fortress unconquerable by any power within Ireland a passage through which the strangers could enter at their ease.THE NORMAN INVASION who had spiritual religion over 103 carried the peaceful mission of a England and Europe now saw sword that other mission planted among themselves a political church bearing the the conqueror. The settlers were no longer left to lapse as isolated groups into Irish life. and a better filled treasury than any other rulers in Europe. tress. Dublin. nor the supply of its . a more compact body of soldiers. and held minster never ceased. but were linked together as a compact garrison under the Castle government. it with temporal wealth and differ- The English attack was thus wholly ent from that of the Danes: it was guided a fixed purpose.

generals. the aim of the English :4 The ground of holding. and at no moment was any peace possible to the Irish except by entire renunciation of their right to the actual soil of their country. or a heavy sum taken to allow him to stay on his land. promise was and definite no comSo long as the Irish claimed to hold a foot of their own land the war must continue. It lasted. In Ulster. government was the same. its favoured colonists. and absorbed into the Gaelic life ." of the king. with only a fringe of Normans on the coast. On an issue so sharp possible. for five hundred years. O'Conors and other Irish clans divided Connacht. O'Neills and O'Donnells and other tribes remained. If at times dealings were opened by the English with an Irish chief. Ireland was to be an immediate a royal inheritance. and in no way affected the fixed intention to gain the ownership of the soil. Out of the first tumult and anarchy of war an Ireland emerged which was roughly divided between the two peoples.104 IRISH NATIONALITY and its treasure. in fact. this was no more than a temporary stratagem or a local expedient. ablest From Henry II to Elizabeth.

every temptation to this direct course. and ended the dispute once for all. O' Conors and O'Mores in the middle country. great lords of the invasion. earls of Ormond. its manufactures were famed over all Europe. established Normans. with speculators from . English kings had. in timber. themselves powerfully in Munster and LeinBut even here side by side with the ster. MacCarthys and O'Sullivans in the south. resolute and wealthy Irish such as the O'Briens in the west. It has been held that all later misfortunes would have been averted if the English without faltering had carried out a complete conquest.THE NORMAN INVASION the incoming 105 Norman de Burghs. indeed. and Desmond. unconquered. in fish. The Angloon the other hand. foreign merchants flocked to its ports. and many more. and bankers and money-lenders from the Rhineland and Lucca. and Kildare there remained kingdoms and the remnants of old chief doms. The wealth of the country lay spread before them. gold-mines were reported. MacMurroughs and O'Tooles in Leinster. It was a land abounding in corn and cattle.

or want of resource in dilemmas. were carrying over foreign coin. slackness in effort.106 IRISH NATIONALITY Provence. In haste to reap their full gains they demanded nothing better than a conquest rapid and complete. soldiers for their armies. the lawyers. urged on the war with the dogged persistence of their race. But the conquest not so simple as it of the Irish nation was had seemed to Anglo- Norman speculators. They certainly cannot be charged with dimness of intention. and taking land in the country. the schoolmasters. the official class in Castle intriguers and the landlords. the church. and estates for their favourites. The recruited every few Dublin. provisions for their wars. years with uncorrupted blood from England. the money-lenders. The proposal to take the land out of the hands of an Irish people . It would be hard to imagine any method of domination which was not used among the varied resources of the army. Sovereigns at Westminster harassed with turbulent barons at home and wars abroad Ireland to supply looked to a conquered money for their treasury. settling in the towns.

not to collect Irish wealth for London. Their "loyalty' failed under that test. to exploit Ireland for the benefit of the crown and the metropolis. found themselves engaged in a double conflict. not for the welfare of any class whatever of the inhabitants. like later kings of Spain in South America. the colonists were to be a mere garrison to conquer and hold the land But the Anglo-Norman adfor the king. therefore. turned a free tribal Ireland into a dependent feudal England. venturers had gone out to find profit for themselves. could only have been carried out by the slaughter of the entire No lesser effort could have population. Yet another difficulty disclosed itself. colonists a little experience the English theory of Irish "bardestroyed barism. The kings." The invaders were drawn to their Among the new home not only by its wealth but by its . and were every year more entangled in the difficulties of a policy false from the outset. They proposed. against the Irish and against their own colonists.THE NORMAN INVASION and give it 107 to a foreign king. The English kings had made a further mistake.

108 IRISH NATIONALITY beauty. nor trade in the seaports." much They were not counted degenerate English." were as feared by the king as the "mere Irish. moreover. The colonists compromised to Irish with "the Irish enemy. they their tenants in the Irish levied troops from manner. lands were resumed from them. one also that gave them peace with their farmers and cattle-drivers. as alone suited to the country and people. without coming to terms with their Irish neighbours. the intelligence of its inhabitants. English born tribes for :< in Ireland. To them ter the way of wealth lay not in slaugh- but in traffic. not in destroying riches but in sharing them. and learning and art. military service neighbouring such as to keep roads and passes open for their traders and messengers.t :< of English birth". they emthey paid ployed Irishmen in offices of trust." . and kept out of their estates the king's sheriffs and language." dress They took they recognised Irish land tenure. nor find soldiers for their defence. and tax-gatherers. could neither live nor till the lands the attraction of its they had seized. the variety and gaiety of its social life. office forbid- . Settlers.

barons. became exceedtribes. The Dublin officials. avert the dangers of friendship and peace between races in Ireland they became missionaries of disorder. But civil wars maintained by a foreign . To end.THE NORMAN INVASION den them. 109 new men In every successive generation of pure English blood were to be sent over to serve the king's purpose and keep in check the Ireland-born. they on the Danes who had become mingled with the Irish to come out from them and resume their Danish nationality. Every chief. surrounded by dangers. was bound to turn his court into a place of arms thronged by men ready to drive back the next attack or start on the next foray. Whatever was the bur- den of military taxation no tribe dared to disarm any more than one of the European countries to-day. all confused kings. as the only means of being allowed protection of law and freedom to trade. entangled in interminable strife. eked out their military force by craft. apostles Civil wars within any country exhaust themselves and come to a natural of contention. meanwhile. The ingly Irish wars. they created and encouraged called civil wars. therefore.

The Irish tribal system. ised with a great military force. guided by an ancient tradition. to fling the province back into weakness and disorder. In England the feudal system had been brought to great perfection a powerful king. . great men of battle and plunder. Anglo-Norman or Irish. and to make a stand against their organised force. They had still to show what strength lay in their spiritual ideal of a nation's life to subdue the minds of their invaders. a highly organtreasury.110 IRISH NATIONALITY power from without have no conclusion. the whole force of England was called in. and themselves the guardians of their law and of their land. If any strong leader arose. and the ablest commanders fetched over from the French wars. rested on a people en- dowed with a wide freedom. a state organised for common action. and a dependent people. on the other hand. a powerful nobility.

Three hundred years later.CHAPTER VII THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL 1200-1520 THE first Irish revival after the Danish wars showed the strength of the ancient Gaelic civilisation. when Henry VII in 1487 turned his thoughts to Ireland he found no conquered Henry II in 1171 ' ' had led land. called the "Pale" from its encircling fence. of Irish language. the firm structure of their law. and the cohesion of the people. An earthen ditch with a palisade on the top had been raised to protect all that was left of English Ireland. dress. Outside was a country and customs. Thirty in . The second victory which of the the genius of the people won over the minds new invaders was a more astonishing proof of the vitality of the Irish culture. an army for "the conquest of Ireland.

had married daughters and made combinations and treaties with every province.IRISH NATIONALITY miles west of Dublin was "by west of English law. forts. allowed them to plead Irish law in their courts and not only that. Many settlers changed their names to an Irish form." Norman lords of Irish chiefs all over the country. bought their wares. employed them. but they themselves . with three-fold entrenchments. traders welcomed natives' to the :< Foreign seaports. lifted Into their own palisaded on great mounds of earth. Irish speech was so universal that a proclamation of Henry VIII in a Dublin parliament had to be translated into Irish by the Irish earl of Ormond. manners had entered ' also into the town houses of the merchants. and taking up the of Norman lord the clan system melted into the Irish population. A shrine of gold for St. the love-songs. Their children went to be fostered in kindly houses of the Irish. married with them. came Irish poets singing the traditions. took them into partnership. Patrick's tooth shows how Athenry had adopted the national saint. the Norman prayers and hymns of the Gaels.

and joined in their national festivities and ceremonies and songs. strong in its courageous democracy. and in its humanities. to agitation and lawyers. This Irish revival has been attributed to a number of causes to an invasion of Edward v Bruce in 1315. old social order that this great influence fell . to the over-education of Irish people in Oxford. the merchants went riding Irish fashion. It lay in the rich national civilisation which the Irish genius had built up. The cause lay far deeper. in its freedom. in Irish dress. Almost to the very gates of Dublin. to the lin " degeneracy of the Normans. in its widespread culture. to the Wars want of energy of DubCastle. talked Irish with the other townsfolk. to the vice of the Irish. to the of the Roses. in the centre of what should have been pure English land. and making merry with their forbidden Irish clients. So long as the Irish language preserved to the people their old culture they never failed to absorb into their life every people that came It was only when they lost hold of the tradition of their fathers and their among them. in its broad sympathies.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL wore the forbidden Irish 113 dress.

Irish of continental design. wines and spices. they sailed the Adriatic. Norman and Irish chieftains alike took in ex- silks and satins. Norman castle as in an Irish Both . carving at every turn their own traditional Irish ornaments. in business They were as active and ingenious as the Normans themselves. with all the old love of knowledge and infinite curiosity. The social fusion of Normans and its Irish was the starting-point of a lively civilisation to which each race brought share. explored China. and strangers no longer yielded to their power. Irish scribes illumi- ated manuscripts which were as in a much praised fort. Besides exporting raw materials. Irish-made linen and cloth and cloaks and leather were carried as far as Russia lords and Naples. journeyed in the Levant. cloth of gold and embroideries. Irish gold- change velvets. To- gether they took a brilliant part in the commerce which was broadening over the world. smiths made built the rich vessels that adorned the tables both of masons Normans and the new churches Irish. visited the factories of Egypt. The Irish were great travellers.114 IRISH NATIONALITY from them.

and to these ancient schools the settlers in the towns added others of their own. seems to have failed: we find them at work in the mountains of Donegal. lawyers.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL 115 peoples used translations into Irish made by Gaelic scholars from the fashionable Latin books of the Continent. The English policy made English the language of traitors to their people. A kind of national education Europe men was being worked chiefdoms allowed out. Not one of the hereditary houses of historians. The shown ries uplifting of the national ideal in the fourteenth was and fifteenth centu- by a revival of learning like that which followed the Danish wars. physicians. its Not one of the Irish schools to perish. poets. so that the two races learned together. . in Both races sent students and professors to every university recognised of deep knowlthe most learned men of Italy edge among and France. so Latin was the second tongue for cultivated people and for all men of business in their continental trade. As Irish was the common language. to which the youths of Irish also in time flocked. but of no use either for trade or literature.

. in the valleys of Munster. in the plains of Meath. learned our knowledge of Irish literature From time to time Assemblies of all the men were called together by patriotic " chiefs. in lake islands. and celebrated with fresh ardour the unity of the Irish nation. streets of peaked hostels for musicians.116 IRISH NATIONALITY along the Shannon. among the bare rocks of Clare. In medi- had all the science of their age. straight roads of smooth conical-roofed houses for chroniclers. and so on. From sea to sea scholars and artists gathered to show their skill to the men of Ireland. Nearly comes from copies of older works made by hundreds of industrious scribes of this period. or by kings rising into high leadership coming to Tara. In astronomy Irishmen were cine they all still first in Europe. and in these glorious assemblies the people learned anew the wealth of their civilisation. another avenue for bards and jugglers. Spacious avenues of white houses were made ready for poets. The old order was maintained in these national festivals. and on the bright surface of the pleasant hills sleeping-booths of woven branches for the companies." as the people said.

abandoned to "filthy customs' amd to "a damnable 1 law that was no law. But the with 2 mixed civilisation no favour the government. and dence. An a powerful weapon in Englishman was at once put in every archbishopric and every prinoften a Castle cipal see. chancellor. so human and found ' : gay. in the English idea the church was . the "wild Irish' were no better than "degenerate English and the "brute beasts. a prelate official who was as well. were won to a civilisation so vital and imof the country the passioned. deputy. or the like. not only by embroiling them education." the English said. in treasurer. hateful to God and man. or a good soldier any case hostile to every Irish affection. A national church in the old Irish sense dis- appeared. Irish in war. but by making confi- union of Ireland impossible in religion or in by destroying public The new central organisation it of the church made English hands. justice." Every measure was taken to destroy the growing amity of the peoples. like the Danes and the Northumbrians before them.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL It 117 was no wonder that in this high fervour Anglo-Normans.

No Irish university could live under the eye of an English Armagh. Higher education was also denied to both races. No pains. and every attempt of Anglo-Normans to set up a university for Ireland at Dublin or Drogheda was instantly crushed. a winking of cials new conquests government offiat independent privileges used on their estates tied by Ormond lords such influences each heir in turn to England. power. the heirs of this house were always minors. for example. betrayed the peace of Ireland to the profit of England. it as For nearly two hundred years. happened. were spared by the kings to conciliate and use so important a house as that of the earls of Ormond. who for considerations of wealth. English training at his court. said the English "fair and . knighthoods and honours there. visits to London. prospects of of Irish land. held in wardship by the king. high posts in Ireland. To avert general confidence and mutual understanding. a privileged position. an alien class was primate of maintained in the country.118 IRISH NATIONALITY to destroy the nation. and separated them from Irish interests a "loyal" house.

" said the people Ireland. in the swell and tumult of that tossing sea com- manders emerged now in another. Never for a moment did the Irish cease from the struggle. federacies of Irish and Anglo-Normans were formed." English statesmen said. one following another in endless and hopeless succession." . Both were driven to the demand for home rule. each to fall in one province. and prayed to have a separate coinage for their Conland as in the kingdom of England. Through all civil strife we may plainly see the steady drift of the peoples to a restore common patriotism. Both races suffered under this foreign misrule. Both were brayed in the same mortar. The national for a single movement never flagged generation.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL false 119 of as Ormond. for "Ireland. An Anglo-Norman parliament claimed (1459) that Ireland was by its constitution separate from the laws and statutes of England. now back into the darkness while the next pressed on to take his place. "was as good as gone if a wild Irish wyrlinge should be chosen there as king. There was panic in England at these ceaseless efforts to an Irish nation.

of other learning. they shared. poetry. the most powerful house in Ireland." Earl Gerald the Rhymer of the too Irish same house (1359) was a patriot leader a witty and ingenious composer of poetry. the most remote island of In Earl Thomas (1467) the Irish first saw the "foreigner" to be the martyr of He had furthered trade of their cause. might mediate between the peoples For a time whose blood. English and Irish.120 IRISH NATIONALITY it seemed as if the house of the Fitzgeralds. was complimented by the Republic of Flora letter recalling the Florentine origin of the Fitzgeralds. through you and yours bear sway the world. A later Earl foster-son of O'Brien Henry VI. for the glory he brought to that city." even in Ibernia. and that Ireland should ' not be governed by needy men sent from England. . knowledge of the and history. and of Gerald (1416). who excelled all the English and of the Irish in the many Irish language. without knowledge of Ireland or its f circumstances. since its citizens had ence. in and cousin possessions as far as and now ' * Hungary and Greece. Earl Gerald of Desmond led a demand for home rule in 1341.

fraud. the gaiety of his battle with slander. and kept up the family relations with Florence. made with every Irish chief. 121 he had urgently pressed union of the races.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL European peoples with Irishmen. and violence. His son Garrett inherited and enlarged his Maynooth under him was great territory. he had planned a university for Ireland at Drogheda (Armagh having been long destroyed by the As his reward he was beheaded English)." who had come over with a claim to some of the Desmond lands in Cork. married to the close alliances Henry VII. where the ocean wind moaning in the caverns still sounds to the peasants as "the Desmond's keen. . earls of Kildare. without trial by the earl of Worcester famed as "the Butcher. took up in their turn the national cause." Other Fitzgeralds. won great authority. His people saw in his death "the ruin of Ireland". who had married into every leading Irish house. his daring. and by his wit. they laid his body with bitter lamentations by the Atlantic at Tralee. steadily spread his power over the land. Garrett Mor "the great" cousin of (1477-1513).

his secretary was employed to write for his library 'divers chronicles' of Ireland. all in his The mark of his genius lay above . and speak perfectly the Irish tongue. no arbitrary tax. When he rode out in his scarlet cloak he was by four hundred Irish spearmen. The Irish loved him for his justice. and English lords. son. for his piety. write. nature he won the hearts jailor in and that he put on them By a singular charm of of all. for the Irish. His library was half of Irish books. he made his English wife read. 'full of the grace of God and of learning". and Ireland The lasting argu- ment for self-government as against rule from over-sea was heard in his cry to Wolsey and the lords at Westminster You hear of a ' : case as were in a dream. and feel not the smart that vexeth us." He attempted to it check English interference with private subjects in Ireland. He refused to admit that a commission to Cardinal Wolsey as legate for England gave him authority in Ireland.IRISH NATIONALITY one of the richest earls' houses of that time. His whole policy was union in his country. London Tower. wife. he had for his chief followed poet an Irishman.

He "made peace." his enemies said. and to The establish a common civilisation by a leader to both peoples were perfectly known. who There was reason could one faction alone which convert the alien no minority . great opportunity had come to weld together the two races in Ireland. but to call an assembly in the Irish manner which should decide the quarrel by arbitration according to law. Henry VIII was warned. When as and to put an deputy he rode out to war against disturbed tribes. In spite of official through all eddying acci- dents. never were they so obedient. "so corrupted by affection" for a lord deputy. whose sympathies were engaged in both. intrigues. his first business was not to fight. and whom as deputy of the English king had won the devoted confidence of the Irish people. both from fear so Never were the and from love.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL resolve to close dissensions 123 end to civil wars. and the nightmare of forced dissension gave way before this new statesmanship of national Irish union. the steady pressure of the country itself was towards union.

. They had no country." know them save through The having no knowledge nor the of these slanderers. In from England it found its sole and through its aid Ireland was security flung back into disorder.124 IRISH NATIONALITY that held interests and possessions in both and openly used England to advance their power and Ireland to increase their wealth. They knew how to darken ignorance and inflame prejudice in London against their fellow-countrymen in Ireland savage nature of the people." of the laws of any way to good offices their God or of the king. would have had support anti-national minority no strength if left alone to face the growing toleration in Ireland." poor persons which never did "the strange :< savage vile know or feel wealth or :< civility. for neither islands. England nor Ireland could be counted such. apostles of own virtue.

125 ' . he could beat down rebellion in England. and offered to the chiefs in return full security for their lands.CHAPTER VIII THE TAKING OF THE LAND 1520-1625 HENRY VIII. like Henry II. conquer France. His reasons were the same. and commanded its fighting-men and its wealth. there was another great day of deception in Dublin. Henry asked the title of King of Ireland instead of Lord. quibbles served for the king's "title to the land". and create an empire of bounds unknown and in time of danger where so sure a shelter for a flying sovereign? our rightful Claims were again revived to of law once more inheritance". was not concerned to give "civilisation" to Ireland. he possessed the from the English apart If parliament. smite Scotland into obedience. He was concerned to take the land. soil in his own right.

there was no land occupied by any "disobedient" people which was not really the king's quest. Royal concessions too must depend on how much revenue could be extracted . of that which was later called to vote the Union. And while they were by title. All cause of offence was care- Finally a parliament was summoned (1541) of lords carefully bribed and commons carefully packed the very fully taken away. First the order voting the wording of the 1 title was so altered as to rt take away any value in the common consent' of parliament. property by ancient inheritance or by conHenry might do as he would with his own. the king and council were making arrangements together to render void both sides of the bargain. all before and beyond will. the And fiscation. in fact. pattern.126 IRISH NATIONALITY of subtle preparation his promises For months were explicit. by the council's assurance to the king on the day the title was passed. For since. since the king asserted his title to Ireland by inheritance and con- mandate of popular secondly it was arranged that Henry was under no obligation by negotiations or promises as to the land.

Henry. their leaders taken from them. the Irish lords should as yet conceive no suspicion that they were to be "'constrained to live under our law or put from :< all the lands by them now detained. here little. had exactly fulfilled the project of mystification he proposed twenty years before dled." "to be politically and secretly han- Every trace of Irish law and land tenure must finally be abolished so that the soil should lie this was to be done at politic measures." Henry. in fact." Parliament was dismissed for thirteen years. If there had been any truth or consideration for Ireland . would serve Politic practices. but first by secret and a little and there a so that. at the king's will alone. as he said." said such time as the strength of the Irish should be diminished.THE TAKING OF THE LAND from them to keep up suitably the title of king on whether it was judicious to give Irishmen titles which they might afterwards plead to be valid on whether Henry would find the promised grants convenient in case he chose later to proceed to "conquest and extermination. and division put among themselves till so that they join not together.

and the countries made vacant and waste for English peopling: the sovereign's rule would be immediate and peremptory over those whom he had thus planted by his sole will. away the and the king was face to face bargain. hanging. till the actual chief was exiled or yielded the land to the king's ownership.128 IRISH NATIONALITY compact some hope of commight have opened. and Ireland would be kept subject in a way . practically void." casting the hillsides. with an indignant people. burning. But the whole scheme was rooted and grounded in falsehood. in the royal promise and conciliation A false claimant could be put on a territory and supported by English soldiers in a civil war. had power to give people's land. '' peasants out on the There was also the way of The whole conquest. true or false. and Ireland had yet to learn how far sufferings by the quibbles and devices of law might exceed the disasters of open war." of the inhabitants were to be exiled. Chiefs could be ensnared one by one in misleading contracts. admit an illegal who refused to Then came a march of soldiers over the district. shooting 'the rebels. No chief.

" for from the settled lands plantation could be spread into the surrounding territories. An Act of 1536 for the attainder of the earl of Kildare confis- cated his estates to the king.THE TAKING OF THE LAND unknown in 129 England." There would be no such difficulty. the main part of Leinster. And . Henceforth it became a fixed policy to "exterminate and exile the Whether country people of the Irishry. that is. as territory of the "traitor" Shane O'Neill. and after that he would be at little cost and receive great and men and money at pleasure." submitted or not. to "subdue or exile them as hath profits. was declared forfeited in the same way. In 1570 the bulk of Ulster. not any class of inhabitants of Ireland. A series of great Confiscations put through an enslaved Pale parliament made smooth the way of conquest. then "the king might say Ireland was clearly won. the king was to "inthey habit their country' with English blood. and the Irishry steadily pushed back into the sea. But again as in the twelfth century it was the king and the metropolis that were to profit. Henry's advisers said as those of Henry II had said before. been thought.

These laws and confiscations gave to the new sovereigns of the Irish the particular advantage that if their subjects should resist the taking of the land. Thus began what Bacon called the 'wild chase on the wild Irishmen. and the brehon or Irish law. titles By these various for given to the crown." and as such outside the laws of war.130 IRISH NATIONALITY Munster. they were legally >f rebels." The forfeiture . Another in 1586 the chief part of of the "traitor" earl of Act of 1536 forfeited to the crown all ancient claims of English lords to lands which had been granted to them. all its protection was abolished. with to the poor. It was this new fiction of law that gave the Tudor wars their unsurpassed horror. and afterwards re- covered by the original Irish owners. all An Act of 1569 moreover reduced all Ireland to shire land. the lordship Desmond. it was hard any acres to slip through unawares. in other words. English or Irish. Irish chiefs who had made indentures with the crown were deprived of all the benefits which were included in such indentures. Another in 1537 vested in the king all the lands of the dissolved monasteries.

Chiefs were made to ''draw and carry. at inconceivable cost of human woe. no faith kept. fiction. or a the tradition of the tribal on owners. women. and the right and law to be on two thousand years of ordered possession. At a prodigious price. the purging of the begun. any one them of might be a landholder. the old. believing justice their side. 131 of land of the tribe for the crime of a chief the claim of the commonalty to unalterable possession of their soil was deeply engraven in the hearts of the people. and was carrier in any case a rebel appointed to death. and no truce given. No quarter was allowed. so that " no man all might know his own grandfather'' and Irishmen be confounded in the same . hangmen There was no of protection for any soul." to abase them before the tribes.THE TAKING OF THE LAND was inconceivable in Irish law. war allow were forbidden to these soil from the Irish race was Such mitigations as the horrors of 'rebels' by legal went out with the infants. scholars. the sick. who stood together to hold of near their land. Torturers and soldiers. Poets and historians were slaughtered and their books and genealogies burned.

The most powerful governors that England could supply were sent over. prodigious in courage. and begin legal aids to extermina- a new English life.132 IRISH NATIONALITY all ignorance and abasement. and furnished with English armies and stores. if they . famishing for their legs would not bear them. glories gone. Armies fed from the sea-ports chased the Irish through the winter months. and endured hardships that Englishmen could not survive. and across all the seas from Newfoundland to Dantzic gathered in provisions for the soldiers. Fleets held the harbours. so that famine should slay what the sword had lost. The Irish were inexhaus- tible in defence. killing every living thing and burning every granary of corn. Out of the woods the Irish came creeping on their hands. wipe out the Gaelic memories. great object of the government was to destroy the whole tradiall and rights lost. speaking f like ghosts crying out of their graves. But even with all war proved more difficult than the English had expected. The tion. when the trees were bare and naked and the kine without milk. It lasted for some tion the land seventy years.

sharing the blood of the two races. His five brothers and his son. practised in the customs of both countries. last and would have led Ireland in a way of peace. captured by a were clapped all six of false pledge of safety." One great house after another was swept out of Irish life.THE TAKING OF THE LAND 133 found a few water-cresses flocking as to a feast. Thus according to the forecast English king's was "the strength of the Irish diminished and their captains taken from them. young Silken Thomas. a place where there was no pause for consolation nor ap- pearance of joy on face. experiment in which a great ruler. so that in short space there were none almost left and a most populous and plentiful country suddenly left void of man and beast a place where no voice was heard in ears save woe and fear and grief. and brought about through equal prosperity . and hanged corpses at first them into the Tower The six outraged Tyburn marked the close of the in London. In 1529 the great his son earl of Kildare died of a broken heart in the Tower at the news that had been betrayed by a forged letter into a rising.

saw the chief leaders of his house hanged or The third line of the . At a feast at Ely House in Holborn (1547) the earl and seventeen of his followers lay dead out of thirty -five who had been poisoned. as far as it. The earl of Desmond. education could do an Englishman. years later an old blackened pedigree kept in the Tower showed against the names of half the Fitzgeralds up to that time the words so terrible "Beheaded" or were the long "Attainted" efforts to extinguish the talent and subdue the patriotism of that great family. Anglo-Norman leaders was laid low.134 IRISH NATIONALITY and order a lasting harmony between the Three hundred English and Irish people. was "to be bridled. after twenty-five years of alternate prison and war. Orrnond. No inquiry was made into that crime." fast in the restitution of His son was held London to be brought up." It was said his house was in no mood to hand over the "rule and obedience of south Ireland to the king. "before he could see that day after which doubtless he longed and looked the house of Kildare." ' : the Irish said of this patriot Ormond. too. 'God called him to His mercy.

" cried the people.THE TAKING OF THE LAND slain." After him the struggle of the north to keep their land and independence was maintained by negotiation and by war . before lie himself 135 was killed in 1583: wretched son. born in the Tower. plots to The deputy Sidney devised many poison or kill he could not conquer. by a peerage an Engrites inauguration without the ancient as head of his lands." "the Queen's Earl. was brought from that prison to be shown to his and his heart-broken people stunted in body. and an English guard of That house played no further part in the Irish struggle. the man and at last A map made in the reign of Elizabeth marked the place of the crime that relieved England "Here Shane O'Neill of her greatest fear was slain. half an idiot. soldiers (1558) . en- feebled in mind. a protestant "the Tower Earl. over from Scotland hired brought assassins who accomplished the murder (1567). his people were also broken by guile O'Brien was separated (1543). The chief warrior of the north and terror of Elizabeth's generals was Shane O'Neill. The and from lish Irish chiefs assassination.

with a people living by tribal tenure. and two races drawing self-governing nation. the land of a true democracy where men held the faith of a people owning their soil.work that the continent ever knew. The flight of the earls marked the destruction polity by violence of the old Gaelic that federation of tribes which had the storehouse made of their common country of Europe for learning. English intrigue triumphed when Red Hugh was poisoned by a secret agent (1602) and when by a crafty charge of conspiracy his brother Rory O'Donnell and Hugh O'Neill were driven from their country (1607). together to form a new A hundred years later. and the soldier- patriot Aedh Ruadh O'Donnell Tirconnell. and themselves guardians of their national life. instructed in their traditions. the home of arts and industries. the centre of the noblest mission. Henry VIII had found Ireland a land of Irish civilisation and law. of Irish greatest under the leading of the statesmen and generals earl of Hugh O'Neill earl of Tyrone.136 for IRISH NATIONALITY forty years. all the great . when Elizabeth and James I had completed his work.

" Order after order went out to "weed the bands of Irish. alien and and an English form effectively established. in fact. in fact when the purpose of the government became clear in Ireland an English army Have no of conquest had to be created. did the Irish civilisation invite and lend itself to this destruction? It has been said that liberties it was by Irish soldiers The were destroyed. 137 Anglo-Irish and Irish. every trace of Irish tribal law swept clean from the Irish statute-book. "of the great numbers of the soldiers of London.THE TAKING OF THE LAND leaders. nor of the strangeness of their weapons and arms. of state government Was tribal triumph due to the weakness of government and the superior value of this the feudal land tenure? How far. if Their fear was that the of the English. and :< dread nor fear. illusions." to purge ." cried Red Hugh to his Irishmen. tenure obliterated. they suspected the real intention would all combine in one war. peared. hostile planters set in their place. Tudors and their councillors were under no that Irish such Irish. had disapthe people had been half exterminated.

only distinguished by red crosses on back and breast. and so the sight was seen of English soldiers in Irish their Irish clothing tearing from Irish men and women garments as the forbidden dress traitors of and rebels. how- .138 IRISH NATIONALITY :4 the army of all such dangerous people. others were sent out to save their a "rebel. Some list official of Elizabeth's time made a to please the trait- English of a orously slain few names of Irishmen by other Irishmen. There were murderers who had been brought up from childhood in an English house. The military difficulties of the Irish. For warmth and comfort they were clothed in Irish dress. detached from of their own people. Not leader the poorest herdsman of the mountains O'Neill and touched the English gold." lives by bringing the head The temper of the Irish people is better seen in the constant fidelity with which the whole people of Ulster and of Munster sheltered and protected for years Desmond and many another with a heavy price on his head." Soldiers from England and from Berwick were brought over at double the pay of the Irish.

the greed The No motive was prospective planters. England had been drilled by the kings that conquered her. as an aggressive and military type. land and sea. the wealth of the Spanish main. had made England immensely rich. the fury of Protestant fanaticism was the cloak for the king's ambition. war.THE TAKING OF THE LAND ever. Ireland. into a powerful military nation by Newly discovered gunpowder VII the force of artillery. to increase its violence. had a peculiar animosity. were such as to baffle skill 139 and courage. In this moment of growing strength the whole might of Great Britain was thrown on Ireland. the smaller island. The new-found gold of Brazil. Dublin could never be closed from . tion Her national spirit was of another But whatever had been her organisa- doubtful whether any device could have saved her from the force of the English it is invasion. on lacking of the other hand. was not organised nation. the resolve of English traders to crush Irish competition. too. never conquered. and by the foreign wars she waged. and contemplating no conquest on her part. Henry gave Henry VIII had formed the first powerful fleet.

which the Tudor sovereigns found. But it was the of inheritance national freedom which gave to Ireland her desperate power of defence. bodies of her people were subdued. . They could not disappear.140 IRISH NATIONALITY within against enemies coming across the The island was too small to give any sea. like the Cape Colony into vast desert regions which gave them shelter while they built up a new state. the defence was now carried on not by a tribal Gaelic people but and old half tribal Irish by a mixed race. moreover. The tribal system. the Irish system had disappeared so had the English. As we shall see the battle and the tribal tradition in Ireland between the feudal tradition had ended in the violent death of both. so that it was only after such prodigious efforts of war and plantation that the minds If. was no longer in full possession of Ireland. half feudal by tradition. too. for example. Every fugitive within of the Dutch the circuit of Ireland could be presently found and hunted down. means of escape to defeated armies while they were preparing for a new defence. while their still remained free and unenslaved.

death. when after the Danish settlement. their history and law. language and poetry.CHAPTER IX THE NATIONAL FAITH OF THE IRISH c. one of the noblest examples in history. outcast Irish cherished their was still Amid contempt. 1660 WE Irish have seen already two revivals of life. the native civilisaEven now. 1600-c. In that supreme and unselfish loyalty to their race they found dignity in humiliation and patience in disaster. the national tradition maintained with unswerving the persecution. proscription. The great dispersion 141 had begun of . with the old pride and devotion. and plantations. Their difficulties were almost inconceivable. Norman. out of the and sorrow. after confiscafidelity. and tions after the tion triumphed. depths of their poverty and have left.

With every 'The same year the number of exiles grew. high officials in every European a Kerry man physician to the king of Poland. Twenty thousand Irish were reported West Indies in 1643. - of universities. or cast out tion. exiled. They professtate became chancellors sors. a Donegal man. into the sea. as the English flung. Ireland or the west of Spain. "are the mountain or ocean. another Kerry man confessor to the queen of Portugal and sent by the king on an embassy to Louis XIV. O'Glacan. in 1653 four thousand soldiers were transported to Flanders for the war of the king of Spain. and industry. and a very famed professor of medicine in the universities of Toulouse and Bologna (1646-1655).142 IRISH NATIONALITY by emigra- Irish deported. in a single island of the thirty thousand were said to be wandering about Europe. as it were. Numbers went to seek the education forbidden at home in a multi- tude of Irish colleges founded abroad. We may in the history of the world there was cast out of any country such genius. I have . and so ask whether on." wrote one. physician and privy councillor to the king of France. to me. learning.

their schools were scattered.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH shut and 143 made fast the gates of sorrow over my heart. of contract between neighbours or between lord and man.' sands in life :< and in death. every vestige their Staff of Patrick of their tradition was doomed religion was forbidden. codes of inheritance. chained. or children music is choked." The people were wasted by thoulaugh there. and the of and Columcille destroyed. their books burned. the inauguration chairs of their chiefs were broken in pieces. Justice itself The very image of which the race had fashioned for was shattered. and the law of the race torn up. "Their youth and . of land tenure. the Irish language gambol. Love of country and every attachment of race and history became a crime." for the Irish at As home. with every Cross other national relic. and even Irish language and dress were forbidden under penalty of outlawry or excommunication. their learned men hunted down. The invaders supposed the degradation of the Irish race to be at last completed. No more shall any :< wrote the poet. native industries were abol- ished.

for nothing but to hew wood and draw water." wrote one: 'those that are left are destitute of horses. Luke Wadding. Isidore." Such were the ignorant judgments of the new people. The Pope granted to the Irish the church of St. founder and head of the college. He prepared the first of . divine of the Spanish embassy at Rome. and in itself. The Irish. College of Franciscans was established in Rome (1625) by the efforts of Irish An Luke Wadding. arms and money. in Louvain. were seeking to save out of the wreck their national traditions. which had been occupied by Spanish Franciscans. insignificant slaves.144 IRISH NATIONALITY gentry are destroyed in the rebellion or gone to France. the greatest school- man that age. at home and in the dispersion. was one of the most extraordinary men of his time for his prodigious erudition. six capacity and courage. patron of Madrid. Irish Five in of the fit are poor. an ignorance shameful and criminal. meanwhile. and an unchanging and impassioned patriot. Three centres were formed of this new patriotic movement Ireland in Rome. a Waterford man.

from every corner of Ireland. 'so long as they be Irish. small monastery of the Freres de Charite contains the few pathetic relics that are left of the noble company of Irish exiles who gathered there from 1609 for mutual comfort and support. and projected a general history of Ireland for which materials were being collected in 1628 by Thomas Walsh. O'Do- hertys." Irish. Thomas Strange. "Here I break off till morning. They were bound by and an Irish rule to speak book was read during meals. and the rest." wrote one . and of the patriots and soldiers laid to rest among them O'Neills. with the help of his fellow-countrymen. Lynches. Anthony Hickey. no matter from what province. No Irishmen than the spot should be more memorable to site of the Franciscan A College of St.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH full 145 edition of the works of the great Irish scholastic philosopher Duns Scotus. Murphys. Hugh MacCawell of Tyrone. archbishop of Cashel. O'Donnells." for all Irishmen. John Ponce of Cork. Antony of Padua at Louvain. The College was for the service of : 'the whole nation.

who left 'her with lamentation to hills of beauty' holy with the Lou vain "try another trade' : among 1 brotherhood. and were trained in the traditional learning of their race. . nay. "and I in gloom and and during my life's length unless grief." an Irish scholar of that day wrote. or Bonaventura O'h'Eoghasa. and vowed that the memory of the glorious deeds of their ancestors should not be consigned to the same earth that covered the that the ancient bodies of her children . "Those fathers. of which he wrote in his Latin and Irish Gram- mar. trained the poets of Ireland. threatened with certain destruction." The fathers had mostly come of the old Irish literary clans. such as Father O'Mulloy. distinguished in his deep knowledge of the later poetic metres. only that I might have one look at Ireland.146 IRISH NATIONALITY a collection of Irish poems who laboured on from 1030 to 1630. "stood forward when she (Ireland) was reduced to the greatest distress. Steeped clergy as in Irish lore the Franciscans carried of on the splendid record the twice-beloved the Irish guardians of the inheritance of their race.

for which a lay/ brother. At Hugh's death. born at Culdaff on the shore of Inishowen (f 1658). a Munster chief. Michael O'Clerv. Latin. "I am wasting and perishing with grief.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH glory of Ireland should not be 147 entombed by same convulsion which deprived the Irish of the lands of their fathers and of the all their property. English. Finghin Mac hach." wrote Hugh Bourke to Luke Wadding. poems." in More fortunate than scholars press. . glossaries. of and Patrick Fleming Louth gathered records in Europe. in 1635. The work of the fathers was in darkness and sorrow. Hugh Mac an-Bhaird of Donegal undertook to compile the * A eta Sanctorum. the task was taken up by Colgan. however. remained the home of historical learning in the broad national sense. collected materials ' in Ireland for ten years. 'to see how insensibly nigher and nigher draws the catastrophe which must inflict mortal wounds upon our country. Ireland it and used thay had a printingto send out Irish gram- mars. Carthy Riabskilled in old and modern Irish. catechisms. and Spanish." Ireland chief herself.

the most popular book perhaps ever written in Irish. in the wood Aharlo. it was written while he lay to 1626. to hereditary houses of chron- In that time of sorrow. an emigrant and captain in the Spanish navy. and copied throughout the country by hundreds of eager hands. fearing the of destruction every record of his people.148 IRISH NATIONALITY wrote a history of Ireland to the Norman invasion in the beautiful hand taught him by Irish scribes. O'Sullivan Beare. In the north meanwhile Michael O'Clery and his companions. imprisoned in London from 1589 mad at times through despair. published in 1621 his indignant recital of the Elizabethan wars in Ireland. all of them belonging iclers. were writing the Annals of the Four Masters (1632-6). O'Clery travelled through all Ireland to . two O'Maelchonaires of Roscommon. It was in hiding from the president of of Munhis ster. two O'Clerys of Donegal. One of a neighbouring race of seafaring chiefs. that Father 1633) Geoffrey Keating made (before Irish history down to the Norman settlement written for the masses in clear and winning style. and O'Duibhgeanain of Leitrim.

the famous . from them the workers had food and attendance. in a secure anchorage' for Lynch's words. valour and constancy. his prisons and his battles." In Galway a group of scholars laid. The books were carried to the huts and cottages where the friars of Donegal lived round their ruined monastery. generosity and great deeds. courtesy and noble birth. polish and bravery. Another O'Clery wrote the story of Aedh Ruadh O'Donnell. which was given to O'Clery by the neighbouring Mac Brodys who had kept it safe for a thousand years.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH gather up what could be saved. king of Munster in 260. while Fergal O'Gara. 149 it 'though was difficult to collect them to one place. and the calamity to Ireland of his defeat. strength and courage. abbot of Iniscaltra about 650. Dr. John Lynch. gave them a reward for their labours. :< 1 Irish history. hospitality and goodness." There is still preserved a manuscript by Cainihin. the authority and the sovereignty of the Irish of Erin to the end of time. a petty chieftain of Sligo descended from Olioll. 'Then were lost besides nobility and honour.

a distinO'Flaherty of guished Irish scholar. the greatest. historians had been time out of in north Con- He learned in one of the old Irish schools of law in Tipperary Latin. . To spread abroad their history he translated into Latin Keating's book. English." 'with exactness. To Galway came also Dualtach Mac Firbis (15851670). "a banished man within the bounds native soil. miseries. of a family that mind hereditary nacht." he said. perhaps. Tuileagna O'Maelchonaire. and Greek. Moy- cullen in Galway. of my a spectator of others enriched by my an object of condoling to my relations and friends. stripped at last of his manuscripts as well as of his other goods. he died in miserable poverty in extreme old age (1709). wrote on Irish antiquities diligence and judgment. translated the Annals of Ulster into English. a man of great learning. wrote there his historical defence of his people.150 IRISH NATIONALITY apologist of the Irish." His land confiscated (1641). For the same purpose his friend. and a condoler of their birthright. 'I live. Amid the horrors of Cromwell's wars he carried out a prodigious work on the genealogies of the clans.

their kings. on the chronicles and on the laws. and history. genealogies. the last of the hereditary sennaIrish scholars. chies of Ireland he wandered on foot from after house to house. romances. at the age of eighty-five he undying was murdered by a Crofton when he was resting In Conin a house on his way to Dublin. who gathered thirty books of law. mathematics. lived Tadhg O 'Roddy of of Leitrim. like other history. too.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH that exists in any country. poetry. would be long to tell of the workers in the Irish provinces the lawyers hiding in their bosoms the genealogies and tenures It all . physic. their writers. and many others of philosophy. in moderate prosperity and in extreme adversity constantly devoted to the preservation of Irish In his old age he lived. and defended against the English the character of the old law and civilisation of Ireland. nacht. a landless sojourner on the estates that had once belonged to his family and race. 151 and wrote on their saints. a diligent collector Irish manuscripts. every Irish door opened to him for his till learning their custom.

those that manu- were lost and those that have escaped. when Irishmen gathered as for a hurling-match and went out to one of their old places of assembly. in Lei trim. they were driven back on oral tradition and laborious copying by the pen. still the leaders of national The great 'Contention of the : Poets' a bat'Iomarbhagh na bhfiledh' tle that lasted for years between the bards of the O'Briens and the O'Donnells.152 IRISH NATIONALITY the scribes writing annals of their clans and genealogies. all over the country. it was only in 1723 that Dermot O' Conor translated it into English and printed it in Dublin. Kilkenny. Kildare. Limerick. there to settle their own matters No printing-press by their ancient law. Thus for about a hundred years Keating's History was passed from hand to hand after the old manner in copies of made by devoted Irish hands (one them a "farmer"). perhaps. could be set up among the Irish. to be carried. Tipperary. The poets were patriotism. dangers of amazing how amid the the time scribes should be found It is to re-write and re-edit the mass of scripts. Clare. in which : 1 .

NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH 153 the bards of every part of Ireland joined served to rouse the pride of the Irish in their history I. of little with the shout. was hurled over a by a Cromwellian soldier 'Say your rann now. they should be distracted by friends and . and use a good memory. were among very many. amid their calamities under James Mac cliff leader of the argument. None were admitted who could not read and write. " despair entered Though yesterday seemed Yet longer still to me long and ill. was this dreary day. Tadhg lord of an estate with a castle as Daire. man!" Tadhg O'h'Uiginn of Sligo (tl617). Eochaidh O'h'Eoghasa the greatest Fermanagh." The bards were 'the schools" still for a time trained in low thatched buildings shut away by a sheltering wood. none but those who had come lest of a bardic tribe. The chief poet of in his old age Thomond. Bards whose names have often been forgotten spread the poems of and wrote verses several kinds into which a new gloom and of the Ossianic cycle. and of a far district. where students came for six months of the year.

a burst of melody swept brilliant metres. Thus the unity of feeling of the whole race was preserved and the bards still remained men who belonged to their country rather than to a clan or territory. over Ireland. they tell how seeking after Erin over all obstacles. But with the exile of the Irish with the steady ruin of "the schools. Irish bards and harpers were as much at home in the Highlands and in the Isles as in Ireland.154 relations. IRISH NATIONALITY The Scottish Gaels and the Irish were united as of old in the new literature. and the poems of the Irish bards were as popular there as in Munster. and . understood. Born of an untold suffering. putting away "dark difficult language" to bring literature to the even translations common folk: there were made for those who were setting their children to learn the English instead of their native tongue. they found her fettered and weeping." poets began to throw aside the old intricate metres and the old words no longer chiefs. In that unfathomed experience. scores and scores of new and perhaps the richest attempt to convey music in words ever made by man. and turned to the people.

conjoined together in allegiance to one and the same sovereign. born there of an English family. others by descent only. but all parts of one body politic. Sir James A (1594-1666)." spared no cost in buying valuable manu- . "the cemetery of the valorous Gael.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH for their loyalty she left 155 gave them the last gift to her. that it as the Catholics put :< it. tiny group of scholars in Dublin had begun to study Irish history. acknowledging one God. had a There it seemed for a moment might form a meeting-point between the new race and the old." a people compounded of many nations. in and tied soil subsistence upon this our natural whereupon we live together. In Leinster of the English. the light of poetry. others neither by descent nor by birth but by inhabitation of one soil. which put him upon doing it all He the justice he could in his writings. and descent." Irish learning different story. our commonwealth men. "conceived a great love for his native Ware country and could not bear to see it aspersed by some authors. united Irish some by birth in the fruition of the selfsame air. joining together.

All these communication with Luke through Thomas Strange Rome the Franciscan. The . self to also born in Dublin. put into writing every point which he could find in original documents "which might for antiquity or singularity interest this country. Master of the Rolls. Anglo-Irish men were Wadding in in drew together Protestant and and Irish. IRISH NATIONALITY kept an Irish secretary to translate." The enthusi- asm of learning Catholic. Ussher. they sent their own collections of records to help him in his Catholic history of Irish saints. Baron d 'Aungier. and employed for eleven years the great scholar O'Flaherty whose help gave to his work its chief value. and employed a Sheridan of Cavan to translate the Old Testament into that he wrote." begging to see "the veriest noblest English scholar was Bishop Bedell. 'being desirous that Wadding's book should see the light. had the chapter during commons read in Irish. devoted him- the study of Irish antiquities. archbishop of Armagh." wishing 'to help him in his work trifle' for Ireland. who while provost established an Irish lecture in Trinity College.156 scripts. his intimate friend.

caring for the people and speaking to them in their own tongue. "sit religion. and the fanaticism of ascendancy and dominion. fired volleys over his anima mea cum Bedello!' He showed what one just cried a priest. The Irish alone poured out their love and they protected him in the insurgent chieftains grave paying homage gratitude to Bedell. 157 As bishop he braved the anger of the government by declaring the hardships of the Catholic Irish. that had risen in Dubin their long history was extinguished. Irishmen spirit of Sympathies for the were quenched by the greed for land. could do in a few years to abolish the divisions of race and to his piety. Bitterly did Ussher reproach him for such a scandal at which the professors of the gospel did all take offence. however. the war of 1641. and for daring to adventure that which his brethren had been "so long abuilding.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH Irish. the passion of commerce. and by circulating a catechism in English and Irish. man." the destruction of the Irish language. . The lin light.

Hen- dream of a royal army from Ireland. James II looked to 158 . it could no longer be made to serve in Ireland. now hundred years seemed The land was theirs. The "royal in- But the heritance" of so many hopes had practically disappeared. it was itself dead. ry's :< Charles I did indeed propose to use the Irish fighting-men to smite into obedience England and Scotland. and the dominion.CHAPTER X RULE OF THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT 1640-1750 THE aim which English kings had set before them for the last four fulfilled. and ashes victory turned to dust in their hands. but no king of England tried that experiment again. a sword and flay" at the king's use against his subjects in Great Britain. decaying and intolerable in England. perished. for if the feudal system which was to give the king the land of Ireland had destroyed the tribal system.

that too vanished: fiscations no As for the dream of con- old and new which the English the parliament allowed Crown for Irish government left the king none the richer.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT of refuge to fly to in danger. or law behind them. again. king of England tried a second time. Other methods had been set up. The social order was now neither feudal nor tribal. Everything in Ireland was to be new. 159 Ireland. bred out of its original deception other deceptions deeper blacker than the first. English planters and Irish toilers. The 1 title of "King of Ireland' which Henry VIII had proclaimed in his own right with such high hopes. the rule of the English parliament their own benefit. so many centuries. as in Henry's scheme. for a safe place that. and after 1692 no longer sufficed even for Irish expenses. nor anything known before. The and saw his sovereign absolute tyranny gradually taken out of his hands by the parliament and middle class for the rule of the king was passing. Thus past history was as it were wiped out. had begun. tradition. There were two new classes. No . the king's revenues and profits. without custom.

or but little as yet." observed a Gael of that day. cieties fallen. and no new charities. 'From the Anglo-Irish no man of special sanctity as yet is known to have sprung." Ireland was left absolutely without There were no guides or representatives. where the scum of Great Britain. natural leaders of the country new men. of the fear of God. hastened nothing. among England too was being made new. The idea of a separate and profit had disappeared and had come the rule and profit of . each fighting for his among own hand. broken men or men flying from the "hoping to be without fear of man's justice in a land where there was law. Ancient patri- mony had greed. with much turmoil and confusion an England where kings were yielding to parliaments.160 old ties IRISH NATIONALITY bound them. and parliaments were being subdued to the rising commercial royal power instead of it classes. the the English government permitted none the Irish. The new aristocracy was that of the strong hand and the exploiter's Ordinary restraints of civilised sowere not yet born in this pushing commercial throng.

RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT men. for there were no Irish representatives in the English Houses. 161 the parliament of England. The new ruling classes had neither experience nor training. Regardless of any legal technicalities they simply usurped a power unlimited and despotic over a confused and shattered Ireland. . with the right of hold- his privy council. Ireland united to the Crown of England as a free distinct kingdom. and traders in general. Now was seen the full evil of government from over-sea. Of its mere will the parliament of England now took to itself authority to make laws for Ireland in as if free and uncontrolled a manner as no Irish parliament existed. ing parliaments subject only to the king and statutes of the English parliament had not force of law there until they had been re-enacted in Ireland which indeed was necessary by the very theory of parliaments. This new rule marked the first revolution in the English government of Ireland which had happened since Henry II sat in his Dublin palace. and of her nobleecclesiastics. By the ancient constitution assured since English laws by compacts and grants were first was and brought into that country.

rivers in cunning and what had cost 10 in labour and transport sold at 17 in London. The intention the taking of all Irish land. sitting at a and prejudiced. what had once been widely diffused try. the Irish tribes was gathered into the hands of a few aliens. This despotism grew up regardless of any theory of law or constitution. Where the English adventurer passed he left the land as . woods of the natural resources of the island were cut down for charcoal to smelt the iron which was carried down the Irish boats. ignorant lie. Forests of oak were hastily destroyed for quick profits. The last furnace was put out in Kerry when the last wood had been destroyed. the subject had no voice.162 IRISH NATIONALITY where before a foreign tribunal. the rooting out of the old race from the coun- was unchanged Adventurers were tempted by Irish wealth. who ruthlessly wasted among the land for their own great enrichment. who could get three times as much gain from an Irish as fierce exploiting from an English estate by a and of its cheap outlawed labour. they could dispute no people distance. Enor- mous profits fell to planters. and could affirm no truth.

500 for a thousand acres. either in fact or in name. for the waster's madness. and so destroy the claim of the whole . the value of forfeited lands being calculated by parlia- ment later The more at 2. The 1641. seized their opportunity in Ireland.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT naked as if 163 a forest fire had swept over the country. more land was constantly needed. and so on in every was a cheap bargain. rebels the more forfeitures. For the exploiter's rage. By a prodigious fraud James I. and a House up of Commons consisting mainly of Puri- tan adventurers. Instantly London City. Munster." openly sold in London at 100 for a thousand acres in Ulster or for six in It hundred province. Three provinces had been largely planted by 1620 one still remained. and every device of law and fraud was used to fling the whole people into the war. joined in speculations to buy "traitors' lands. proposed to extirpate the Irish from Connacht. just maddened people were driven to arms in The London parliament which had end opened the quarrel with the king which was to in his beheading. and after him Charles I in violation of his solemn promise.

He remains in Ireland as the great exemplar of inhuman cruelties. discountenanced by parliament. By order of parliament (1653) over 20.000 destitute men." the English said to one another. in the death than half the population. in fact. standing amid these scenes of woe with praises to God for such manifest evidence of His inspiration. The speculators got their lands. these were the acts conduct of a war of distinguished by which the knew government by an English parliament.164 of IRISH NATIONALITY them to their lands. purporting to give Irish news. they still mark the first London on the did its experiment to appeal in this way to Irish question. outcast women and children lay on the wayside devoured by wolves and birds of prey. The memory of the black curse Irish first of Cromwell lives among the people. and children from twelve years were sold into the . it utmost to make the contest a war of extermination: of little less The Commons' auction in 1641. women. their of Irishmen's lands ferocity. 'Wild Irishmen. "had nothing but the human form to show that they were men. Parliament ended." Letters were forged and printed in England.

RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT service of English planters in Virginia 165 and the Carolinas. Slave-dealers were let loose over the country. and charity towards all. the Protestant planters sent out their threats of insurrection. of liberality. Irishman might contrast the "civilisation' 1 of the English Irish civil if and the 'barbarism' 1 of the we talk. about civility and a manner of contract of selling and buying. and the Bristol merchants did With what bitter irony an good business. Charles II at their bidding the treaty of his father that the Irish ignored who submitted should return to their lands (1661): mere appearance of keeping promise to a few hundred Catholic landowners at the out of thousands. . A deeper misery was reached when William III led his army across the Boyne and the Shannon In grave danger and difficulty he was glad to win peace by the Treaty of Limerick. (1690). good manners. will virtues dwelt among Kings were restored to carry out the of parliament. is no doubt that the Anglo-Irish born in cities have had more opportunity to acquire civility than the Old Irish. of of hospitality. he said. these the Irish. but if the question there be of civility.

The pledge of freedom of worship was exchanged for the most infamous set of penal laws ever placed on a Statutebook. The breaking of the Treaty of Limerick. and seized a million and a half of their acres. four thousand Irishmen. and William said no word to uphold the public faith. The English parliament objected to any such encouragement of Irish Papists.166 in IRISH NATIONALITY which the Irish were promised the quiet The Treaty was exercise of their religion. having outlawed parliament. conspicuous among the perfidies to Ireland. were established as owners of four-fifths of Irish soil. inaugurated the century of settled rule by the parliament of England (1691-1782). one-fourth of the people of Ireland. proceeded to crush its the liberties of own English settlers by . and demanded that no pardons should be given or estates divided save by their advice. immediately broken. Its first care was to secure to English Prot- estants their revenues in Ireland. they held by the despotic grant of the English This body. the land under Cromwell and William. confiscated and one-half of their estates. the planters.

and declared that his native land shared the claims of all mankind to justice. member for Dublin university. Some English judges decided. Molyneux. The planters' rights were overthrown as pitilessly as those of the Irish they had expelled. sit which ordered that no Catholic should in the Irish Houses. and that all its a "conquest' civil liberties were grounded on compact and charter. deprived three-fourths of the people of representatives. set forth in 1698 the "Case of Ireland. All liberties were thus rooted out. without and against Irish legal opinion. showed that had never been of Ireland.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 167 simply issuing statutes for Ireland of its sole The acts were as tyrannical in authority. an angel came from heaven that was a privy would not trust my liberty with him one moment." five He traced its constitution for centuries. historically there 1 . that the privy councils in Dublin and London had power to bills alter Irish 'If before sending them to the king. and left to onefourth alone the right of citizens. One (1691). their subject as in their origin." said an English member councillor I of that time.

their parliaments rendered nuga- and their lives and fortunes left to depend on the will of a legislature wherein they are not parties.168 ' IRISH NATIONALITY tax To me without consent is little better." be ill consequences." he cried. I am sure the great patriots of liberty and property. the free people of England. * There may were : 'if the Irish come tory. can by nature challenge any right. cannot think of such a thing but with abhorrence. liberty." The "ill consequences were seen seventy years later when Molyneux' book became the text-book of Americans in their rising against English rule. The gentry who had accepted land and power by the arbitrary will of the English House of . or conscience which all other men have not an equally just claim to." the But that day was far off. if at all. than downright robbing me. or any :< ease in his property." said Molyneux. For moment the Irish parliament deserved and received entire contempt from England. or freedom. to think their rights and liberties taken away. estate. ' and when Anglo-Irish defenders of their own liberties were driven to make common cause with their Irish compatriots for "no one or more men.

Thus an English parliament which had fought for hierarchy of its own liberties established a the Anglotyranny Irish tied under servitude to England.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT Commons :< 169 dared not dispute the tyranny that was the warrant of their property: I hope." was the ironic answer. and on the same day required of him. "the honourable member will not question the validity of his title. but leave it it entire to England." With such an argument at hand. under an equal bondage to the As one of the governors of Ire- land wrote a hundred years later. and the for Ireland: Irish chained Anglo-Irish. demanded of the king to maintain the subordination of Ireland. In 1719 declared its power at all times to make laws which should bind the people of Ireland. since the Irish were "dependent on and protected by England in the enjoyment of all they had." to forbid them to continue their woollen trade. 'I think Great Britain may still easily manage the . neux and his remonstrance. and to order the journals of its parliaments to be laid before the Houses at Westminster. the English parliament had no need of circumspection or It simply condemned Molyof soft words.

" By corrupt and ignoble servitude. To lics. were placed in power at the expense of the civil liberties greater. They had made their bargain. low. that Englishmen in Ireland should be on equal terms with English in England." pay the price of wealth and ascendency they their own freedom and the rights of new country. Strin- gent arrangements were made to keep Ireland The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended while the English parliament ruled. which was not accustomed to figure on the theatre of politics. sold their said Burke." Govern- <:< . . Precautions were taken against the growth of "an Irish a variety of devices the parliament of English Protestants was debased to a interest. and properties of the and at the expense of the civil far lib- erties of the whole.170 IRISH NATIONALITY Protestants. The smaller number. and the Protestants the Catho- Such was the servile position of English planters. Ireland was now degraded to a subject The government never proposed colony. So deep was their subjection that Ireland was held in England to be no more than a remote part of their dominion. Judges were removable at pleasure.

. your mind. The . another. in they were scarcely suspicious of the English Protestants.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT ment by Dublin Castle was sole interest of 171 directed in the England. There was no fear in Ireland of a rising for the Pretender. the greatest posts in the Castle." said the English premier " in 1774. "king-fishers.. blame here.. devoted themselves to the increase. as "the less :< common enemy". and no country to protect. Irish mem- having no liberties to defend." Castle officials were of these offices interests. the Church. if I consent to part with the disposal which have been so long and so uniformly bestowed upon members of the British parliament. it is worth turning to Pitt." One tyranny begot bers. security of their property its security and All was quiet. expected to have a single view to English In speeches from the throne governors of Ireland formally spoke of the Irish people." one wrote "how the violence of both parties might be turned on this occasion to the advancement of England. the Law. the majority of their subjects." as the nick:< I fear much name went of the churchmen. were given to Englishmen.

In queen Mary's persecution Protestants flying from England had taken shelter in Ireland among Irish Catholics. They were forbidden the use of their religion. almost every The means of liveli- hood. education was denied them. and never desired that which was ever repugnant to the Irish spirit. Their possessions were scattered. true to their ancient horror of violence made a religious war. however. began a series of penal laws against Irish Catholics.172 IRISH NATIONALITY Irish. even through the black time of the penal laws. every right of a citizen. temporal ascendency for a for religion. Bitter as were the poets against the English exterminators. every family affection. parliament. when a father . Irish Catholics had presented in the parlia- ment of James I (1613). and not a hand was raised against them there. "indented with sor- row. never Their only prayer was for freedom in worship that same prayer which spiritual faith. no Irish curse has been found against the Protestant for his religion. and delivered in this house of peace and liberty with our disarmed hands." Protestants had never cause for fear in Ireland on religious grounds. signed with tears.

RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT estant guardian. pursued the souls of the victims to the second and third generation." said the leading judges. "does not suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic. 173 died his children were handed over to a Prot- 'The law. took on a sacred character as a religious effort to suppress false doctrine. Their rapacity was not concerned with the religion of the Irish." Laws which would have sounded infamous if directed openly to the seizing of property. utterly excluded for single foot of land there ever from the inheritance of their fathers. so as to make them for ever unfit for self-government. not what one may ." rose their lament." Statutes framed to demoralise and debase the people. In this ferocious violence the law-makers were not moved by fanaticism." They were only recognised :< for repression and punishment. and use them as slaves. :< One is not left us. "no. One-fiftieth part of Ireland left was all that was to Irish Catholics. but only with their prop- The conversion of a erty and industry. Catholic was not greatly desired. 'worse than negroes. so long as there were Papists the planters could secure their lands.

in glass. green grass. in spite of this success. the bent of the curragh. sorrel of the mountain. they forbade trade in soap or candles." :t See all that are with- out a bed except the furze of the mountains.174 IRISH NATIONALITY his make bed upon. or clover of the hills. in cloth. the Protestant land-hunters were no more respected in England than in Ireland. Their subjection tempted the commercial classes. the Anglo- had made a bad bargain. having renounced the right to have a country. They forbade carrying of cattle or dairy stuff to England. The English it parliament did with them as chose. They might kind. it . was proposed to stop Irish fisheries. and the bog-myrtle beneath their bodies. Och! Irish my pity to see their nobles forsaken !' : And yet. The wool which they might not use at home must be exported to England alone. under snow. To safeguard their own profits of commerce and industry English traders made statutes to annihilate Irish competition. in linen save of the coarsest the increase of corn was checked. without a morsel to eat but watercress. under blasts of wind. Under frost. under rain. Cut off from their fellow-countrymen.

and unfitted by Meanwhile they suc- pushed their own business in a counwhich they allowed to make nothing for try itself. inhabited by a people so indolent in their religion to work." In 1720 all trade was at a stand. cessfully tillage. But now its her great harbours to the west with rising American trade were closed: no all merchant ship crossing the Atlantic was allowed to load at an Irish port or to unload. while Irish workers were driven out on the hillsides . so lacking in industrial resources. the country bare of to a man money. Their manufacturers sent over yearly two millions of their goods. full of The abundance of harbours. From old time Ireland had traded across the Gaulish sea: her ports had seen the first discoverers of America." It was unfortunate. that Ireland had been by the act of God doomed to poverty so isolated in geographical position. once so commerce. were now. said Swift. "want and misery in every face. more than to any other country save their American colonies. "of no more use to us than a beautiful prospect shut up in a dungeon. Englishmen said.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 175 not build ships. and took the raw material of Ireland.

000. pensions. . A double corruption was thus proceeding. and the like. they quartered on Irish revenues all the pensioners that could not safely be proposed to a free parliament in England successsive kings the mistresses of and their children. humiliations. false title. should sometimes It had diverge towards public utility. as a patriot said.000 was at last yearly sent over to England for absentees. German of relations of the Hanoverians. They had no could lead no call nation behind them. a queen for misconduct.000 to over 89.176 IRISH NATIONALITY to starve. public duty." abandoned all power save that of increasing servile >( the sorrows of the people. Ministers heaped They They had no And the English knew up to it well. ily increasing Some 600. The planters' parliament looked on in barren helplessness. parliament A and tyrannical could not even pretend to urge on the government that its measures. Denmark banished dinian trailing host of a Sara ambassador under a Englishmen pensions steadfrom 30. government annuities. popular resistance. useful politi- cians covered by other names.

conducted trials with fairness and humanity: "for about ten miles from Clonmel both sides . The old race meanwhile. an Irish poem them who would not even write the Irish all of names. three- ment." as said. The fourths of the dwellers in Ireland. lawyers. but scornfully cried after Teig and Diarmuid the ancient tongue of the people and their despised birth left them Once a chief justice in Tipper ary helpless. as magistrates. were brought under consideration of the rulers only as objects of some new rigour or severity.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT The English parliament Irish 177 desired to make the houses for ever unfit for self-govern- Irish parliament was seeking to the same office for the Irish people perform under it. In courts where the law was administered by Protestant landlords and their agents. grand juries. bailiffs." In neither parliaprotected their crimes. and the rest "full of might and injustice. Their cry was unheard by an absent and and the only reform the country ever knew was an increase in the army that maintained the alien rulers and indifferent "conqueror. without a word for the Irish in the law. ment had the Irish any voice.

women.000 Irish soldiers were reckoned to have died between 1691 and 1745. was given longed. and "the comfort or security of any English in it.178 IRISH NATIONALITY men. For a hundred years (1691- strictest severity that 1782) they ruled the Irish people with the human ingenuity could devise. Irish Catholics went till there in a constant stream from 1650 1798. Like the kings of England. and of the road were lined with children. kneeled down and supplicated Heaven to bless him and guardian angel. In the service of France alone 450." The people poured from "this sod of misery' as their protector across the sea. undisturbed. The Protestant settlers followed them in the eighteenth century. Un- counted thousands from north and south sailed to America." the dependency of Ireland upon England." A multi- tude of statesmen put their hands to the . as he passed along." its purely English. A "strong government. the parliament of the English aristocracy and commercial magnates had failed to exploit Ireland to their advantage. who. opportunity prouncontrolled to ad- vance "the king's service.

and not an occupation. their their for- subservience which debarred of them from public duty. Commercial men in England inspired the policy. Some astute individuals heaped up an ignoble wealth. Few of the Protestant country gentry had established tunes. but there was no profit to Ireland. and were the chief leaders of the secular govern- Such a power very rarely falls to the any country. The Irish people suffered a long agony unmatched. industry. to Engment.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 179 work. rulers in land. and thus doubly impoverished them. perhaps. where Irishmen were . in European history. had land management. or to the Empire. and bravery than had ever been exiled from any country in the world: there was not a country in Europe. England on her part had thrown into the sea from her dominion a greater wealth of talent. English clergy were sent over to fill all the higher posts of the church. And in the end there was no advantage to any party. from the their privilege calling in English soldiers to protect results of every error or robbed them of any high intelligence in politics or science in their business of them crime.

180 IRISH NATIONALITY in not the first rank as field-marshals. That long. every council. Even the Protestant exiles from Ulster went to America persecution and designed ruin" by the English government." the colonies had been flooded with the men that England had wronged. Irishmen were at every meeting." "To shun gone. or allow her the means As for the Empire. physicians. In exchange for this an incompetent and landed gentry was established in Ireland. Patrick. merchants. ministers. their arms. ambassadors. and their money. Their of their wrath. founders of mining industries. Protestants and Catholics had as "Sons of St. "must now either support kingdom. and bitter experience bore down the temporisers. soldiers. the fury were spent in organising the American War. prime scholars." this there was plain bankruptcy it "Engof was said. supporting herself. and labourers. admirals. every battle. deep. indignation was a white flame of revolt that consumed every fear and vacillation around it. and sent out men trained in suffering to triumph . Instead of profit for the governinferior ment land.

it. Father of the Barry. signed the Declaration of Independence. After the war an Irishman prepared the Declaration for publication from Jefferson's rough draft. 181 Brigadier-General Owen siege. an Irishman's son first publicly read it. an Irishman first printed and pub- lished have seen the uncontrolled rule of English kings and English Parliaments. There was another experiment yet to be tried. . Commodore John a Wexford man. born at Limerick during the was publicly thanked by Washington and by the congress.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT over every adversity. American Navy. We Such was the end of their story. passionate organisers of the revolt. Charles Thompson of Strabane was secretary of the Continental Congress." was Washington's com:e mander-in-chief of the naval forces of the States. Sullivan. Eight Irishmen.

" later 182 Forty years these Cromwellians planted on Irish . the essential needs of men.CHAPTER XI THE RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 1691-1750 IT might have seemed impossible amid such complicated tyrannies to build up a united country. nor the charities of human nature. There grew up too the union of common Once more the people of Ireland suffering. The Cromwellians complained that thousands of the English who came over under Elizabeth had 'become one with the Irish as well in affinity as in idolatry. But the most ferocious laws could not wholly destroy the kindly influences of Ireland. were being to compact 'brayed together in a mortar' them into a single commonwealth. Irish had never lost their power of The absorbing new settlers in their country.

heard of the great masters of the continent. and the relics of their fathers: the cry of their lamentation. The Irish had seen the fires of destruction pass over them. In the country places. their children could not speak a word of and the English and became wholly Irish in religion Seven years after the battle of feeling. consuming the humanities of their law. was more expressive than any music he had left their traces. The civilisation. or his children from being brought ants. the piety. would save his arms from being confiscated. from the up as Protest- The gentry in general spoke Irish with the people. the charm of Irish life told as of old. far Irish government. The penal days have We may still see in hidden places of the woods . said an Italian in 1641. Boyne the same influence began to turn the very soldiers of William. kindly friendships between neighbours. the honour of their country.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 183 farms suffered themselves the same change. and common interests grew up in the land where they lived together. and Protestgrew up ants by some device of goodwill would hide a Catholic from some atrocious penalty.

In a far church in Connemara by the race in Atlantic. under great sculptured slabs bearing the names of once noble families. It would be a noble achievement. the figure coat of mail and conical helmet finely carved in limestone. and in all looking out on the great ocean. who to mark their final degradation had been driven to the livelihood which the new English were carried the work of their hands. and naves and chan- shoemaker raised his or a carpenter or a mason.184 IRISH NATIONALITY some cave or rock where the people gathered in secret to celebrate mass. By the despised business of handicrafts and commerce the outtheir industry skill in and laws were fast winning most of the ready money of the country into their hands. Monuments lie heaped in Burris. cast out of their lands. There remain memorials of Irishmen. a plough. a Burke in 1722 a scupltured tomb to the first of who had come to Connacht. the tools of a laid in the roofless abbeys. to held in the utmost contempt their dead bodies the ruined proudly cels. the sacred places of the Irish. and deeply carved with the instruments of the dead man's trade. said .

< the government to bring Irish speech entire disuse. which prevented "the Irish from being tamed. Now and then there was a rare exception. and the respect which Philip Skelton showed for the religious convictions of a country-bred maidservant should be remembered. clergy all and of fiction complete Irish barbarism was necessary to maintain the Protestant ascend- . and when he visited Cavan he was interested by verses of its poets and wrote an English ballad founded on the Plearaca Ui Ruairc. bishops and their first The Protestant clergy in general. Clergy language and officials alike knew nothing whatever of the true life of Ireland.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 185 Swift." But Swift's popularity with the native Irish was remarkable. to abolish the Irish language. holding that souls of duty was not to minister to the Irishmen. he helped the rector of Anna (Belturbet) in his endeavours to have prayers read in Irish in the established churches in remote places." refused to learn the into only understood by the people. but rather as agents of . But in general the other political agents opposed The kindly intercourse of the two races.

unless the pains of starvation now and again woke the most miserable from their torpor to some wild outrage. lying in impenetrable darkness. secured to themselves the sole place in the later history of Ireland. Empire. the Protestant planters. So fixed and of wretchedness. A false history policy. The whole literature of the Irish was therefore cast aside as waste refuse. to the irrevocable loss of a vast mass By steadily neglecting everything written in the native tongue of the country. to be repressed by even more savage severity.186 IRISH NATIONALITY ency. onefourth of the inhabitants. of Irish material. convenient did this lying doctrine prove that it became a truism never To challenged. or Ireland. this day all manuscripts of the later Irish times have been rejected from purchase by public funds. Their race is never mentioned in histories of the eighteenth century save as an indistinct and obscure and ignowhence no voice ever arose even of protest or complaint. which for the in the long engendered a false run held no profit settlers. mass rance. lawlessness. England. and in later days to defend it. the Irish Unsuspected by English .

the breaking of the treaty. annals of Ireland. Sarsfield and Limerick. the chaffering insolence of the new traders. working at the plough and spade. the grandsons of kings working with the spade. Some wrote prose accounts of the late wars. well proved in good sense. the antiquities of their province. historians and poets and scribes were to be found in farmhouses. whose poems raphy. a man knowing some English and learned in Irish lore. greatest of the poets The (1650-1694) stirred men of the cabins with lessons of their time. the history of their tribe. turning ease. the poor man perfected in learning. the learning of the or great masters of Irish. Thus the poet Tadhg . Learned men showed the love of their language in the making of dictionaries and grammars to preserve. the laying down of arms by the Irish in 1652. and geog- was Daibhi O'Bruadair of Limerick. steadfast. the fashion of men fettering of for their tongues to speak the mere ghost Protestant rough English.RISE OF A tradition NEW IRELAND across 187 was carried the years of captivity by these exiles in their own land. now that the great schools were broken up. Descendants of literary clans.

taught him attended mass held secretly in difficulties a cave." which he was caused to do 'by the great bother of the brawling company that is round about me in this prison. published with Conor O'Begly in Paris a grammar and a dictionary (1732). Another learned poet and lexicographer." said Charles Irish." O'Conor was of Sligo county. I wish O 'Conor. like other gentlemen. had been so reduced by confiscation that he had to plough with his own hands. "as many as I can of the ancient manuscripts of Ireland from the wreck which has overwhelmed everything that once belonged to us." There were still well-qualified (1728) i:t scribes circulated who copied the old heroic stories and them freely all over Ireland. His father. There were some who translated religious books :< from French and Latin into to save. Amid such he gained the . He English. Aodh Buidh MacCurtin.188 IRISH NATIONALITY O'Neachtain worked from 1734 to 1749 at a dictionary. in his last edition of the grammar he prayed pardon for confounding an example of the imperative with the potential mood. A Franciscan sheltered in a peasant's who knew no Latin. cottage.

Curry. Dr. the saving of the relics of his people's story from final oblivion. and the best learning of an Irish- man It at that time. Much of the materials that O'Clery had used for his Annals had perished in the great troubles. and ford. so that the best English of an Irishman. and O'Conor began again that endless labour of Irish scholars. loy. was the Irish antiquarians and his- torians who into 'the drew Irishmen together Catholic Committee" Charles in 1759 O'Conor. and delighted the peasants round him with the stories of their national history. It is interesting to recall that Goldsmith probably knew 'Conor. for his friend Dr. It was life. an excellent writer. he had this immense work copied by his own scribe. Wyse of Water- O'Conor by his learning preserved . He wrote for the learned.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 189 best learning of his unhappy time. were thus connected. and another copy made in 1734 by Hugh O'Mulpossess. volumes of extracts from books he could not the passion of his Having obtained O'Clery's own manuscript of the Annals. He formed an Irish and copied with his own hand large library. OTergus of Dublin.

of a Cavan family whose estates been swept from them in 1641 and 1691. These learned patriots combined in a move- them the history of their fathers. and and to ment to win for the Irish some recognition rights of citizens before the law and in their some own land. recalling the days schools when their land was filled with poethospitality and festivals. Countless poets. and the high If of great Irishmen.190 for IRISH NATIONALITY Dr. studied as a physician in France. meanwhile. had had was eminent in Dublin though shut out from every post. justify the Irish against the lying accusations concerning the rising of 1641. and forgetting nothing do ye according to the commandments. he was the first to use his research and literary powers to bring truth out of falsehood in the later Irish history. be ye full of almsgiving and friendliness. poured out in verse the infinite sorrow of the Gaels. the voice of Irish charity was not wanting :< Having the fear of God. a song of hope arose to their that the race should come own again. shun ye drunkenness and oaths and cursing. and do not say till death 'God damn' from . Curry.

they were all. fresh from a French college. in fact. Among exiles in Connacht manuscripts perished. feeling. a working man who had laboured with plough and spade. The were people in the bareness of their poverty nourished with a literature full of wit. who recited in their cabins the love-songs and religious poems of long centuries past. but old tradition lived on the lips of the peasants. professional wits among them Eoghan Ruadh O'Sullivan from Kerry.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 191 your mouths. in a fine recitahovels there were men skilled language showed the even in literary influence. and first came into note for helping chief his employer's son. and tion. whose works perished in a century of persecution and destruction. who died in 1784. Jacobite poems told of the Lady Erin as a beautiful woman flying from the insults real of foreign suitors in search of her mate lost all poems of fancy." Riotous laughter broke out in some. for the Stuarts had hold on Ireland. The spirit of the north rang out in a multitude of bards. Their common Irish peasants . imagi- In the poorest nation. with an explanation of a Greek passage. and dignity.

192 IRISH NATIONALITY our five own day have used a vocabulary of some thousand words. for the old learning's sake. Manuscripts were fire in it days when it was death or ruin to be found with an Irish book carefully treasured. in Clare. Even the village dancing at the cross-roads tried to preserved a fine and skilled tradition. Children shut out from all means of edu- cation might be seen learning their letters by copying with chalk the inscriptions on their fathers' tombstones. too. of poets From all parts of Ireland students . There were few candles. and the scholar read his books by a cabin the light given by throwing upon twigs and dried furze. In remote places schools were maintained out of the destitution of the poor. There were some in Kerry. and in they were buried in the ground or hidden in the walls. some where a very remarkable group sprang up. like that one which was kept up for over a hundred years in county Waterford. where the people of the surrounding districts sup1 ported 'poor scholars' free of charge. still have "a scholar' 1 in their house. Families. as against about eight hundred words used by peasants in England.

Famous as a poet. he never opened to the moan of the starving.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 193 begged their way to "the schools of Minister. flying for his life more than once gathered to learned men to recite before the bard-hunters." Thus Greek and Latin still found their way into the labourer's cottage. John Clairech O'Donnell. all his house poets and and contend as in the old days. of the Irish touched some A hereditary chronicler of published in 1717 a vindication of the Antiquities of Ireland got two the O'Briens who . but tight-closed his door. in his denunciations the English oppressor stands before us plentiful his costly living in the high-gabled lighted-up mansion of the Irish Brian. But he worked in peril. he wrote part of a history of Ireland. and his churlishness shut up inside with him. and projected a translation of Homer into Irish. until famine clove to the people his gate and bowed them to his will. "and oh! may heaven of the saints be a red wilderness for James Dawson!' : The enthusiasm of the planters. In county Cork. there in an opening between two mountains. in remembrance of the ancient assemblies of the bards of Ireland.

' Welsh harper Ireland no such music Mr. and found in some of them a kindly friend. the harper and singer. O'Duibhgeanain was of an old literary clan: . O'Carolan. An all English nobleman com- ing to the parliament with a claimed that in could be heard. Protestant and Catholic. as Irish poets had done nine hundred years before. was beloved by both races. The magic of Irish music seems even to have stirred in the landlords' parliament some dim sense of a national boast. and at his death English and Irish. and all assembled to greet the Leitrim champion. divided about equally between English and Gaelic Wandering poets sang. A slight inequality in still a village field in Meath after a hundred and fifty years recalls to Irish peasants the site of the house where he was born.194 IRISH NATIONALITY hundred and thirty -eight subscribers. Jones of Leitrim took up the challenge for an Irishman of his county had never worn linen or woollen. names. gathered in an encampment of tents to do honour to his name. even in the houses of the strangers." who The Commons begged to have the trial in their House before business began.

gives the 'You accuse their lament of Irish scholars. their liberty. but an excellent Greek and Latin scholar. who became an pastors with illiterature. He came. their oak. . a poor bricklayer of Cork. architect and studied Arabian antiquities in Portugal and Spain." and their harp. but in the sighs of oppresthe great landlords the Act of 1691 which had given them wealth was the To dawn cover of Irish civilisation. you have their whilst deprived them at once of their religion. with a cloak or plaid of the same of stuff. same And the House of the James Murphy. and a high conical cap adorned with many tassels. tall and handsome. whilst you adopt the most cruel means of making them ignorant. you deprive them of the means of civilisation. But that is not all. all Oblivion might that was not theirs. he himself was not only a fine harper. all the rest. not in the strains of their ancestors. looking very noble in his ancient garb made of beaten rushes. and peasantry with untractableness.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 195 one of them had shared in making the Annals of the Four Masters. Commons gave him their verdict. and left to deplore their fate. them sion.

schools of husbandry. the Dissenters of the north. in a common citizenship. and flung his scorn on the shameful system of their slavery and their tyranny (1724). By degrees. It had proved inpossible to carry out fully the penal code.196 IRISH NATIONALITY lived in a land They some few years old. Human sides. however. Bishop Berkeley wrote his famous Querist the most searching study of the people's grief and its remedies. charities in the were strong in men of both and country there was a grow- more liberal of ing the landowners. relief of the poor from their intolerable burdens. Lord Molesworth urged (1723) free- dom of religion. not more than a man's age might cover. There were not . No life could have gone on under its monstrous terms. Swift showed to the Protestants the wrongs they endured and the liberties which should be theirs. Gradually the people of Ireland were being drawn together. the making parliament into a really representative body. dwellers in Ireland were forced into some concern for its fortunes. to unite the movement and the Catholics. All classes suffered under the laws to abolish Irish trade and industry.

organised under O'Driscoll. The whole energy united Irish People. religious distinctions were abolished. "Let the legislature befriend us now. and might they not then form a government more to the taste and wishes of the people in fact. Such a movement alarmed the government If. and official work. we are theirs forever. find they said. extremely. of the therefore called out to avert the rise of government was a .RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 197 Protestants enough to carry on all the business of the country and some "Papists" had to be taken at least into the humbler forms of Friendly acts between neighbours diminished persecution." was the cry of the Munster peasantry. the Protestants would themselves secure of their position without British protection. to the Protestant parliament in 1786. might not a nation begin again to live in Ireland.

Idolised by the Irish people. life. he raised in his Journal a new national protest. who alone had free were of necessity the chief actors in the recorded story. who in 1741 had begun to stir for reform and freedom. had stirred not only the English settlers but the native Irish. and lesser passions the love of country. Dr. can only be understood by the astonishing history of the next fifty years. silent and unrecorded as it was. The pamphlet war which followed where Citizens 198 9 . when the spirit of a nation rose again fell triumphant.CHAPTER AN XII IRISH PARLIAMENT 1750-1800 THE movement of conciliation of its peoples that was shaping a new Ireland. Lucas. before The Protestant entry into public gentry. But in the awakening country they had to reckon with a risingp ower in the Catholic Irish.

said some. This astonishing orator and parliamentarian invented a patriotic opposition (1753). and behind them lay that vast mass of their own people whose outlook than the small blood they shared. on its Irish barbarism. had and disheartened Catholic aristocracy. Terror was immediately . If their numbers were few their ability was great. out. said others spread the idea of a all its common history of Ireland in which In inhabitants were concerned. A great sea in a :< storm' men said of him. parliament too. its Irish civilisation. but on Ireland itself. they were braver in their not. yet found men men of though Catholics were shut of old Irish race were to be Catholic families who had accepted Protestantism as a means of entery ing public life. put off their ardour with their old religion. chiefly by way of the law. They save very rarely. It was an Irishman who first roused the House of Commons to remember that they had a country of their own and an "Irish interest' Antony Malone. of patriotic the middle class.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 199 men argued not only on free trade and government. on its old and new races.

fewer pensions for Englishmen. if they yielded to the claim of the government that the English privy council could alter the money bills sent over by the Irish parliament. Successors of Malone appeared in the House of Commons in 1761 more in law . security for judges. a share and government for Irishmen. free religion. Dublin Castle feared that he might mean emancipation from the English legislature." They and dren would be slaves. and in truth the constitutional de- pendency upon England was the object upon which Malone's eye was constantly fixed. he said. a Habeas Corpus Act.200 IRISH NATIONALITY and his national excited at his Irish origin feeling. He stirred whole nation' 'the last their chil- struggle for Ireland. but the battle in thirty years had was to give to first hopes of freedom. A fresh current of thought poured through the House free trade. and a parliament elected every seven years. or that the king had the right to apply at his will the surplus funds in the treasury. Malone was begun which Ireland her defeated. He a raised again the protest of free Molyneux for for parliament and 'the constitution.

" They depended. struggle. and the first blow to the dominion of an aristocracy. argued that it had the right to tax Ireland without her consent. or 'than appears in any history in this or any other kingdom upon earth. with its own legislature and executive under the king. which gave all the great posts of the bar to Englishmen. In Ireland Lord Charlemont and some other lawyers laid down peers declared that Ireland was a distinct kingdom. and . government dealt its viceroy was ordered to reside The English The counter-stroke. Some freedom of soul was theirs. in Dublin. In that same year the patriots demanded that elections should be held every seven years the first step in Ireland towards a true representation.AN lawyers. PARLIAMENT than 201 living men any one could remember. and English the absolute power of parliament to bind Ireland by its laws. The English House of Commons which had passed the Stamp Act for the American colonies. not on confiscation. IRISH said. but on their own abilities. they owed nothing to government. and manhood for the long In 1765 the issue was clearly set.

their political power". their pre-eminence. by making himself the source the giver of all gratifications. to concentrate political influence in the English Crown. their religion. living In 1778 thirty thousand Irishmen were seeking their on the continent. . that "confiscation is Commons were reminded their common title." English exports to Ireland sank instead and England receiving money had to send by half-a-million. besides the vast numbers flying to America." Meanwhile misery deepened. 'The wretches that remained had scarcely the appearance of human of creatures. and preventing the parliament from examining into the account of previous years. peerages were made by the score. all A began beyond system previous dreams. their property. lay in 'procuring the supplies which the English minister thought fit to ask. and the first national debt of nearly two millions created in less than thirty years. of bribery The landowners who the controlled the seats in that "they held Great Britain everything most dear to by them.202 IRISH NATIONALITY of all favours." 'The king's business." as the government understood it.

What was even more important. tection.000 for the by landlords and gentry. she was no longer unrepresented. Ireland was no longer unarmed. the spirit of tolerance and nationality that had been spreading through the country was openly manifested. the failure of their . Bands of volunteers were formed for its pro- 50. and in 1778 France recognised American independence. In a year 40. Protestant troops led In the sense of a common duty. A packed parliament that had obscured the true desires of the country was silenced before the voice of the people. Protestant and Catholic. Other dangers had arisen. George Washington was made commander-in-chief of the forces for the American war in 1775. were joined. The shores of Ireland lay open to attack: the country was drained of troops. the government saw the failure of their army plans with the refusal of the Irish to give any more military grants.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 203 payment of troops there. In those times of hope and terror men's minds on both sides moved quickly. landlord and tenant.000 volunteers were enrolled (1779). The collapse of the English system was rapid.

with the burden of upkeep thrown on England. a worthy Irish successor of Malone in the House of Com'It is no longer the parliament of mons. and independent judges no longer hold their places at pleasure.IRISH NATIONALITY gains from the Irish treasury in the near bankruptcy of the Irish state. and that the Habeas The Corpus Act should be restored." It is the whole of Above all." wrote the lord-lieutenant. They asked for justice in the law-courts." cried Hussey Burgh. taught by a long . through the Volunteers. required four main reforms. this country." country. They asked that the English commercial laws which had ruined Irish industry and sunk the land in poverty and idleness should be abandoned. the failure of the prodigious corruption and buying of the its souls of men before the new spirit that swept through the island. England has sown her laws in dragons' :< and they have sprung up in armed men. the spirit of a nation. teeth. the war with the colonies brought home to them Grattan's prophecy "what you trample on in Europe will sting you in America. Ireland that is to be managed or attended :< to.

the English commercial code had fallen to the ground." cried should cease. the Habeas Corpus Act was won. "could never be free till the Irish Catholic had ceased to be a slave. and Dublin men compelled members to swear that they should vote for "the good of Ireland. Irishmen agreed to buy no manufactures but the work of Irish hands. for free trade. a free nation." 'beginning to have a Finally a great cry for the in- dependence of their parliament rose in every county and from every class. free religion. In three years the Dublin parliament had freed Protestant dissenters from the Test Act and had repealed the greater part of the penal code." "You are now." said Burke. The demands for the justice of free men. country. . A third demand was that the penal laws which divided and broke the strength of Ireland 'The Irish Protestant. Grattan. were carried by the popular passion into the parliaments of Dublin and London." a new phrase in politics. In 1780 Grattan proposed his resolutions declaring that while the two nations were inseparably bound together under one Crown.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 205 misery.

The Irish knew too how gained. The claim for a free parliament ran through the country. But the Irish had good reason for their madness. sir." they said." threat of the disappearance of Ireland as a country quickened anxiety to The restore its old parliament. Johnson to an Irishman in 1779. cessions as precarious was all that they had Lord North described all past con:< 1 resumable at pleasure' by the that granted them. : 'We know." exclaimed the viceroy. 'our duty to our sovereign and our loyalty." said Dr.206 IRISH NATIONALITY the King.'the epidemic madness. of the national At the first movement in 1778 stirring "artful England had revived a scheme viewed there the abolition of favourably an Irish parliament and the union of Ireland with England. 15. 1782 to mind no unfit place for their lofty work. "Do not make an union with politicians" in us. we know our . and Commons of Ireland could alone make laws for Ireland. Lords. 'we should unite with you only to rob you. power In presence of these dangers the Volunteers called a convention of their body to meet in the church of their Dungannon on Feb.

" As Irishmen. and the kingdom of Ireland a distinct kingdom with a parliament of her own. On April 16. the sole legislature thereof. that the crown of Ireland is an imperial crown. was now established and asand should never again be ques- tioned or questionable. battle opened doubts" another Act (1783) declared that the right of Ireland to be set aside all "To governed solely by the king and the parlia- ment of Ireland certained. as Christians. Ages have . A of week later Grattan address moved in the House Commons an to the king that the people of this country % are a free people." they rejoiced in the relaxation of penal laws and upheld the sacred rights of all to freedom of religion. Grattan passed through the long ranks of Volunteers drawn up before the old Parliament House of Ireland.AN :< IRISH PARLIAMENT 207 duty to ourselves and are resolved to be free. was repealed (1782). to 'I proclaim the victory of his country. by which the English parliament had justified its usurpation of powers. 1782. and as Protestants. am now to address a free people. The by Molyneux a hundred years before was won. The Act of 1719.

The system in this country. . and this is the first moment in which you could be distinguished by that appellation. did not bear the smallest resemblance to represen- had to go through the privy council.208 IRISH NATIONALITY passed away. and finally the tation. a nation's exultation and thanksgiving was brief. heritage of a tyranny prolonged through centuries was not to be got rid of rapidly. wrote the viceroy. and bowing in her august presence. All bills . I say esto perpetual' The first act of the emancipated parliament was to vote a grant for twenty thousand sailors for the That day of English navy. . Ireland is now a nation. Since the days of half a generation for Henry VIII the Irish parliaments had been shaped and compacted to give to England complete control. the English law officers. whose secret and overwhelming influence was backed by the privy council in England. England gave to Ireland the task. In that character I hail her. . The restored parliament entered into a gloomy inheritance an authority which had been polluted and deThe stroyed an almost ruined country.





Irish proposals were reEnglish cabinet. not in parliament, but in these secret jected


The king had a veto in Ireland, The English cabinet, not in England. changing with English parties, had the last
There was no Irish cabinet responsible to the Irish Houses: no ministry resigned, whatever the majority by

word on every



it was defeated. Nominally elected by about one-fifth of the inhabitants, the Commons did not represent even these. A land-


lords' assembly, there

was no Catholic



and no merchant. Even the Irish landlords were subdued to English interests some hundred Englishmen, whose main property was in England but who commanded a number

of votes for lands in Ireland, did constantly

override the Irish landlords and drag them on in a policy far from serviceable to them.




in the

Commons were

accustomed to vote as the Castle might

In the complete degradation of public life no humiliation or lack of public honour offended them.

placemen and pensioners equalled nearly one-half of the whole efficient body: "the price of a seat of parliaof

The number





said, "is as well ascertained as

that of the cattle of the field."
All these dangers

tience be overcome.

might with time and paAn Irish body, on Irish

soil, no matter what its constitution, could not remain aloof from the needs, and blind to the

facts, of Ireland, like strangers in anotherland.

The good- will

of the people

abounded; even

the poorer farmers showed in a better dress, in
cleanliness, in self-respect,

how they had been

stirred by the dream of freedom, the hope of a country. The connection with England, the dependence on the king, was fully accepted,

and Ireland prepared

to tax herself out of


The gentry were losing the fears

proportion to her wealth for imperial purposes. that had pos-

them for their properties, and a fair was opening for an Ireland tolerant, hope Volununited, educated, and industrious. teers, disciplined, sober, and law-abiding, had shown the orderly forces of the country. Parliament had awakened to the care of
Ireland as well as the benefit of England. In a few years it opened "the gates of opulence

and knowledge."




cruelties of the penal laws,

and prepared the

union of
It of


in a

all religions



showed admirable knowledge in the method restoring prosperity to the country, awakits




increasing tillage,

and opening inland navigation.

Time was

needed to close the springs of corruption and to bring reform to the parliament itself.

But the very
fears in

success of parliament


England, and alarm in the autocratic
of Ireland.

Jealous of power, ministers set themselves to restore by cor-


ruption an absolute authority, and recover by bribery the prerogative that had been lost.

danger appeared in 1785, in the commercial negotiations with England. To


crush the woollen trade England had put 2 a yard on a certain cloth duties of over

from Ireland to England, which paid 5|d. if brought from England to Ireland; and so on for other goods. Irish shipping had been

reduced to


than a third of that of Liver-

proposal of free trade between the countries was accepted by Irealone.

land (1785), but a storm of wrath swept over the British world of business; they refused
Pitt's explanation that

an Ireland where



had been
killed could

not compete

against the industrial pre-eminence of England; and prepared a new scheme which reestablished the ascendency of the British par-

liament over Irish navigation and commerce.

This was rejected in Ireland as fatal to their
Constitution. Twice again the Irish parliament

attempted a commercial agreement between
the two countries twice the Irish government

refused to give it place; a few years later the same ministers urged the Union on the ground that no such commercial arrangement existed.

The advantages which England
roy to Pitt in 1792.

possessed and should maintain were explained by the vice-

not the very essence of your imperial policy to prevent the interest of Ireland clashing and interfering with the






Have you


crushed her in every point that would interfere with British interest or monopoly by


of her parliament for the last century,

You know the advantages from Ireland. ... In return does you reap she cost you one farthing (except the linen monopoly)? Do you employ a soldier on

her account she does not pay, or a single ship





for the protection of the British


merce than

she was at the bottom of the

Catholic question also awakened the Castle fears. The penal laws had failed to


diminish the "Papists": at the then rate of conversion it would take four thousand years







nobler idea had arisen throughout Ireland.



"whether we

now," Grattan said, be a Protestant settlement

or an Irish nation


for so long as


exclude Catholics from natural liberty and the common rights of man we are not a
people." Nothing could be more unwelcome real union between to the government.


religious bodies in Ireland,

they said, would
of their





policy mainly

by the public opinion




avert this danger they

'The present put forth all their strength. frame of Irish government is particularly well calculated for our purpose. That
a Protestant garrison in possession of the land, magistracy, and power of the


holding that property under the

By working on the ignorance of the cabinet in London and on the alarms and corruptions . :e as her govern- ment became more open and more culty of attentive diffi- to the feelings of the Irish nation." wrote the lord-lieutenant to Pitt. passionately demanded by Protestant and Catholic for fifteen years. brutal in speech. secret in machinations. and ready at every instant to crush the rising of the conquered.214 IRISH NATIONALITY tenure of British power and supremacy. Unchecked by criticism. the management had increased. was resisted by the whole might of the Castle. and violent in authority. "If. he had known the use of every evil power that still remained as a legacy from the past." Finally the pressing question of reform. rewarded by England with the title Earl of Clare. is that a reason for opening the government and making the parliament more subservient to the feelings of the nation at large?' To the misfortune both of Ireland and of England the Irish government through these years was led by one of the darkest influences known in the evil counsels of its history the chancellor Fitzgibbon.

was recalled amid the government' acclamations and lamentations of Ireland others yielded to his force. the government agents out of its control. Lord Fitzwilliam. inally conceded. Law appeared only as an instrument of oppression. the Catholic were put out of its protection. he succeeded in paralysing the constitution which it was and destroying the which had been nomparliamentary rights his business to maintain. setting one part of the coun- .AN of Ireland. Government in his hands was the enemy of the people. by the forbidding of all conframe of In the re-established 1 Fitzgibbon was all-powerful. in his hands through the privy by a system of unexampled bribery. The Irish country gentry were alienated and demoralised left to waste with "their inert property and their inert talents. stirred Religious war was secretly the agents of the government up by and in its interest. The voice of the nation :< was silenced ventions. constitutional movements mere vanity. IRISH PARLIAMENT all 215 left by using the secret powers council." Every reform was refused which might have allayed the fears of the people. The only English viceroy who resisted him. all parliament a mockery.

woke the deep passion of the country. Despair of the constitution made men turn to republicanism and agitation in arms. Every measure to relieve their fears was denied. Warnings and entreaties poured in to the Castle. when on drinking in the lessons of popular liberties from the republics of America and France. maintained by coercion. and officers measure of their troops. A system of absolute power.216 IRISH NATIONALITY Distrust and try to exterminate the other. arrogance calamities and for fear. To the very last the gentry pleaded for reform to reassure men drifting in their despair into plots of armed republicanism. The rising . every to heighten them was pursued. suspicion. The system of rule inauguall sides men were rated by Fitzgibbon could have only one end the revolt of a maddened people. Violent statesmen in the Castle. make an end and of the discontented once for of the Irish Constitution. The violent repression of freedom was used at a time when the progress of the human mind had been prodigious. did not fear to express their sense that a rebellion would enable them to all. with their train of the next hundred years distracted the island.

all its and cruelty cannot be told in horror. Abercromby was succeeded by General Lake. refused . a few places in the mountains excepted." lost his He must have senses. despair. or a writ executed without abuses of all kinds I found here can scarcely :< be believed or enumerated. sent in 1797 as commander-in-chief. "Every crime. barities of martial rule He refused the barsaid. who had already shown the ferocity of his temper in his com- mand in Ulster." as he called him. scared into scattered risings. at last forced by the horrors which were openly encouraged by the government in 1796-7." said General Abercromby. in fact. as he government's orders might be carried over the whole kingdom by an orderly dragoon. was forced out of the country as Lord Fitzwilliam had been. and in a month the rebellion broke out. The people. That appalling tale of terror.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 217 was. and "this Scotch beast. any difficulty. that could sacks or be committed by CosCalmucks has been transacted here. and 'The demanded the maintenance of law. every cruelty. the when." wrote Clare of the great soldier.

of the nations in equal . The government cannot be excused by that same plea of fear. and the cry of the tortured rose unceasingly day and night. the "pacification" of the government set no limits to atrocities. and Eng- lishmen the haters of their race. and the enslavement its But even in his own day there were men who believed in a nobler statesmanship in a union honour and liberties. Clare no doubt held the docEnglish governors before him. government that the law was their oppressor.218 IRISH NATIONALITY protection when their arms were given up. its gentry. were without hope. or terms if they surrendered. The suppression of the rebellion burned into the Irish heart the belief that the lish Engwas their implacable enemy. The treat- ment of later years has not yet wiped out of fear that memory that horror. the perpetual races. could only be kept bound to that Ireland England by the ruin of its parliament and trine of many the corruption of animosity of of its people. The dark during the rebellion stood over the Irish peasant in his cabin has been used to illustrate his credulity and his brutishness.

But it was held that a hundred members would be lost in the British parliament. . others that their elo- quence would lengthen and perhaps confuse debates. cruelty and terror raised to a frenzy. Chatham had feared that a hundred Irishmen would strengthen the democratic side of the It English parliament.CHAPTER XIII IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 1800-1900 THE horror of death lay over Ireland. and that Irish doctrines would be sunk in the sea of British common 219 sense. In that dark time the plan for the Union with England. seemed that England had everything to gain by a union. secretly pre- pared in London. a huge army occupying the country. was announced to the Irish parliament. There was one objection. government by martial law.

no parliament. The parliament at once rejected it. Pitt said. without asking consent of the nation. was no proposal to Ireland to a foreign yoke. visits There were progresses of political agents. outrageous the disabilities Catholics so as to keep something to 137. assembled in Ireland. threats of eviction.220 IRISH NATIONALITY In Ireland a union was detested as a conspiracy against its liberties. seeking their common benefit in one empire. and handing over the dominion to another country.000 armed men were bargain with. sal detestation . it was urged. all reforms of were refused the system of collecting tithes. but a subject volutnary association of two great countries The Union. of the viceroy. had a right to pass an act destroying the constitution of Ireland. military warnings. Pitt refused to have anything to say to this Jacobin doctrine of the sovereignty of the people a doctrine he would oppose wherever he encountered it. to induce petitions in its favour. But amid the univer- and execration of a Union the government dared not risk an election. and proceeded to pack the parliament privately.

and amid many adjurations to speed from England. some staff-officers. were offered ll The borough-holders millions to console them for There was a host of minor pensions. seventy-two place-holders and pensioners in the House. men without a foot of land in Ireland. contrary to one of the new laws. and corrupt the Pitt pledged wavering with ready money.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION By of sixty-three opponents. means the Commons were purged and safe men put in.' 3 of war. the Act of Union was forced through the most corrupt parliament ever created by a government: it was said that only seven An Act of the majority were unbribed. formed in the British cabinet. unsolicited >( by the Irish nation. at the point of the sword. There official were. Large sums were sent from loss in sale of seats." was followed. as wise men . Threats and disgrace were used to others. some Englishmen. Thus in 1800. in the centre of "passed in the middle a tremendous mili- tary force. under the influence of immediate personal danger. himself to emancipation. London to bribe the Press. Fifty-four peerages were given to buy consciences.

A hundred years of ceaseless agitation. nor the capital of Empire. Of that people it knew nothing." Promises were lavished to commend the Union. its conception of government or social The history and literature which might reveal the mind of the nation is so neglected that to this day there is no means for its study in the Imperial University. Ministers assured Ireland of less expenditure and lighter taxation: with vast . of its national spirit. The Times perceived in 'the Celtic twilight" a "slovenly old barbarism.." Peel in his ignorance thought Irishmen had .. accompanied by horrible and monstrous perjuries such as could not be found in any civilised country. was now confronted with the Irish people. intermediate power being destroyed.IRISH NATIONALITY had warned. proclaimed the sition of first undying oppoIrishmen to a Union that from the all lacked moral sanction. life. a settled and uni- form system of guilt. from the first tragedy of Robert Emmet's abortive rising in 1803. all An English parliament.< a general congood qualities except for federacy in crime . by generations of strife.

whether members or in for Ireland England. in fact. passing over to London of the chief part of Irish intelligence and wealth would give to Ire- The land "a power over the executive and general policy of the Empire which would far more than compensate her". so that Protestant ascendency would be for ever assured." for placed "a natural by union with the Empire she would have fourteen to three in favour of her Protestant establishment. and a stream of English capital and industry. would find in the pure and serene air of the English legislature impartial kindness. in were elected in Ireland Ireland would also be situation. lead to such a union of hearts that presently it would not matter. instead of three to one against it as happened in the country itself. and the poor might hope for relief from tithes and the need . All contests being referred from the island to Great Britain to a body not like the Irish influenced by prejudices and passions Ireland would for the first time arrive at national union. and would. The Catholics. however.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 223 commerce and manufactures. Pitt hoped. a rise in the value of land.

Each country was for the next twenty years to provide for its own expenditure and debt. of England. and that the Union must bring to Ireland immeasurable disaster. it had risen to nearly 8 millions by 1801. The system itself. and no good motives could make it work for the benefit of Ireland. in great measure through the charges of Clare's In the policy of martial law and bribery. or. ciers and patriots contended that the fair words were deceptive. contained the principles of ruin. in the long run. next years heavy loans were required for the Napoleonic war. wrongly conceived and wrongly enforced. exhausted . Oppressive financial burdens were laid on the Irish. and to contribute a sum to the general expenses of the United Kingdom.224 IRISH NATIONALITY All Irish finan- of supporting their clergy. Any discussion of the Union in its effect on Ireland lies apart from a discussion of the motives of in men who administered the system the last century. fixed in the proportion of seven and a half parts Ireland. in 1793 was ^/^ millions. for Great Britain and one part for The debt of Ireland had formerly it been small. When Ireland.

to nearly 113 millions. was unable to pay. Bankruptcy was avoided by uniting the two treasuries to form one national debt but the burden of Ireland remained as oppressive as before. No record was made in the books of the Exchequer as to what portion of the vast sums raised should in fairness be allotted to Ireland. there is no proof that there was any accuracy in the apportionment. loans were England at heavy war-rates and charged to the public debt of Ireland.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION raised in by calamity. tion The promised lighter taxa- ended in a near bankruptcy. that of all the taxes collected from them for the next fifty-three years. The result of their incapacity to pay the amount fixed at the Union was. and the taxes had risen far beyond the rise in England. The people sank yet deeper under their heavy load. and two-thirds were absorbed . one-third was spent in Ireland. Meanwhile the effect of the Union had been to depress all Irish industries and resources. and in these sixteen years the comparative wealth of Ireland had fallen. and the approach of an appalling famine in 1817. In 1817 the Irish debt had increased more than fourfold.

never satisfied. Gladstone began to carry out the second part of the Union scheme. has been over 325 millions a sum which would probably be much increased by a more exact method both of recording the revenue local' and collected from Ireland and the :< "imperial" charges. devastated by famine. so that Ireland sent to England more than twice as much as was spent on her. when the country. at a moment tries. The tribute from Ireland to England in the last ninety-three years. and wasting away . and to prevent the debiting to Ireland of charges for which she was not really liable. was sinking under the loss of its corn trade through the English law. at the gates of England. over and above the cost of Irish administration. in 1852. Later. the indiscriminate taxation of the two counIn a few years he added two and a half millions to Irish taxation. so as to give the full Irish revenue. from 1817 to 1870 the cost of government in Ireland was under 100 millions.226 IRISH NATIONALITY by England. while the contributions to the imperial exchequer were 210 millions. While this heavy ransom was exacted Ireland was represented as a beggar.

and two a state of famine. In 1896 a Financial Commission reported that the Act of Union had laid on Ireland a burden ste was unable to bear. The doom of an exhausting poverty was laid on Ireland by a rich and extravagant partner. material progress was impossible. No relief was given. she was paying one-eleventh of the tax revenue of the United Kingdom while less. in spite of the Union pledge that the ability of Ireland to pay should always be taken into account. and vastly more expensive than the cost of a government founded on domestic support and acceptable to the people. and one bad season was enough to produce wide distress. who fixed or Ireland . the cost of administration was wasteful and lavish. Under this drain of her wealth the poverty was intensified. and that. fixed on the high prices of the English scale. her taxable capacity was one-twentieth or While Great Britain paid less than shillings in two in surplus. Ireland every pound of her taxable paid about ten shillings every pound of hers.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION by emigration to half its 227 former population. Meanwhile.

no longer controlled by an parliament. but the Irish omnipotent Castle machine broke their of the country. efforts for impartial rule or regard for the opinion The Protestant Ascendancy reminded the Castle that its very openly existence hung on the Orange associations. Arms were supplied free from Dublin to the disarmed." Juries were packed by . Dublin Castle. The Union intensified the alien temper of Irish government. Justice was so far forgotten that the presiding judge at the O'Connell spoke of the counsel for the accused as 'the gentleman trial of on the other side. We may remember a great the scandal caused lately by the phrase of Irish administrator that Ireland should be governed according to Irish ideas. Orangemen while The jobbing all Catholics were of the grand juries to enrich themselves out of the poor the traffic of magistrates who violated their duties and their oaths these were unchanged.228 IRISH NATIONALITY the expenses for English purposes. Some well-meaning governors went over to Ireland. entrenched itself more firmly against the people. and kept the books. called for the money.

In the case of O'Connell the Chief Justice of England stated that the practice if not remedied must render trial by jury "a mockery. The government refused the promised emancipation. and a snare". Englishmen could not understand Irish conditions. a minority wholly without influence. by 229 all whom Orangemen were acquitted. Session after session. It is strange that no honest man should have protested against such a use of his person and his creed. The Irish members found themselves. and the credit of the law lowered for man both by a system which made the jurya tool and the prisoner a victim. one complained. measures supported by Irish members. as English officials had foretold in advocating the Union. but jury-packing with safe men remained the invariable custom till 1906. a delusion. which would have been hailed with enthusiasm by an Irish .IRELAND UNDER THE UNION the sheriffs with Protestants. refused tithe reform. all Catholics condemned. political The economy they advocated for their own country had no relation to Ireland. Nothing but evil to Ireland followed from carrying her affairs to an English parliament.

Session after session measures vehemently resisted by the Irish members were forced on a reluctant nation by English majorities. All the dangers of the Union were increased by its effect in London. and the wealth spent by absentees founded no indus- . When she asked for any deviation from the English system. she was told the two countries were different and required different treatment. The reports of dead such as that which in 1845 reported that the sufferings of the Irish. borne with exemplary patience. cerned her life the government or the opposition. Nothing was done. were royal commissions fell greater than the people of any other country in Europe had to sustain. she was told that she must bow to the established laws and customs of Great Britain. Instead of the impartial calm promised at the Union.230 IRISH NATIONALITY parliament. Ireland was made the battle-cry and questions that conor death were important at Westminster as they served the exigencies of of English parties. drawing Irish landlords to Their rents followed them. were rejected by the English. When Ireland asked to be governed by the same laws as England.

'the comforts of an To pay rent and taxes in English sow. should build their tenants houses. said an indignant judge of and developed by absentees. or at the passing England the cheaper bread was no help to the peasants. And when failed. most of whom could never afford to eat it. A land system brought about by confiscation. meant unreclaimed wastes.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION tries at 231 home. pounds pounds of food stuffs in 1848. and give them at least what they had not as yet. On the other hand. as at the in 1826 to seventeen If the price of corn fell prodigiously end of the Napoleonic war. and so They grew potatoes to feed themselves. Landlords. and neglected people. wide experience in a charge to a jury in 1814. famine swept over the country its fields of among rent corn and cattle. if potatoes rotted. from the value of eight million million on. summary powers of eviction were given at Westminster under English theories for use . lands half cultivated. it only doubled their labour to send out greater shipof the corn laws in loads of provisions for the charges due in England." the toilers raised stores of corn and England cattle for export there.

and to sink under the fevers that followed vagrancy. 1817 and 1847.232 IRISH NATIONALITY "and if anyone would defend in Ireland alone. starvation. boiled up with a little oatmeal. to collect in the corner of a grazier's farm for their little portion of blood. sorrel. and above all the broken hearts of homes. to gather chickweed." Families were flung on the bogs and mountain sides to live on wild turnips and nettles. while in a year food-stuffs for seventeen million pounds were sent to England. and the appalling sight was seen of feeble women gliding across the country with their pitchers. men hunted from their In famine time the people to save themselves from death were occasionally compelled to use blood taken from live bullocks. his farm it is here denominated rebellion. actually trampling upon fertility and fatness. Five times between 1822 and 1837 there were famines of lesser degree: but two others. were noted as among the half-dozen most terrible recorded in Europe and Asia during the century. From 1846 to 1848 over a million lay dead of hunger. English soldiers guarded from the starving the fields of corn and the . cold. and seaweed.

The loans raised for expenditure on the Irish famine were charged by England on the Irish taxes for repayment. the clearance of what was then English economics "the surplus population. Irish parliament." 'the overstock tenantry. and skins of asses which had served the famishing for food. or fled in hosts to America Ireland pouring out on called in the phrase of current the one side her great stores or ''surplus food. New evictions on an enormous scale followed the famine." for whom there was nothing to eat. herds of cattle were shipped.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 233 waggons that carried it to the ports." on the other her "surplus people. could have allowed the country to drift into such irretrievable ruin. It was a tribute for the landlords' pockets a rent which could never have been paid from the land they leased. No no matter what its constitution. O'Connell constantly protested that rather than the . In the twenty years that followed the men and women who had fled to America sent back some thirteen millions to keep a roof over the heads of the old and the children they had left behind." They died.

always on famine Levellers. 'the Protestant synod would do." In the despair of Ireland. There were savage outbursts of and homeless. All methods were tried to reach the distant inattention of England. and to private law which could only wield the weapons of the outlaw. Threshers. or Whiteboys who were in fact a vast trades union for the protection of the Irish peasantry. outrage ceased with its its establishment and revived with His Association for Repeal (1832-1844) again lifted the people from lawless insurrection to the disciplined enthusiasm destruction. of citizens for justice. "Any body would serve if only it is in Ireland.234 IRISH NATIONALITY Union he would have the old Protestant parliament. organisation was tried. kept the peace in Ireland for five years. men often starving the edge of the like. the Catholic Association for Emancipation founded by O'Connell in 1823. A Young Ireland move- . and an open society into which Protest- ants and Catholics alike were welcomed. the way was flung open to public agitation." cried a leading Catholic nationalist in ParnelPs time. to bring some order and equity into Peaceful relations of landlord and tenant.

sought to destroy sectarian divisions. checked agrarian crime. and education for a united people of Irish and English.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 235 ment (1842-1848) under honoured names such as Thomas Davis and John Mitchel and Gavan Duffy and Smith O'Brien and others with them. history. land reform. The suppression of O'Connell's peaceful movement by the government forced on violent counsels. a national physical force party was covered Ireland. formed. to spread a new literature. Protestant and Catholic. to recover Irish and to win self-government. Isaac Butt. those Fenian national militia to guard the shores of Ireland. (1865) resisted vowed The Fenians outrage. for its name this organization went back to the dawn of Irish historic life to the Fiana. . The disturbances that followed have left their mark in the loop-holed police barracks that There was a Tenant League (1852) and a North and South League. A great constitutionalist and sincere Protestant. All else failing. and sought to win self-government by preparing for open war. and ended in the rising of Smith O'Brien as the only means left him of calling attention to the state of the country.

The oppressed people were of one creed. but behind all change lay the fixed purpose of Irish self-government. five years after For thirtythe Union Ireland was ruled for three years out of every four by laws giv- ing extraordinary powers to the government. movement for after him Charles fourteen years Stewart Parnell fought in the same cause for (1877-1891) and died with victory almost in sight.236 IRISH NATIONALITY led a peaceful parliamentary Home Rule (1870-1877). after wave of agitation passed over the The manner of the national struggle changed. peaceful or violent. fore. and the . led by Protestant or Catholic. By such contrasts of law in the two countries the Union made a deep ance between the islands. a religious war on the part of Irishmen. sever- In these conflicts there was not now. and in the next fifty years (1835-1885) there were only three without coercion acts and crime acts. following the advice of Lalor thirty years be- founded a Land League (1879) to be inevitably merged in the wider national issue. Michael Davitt. as there had never been in their history. Wave island. by men of English blood or of Gaelic.

in his heart not his potato plot alone. resurrection. 237 Catholic ejected. In all cases where conflicting classes are divided into two creeds. religious incidents will crop up. a sistence. and in the phrase of Irish saints. and forbidden to form popular . to embitter the situation. Protestant and had come to mean ejector and the armed Orangeman and the dis- armed peasant. steeped in his national history. Irish saints will know that the Irishman.or clergy-magistrate and the broken tenant before his too partial judgment-seat. piled for the means of submore Irish than the Those who have seen the war up graves round the earth where the first were laid. had but the thought of the home of his fathers." If 'the place of his we consider the state of the poor.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION administration of the other. or will be forced up. and the position of the millions of Irishmen who had been long shut out from any share in public affairs. but the Irish struggle was never a religious war. Another distinction must be noted. the agent." there was battle for food. Though Ireland was driven to the "worst form of civil convulsion.

monster country. voluntary suppression of crime and outrage in these we may see not merely an the astonishing popular intelligence. His methods would have been wholly impossible without a rare intelligence in the peasantry.238 IRISH NATIONALITY conventions. Deep in their hearts lay the memory carried down by bards and historians of a nation whose law had been maintained people. Local gatherings conducted by voluntary groups over the courts where justice was carried out apart from the ordinary courts as a protest against their corruption. presence of an ancient tradition. in assemblies of a willing In O'Connell the Irish found a leader who had like themselves inherited the To escape laws against gatherings and convenEnglish tions of the Irish. At the first election in which the people resisted the right of landlords to dictate their vote (1826). conciliation meetings organised without the slightest disorder. a but . O'ConnelPs associations had sense of the old Irish tradition. we must watch with amazement the upspringing under O'Connell of the old idea of national self-government. to be almost formless. and perpetually shifting in manner and in name.

and other places whose fame was in the heart of every Irishman there. with milk and potatoes distributed to them by their priests. all spirits renounced. A like public shown in the Clare election two years later (1828) when 30. Mathew took the vow In the whole of Irish history no time brought such calamity to Ireland as the . National hope and duty stirred the two millions who in the crusade of Father of temperance. and the peace not broken once throughout the week. 50.000 men camped in Ennis for a week. kept their virtue was vow of total abstinence from whisky during the election.000 men sent up their shout of victory at redeeming of the violated pledges In the Repeal meetings two to four hundred thousand men assembled. and tranquillity. As O'Connell drew towards Limerick and reached the Stone where the broken Treaty had been signed. at Tara this peaceful of 1690. and the spirit of the nation was shown by a gravity and order which allowed not a single outrage.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION procession miles in 239 length streamed into Waterford in military array and unbroken They allowed no rioting.

Irish are gone. if there was no National spirit to save the country. he would never have taken ment." said Englishmen. off his The conflict was steeped in passion. used the whole force of the Land League founded by Davitt to relieve distress and fight for the tenants' rights. He made coat for anything less than to make a nation. he said." Celts are gone. "Now for the first time these six hundred years." said The Times. and gone with a vengeance. not even O'Connell. seeing the 'The endless and disastrous emigration." Ireland rose again.240 IRISH NATIONALITY Victorian age. In 1881 the government asked for an act giving them . and can deal with her as she pleases. but he used the land agitation to strengthen the National move- What meaning did it matter." That such people should carry their interminable discontent to some far place seemed to end the trouble. who had possession of a few acres. "I leave Ireland. his clear. But from this death Thirty years after He O'Connell Parnell took up his work. "England has Ireland at her mercy." said one. In his fight he held the people as no other man had done. 'The "like a corpse on the dissecting table.

with thirtyur Irish members. With the jath ere rejection of Gladstone's Home ule bills in 1886 of and 1893. a power beyond O'Connell had opposed coercion act in 1833 for nineteen nights. to prove his nsent to a paid system of murder and outge. and with the (1891). suspended. and 303 votes against carried a bill He was by which over a thousand ishmen were imprisoned at the mere will of The te Castle. among them Parnell himself. That remains as firm as . become the keeper of Irish Tannies.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION )wer to arrest without trial all 241 Irishmen ispected of illegal projects 1 coercion hitherto. and its con- mtional forms were less dear to Irishmen tan the freedom of which it should be the lardian. arnell in arliament had 1881 fought for thirty. not of her liberties. different Irish Parnell nationalists thrown into camps as to the eans to pursue. A special commission found it to be a facsimile letter rgery.two nights. but they never faltered in ie main purpose. I ission of rage ith reached its extreme height the publication in The Times (1888) of from Parnell.

In its . above the actual value of the land. planters. Thus the land war of seven hundred years. the war of kings and parliaments and close.IRISH NATIONALITY in the times of O'Connell. John O'Leary. But the great Act of 1903 intellect a work inspired by an Irishman's and heart brought the final solu- tion. Ver- dicts of judicial bodies tended to prove that peasants were paying 60 per cent. There was yet another stirring of the na- darkest days the country had remained true to the old Irish spirit of tional idea. By a series of Acts the people were assured of fair rents and security from eviction. Thomas Davis. and rises once more to-day as the fixed unchanging demand. the bringing back of the people to the land. was brought to a dramatic and the soil of Ireland begins again to belong to her people. while the whole Irish people. The English parliament took up the question under pressure of violent agitation in Ireland. and Parnell. enabling the great mass of the tenants to buy their land by instalments. The national movement had another side. laying aside agitations and controversies. stand waiting to hear the end.

Guided by the light of my heart. face to With my a wall." Bards and harpers and dancers wandered among the cottages." still Unknown national scribes records. as he trudged with his bag of books and the fees for the master sewn in the cuff of his coat. A copied piously the Louth schoolmaster . "Who is the musician?' and A the blind fiddler answered him: "I am Raftery the poet. playing at a dance heard one ask.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION learning. and every one that has the heart set upon the learning. Full of hope Going west upon my pilgrimage. he was welcomed in every farm. Feeble and tired. Behold me now. With gentleness that has no misery. To the end of my road. and given of the best in the famishing hovels: "The Lord prosper him. A-playing music To empty pockets. that fountain of the nation's life. famous bard Raftery. With eyes that have no light. 243 In O'Connell's time the "poor scholar" his journey to who took 1 "the Munster schools' was sent out altars by with offerings laid on the parish Protestants and Catholics alike. and love.

where they could meet learned men. back to the wars king of of 1641 and behind that to a directing the Munster in 210 A. The Ordnance Survey. Eugene O'Curry (1796-1862).244 IRISH NATIONALITY tell all could the stars and constellations of Irish forms heaven under the old and names.D. the hunger of knowledge. in Kilkenny farmhouses he learned the old language and history of his race. gave to O'Donovan and O'Curry their opportunity. Passionate interest was shown by the people in the memorials of their ancient life giants' rings. At the same time another Irish boy. of the same old Munster stock. it. working on his father's farm in great poverty. eldest never to forget This son took his brother. and use their hereditary knowledge. among the tillers and the ten- In 1817 a dying farmer in Kilkenny repeated several times to his sons his descent ants. and mighty . A vision is given to us through a government Ordnance Survey of the fire of zeal. cairns. learned from him much knowledge of Irish literature and music. the first peripatetic university Ireland had seen since the wanderings of her ancient scholars. John O'Donovan. (1809-1861) to study in Dublin. A mass of material was laid up by their help.

In the blackest days perhaps of all Irish history O'Donovan took up Michael O'Clery's work of two hundred years before.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION graves. the documents locked up pandering to the national spirit. the twenty-nine thousand 245 mounds its or moats that have been counted. he made a Dictionary which his the old pride of Irishmen in their language. the men dismissed. the raths of their saints and scholars each with story living on the lips of the people till the great famine and the death or emigration of the people broke that long tradition of the The cry arose that the survey was race. the Annals of the Four Masters. and gave to of his people this priceless Among recalls country (1856). was suddenly closed (1837). It But for O'Donovan in government offices. no materials published. the fury of his intellectual zeal. a number of works that cannot be record their counted here. Once more the death of hope seemed to call out the pieties of the Irish scholar for his race. O'Curry brought from humble . and O'Curry what prodigies of work remained. the passion of his inheritance of learning. added to his manuscript the mass of his own learning.

The failure of the hope was not the least of the evils of the Union. open to Anglo-Irish scholars such as Dr. which had been steadily growing through the eighteenth century. over a thousand airs. Sir Samuel Ferguson began in 1833 to give to readers of English the stories of Ireland. These men were nearly all Protestants. George Petrie collected Irish music through all the west. and is said to have visited every barony in Ireland and nearly every island on the coast. and worked at Irish inscriptions and crosses and round towers. Lord Dunraven studied architecture. dug They of ancient lore. a new world of Irish history. great stores and an amazing and delicate All modern historians have skill as a scribe. Reeves and Dr. Potent Irish influences could have stirred a resident gentry and resident parliament with a just pride in the great memorials of an Ireland not dead but still living in the people's heart. . in the mine of these men's work.246 training IRISH NATIONALITY an incredible industry. Todd. The drift of landlords to London had broken a national sympathy between them and the people. they were all patriots.

IRELAND UNDER THE UNION Their sons no longer learned Irish." great break in the Irish tradition that had been the dignity and contion A made the first solation of the peasantry. Archbishop Whately proposed to use the new national schools so as to tion systematic. the map of Ireland has been influence. his history book mentioned Ireland twice only a place conquered by Henry II. the schools com- In these." was struck out of the reading- book as pernicious. The quotation "This is my own. . my native land. wasted or destroyed by neglect in Ireland. and made into an English province by the Union.. and the Irish : taught to thank English child. under English pleted the ruin." God for being boy was 'a happy Connacht peasant lately summed up the story: "I suppose the Famine and the National Schools took the heart out In fact famine and emigraof the people. 247 nor heard The brief the songs and tale of the ordnance survey has given us a measure of the intelligence that had been stories of the past. make this destruc- and to put an end to national child 1 The who knew only Irish was given a teacher who knew nothing but English. traditions.

Stokes published his first Irish work Whitley the year after O'Curry's death. of this deep there came a revival. history. it- The popular self Irish movement manifested in the Gaelic League. students learn the language. and on a fine day teacher and scholars gathered in the open air under a hedge recall the ancient Irish schools where brehon or chronicler led his pupils under a tree. respect. where earnest Davis. intelligence. and Thomas music of their country. and may hope to be the leader of the world in this great branch of study. landlord and peasant. now cover all of whose branches Ireland. and has been Even out followed by a succession of laborious students. And through all creeds and . is Through a School of Irish Learning Dublin becoming a national centre of true Irish scholarship.248 rolled IRISH NATIONALITY up. it has united Catholic and Protestant. A new spirit of self- and public duty has followed the work of the Gaelic League. and silence has fallen on her heroes. and which has been the greatest educator of the people since the time Voluntary colleges have sprung up in every province.

All alike have ended in a disordered finance and a flight of the people from the land. a Union parliations. "As Ireland. Industrial Development Societies. and has brought new ideals." Plantahundred years an English parliament. so is complete and perfect liberty necessary to Ireland. Grattan foretold the failure of the Union and its cause." In England we have both islands must be drawn seen the advance to that freer constitution." he said. Each of them has been founded on the idea about a of English interests. The story is unfinished. to awaken again her trade and manufactures. and life. Once again we their in social stand at the close of another experiment of England in the government of Ireland. 'is : necessary to Great Britain. each has lasted "Tudor conquest. ment. The democracy has entered into larger The liberties. and much closer to a free constitution. growth of that popular life has been greatly . that they may be drawn closer to one another.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION classes a desire has 249 quickened its men to serve and industrial country and by Agricultural Societies.

She has pledged her credit land question and create a peasant to close the of Irish problems. They have been the most steadfast believers in constitutional law against privilege. the demomovements that have brought new government. as nobler property. What Chatham even than rights of foresaw has come A freedom-loving Ireland has been conThe broadening quering her conquerors in the best sense. the wider experience classes into of imperial methods. At Westhave always stood for huminster they man rights. true: the Irish in the English parliament have been powerful missionaries of democracy. Ever since Irish members helped to carry the Reform Acts they have been on the side of liberty. proprietary. and justice. ties of liber- cratic England as a free country. humanity. peace. have tended to change In the last generation she has been forced to think more gravely her outlook to Ireland. The changes of the last century have deeply affected men's minds. the growing influence of men of good-will. With any knowledge of Irish .250 IRISH NATIONALITY faith advanced by the of Ireland. and its most unswerving defenders.

have supported the cause of Ireland for the last hundred years. is said to have promised the first thousand dollars to the Irish emancipation fund. A over mighty the great Colonies freedom too has passed and Dominions. spirit of falling into the past. a Protestant. when President Jackson. ever since the first important meeting in New York to express American sympathy with Ireland was held in 1825. of Irish origin. They have won their own pride of freedom. the last cry of The 5 of England. 251 history the religious alarm. The United States. have given shelter to outlawed Irishmen flying from despair at home. In Ireland itself we see a people that has first now been given some opportunities of . who owe so much to Irishmen in their battle for independence. old notion of Ireland as the "property prejudice.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION must inevitably disappear. and in the labours of their rising prosperity. and have all formally proclaimed They since their beginning their judgment that Ireland should be allowed the right to shape her own government. and of its exploitation for the adis vantage of England.

terian. those immeasurable sorrows. not a single man. Norman. has stood out as a hero to leave his name. Anglican. and liberties men of every creed and of every blood. their The homes who were defending had their heroes. on the people lips or in the hearts of men. English. the decaying of old habits of dependence on military help from England.IRISH NATIONALITY . lofty figures emerge whom the people have exalted with the poetry of their souls. Against the stormy back-ground of those prodigious conflicts. self-dependence and discipline under the new conditions of land ownership and of county government. and Presby- by great deeds. the dying down of ancient fears. through seven hundred years of invasion and occupation. It is singular to reflect that on the side of foreign domination. We see too the breaking up of the old solid Unionist phalanx. those thousand sites consecrated Catholic. Norman or of Kildare English. warrior or statesman. Gaelic. and crowned with love and grati- tude the first martyr for Ireland of "the . even in England. and a promise of revival of the large statesmanship that adorned the days and of Grattan.

Thomas of Desmond. of the long.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 1 253 foreigners' Earl soul of another Atlantic winds. the people of Ireland once more claim a government of their own in their native land. but all men and men of lovers of a free nation. Owen Roe and Hugh O'Neill. in fidelities. Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Parnell war. and of their story of honour and of suffering. Bishop Bedell. the hospitable roll In memory of their patriots. in memory of their long memory of their national faith. Sarsfield. human over every inch of one of the richest . the Desmond wailing in the Kildare riding from his tomb on the horse with the silver shoes. steeped in still The tradition human passion. of that soil. Red Hugh O'Donnell. Davis. all a race will not fear to look back on Irish history. so in joy and sorrow. and create for common obligation and a common An Irish nation of a double prosperity. of peace O'Connell. that shall bind together the whole nation of all that live on Irish soil. Robert Emmett. ground rises from the earth. It lives in the hearts of men who by the see in Ireland a made life sacred rare intensity of it.

the breadth of her skies. and religions.254 IRISH NATIONALITY possessions that has ever been bequeathed by the people of any land whatever to the successors and inheritors of their life name. . The Irish tradition of national created by the has ever been a link of fellowship between classes. The natural union approaches of the Irish Nation the union of all her children that are born under of her fields. races. fed by the fatness and nourished by the civilisation of her dead.

A tjmall book which gives a vivid picture of a great Irish hero. FERGUSON. BAGWELL. Hibernian Nights' Entertainments. TAYLOR. of Ireland and its Undoing (1200bring together An attempt is here made to some of it unused before. 255 . S. These small volumes of stories are interesting as the effort of Sir S. J. commerce and manufactures.SOME IRISH WRITERS ON IRISH HISTORY JOYCE. A It illusbrief but important study of this Parliament. 1904. and of^the later Elizabethan wars. 5 vols. Social History of Ancient Ireland. Owen Roe O'Neill. and gives the causes of the Irish insurrection in 1641. P. until the destruction of the Tudor wars. 2 vols. history. THOMAS. that prevailed in mediaeval Ireland. SIB SAMTJEL. 1910. of the English policy from 1509 to 1660. 1903. JOHN. Ireland under the Tudors and the detailed account is given Stuarts. GREEN. 1600). This book gives a general survey of the old Irish civilisation. 1906. RICHARD. devoid of organisation or civilisation. The Patriot Parliament of 1689. Life and Times of Aodh O'Neill. 1868. pagan and Christian. 1885. trates the Irish spirit of tolerance in 1689. This small book is the best account of a very great Irishman. P. and 1893. 1843. Ferguson to give to the youth of his time an impression of the heroic character of their history. 1893. apart from political W. and the war to 1650. DAVIS. of the activity of learning. and of evidence. The Making 1909. among a people regarded as inferior. MITCHELL. from the point of A view of the English settlement. A.

There is a brief account of O'Connell. E. A useful study is made here of the economic condition of Ireland from 1641. . W.IRISH WRITERS MURRAY. the latest complete history of Ireland. History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century. the Irish Parliament. Lecky did not make any special study of the Catholic peasantry. O'BRIEN. and 1903. Introduction Two by These essays. 2 vols. 3 vols. Commercial Relations between England and the Union Parliament. LECKY.funder the legislation of the English Parliament. A. This gives the best account of the struggle for Home Rule and the land agitation in the last half of the nineteenth century. E. 1907. 1892. Centuries of Irish History (1691-1870). JAMES BRYCE. 1898. Mr. 5 vols. 4 E. This is History of Ireland (1903-1910). Ireland. R. give in a convenient form the outlines of the history of the time. A. BARRY. D'ALTON. mostly by Irishmen. Life of Charles Stewart Parnell. and a contribution of the utmost importance to Irish history. H. The study of the independent Parliament in Ireland is the most original work of this historian.



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