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OF THE PACIFIC
ALICE STOPFORD GREEN
AUTHOR OF " TOWN
THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
OF IRELAND," ETC.
NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY LONDON WILLIAMS AND NORGATE
4' O . HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY THE UNIVERSITY PRESS. U. 1942 t / C7 COPYRIGHT. CAMBRIDGE. BY 1911. fi r.A.S. .
I PAGE THE GAELS IN IRELAND 7 II IRELAND AND EUROPE 29 III THE IRISH MISSION IN 40 57 77 96* . . . . Ill 125 . IX THE NATIONAL FAITH OF THE IRISH 141 X RULE OF THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT RISE OF A . 158 XI THE NEW IRELAND . .CONTENTS CHAP. IV SCANDINAVIANS IRELAND V THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL VI THE NORMAN INVASION VII THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL VIII THE TAKING OF THE LAND . . . 182 198 XII AN IRISH PARLIAMENT XIII IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 219 255 SOME IRISH WRITERS ON IRISH HISTORY . .
IN MEMORY OF THE IRISH DEAD .
Great Britain lay turned to the east. against unlike all other islands it is circled round IRELAND with mountains. But Ireland had another aspect. Neither history nor geography allows this theory. her harbours opened to the sunrising. whose precipitous cliffs rising sheer above the water stand as bulwarks thrown up against the immeasurable sea. her natural . It is commonly supposed that the fortunes of the island and its civilisation must by nature hang on those of England. The life of the two countries was widely separated. and her first traffic was across the narrow waters of the Channel and the German Sea.IEISH NATIONALITY CHAPTER I THE GAELS IN IRELAND lies the last outpost of Europe the vast flood of the Atlantic Ocean.
coming according to ancient Irish legends across the Gaulish sea. from northern France to the shores of the Bay of Biscay. We do not know when the Gaels first entered Ireland. They drove the earlier peoples. The two their islands had a were different trade-routes not the same. One invasion followed another. the people of Ireland crossed a wider ocean-track. The peoples of Britain. the Iberians. came to her from the opposite lowland coasts. while . cliffs their organisation to the country. from the stupendous stone forts and earthen en- and mounThe name of Erin recalls the ancient inhabitants. they lived apart. history. and an old Irish tract gives the definite Gaelic monarchy as beginning in the fourth century B. and developed apart their civilisations. her outlook was over the ocean.8 IRISH NATIONALITY swelled harbours with the waves of the Atlantic. Celts and English. more in number than their conquerors.C. The Gaels gave their language and trenchments that guarded tain passes. who lived on under the new rulers. and long before history begins her sailors braved the perils of the Gaulish sea.
" the island. where the Stone of Division still stands. There the high-king held his court. grouping of the tribes there emerged a division of the island into districts made up of many peoples. its hill pastures. Each of the prov- Out of the inces later ster known as Ulster. and its share of the rich central plain. its Mun- and Connachtjiad stretch of seaboard its and harbours. its lakes and rivers for fishing. mountain strongholds. where the cattle from the mountains "used to go in their running crowds to the smooth plains of the province. from about 300 B. The Roman Empire which overran Great Britain" barbarians left Ireland outside it. The .D. as the chief lord in the confederation of the many states. at the Hill of Usnech.C. The who swept over the provinces of the empire and reached to the great Roman Wall never crossed the Irish Sea. 9 traditions of the older and penetrated the new Over a thousand years of undisturbed life lay before the Gaels. towards their sheds and their All met in the middle of full cattle-fields. to 800 A. Leinster.THE GAELS IN IRELAND many customs and race lingered on people.
as she led her troops across the Boyne. 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. 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. and of his sister's son Cuchulain. with gold yellow hair. who went out to Conor Mac battle in from the vast entrenchments still seen Emain Macha near Armagh. of They tell Nessa who began to reign in the year that Mark Antony and Cleopatra died.10 IRISH NATIONALITY rich lands of Mg^th were the high-king's domain. Heroic tales celebrate the prehistoric conas of giants by which the peoples fixed flicts the boundaries of their power. 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. line of . the champion of the north. and a spear flaming in her hand.
had sent his knights and warriors through all Ireland to seek out the a rival of Cuchulain. The Dublin Museum preserves relics of that heroic time.C. of lowlands cleared of wood. They told of the smelting of gold near the Liffey about 1500 B. with a shadowy line of monarchs reaching back. of invasions and battles and plagues. and of the Wicklow artificer who made cups . Irish chroniclers told of a The vast antiquity. the making of roads and causeways. the appearance of rivers. and conflicts the Amid such fixed there the centre of Irish life. as they boasted. greatest stones for his fortress. arms and ornaments. the trappings of war-chariots and horses.THE GAELS IN IRELAND The story tells 11 how the whole island shared in the great conflict. on a shelf of rock over two thousand feet above the sea extreme point of Curoi near Tralee. where son of Dare. Connacht kings pressed eastward from Usnech to Tara. to the Munster. the first digging of wells: of the making of forts. for some two thousand years before Christ: they had legends of lakes springing forth in due order. Gaelic conquerors had entered on a wealthy land.
and silver shields. and how the ranks of distinguished henceforth by the colour of their raiment. a dred years before our era. that mines of copper and silver were worked. and that a race of goldsmiths . and of the discovery of dyes. and of a of foreign trade of an artificer lady's hair all ablaze with Alpine gold. that scanty remnant of what have been lost or melted down. 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. purple and blue and green. Scotland. . and Wales. and golden chains for the necks of kings.12 IRISH NATIONALITY and brooches of gold and silver.probably carried on the manufacture of bronze and gold on what is now the bog of Cullen. They had traditions men were drowned while bringing golden ore from Spain. 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 torques of gold from oversea.
barbarians who became the notion . and nobles and queens drove chariots along their far-reaching lines. Their essential of its govern- idea of a state. 13 earth too was fruitful. to the Irish the lies in their But Gaels main interest of the conception of how to create an enduring state or nation. the minds and on the Teutonic its heirs. different it from that of mediaeval Europe. The new of bronze. but was not The Roman Empire stamped on of its subject peoples. and the mode was ment and uncivilised.THE GAELS IN IRELAND The settlers. or at least of a race unable to advance beyond political infancy into a real national existence. preservation. This as the of mark was not true of the Gaels. The tribal system has been much derided a savage people. tillage. and their legends told of stretches of corn so great that deer could shelter in them from the hounds. who used iron tools instead could clear forests and open plains for Agriculture was their pride. 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.
in a willing federation.14 IRISH NATIONALITY an organisation held together. while the sovereign was supreme in the of a state as domain of force and maintenance of order. which were bound together The forces of union spiritual. for their law needed no such sanction. and the like were secondlearning. history The ary matters which might be left to the people. and the same pride of literature. defended. tration While the ^ode was one for the whole race. governed and policed. 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. Hence they never exalted a central authority. Such an instinct the heroes. who shared the same same glorious memory of same unquestioned law. by a central ruler. the adminison the other hand was divided into the widest possible range of self-governing communities. The law with them was the law of the people. The Gaelic idea was a wholly different one. essential life of the nation came to be expressed in the will and power of its master. the . They never lost their trust in it. whatever lay outside that domain art.
The privileges of the various chiefs. which kept exact pedigrees of the families who had a right to share in the ground for tillage or in the mountain pasturage. 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. and could depose him The if he acted against law. Each tribe was supreme within borders. The tribe owed to the greater tribe above it nothing .THE GAELS IN IRELAND of national life 15 was neither rude nor con- temptible. historians. In all these matters no external power could interfere. 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. but which was never accepted in Ireland. land belonged to the whole community. were handed down from generation to generation. captains. judges. poets. it its own elected its own chief. and so on. nor need we despise it because it was opposed to the theory of the middle ages in Europe.
' on which ye are. 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. in war. and the familiar knee of this ancient sage. even Ireland." There the Ardri was crowned at the At Tara. Tar a. such as aid in roadmaking. and the demesne of the Ardri. namely.kings and ollaves together round the high-king. and learned men. the youths and maidens and the proud foolish folk in the chambers round the doors. warriors and reavers. together. The "hearth of Tara" was the centre of all the Gaelic states. while outside was for young men and maidens - because their mirth used to entertain them." the people of all Ireland island is the hill gathered at the beginning of each high-king's reign. seven hundred and sixty feet long and ninety feet wide. Huge earthen banks still mark the site of the great Hall. with seven doors .16 IRISH NATIONALITY but certain fixed dues. and were entertained for seven days and nights ." said the the island in which ye are. "the fort of poets pillar-post. the like. 'This then is my fostermother.
teachers and He was the representative life. The same tribes traditions and genealogies bound the . the bards Ardri. where and chiefs sat each under his own kings crimson cloaks with gold brooches.THE GAELS IN IRELAND to east 17 and as many more to west. 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. and chroniclers. it law. He could impose no new law. the of the race. and spears with golden sockets and rivets of red bronze. which represented as were the common mind of the people. all accepted the one code which had been fashioned in the course of ages the genius of the people. of the whole national But his rested on the tradition of the people power and on the consent of the tribes. of science. he could demand no service outside the law. in The supreme lord and arbitrator among them. which seemed from a body of strength and a universal code of of union. The political bond so loose. recited in every tribal by The same law was assembly. drew all its national tradition. men and the druids. shield.
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." preserve this national tradition a learned class was carefully trained. their common history was the concern of the whole people. their gathering One of the tales pictures at Tara. There To were schools of lawyers to expound the law. when before the men of Ireland the ancients related their and Ireland's chief scholars heard and corrected them by the best tradition. ". 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.Victory and blessings attend you. "for such inwas meet that we should gather of And at the recittogether." the men it struction Erin said. the boundaries of lands." ing of the historic glories of their past. sirs. . schools of historians to preserve the genealogies. noble history. and schools first of poets to recite the traditions of the race.18 IRISH NATIONALITY together as having a single heritage of heroic The preservation of descent and fame.
these were linked together in a national system. 19 So long as the famheld the land. The Irish nation and in a had a pride in its language beyond any people in Europe outside of the Greeks and Romans. in a literary language of great richness and of the utmost musical beauty. it was the warrior's duty to protect them as they moved from court to court. they were bound to train up ily in each generation that one of the household who was most fit to carry on learning. While each tribe had its schools. system of meterical rules for poets shaped with infinite skill. 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 . 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. and thus guished wide. Professors of every school were free of the island.THE GAELS IN IRELAND tribe land in perpetuity.
They were periodical exhibitions of everything the people esteemed craft. The . The king. democracy.20 IRISH NATIONALITY leave the country and to bring on their way with honour every one who sought to enter in. display. The assemblies which took place in every province and every petty state were the guarantees of the national civilization. even rustic years between one festival - buffoonery. '' against every class of persons except those of the two orders of religion and learning. could by his mere word decide chiefs. aristocracy. - literature. law." men in their degrees ranked with kings and and high-professors sat by the highand shared his honours. religion. art. kingtradition. said king the laws. commerce. The greatest of the teachers of "Professors of all were given the dignity Learned the Gaels." 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. sport. There was no stagnation where competition extended over the whole island. but bound together in a spiritual union.
So deeply was their importance felt that the Irish kept the tradition diligently. 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. thereon themselves as one race. Their unity is symbolised by the great genealogical compilations in which all the Gaels are traced to one ancestry. and in the collections of topographical legends dealing with hundreds of places. obedient to one law. united in one and belonging to one country. of the clan was the learned race.THE GAELS IN IRELAND and another were spent for the next. the people . of equity and history. the Irish looked Roman Empire. In the time of the fore. in serious preparation a multitude of maxims were drawn up to direct the conduct of the people. where every nook and corner of the culture supposed to be of interest to the whole of Ireland. all The learned man man of the Gaelic the higher matters of language By and learning. 1 still gathered to "meetings on hills' to exercise their law and hear their learned men. and even in the darkest times of their history. down to the seventeenth century.
and "a young exploit. unity of their land within the circuit of the ocean. like larger European states. Candidates for the chiefdom had to show their fitness. to raid borders. not mainly by human contentions. in of offence. but they have been exaggerated. but by the forests and marshes. Cleena's wave called to Munster at an inlet near Cork. Common action was matters. A noble figure told the of Erin. and to suffer some expense of trained soldiers.IRISH NATIONALITY of Ireland were one. lakes and rivers in flood that lay over a country heavy . Tonn Rury at Dundrum and Tonn Tuaithe at the mouth of the Bann sounded Tx) the men of Ulster. : lord's first spoil' was a necessary There were wild nights. The weaknesses of the Irish system are The numerous small territories apparent. to snatch land or booty. summer A country divided for purposes government was weakened These or for joint action in military evils were genuine. while were tempted. The Three Waves smote upon the shore with a foreboding roar when danger threatened the island. hindered. dis- plundering raids in the orders were multiplied. they said.
It has been supposed that in the passion of tribal disputes perished by murder and battleand the life of every generation slaughter. and had their special organisation and rites and rules of war. Historical evidence moreover shows us a country of . judges. or from some list of sudden or murders deaths in battle. The professional war bands of Fiana that hired themselves out from time to time were controlled and recognised by law. 23 Riots and forays there were.THE GAELS IN IRELAND with Atlantic clouds. those which afflicted England down to the Nor- man Conquest and marked the life long after it. and householders who died peacefully in natural accident. was by violence shortened to less than the men mostly common average of thirty years. of European states and which and cities through the middle ages. but Ireland was in fact no prominent example of mediseval anarchy or dis- Local feuds were no greater than order. Irish genealogies prove on the contrary that the generations must be counted at from thirty-three to thirty-six years: the tale of kings. among a martial race and strong men of hot passions. outruns the an honoured old age. poets.
and schools covered the land. or growing commerce.24 IRISH NATIONALITY widening cornfields. they were only put in force just so far as the king had power to compel men to obey. where wealth was gathered. and that power often fell very far short of the nominal boundaries of his kingdom. its benefits have been for- All Irish history proved that the division of the land into separate military districts. Such industries and virtues do not flourish in regions given over to savage strife. If the disorders of the Irish system have been magnified gotten. how- ever excellent were the central codes. gave ministrative districts gave also a singular authority to law. The same division into adpatriotism. But in Ireland every community and every individual was . where art and learning swept like a passion over the people. cant that Irish chiefs who And it is signifimade great wars hired professional soldiers from oversea. foot of where the fighting men knew every ground. and had an intense local them a power of defence which made conquest by the foreigner impossible. he had first to exterminate the entire people. In mediaeval states.
Irish land laws." The gence tribal system had another benefit the diffusion of a high intelli- for Irishmen among the whole people. Rights inheritance. nor its landmarks ever submerged or destroyed. nor any rising of the poor against lords. were accurately preThe authority and continuity of served. for example. security of improvement. without them for any favour or reward. due solemnities of election. did actually preserve through all the centuries popular rights the land. 25 interested in maintaining the law of the peo- the protection of the common folk. Irish recognised by wondering Englishmen "They observe and keep such laws and statutes which they make upon hills law was and stable. 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. fixity of tenure.THE GAELS IN IRELAND ple. in spite were of the changes that gradually covered the land with fenced estates. A varied . 'The Irish are more fearin their country firm v ful to offend the law than the English or any other nation whatsoever." said breaking an English judge.
skilled herds. huntsmen.26 IRISH NATIONALITY education. men and women making their circuit. merchants. raisers and trainers of horses. doctors. historians. many centres. perhaps some early form of map. . of Ireland. messengers from tribe to men gathering to public assemblies. judges. craftsmen. poets. mark a Roads and paths great and small were maintained according to law. dyers and weavers and tanners. where men lived in close association. that there was made in early time a "road-book "or itinerary. spread over tilized the general life. So frequent were the journeys of scholars. tillers of the ground. artists soldiers. They built no towns nor needed any in the modern sense. poets. But entrenchments of earth." thickly gathered together. and craftsmen. innkeepers. dealers in hides and wool. tribe. traders. or site "raths. In some sequestered places in Ireland we can still trace the settle- ments made by Irish communities. 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. and boats carried travellers along rivers and lakes.
In things political and social the Irish showed a conserv- atism that no intercourse could shake. and how Christianity spread over the land like a flood. and the rapid intercourse of all these centres one with another. and the incredible number of scholars and artificers that it poured out The over Europe with generous ardour. 'Vested interests are shameless" was one of their old observations. modern thoughts . now of intense where equilibrium was maintained by opposites. Ireland was a land then as contrasts. multitudinous centres of discussion scattered over the island. In their literature strikingly jostle against the most primitive crudeness. explain learning broadened. and the passion of their patriotism. It was to these country settlements that the Irish how owed the richness of their civilisation. side by side with eager readiness and great success in grasping the latest progress in arts or commerce. the generosity of their learning. not by a perpetual tending towards the middle course.THE GAELS IN IRELAND This life 27 of opportunity in thickly congre- gated country societies gave to Ireland its wide culture.
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. 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. escaped or survived the successive steam rollings that reduced Europe to nearly one of a true common level.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. nobility of that experiment. 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.
The Irish remained outside the Empire.CHAPTER II IRELAND AND EUROPE C. the Irish were which a free themselves to choose those things were suited to their circumstances and character. the culture. 100-C. . They showed that to no share in the trade. armies or lie not necessary to be under its police ceived While the neighbouring peoples rea civilisation imposed by violence and maintained by compulsion. as free as the men of Norway and Sweden. and the isation of civil- an empire. But there was Roman conquest. its it is subject to control. and thus to shape 29 for their people liberal culture. democratic and national. 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.
all kinds of skins and furs. The sailors and pilots pilgrims. and religion. in great tuns in which three men could stand upright. learning. Of art the Irish craftsmen took all that Gaul . and probably brought tin to mix with Irish copper. to the Shannon and the harbours of Down.30 It is IRISH NATIONALITY important to observe what it was that tribal Ireland chose. with high poops standing from the water like castles. for from the first century Irish ports were well known to merchants of the Empire. Ireland sent out great dogs trained for war. and perhaps gold and copper. to the eastern and the western coasts. tourists. There was frequent trade. sailing across the Gaulish sea in wooden ships built to confront Atlantic gales. But this material trade was mainly important to the Irish for the other wealth that Gaul had to give art. hides. Irish themselves served as in the ocean traffic. wool. and what it rejected. scholars and and Trading-ships carried the wine of Italy and later of Provence. and great leathern sails stout hulls steered by the born sailors of the Breton coasts or the lands of the Loire and Garonne. travelled as merchants.
and in writing and illumination they went beyond the imperial artists of Con- Their schools throughout the country handed on a great traditional art. or so before the mission of St. their gold and enamel work has never been surpassed. rings. Latin alphabet came over at a very early and knowledge of Greek as a living tongue from Marseilles and the schools of Narbonne. it is the wonder was wrought. the others are white bronze. Patrick a . the fine enamelling in colours. but permanent and stantinople. smiths travelled oversea to bring back bracelets. In of smiths how such arts they outdid their teachers." They borrowed afterwards interlaced ornament for metal work and illuminated manuscripts. national. The Learning was as freely imported. its woof it is of pearl. the late-Celtic designs Goldfor ornaments of bronze and gold. By the same road from Marseilles Christianity must have come a hundred years time. not transitory or local.IRELAND AND EUROPE possessed 31 the great decorated trumpets of bronze used in the Loire country. draughtboards "one half of its figures are yellow gold.
IRISH NATIONALITY Christianity carrying the traditions and rites and apocalypses of the East. religion. like the art. was national. 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. And this culture. They made. and by 700 A. developed a culture vhich was not surpassed in the West or even in Italy. and farms were freely bequeathed by will. But these estates seem . they never adopted anything of Roman methods of government in church or state.D. Patrick afterwards sailed for his mission to Ireland. the country was scored with fences. therefore. He came to a land where there were already men of erudition and 'rhetoricians' education. spread over the whole land. free from barbarian invasions as they had been free irom Roman armies. Irish But while the from the Empire drew to themselves art. who scoffed at his lack of The tribes of Ireland. The Ro- man was opposed to whole habit of thought and genius. no change in their tribal administration. learning. It was from Gaul that St.
as heirs together of the national tradition and The most venerable saints. Lay schools formed by the Druids in old time went on as before. and not to have followed the methods of Roman proprietors throughout the Empire. In the same way the foreign learning brought into Ireland was taught through the tribal system of schools. who wrote in Irish the national tales as competent scribes and not mere copyists men who knew all the traditions. highest ecclesiastics. No parallel can be found in any other country to the writing down of national epics in their . and divinity. and shaped their story with the independence of learning. where students of law and history and poetry grouped their huts round the dwelling of a famous teacher.IRELAND AND EUROPE still 33 to have been administered according to the common law of the tribe. Monastic and lay schools went on side by side. canon law. The monasteries in like manner "rath" or earthern entrenchment. the language. and taught them Latin. gathered their scholars within the were revered also as guardians of Irish history and law. and the poor among them begged their bread in the neighbourhood. used various sources.
fair the tale". adapted to monastic church gathered a group of huts with a common refectory. in free federal union like that of . as at Clonmacnois where the praises of St. every chief's house had such a fence. the whole protected by a great rampart of tribal was Round the little earth. there is but one Latin inscription among over two hundred inscribed grave slabs that have been saved from the many art. The plan was familiar to all the Irish. 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. "some in Latin. which was beguiling. In the same way European culture was not allowed to suppress the national language. where kings and scholars and pilgrims of all Ireland came to lie. clerics as well as laymen preserved the native tongue in worship and in hymns. Columcille were sung. lost. and every bardic school had its circle of thatched where the scholars spent years in study and meditation. some in Irish.34 IRISH NATIONALITY pagan form many centuries after the country had become Christian. and in its famous cemetery.
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. of the Gael. In their dedications the Irish took no names of foreign saints. Never was a church so truly national." felt St. like kings and judges of the tribe. the Ireland before the highking: he prayed. so entirely was the spiritual commingled with the national. it was the day of the celebration of Telltown fair. The words used by the common people were steeped in its imagery. Colman one day saw A his legend monks reaping the wheat sorrowfully. 35 As no land could be wholly alienthe tribe. it was ruled by abbots elected. Bridgit became the "Mary There was scarcely a boundary life between the divine country and the earthly. out of the house which under tribal law had the right of succession. . told that St.IRELAND AND EUROPE the clans. but of their own holy men. territory given to the ated from monastery was not exempted from the com- mon law. and the monks in some cases had to pay the tribal dues for the land and send out fighting men for the hosting.
" .36 IRISH NATIONALITY which thus sprang out of the heart of a people and penetrated every part religion The of their national spiritual fervour. with a wet cloak about him measurements. other lamentation. were fitted to the tribal communities and to their unworldly and spiritual worship. Hand on a Knee bent stone. in people of Ireland. who small in size though made by masons could fit and dovetail into one another great stones from ten to seventeen feet in length. life. hand lifted up. the little buildings preserved for centuries some ancient tradition of apostolic and in their narrow and austere dimensions. to set a rock. every people which won the veneration of who came into touch with the On mountain cliffs. shone with a radiant The prayers and hymns that survive from the early church are inspired by an exalted devotion. on secluded valleys. Eyes shedding And mouth praying. tears. the water-side. lie ruins of their churches and oratories. and their intimate solemnity. by Islands. a profound and original piety. An old song tells of a saint building.
in rivalry. But it is evident that disturbances were not transport across universal or continuous. Gaiety and wit were prized. could make all men he ever saw laugh . Oral tradition told for many centuries of a certain merry- man who long ago. where goods landed from the Shannon for country offered a prize. In some hot temporal controversy. a monastic some passionate religious rath' may have fallen :< back to fell its original use as a fort. Such things have been known in other lands. The national tradition of monastic and lay schools preserved to Erin what was lost in the rest of Europe. the sanctuary given in them for hundreds of years to innumerable scholars not of Ireland alone. shows the large peace that must have prevailed on their territories. a learned class of laymen. The extraordinary work of learning carried out in the monastic lands. Plunderers on a trading centre like Clonmacnois. There were local quarrels and battles.IRELAND AND EUROPE 37 Piety did not always vanquish the passions of a turbulent age. and yet he was a Christian. Culture was as frequent and honourable in the Irish chief or warrior as in the cleric.
at St. and thus shut the door on the worst form the of human cruelty. 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. that by the Irish system certain forms of hostility were absolutely shut out. the broad tolerance of the church in Ireland never allowed any persecution for religion's sake. England where the monks paved their church with the querns of the townsfolk to compel them to bring their corn to the abbey mill. "have never been accustomed to stretch forth their hands against the saints of this God. 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. Albans. Now Ireland too . We must remember. for example. Again. too." answered the archbishop.38 IRISH NATIONALITY however sad they were. "The Irish. so that even his skull on a high stone in the churchyard brought mirth to sorrowful souls. but now a people is come into country that is accustomed and knows to how make martyrs.
tion: life . and national.' Finally. 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.IRELAND AND EUROPE 3 39 have martyrs. to enrich their ancient law and tradistate. and religion. Roman and through their own forms of social they had made this culture universal among the people. as in other lands. or the master of the state. the Irish church never became. learning. It was will the companion of the people. the heart of the nation. the servant. the ally. Such was the spectacle of liberty which the imperial Agricola had feared. and it never was degraded from first to last by a war of religion. To its honour it never served as the instrument of political dominion.
driving back the Celts and creating a pagan and Teutonic England. The peoples that lay in a circle round the shores of the of German Ocean were in the thick human affairs. 560-C. 1000 THE fall of the Roman Empire brought to the Irish people opportunities. From the fell time when their warriors rejoiced in 40 on the Roman a thousand years of Empire they uninterrupted war and conquest. and south across the Mediterranean to Africa. poured west over Europe to the Atlantic shore. of them. while the English were pressing northward over Great Britain. Burgundians and Franks. new dangers and new Goths and Vandals. and for the . all nations to right and left Europe to expand in.CHAPTER III THE IRISH MISSION C. Once more Ireland lay the last unconquered land of the West.
now from this shore of the German sea and now from that. we see a race of the bravest warriors that ever fought.THE IRISH MISSION 41 thousand years that followed traders. darkness and chaos. some huge form of primitive man's So closely did Infinity comimagination. Brendan or another launched his coracle on the illimitable waves. we seern to have entered into a vast antiquity. have fought and trafficked over the whole earth. on the other hand. where the very grass and trees have a blacker hue. Close at their back now lay the German invaders of Britain a new wave of the human tide Before them always flowing westward. In Ireland. no boundary known to that sea. Even now we stand to the far westward on the gloomy heights of Donegal. in face of the everlasting storm. stretched the Atlantic. he might seem to pass as over the edge of the earth into the vast Eter- . who had pushed on over the Gaulish sea to the very marge and limit of the world. where it would be little wonder to see in the sombre solitude some strange shape of the primeval world. pass these people round that when the Irish sailor St.
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.42 IRISH NATIONALITY see nity where space and time were not. of learning. therefore. 'They came/ :< JSlfred tells us in his chronicle. its civili- Ireland did not share in the ruin of sation. passed safely to Gaul over the ocean routes. whence they had stolen away because for the love of God they would be on pilgrimage they recked not where. The story of the Irish mission shows how they answered to such a call. or of liberty. and they took with them enough meat for seven nights. The Teutonic invaders stopped at the Irish Sea. Ireland therefore not only preserved her . in a boat without oars from Hibernia. At the fall of the Empire." 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.
began a work equally astonishing from the religious and the political point of view. In way that mission we may see the strength and the spirit of the tribal civilisation. Irish history there St. amid the ruins of Christian settlements. and saint After founding thirty-seven monasteries in Ireland. The heathen Picts had marched westward to the sea. but the 43 lay open for her missionaries to carry back to Europe the knowledge which she had received from it. and the Celts of . scholar. from Derry on the northern coast to Durrow near the Munster border.THE IRISH MISSION culture unharmed. swept by heathen raids. 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. Two great leaders of the Irish mission were In all Columcille in Great Britain and Columbanus in Europe. The pagan English had set up in 547 a monarchy in Northumbria and the Lowlands. debatable land. threatening alike the Picts. is no greater figure than Columcille states- man and patriot. the Irish or :e Scot v settle- ments along the coast. poet. destroying the Celtic churches.
and from the Dee piety. learning. and consecrated as king the Irish Aidan. who told . He established friendship with the Britons of Strathclyde. to the Tay. On the western shores about Cantyre he restored the Scot settlement from Ire- land which was later to give its name to Scotland. and religion. and others coming north from the Loire with their tuns of wine. 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. 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 565.44 IRISH NATIONALITY Against this world of war Strathclyde. the high leader of the Celtic world. For thirty-four years Columcille ruled as abbot in lona. ancestor of the kings of Scotland and England. he talked with mariners sailing south from the Orkneys. He watched the wooden ships with great sails that crossed from shore to shore. and spread Irish monasteries from Strathspey to the Dee.
< hour without study or prayer or writing. he harmonised the moon's race with the branching sun. . the stars of heaven. the splendid voice and stately figure that seemed almost miraculous gifts." He desired. His large statesmanship. . his lofty genius. 'to search all the books that would be good for any soul". the power of inspiring love that brought dying men to see his face once more before they fell at his feet in death. stopped to ask a blessing as they passed. He could never spend the space of even one . the passionate and poetic temperament that filled men with awe and reverence. one with his milk pail. where the brethren. and how a town in Istria had been wrecked by earthquake. sitting with open cell door. give a surpassing dignity and beauty to his life. three hundred books. and with his own hand he copied. he was skilful in the course of the sea. one of his poems tells us. it is said." "Seasons all and storms he perceived. or some other holy occupation and still in these he was beloved by all. After his death the Irish monks carried his . he would count .THE IRISH MISSION 45 him European tidings. one with his butcher's knife.
with its church of hewn oak thatched with reeds after Irish tradition in sign of poverty and lowliness. They taught the English writing. rejoicing to change the brutalities of war for the plough. Columban monks made a second lona at Lindisf arne. From the forge-hammer. For a hundred years wherever the monks by of lona passed men ran to be signed their voice. the king's court nobles came. and with its famous school of art and learning. their hand and blessed by . A heathen land lay before them. and monasteries gave shelter to travellers. the ports were crowded with boats. the winnowing fan: waste places were reclaimed. 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. made little progress. and gave them the letters which were used among them till the Norman Conquest. for the Roman missionestablished in 597 by Augustine in Canterbury. by the ramparts of the Roman Wall.46 IRISH NATIONALITY of work over the whole aries England." some Kent. speaking no English and hating 'barbarism. Labour and learning went hand in hand.
and this bishop. For a moment it seemed as though the British islands were to be confederation and drawn into one peaceful communion and a common . Under in the old university of the influence of the Irish teachers the spirit of racial bitterness was checked. supthem without charge food and books plying to and teaching. . as that of Lindisfarne had been in the north. * Saxon Quarter' 1 Armagh. The willingly received them all. The great school of Malmesbury in Wessex was founded by an Irishman. For the first time also Ireland became known to Englishmen. In of 662 there was only one bishop in the whole England who was not of Irish consecration. was a Frenchman who had been trained for years in Ireland.Britons. who forsook their native land for the sake of divine studies. Picts. and a new intercourse sprang up between English. Fleets of ships bore students and pilgrims. Agilberct of Wessex. welcoming them in every school from Derry to Lismore. making for them a Irish most . and Irish.THE IRISH MISSION 47 Their missionaries wandered on foot over middle England and along the eastern coast and even touched the Channel in Sussex.
They probably sailed in one of the merchant from the Loire. geometry. Columcille had been some dozen years in lona when Columbanus (c. his monastery where he died in 615. taste. . aflame with religious pas- sion. and a fine rhetoric. leading twelve Irish monks clad in white homespun. of and poetry. A stern ascetic. 575) left Bangor on the Belfast Lough. and books hanging from their waists in leathern satchels. Other houses branched out into France and Switzerland. the fellowship of learning and of piety. rested on the peoples. The peace of Columcille. once the meeting-place of among great highways from Italy and France. now left by the barbarians a wilderness for wild beasts. Columbanus battled for twenty years with the vice and ignorance of a half-pagan a knowledge of Latin.48 IRISH NATIONALITY worship bounded only by the ocean. with long hair falling on their shoulders. of Bobio Finally he founded in the Apennines. a finished scholar bringing from Ireland and Hebrew. Greek. Crossing Gaul ships trading to the Vosges Columbanus founded his monas- tery of Luxeuil a Roman the ruined heaps of city.
indifferent to danger." For a hundred years before Columbanus there had been Irish pilgrims and bishops in Gaul and Italy. astonished at the apathy of Italy as compared with the zeal of Ireland in teaching. 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. as Rome Instantly the fiery saint. held in special veneration by the Irish. . detecting the secret thought. Rome John. the rule of Columbanus might outdo It was told that in Gregory the Great received him. But it was his mission that first brought the national patriotism of Ireland into conflict with the organisation of in Europe. of speech he argued and denounced with "the freedom which accords with the custom of country. 49 Scornful of ease. and is still. my as The awed the if that of St. Christianity had come to Ireland from the East tradition said from St. Benedict. he who depreciates the :< work depreciates the Author. who was then." passion of his piety so that for a time it seemed peoples.THE IRISH MISSION Burgundy. his flower. rose from his prayer to repudiate the slight: Brother.
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-
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
protested his loyalty to St. John, to St. Columcille, and to the church of his fathers. It was an unequal
was answered, was a
THE IRISH MISSION
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.
was thus opened was the
in Irish history.
beginning of a
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
England by the
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
islands of the world."
plicity," said the English leader,
of yours," like Peter, the keeping the keys of heaven? With these first bitter words, with the condemnation of the
Irish customs, Irish
to enter in.
Lindisfarne, discord began Slowly and with sorrow the
Irish in the course of sixty years
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
THE IRISH MISSION
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,
Their monasteries formed rest-
through France and Europe itself was too narrow for
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
tongue; in a
at St. Gall
was trained the
English poet in the
they drew up a Latin-German dictionary for the Germans of the Upper Rhine and Switzerland,
and even devised new German words to
new ideas of
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
land ever sent out such impassioned teachers and Charles the Great and his
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.
had not hardship, nor given them
interest in barbarians.
enveloped by the ardour of their fiery enthusiasm. among Teutonic peoples politics . with the Irish. But the Irish missionaries feared nothing. of one apostle The death of another. and finally took a year for his journey. Their succession never ceased. all out a break for over six hundred Instead of the Irish zeal for the welfare of peoples whatsoever. when this powerful influence was set aside English mission work died down for a thousand years or so.THE IRISH MISSION in 595 55 was sent on the English mission he turned back with loathing. The Irish missionaries continued withyeai\s. the English felt a special call to preach among those "from whom the English race had its origin. 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. Finally. In 664 no one could to send to Canterbury. neither hunger nor weariness nor the outlaws of the woods. till in 668 Theodore was fetched from Syria." and their chief mission was to their own stock in Frisia. he also took a year be found in Rome on his way.
But the Irish had no theory of dominion to push. viper and sword. The Teutons were out to conquer. had no No war of religion stained their faith. In the dis- broad humanity that was the great tinction of their people persecution part. and enforce it by fire and water. A score of generations of missionaries in the tribal communities of Ireland.56 IRISH NATIONALITY went hand in hand with Christianity. persuasion for Their method was one of spiritual life ends alone. were bred up where men believed in voluntary union of men in a high tradition. . 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 in the lust of dominion a conqueror might make religion the sign of obedience. and no barbarities to man.
. About 800 A.CHAPTER IV SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 800-1014 a thousand years no foreign host had settled in Erin.D. calling to the land. The Teutonic peoples. But the times of peace were ended. The Scandinavians had sailed out on 'the gulf's enormous warriors bounds abyss. had carried their victories over the Roman Empire to the edge of the seas that guarded Ireland. triumphant con- querors of the land." 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. conquerors of the ocean. shouting as 57 he goes. the Irish suffered their first FOR invasion. where before their eyes the vanishing of the earth were hidden in gloom. of But fresh hordes were gathering in the north.
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. the all ask how The Danes met the on land of the Picts northward. eager for slaughter. their civilisa- were threatened by strangers. "great scourers of the seas desperate in attempting other realms. may the shores of England from the Forth to the Channel. plundering the rich men's raths of their . life. grim in hate. and an alien population within the island." 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. During two hundred years their national tion. tribeland. bitter in the battle-work. swinging his sharp-edged sword. lona and the country of the Scots to the west.58 IRISH NATIONALITY with laughter terrible to the earth. They came. their learning. covering the country with their forts. Irish civilisation fell We trial. The social order they had built up was confronted with two new tests violence from without.
800).< . and by law. They slew every English king and wiped out every English royal house save that of Wessex. and in their place set up their own kings in Northumbria and East Anglia. and fled away for refuge to Europe. and a Danish king ruled over all England (1013). Their heavy iron swords. when the Danes had planted a colony on every inlet of the sea (c. bodies and necks and gentle heads defended only by fine linen. the invincible of all middle . their armour. they took horse and rode conquering over the inland plains. sacking the schools and monasteries and churches. In England.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 59 cups and vessels and ornaments of gold. their discipline of war. Monks and scholars gathered up their manuscripts and holy ornaments. and made England a vast Danea land ruled by Danish law. and entering every great king's grave for buried treasure. In Ireland. These wars brought a very different fate to the English and the Irish. gave them an overwhelming advantage against the Irish with. as they said. At the last Wessex itself was conquered. on the other hand." confederations of Danish towns.
He Armagh and set up at its shrine the worship of Thor. The Danes. every tribe fought for own There could be no subjection clans except of the Irish by their extermination. The long war was one of "confused noise . Through two hundred years of war no Irish royal house was destroyed. Thorgils. were never able to occupy permanently any part of Ireland more than a day's march from the chief stations of their fleets. being cast into Loch Nair. and the great skin pouch of charms. and Normandy. A Nor- wegian leader. while his wife the high altar of in the prophetess's cloak set with stones to gave her oracles from Clonmacnois on the Shannon. the necklace of glass beads. made one supreme fixed his capital at effort at conquest. and no national supremacy of the Danes replaced the national supremacy of the Irish. But in the end Thorgils was taken by the Meath and executed. Every foot of land its was soil. the staff. great part of Scotland. the hem. who held long and king of secure possession of England.60 IRISH NATIONALITY of the tribal power the system for defence barred way of invaders. defended. no kingdom was extinguished.
" Ireland." 1 sea-kings roaming the ocean or gathering for a raid on Scotland or on France. stray com- panies out of work or putting in for a winter's shelter. whether they could conquer it or not. As "the sea vomited up floods of foreigners into Erin so that there was not a . her fields of corn. buccaneers seeking "the spoils of the sea. of Danish hosts driven out of England or Normandy.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND and garments rolled in 61 blood. Norwegians and Danes fought sea-ports. was of vast importance to the Scandinavians as a land of refuge for their fleets. furiously for possession of the now each other. Voyagers guided their way by the flights of birds from her shores. 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. boats of whale-fishers and walruskillers. her woods gave timber for shipbuilding. her cattle ' driven to the shore for the "strand-hewing. No against the Irish." provisioned their crews. the harbours of "the great island sheltered them.
and commerce with France. they were the greatest merchants that northern Europe had yet seen.62 IRISH NATIONALITY point without a fleet. They had . westward they poured along the coasts of Gaul by the narrow seas. Mer- chants made settlements along the coasts. seized the beginnings of the new Ireland lay in the very centre of their its seaways. or sailed the Atlantic from the Orkneys and Hebrides round the Irish coast to the Bay of Biscay. between both and the Irish. the whole commerce of the seas was in their hands. But the Scandinavians were not only sea- rovers. From the time of Charles the Great to William the Conqueror. Eastward they pushed across Russia to the Black Sea. The new-made empire of Charles the Great was opening Europe once more to a settled life and the possibilities of traffic. with its traditional harbours." battle swung backwards and forwards between old settlers and new between Norsemen and Danes. and the Danish mer- chants trade. its wealth. pirates. and planted colonies over the inland country to supply the trade of the ports. and carried back the wares of Asia to the Baltic.
Between the two peoples there was respect and good. and they wanted peace and not war. and in war they joined with their Irish neighbours. They intermarried with the Irish. welcomed Irish poets into their forts. The Dublin kingdom was which had the its closely connected with the Danish kingdom of Northumbria. the link which united the Northmen of Scandinavia and the common Northmen of Ireland. fostered their children.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 63 come to Ireland for business. capital at York. 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. listening to Irish stories for their new models own and taking literature. A mighty confedera- . Norsemen set up their The moot on the Mound over the river Liffey (near where the Irish Parliament House rose in later days)." grew up. and there created a naval power which reached along the coast from Waterford to Dundalk.will. brought their goods. and formed meeting-ground.
" . Members of the same house were kings in Dublin. the rallying-point of roving marauders. and in York. some by the Danes. The Irish Channel swarmed with their fleets.64 IRISH NATIONALITY tion grew up. :< their merchandise or Limerick of the swift ships. Kerry and Tipperary. in Man. was the mart of the merchant princes of the Baltic trade: there men of Iceland and of Norway landed with their plunder. some by the Irish. became the centre of a The sea Its harbour. looking east. The Irish were on good terms with the of the riveted stones. organised as Irish clans and giving an Irish form to their names. and their fleets took the way of the wide ocean. while Norse settlements scattered over Limerick. kings of the same house ruled in Limerick and the Hebrides. Other Munster harbours were held. Dublin. was the common highway which linked the powers together. 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. maintained the inland trade." :< Limerick the kingdom lying on the Atlantic was a rival even to Dublin. wide-flung war.
The Irish. From the time high-kings of Tara one after another led the perpetual contest to hold Ireland and to possess Dublin. each of which had to confederated chiefs. the Irish never ceased from war with the sea-kings. and traded in their own ports for treasures from oversea. We read oars sails and in :< 900 of Irishmen along the Cork shores in whose resolve is quiet Munster of the prosperity. to assemble at the summons for the united war-fleet. in fact." great riches.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND traders." and in 950 of "Munster of the swift ships. Every province seems to have had its fleet. learned their lesson so well that they were able to undertake the re-conquest of their country. and become leaders troops in war. :< On of the other hand. 65 They learned to build the new ships invented by the Scandinavians where both were used. Thorgils. equip and man ten ships. only but their method of raising a navy by dividing the coast into districts. silken raiment and abundance of wine. They sum- moned assemblies in north and south of the The Irish copied not the Scandinavian building of war-ships. of Danish and Norse The spirit ." high beauty.
in 933. From 900 disaster. Again. more the assembly of Telltown. . their victories increased even amid for a Strong kings arose among them. took up the fight. 'the hosting of the frost. Murtagh. over lakes and rivers frozen by the mighty frost. smote the Danes at Carlingford and Louth in 926. good and good fighters. and all their wealth of spoils." from the first midwinter campaign known in Ireland. directing the men of Leinster in the campaign a gallant war. king of Ailech or Tirconnell. In 941 he won his famous name. a year of great danger. '' he defeated the foreigners' in the north. ever under shelter of leather cloaks. and so came victorious to the assembly at Telltown. with his linen-coated soldiers against entire circuit of Ireland. and hundred years one organisers leader followed hard on another. king of Cashel. king of Tara. Niall." when he led his army from Donegal. celebrated once In 916. round the Some ten years Cellachan. 'Murtagh of the Leather Cloaks. 1 and they left two hundred and forty heads.66 IRISH NATIONALITY of the people rose high. later. and led southern and northern O'Neills to the aid of Munster against the Gentiles.
and joining armies to his their Danish own troops. 'Ill luck was it for the Danes when Brian was born. with their strong enclosures of linen cloth. and a fleet from Ailech carried off and booty from the Hebrides. capturing Limerick. he swept the whole of Munster. Cashel and Waterford. Cellachan called the whole off victorious." he said. six or seven score of them. and rough chains of blue iron to grapple the enemies' ships." says the old saga. but the Irish sailors. to Dundalk. Cork.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 67 the mail-clad foreigners. sleeping still on : 'hard knotty wet roots. :< came According to the saga of his triumph. fifteen Left with but followers alive. of Ireland to share in the struggle for Irish freedom. meet the Danish ships at The Norsemen used armour." he "It is refused to yield. not hereditary to us." From beyond the Shannon he led a fierce guerrilla war. "to . He plunder was followed by Brian Boru." and tough ropes of hemp to fling over the enemies' prows. 'when he inflicted not evil on the foreigners in the day time he did it in the next night. till he closed his campaign by calling out the Munster fleet from Kinsale to Galway bay.
68 IRISH NATIONALITY He became king of Minister in 974. in the glory of success. England and Ireland." and ruled at last in 1000 as Ardri of Ireland. of all king. King Sweyn Forkbeard. conqueror England. drove out the Danish king from Dublin in 998. Waterford. and of almost all of the of Erin. and they levied tribute from Saxons and Britons as far as the Clyde and Argyle. began to think of their imperial destiny. an old man of sixty or seventy years. and of the of Munster. such of them as were fit to go to sea. Norway. submit. In 1005 he called out all the fleets of the Norsemen of Dublin. A free Irish nation of men who as they said. lived. Powerful kings of Denmark. with London as the capital. was acknowledged in 1013 its But the imperial plan was not yet complete. to round off their states. A greater struggle still lay before the Irish. to the rim of the Atlantic. and. 'on the ridge of the world' -a land of unconquered peoples of the open plains and the mountains and the . pro- posed to create a Scandinavian empire from the Slavic shores of the Baltic across Den- mark. men men Wexford.
Irish . the Orkneys. of two hundred years of war. for the landing at Clontarf. A Dublin bay "from all from Norway. But for a hundred and fifty years to come Ireland kept dominion. From sunrise to sunset the battle raged. Iceland.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND sea. At the end. as in the days of made Rome. and his grandson lay dead. The Scan- dinavian scheme of a northern empire was shattered on that day. his son." islands. when with the evening floodtide the remnant of the broken Danish host put to sea. lay outside the new imperial system. part of a conIreland. the hair of the warriors flying in the wind as thick as the sheaves floating in a field of oats. the Baltic vast host gathered in the west of Europe. therefore. its independ- ence. in spite of the strength of the Danish forces. King Cnut sent out his men for the last conquest. the Irish emerged with their national life kingdoms had lived on side by side with Danish kingdoms. the conunbroken. of the England was once again. Brian Boru. left 69 the Scandinavian empire with a ragged edge out on the line of the Atlantic commerce. as in the time Roman still tinental empire.
that rose in the marshy glen now called Glan worth. and gave thanks to the true magnificent God for having found him. The nobles then came to Cellachan and put . while his mother declared his title and recited a poem. if their ancient place of assembly had been turned into a Danish fort. in the best of arms and dress. And when the champions of Munster heard these great words and the speech of the woman. had held the national assemblies of the country at Tell- town. They set up his shout of king. the assembly met on a mound wood. the rightful heir. The high-kings had ruled without a break.70 IRISH NATIONALITY slant irruptions of new Danes. it was the Irish who were Through steadily all coming they again to the top. The tribesmen of the sub-kingdoms. the tribes arose right readily to make Cellachan king. and. and the business capacity of these fighters and traffickers. not far from Tara. demanded that the nobles should remember justice. There Cellachan. held their meeting in a hidden marsh or Thus when Cashel was held by the Norsemen. except in a few years of special calamity. perils had kept their old order.
and to Charles Irish culture. King ^Elfred has recorded the state of England after the Danish wars. even in Italy. Another. Latin. The Irish clergy still remained unequalled in culture. he could not bethink of a single him one south of the Thames who could understand his ritual in English. Hebrew. clean was learning decayed But the Irish English folk. for example. men a of Clonmacnois on the preserved truly Shannon. and he could hear of very few north of the Thames to the Humber. and beyond the Humber scarce any. the tribes raised at the grand sight of him. his diadem round and placed the royal head. the Latinists of .SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND their 71 hands in his hand. and train distinguished learning. Throughout the wars. and their spirits were too. was skilled in Old-Irish literature." ''so among the had never ceased to carry on schools. One of them in 868 was the most learned of all Europe. the Great in Aachen. Cormac. or translate aught out of Latin. and between its sackings trained scholars whose fame could reach to great King Alfred in Wessex. king and bishop (f 905). had not lost the tradition of learning. Greek.
Anglo-Saxon and Norse he might be compared with that other great Irishman of his time. of precedents. compiled the instructions of a king to his son "Learning glossary. A the ninth every art. probcentury. least eighteen law-books whose names are known.72 IRISH NATIONALITY Welsh. skill in variegated work. these are the sciences he recom- compiled about the same time. By 900 the lawyers had produced at Europe in astronomy. men and women. were the of first in Europe to sing of Nature summer and winter." The Irish poets. and a ably of lay scholar. the red bracken and the long hair of the heather. the blackbird's lay. the green-barked yew-tree which supports the sky. "abundance of knowledge. of the cuckoo with the grey mantle. pleading with established maxims" mends. count among the ornaments of wisdom. knowledge of every language. Bald had made head of whom Charles the Irish his school. John Scotus. the talk of the rushes. the large green of an . Side by side with monastic schools the lay schools had continued without a break. teachers had a higher skill than any others in geography and philosophy. a number Triads.
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. . of the great fidelities of love "the flagstone upon which he was wont to pray. she was upon it Her soul went to heaven. .SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 73 oak fronting the storm. when "dear God's elements were afraid". They sang of the Creation and the Crucifixion. I do not fear the fierce warriors of Norway coursing on the Irish sea to-night. above I the pure sitting and to be a while praying God in every place"." And in their own war of deliverance they sang of Finn and his Fiana on the battlefield. preserving from gathered century to century the forms and rules of . It tosses the ocean's white hair. And that flagstone was put over her face.' They chanted the terror of the time. and of pilgrimage to Rome "the King seekest here. of the hermit's "shining scriptures candles . unless thou bring whom Him thou with white for thee thou dost not find". heroes of the Irish race. craftsmen's schools were their still Even the in raths. until she died.
from the title of 'king Cellachan of the lovely cups". too. Scandinavian." perfection of their art in enamel we The and gold work has been the wonder of the old and of the modern world.workers. carvers eminent for such as that of Holy Island on Lough Derg. No jeweller's work was ever more perfect than the Ardagh chalice of the ninth or tenth century. soon after the battle of Clontarf read of "the chief artificer of Ireland. Many influences had come in Oriental. and the monolith ten feet high set up as a memorial . Byzantine." The stone. a saints and scholars. French and the Irish took and used them all. and the golden case that enclosed the Gospel of Columcille in 1000 : was for its splendour "the chief relic from the western world. churches of Clonmacnois One of the may date from the ninth century. of pure Celtic art with no trace of Danish influence. carried on their art. five others from the tenth.74 IRISH NATIONALITY their art. The metal-workers of Munster must have been famous. There were schools of skill. of their native soil. but their art still remained Gaelic. finely sculptured gravestones commemorated high-cross.
then he let them be judged by the law. and from this one may mark what a king he must have been.< Boru. was shown in warrior and His government was with patience. 'but if they misbehaved themselves oftener. and Brian himself gave the price of learning and the price of books to every one separately who went on this service. bridges and roads were made. By their social system the intellectual treasures of the race ." says a gave scholar. Irish artist 75 was carved by an of who was one the greatest sculptors of northern Europe. King Brian thrice forall his outlaws the same fault. and to buy books beyond the sea and the great ocean. Scandinavian saga. The temper their of the people hero-king Brian . because the writings and books in every church and sanctuary had been destroyed by the plunderers. Many churches were built and repaired by him." 'He sent professors and masters to teach wisdom and knowledge." Such was the astonishing vitality of learning and art among the Irish. mercy and justice. the fortresses of Munster were strengthened.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND to king Flann about 914.
and committed to their care. and even at times to share their wars. to marry with them. call But in in what the Germans culture the ordering and law. Irishmen were willing to absorb the foreigners. They had known how to the material skill and knowledge of profit by the Danes. and the streets of a town.76 IRISH NATIONALITY had been distributed among the whole people. In outward and material civilisation they ac- cepted the latest Scandinavian methods. of society . And the Irish tribes had proved worthy guardians of the national faith. of life and thought. they used the northern words for the parts of a ship. just as in our days the Japanese accepted the latest Western inventions. the Irish never abandoned their national loyalty. organise naval forces. advance in trade. and live in towns. They learned from them to build ships. During two centuries of Danish invasions and occupations the Gaelic civilisation had not given way an inch to the strangers.
ancient fifty and victorious people. their hurts A years of comlively. stirring." they turned to repair and to build up their national life. No people ever made a successful national rally wave of prosIt is not misery and degradation perity." But the position of the Gaels was no longer what it had been before the invasions. The ''Foreigners'' called constantly for armed 77 . Throughout the Danish wars there had been a growth of industry and riches. Already Ireland was unless they were on the rising known in country in France as "that very wealthy which there were twelve cities. and Latin letters.CHAPTER V THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL 1014-1169 AFTER the Irish battle of Clontarf in 1014 the had a hundred and :< parative quiet. and wide bishoprics. and that had its own language. and a king. that bring success.
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. strangers to the Irish idea of a state. national life. In a dark fen the young giant flamed out a mark for all. moreover. that commanded the country and that the country could never again close from within. his red shield. was now threatened by the settlement of an alien race. The sea-kings had created in Dublin an open gateway into Ireland." "Mag- nus the terrible battles.78 IRISH NATIONALITY help from their people without. and by political alliances and combinations fostered war among Nearly a hundred years after Clontarf king Magnus of the Irish states themselves. The strangers to the Irish tradition. The glory and "Magnus of the swift ships. with his shining helmet. his golden hair falling long over his red silken coat. a gateway like Quebec in Canada. and to their feeling of a church. Nor way (1103) led the greatest army that ever marched conquering over Ireland. and laid thereon a golden lion. There he terror of fell by an Irish axe.
this was the first foothold Canter- bury had got in Ireland. of the In church and had brought the state. and the triumph of the English over the Gaelic church. He formed the first converted Danes into a part of the English Church. therefore. the admission of a foreign power. of northmen of archbishop of Canterbury.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL of English invasion. their influence doubled the strength of the European pressure on Ireland as against the Gaelic civilisation. trading Europe. so that their bishops were sent to be ordained at Canterbury. the degrading primacy of Armagh. It was the rending in two of the Irish tradition. Since the Irish in 603 had refused to deal with an archbishop of the English. the first Danes anti-national element . To state the the division of peoples within the Irish Danes added also the first division Olaf Cuaran. had been baptized (943) in Northumberland by the in the Irish church. overlord Dublin and York. inclined to the views of their business clients in England and the Empire. 79 A wealthy and compact community with all living on the seaboard. in presence of the English king.
change of :< The change is marked by a name. the people they called ish. Already the peoples round the North Sea were sending Normans. too. a Frenchman from Gaul." a form of Eriu suited to " Irtheir own speech.80 into Irish IRISH NATIONALITY life. Italians at Clontarf the first great drops of the storm lords from Normandy. Clontarf. In such names we see the heralds of the coming change. We may see the advent of the new men in the names of adventurers that landed with the Danes on that low shore navians. Their trading ships carried the words far and wide. and somewhere about that time Walter the Englishman. The Irish were therefore face to face with . the beginning of a new. The Danes coined the name Ire-land. and the old name of Eriu only remained in the speech of the Gaels themselves." leaving the name of "Scots" only to the Gaels who had crossed the sea into Alban. Germans. had marked ominously the passing of an old age. English out traders to take the place of the Scandi- and the peoples of the south and Gauls were resuming their ancient commerce. a leader of mercenaries from England.
the Chief Poet. Here was the work of the next hundred and fifty years. Such problems have been solved in other lands nation." The victory of Clontarf was by a renascence of learning. pouring in by powerful kings at the heads of armies. and the spirit of people. A first . in Ireland it was the work of the whole community see the of tribes. wrote the chronicle of the Danish wars from ness of his of Cellachan to last. the Anchorite of Ireland. It is in this effort that we immense vitality of the Gaelic system the power of its its tradition. poets and historians. 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 a devout man. man. and sang the glories and of Brian Boru in the greatlife and the majesty of his death.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL questions of a 81 new order how to fuse two wholly different peoples into one community. After Brian's death two learned set over the men were a lay- government all of Ireland. Eye- witnesses of that great battle. 'The land was governed like a free state and not like a mon- celebrated archy by them.
The glories of ancient nel. triumphs of ancient kings. of the O'Neills on Lough Swilly in the far north. the neighbouring Celtic races across the Chan- In schools three or four hundred poetic metres were taught. in schools. Rath Cruachan Tales of heroes. Another translated from Latin a history of the Britons. Poets wrote of Usnech. annals of Ireland from the earliest to the latest time were composed." where the exploits and battle rage of the ancient heroes matched the martial ardour of Irish champions. In kings' courts. in monasteries. Erin were revived. Men laboured to satisfy the desire of the Irish to possess a complete and brilliant picture of Ireland from all antiquity. Clerics and laymen rivalled one another in zeal. of Tara. and the same words are used for the rights and armour and ships of the Trojan as of the Danish wars. writers. were written in the form in which we now know them. of Brian Boru's palace of Kincora on the Shannon.82 IRISH NATIONALITY scholar put into Irish from Latin the "Tale of Troy. genealogies of the tribes and old hymns of Irish saints. one of the most learned The most famous among the many men in all . of Ailech. of Connacht.
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
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
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
moreover, were brought into this union,
and made part of the Irish organisation. Thus the power of Canterbury in Ireland was
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
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
consecrated in Dublin.
carried to that
battleground of the peoples all the charity,
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
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
assembly of the
bishops and clergy, princes and nobles, eighteen thousand horsemen from the tribes and
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
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
other at that meeting."
miles in length.
when he held the
the national festivals at Telltown was several
of Ireland is covered with the
traces of this great national revival.
along river-valleys, in innumerable ruins of churches
built of stone chiselled as finely as
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
There was a wealth of metal work of great splendour. intimate. . and signed by Irish masons on the stones. windows and arches churches were still These as small. Manchan with twenty-four figures highly on each side in a variety of postures remarkable for the time. in the great shrine of St. but always marked with the re- membrance of Irish tradition and ornament.work. as a reliquary was ever covered in Ireland. time went on they were larger and more richly decorated. Irish skill was known abroad. in the matchless pro- nois and many cessional cross of Cong. and tal. with inlaid work and filigree. say the Annals. in the crosiers of Lismore and Cachel and Clonmacothers. It was covered with raised an embroidery of gold in as good style. and a knight of Bavaria had from Ireland ribbon of gold-lace emFrench hero of broidered with animals in red gold. decorated with freedom and boldness of design. settings of stones and enamels and crys- as we may see in book-shrines.88 IRISH NATIONALITY richly carved. suited to the worship of the tribal communities. indeed. The vigour of Irish life overflowed. A romance wore a fine belt of Irish leather.
Germany and Aus- An Irish in Bulgaria. tella. From the time Brian Boru learned to men poured over the continent. bishop of Mecklenburg. From time collect abbot was head of a monastery to time the Irish came home to money for their founda- . to which was soon added a second house for south Irishmen. besides hides and wool. And the frequent mention of costly gifts and tributes. and of timber. Marianus "the Scot" on his pilgrimage to Rome stopped at Regensburg on the Danube.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL the 89 Cloth from bounds of the country. Out of these grew the twelve Irish convents of tria. showing John. making discourses in Latin. preached to the Vandals betheir fine art of writing. 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 of surprisingly large sums of gold and silver show a country of steadily of expanding wealth. and founded there a monastery of north Irishmen in 1068. or through Greece to Jordan and Jerusalem composing poems on the way. tween the Elbe and the Vistula. Pilgrims journeyed to Compos- Rome.
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
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
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
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,
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
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
huge wolf-dogs, men "who were not
our epoch or of one time with the clergy." When Patrick hesitated to hear their pagan
died for honour, of
war and hunting,
its silver bridles
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
too, Patrick, hast
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
good things," the warriors responded with courteous dignity. So at all the holy places
of Ireland, the pillar-stone of ancient
of Tara, great
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
"and to them that happiness." He mounted
to the high glen to see the Fiana raise their
warning signal of heroic chase and hunting.
the heavy tears of the last of the heroes till his very breast, his chest was wet.
laid in his
bosom the head
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,
out of torment,
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
Such legends show how enthusiasm
country ran through every hamlet in the land, and touched the poorest as it did
the most learned.
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
with Dublin as a centre of the
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
and by the faith of the common people in the glory of their national inheritance. . On this fair hope of rising civilisation there fell a new and tremendous trial. her scholars and philosophers. learning and commerce prospered in their hands.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL 95 slowly worked out by her political councillors. 'The bodies and minds of the people abilities of were endued with extraordinary nature. her great ecclesiastics." so that art.
entered on the domin- arms and "citizens of the world. the fruitfulness of the soil. from the Seine to the Euphrates. and safe for 96 and large ports and havens lying open traffic.CHAPTER VI THE NORMAN INVASION 1169-1520 AFTER the fall of conquerors of ion of the sea carried their the Danes the Normans." Norman . England. the pleasant and commodious seats for habitation." they their cunning from the Tweed to the Mediterranean. Every landless man was looking to make his fortune. They had marked out Ireland as their natural prey rich in plunder. Every baron desired. like his viking forefathers. The spirit of conquest was in the air. "a land very for and famed the good temperature of the air. a land where he could live out of reach of the king's long arm.
But they owed no small part of their military successes in Ireland to a policy of craft. The trade was well worth the venture. and Flemings from Pembroke. and the . needed Ireland to round off his dominions II. If the Irish fought hard to defend the lands they held in civil tenure. Henry coast from the Forth to the Pyrenees. from his ports of the Loire and the Garonne over the Gaulish sea. with armour and weapons un- known to the Irish. holding both sides of the Channel. 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. They were men trained to war. his Hall at Westminster. the churches had no great strength. 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.THE NORMAN INVASION of Clontarf in 1014. Norman and French barons. with Welsh followers. A greater empire-maker. led the invasion that began in 1169.
The invaders mean- Irish this sometimes French and Welsh and Flemings have left their mark in every part of Ireland. the Bristol trade. Normans a great military advantage. was to descend on defenceless church lands. once the churches were risoned with fortified and gareasier.98 IRISH NATIONALITY no immediate settled plan seizing of a church estate led to rising out of the country. The English who came over went chiefly to the towns. for plaints. but did not occupy. many of them to Dublin through while spread over the country. annex. by names of places and families. 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. and turn them into Norman strongholds. Norman skill the reduction of the surrounding country became much The during period plundered church lands. by Christian names. and by loanwords taken into Irish from the French. and from the wooden palace set . therefore. The Normans. or fortify them. Henry II himself crossed in 1171 with a great fleet and army to over- awe his too-independent barons as well as the Irish.
or in England. could have even understood these nor of He knew nothing of the feudal system. and their own free life had continued as of old.THE NORMAN INVASION up for 99 him in Dublin demanded a general oath of allegiance. and that the chief renounced the tribal system. with some churchmen and half-a-dozen Irish chiefs. Henry's presence there gave him no lordship: and the independent ." for the seizing of a few towns and forts could not carry the subjection of all the independent chiefdoms. that the Irish In Henry's view this oath was a confession knew themselves conquered. 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. and handed over the land to the king. however. He could admit no 'conquest. The Normans took the oath. services and demand return the feudal common in Normandy ideas. No Irish chief. Whatever Henry's theory might be. a landlord in the English sense. He had no power to hand the land of the tribe over to any one.
claimed under false pretences. to be cowed of war. justification of every later act of Another fraud was added by the proclamation of papal bulls. and in recognition of the peace to give to Henry a formal tribute which implied no dominion. however. . was made good. that they were to rule as fully and freely as before. The oath. and the violence. was used to confer on the king a technical legal right to Ireland. The false display at Dublin was a deception both to the king and to the Irish. impossible of fulfilment. fiction this legal became the basis of the royal claims. Danish experience. 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. yielded under misunderstanding. which according to modern research seem to have been mere forgeries. 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. One royal object.100 IRISH NATIONALITY of the Irish people temper after their was not likely.
set in or his deputy. quered tract was to be made into a little England.THE NORMAN INVASION They gave 101 the lordship of the country to Henry. no relationship. 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. and were readily accepted by the invaders and their successors. Kings carved out estates for The the territories nobles had to conquer Each congranted them. But they were held of no account and writers. no intercourse. from the supposed sea of savagery There was to be no trade with the of their dress. it bulls during the next three Thus the grounds to of the English title to Ireland were laid down. no use no dealings save those of conquest and slaughter. enclosed within itself. around Irish. speech. and sharply fenced off it. and make good by only remained the sword the fictions of forgers. was Dublin Castle to superintend the conquest and the adminis- . or laws. A lieutenant-governor. among Irish annalists who make no mention of the hundred years. their nobles.
was left to be granted to the natives. excom- The forced munications. IRISH NATIONALITY fighting garrison was reinthe planting of a militant church by bishops and clergy of foreign blood. 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. ready to aid by prayers. They were refused the protection of English law. whereat the king smiled and bade him return to Ireland. and that would save the king's coffers and purchase peace to the land". ex- in policy he thought it explained that to wink at one knave cutting off pedient another. 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. and the sword." Duror ing centuries of English occupation not a single law was enacted for their relief benefit. The people . stout men of war.102 tration. their The Irish were now therefore aliens in own country. shut out from the king's courts and from the king's peace. so as nothing exist.
and a better filled treasury than any other rulers in Europe. but were linked together as a compact garrison under the Castle government. and held minster never ceased. nor the supply of its . fed from the sea. it with temporal wealth and differ- The English attack was thus wholly ent from that of the Danes: it was guided a fixed purpose. and directed by kings by who had a more absolute power.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 vigilance of Westkings. tress. Dublin. 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 settlers were no longer left to lapse as isolated groups into Irish life. and dealing out anathemas and death in the service of a state of which rewarded dominion. a more compact body of soldiers.
On an issue so sharp possible. generals. ablest From Henry II to Elizabeth. O'Neills and O'Donnells and other tribes remained. and in no way affected the fixed intention to gain the ownership of the soil. and absorbed into the Gaelic life . 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. the aim of the English :4 The ground of holding. with only a fringe of Normans on the coast. government was the same. for five hundred years.104 IRISH NATIONALITY and its treasure. promise was and definite no comSo long as the Irish claimed to hold a foot of their own land the war must continue. If at times dealings were opened by the English with an Irish chief. O'Conors and other Irish clans divided Connacht. or a heavy sum taken to allow him to stay on his land. It lasted." of the king. In Ulster. Ireland was to be an immediate a royal inheritance. Out of the first tumult and anarchy of war an Ireland emerged which was roughly divided between the two peoples. its favoured colonists. this was no more than a temporary stratagem or a local expedient. in fact.
The Angloon the other hand. MacCarthys and O'Sullivans in the south. gold-mines were reported. themselves powerfully in Munster and LeinBut even here side by side with the ster. great lords of the invasion. unconquered. in fish. MacMurroughs and O'Tooles in Leinster. and Desmond. The wealth of the country lay spread before them. and Kildare there remained kingdoms and the remnants of old chief doms. indeed. O' Conors and O'Mores in the middle country. earls of Ormond. resolute and wealthy Irish such as the O'Briens in the west. English kings had. It was a land abounding in corn and cattle. foreign merchants flocked to its ports. with speculators from . and many more. its manufactures were famed over all Europe. established Normans. every temptation to this direct course. in timber. and ended the dispute once for all.THE NORMAN INVASION the incoming 105 Norman de Burghs. It has been held that all later misfortunes would have been averted if the English without faltering had carried out a complete conquest. and bankers and money-lenders from the Rhineland and Lucca.
Sovereigns at Westminster harassed with turbulent barons at home and wars abroad Ireland to supply looked to a conquered money for their treasury. the lawyers. But the conquest not so simple as it of the Irish nation was had seemed to Anglo- Norman speculators. or want of resource in dilemmas. It would be hard to imagine any method of domination which was not used among the varied resources of the army. settling in the towns. the church. were carrying over foreign coin. and taking land in the country. soldiers for their armies. and estates for their favourites. urged on the war with the dogged persistence of their race.106 IRISH NATIONALITY Provence. the money-lenders. They certainly cannot be charged with dimness of intention. The proposal to take the land out of the hands of an Irish people . slackness in effort. provisions for their wars. The recruited every few Dublin. years with uncorrupted blood from England. In haste to reap their full gains they demanded nothing better than a conquest rapid and complete. the schoolmasters. the official class in Castle intriguers and the landlords.
turned a free tribal Ireland into a dependent feudal England. Yet another difficulty disclosed itself. The English kings had made a further mistake. therefore. could only have been carried out by the slaughter of the entire No lesser effort could have population. the colonists were to be a mere garrison to conquer and hold the land But the Anglo-Norman adfor the king. not to collect Irish wealth for London. venturers had gone out to find profit for themselves." The invaders were drawn to their Among the new home not only by its wealth but by its . not for the welfare of any class whatever of the inhabitants. found themselves engaged in a double conflict. They proposed.THE NORMAN INVASION and give it 107 to a foreign king. to exploit Ireland for the benefit of the crown and the metropolis. Their "loyalty' failed under that test. like later kings of Spain in South America. colonists a little experience the English theory of Irish "bardestroyed barism. against the Irish and against their own colonists. and were every year more entangled in the difficulties of a policy false from the outset. The kings.
and tax-gatherers. and learning and art." were as feared by the king as the "mere Irish. not in destroying riches but in sharing them. nor trade in the seaports. moreover.108 IRISH NATIONALITY beauty." dress They took they recognised Irish land tenure. could neither live nor till the lands the attraction of its they had seized. as alone suited to the country and people.t :< of English birth". they emthey paid ployed Irishmen in offices of trust. without coming to terms with their Irish neighbours. the intelligence of its inhabitants. To them ter the way of wealth lay not in slaugh- but in traffic. one also that gave them peace with their farmers and cattle-drivers. office forbid- . lands were resumed from them. military service neighbouring such as to keep roads and passes open for their traders and messengers. they their tenants in the Irish levied troops from manner. The colonists compromised to Irish with "the Irish enemy. the variety and gaiety of its social life. English born tribes for :< in Ireland." . Settlers. nor find soldiers for their defence." much They were not counted degenerate English. and kept out of their estates the king's sheriffs and language.
The ingly Irish wars. all confused kings.THE NORMAN INVASION den them. as the only means of being allowed protection of law and freedom to trade. they on the Danes who had become mingled with the Irish to come out from them and resume their Danish nationality. But civil wars maintained by a foreign . they created and encouraged called civil wars. avert the dangers of friendship and peace between races in Ireland they became missionaries of disorder. entangled in interminable strife. surrounded by dangers. apostles Civil wars within any country exhaust themselves and come to a natural of contention. Whatever was the bur- den of military taxation no tribe dared to disarm any more than one of the European countries to-day. therefore. barons. To end. eked out their military force by craft. meanwhile. 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. The Dublin officials. Every chief. became exceedtribes. 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.
a powerful nobility. on the other hand. guided by an ancient tradition. the whole force of England was called in.110 IRISH NATIONALITY power from without have no conclusion. and themselves the guardians of their law and of their land. ised with a great military force. . great men of battle and plunder. to fling the province back into weakness and disorder. and the ablest commanders fetched over from the French wars. a state organised for common action. and to make a stand against their organised force. rested on a people en- dowed with a wide freedom. Anglo-Norman or Irish. The Irish tribal system. In England the feudal system had been brought to great perfection a powerful king. a highly organtreasury. They had still to show what strength lay in their spiritual ideal of a nation's life to subdue the minds of their invaders. and a dependent people. If any strong leader arose.
Thirty in . when Henry VII in 1487 turned his thoughts to Ireland he found no conquered Henry II in 1171 ' ' had led land. an army for "the conquest of Ireland. of Irish language. and the cohesion of the people. 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. Three hundred years later. the firm structure of their law. An earthen ditch with a palisade on the top had been raised to protect all that was left of English Ireland. Outside was a country and customs. called the "Pale" from its encircling fence. dress.CHAPTER VII THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL 1200-1520 THE first Irish revival after the Danish wars showed the strength of the ancient Gaelic civilisation.
Many settlers changed their names to an Irish form. had married daughters and made combinations and treaties with every province. but they themselves . traders welcomed natives' to the :< Foreign seaports. and taking up the of Norman lord the clan system melted into the Irish population. Their children went to be fostered in kindly houses of the Irish. married with them. took them into partnership. Patrick's tooth shows how Athenry had adopted the national saint." Norman lords of Irish chiefs all over the country. the love-songs. forts. A shrine of gold for St. with three-fold entrenchments.IRISH NATIONALITY miles west of Dublin was "by west of English law. manners had entered ' also into the town houses of the merchants. bought their wares. 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. allowed them to plead Irish law in their courts and not only that. came Irish poets singing the traditions. employed them. the Norman prayers and hymns of the Gaels. lifted Into their own palisaded on great mounds of earth.
The cause lay far deeper. talked Irish with the other townsfolk. in the centre of what should have been pure English land. to the over-education of Irish people in Oxford. strong in its courageous democracy. This Irish revival has been attributed to a number of causes to an invasion of Edward v Bruce in 1315. to the of the Roses. to agitation and lawyers. and in its humanities. in its widespread culture. 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. old social order that this great influence fell . It lay in the rich national civilisation which the Irish genius had built up. in its broad sympathies. the merchants went riding Irish fashion. in its freedom.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL wore the forbidden Irish 113 dress. and joined in their national festivities and ceremonies and songs. to the lin " degeneracy of the Normans. in Irish dress. to the vice of the Irish. to the Wars want of energy of DubCastle. Almost to the very gates of Dublin. and making merry with their forbidden Irish clients.
Irish of continental design. journeyed in the Levant. cloth of gold and embroideries. Irish-made linen and cloth and cloaks and leather were carried as far as Russia lords and Naples. with all the old love of knowledge and infinite curiosity. To- gether they took a brilliant part in the commerce which was broadening over the world. Irish gold- change velvets. explored China. Norman castle as in an Irish Both . Irish scribes illumi- ated manuscripts which were as in a much praised fort. Norman and Irish chieftains alike took in ex- silks and satins. in business They were as active and ingenious as the Normans themselves. carving at every turn their own traditional Irish ornaments. visited the factories of Egypt.114 IRISH NATIONALITY from them. they sailed the Adriatic. and strangers no longer yielded to their power. Besides exporting raw materials. wines and spices. The Irish were great travellers. smiths made built the rich vessels that adorned the tables both of masons Normans and the new churches Irish. The social fusion of Normans and its Irish was the starting-point of a lively civilisation to which each race brought share.
physicians. lawyers. seems to have failed: we find them at work in the mountains of Donegal. Not one of the hereditary houses of historians. so Latin was the second tongue for cultivated people and for all men of business in their continental trade. but of no use either for trade or literature. and to these ancient schools the settlers in the towns added others of their own. to which the youths of Irish also in time flocked. . A kind of national education Europe men was being worked chiefdoms allowed out. so that the two races learned together. its Not one of the Irish schools to perish. in Both races sent students and professors to every university recognised of deep knowlthe most learned men of Italy edge among and France. poets. As Irish was the common language. The English policy made English the language of traitors to their people.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL 115 peoples used translations into Irish made by Gaelic scholars from the fashionable Latin books of the Continent. 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.
From sea to sea scholars and artists gathered to show their skill to the men of Ireland. another avenue for bards and jugglers. The old order was maintained in these national festivals. Spacious avenues of white houses were made ready for poets. . in the valleys of Munster. In astronomy Irishmen were cine they all still first in Europe. or by kings rising into high leadership coming to Tara. streets of peaked hostels for musicians." as the people said. Nearly comes from copies of older works made by hundreds of industrious scribes of this period. straight roads of smooth conical-roofed houses for chroniclers. in lake islands. and on the bright surface of the pleasant hills sleeping-booths of woven branches for the companies. learned our knowledge of Irish literature From time to time Assemblies of all the men were called together by patriotic " chiefs. In medi- had all the science of their age. and so on. and in these glorious assemblies the people learned anew the wealth of their civilisation. and celebrated with fresh ardour the unity of the Irish nation. among the bare rocks of Clare. in the plains of Meath.116 IRISH NATIONALITY along the Shannon.
An a powerful weapon in Englishman was at once put in every archbishopric and every prinoften a Castle cipal see." the English said. were won to a civilisation so vital and imof the country the passioned. hateful to God and man.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL It 117 was no wonder that in this high fervour Anglo-Normans. a prelate official who was as well. chancellor. or the like. not only by embroiling them education. 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. or a good soldier any case hostile to every Irish affection. in the English idea the church was . A national church in the old Irish sense dis- appeared. so human and found ' : gay. But the with 2 mixed civilisation no favour the government. justice. abandoned to "filthy customs' amd to "a damnable 1 law that was no law. and dence. Irish in war. the "wild Irish' were no better than "degenerate English and the "brute beasts. like the Danes and the Northumbrians before them. deputy. in treasurer." Every measure was taken to destroy the growing amity of the peoples.
and separated them from Irish interests a "loyal" house. To avert general confidence and mutual understanding. power. prospects of of Irish land. said the English "fair and . visits to London. who for considerations of wealth. happened. 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. Higher education was also denied to both races. an alien class was primate of maintained in the country. and every attempt of Anglo-Normans to set up a university for Ireland at Dublin or Drogheda was instantly crushed. No Irish university could live under the eye of an English Armagh. were spared by the kings to conciliate and use so important a house as that of the earls of Ormond. the heirs of this house were always minors. it as For nearly two hundred years. held in wardship by the king. knighthoods and honours there. for example. betrayed the peace of Ireland to the profit of England. No pains. a privileged position. English training at his court. high posts in Ireland.118 IRISH NATIONALITY to destroy the nation.
Both were brayed in the same mortar." English statesmen said. and prayed to have a separate coinage for their Conland as in the kingdom of England. federacies of Irish and Anglo-Normans were formed. Never for a moment did the Irish cease from the struggle.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL false 119 of as Ormond. in the swell and tumult of that tossing sea com- manders emerged now in another. Both races suffered under this foreign misrule. "was as good as gone if a wild Irish wyrlinge should be chosen there as king. The national for a single movement never flagged generation. There was panic in England at these ceaseless efforts to an Irish nation. each to fall in one province. An Anglo-Norman parliament claimed (1459) that Ireland was by its constitution separate from the laws and statutes of England. for "Ireland. now back into the darkness while the next pressed on to take his place. Both were driven to the demand for home rule." ." said the people Ireland. one following another in endless and hopeless succession. Through all civil strife we may plainly see the steady drift of the peoples to a restore common patriotism.
English and Irish. was complimented by the Republic of Flora letter recalling the Florentine origin of the Fitzgeralds. . since its citizens had ence. in and cousin possessions as far as and now ' * Hungary and Greece. poetry." even in Ibernia. they shared. and that Ireland should ' not be governed by needy men sent from England. and of Gerald (1416). who excelled all the English and of the Irish in the many Irish language. of other learning." Earl Gerald the Rhymer of the too Irish same house (1359) was a patriot leader a witty and ingenious composer of poetry. Earl Gerald of Desmond led a demand for home rule in 1341. A later Earl foster-son of O'Brien Henry VI. for the glory he brought to that city. might mediate between the peoples For a time whose blood.120 IRISH NATIONALITY it seemed as if the house of the Fitzgeralds. knowledge of the and history. without knowledge of Ireland or its f circumstances. through you and yours bear sway the world. 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. the most powerful house in Ireland.
took up in their turn the national cause.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL European peoples with Irishmen. his daring. Garrett Mor "the great" cousin of (1477-1513). the gaiety of his battle with slander. and kept up the family relations with Florence. made with every Irish chief. His son Garrett inherited and enlarged his Maynooth under him was great territory. without trial by the earl of Worcester famed as "the Butcher. His people saw in his death "the ruin of Ireland". he had planned a university for Ireland at Drogheda (Armagh having been long destroyed by the As his reward he was beheaded English). earls of Kildare. where the ocean wind moaning in the caverns still sounds to the peasants as "the Desmond's keen." Other Fitzgeralds." who had come over with a claim to some of the Desmond lands in Cork. . they laid his body with bitter lamentations by the Atlantic at Tralee. who had married into every leading Irish house. married to the close alliances Henry VII. 121 he had urgently pressed union of the races. and violence. steadily spread his power over the land. fraud. won great authority. and by his wit.
and feel not the smart that vexeth us. The Irish loved him for his justice. and English lords. for his piety. he had for his chief followed poet an Irishman. for the Irish. London Tower. nature he won the hearts jailor in and that he put on them By a singular charm of of all. wife." 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. When he rode out in his scarlet cloak he was by four hundred Irish spearmen. 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. all in his The mark of his genius lay above . His whole policy was union in his country. 'full of the grace of God and of learning". His library was half of Irish books. his secretary was employed to write for his library 'divers chronicles' of Ireland. son. and speak perfectly the Irish tongue.IRISH NATIONALITY one of the richest earls' houses of that time. no arbitrary tax. write. he made his English wife read.
whose sympathies were engaged in both. He "made peace. and to The establish a common civilisation by a leader to both peoples were perfectly known. and whom as deputy of the English king had won the devoted confidence of the Irish people.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL resolve to close dissensions 123 end to civil wars. In spite of official through all eddying acci- dents." his enemies said. When as and to put an deputy he rode out to war against disturbed tribes. the steady pressure of the country itself was towards union. intrigues. never were they so obedient. who There was reason could one faction alone which convert the alien no minority . both from fear so Never were the and from love. and the nightmare of forced dissension gave way before this new statesmanship of national Irish union. his first business was not to fight. but to call an assembly in the Irish manner which should decide the quarrel by arbitration according to law. Henry VIII was warned. "so corrupted by affection" for a lord deputy. great opportunity had come to weld together the two races in Ireland.
They knew how to darken ignorance and inflame prejudice in London against their fellow-countrymen in Ireland savage nature of the people. They had no country. In from England it found its sole and through its aid Ireland was security flung back into disorder. would have had support anti-national minority no strength if left alone to face the growing toleration in Ireland. apostles of own virtue. .124 IRISH NATIONALITY that held interests and possessions in both and openly used England to advance their power and Ireland to increase their wealth." poor persons which never did "the strange :< savage vile know or feel wealth or :< civility. for neither islands." of the laws of any way to good offices their God or of the king." know them save through The having no knowledge nor the of these slanderers. England nor Ireland could be counted such.
like Henry II. conquer France. soil in his own right. Henry asked the title of King of Ireland instead of Lord. and offered to the chiefs in return full security for their lands. smite Scotland into obedience. He was concerned to take the land. he could beat down rebellion in England. was not concerned to give "civilisation" to Ireland.CHAPTER VIII THE TAKING OF THE LAND 1520-1625 HENRY VIII. 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". quibbles served for the king's "title to the land". 125 ' . he possessed the from the English apart If parliament. and commanded its fighting-men and its wealth. there was another great day of deception in Dublin. His reasons were the same.
pattern. 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 . 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. in fact. by the council's assurance to the king on the day the title was passed.126 IRISH NATIONALITY of subtle preparation his promises For months were explicit. And while they were by title. 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. 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. For since. of that which was later called to vote the Union. the And fiscation. all before and beyond will. the king and council were making arrangements together to render void both sides of the bargain. property by ancient inheritance or by conHenry might do as he would with his own.
in fact. their leaders taken from them. If there had been any truth or consideration for Ireland . here little. would serve Politic practices." Parliament was dismissed for thirteen years. had exactly fulfilled the project of mystification he proposed twenty years before dled. at the king's will alone." "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. as he said. but first by secret and a little and there a so that.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. 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." Henry. Henry." said such time as the strength of the Irish should be diminished.
admit an illegal who refused to Then came a march of soldiers over the district. But the whole scheme was rooted and grounded in falsehood. true or false. had power to give people's land. till the actual chief was exiled or yielded the land to the king's ownership. 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. and Ireland would be kept subject in a way . Chiefs could be ensnared one by one in misleading contracts. in the royal promise and conciliation A false claimant could be put on a territory and supported by English soldiers in a civil war. away the and the king was face to face bargain.128 IRISH NATIONALITY compact some hope of commight have opened. practically void. hanging." casting the hillsides. and Ireland had yet to learn how far sufferings by the quibbles and devices of law might exceed the disasters of open war. No chief." of the inhabitants were to be exiled. with an indignant people. burning. '' peasants out on the There was also the way of The whole conquest. shooting 'the rebels.
" submitted or not. Henceforth it became a fixed policy to "exterminate and exile the Whether country people of the Irishry. And . then "the king might say Ireland was clearly won. was declared forfeited in the same way." There would be no such difficulty. that is. and after that he would be at little cost and receive great and men and money at pleasure. and the Irishry steadily pushed back into the sea. In 1570 the bulk of Ulster. the king was to "inthey habit their country' with English blood. An Act of 1536 for the attainder of the earl of Kildare confis- cated his estates to the king. Henry's advisers said as those of Henry II had said before. been thought.THE TAKING OF THE LAND unknown in 129 England. to "subdue or exile them as hath profits." for from the settled lands plantation could be spread into the surrounding territories. the main part of Leinster. But again as in the twelfth century it was the king and the metropolis that were to profit. A series of great Confiscations put through an enslaved Pale parliament made smooth the way of conquest. not any class of inhabitants of Ireland. as territory of the "traitor" Shane O'Neill.
all its protection was abolished. the lordship Desmond. Thus began what Bacon called the 'wild chase on the wild Irishmen." The forfeiture . in other words. English or Irish.130 IRISH NATIONALITY Munster. with to the poor. 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." and as such outside the laws of war. Irish chiefs who had made indentures with the crown were deprived of all the benefits which were included in such indentures. titles By these various for given to the crown. they were legally >f rebels. It was this new fiction of law that gave the Tudor wars their unsurpassed horror. it was hard any acres to slip through unawares. and afterwards re- covered by the original Irish owners. all An Act of 1569 moreover reduced all Ireland to shire land. 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. Another in 1537 vested in the king all the lands of the dissolved monasteries. and the brehon or Irish law.
scholars. and was carrier in any case a rebel appointed to death. believing justice their side. who stood together to hold of near their land." to abase them before the tribes. and no truce given. Chiefs were made to ''draw and carry. fiction. Torturers and soldiers. No quarter was allowed. 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. the old. or a the tradition of the tribal on owners. at inconceivable cost of human woe. the sick. Poets and historians were slaughtered and their books and genealogies burned. no faith kept. women. At a prodigious price.THE TAKING OF THE LAND was inconceivable in Irish law. 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. the purging of the begun. and the right and law to be on two thousand years of ordered possession. so that " no man all might know his own grandfather'' and Irishmen be confounded in the same . any one them of might be a landholder. hangmen There was no of protection for any soul.
wipe out the Gaelic memories. The most powerful governors that England could supply were sent over. The Irish were inexhaus- tible in defence. speaking f like ghosts crying out of their graves. Fleets held the harbours. The tion. famishing for their legs would not bear them.132 IRISH NATIONALITY all ignorance and abasement. so that famine should slay what the sword had lost. and across all the seas from Newfoundland to Dantzic gathered in provisions for the soldiers. prodigious in courage. glories gone. It lasted for some tion the land seventy years. great object of the government was to destroy the whole tradiall and rights lost. killing every living thing and burning every granary of corn. if they . and furnished with English armies and stores. Armies fed from the sea-ports chased the Irish through the winter months. But even with all war proved more difficult than the English had expected. when the trees were bare and naked and the kine without milk. and endured hardships that Englishmen could not survive. and begin legal aids to extermina- a new English life. Out of the woods the Irish came creeping on their hands.
young Silken Thomas. sharing the blood of the two races. His five brothers and his son. 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. captured by a were clapped all six of false pledge of safety. experiment in which a great ruler." One great house after another was swept out of Irish life. 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.THE TAKING OF THE LAND 133 found a few water-cresses flocking as to a feast. practised in the customs of both countries. last and would have led Ireland in a way of peace. 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. a place where there was no pause for consolation nor ap- pearance of joy on face. Thus according to the forecast English king's was "the strength of the Irish diminished and their captains taken from them.
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. 'God called him to His mercy. The earl of Desmond. Orrnond. after twenty-five years of alternate prison and war. was "to be bridled. too. No inquiry was made into that crime.134 IRISH NATIONALITY and order a lasting harmony between the Three hundred English and Irish people." ' : the Irish said of this patriot Ormond." fast in the restitution of His son was held London to be brought up. Anglo-Norman leaders was laid low." It was said his house was in no mood to hand over the "rule and obedience of south Ireland to the king. saw the chief leaders of his house hanged or The third line of the . "before he could see that day after which doubtless he longed and looked the house of Kildare. education could do an Englishman. 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.
soldiers (1558) . born in the Tower. his people were also broken by guile O'Brien was separated (1543). before lie himself 135 was killed in 1583: wretched son. 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. over from Scotland hired brought assassins who accomplished the murder (1567).THE TAKING OF THE LAND slain. by a peerage an Engrites inauguration without the ancient as head of his lands. en- feebled in mind." After him the struggle of the north to keep their land and independence was maintained by negotiation and by war . The chief warrior of the north and terror of Elizabeth's generals was Shane O'Neill. and an English guard of That house played no further part in the Irish struggle. was brought from that prison to be shown to his and his heart-broken people stunted in body. plots to The deputy Sidney devised many poison or kill he could not conquer. half an idiot. The and from lish Irish chiefs assassination." "the Queen's Earl. a protestant "the Tower Earl." cried the people.
with a people living by tribal tenure. Henry VIII had found Ireland a land of Irish civilisation and law. instructed in their traditions. the land of a true democracy where men held the faith of a people owning their soil. all the great . 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).136 for IRISH NATIONALITY forty years. and two races drawing self-governing nation. together to form a new A hundred years later. 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. when Elizabeth and James I had completed his work. the home of arts and industries. the centre of the noblest mission. and the soldier- patriot Aedh Ruadh O'Donnell Tirconnell. and themselves guardians of their national life.work that the continent ever knew. of Irish greatest under the leading of the statesmen and generals earl of Hugh O'Neill earl of Tyrone.
" cried Red Hugh to his Irishmen. hostile planters set in their place. "of the great numbers of the soldiers of London. 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. peared." to purge . if Their fear was that the of the English. Tudors and their councillors were under no that Irish such Irish. 137 Anglo-Irish and Irish. alien and and an English form effectively established.THE TAKING OF THE LAND leaders. in fact when the purpose of the government became clear in Ireland an English army Have no of conquest had to be created. illusions. 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. they suspected the real intention would all combine in one war. tenure obliterated." Order after order went out to "weed the bands of Irish. had disapthe people had been half exterminated. and :< dread nor fear. in fact. every trace of Irish tribal law swept clean from the Irish statute-book.
others were sent out to save their a "rebel." Soldiers from England and from Berwick were brought over at double the pay of the Irish. only distinguished by red crosses on back and breast. 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.138 IRISH NATIONALITY :4 the army of all such dangerous people. detached from of their own people. 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." 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. how- . Not leader the poorest herdsman of the mountains O'Neill and touched the English gold. 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.
too. England had been drilled by the kings that conquered her. the wealth of the Spanish main. 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. Ireland. to increase its violence. Henry gave Henry VIII had formed the first powerful fleet. In this moment of growing strength the whole might of Great Britain was thrown on Ireland. The new-found gold of Brazil. the fury of Protestant fanaticism was the cloak for the king's ambition. on lacking of the other hand. had a peculiar animosity. the resolve of English traders to crush Irish competition. were such as to baffle skill 139 and courage. and contemplating no conquest on her part. the greed The No motive was prospective planters. had made England immensely rich. into a powerful military nation by Newly discovered gunpowder VII the force of artillery.THE TAKING OF THE LAND ever. land and sea. and by the foreign wars she waged. war. as an aggressive and military type. was not organised nation. the smaller island. never conquered.
which the Tudor sovereigns found. bodies of her people were subdued. too. .140 IRISH NATIONALITY within against enemies coming across the The island was too small to give any sea. As we shall see the battle and the tribal tradition in Ireland between the feudal tradition had ended in the violent death of both. But it was the of inheritance national freedom which gave to Ireland her desperate power of defence. was no longer in full possession of Ireland. while their still remained free and unenslaved. The tribal system. They could not disappear. so that it was only after such prodigious efforts of war and plantation that the minds If. half feudal by tradition. Every fugitive within of the Dutch the circuit of Ireland could be presently found and hunted down. moreover. the Irish system had disappeared so had the English. means of escape to defeated armies while they were preparing for a new defence. for example. 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.
out of the and sorrow. 1600-c. Their difficulties were almost inconceivable.CHAPTER IX THE NATIONAL FAITH OF THE IRISH c. and plantations. In that supreme and unselfish loyalty to their race they found dignity in humiliation and patience in disaster. The great dispersion 141 had begun of . one of the noblest examples in history. proscription. and tions after the tion triumphed. after confiscafidelity. when after the Danish settlement. death. their history and law. with the old pride and devotion. depths of their poverty and have left. 1660 WE Irish have seen already two revivals of life. the native civilisaEven now. language and poetry. Norman. outcast Irish cherished their was still Amid contempt. the national tradition maintained with unswerving the persecution.
Ireland or the west of Spain. Twenty thousand Irish were reported West Indies in 1643. We may in the history of the world there was cast out of any country such genius. I have . a Donegal man. "are the mountain or ocean. or cast out tion. in a single island of the thirty thousand were said to be wandering about Europe. exiled. high officials in every European a Kerry man physician to the king of Poland.142 IRISH NATIONALITY by emigra- Irish deported. into the sea. They professtate became chancellors sors. to me. O'Glacan." wrote one. 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). as it were. and so ask whether on. physician and privy councillor to the king of France. learning. - of universities. Numbers went to seek the education forbidden at home in a multi- tude of Irish colleges founded abroad. With every 'The same year the number of exiles grew. another Kerry man confessor to the queen of Portugal and sent by the king on an embassy to Louis XIV. as the English flung.
No more shall any :< wrote the poet. The invaders supposed the degradation of the Irish race to be at last completed. every vestige their Staff of Patrick of their tradition was doomed religion was forbidden. their schools were scattered. chained. with every Cross other national relic. codes of inheritance.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH shut and 143 made fast the gates of sorrow over my heart. their learned men hunted down.' sands in life :< and in death. the inauguration chairs of their chiefs were broken in pieces. their books burned. "Their youth and . native industries were abol- ished. and the law of the race torn up. or children music is choked. Love of country and every attachment of race and history became a crime. and even Irish language and dress were forbidden under penalty of outlawry or excommunication. of contract between neighbours or between lord and man." The people were wasted by thoulaugh there. Justice itself The very image of which the race had fashioned for was shattered. of land tenure. the Irish language gambol." for the Irish at As home. and the of and Columcille destroyed.
six capacity and courage.144 IRISH NATIONALITY gentry are destroyed in the rebellion or gone to France. arms and money. Three centres were formed of this new patriotic movement Ireland in Rome. a Waterford man. College of Franciscans was established in Rome (1625) by the efforts of Irish An Luke Wadding. which had been occupied by Spanish Franciscans. for nothing but to hew wood and draw water. and an unchanging and impassioned patriot." wrote one: 'those that are left are destitute of horses. He prepared the first of . meanwhile. Isidore. patron of Madrid." Such were the ignorant judgments of the new people. and in itself. at home and in the dispersion. The Pope granted to the Irish the church of St. Luke Wadding. divine of the Spanish embassy at Rome. an ignorance shameful and criminal. Irish Five in of the fit are poor. in Louvain. The Irish. the greatest school- man that age. insignificant slaves. were seeking to save out of the wreck their national traditions. was one of the most extraordinary men of his time for his prodigious erudition. founder and head of the college.
and of the patriots and soldiers laid to rest among them O'Neills. no matter from what province. from every corner of Ireland. The College was for the service of : 'the whole nation.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH full 145 edition of the works of the great Irish scholastic philosopher Duns Scotus. They were bound by and an Irish rule to speak book was read during meals. Thomas Strange." wrote one . "Here I break off till morning. Anthony Hickey. 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. John Ponce of Cork. and projected a general history of Ireland for which materials were being collected in 1628 by Thomas Walsh." Irish. O'Donnells. O'Do- hertys. Murphys." for all Irishmen. and the rest. archbishop of Cashel. Hugh MacCawell of Tyrone. No Irishmen than the spot should be more memorable to site of the Franciscan A College of St. 'so long as they be Irish. Antony of Padua at Louvain. with the help of his fellow-countrymen. Lynches.
trained the poets of Ireland. nay." The fathers had mostly come of the old Irish literary clans. "stood forward when she (Ireland) was reduced to the greatest distress. "Those fathers. such as Father O'Mulloy. 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." an Irish scholar of that day wrote. only that I might have one look at Ireland. who left 'her with lamentation to hills of beauty' holy with the Lou vain "try another trade' : among 1 brotherhood. threatened with certain destruction. of which he wrote in his Latin and Irish Gram- mar. . and were trained in the traditional learning of their race. distinguished in his deep knowledge of the later poetic metres. "and I in gloom and and during my life's length unless grief.146 IRISH NATIONALITY a collection of Irish poems who laboured on from 1030 to 1630. 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 .
collected materials ' in Ireland for ten years. Hugh Mac an-Bhaird of Donegal undertook to compile the * A eta Sanctorum. remained the home of historical learning in the broad national sense. however. for which a lay/ brother.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. . the task was taken up by Colgan. in 1635. a Munster chief. Carthy Riabskilled in old and modern Irish. born at Culdaff on the shore of Inishowen (f 1658)." Ireland chief herself. Michael O'Clerv. Ireland it and used thay had a printingto send out Irish gram- mars. of and Patrick Fleming Louth gathered records in Europe. 'to see how insensibly nigher and nigher draws the catastrophe which must inflict mortal wounds upon our country. Latin. "I am wasting and perishing with grief. and Spanish." wrote Hugh Bourke to Luke Wadding." in More fortunate than scholars press. The work of the fathers was in darkness and sorrow. Finghin Mac hach. English. At Hugh's death. poems. glossaries. catechisms.
all of them belonging iclers. two O'Clerys of Donegal.148 IRISH NATIONALITY wrote a history of Ireland to the Norman invasion in the beautiful hand taught him by Irish scribes. in the wood Aharlo. In the north meanwhile Michael O'Clery and his companions. It was in hiding from the president of of Munhis ster. imprisoned in London from 1589 mad at times through despair. published in 1621 his indignant recital of the Elizabethan wars in Ireland. two O'Maelchonaires of Roscommon. One of a neighbouring race of seafaring chiefs. the most popular book perhaps ever written in Irish. and copied throughout the country by hundreds of eager hands. that Father 1633) Geoffrey Keating made (before Irish history down to the Norman settlement written for the masses in clear and winning style. were writing the Annals of the Four Masters (1632-6). an emigrant and captain in the Spanish navy. O'Clery travelled through all Ireland to . it was written while he lay to 1626. O'Sullivan Beare. and O'Duibhgeanain of Leitrim. fearing the of destruction every record of his people. to hereditary houses of chron- In that time of sorrow.
hospitality and goodness. his prisons and his battles. polish and bravery. which was given to O'Clery by the neighbouring Mac Brodys who had kept it safe for a thousand years. king of Munster in 260." There is still preserved a manuscript by Cainihin. from them the workers had food and attendance. :< 1 Irish history. the famous . a petty chieftain of Sligo descended from Olioll." In Galway a group of scholars laid. generosity and great deeds. courtesy and noble birth. in a secure anchorage' for Lynch's words. Another O'Clery wrote the story of Aedh Ruadh O'Donnell. Dr. and the calamity to Ireland of his defeat. 'Then were lost besides nobility and honour. The books were carried to the huts and cottages where the friars of Donegal lived round their ruined monastery. valour and constancy.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH gather up what could be saved. abbot of Iniscaltra about 650. 149 it 'though was difficult to collect them to one place. strength and courage. John Lynch. gave them a reward for their labours. the authority and the sovereignty of the Irish of Erin to the end of time. while Fergal O'Gara.
he died in miserable poverty in extreme old age (1709). and Greek. and a condoler of their birthright. Amid the horrors of Cromwell's wars he carried out a prodigious work on the genealogies of the clans. wrote on Irish antiquities diligence and judgment. For the same purpose his friend. translated the Annals of Ulster into English." 'with exactness. Tuileagna O'Maelchonaire." His land confiscated (1641). a man of great learning. To Galway came also Dualtach Mac Firbis (15851670)." he said. . English.150 IRISH NATIONALITY apologist of the Irish. the greatest. "a banished man within the bounds native soil. 'I live. wrote there his historical defence of his people. 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. perhaps. To spread abroad their history he translated into Latin Keating's book. a distinO'Flaherty of guished Irish scholar. Moy- cullen in Galway. historians had been time out of in north Con- He learned in one of the old Irish schools of law in Tipperary Latin. miseries. of a family that mind hereditary nacht.
too. chies of Ireland he wandered on foot from after house to house. lived Tadhg O 'Roddy of of Leitrim. physic. and history.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH that exists in any country. on the chronicles and on the laws. the last of the hereditary sennaIrish scholars. a landless sojourner on the estates that had once belonged to his family and race. who gathered thirty books of law. genealogies. 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. 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. nacht. like other history. their writers. would be long to tell of the workers in the Irish provinces the lawyers hiding in their bosoms the genealogies and tenures It all . 151 and wrote on their saints. a diligent collector Irish manuscripts. romances. mathematics. and many others of philosophy. every Irish door opened to him for his till learning their custom. their kings. poetry.
Tipperary. in Lei trim. it was only in 1723 that Dermot O' Conor translated it into English and printed it in Dublin. The poets were patriotism. all over the country. perhaps. to be carried. Kildare. dangers of amazing how amid the the time scribes should be found It is to re-write and re-edit the mass of scripts. Limerick. 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").152 IRISH NATIONALITY the scribes writing annals of their clans and genealogies. Clare. in which : 1 . Kilkenny. they were driven back on oral tradition and laborious copying by the pen. there to settle their own matters No printing-press by their ancient law. those that manu- were lost and those that have escaped. could be set up among the Irish. when Irishmen gathered as for a hurling-match and went out to one of their old places of assembly. 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.
of little with the shout." 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. 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. were among very many. where students came for six months of the year. None were admitted who could not read and write. they should be distracted by friends and . Tadhg lord of an estate with a castle as Daire.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. man!" Tadhg O'h'Uiginn of Sligo (tl617). and use a good memory. " despair entered Though yesterday seemed Yet longer still to me long and ill. Eochaidh O'h'Eoghasa the greatest Fermanagh. The chief poet of in his old age Thomond. and of a far district. amid their calamities under James Mac cliff leader of the argument. was hurled over a by a Cromwellian soldier 'Say your rann now. was this dreary day.
Born of an untold suffering. and turned to the people. Irish bards and harpers were as much at home in the Highlands and in the Isles as in Ireland. they tell how seeking after Erin over all obstacles. But with the exile of the Irish with the steady ruin of "the schools. a burst of melody swept brilliant metres. and ." poets began to throw aside the old intricate metres and the old words no longer chiefs.154 relations. they found her fettered and weeping. over Ireland. 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. 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. scores and scores of new and perhaps the richest attempt to convey music in words ever made by man. In that unfathomed experience. IRISH NATIONALITY The Scottish Gaels and the Irish were united as of old in the new literature. understood. and the poems of the Irish bards were as popular there as in Munster.
" spared no cost in buying valuable manu- . Sir James A (1594-1666). acknowledging one God. but all parts of one body politic." Irish learning different story." a people compounded of many nations. and descent. born there of an English family. "the cemetery of the valorous Gael. in and tied soil subsistence upon this our natural whereupon we live together. the light of poetry. In Leinster of the English. that it as the Catholics put :< it. joining together.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH for their loyalty she left 155 gave them the last gift to her. united Irish some by birth in the fruition of the selfsame air. others by descent only. which put him upon doing it all He the justice he could in his writings. conjoined together in allegiance to one and the same sovereign. had a There it seemed for a moment might form a meeting-point between the new race and the old. others neither by descent nor by birth but by inhabitation of one soil. our commonwealth men. "conceived a great love for his native Ware country and could not bear to see it aspersed by some authors. tiny group of scholars in Dublin had begun to study Irish history.
All these communication with Luke through Thomas Strange Rome the Franciscan. had the chapter during commons read in Irish. Baron d 'Aungier. his intimate friend. 'being desirous that Wadding's book should see the light." wishing 'to help him in his work trifle' for Ireland. The . IRISH NATIONALITY kept an Irish secretary to translate. Anglo-Irish men were Wadding in in drew together Protestant and and Irish. devoted him- the study of Irish antiquities. 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. they sent their own collections of records to help him in his Catholic history of Irish saints." The enthusi- asm of learning Catholic. self to also born in Dublin. Ussher. and employed for eleven years the great scholar O'Flaherty whose help gave to his work its chief value.156 scripts. and employed a Sheridan of Cavan to translate the Old Testament into that he wrote. who while provost established an Irish lecture in Trinity College." begging to see "the veriest noblest English scholar was Bishop Bedell. archbishop of Armagh.
the passion of commerce." the destruction of the Irish language. could do in a few years to abolish the divisions of race and to his piety. the war of 1641. and for daring to adventure that which his brethren had been "so long abuilding. man. and by circulating a catechism in English and Irish. . Irishmen spirit of Sympathies for the were quenched by the greed for land. "sit religion.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH Irish. however. caring for the people and speaking to them in their own tongue. and the fanaticism of ascendancy and dominion. Bitterly did Ussher reproach him for such a scandal at which the professors of the gospel did all take offence. The Irish alone poured out their love and they protected him in the insurgent chieftains grave paying homage gratitude to Bedell. The lin light. fired volleys over his anima mea cum Bedello!' He showed what one just cried a priest. that had risen in Dubin their long history was extinguished. 157 As bishop he braved the anger of the government by declaring the hardships of the Catholic Irish.
it was itself dead. but no king of England tried that experiment again. The "royal in- But the heritance" of so many hopes had practically disappeared. Hen- dream of a royal army from Ireland. it could no longer be made to serve in Ireland. perished. ry's :< Charles I did indeed propose to use the Irish fighting-men to smite into obedience England and Scotland. decaying and intolerable in England. and ashes victory turned to dust in their hands. and the dominion. James II looked to 158 . now hundred years seemed The land was theirs. a sword and flay" at the king's use against his subjects in Great Britain. for if the feudal system which was to give the king the land of Ireland had destroyed the tribal system.CHAPTER X RULE OF THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT 1640-1750 THE aim which English kings had set before them for the last four fulfilled.
tradition. bred out of its original deception other deceptions deeper blacker than the first. nor anything known before. so many centuries. There were two new classes. 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. The 1 title of "King of Ireland' which Henry VIII had proclaimed in his own right with such high hopes. king of England tried a second time.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT of refuge to fly to in danger. Thus past history was as it were wiped out. the king's revenues and profits. Other methods had been set up. or law behind them. 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. The social order was now neither feudal nor tribal. had begun. No . again. English planters and Irish toilers. for a safe place that. and after 1692 no longer sufficed even for Irish expenses. 159 Ireland. as in Henry's scheme. without custom. the rule of the English parliament their own benefit. Everything in Ireland was to be new.
160 old ties IRISH NATIONALITY bound them. broken men or men flying from the "hoping to be without fear of man's justice in a land where there was law. among England too was being made new. and no new charities. of the fear of God. 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. 'From the Anglo-Irish no man of special sanctity as yet is known to have sprung. natural leaders of the country new men. Ancient patri- mony had greed. with much turmoil and confusion an England where kings were yielding to parliaments. where the scum of Great Britain. and parliaments were being subdued to the rising commercial royal power instead of it classes. hastened nothing. the the English government permitted none the Irish. or but little as yet. each fighting for his among own hand." observed a Gael of that day. The idea of a separate and profit had disappeared and had come the rule and profit of ." Ireland was left absolutely without There were no guides or representatives. cieties fallen.
with the right of hold- his privy council. Now was seen the full evil of government from over-sea. and traders in general. Ireland united to the Crown of England as a free distinct kingdom. for there were no Irish representatives in the English Houses. and of her nobleecclesiastics. . 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. This new rule marked the first revolution in the English government of Ireland which had happened since Henry II sat in his Dublin palace. By the ancient constitution assured since English laws by compacts and grants were first was and brought into that country. 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.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT men. 161 the parliament of England. Regardless of any legal technicalities they simply usurped a power unlimited and despotic over a confused and shattered Ireland. The new ruling classes had neither experience nor training.
This despotism grew up regardless of any theory of law or constitution. ignorant lie. the Irish tribes was gathered into the hands of a few aliens. The last furnace was put out in Kerry when the last wood had been destroyed. 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. 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. sitting at a and prejudiced. Forests of oak were hastily destroyed for quick profits. the rooting out of the old race from the coun- was unchanged Adventurers were tempted by Irish wealth. Enor- mous profits fell to planters. they could dispute no people distance. what had once been widely diffused try. Where the English adventurer passed he left the land as .162 IRISH NATIONALITY where before a foreign tribunal. woods of the natural resources of the island were cut down for charcoal to smelt the iron which was carried down the Irish boats. who ruthlessly wasted among the land for their own great enrichment. and could affirm no truth. the subject had no voice.
rebels the more forfeitures. and a House up of Commons consisting mainly of Puri- tan adventurers. more land was constantly needed. and so on in every was a cheap bargain. Three provinces had been largely planted by 1620 one still remained. Munster. either in fact or in name. For the exploiter's rage. and after him Charles I in violation of his solemn promise. joined in speculations to buy "traitors' lands. and so destroy the claim of the whole . By a prodigious fraud James I. Instantly London City. The 1641.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT naked as if 163 a forest fire had swept over the country. 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 every device of law and fraud was used to fling the whole people into the war. proposed to extirpate the Irish from Connacht." openly sold in London at 100 for a thousand acres in Ulster or for six in It hundred province.500 for a thousand acres. for the waster's madness. the value of forfeited lands being calculated by parlia- ment later The more at 2. seized their opportunity in Ireland.
discountenanced by parliament. these were the acts conduct of a war of distinguished by which the knew government by an English parliament. The speculators got their lands." the English said to one another. By order of parliament (1653) over 20. their of Irishmen's lands ferocity. in the death than half the population.000 destitute men. "had nothing but the human form to show that they were men. and children from twelve years were sold into the . standing amid these scenes of woe with praises to God for such manifest evidence of His inspiration. 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. they still mark the first London on the did its experiment to appeal in this way to Irish question. it utmost to make the contest a war of extermination: of little less The Commons' auction in 1641. Parliament ended. women." Letters were forged and printed in England. He remains in Ireland as the great exemplar of inhuman cruelties. in fact. 'Wild Irishmen.164 of IRISH NATIONALITY them to their lands. purporting to give Irish news.
of of hospitality. Slave-dealers were let loose over the country. these the Irish. and the Bristol merchants did With what bitter irony an good business.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT service of English planters in Virginia 165 and the Carolinas. the Protestant planters sent out their threats of insurrection. of liberality. will virtues dwelt among Kings were restored to carry out the of parliament. but if the question there be of civility. is no doubt that the Anglo-Irish born in cities have had more opportunity to acquire civility than the Old Irish. 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. he said. 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. . 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. and charity towards all. (1690). good manners.
166 in IRISH NATIONALITY which the Irish were promised the quiet The Treaty was exercise of their religion. immediately broken. the planters. the land under Cromwell and William. The breaking of the Treaty of Limerick. Its first care was to secure to English Prot- estants their revenues in Ireland. having outlawed parliament. inaugurated the century of settled rule by the parliament of England (1691-1782). and William said no word to uphold the public faith. and seized a million and a half of their acres. conspicuous among the perfidies to Ireland. were established as owners of four-fifths of Irish soil. proceeded to crush its the liberties of own English settlers by . The pledge of freedom of worship was exchanged for the most infamous set of penal laws ever placed on a Statutebook. and demanded that no pardons should be given or estates divided save by their advice. they held by the despotic grant of the English This body. The English parliament objected to any such encouragement of Irish Papists. four thousand Irishmen. one-fourth of the people of Ireland. confiscated and one-half of their estates.
" five He traced its constitution for centuries." said an English member councillor I of that time. sit which ordered that no Catholic should in the Irish Houses. that the privy councils in Dublin and London had power to bills alter Irish 'If before sending them to the king. member for Dublin university. an angel came from heaven that was a privy would not trust my liberty with him one moment. The planters' rights were overthrown as pitilessly as those of the Irish they had expelled. and left to onefourth alone the right of citizens. historically there 1 . deprived three-fourths of the people of representatives. their subject as in their origin.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 167 simply issuing statutes for Ireland of its sole The acts were as tyrannical in authority. Some English judges decided. One (1691). All liberties were thus rooted out. and declared that his native land shared the claims of all mankind to justice. set forth in 1698 the "Case of Ireland. showed that had never been of Ireland. Molyneux. without and against Irish legal opinion. and that all its a "conquest' civil liberties were grounded on compact and charter.
* There may were : 'if the Irish come tory. or conscience which all other men have not an equally just claim to. their parliaments rendered nuga- and their lives and fortunes left to depend on the will of a legislature wherein they are not parties. ' 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. I am sure the great patriots of liberty and property. or any :< ease in his property. liberty. if at all. or freedom." The "ill consequences were seen seventy years later when Molyneux' book became the text-book of Americans in their rising against English rule. can by nature challenge any right." said Molyneux. to think their rights and liberties taken away. cannot think of such a thing but with abhorrence. For moment the Irish parliament deserved and received entire contempt from England. estate.168 ' IRISH NATIONALITY tax To me without consent is little better. than downright robbing me. the free people of England." he cried. The gentry who had accepted land and power by the arbitrary will of the English House of ." the But that day was far off." be ill consequences.
" to forbid them to continue their woollen trade. and on the same day required of him. demanded of the king to maintain the subordination of Ireland. "the honourable member will not question the validity of his title. 'I think Great Britain may still easily manage the . Thus an English parliament which had fought for hierarchy of its own liberties established a the Anglotyranny Irish tied under servitude to England. under an equal bondage to the As one of the governors of Ire- land wrote a hundred years later. neux and his remonstrance. and to order the journals of its parliaments to be laid before the Houses at Westminster. and the for Ireland: Irish chained Anglo-Irish. but leave it it entire to England." With such an argument at hand. since the Irish were "dependent on and protected by England in the enjoyment of all they had. the English parliament had no need of circumspection or It simply condemned Molyof soft words." was the ironic answer. In 1719 declared its power at all times to make laws which should bind the people of Ireland.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT Commons :< 169 dared not dispute the tyranny that was the warrant of their property: I hope.
" Govern- <:< . Precautions were taken against the growth of "an Irish a variety of devices the parliament of English Protestants was debased to a interest. Strin- gent arrangements were made to keep Ireland The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended while the English parliament ruled. that Englishmen in Ireland should be on equal terms with English in England. The smaller number. low. which was not accustomed to figure on the theatre of politics. So deep was their subjection that Ireland was held in England to be no more than a remote part of their dominion. To lics. Ireland was now degraded to a subject The government never proposed colony. and properties of the and at the expense of the civil far lib- erties of the whole. sold their said Burke. They had made their bargain.170 IRISH NATIONALITY Protestants." pay the price of wealth and ascendency they their own freedom and the rights of new country. and the Protestants the Catho- Such was the servile position of English planters. were placed in power at the expense of the civil liberties greater." By corrupt and ignoble servitude. Judges were removable at pleasure. .
as "the less :< common enemy". the Law. your mind. The . the greatest posts in the Castle. blame here." One tyranny begot bers. expected to have a single view to English In speeches from the throne governors of Ireland formally spoke of the Irish people. were given to Englishmen. . if I consent to part with the disposal which have been so long and so uniformly bestowed upon members of the British parliament. the majority of their subjects. the Church.." as the nick:< I fear much name went of the churchmen. another. and no country to protect. security of their property its security and All was quiet. Irish mem- having no liberties to defend. in they were scarcely suspicious of the English Protestants. devoted themselves to the increase. "king-fishers. There was no fear in Ireland of a rising for the Pretender.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT ment by Dublin Castle was sole interest of 171 directed in the England." one wrote "how the violence of both parties might be turned on this occasion to the advancement of England." said the English premier " in 1774." Castle officials were of these offices interests.. it is worth turning to Pitt.
no Irish curse has been found against the Protestant for his religion." Protestants had never cause for fear in Ireland on religious grounds. signed with tears. Irish Catholics had presented in the parlia- ment of James I (1613). every family affection. and never desired that which was ever repugnant to the Irish spirit.172 IRISH NATIONALITY Irish. even through the black time of the penal laws. Their possessions were scattered. and delivered in this house of peace and liberty with our disarmed hands. parliament. however. never Their only prayer was for freedom in worship that same prayer which spiritual faith. when a father . In queen Mary's persecution Protestants flying from England had taken shelter in Ireland among Irish Catholics. and not a hand was raised against them there. began a series of penal laws against Irish Catholics. true to their ancient horror of violence made a religious war. Bitter as were the poets against the English exterminators. every right of a citizen. almost every The means of liveli- hood. "indented with sor- row. They were forbidden the use of their religion. temporal ascendency for a for religion. education was denied them.
"does not suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic." Statutes framed to demoralise and debase the people. Their rapacity was not concerned with the religion of the Irish." They were only recognised :< for repression and punishment. not what one may . One-fiftieth part of Ireland left was all that was to Irish Catholics. Catholic was not greatly desired." rose their lament. "no. and use them as slaves. so long as there were Papists the planters could secure their lands. so as to make them for ever unfit for self-government. pursued the souls of the victims to the second and third generation. utterly excluded for single foot of land there ever from the inheritance of their fathers. but only with their prop- The conversion of a erty and industry. :< One is not left us. took on a sacred character as a religious effort to suppress false doctrine." said the leading judges.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT estant guardian. In this ferocious violence the law-makers were not moved by fanaticism. 173 died his children were handed over to a Prot- 'The law. 'worse than negroes." Laws which would have sounded infamous if directed openly to the seizing of property.
They might kind. the Anglo- had made a bad bargain. the Protestant land-hunters were no more respected in England than in Ireland. green grass. was proposed to stop Irish fisheries. They forbade carrying of cattle or dairy stuff to England. Cut off from their fellow-countrymen. Their subjection tempted the commercial classes. the bent of the curragh. in spite of this success. they forbade trade in soap or candles. To safeguard their own profits of commerce and industry English traders made statutes to annihilate Irish competition. and the bog-myrtle beneath their bodies. under snow. The English it parliament did with them as chose. in linen save of the coarsest the increase of corn was checked. or clover of the hills. Och! Irish my pity to see their nobles forsaken !' : And yet. in cloth. Under frost. without a morsel to eat but watercress. under blasts of wind. it . under rain. in glass. sorrel of the mountain.174 IRISH NATIONALITY his make bed upon." :t See all that are with- out a bed except the furze of the mountains. having renounced the right to have a country. The wool which they might not use at home must be exported to England alone.
"of no more use to us than a beautiful prospect shut up in a dungeon. From old time Ireland had traded across the Gaulish sea: her ports had seen the first discoverers of America. the country bare of to a man money. more than to any other country save their American colonies. once so commerce. 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. and took the raw material of Ireland." It was unfortunate. while Irish workers were driven out on the hillsides . full of The abundance of harbours. and unfitted by Meanwhile they suc- pushed their own business in a counwhich they allowed to make nothing for try itself. Englishmen said. said Swift. that Ireland had been by the act of God doomed to poverty so isolated in geographical position." In 1720 all trade was at a stand. Their manufacturers sent over yearly two millions of their goods.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 175 not build ships. were now. inhabited by a people so indolent in their religion to work. cessfully tillage. so lacking in industrial resources. "want and misery in every face.
They had no could lead no call nation behind them. A double corruption was thus proceeding. Denmark banished dinian trailing host of a Sara ambassador under a Englishmen pensions steadfrom 30.000 to over 89. 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.000. as a patriot said. pensions. should sometimes It had diverge towards public utility. government annuities. parliament A and tyrannical could not even pretend to urge on the government that its measures. ily increasing Some 600." abandoned all power save that of increasing servile >( the sorrows of the people. public duty. German of relations of the Hanoverians. . useful politi- cians covered by other names. The planters' parliament looked on in barren helplessness.176 IRISH NATIONALITY to starve. Ministers heaped They They had no And the English knew up to it well.000 was at last yearly sent over to England for absentees. a queen for misconduct. popular resistance. humiliations. and the like. false title.
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. bailiffs. ment had the Irish any voice. grand juries. lawyers." In neither parliaprotected their crimes." as said. 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. conducted trials with fairness and humanity: "for about ten miles from Clonmel both sides . and the rest "full of might and injustice. The old race meanwhile. an Irish poem them who would not even write the Irish all of names. The fourths of the dwellers in Ireland. as magistrates. three- ment. without a word for the Irish in the law. were brought under consideration of the rulers only as objects of some new rigour or severity. In courts where the law was administered by Protestant landlords and their agents.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.
was given longed." the dependency of Ireland upon England." A multi- tude of statesmen put their hands to the .000 Irish soldiers were reckoned to have died between 1691 and 1745. and "the comfort or security of any English in it. women. In the service of France alone 450. Like the kings of England. For a hundred years (1691- strictest severity that 1782) they ruled the Irish people with the human ingenuity could devise. A "strong government. Un- counted thousands from north and south sailed to America. as he passed along." The people poured from "this sod of misery' as their protector across the sea. opportunity prouncontrolled to ad- vance "the king's service.178 IRISH NATIONALITY men. The Protestant settlers followed them in the eighteenth century. who. Irish Catholics went till there in a constant stream from 1650 1798. undisturbed. and of the road were lined with children." its purely English. kneeled down and supplicated Heaven to bless him and guardian angel. the parliament of the English aristocracy and commercial magnates had failed to exploit Ireland to their advantage.
Some astute individuals heaped up an ignoble wealth. rulers in land. their their for- subservience which debarred of them from public duty. 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. had land management. where Irishmen were .RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 179 work. Commercial men in England inspired the policy. and thus doubly impoverished them. England on her part had thrown into the sea from her dominion a greater wealth of talent. perhaps. English clergy were sent over to fill all the higher posts of the church. industry. or to the Empire. to Engment. The Irish people suffered a long agony unmatched. and not an occupation. in European history. And in the end there was no advantage to any party. and bravery than had ever been exiled from any country in the world: there was not a country in Europe. Few of the Protestant country gentry had established tunes. and were the chief leaders of the secular govern- Such a power very rarely falls to the any country. but there was no profit to Ireland.
or allow her the means As for the Empire. and sent out men trained in suffering to triumph . physicians. Irishmen were at every meeting. and bitter experience bore down the temporisers." the colonies had been flooded with the men that England had wronged. and labourers. every council." this there was plain bankruptcy it "Engof was said. supporting herself. every battle. ministers." "To shun gone. In exchange for this an incompetent and landed gentry was established in Ireland. deep. founders of mining industries. ambassadors. Patrick. and their money. That long. Instead of profit for the governinferior ment land. Protestants and Catholics had as "Sons of St. Even the Protestant exiles from Ulster went to America persecution and designed ruin" by the English government. indignation was a white flame of revolt that consumed every fear and vacillation around it. admirals.180 IRISH NATIONALITY in not the first rank as field-marshals. prime scholars. merchants. the fury were spent in organising the American War. "must now either support kingdom. their arms. soldiers. Their of their wrath.
Commodore John a Wexford man. an Irishman first printed and pub- lished have seen the uncontrolled rule of English kings and English Parliaments. Father of the Barry. Sullivan. passionate organisers of the revolt. 181 Brigadier-General Owen siege. Charles Thompson of Strabane was secretary of the Continental Congress. signed the Declaration of Independence. There was another experiment yet to be tried. . We Such was the end of their story. an Irishman's son first publicly read it. After the war an Irishman prepared the Declaration for publication from Jefferson's rough draft. American Navy.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT over every adversity. Eight Irishmen. born at Limerick during the was publicly thanked by Washington and by the congress. it." was Washington's com:e mander-in-chief of the naval forces of the States.
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. 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. There grew up too the union of common Once more the people of Ireland suffering. nor the charities of human nature. 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. the essential needs of men." later 182 Forty years these Cromwellians planted on Irish .
kindly friendships between neighbours. The penal days have We may still see in hidden places of the woods . and common interests grew up in the land where they lived together. their children could not speak a word of and the English and became wholly Irish in religion Seven years after the battle of feeling. from the up as Protest- The gentry in general spoke Irish with the people. consuming the humanities of their law. the charm of Irish life told as of old. was more expressive than any music he had left their traces. would save his arms from being confiscated. heard of the great masters of the continent. and Protestgrew up ants by some device of goodwill would hide a Catholic from some atrocious penalty. the honour of their country. The Irish had seen the fires of destruction pass over them.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 183 farms suffered themselves the same change. The civilisation. the piety. Boyne the same influence began to turn the very soldiers of William. In the country places. far Irish government. said an Italian in 1641. or his children from being brought ants. and the relics of their fathers: the cry of their lamentation.
cast out of their lands.184 IRISH NATIONALITY some cave or rock where the people gathered in secret to celebrate mass. In a far church in Connemara by the race in Atlantic. It would be a noble achievement. to held in the utmost contempt their dead bodies the ruined proudly cels. There remain memorials of Irishmen. under great sculptured slabs bearing the names of once noble families. Monuments lie heaped in Burris. said . the sacred places of the Irish. the tools of a laid in the roofless abbeys. 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. 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. a Burke in 1722 a scupltured tomb to the first of who had come to Connacht. the figure coat of mail and conical helmet finely carved in limestone. a plough. and deeply carved with the instruments of the dead man's trade.
bishops and their first The Protestant clergy in general. and when he visited Cavan he was interested by verses of its poets and wrote an English ballad founded on the Plearaca Ui Ruairc. Now and then there was a rare exception. clergy all and of fiction complete Irish barbarism was necessary to maintain the Protestant ascend- ." refused to learn the into only understood by the people.< the government to bring Irish speech entire disuse. holding that souls of duty was not to minister to the Irishmen. to abolish the Irish language. he helped the rector of Anna (Belturbet) in his endeavours to have prayers read in Irish in the established churches in remote places. Clergy language and officials alike knew nothing whatever of the true life of Ireland. But in general the other political agents opposed The kindly intercourse of the two races. but rather as agents of . and the respect which Philip Skelton showed for the religious convictions of a country-bred maidservant should be remembered." But Swift's popularity with the native Irish was remarkable.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 185 Swift. which prevented "the Irish from being tamed.
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. of Irish material. lying in impenetrable darkness. which for the in the long engendered a false run held no profit settlers. A false history policy. Empire. The whole literature of the Irish was therefore cast aside as waste refuse. convenient did this lying doctrine prove that it became a truism never To challenged. to the irrevocable loss of a vast mass By steadily neglecting everything written in the native tongue of the country. and in later days to defend it. the Protestant planters. unless the pains of starvation now and again woke the most miserable from their torpor to some wild outrage. this day all manuscripts of the later Irish times have been rejected from purchase by public funds. mass rance. onefourth of the inhabitants. lawlessness. or Ireland. the Irish Unsuspected by English .186 IRISH NATIONALITY ency. So fixed and of wretchedness. to be repressed by even more savage severity. secured to themselves the sole place in the later history of Ireland. England.
the fashion of men fettering of for their tongues to speak the mere ghost Protestant rough English. the antiquities of their province. Sarsfield and Limerick. greatest of the poets The (1650-1694) stirred men of the cabins with lessons of their time. now that the great schools were broken up. the history of their tribe. Thus the poet Tadhg . whose poems raphy. turning ease. working at the plough and spade. Some wrote prose accounts of the late wars. the grandsons of kings working with the spade. and geog- was Daibhi O'Bruadair of Limerick. the breaking of the treaty. well proved in good sense. steadfast. the learning of the or great masters of Irish. Learned men showed the love of their language in the making of dictionaries and grammars to preserve. the chaffering insolence of the new traders.RISE OF A tradition NEW IRELAND across 187 was carried the years of captivity by these exiles in their own land. Descendants of literary clans. the laying down of arms by the Irish in 1652. annals of Ireland. a man knowing some English and learned in Irish lore. historians and poets and scribes were to be found in farmhouses. the poor man perfected in learning.
Aodh Buidh MacCurtin." which he was caused to do 'by the great bother of the brawling company that is round about me in this prison. "as many as I can of the ancient manuscripts of Ireland from the wreck which has overwhelmed everything that once belonged to us." said Charles Irish. He English. had been so reduced by confiscation that he had to plough with his own hands." There were still well-qualified (1728) i:t scribes circulated who copied the old heroic stories and them freely all over Ireland.188 IRISH NATIONALITY O'Neachtain worked from 1734 to 1749 at a dictionary. published with Conor O'Begly in Paris a grammar and a dictionary (1732). His father. Amid such he gained the . I wish O 'Conor. taught him attended mass held secretly in difficulties a cave. 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. like other gentlemen. There were some who translated religious books :< from French and Latin into to save. Another learned poet and lexicographer. cottage." O'Conor was of Sligo county.
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. an excellent writer. was the Irish antiquarians and his- torians who into 'the drew Irishmen together Catholic Committee" Charles in 1759 O'Conor. and O'Conor began again that endless labour of Irish scholars. he had this immense work copied by his own scribe. and another copy made in 1734 by Hugh O'Mulpossess. He wrote for the learned. and delighted the peasants round him with the stories of their national history. OTergus of Dublin. It was life.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 189 best learning of his unhappy time. for his friend Dr. were thus connected. volumes of extracts from books he could not the passion of his Having obtained O'Clery's own manuscript of the Annals. Curry. Wyse of Water- O'Conor by his learning preserved . Much of the materials that O'Clery had used for his Annals had perished in the great troubles. and ford. It is interesting to recall that Goldsmith probably knew 'Conor. He formed an Irish and copied with his own hand large library. Dr. loy. so that the best English of an Irishman.
and and to ment to win for the Irish some recognition rights of citizens before the law and in their some own land. he was the first to use his research and literary powers to bring truth out of falsehood in the later Irish history. justify the Irish against the lying accusations concerning the rising of 1641. a song of hope arose to their that the race should come own again. and forgetting nothing do ye according to the commandments. studied as a physician in France. poured out in verse the infinite sorrow of the Gaels.190 for IRISH NATIONALITY Dr. Curry. recalling the days schools when their land was filled with poethospitality and festivals. had had was eminent in Dublin though shut out from every post. These learned patriots combined in a move- them the history of their fathers. meanwhile. be ye full of almsgiving and friendliness. shun ye drunkenness and oaths and cursing. Countless poets. and the high If of great Irishmen. the voice of Irish charity was not wanting :< Having the fear of God. and do not say till death 'God damn' from . of a Cavan family whose estates been swept from them in 1641 and 1691.
RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 191 your mouths." Riotous laughter broke out in some. 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. in a fine recitahovels there were men skilled language showed the even in literary influence. in fact. who recited in their cabins the love-songs and religious poems of long centuries past. feeling. professional wits among them Eoghan Ruadh O'Sullivan from Kerry. fresh from a French college. with an explanation of a Greek passage. The were people in the bareness of their poverty nourished with a literature full of wit. whose works perished in a century of persecution and destruction. and tion. and dignity. but old tradition lived on the lips of the peasants. The spirit of the north rang out in a multitude of bards. they were all. and first came into note for helping chief his employer's son. imagi- In the poorest nation. Their common Irish peasants . Among exiles in Connacht manuscripts perished. a working man who had laboured with plough and spade. for the Stuarts had hold on Ireland. who died in 1784.
where the people of the surrounding districts sup1 ported 'poor scholars' free of charge. like that one which was kept up for over a hundred years in county Waterford. and the scholar read his books by a cabin the light given by throwing upon twigs and dried furze. Even the village dancing at the cross-roads tried to preserved a fine and skilled tradition. Manuscripts were fire in it days when it was death or ruin to be found with an Irish book carefully treasured. as against about eight hundred words used by peasants in England.192 IRISH NATIONALITY our five own day have used a vocabulary of some thousand words. 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. still have "a scholar' 1 in their house. in Clare. In remote places schools were maintained out of the destitution of the poor. too. for the old learning's sake. some where a very remarkable group sprang up. and in they were buried in the ground or hidden in the walls. There were few candles. There were some in Kerry. of poets From all parts of Ireland students . Families.
John Clairech O'Donnell. and projected a translation of Homer into Irish. all his house poets and and contend as in the old days. In county Cork. he wrote part of a history of Ireland. and his churlishness shut up inside with him. he never opened to the moan of the starving. "and oh! may heaven of the saints be a red wilderness for James Dawson!' : The enthusiasm of the planters. 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 ." Thus Greek and Latin still found their way into the labourer's cottage. Famous as a poet.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 193 begged their way to "the schools of Minister. until famine clove to the people his gate and bowed them to his will. in remembrance of the ancient assemblies of the bards of Ireland. there in an opening between two mountains. in his denunciations the English oppressor stands before us plentiful his costly living in the high-gabled lighted-up mansion of the Irish Brian. flying for his life more than once gathered to learned men to recite before the bard-hunters. but tight-closed his door. But he worked in peril.
O'Duibhgeanain was of an old literary clan: . 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. and at his death English and Irish." who The Commons begged to have the trial in their House before business began.194 IRISH NATIONALITY hundred and thirty -eight subscribers. O'Carolan. The magic of Irish music seems even to have stirred in the landlords' parliament some dim sense of a national boast. Protestant and Catholic. An all English nobleman com- ing to the parliament with a claimed that in could be heard. ' Welsh harper Ireland no such music Mr. the harper and singer. and found in some of them a kindly friend. and all assembled to greet the Leitrim champion. Jones of Leitrim took up the challenge for an Irishman of his county had never worn linen or woollen. even in the houses of the strangers. names. gathered in an encampment of tents to do honour to his name. was beloved by both races. as Irish poets had done nine hundred years before.
with a cloak or plaid of the same of stuff. you have their whilst deprived them at once of their religion. them sion. and left to deplore their fate. but an excellent Greek and Latin scholar. He came. whilst you adopt the most cruel means of making them ignorant. he himself was not only a fine harper. tall and handsome. and peasantry with untractableness. a poor bricklayer of Cork. and a high conical cap adorned with many tassels. But that is not all. their liberty. all Oblivion might that was not theirs. their oak. gives the 'You accuse their lament of Irish scholars.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 195 one of them had shared in making the Annals of the Four Masters. architect and studied Arabian antiquities in Portugal and Spain. . you deprive them of the means of civilisation. Commons gave him their verdict. looking very noble in his ancient garb made of beaten rushes." and their harp. all the rest. same And the House of the James Murphy. not in the strains of their ancestors. who became an pastors with illiterature. 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.
relief of the poor from their intolerable burdens. however. All classes suffered under the laws to abolish Irish trade and industry. the Dissenters of the north.196 IRISH NATIONALITY lived in a land They some few years old. in a common citizenship. No life could have gone on under its monstrous terms. Gradually the people of Ireland were being drawn together. By degrees. Human sides. Swift showed to the Protestants the wrongs they endured and the liberties which should be theirs. schools of husbandry. dwellers in Ireland were forced into some concern for its fortunes. the making parliament into a really representative body. Bishop Berkeley wrote his famous Querist the most searching study of the people's grief and its remedies. There were not . and flung his scorn on the shameful system of their slavery and their tyranny (1724). to unite the movement and the Catholics. charities in the were strong in men of both and country there was a grow- more liberal of ing the landowners. Lord Molesworth urged (1723) free- dom of religion. not more than a man's age might cover. It had proved inpossible to carry out fully the penal code.
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. find they said. extremely.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. the Protestants would themselves secure of their position without British protection. might not a nation begin again to live in Ireland. to the Protestant parliament in 1786. of the therefore called out to avert the rise of government was a . "Let the legislature befriend us now." was the cry of the Munster peasantry. we are theirs forever. and official work. religious distinctions were abolished. The whole energy united Irish People. organised under O'Driscoll.
before The Protestant entry into public gentry. and lesser passions the love of country. Lucas. he raised in his Journal a new national protest.CHAPTER AN XII IRISH PARLIAMENT 1750-1800 THE movement of conciliation of its peoples that was shaping a new Ireland. can only be understood by the astonishing history of the next fifty years. when the spirit of a nation rose again fell triumphant. life. But in the awakening country they had to reckon with a risingp ower in the Catholic Irish. Idolised by the Irish people. had stirred not only the English settlers but the native Irish. silent and unrecorded as it was. who in 1741 had begun to stir for reform and freedom. The pamphlet war which followed where Citizens 198 9 . who alone had free were of necessity the chief actors in the recorded story. Dr.
and behind them lay that vast mass of their own people whose outlook than the small blood they shared. A great sea in a :< storm' men said of him. its Irish civilisation. 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. Terror was immediately . This astonishing orator and parliamentarian invented a patriotic opposition (1753). said others spread the idea of a all its common history of Ireland in which In inhabitants were concerned. had and disheartened Catholic aristocracy. 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.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 199 men argued not only on free trade and government. They save very rarely. on its Irish barbarism. If their numbers were few their ability was great. parliament too. chiefly by way of the law. on its old and new races. of patriotic the middle class. said some. but on Ireland itself. put off their ardour with their old religion. they were braver in their not. out.
a share and government for Irishmen. He stirred whole nation' 'the last their chil- struggle for Ireland. A fresh current of thought poured through the House free trade. Dublin Castle feared that he might mean emancipation from the English legislature. free religion. He a raised again the protest of free Molyneux for for parliament and 'the constitution." 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. Malone was begun which Ireland her defeated. but the battle in thirty years had was to give to first hopes of freedom. and a parliament elected every seven years. a Habeas Corpus Act.200 IRISH NATIONALITY and his national excited at his Irish origin feeling. Successors of Malone appeared in the House of Commons in 1761 more in law . or that the king had the right to apply at his will the surplus funds in the treasury. 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. fewer pensions for Englishmen. security for judges.
" They depended. IRISH said. and the first blow to the dominion of an aristocracy. with its own legislature and executive under the king. struggle. not on confiscation. In Ireland Lord Charlemont and some other lawyers laid down peers declared that Ireland was a distinct kingdom. in Dublin. Some freedom of soul was theirs.AN lawyers. and . but on their own abilities. 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. which gave all the great posts of the bar to Englishmen. government dealt its viceroy was ordered to reside The English The counter-stroke. argued that it had the right to tax Ireland without her consent. PARLIAMENT than 201 living men any one could remember. In that same year the patriots demanded that elections should be held every seven years the first step in Ireland towards a true representation. they owed nothing to government. or 'than appears in any history in this or any other kingdom upon earth. and manhood for the long In 1765 the issue was clearly set.
their religion." Meanwhile misery deepened. besides the vast numbers flying to America. by making himself the source the giver of all gratifications. living In 1778 thirty thousand Irishmen were seeking their on the continent. their political power". to concentrate political influence in the English Crown. lay in 'procuring the supplies which the English minister thought fit to ask. 'The wretches that remained had scarcely the appearance of human of creatures." 'The king's business. . of bribery The landowners who the controlled the seats in that "they held Great Britain everything most dear to by them." English exports to Ireland sank instead and England receiving money had to send by half-a-million. their property. peerages were made by the score. all A began beyond system previous dreams. their pre-eminence." as the government understood it.202 IRISH NATIONALITY of all favours. and the first national debt of nearly two millions created in less than thirty years. and preventing the parliament from examining into the account of previous years. that "confiscation is Commons were reminded their common title.
000 for the by landlords and gentry. and in 1778 France recognised American independence.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 203 payment of troops there. The collapse of the English system was rapid. the government saw the failure of their army plans with the refusal of the Irish to give any more military grants. Ireland was no longer unarmed. Protestant and Catholic. tection. landlord and tenant. 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. George Washington was made commander-in-chief of the forces for the American war in 1775. In those times of hope and terror men's minds on both sides moved quickly. Protestant troops led In the sense of a common duty. What was even more important. In a year 40. she was no longer unrepresented. A packed parliament that had obscured the true desires of the country was silenced before the voice of the people. were joined. Other dangers had arisen. The shores of Ireland lay open to attack: the country was drained of troops.000 volunteers were enrolled (1779).
They asked for justice in the law-courts. the failure of the prodigious corruption and buying of the its souls of men before the new spirit that swept through the island. Ireland that is to be managed or attended :< to." It is the whole of Above all. this country. and that the Habeas The Corpus Act should be restored." country. teeth. England has sown her laws in dragons' :< and they have sprung up in armed men. through the Volunteers." wrote the lord-lieutenant. the spirit of a nation. taught by a long . a worthy Irish successor of Malone in the House of Com'It is no longer the parliament of mons. with the burden of upkeep thrown on England. and independent judges no longer hold their places at pleasure. They asked that the English commercial laws which had ruined Irish industry and sunk the land in poverty and idleness should be abandoned. required four main reforms.IRISH NATIONALITY gains from the Irish treasury in the near bankruptcy of the Irish state." cried Hussey Burgh. the war with the colonies brought home to them Grattan's prophecy "what you trample on in Europe will sting you in America.
" a new phrase in politics.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 205 misery. In three years the Dublin parliament had freed Protestant dissenters from the Test Act and had repealed the greater part of the penal code. Grattan. the English commercial code had fallen to the ground. "could never be free till the Irish Catholic had ceased to be a slave. The demands for the justice of free men. for free trade." '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. Irishmen agreed to buy no manufactures but the work of Irish hands. were carried by the popular passion into the parliaments of Dublin and London. and Dublin men compelled members to swear that they should vote for "the good of Ireland. A third demand was that the penal laws which divided and broke the strength of Ireland 'The Irish Protestant." said Burke. a free nation. ." "You are now." cried should cease. country. In 1780 Grattan proposed his resolutions declaring that while the two nations were inseparably bound together under one Crown. the Habeas Corpus Act was won.
" said Dr. and Commons of Ireland could alone make laws for Ireland. power In presence of these dangers the Volunteers called a convention of their body to meet in the church of their Dungannon on Feb. sir. : 'We know." exclaimed the viceroy." they said. 'we should unite with you only to rob you. The Irish knew too how gained. Johnson to an Irishman in 1779.'the epidemic madness. 1782 to mind no unfit place for their lofty work. cessions as precarious was all that they had Lord North described all past con:< 1 resumable at pleasure' by the that granted them. But the Irish had good reason for their madness. "Do not make an union with politicians" in us. we know our . The claim for a free parliament ran through the country. Lords. 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." threat of the disappearance of Ireland as a country quickened anxiety to The restore its old parliament. 'our duty to our sovereign and our loyalty.206 IRISH NATIONALITY the King.
AN :< IRISH PARLIAMENT 207 duty to ourselves and are resolved to be free. On April 16. Grattan passed through the long ranks of Volunteers drawn up before the old Parliament House of Ireland. am now to address a free people. 1782." As Irishmen. was now established and asand should never again be ques- tioned or questionable. that the crown of Ireland is an imperial crown. 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. and as Protestants. and the kingdom of Ireland a distinct kingdom with a parliament of her own. the sole legislature thereof. as Christians. The Act of 1719. to 'I proclaim the victory of his country. by which the English parliament had justified its usurpation of powers. Ages have . 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. was repealed (1782). The by Molyneux a hundred years before was won." they rejoiced in the relaxation of penal laws and upheld the sacred rights of all to freedom of religion.
The restored parliament entered into a gloomy inheritance an authority which had been polluted and deThe stroyed an almost ruined country. The system in this country. . 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. Since the days of half a generation for Henry VIII the Irish parliaments had been shaped and compacted to give to England complete control. . In that character I hail her. England gave to Ireland the task. All bills . did not bear the smallest resemblance to represen- had to go through the privy council. the English law officers. . a nation's exultation and thanksgiving was brief. heritage of a tyranny prolonged through centuries was not to be got rid of rapidly.208 IRISH NATIONALITY passed away. and finally the tation. whose secret and overwhelming influence was backed by the privy council in England. Ireland is now a nation. wrote the viceroy. and bowing in her august presence. and this is the first moment in which you could be distinguished by that appellation.
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.
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
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
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
cruelties of the penal laws,
and prepared the
showed admirable knowledge in the method restoring prosperity to the country, awakits
and opening inland navigation.
needed to close the springs of corruption and to bring reform to the parliament itself.
But the very
success of parliament
England, and alarm in the autocratic
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
" 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 resisted by the whole might of the Castle. secret in machinations." wrote the lord-lieutenant to Pitt. he had known the use of every evil power that still remained as a legacy from the past. :e as her govern- ment became more open and more culty of attentive diffi- to the feelings of the Irish nation. By working on the ignorance of the cabinet in London and on the alarms and corruptions .214 IRISH NATIONALITY tenure of British power and supremacy. passionately demanded by Protestant and Catholic for fifteen years. brutal in speech. the management had increased. "If. Unchecked by criticism. and ready at every instant to crush the rising of the conquered. and violent in authority.
The only English viceroy who resisted him. The voice of the nation :< was silenced ventions. constitutional movements mere vanity. by the forbidding of all conframe of In the re-established 1 Fitzgibbon was all-powerful. setting one part of the coun- . inally conceded. The Irish country gentry were alienated and demoralised left to waste with "their inert property and their inert talents.AN of Ireland. the Catholic were put out of its protection. Lord Fitzwilliam. was recalled amid the government' acclamations and lamentations of Ireland others yielded to his force. the government agents out of its control. Law appeared only as an instrument of oppression. Government in his hands was the enemy of the people. in his hands through the privy by a system of unexampled bribery. he succeeded in paralysing the constitution which it was and destroying the which had been nomparliamentary rights his business to maintain." Every reform was refused which might have allayed the fears of the people. stirred Religious war was secretly the agents of the government up by and in its interest. all parliament a mockery. IRISH PARLIAMENT all 215 left by using the secret powers council.
arrogance calamities and for fear. The violent repression of freedom was used at a time when the progress of the human mind had been prodigious. and officers measure of their troops. suspicion. Violent statesmen in the Castle.216 IRISH NATIONALITY Distrust and try to exterminate the other. every to heighten them was pursued. Despair of the constitution made men turn to republicanism and agitation in arms. when on drinking in the lessons of popular liberties from the republics of America and France. with their train of the next hundred years distracted the island. Warnings and entreaties poured in to the Castle. The system of rule inauguall sides men were rated by Fitzgibbon could have only one end the revolt of a maddened people. maintained by coercion. woke the deep passion of the country. To the very last the gentry pleaded for reform to reassure men drifting in their despair into plots of armed republicanism. did not fear to express their sense that a rebellion would enable them to all. A system of absolute power. make an end and of the discontented once for of the Irish Constitution. Every measure to relieve their fears was denied. The rising .
and "this Scotch beast. a few places in the mountains excepted. sent in 1797 as commander-in-chief. as he government's orders might be carried over the whole kingdom by an orderly dragoon." said General Abercromby. at last forced by the horrors which were openly encouraged by the government in 1796-7. and in a month the rebellion broke out. That appalling tale of terror. or a writ executed without abuses of all kinds I found here can scarcely :< be believed or enumerated. barities of martial rule He refused the barsaid. the when." wrote Clare of the great soldier.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 217 was. Abercromby was succeeded by General Lake. scared into scattered risings. was forced out of the country as Lord Fitzwilliam had been. that could sacks or be committed by CosCalmucks has been transacted here." lost his He must have senses. refused . all its and cruelty cannot be told in horror. and 'The demanded the maintenance of law. The people." as he called him. every cruelty. in fact. despair. any difficulty. who had already shown the ferocity of his temper in his com- mand in Ulster. "Every crime.
218 IRISH NATIONALITY protection when their arms were given up. its gentry. The treat- ment of later years has not yet wiped out of fear that memory that horror. or terms if they surrendered. 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. 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. and Eng- lishmen the haters of their race. of the nations in equal . the perpetual races. the "pacification" of the government set no limits to atrocities. Clare no doubt held the docEnglish governors before him. were without hope. The suppression of the rebellion burned into the Irish heart the belief that the lish Engwas their implacable enemy. and the cry of the tortured rose unceasingly day and night. The government cannot be excused by that same plea of fear. government that the law was their oppressor.
and that Irish doctrines would be sunk in the sea of British common 219 sense. a huge army occupying the country. others that their elo- quence would lengthen and perhaps confuse debates. seemed that England had everything to gain by a union. was announced to the Irish parliament.CHAPTER XIII IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 1800-1900 THE horror of death lay over Ireland. But it was held that a hundred members would be lost in the British parliament. secretly pre- pared in London. cruelty and terror raised to a frenzy. There was one objection. In that dark time the plan for the Union with England. Chatham had feared that a hundred Irishmen would strengthen the democratic side of the It English parliament. government by martial law. .
all reforms of were refused the system of collecting tithes. and handing over the dominion to another country. seeking their common benefit in one empire. 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. had a right to pass an act destroying the constitution of Ireland. without asking consent of the nation. outrageous the disabilities Catholics so as to keep something to 137. to induce petitions in its favour. military warnings. it was urged. Pitt said. visits There were progresses of political agents. but a subject volutnary association of two great countries The Union. The parliament at once rejected it. assembled in Ireland. was no proposal to Ireland to a foreign yoke. and proceeded to pack the parliament privately. threats of eviction.220 IRISH NATIONALITY In Ireland a union was detested as a conspiracy against its liberties. no parliament. sal detestation .000 armed men were bargain with. But amid the univer- and execration of a Union the government dared not risk an election. of the viceroy.
and corrupt the Pitt pledged wavering with ready money. as wise men .' 3 of war. men without a foot of land in Ireland.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION By of sixty-three opponents. and amid many adjurations to speed from England. himself to emancipation. under the influence of immediate personal danger. in the centre of "passed in the middle a tremendous mili- tary force. unsolicited >( by the Irish nation. Fifty-four peerages were given to buy consciences. formed in the British cabinet." was followed. There official were. at the point of the sword. were offered ll The borough-holders millions to console them for There was a host of minor pensions. Thus in 1800. Threats and disgrace were used to others. some staff-officers. seventy-two place-holders and pensioners in the House. means the Commons were purged and safe men put in. some Englishmen. 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. Large sums were sent from loss in sale of seats. contrary to one of the new laws. London to bribe the Press.
The Times perceived in 'the Celtic twilight" a "slovenly old barbarism." Promises were lavished to commend the Union. proclaimed the sition of first undying oppoIrishmen to a Union that from the all lacked moral sanction. A hundred years of ceaseless agitation.IRISH NATIONALITY had warned. nor the capital of Empire. a settled and uni- form system of guilt. from the first tragedy of Robert Emmet's abortive rising in 1803.. was now confronted with the Irish people. 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. Of that people it knew nothing. by generations of strife." Peel in his ignorance thought Irishmen had . accompanied by horrible and monstrous perjuries such as could not be found in any civilised country. of its national spirit. Ministers assured Ireland of less expenditure and lighter taxation: with vast . life.< a general congood qualities except for federacy in crime .. all An English parliament. intermediate power being destroyed.
whether members or in for Ireland England. a rise in the value of land. Pitt hoped. lead to such a union of hearts that presently it would not matter. 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. instead of three to one against it as happened in the country itself. and would. 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. 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". The Catholics. however. and the poor might hope for relief from tithes and the need . in fact. in were elected in Ireland Ireland would also be situation. and a stream of English capital and industry.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 223 commerce and manufactures. would find in the pure and serene air of the English legislature impartial kindness.
for Great Britain and one part for The debt of Ireland had formerly it been small. wrongly conceived and wrongly enforced. in the long run. of England. next years heavy loans were required for the Napoleonic war. it had risen to nearly 8 millions by 1801. Oppressive financial burdens were laid on the Irish. The system itself. fixed in the proportion of seven and a half parts Ireland. contained the principles of ruin. or. 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. and that the Union must bring to Ireland immeasurable disaster. and to contribute a sum to the general expenses of the United Kingdom. in 1793 was ^/^ millions. When Ireland. exhausted . 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. Each country was for the next twenty years to provide for its own expenditure and debt. ciers and patriots contended that the fair words were deceptive.224 IRISH NATIONALITY All Irish finan- of supporting their clergy.
loans were England at heavy war-rates and charged to the public debt of Ireland.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION raised in by calamity. that of all the taxes collected from them for the next fifty-three years. 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. and the approach of an appalling famine in 1817. to nearly 113 millions. and the taxes had risen far beyond the rise in England. and in these sixteen years the comparative wealth of Ireland had fallen. The result of their incapacity to pay the amount fixed at the Union was. was unable to pay. In 1817 the Irish debt had increased more than fourfold. Bankruptcy was avoided by uniting the two treasuries to form one national debt but the burden of Ireland remained as oppressive as before. one-third was spent in Ireland. tion The promised lighter taxa- ended in a near bankruptcy. The people sank yet deeper under their heavy load. there is no proof that there was any accuracy in the apportionment. Meanwhile the effect of the Union had been to depress all Irish industries and resources. and two-thirds were absorbed .
so that Ireland sent to England more than twice as much as was spent on her. at the gates of England. at a moment tries.226 IRISH NATIONALITY by England. 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. never satisfied. in 1852. While this heavy ransom was exacted Ireland was represented as a beggar. 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. while the contributions to the imperial exchequer were 210 millions. Gladstone began to carry out the second part of the Union scheme. Later. over and above the cost of Irish administration. The tribute from Ireland to England in the last ninety-three years. the indiscriminate taxation of the two counIn a few years he added two and a half millions to Irish taxation. from 1817 to 1870 the cost of government in Ireland was under 100 millions. devastated by famine. when the country. so as to give the full Irish revenue.
her taxable capacity was one-twentieth or While Great Britain paid less than shillings in two in surplus. who fixed or Ireland . the cost of administration was wasteful and lavish.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION by emigration to half its 227 former population. material progress was impossible. Under this drain of her wealth the poverty was intensified. she was paying one-eleventh of the tax revenue of the United Kingdom while less. In 1896 a Financial Commission reported that the Act of Union had laid on Ireland a burden ste was unable to bear. fixed on the high prices of the English scale. and one bad season was enough to produce wide distress. Ireland every pound of her taxable paid about ten shillings every pound of hers. and two a state of famine. The doom of an exhausting poverty was laid on Ireland by a rich and extravagant partner. and that. Meanwhile. and vastly more expensive than the cost of a government founded on domestic support and acceptable to the people. in spite of the Union pledge that the ability of Ireland to pay should always be taken into account. No relief was given.
" Juries were packed by . but the Irish omnipotent Castle machine broke their of the country. Dublin Castle.228 IRISH NATIONALITY the expenses for English purposes. no longer controlled by an parliament. 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. The Union intensified the alien temper of Irish government. 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. Some well-meaning governors went over to Ireland. and kept the books. We may remember a great the scandal caused lately by the phrase of Irish administrator that Ireland should be governed according to Irish ideas. called for the money. entrenched itself more firmly against the people. 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.
a delusion. 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. Englishmen could not understand Irish conditions. by 229 all whom Orangemen were acquitted. which would have been hailed with enthusiasm by an Irish . all Catholics condemned.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION the sheriffs with Protestants. one complained. Nothing but evil to Ireland followed from carrying her affairs to an English parliament. Session after session. a minority wholly without influence. The government refused the promised emancipation. political The economy they advocated for their own country had no relation to Ireland. refused tithe reform. as English officials had foretold in advocating the Union. and a snare". but jury-packing with safe men remained the invariable custom till 1906. measures supported by Irish members. and the credit of the law lowered for man both by a system which made the jurya tool and the prisoner a victim. The Irish members found themselves. It is strange that no honest man should have protested against such a use of his person and his creed.
borne with exemplary patience. and the wealth spent by absentees founded no indus- . Session after session measures vehemently resisted by the Irish members were forced on a reluctant nation by English majorities. cerned her life the government or the opposition. Nothing was done. Ireland was made the battle-cry and questions that conor death were important at Westminster as they served the exigencies of of English parties. When Ireland asked to be governed by the same laws as England. The reports of dead such as that which in 1845 reported that the sufferings of the Irish. All the dangers of the Union were increased by its effect in London. When she asked for any deviation from the English system. were rejected by the English. she was told the two countries were different and required different treatment. she was told that she must bow to the established laws and customs of Great Britain. drawing Irish landlords to Their rents followed them. were royal commissions fell greater than the people of any other country in Europe had to sustain. Instead of the impartial calm promised at the Union.230 IRISH NATIONALITY parliament.
as at the in 1826 to seventeen If the price of corn fell prodigiously end of the Napoleonic war.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION tries at 231 home. or at the passing England the cheaper bread was no help to the peasants. Landlords. and so They grew potatoes to feed themselves. it only doubled their labour to send out greater shipof the corn laws in loads of provisions for the charges due in England. summary powers of eviction were given at Westminster under English theories for use . wide experience in a charge to a jury in 1814. lands half cultivated. meant unreclaimed wastes. should build their tenants houses. from the value of eight million million on. pounds pounds of food stuffs in 1848. if potatoes rotted. and give them at least what they had not as yet. and neglected people. 'the comforts of an To pay rent and taxes in English sow. most of whom could never afford to eat it. famine swept over the country its fields of among rent corn and cattle. A land system brought about by confiscation. And when failed. said an indignant judge of and developed by absentees." the toilers raised stores of corn and England cattle for export there. On the other hand.
to collect in the corner of a grazier's farm for their little portion of blood. sorrel. 1817 and 1847. while in a year food-stuffs for seventeen million pounds were sent to England.232 IRISH NATIONALITY "and if anyone would defend in Ireland alone. From 1846 to 1848 over a million lay dead of hunger. cold. starvation. Five times between 1822 and 1837 there were famines of lesser degree: but two others. English soldiers guarded from the starving the fields of corn and the . were noted as among the half-dozen most terrible recorded in Europe and Asia during the century. and the appalling sight was seen of feeble women gliding across the country with their pitchers. actually trampling upon fertility and fatness. to gather chickweed. his farm it is here denominated rebellion. boiled up with a little oatmeal. and to sink under the fevers that followed vagrancy. and above all the broken hearts of homes." Families were flung on the bogs and mountain sides to live on wild turnips and nettles. men hunted from their In famine time the people to save themselves from death were occasionally compelled to use blood taken from live bullocks. and seaweed.
and skins of asses which had served the famishing for food. could have allowed the country to drift into such irretrievable ruin." 'the overstock tenantry. No no matter what its constitution. 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. O'Connell constantly protested that rather than the . New evictions on an enormous scale followed the famine." They died. The loans raised for expenditure on the Irish famine were charged by England on the Irish taxes for repayment. 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. herds of cattle were shipped. Irish parliament. It was a tribute for the landlords' pockets a rent which could never have been paid from the land they leased." on the other her "surplus people.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 233 waggons that carried it to the ports." for whom there was nothing to eat. the clearance of what was then English economics "the surplus population.
organisation was tried. Threshers. "Any body would serve if only it is in Ireland. men often starving the edge of the like. 'the Protestant synod would do.234 IRISH NATIONALITY Union he would have the old Protestant parliament. and an open society into which Protest- ants and Catholics alike were welcomed." cried a leading Catholic nationalist in ParnelPs time. to bring some order and equity into Peaceful relations of landlord and tenant. There were savage outbursts of and homeless. or Whiteboys who were in fact a vast trades union for the protection of the Irish peasantry. the way was flung open to public agitation. All methods were tried to reach the distant inattention of England. the Catholic Association for Emancipation founded by O'Connell in 1823. and to private law which could only wield the weapons of the outlaw. A Young Ireland move- . of citizens for justice. kept the peace in Ireland for five years." In the despair of Ireland. always on famine Levellers. 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.
formed. Protestant and Catholic.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. to recover Irish and to win self-government. and education for a united people of Irish and English. to spread a new literature. The suppression of O'Connell's peaceful movement by the government forced on violent counsels. sought to destroy sectarian divisions. those Fenian national militia to guard the shores of Ireland. land reform. and sought to win self-government by preparing for open war. checked agrarian crime. and ended in the rising of Smith O'Brien as the only means left him of calling attention to the state of the country. history. All else failing. A great constitutionalist and sincere Protestant. Isaac Butt. (1865) resisted vowed The Fenians outrage. a national physical force party was covered Ireland. . 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. for its name this organization went back to the dawn of Irish historic life to the Fiana.
following the advice of Lalor thirty years be- founded a Land League (1879) to be inevitably merged in the wider national issue. as there had never been in their history. By such contrasts of law in the two countries the Union made a deep ance between the islands. but behind all change lay the fixed purpose of Irish self-government. Michael Davitt. and the . after wave of agitation passed over the The manner of the national struggle changed. fore. sever- In these conflicts there was not now. 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. by men of English blood or of Gaelic. peaceful or violent. movement for after him Charles fourteen years Stewart Parnell fought in the same cause for (1877-1891) and died with victory almost in sight. The oppressed people were of one creed.236 IRISH NATIONALITY led a peaceful parliamentary Home Rule (1870-1877). a religious war on the part of Irishmen. and in the next fifty years (1835-1885) there were only three without coercion acts and crime acts. led by Protestant or Catholic. Wave island.
IRELAND UNDER THE UNION administration of the other. Protestant and had come to mean ejector and the armed Orangeman and the dis- armed peasant." there was battle for food. and forbidden to form popular . a sistence. religious incidents will crop up. Irish saints will know that the Irishman.or clergy-magistrate and the broken tenant before his too partial judgment-seat. had but the thought of the home of his fathers. and in the phrase of Irish saints. Though Ireland was driven to the "worst form of civil convulsion. 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. and the position of the millions of Irishmen who had been long shut out from any share in public affairs. In all cases where conflicting classes are divided into two creeds. steeped in his national history. 237 Catholic ejected. the agent. Another distinction must be noted. resurrection. but the Irish struggle was never a religious war. to embitter the situation. in his heart not his potato plot alone. or will be forced up." If 'the place of his we consider the state of the poor.
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. presence of an ancient tradition. Deep in their hearts lay the memory carried down by bards and historians of a nation whose law had been maintained people. At the first election in which the people resisted the right of landlords to dictate their vote (1826). to be almost formless. His methods would have been wholly impossible without a rare intelligence in the peasantry. 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. voluntary suppression of crime and outrage in these we may see not merely an the astonishing popular intelligence. monster country. and perpetually shifting in manner and in name.238 IRISH NATIONALITY conventions. 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. conciliation meetings organised without the slightest disorder.
with milk and potatoes distributed to them by their priests. kept their virtue was vow of total abstinence from whisky during the election. 50. at Tara this peaceful of 1690. As O'Connell drew towards Limerick and reached the Stone where the broken Treaty had been signed. and other places whose fame was in the heart of every Irishman there. 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 . all spirits renounced.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 the peace not broken once throughout the week. and tranquillity. 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.000 men camped in Ennis for a week. National hope and duty stirred the two millions who in the crusade of Father of temperance.
and gone with a vengeance. he would never have taken ment." Ireland rose again. off his The conflict was steeped in passion. "England has Ireland at her mercy. In his fight he held the people as no other man had done. used the whole force of the Land League founded by Davitt to relieve distress and fight for the tenants' rights." said one." said Englishmen. his clear.240 IRISH NATIONALITY Victorian age. and can deal with her as she pleases. but he used the land agitation to strengthen the National move- What meaning did it matter. who had possession of a few acres. seeing the 'The endless and disastrous emigration." That such people should carry their interminable discontent to some far place seemed to end the trouble. He made coat for anything less than to make a nation. "Now for the first time these six hundred years. But from this death Thirty years after He O'Connell Parnell took up his work. if there was no National spirit to save the country." Celts are gone. not even O'Connell. Irish are gone. "I leave Ireland. he said. In 1881 the government asked for an act giving them ." said The Times. 'The "like a corpse on the dissecting table.
not of her liberties. With the jath ere rejection of Gladstone's Home ule bills in 1886 of and 1893. but they never faltered in ie main purpose. and its con- mtional forms were less dear to Irishmen tan the freedom of which it should be the lardian.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION )wer to arrest without trial all 241 Irishmen ispected of illegal projects 1 coercion hitherto. to prove his nsent to a paid system of murder and outge. become the keeper of Irish Tannies. and with the (1891). suspended. a power beyond O'Connell had opposed coercion act in 1833 for nineteen nights. with thirtyur Irish members. A special commission found it to be a facsimile letter rgery. different Irish Parnell nationalists thrown into camps as to the eans to pursue. arnell in arliament had 1881 fought for thirty. among them Parnell himself.two nights. 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. I ission of rage ith reached its extreme height the publication in The Times (1888) of from Parnell. That remains as firm as .
There was yet another stirring of the na- darkest days the country had remained true to the old Irish spirit of tional idea. Ver- dicts of judicial bodies tended to prove that peasants were paying 60 per cent. By a series of Acts the people were assured of fair rents and security from eviction. while the whole Irish people. enabling the great mass of the tenants to buy their land by instalments. was brought to a dramatic and the soil of Ireland begins again to belong to her people. Thomas Davis. above the actual value of the land. The national movement had another side.IRISH NATIONALITY in the times of O'Connell. The English parliament took up the question under pressure of violent agitation in Ireland. the bringing back of the people to the land. and Parnell. the war of kings and parliaments and close. planters. Thus the land war of seven hundred years. In its . stand waiting to hear the end. laying aside agitations and controversies. But the great Act of 1903 intellect a work inspired by an Irishman's and heart brought the final solu- tion. John O'Leary. and rises once more to-day as the fixed unchanging demand.
famous bard Raftery. A-playing music To empty pockets. and given of the best in the famishing hovels: "The Lord prosper him. face to With my a wall. playing at a dance heard one ask. A copied piously the Louth schoolmaster . and love. Behold me now. 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. Feeble and tired.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION learning. he was welcomed in every farm. "Who is the musician?' and A the blind fiddler answered him: "I am Raftery the poet. and every one that has the heart set upon the learning. To the end of my road. Full of hope Going west upon my pilgrimage. With gentleness that has no misery. that fountain of the nation's life." Bards and harpers and dancers wandered among the cottages." still Unknown national scribes records. With eyes that have no light. as he trudged with his bag of books and the fees for the master sewn in the cuff of his coat. Guided by the light of my heart.
learned from him much knowledge of Irish literature and music. A vision is given to us through a government Ordnance Survey of the fire of zeal.D. The Ordnance Survey. (1809-1861) to study in Dublin. where they could meet learned men. working on his father's farm in great poverty. among the tillers and the ten- In 1817 a dying farmer in Kilkenny repeated several times to his sons his descent ants. Eugene O'Curry (1796-1862). and mighty . the first peripatetic university Ireland had seen since the wanderings of her ancient scholars. A mass of material was laid up by their help. in Kilkenny farmhouses he learned the old language and history of his race. At the same time another Irish boy. and use their hereditary knowledge. the hunger of knowledge. eldest never to forget This son took his brother. it. back to the wars king of of 1641 and behind that to a directing the Munster in 210 A. John O'Donovan.244 IRISH NATIONALITY tell all could the stars and constellations of Irish forms heaven under the old and names. gave to O'Donovan and O'Curry their opportunity. cairns. of the same old Munster stock. Passionate interest was shown by the people in the memorials of their ancient life giants' rings.
IRELAND UNDER THE UNION graves. It But for O'Donovan in government offices. the Annals of the Four Masters. was suddenly closed (1837). he made a Dictionary which his the old pride of Irishmen in their language. and gave to of his people this priceless Among recalls country (1856). O'Curry brought from humble . Once more the death of hope seemed to call out the pieties of the Irish scholar for his race. the men dismissed. In the blackest days perhaps of all Irish history O'Donovan took up Michael O'Clery's work of two hundred years before. no materials published. the twenty-nine thousand 245 mounds its or moats that have been counted. the passion of his inheritance of learning. added to his manuscript the mass of his own learning. a number of works that cannot be record their counted here. the fury of his intellectual zeal. the documents locked up pandering to the national spirit. and O'Curry what prodigies of work remained. 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.
a new world of Irish history. in the mine of these men's work. Sir Samuel Ferguson began in 1833 to give to readers of English the stories of Ireland. The drift of landlords to London had broken a national sympathy between them and the people. George Petrie collected Irish music through all the west.246 training IRISH NATIONALITY an incredible industry. over a thousand airs. dug They of ancient lore. which had been steadily growing through the eighteenth century. Reeves and Dr. and worked at Irish inscriptions and crosses and round towers. These men were nearly all Protestants. Todd. Lord Dunraven studied architecture. they were all patriots. . and is said to have visited every barony in Ireland and nearly every island on the coast. great stores and an amazing and delicate All modern historians have skill as a scribe. The failure of the hope was not the least of the evils of the Union. open to Anglo-Irish scholars such as 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.
and the Irish : taught to thank English child. wasted or destroyed by neglect in Ireland. under English pleted the ruin. the map of Ireland has been influence." great break in the Irish tradition that had been the dignity and contion A made the first solation of the peasantry. his history book mentioned Ireland twice only a place conquered by Henry II.. my native land." was struck out of the reading- book as pernicious. The quotation "This is my own. 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. and made into an English province by the Union." 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. . the schools com- In these. Archbishop Whately proposed to use the new national schools so as to tion systematic.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION Their sons no longer learned Irish.
is Through a School of Irish Learning Dublin becoming a national centre of true Irish scholarship. students learn the language. respect. it- The popular self Irish movement manifested in the Gaelic League.248 rolled IRISH NATIONALITY up. And through all creeds and . landlord and peasant. Stokes published his first Irish work Whitley the year after O'Curry's death. now cover all of whose branches Ireland. and has been Even out followed by a succession of laborious students. and may hope to be the leader of the world in this great branch of study. it has united Catholic and Protestant. 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. and Thomas music of their country. 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. intelligence. of this deep there came a revival. A new spirit of self- and public duty has followed the work of the Gaelic League. where earnest Davis. history.
so is complete and perfect liberty necessary to Ireland." In England we have both islands must be drawn seen the advance to that freer constitution. All alike have ended in a disordered finance and a flight of the people from the land. ment." Plantahundred years an English parliament." he said. growth of that popular life has been greatly . The story is unfinished. Industrial Development Societies. Each of them has been founded on the idea about a of English interests. to awaken again her trade and manufactures. that they may be drawn closer to one another. and much closer to a free constitution. Grattan foretold the failure of the Union and its cause. and life. "As Ireland.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION classes a desire has 249 quickened its men to serve and industrial country and by Agricultural Societies. 'is : necessary to Great Britain. and has brought new ideals. a Union parliations. The democracy has entered into larger The liberties. Once again we their in social stand at the close of another experiment of England in the government of Ireland. each has lasted "Tudor conquest.
and its most unswerving defenders. as nobler property. Ever since Irish members helped to carry the Reform Acts they have been on the side of liberty. The changes of the last century have deeply affected men's minds. She has pledged her credit land question and create a peasant to close the of Irish problems. What Chatham even than rights of foresaw has come A freedom-loving Ireland has been conThe broadening quering her conquerors in the best sense. peace. With any knowledge of Irish . true: the Irish in the English parliament have been powerful missionaries of democracy. They have been the most steadfast believers in constitutional law against privilege. At Westhave always stood for huminster they man rights. have tended to change In the last generation she has been forced to think more gravely her outlook to Ireland. the growing influence of men of good-will. ties of liber- cratic England as a free country. humanity. the wider experience classes into of imperial methods. and justice. proprietary.250 IRISH NATIONALITY faith advanced by the of Ireland. the demomovements that have brought new government.
a Protestant. is said to have promised the first thousand dollars to the Irish emancipation fund. 251 history the religious alarm. have given shelter to outlawed Irishmen flying from despair at home. ever since the first important meeting in New York to express American sympathy with Ireland was held in 1825. spirit of falling into the past. and in the labours of their rising prosperity. They have won their own pride of freedom. the last cry of The 5 of England. old notion of Ireland as the "property prejudice. 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. and have all formally proclaimed They since their beginning their judgment that Ireland should be allowed the right to shape her own government. A over mighty the great Colonies freedom too has passed and Dominions. of Irish origin. when President Jackson.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION must inevitably disappear. have supported the cause of Ireland for the last hundred years. The United States. and of its exploitation for the adis vantage of England.
the dying down of ancient fears. Against the stormy back-ground of those prodigious conflicts. and crowned with love and grati- tude the first martyr for Ireland of "the . English. even in England. on the people lips or in the hearts of men. Gaelic.IRISH NATIONALITY . terian. It is singular to reflect that on the side of foreign domination. and Presby- by great deeds. lofty figures emerge whom the people have exalted with the poetry of their souls. and liberties men of every creed and of every blood. those immeasurable sorrows. their The homes who were defending had their heroes. not a single man. self-dependence and discipline under the new conditions of land ownership and of county government. those thousand sites consecrated Catholic. Norman. through seven hundred years of invasion and occupation. Norman or of Kildare English. the decaying of old habits of dependence on military help from England. Anglican. warrior or statesman. has stood out as a hero to leave his name. and a promise of revival of the large statesmanship that adorned the days and of Grattan. We see too the breaking up of the old solid Unionist phalanx.
ground rises from the earth. Robert Emmett. so in joy and sorrow. of the long. of peace O'Connell. Bishop Bedell.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 1 253 foreigners' Earl soul of another Atlantic winds. Lord Edward Fitzgerald. Owen Roe and Hugh O'Neill. Thomas of Desmond. steeped in still The tradition human passion. in memory of their long memory of their national faith. but all men and men of lovers of a free nation. Parnell war. Red Hugh O'Donnell. It lives in the hearts of men who by the see in Ireland a made life sacred rare intensity of it. all a race will not fear to look back on Irish history. in fidelities. that shall bind together the whole nation of all that live on Irish soil. the hospitable roll In memory of their patriots. and of their story of honour and of suffering. the people of Ireland once more claim a government of their own in their native land. of that soil. and create for common obligation and a common An Irish nation of a double prosperity. the Desmond wailing in the Kildare riding from his tomb on the horse with the silver shoes. human over every inch of one of the richest . Davis. Sarsfield.
The natural union approaches of the Irish Nation the union of all her children that are born under of her fields. 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. fed by the fatness and nourished by the civilisation of her dead. The Irish tradition of national created by the has ever been a link of fellowship between classes. races. .
and of evidence. devoid of organisation or civilisation. THOMAS. that prevailed in mediaeval Ireland. 1903. until the destruction of the Tudor wars. 1843. 5 vols. DAVIS. and gives the causes of the Irish insurrection in 1641. Ferguson to give to the youth of his time an impression of the heroic character of their history. Ireland under the Tudors and the detailed account is given Stuarts. 1904. Hibernian Nights' Entertainments. Social History of Ancient Ireland. BAGWELL. P. The Making 1909. These small volumes of stories are interesting as the effort of Sir S. J. GREEN. 1868. P. This book gives a general survey of the old Irish civilisation. This small book is the best account of a very great Irishman. apart from political W. S. of Ireland and its Undoing (1200bring together An attempt is here made to some of it unused before. SIB SAMTJEL. A. The Patriot Parliament of 1689. A tjmall book which gives a vivid picture of a great Irish hero. and the war to 1650. FERGUSON. A It illusbrief but important study of this Parliament. 1885. RICHARD. of the English policy from 1509 to 1660. and of^the later Elizabethan wars. and 1893.SOME IRISH WRITERS ON IRISH HISTORY JOYCE. Life and Times of Aodh O'Neill. trates the Irish spirit of tolerance in 1689. 2 vols. 1600). TAYLOR. among a people regarded as inferior. JOHN. history. 1906. 1893. 255 . from the point of A view of the English settlement. of the activity of learning. MITCHELL. pagan and Christian. commerce and manufactures. 1910. Owen Roe O'Neill.
give in a convenient form the outlines of the history of the time. mostly by Irishmen. the latest complete history of Ireland. D'ALTON. Mr. Centuries of Irish History (1691-1870). A useful study is made here of the economic condition of Ireland from 1641. A. 5 vols. and a contribution of the utmost importance to Irish history. 4 E. . The study of the independent Parliament in Ireland is the most original work of this historian. There is a brief account of O'Connell. Lecky did not make any special study of the Catholic peasantry. BARRY. the Irish Parliament. This gives the best account of the struggle for Home Rule and the land agitation in the last half of the nineteenth century. Commercial Relations between England and the Union Parliament. JAMES BRYCE. 1907. Life of Charles Stewart Parnell.funder the legislation of the English Parliament. E.IRISH WRITERS MURRAY. R. 2 vols. H. A. LECKY. Ireland. 1898. E. 1892. W. and 1903. This is History of Ireland (1903-1910). History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century. O'BRIEN. 3 vols. Introduction Two by These essays.
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