Richard H.Ii-.tt












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

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

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

and of his sister's son Cuchulain. of They tell Nessa who began to reign in the year that Mark Antony and Cleopatra died. line of . The battles of the heroes on the Boyne and the fields of Louth. Heroic tales celebrate the prehistoric conas of giants by which the peoples fixed flicts the boundaries of their power. with gold yellow hair. show how the soldiers' march was the same from the days of Cuchulain to those of William of Orange. as she led her troops across the Boyne. the champion of the north. 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. and a spear flaming in her hand. 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. who went out to Conor Mac battle in from the vast entrenchments still seen Emain Macha near Armagh.10 IRISH NATIONALITY rich lands of Mg^th were the high-king's domain. her crimson cloak fastened at the breast with a gold pin.

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

and golden chains for the necks of kings. and that a race of goldsmiths . 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. 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. They had traditions men were drowned while bringing golden ore from Spain. and how the ranks of distinguished henceforth by the colour of their raiment.probably carried on the manufacture of bronze and gold on what is now the bog of Cullen. that mines of copper and silver were worked. and silver shields. Scotland. a dred years before our era. 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.12 IRISH NATIONALITY and brooches of gold and silver. and of the discovery of dyes. and Wales.

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

essential life of the nation came to be expressed in the will and power of its master. defended.14 IRISH NATIONALITY an organisation held together. The Gaelic idea was a wholly different one. the adminison the other hand was divided into the widest possible range of self-governing communities. by a central ruler. while the sovereign was supreme in the of a state as domain of force and maintenance of order. 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. tration While the ^ode was one for the whole race. and the like were secondlearning. and the same pride of literature. for their law needed no such sanction. Such an instinct the heroes. the . who shared the same same glorious memory of same unquestioned law. in a willing federation. history The ary matters which might be left to the people. The law with them was the law of the people. which were bound together The forces of union spiritual. They never lost their trust in it. whatever lay outside that domain art.

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

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

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

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

and thus guished wide. system of meterical rules for poets shaped with infinite skill. 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. 19 So long as the famheld the land. Professors of every school were free of the island. The Irish nation and in a had a pride in its language beyond any people in Europe outside of the Greeks and Romans. 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. 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 . it was the warrior's duty to protect them as they moved from court to court. these were linked together in a national system.THE GAELS IN IRELAND tribe land in perpetuity. in a literary language of great richness and of the utmost musical beauty.

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

thereon themselves as one race. In the time of the fore. of the clan was the learned race. in serious preparation a multitude of maxims were drawn up to direct the conduct of the people. down to the seventeenth century. and in the collections of topographical legends dealing with hundreds of places. 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. Their unity is symbolised by the great genealogical compilations in which all the Gaels are traced to one ancestry. 1 still gathered to "meetings on hills' to exercise their law and hear their learned men. all The learned man man of the Gaelic the higher matters of language By and learning.THE GAELS IN IRELAND and another were spent for the next. the Irish looked Roman Empire. of equity and history. the people . obedient to one law. and even in the darkest times of their history. united in one and belonging to one country. where every nook and corner of the culture supposed to be of interest to the whole of Ireland. So deeply was their importance felt that the Irish kept the tradition diligently.

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

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

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

" said breaking an English judge. Rights inheritance. fixity of tenure. Irish recognised by wondering Englishmen "They observe and keep such laws and statutes which they make upon hills law was and stable. nor any rising of the poor against lords. 25 interested in maintaining the law of the peo- the protection of the common folk. in spite were of the changes that gradually covered the land with fenced estates. for example. were accurately preThe authority and continuity of served." The gence tribal system had another benefit the diffusion of a high intelli- for Irishmen among the whole people. nor its landmarks ever submerged or destroyed.THE GAELS IN IRELAND ple. 'The Irish are more fearin their country firm v ful to offend the law than the English or any other nation whatsoever. without them for any favour or reward. 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. A varied . due solemnities of election. security of improvement. Irish land laws. did actually preserve through all the centuries popular rights the land.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The Irish. 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." answered the archbishop.38 IRISH NATIONALITY however sad they were. and thus shut the door on the worst form the of human cruelty. Now Ireland too . too. that by the Irish system certain forms of hostility were absolutely shut out. but now a people is come into country that is accustomed and knows to how make martyrs. We must remember. at St. for example. Albans. England where the monks paved their church with the querns of the townsfolk to compel them to bring their corn to the abbey mill. the broad tolerance of the church in Ireland never allowed any persecution for religion's sake. "have never been accustomed to stretch forth their hands against the saints of this God. Again. so that even his skull on a high stone in the churchyard brought mirth to sorrowful souls. 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.

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

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

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

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.42 IRISH NATIONALITY see nity where space and time were not. or of liberty. The story of the Irish mission shows how they answered to such a call. The boat in wrought of three hides which they fared was and a half. of learning. And while traffic all continental roads were from Irish ports still interupted. therefore. in a boat without oars from Hibernia. At the fall of the Empire. Ireland therefore not only preserved her . 'They came/ :< JSlfred tells us in his chronicle. The Teutonic invaders stopped at the Irish Sea. whence they had stolen away because for the love of God they would be on pilgrimage they recked not where. its civili- Ireland did not share in the ruin of sation." 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 they took with them enough meat for seven nights. passed safely to Gaul over the ocean routes.

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

learning. he talked with mariners sailing south from the Orkneys. and consecrated as king the Irish Aidan. 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. to the Tay. and spread Irish monasteries from Strathspey to the Dee. who told .44 IRISH NATIONALITY Against this world of war Strathclyde. ancestor of the kings of Scotland and England. and from the Dee piety. and religion. 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. For thirty-four years Columcille ruled as abbot in lona. On the western shores about Cantyre he restored the Scot settlement from Ire- land which was later to give its name to Scotland. the high leader of the Celtic world. He watched the wooden ships with great sails that crossed from shore to shore. and others coming north from the Loire with their tuns of wine. He established friendship with the Britons of Strathclyde.

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

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

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

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

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



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

as the national colour for their dress.


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

had come to them from




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




own bosom"




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

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



others in Europe for
of its scholars,


roll of its saints



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

Rome, and he was required

to re-

nounce them.

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

He vehemently


Ireland, he

was answered, was a

small island in a far corner of the earth:



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

Saxons or the Huns.


battle that

was thus opened was the
in Irish history.

beginning of a

new epoch

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

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

and the The Welsh

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



synod at Whitby in that time Christianity had been

carried over

England by the

Irish mission;

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





banner of purple and gold car-

ried before them, to hear the






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






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


in those

two remote

islands of the world."






plicity," said the English leader,

had 'that

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



Irish customs, Irish

and the



of the

monks from

to enter in.

Lindisfarne, discord began Slowly and with sorrow the

Irish in the course of sixty years


their traditional

customs and adopted the

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




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

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


gracious peace which

had bound the

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

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

France and the Netherlands;



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

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

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

Rome, the






Their monasteries formed rest-

lem, settled

through France and Europe itself was too narrow for

their ardour,

and they journeyed to Jerusain Carthage, and sailed to the

discovery of Iceland.


church of any land



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



tongue; in a

monastery founded
at St. Gall

by them

in Yorkshire

was trained the

English poet in the

new England;

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

and even devised new German words to

express the

new ideas of

Christian civilisation;

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

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

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

successors set

them at the head

of the chief

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


of other races.




people to

had not hardship, nor given them


interest in barbarians.



THE IRISH MISSION in 595 55 was sent on the English mission he turned back with loathing. 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. with the Irish. of one apostle The death of another. neither hunger nor weariness nor the outlaws of the woods. when this powerful influence was set aside English mission work died down for a thousand years or so. Their succession never ceased. But the Irish missionaries feared nothing. the English felt a special call to preach among those "from whom the English race had its origin. and finally took a year for his journey." and their chief mission was to their own stock in Frisia. The Irish missionaries continued withyeai\s. Finally. he also took a year be found in Rome on his way. among Teutonic peoples politics . all out a break for over six hundred Instead of the Irish zeal for the welfare of peoples whatsoever. till in 668 Theodore was fetched from Syria. In 664 no one could to send to Canterbury. enveloped by the ardour of their fiery enthusiasm.

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

.D. The Scandinavians had sailed out on 'the gulf's enormous warriors bounds abyss. The Teutonic peoples. calling to 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. About 800 A. had carried their victories over the Roman Empire to the edge of the seas that guarded Ireland. of But fresh hordes were gathering in the north. where before their eyes the vanishing of the earth were hidden in gloom. triumphant con- querors of the land. But the times of peace were ended. the Irish suffered their first FOR invasion. conquerors of the ocean.CHAPTER IV SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND 800-1014 a thousand years no foreign host had settled in Erin. shouting as 57 he goes.

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

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

He Armagh and set up at its shrine the worship of Thor. defended. no kingdom was extinguished. made one supreme fixed his capital at effort at conquest. A Nor- wegian leader. the necklace of glass beads. Through two hundred years of war no Irish royal house was destroyed. The long war was one of "confused noise . the staff. The Danes. every tribe fought for own There could be no subjection clans except of the Irish by their extermination. 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. 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 hem. who held long and king of secure possession of England. and Normandy. great part of Scotland. and the great skin pouch of charms. Thorgils. But in the end Thorgils was taken by the Meath and executed. Every foot of land its was soil. and no national supremacy of the Danes replaced the national supremacy of the Irish.60 IRISH NATIONALITY of the tribal power the system for defence barred way of invaders.

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

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

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

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

equip and man ten ships. of Danish and Norse The spirit . 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. each of which had to confederated chiefs. Thorgils.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND traders. Every province seems to have had its fleet. and become leaders troops in war. the Irish never ceased from war with the sea-kings. From the time high-kings of Tara one after another led the perpetual contest to hold Ireland and to possess Dublin." and in 950 of "Munster of the swift ships. We read oars sails and in :< 900 of Irishmen along the Cork shores in whose resolve is quiet Munster of the prosperity. learned their lesson so well that they were able to undertake the re-conquest of their country." great riches. and traded in their own ports for treasures from oversea. to assemble at the summons for the united war-fleet. in fact. :< On of the other hand. only but their method of raising a navy by dividing the coast into districts. The Irish. 65 They learned to build the new ships invented by the Scandinavians where both were used." high beauty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Such problems have been solved in other lands nation. wrote the chronicle of the Danish wars from ness of his of Cellachan to last. and a devout man. It is in this effort that we immense vitality of the Gaelic system the power of its its tradition. and the spirit of people. pouring in by powerful kings at the heads of armies. Eye- witnesses of that great battle. in Ireland it was the work of the whole community see the of tribes. After Brian's death two learned set over the men were a lay- government all of Ireland. 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." The victory of Clontarf was by a renascence of learning. the Anchorite of Ireland. Here was the work of the next hundred and fifty years. the Chief Poet. and sang the glories and of Brian Boru in the greatlife and the majesty of his death. poets and historians. A first . 'The land was governed like a free state and not like a mon- celebrated archy by them. man.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL questions of a 81 new order how to fuse two wholly different peoples into one community.

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



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


died in 1056

"slow the bright eyes of his


head," ran

He made

for his pupils syn-

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

remain the most important



Celtic literature in the world.

There was already the beginning

of a uni-






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


strong burh of Tar a has died,"

they said, "while

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

three thousand scholars,


for its teachers,




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



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

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

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



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

visitations of the





journeyed in the old Irish

fashion on foot, one of

them followed by a

cow on whose milk he

lived, all poor,

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

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

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

and four archbishoprics representing the four provinces. The Danish

was marked

moreover, were brought into this union,

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



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

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

was the

consecrated in Dublin.


carried to that

battleground of the peoples all the charity,

and asceticism

of the Irish saint: feed-

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

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

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

Kings and
Irish synods,

chiefs sat with the clergy in the


in the state too there


signs of a true union of the peoples.




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

The growing union

of Ireland," strengthening their house with

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

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

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



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

and held at Athboy


Meath an

assembly of the




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



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

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

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

that a

other at that meeting."



said that


O'Conor's procession
miles in length.

when he held the

last of

the national festivals at Telltown was several

The whole

of Ireland is covered with the

traces of this great national revival.

We may



lonely fields,

along river-valleys, in innumerable ruins of churches

built of stone chiselled as finely as

man's hand

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

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


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

in the


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

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



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




national church, in the revival of the glories

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


folk of jubilant patriotism.



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

of Irishmen


Irish land, the

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

Patrick the saint.

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

denly sprang up of the adventures of Finn




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

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


forest in Ireland,

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

Finn the people

set St. Patrick

keeper of

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

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

"that the Saxons should not dwell in Ireland,

by consent


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

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


for after the twelve thrones of

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

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





in the old Gaelic tradition, so



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

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


twice as


as the




huge wolf-dogs, men "who were not

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


of Ireland



graves, of




died for honour, of


war and hunting,

its silver bridles

and cups

of yellow gold, its

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


dereliction of prayer,

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


the national service;


for the future



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

to us."


too, Patrick, hast

taught us



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

the ruined


of Tara, great

Usnech, Rath-Crua-



Connacht, the graves of mighty

champions, Pagan hero and Christian saint
sat together to

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





to all craftsmen of Ireland




it all

"and to them that happiness." He mounted

to the high glen to see the Fiana raise their

warning signal of heroic chase and hunting.

He saw

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

bosom the head
'By me

of the


hunter and warrior:

to thee," said


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



out of torment,

if it

be good in the sight of

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



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

made the keeper of the nation's

the guardian of

whole tradition.
for the

Such legends show how enthusiasm

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


They show

that the social

order in Ireland after the Danish settlements

was the triumph


an Irish and not a Danish


of the Irish,

democratic, embracing every emotion

of the whole people, gentle or simple,


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

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

with Dublin as a centre of the

united races,

Armagh a

national university,

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

The new union

of Ireland

was being

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

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

Henry coast from the Forth to the Pyrenees. his Hall at Westminster. with Welsh followers.THE NORMAN INVASION of Clontarf in 1014. 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. led the invasion that began in 1169. The trade was well worth the venture. They were men trained to war. needed Ireland to round off his dominions II. from his ports of the Loire and the Garonne over the Gaulish sea. and the . A greater empire-maker. If the Irish fought hard to defend the lands they held in civil tenure. and Flemings from Pembroke. But they owed no small part of their military successes in Ireland to a policy of craft. lord of a vast sea- and give him command of the traffic from his English ports across the Irish Sea. the churches had no great strength. with armour and weapons un- known to the Irish. holding both sides of the Channel. Norman and French barons. and planned the conquest of an island so desirable.

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

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. and their own free life had continued as of old. and that the chief renounced the tribal system." for the seizing of a few towns and forts could not carry the subjection of all the independent chiefdoms. He had no power to hand the land of the tribe over to any one. services and demand return the feudal common in Normandy ideas. He could admit no 'conquest. Henry's presence there gave him no lordship: and the independent .THE NORMAN INVASION up for 99 him in Dublin demanded a general oath of allegiance. No Irish chief. or in England. a landlord in the English sense. and handed over the land to the king. could have even understood these nor of He knew nothing of the feudal system. with some churchmen and half-a-dozen Irish chiefs. The Normans took the oath. however. Whatever Henry's theory might be. 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 the violence. 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. One royal object. 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. The oath. . however. which according to modern research seem to have been mere forgeries. fiction this legal became the basis of the royal claims. was made good. impossible of fulfilment. that they were to rule as fully and freely as before.100 IRISH NATIONALITY of the Irish people temper after their was not likely. and in recognition of the peace to give to Henry a formal tribute which implied no dominion. to be cowed of war. yielded under misunderstanding. justification of every later act of Another fraud was added by the proclamation of papal bulls. was used to confer on the king a technical legal right to Ireland. Danish experience. The false display at Dublin was a deception both to the king and to the Irish. claimed under false pretences.

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

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

The settlers were no longer left to lapse as isolated groups into Irish life. nor the supply of its . it with temporal wealth and differ- The English attack was thus wholly ent from that of the Danes: it was guided a fixed purpose. fed from the sea. a more compact body of soldiers. and dealing out anathemas and death in the service of a state of which rewarded dominion. but were linked together as a compact garrison under the Castle government.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. and a better filled treasury than any other rulers in Europe. tress. 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. Dublin. The vigilance of Westkings. and held minster never ceased. and directed by kings by who had a more absolute power.

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

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

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

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

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

Every chief. But civil wars maintained by a foreign . eked out their military force by craft.THE NORMAN INVASION den them. they created and encouraged called civil wars. barons. all confused kings. 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. they on the Danes who had become mingled with the Irish to come out from them and resume their Danish nationality. surrounded by dangers. 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. as the only means of being allowed protection of law and freedom to trade. The Dublin officials. Whatever was the bur- den of military taxation no tribe dared to disarm any more than one of the European countries to-day. meanwhile. To end. became exceedtribes. The ingly Irish wars. apostles Civil wars within any country exhaust themselves and come to a natural of contention. therefore. avert the dangers of friendship and peace between races in Ireland they became missionaries of disorder. entangled in interminable strife.

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

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

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

It lay in the rich national civilisation which the Irish genius had built up. old social order that this great influence fell .THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL wore the forbidden Irish 113 dress. to agitation and lawyers. The cause lay far deeper. in its widespread culture. in the centre of what should have been pure English land. to the of the Roses. 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. and in its humanities. in its broad sympathies. This Irish revival has been attributed to a number of causes to an invasion of Edward v Bruce in 1315. to the over-education of Irish people in Oxford. and joined in their national festivities and ceremonies and songs. strong in its courageous democracy. in its freedom. to the vice of the Irish. talked Irish with the other townsfolk. and making merry with their forbidden Irish clients. to the Wars want of energy of DubCastle. Almost to the very gates of Dublin. in Irish dress. to the lin " degeneracy of the Normans. the merchants went riding Irish fashion.

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

The English policy made English the language of traitors to their people. 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. to which the youths of Irish also in time flocked. in Both races sent students and professors to every university recognised of deep knowlthe most learned men of Italy edge among and France. so that the two races learned together. .THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL 115 peoples used translations into Irish made by Gaelic scholars from the fashionable Latin books of the Continent. physicians. Not one of the hereditary houses of historians. poets. A kind of national education Europe men was being worked chiefdoms allowed out. 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. seems to have failed: we find them at work in the mountains of Donegal. As Irish was the common language. its Not one of the Irish schools to perish. and to these ancient schools the settlers in the towns added others of their own. lawyers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They had no country. would have had support anti-national minority no strength if left alone to face the growing toleration in Ireland. England nor Ireland could be counted such. In from England it found its sole and through its aid Ireland was security flung back into disorder." of the laws of any way to good offices their God or of the king. They knew how to darken ignorance and inflame prejudice in London against their fellow-countrymen in Ireland savage nature of the people. apostles of own virtue." know them save through The having no knowledge nor the of these slanderers.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.

he possessed the from the English apart If parliament. like Henry II. quibbles served for the king's "title to the land". smite Scotland into obedience. there was another great day of deception in Dublin. Henry asked the title of King of Ireland instead of Lord. was not concerned to give "civilisation" to Ireland. and commanded its fighting-men and its wealth.CHAPTER VIII THE TAKING OF THE LAND 1520-1625 HENRY VIII. 125 ' . and offered to the chiefs in return full security for their lands. he could beat down rebellion in England. 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". He was concerned to take the land. soil in his own right. His reasons were the same. conquer France.

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. pattern.126 IRISH NATIONALITY of subtle preparation his promises For months were explicit. there was no land occupied by any "disobedient" people which was not really the king's quest. For since. in fact. the And fiscation. And while they were by title. property by ancient inheritance or by conHenry might do as he would with his own. Royal concessions too must depend on how much revenue could be extracted . by the council's assurance to the king on the day the title was passed. the king and council were making arrangements together to render void both sides of the bargain. of that which was later called to vote the Union. 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. 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. all before and beyond will.

their leaders taken from them. here little." Parliament was dismissed for thirteen years. and division put among themselves till so that they join not together." "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. at the king's will alone. If there had been any truth or consideration for Ireland . as he said." Henry. 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. would serve Politic practices. in fact. had exactly fulfilled the project of mystification he proposed twenty years before dled.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." said such time as the strength of the Irish should be diminished. Henry. but first by secret and a little and there a so that.

with an indignant people. till the actual chief was exiled or yielded the land to the king's ownership. But the whole scheme was rooted and grounded in falsehood. 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.128 IRISH NATIONALITY compact some hope of commight have opened. Chiefs could be ensnared one by one in misleading contracts." 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. practically void. and Ireland would be kept subject in a way . burning. admit an illegal who refused to Then came a march of soldiers over the district. in the royal promise and conciliation A false claimant could be put on a territory and supported by English soldiers in a civil war." of the inhabitants were to be exiled. shooting 'the rebels. No chief. true or false. had power to give people's land. away the and the king was face to face bargain. '' peasants out on the There was also the way of The whole conquest. hanging.

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

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

at inconceivable cost of human woe. or a the tradition of the tribal on owners. At a prodigious price. Torturers and soldiers. No quarter was allowed. 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. 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. women. any one them of might be a landholder. Chiefs were made to ''draw and carry. so that " no man all might know his own grandfather'' and Irishmen be confounded in the same . no faith kept. the purging of the begun. Poets and historians were slaughtered and their books and genealogies burned. who stood together to hold of near their land. and the right and law to be on two thousand years of ordered possession. hangmen There was no of protection for any soul. the old. and no truce given." to abase them before the tribes. believing justice their side. fiction.THE TAKING OF THE LAND was inconceivable in Irish law. and was carrier in any case a rebel appointed to death. scholars. the sick.

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

THE TAKING OF THE LAND 133 found a few water-cresses flocking as to a feast. young Silken Thomas. last and would have led Ireland in a way of peace. a place where there was no pause for consolation nor ap- pearance of joy on face. and brought about through equal prosperity . practised in the customs of both countries. 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. experiment in which a great ruler." One great house after another was swept out of Irish life. captured by a were clapped all six of false pledge of safety. His five brothers and his son. Thus according to the forecast English king's was "the strength of the Irish diminished and their captains taken from them. and hanged corpses at first them into the Tower The six outraged Tyburn marked the close of the in London. In 1529 the great his son earl of Kildare died of a broken heart in the Tower at the news that had been betrayed by a forged letter into a rising. sharing the blood of the two races.

" ' : the Irish said of this patriot Ormond. was "to be bridled. 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. 'God called him to His mercy. as far as it. saw the chief leaders of his house hanged or The third line of the . The earl of Desmond. 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." fast in the restitution of His son was held London to be brought up. too. Anglo-Norman leaders was laid low.134 IRISH NATIONALITY and order a lasting harmony between the Three hundred English and Irish people." It was said his house was in no mood to hand over the "rule and obedience of south Ireland to the king. after twenty-five years of alternate prison and war. Orrnond. No inquiry was made into that crime. education could do an Englishman. "before he could see that day after which doubtless he longed and looked the house of Kildare.

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

of Irish greatest under the leading of the statesmen and generals earl of Hugh O'Neill earl of Tyrone. the land of a true democracy where men held the faith of a people owning their soil. and two races drawing self-governing nation. when Elizabeth and James I had completed his work. 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. and the soldier- patriot Aedh Ruadh O'Donnell Tirconnell. 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). Henry VIII had found Ireland a land of Irish civilisation and law. and themselves guardians of their national life. the centre of the noblest mission. together to form a new A hundred years later. all the great . the home of arts and industries.136 for IRISH NATIONALITY forty years. instructed in their traditions.work that the continent ever knew. with a people living by tribal tenure.

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

For warmth and comfort they were clothed in Irish dress. detached from of their own people.138 IRISH NATIONALITY :4 the army of all such dangerous people. others were sent out to save their a "rebel. 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. only distinguished by red crosses on back and breast. The military difficulties of the Irish." 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- . There were murderers who had been brought up from childhood in an English house." Soldiers from England and from Berwick were brought over at double the pay of the Irish. Not leader the poorest herdsman of the mountains O'Neill and touched the English gold. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

English. collected materials ' in Ireland for ten years. Latin. Carthy Riabskilled in old and modern Irish. the task was taken up by Colgan. catechisms. "I am wasting and perishing with grief." in More fortunate than scholars press. At Hugh's death. 'to see how insensibly nigher and nigher draws the catastrophe which must inflict mortal wounds upon our country. remained the home of historical learning in the broad national sense." Ireland chief herself. .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." wrote Hugh Bourke to Luke Wadding. Ireland it and used thay had a printingto send out Irish gram- mars. however. in 1635. Hugh Mac an-Bhaird of Donegal undertook to compile the * A eta Sanctorum. of and Patrick Fleming Louth gathered records in Europe. for which a lay/ brother. Michael O'Clerv. glossaries. Finghin Mac hach. born at Culdaff on the shore of Inishowen (f 1658). a Munster chief. and Spanish. The work of the fathers was in darkness and sorrow. poems.

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

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

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

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

in Lei trim. Clare. those that manu- were lost and those that have escaped.152 IRISH NATIONALITY the scribes writing annals of their clans and genealogies. when Irishmen gathered as for a hurling-match and went out to one of their old places of assembly. could be set up among the Irish. 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"). 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. Tipperary. it was only in 1723 that Dermot O' Conor translated it into English and printed it in Dublin. Kildare. there to settle their own matters No printing-press by their ancient law. Limerick. dangers of amazing how amid the the time scribes should be found It is to re-write and re-edit the mass of scripts. all over the country. Kilkenny. perhaps. in which : 1 . they were driven back on oral tradition and laborious copying by the pen. The poets were patriotism. to be carried.

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

But with the exile of the Irish with the steady ruin of "the schools. Born of an untold suffering. Irish bards and harpers were as much at home in the Highlands and in the Isles as in Ireland.154 relations. and . a burst of melody swept brilliant metres. IRISH NATIONALITY The Scottish Gaels and the Irish were united as of old in the new literature. and the poems of the Irish bards were as popular there as in Munster. 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. and turned to the people. understood. they found her fettered and weeping." poets began to throw aside the old intricate metres and the old words no longer chiefs. scores and scores of new and perhaps the richest attempt to convey music in words ever made by man. In that unfathomed experience. they tell how seeking after Erin over all obstacles. 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.

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

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

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

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

159 Ireland. 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. bred out of its original deception other deceptions deeper blacker than the first. the king's revenues and profits. The social order was now neither feudal nor tribal. without custom. again. No . 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. nor anything known before. and after 1692 no longer sufficed even for Irish expenses. Other methods had been set up. The 1 title of "King of Ireland' which Henry VIII had proclaimed in his own right with such high hopes.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT of refuge to fly to in danger. or law behind them. king of England tried a second time. so many centuries. the rule of the English parliament their own benefit. English planters and Irish toilers. Thus past history was as it were wiped out. for a safe place that. tradition. Everything in Ireland was to be new. as in Henry's scheme. had begun. There were two new classes.

where the scum of Great Britain. and no new charities." observed a Gael of that day. natural leaders of the country new men. Ancient patri- mony had greed. The idea of a separate and profit had disappeared and had come the rule and profit of . or but little as yet. the the English government permitted none the Irish. of the fear of God. broken men or men flying from the "hoping to be without fear of man's justice in a land where there was law. and parliaments were being subdued to the rising commercial royal power instead of it classes. with much turmoil and confusion an England where kings were yielding to parliaments. 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. among England too was being made new. 'From the Anglo-Irish no man of special sanctity as yet is known to have sprung.160 old ties IRISH NATIONALITY bound them. each fighting for his among own hand. hastened nothing. cieties fallen." Ireland was left absolutely without There were no guides or representatives.

with the right of hold- his privy council.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT men. 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. 161 the parliament of England. This new rule marked the first revolution in the English government of Ireland which had happened since Henry II sat in his Dublin palace. and traders in general. 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. and of her nobleecclesiastics. By the ancient constitution assured since English laws by compacts and grants were first was and brought into that country. Now was seen the full evil of government from over-sea. Ireland united to the Crown of England as a free distinct kingdom. 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. for there were no Irish representatives in the English Houses.

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

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

women.000 destitute men. The memory of the black curse Irish first of Cromwell lives among the people. and children from twelve years were sold into the . in the death than half the population. 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. The speculators got their lands. in fact." the English said to one another. their of Irishmen's lands ferocity. discountenanced by parliament. He remains in Ireland as the great exemplar of inhuman cruelties. standing amid these scenes of woe with praises to God for such manifest evidence of His inspiration. "had nothing but the human form to show that they were men. By order of parliament (1653) over 20. purporting to give Irish news. these were the acts conduct of a war of distinguished by which the knew government by an English parliament." Letters were forged and printed in England. 'Wild Irishmen.164 of IRISH NATIONALITY them to their lands. Parliament ended. outcast women and children lay on the wayside devoured by wolves and birds of prey.

Irishman might contrast the "civilisation' 1 of the English Irish civil if and the 'barbarism' 1 of the we talk. (1690). of liberality. 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. the Protestant planters sent out their threats of insurrection. . Slave-dealers were let loose over the country. good manners. and the Bristol merchants did With what bitter irony an good business. of of hospitality. but if the question there be of civility. will virtues dwelt among Kings were restored to carry out the of parliament.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT service of English planters in Virginia 165 and the Carolinas. and charity towards all. these the Irish. is no doubt that the Anglo-Irish born in cities have had more opportunity to acquire civility than the Old Irish. 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. about civility and a manner of contract of selling and buying.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

humiliations. should sometimes It had diverge towards public utility. pensions. .000 to over 89. government annuities. parliament A and tyrannical could not even pretend to urge on the government that its measures. a queen for misconduct.000. ily increasing Some 600.176 IRISH NATIONALITY to starve. useful politi- cians covered by other names. public duty. Ministers heaped They They had no And the English knew up to it well. popular resistance. They had no could lead no call nation behind them. The planters' parliament looked on in barren helplessness.000 was at last yearly sent over to England for absentees. 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. Denmark banished dinian trailing host of a Sara ambassador under a Englishmen pensions steadfrom 30. German of relations of the Hanoverians. and the like. as a patriot said." abandoned all power save that of increasing servile >( the sorrows of the people. A double corruption was thus proceeding. false title.

lawyers. ment had the Irish any voice. In courts where the law was administered by Protestant landlords and their agents. without a word for the Irish in the law. and the rest "full of might and injustice.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. grand juries. three- ment. The old race meanwhile." as said. The fourths of the dwellers in Ireland. conducted trials with fairness and humanity: "for about ten miles from Clonmel both sides . as magistrates. 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. were brought under consideration of the rulers only as objects of some new rigour or severity. bailiffs." In neither parliaprotected their crimes. an Irish poem them who would not even write the Irish all of names. 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.

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

and not an occupation. The Irish people suffered a long agony unmatched. and bravery than had ever been exiled from any country in the world: there was not a country in Europe. rulers in land. 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. 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. in European history. England on her part had thrown into the sea from her dominion a greater wealth of talent. Some astute individuals heaped up an ignoble wealth. but there was no profit to Ireland. English clergy were sent over to fill all the higher posts of the church. to Engment.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT 179 work. had land management. where Irishmen were . industry. And in the end there was no advantage to any party. or to the Empire. their their for- subservience which debarred of them from public duty. and thus doubly impoverished them. Commercial men in England inspired the policy. perhaps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and the high If of great Irishmen. recalling the days schools when their land was filled with poethospitality and festivals. a song of hope arose to their that the race should come own again. had had was eminent in Dublin though shut out from every post. and and to ment to win for the Irish some recognition rights of citizens before the law and in their some own land. Countless poets. shun ye drunkenness and oaths and cursing. studied as a physician in France. the voice of Irish charity was not wanting :< Having the fear of God. of a Cavan family whose estates been swept from them in 1641 and 1691. Curry. poured out in verse the infinite sorrow of the Gaels. 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 1641.190 for IRISH NATIONALITY Dr. be ye full of almsgiving and friendliness. and forgetting nothing do ye according to the commandments. and do not say till death 'God damn' from . meanwhile. These learned patriots combined in a move- them the history of their fathers.

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. but old tradition lived on the lips of the peasants. and first came into note for helping chief his employer's son. The spirit of the north rang out in a multitude of bards. with an explanation of a Greek passage. fresh from a French college. professional wits among them Eoghan Ruadh O'Sullivan from Kerry." Riotous laughter broke out in some. Their common Irish peasants . a working man who had laboured with plough and spade. who died in 1784. feeling. in fact. 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. imagi- In the poorest nation. in a fine recitahovels there were men skilled language showed the even in literary influence.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 191 your mouths. for the Stuarts had hold on Ireland. they were all. Among exiles in Connacht manuscripts perished. and dignity. and tion. who recited in their cabins the love-songs and religious poems of long centuries past.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lucas. The pamphlet war which followed where Citizens 198 9 . who alone had free were of necessity the chief actors in the recorded story. life. and lesser passions the love of country. Dr. who in 1741 had begun to stir for reform and freedom. can only be understood by the astonishing history of the next fifty years. 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. when the spirit of a nation rose again fell triumphant. had stirred not only the English settlers but the native Irish. before The Protestant entry into public gentry. silent and unrecorded as it was. But in the awakening country they had to reckon with a risingp ower in the Catholic Irish. Idolised by the Irish people.

They save very rarely. If their numbers were few their ability was great.AN IRISH PARLIAMENT 199 men argued not only on free trade and government. put off their ardour with their old religion. they were braver in their not. had and disheartened Catholic aristocracy. said some. its Irish civilisation. This astonishing orator and parliamentarian invented a patriotic opposition (1753). chiefly by way of the law. on its Irish barbarism. of patriotic the middle class. parliament too. 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. A great sea in a :< storm' men said of him. but on Ireland itself. on its old and new races. and behind them lay that vast mass of their own people whose outlook than the small blood they shared. Terror was immediately . 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. said others spread the idea of a all its common history of Ireland in which In inhabitants were concerned. out.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

word on every



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


lords' assembly, there

was no Catholic



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

of votes for lands in Ireland, did constantly

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




in the

Commons were

accustomed to vote as the Castle might

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

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

The number





said, "is as well ascertained as

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

tience be overcome.

might with time and paAn Irish body, on Irish

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

facts, of Ireland, like strangers in anotherland.

The good- will

of the people

abounded; even

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

how they had been

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

and Ireland prepared

to tax herself out of


The gentry were losing the fears

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

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

and knowledge."




cruelties of the penal laws,

and prepared the

union of
It of


in a

all religions



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




increasing tillage,

and opening inland navigation.

Time was

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

But the very
fears in

success of parliament


England, and alarm in the autocratic
of Ireland.

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


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

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


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

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

reduced to


than a third of that of Liver-

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

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

an Ireland where



had been
killed could

not compete

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

liament over Irish navigation and commerce.

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

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

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

The advantages which England
roy to Pitt in 1792.

possessed and should maintain were explained by the vice-

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






Have you


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


of her parliament for the last century,

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

her account she does not pay, or a single ship





for the protection of the British


merce than

she was at the bottom of the

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


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







nobler idea had arisen throughout Ireland.



"whether we

now," Grattan said, be a Protestant settlement

or an Irish nation


for so long as


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


religious bodies in Ireland,

they said, would
of their





policy mainly

by the public opinion




avert this danger they

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


holding that property under the

brutal in speech. he had known the use of every evil power that still remained as a legacy from the past. 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. and ready at every instant to crush the rising of the conquered." Finally the pressing question of reform. and violent in authority. passionately demanded by Protestant and Catholic for fifteen years.214 IRISH NATIONALITY tenure of British power and supremacy. By working on the ignorance of the cabinet in London and on the alarms and corruptions . was resisted by the whole might of the Castle. secret in machinations. "If. Unchecked by criticism. :e as her govern- ment became more open and more culty of attentive diffi- to the feelings of the Irish nation." wrote the lord-lieutenant to Pitt. the management had increased. rewarded by England with the title Earl of Clare.

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

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

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

the "pacification" of the government set no limits to atrocities. 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. 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. government that the law was their oppressor. the perpetual races. its gentry.218 IRISH NATIONALITY protection when their arms were given up. and the cry of the tortured rose unceasingly day and night. 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. of the nations in equal . The treat- ment of later years has not yet wiped out of fear that memory that horror. The government cannot be excused by that same plea of fear. were without hope. The suppression of the rebellion burned into the Irish heart the belief that the lish Engwas their implacable enemy. Clare no doubt held the docEnglish governors before him.

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

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

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

from the first tragedy of Robert Emmet's abortive rising in 1803. intermediate power being destroyed.IRISH NATIONALITY had warned." Peel in his ignorance thought Irishmen had . 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.. proclaimed the sition of first undying oppoIrishmen to a Union that from the all lacked moral sanction. Ministers assured Ireland of less expenditure and lighter taxation: with vast . by generations of strife. life.. was now confronted with the Irish people. all An English parliament. The Times perceived in 'the Celtic twilight" a "slovenly old barbarism. nor the capital of Empire." Promises were lavished to commend the Union. of its national spirit. a settled and uni- form system of guilt.< a general congood qualities except for federacy in crime . Of that people it knew nothing. A hundred years of ceaseless agitation. accompanied by horrible and monstrous perjuries such as could not be found in any civilised country.

Pitt hoped. and the poor might hope for relief from tithes and the need . in fact. whether members or in for Ireland England." for placed "a natural by union with the Empire she would have fourteen to three in favour of her Protestant establishment. however. and would. so that Protestant ascendency would be for ever assured. would find in the pure and serene air of the English legislature impartial kindness. lead to such a union of hearts that presently it would not matter. 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". a rise in the value of land. and a stream of English capital and industry. The Catholics. in were elected in Ireland Ireland would also be situation. instead of three to one against it as happened in the country itself.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 223 commerce and manufactures. 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.

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

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

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. 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. was sinking under the loss of its corn trade through the English law. when the country. in 1852. and wasting away . from 1817 to 1870 the cost of government in Ireland was under 100 millions. and to prevent the debiting to Ireland of charges for which she was not really liable. Later. While this heavy ransom was exacted Ireland was represented as a beggar. while the contributions to the imperial exchequer were 210 millions. so that Ireland sent to England more than twice as much as was spent on her. Gladstone began to carry out the second part of the Union scheme. so as to give the full Irish revenue. at the gates of England. over and above the cost of Irish administration.226 IRISH NATIONALITY by England. at a moment tries. never satisfied. devastated by famine.

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

but the Irish omnipotent Castle machine broke their of the country. 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. 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. and kept the books. The Union intensified the alien temper of Irish government. We may remember a great the scandal caused lately by the phrase of Irish administrator that Ireland should be governed according to Irish ideas. 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. entrenched itself more firmly against the people. called for the money." Juries were packed by . Dublin Castle.228 IRISH NATIONALITY the expenses for English purposes. Arms were supplied free from Dublin to the disarmed. Some well-meaning governors went over to Ireland.

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

Session after session measures vehemently resisted by the Irish members were forced on a reluctant nation by English majorities.230 IRISH NATIONALITY parliament. and the wealth spent by absentees founded no indus- . borne with exemplary patience. Nothing was done. When she asked for any deviation from the English system. drawing Irish landlords to Their rents followed them. cerned her life the government or the opposition. were rejected by the English. she was told that she must bow to the established laws and customs of Great Britain. were royal commissions fell greater than the people of any other country in Europe had to sustain. 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. 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. Instead of the impartial calm promised at the Union. she was told the two countries were different and required different treatment.

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

Five times between 1822 and 1837 there were famines of lesser degree: but two others. while in a year food-stuffs for seventeen million pounds were sent to England. were noted as among the half-dozen most terrible recorded in Europe and Asia during the century." Families were flung on the bogs and mountain sides to live on wild turnips and nettles. and the appalling sight was seen of feeble women gliding across the country with their pitchers. and to sink under the fevers that followed vagrancy. cold. English soldiers guarded from the starving the fields of corn and the . sorrel. to collect in the corner of a grazier's farm for their little portion of blood. actually trampling upon fertility and fatness. starvation. 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 above all the broken hearts of homes. 1817 and 1847. to gather chickweed. boiled up with a little oatmeal.232 IRISH NATIONALITY "and if anyone would defend in Ireland alone. From 1846 to 1848 over a million lay dead of hunger. his farm it is here denominated rebellion. and seaweed.

O'Connell constantly protested that rather than the . The loans raised for expenditure on the Irish famine were charged by England on the Irish taxes for repayment. could have allowed the country to drift into such irretrievable ruin. 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." 'the overstock tenantry. and skins of asses which had served the famishing for food." on the other her "surplus people. herds of cattle were shipped. It was a tribute for the landlords' pockets a rent which could never have been paid from the land they leased." They died. New evictions on an enormous scale followed the famine." for whom there was nothing to eat. the clearance of what was then English economics "the surplus population. Irish parliament.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 233 waggons that carried it to the ports. 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. No no matter what its constitution.

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

IRELAND UNDER THE UNION 235 ment (1842-1848) under honoured names such as Thomas Davis and John Mitchel and Gavan Duffy and Smith O'Brien and others with them. history. to spread a new literature. formed. All else failing. 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. A great constitutionalist and sincere Protestant. Isaac Butt. . land reform. and sought to win self-government by preparing for open war. for its name this organization went back to the dawn of Irish historic life to the Fiana. The suppression of O'Connell's peaceful movement by the government forced on violent counsels. sought to destroy sectarian divisions. (1865) resisted vowed The Fenians outrage. those Fenian national militia to guard the shores of Ireland. to recover Irish and to win self-government. Protestant and Catholic. 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. and education for a united people of Irish and English.

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

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

to be almost formless. His methods would have been wholly impossible without a rare intelligence in the peasantry. a but . Deep in their hearts lay the memory carried down by bards and historians of a nation whose law had been maintained people.238 IRISH NATIONALITY conventions. 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. conciliation meetings organised without the slightest disorder. voluntary suppression of crime and outrage in these we may see not merely an the astonishing popular intelligence. we must watch with amazement the upspringing under O'Connell of the old idea of national self-government. presence of an ancient tradition. and perpetually shifting in manner and in name. O'ConnelPs associations had sense of the old Irish tradition. 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. At the first election in which the people resisted the right of landlords to dictate their vote (1826). monster country.

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. all spirits renounced. at Tara this peaceful of 1690. National hope and duty stirred the two millions who in the crusade of Father of temperance. 50. and other places whose fame was in the heart of every Irishman there. and the spirit of the nation was shown by a gravity and order which allowed not a single outrage. with milk and potatoes distributed to them by their priests.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION procession miles in 239 length streamed into Waterford in military array and unbroken They allowed no rioting. As O'Connell drew towards Limerick and reached the Stone where the broken Treaty had been signed. and tranquillity. Mathew took the vow In the whole of Irish history no time brought such calamity to Ireland as the . kept their virtue was vow of total abstinence from whisky during the election. A like public shown in the Clare election two years later (1828) when 30. and the peace not broken once throughout the week.000 men camped in Ennis for a week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

my native land. his history book mentioned Ireland twice only a place conquered by Henry II." 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. and made into an English province by the Union.. and the Irish : taught to thank English child. 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. Archbishop Whately proposed to use the new national schools so as to tion systematic. under English pleted the ruin. The quotation "This is my own." was struck out of the reading- book as pernicious. traditions.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION Their sons no longer learned Irish. 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. wasted or destroyed by neglect in Ireland.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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