HOME UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
OF THE PACIFIC
ALICE STOPFORD GREEN
AUTHOR OF " TOWN
THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
OF IRELAND," ETC.
NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY LONDON WILLIAMS AND NORGATE
HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY
IRELAND AND EUROPE
XII AN IRISH PARLIAMENT
XIII IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
SOME IRISH WRITERS ON IRISH HISTORY
IX THE NATIONAL FAITH
OF THE IRISH
RULE OF THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT
RISE OF A
FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
VI THE NORMAN INVASION
VII THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
VIII THE TAKING OF THE LAND
two countries was widely
separated. Neither history nor geography allows this theory.
was across the narrow
waters of the Channel and the
THE GAELS IN IRELAND
lies the last outpost of Europe the vast flood of the Atlantic Ocean. whose precipitous cliffs rising sheer above the water stand as bulwarks
thrown up against the immeasurable sea. Great Britain lay turned to the east. against unlike all other islands it is circled round
But Ireland had another
aspect. her harbours opened to the sunrising. It is commonly supposed that the fortunes of the island and its civilisation must by
nature hang on those of England. her natural
people of Ireland crossed a wider ocean-track. and developed
apart their civilisations.8
Atlantic. coming according to ancient Irish legends across the Gaulish sea.
history. We do not know when the Gaels
entered Ireland. and long before history begins her sailors
perils of the
Gaulish sea. and an old Irish
tract gives the definite Gaelic
beginning in the fourth century B. her outlook
was over the ocean. from the stupendous stone forts and earthen en-
and mounThe name of Erin recalls the ancient inhabitants.
drove the earlier peoples. One
invasion followed another. Celts
and English. the Iberians. who lived on under the new rulers.
peoples of Britain. The Gaels gave their language and
trenchments that guarded
tain passes. they lived apart.C. from northern France to the shores of the
Biscay. more in number than their conquerors. came
to her from the opposite lowland coasts.
not the same.
towards their sheds and their All met in the middle of full cattle-fields. Each of the prov-
as Ulster. The
. 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. its lakes and rivers for fishing.C. mountain strongholds. There the
high-king held his court. its hill pastures. at the Hill of Usnech.
who swept over the provinces of the empire and reached to the great Roman Wall never crossed the Irish Sea.D. Leinster. The Roman Empire which overran
it. where the Stone of Division still stands.
traditions of the older
and penetrated the new
Over a thousand years of undisturbed life lay before the Gaels. and its share of the rich central plain." the island. to 800 A.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
many customs and
race lingered on
people. from about 300 B.
stretch of seaboard
grouping of the tribes there emerged a division of the island into districts made up of many peoples.
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. as she led her troops
across the Boyne. and of his sister's son Cuchulain. the champion of the north. with
gold yellow hair.
. her crimson cloak fastened at the breast with a gold pin.
Nessa who began to reign in the year that Mark Antony and Cleopatra died. 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. who went out to
from the vast entrenchments
Emain Macha near Armagh. show how the soldiers'
march was the same from the days of Cuchulain to those of William of Orange.
Heroic tales celebrate the prehistoric conas of giants by which the peoples fixed
the boundaries of their power. and a spear flaming in her hand. The battles of the heroes on the Boyne and the fields of Louth.10
rich lands of
The Dublin Museum
relics of that heroic time. the trappings of
war-chariots and horses. had sent his knights and warriors through all Ireland to seek out the
a rival of Cuchulain. and of the Wicklow artificer who made cups
greatest stones for his fortress. to the
Munster. arms and ornaments. the
rivers. of lowlands cleared of wood. for some two thousand years before Christ:
they had legends of lakes springing forth in due order. as they boasted. with a shadowy line of monarchs reaching back. where son of Dare.
the making of roads
and causeways.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
the whole island shared
in the great conflict.
Connacht kings pressed eastward from Usnech to Tara. They told of the smelting of gold near the Liffey about 1500 B.
Gaelic conquerors had entered on a wealthy land. on a shelf of rock over two thousand feet above the sea
extreme point of Curoi
near Tralee. of invasions and battles and plagues. and
fixed there the centre of Irish
life. Irish chroniclers told of a
vast antiquity. the first digging of wells: of the making of forts.C.
They had traditions
drowned while bringing golden ore from Spain. and golden chains for the necks of kings. Scotland. and how the ranks of
distinguished henceforth by the colour of their raiment. and of the discovery of dyes. and Wales. and of torques of gold from oversea. that
scanty remnant of what have been lost or melted down. Later researches have in fact shown that
commerce went back some
it was the most famous gold-producing country of the west.
. and of a
of foreign trade
lady's hair all ablaze with Alpine gold. purple and blue and green. and that a race of goldsmiths .probably carried on the manufacture of bronze and gold on what is now the bog of Cullen. their weight is five hundred
and seventy ounces against a weight of tewnty ounces in the British Museum from England.12
and brooches of gold and silver. and silver shields. that mines of copper and silver were worked. 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.
THE GAELS IN IRELAND
settlers. and their legends told of stretches of corn so great that deer
could shelter in them from the hounds.
The Roman Empire stamped on
of its subject peoples.
of its govern-
idea of a state.
and on the Teutonic
was not true
of the Gaels.
that of mediaeval Europe.
who used iron tools instead
could clear forests and open plains for
Agriculture was their pride.
fruitful. The tribal system has been much derided
a savage people.
to the Irish the
lies in their
interest of the
an enduring state or nation. and the
nobles and queens drove chariots along their far-reaching lines. or at least of a race unable to advance beyond political infancy into a real national existence. while multitudes of reapers
were at work cutting the heads of the grain with the little sickles which we may still see
which were bound together The forces of union
spiritual. essential life of the nation came to be
expressed in the will and power of its master. governed and policed. and the same pride of literature. The Gaelic idea was a wholly different one. history
ary matters which might be left to the people.
The law with them was
the law of the people. while the sovereign was supreme in the
of a state as
^ode was one for the whole race.
were not material but
cohesion but in
of the people consisted not in its military
joint spiritual inheritance
in the union of those tradition.14
an organisation held together.
They never lost their trust in it. Such an instinct
heroes. the adminison the other hand was divided into
the widest possible range of self-governing
communities. defended. the
shared the same
same glorious memory of same unquestioned law. by a central ruler.
in a willing federation.
whatever lay outside that domain art. Hence they never exalted a central authority. for their
law needed no such sanction. and the like were secondlearning.
but which was never accepted in Ireland.
privileges of the
various chiefs. which
kept exact pedigrees of the families who had a right to share in the ground for tillage or in
the mountain pasturage. were handed down from
generation to generation. captains.
The if he acted against law. Irish history can only be understood by realising this intense
sure basis on the broad
self-government of the people. historians.
chief. The tribe
to the greater tribe above
. and the chief had no power over the soil save as the elected
trustee of the people.
poets.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
of national life
was neither rude nor con-
the Irish tribal
government contained as
human virtue and happiness as the feudal scheme which became later the
political creed of England. nor need we despise it because it was opposed to the theory of the middle ages
and so on. In all these matters no external power could interfere. land belonged to the whole community. Each tribe was supreme within
and were entertained for seven days
and nights .16
but certain fixed dues. the youths and maidens and the proud foolish folk in the chambers round the doors. "the fort of poets pillar-post.
on which ye are. seven hundred and sixty feet long and ninety feet wide.
The same right of self-government extended through the whole hierarchy of states up to the Ardri or high-king at the head. while outside was for young men and maidens
because their mirth used to entertain them. even Ireland.kings and ollaves together round the high-king.
Huge earthen banks
the great Hall. and the demesne of the Ardri." There the Ardri was crowned at the At Tara. Tar a. The
"hearth of Tara" was the centre of
Gaelic states. with seven doors
." the people of all Ireland
gathered at the beginning of each high-king's reign. warriors and reavers. namely. and learned men. together.
in war. 'This then is my fostermother. and the familiar knee of this
ancient sage. such as aid in roadmaking." said the
the island in which ye are.
THE GAELS IN IRELAND
and as many more to west. the
of the race. in
supreme lord and arbitrator among them.
rested on the tradition of the people
power and on
the consent of the tribes.
and the druids.
recited in every tribal
by The same law was assembly. which represented as
of the people.
no new law. with girdles and shoes of gold.
Separate and independent
spontaneous creation as the
tribes were. the bards
national tradition. The same
and genealogies bound the
so loose. teachers and He was the representative
shield. where and chiefs sat each under his own kings
crimson cloaks with gold brooches. and spears with golden sockets and rivets of red bronze. was surrounded by his councillors the law-men or brehons.
he could demand no service
outside the law.
which seemed from a body of strength and a universal code of
law. all accepted the
one code which
had been fashioned
in the course of ages
the genius of the people.
the ancients related their
and Ireland's chief scholars heard and corrected them by the best tradition.Victory and blessings attend you.
were schools of lawyers to expound the law. noble
history." ing of the historic glories of their past.
of the tales pictures
but the chief among them were later endowed with a settled share of the
of the people. their common history was the concern of
the whole people. "for such inwas meet that we should gather
And at the recittogether.18
together as having a single heritage of heroic The preservation of descent and fame."
preserve this national tradition a learned class was carefully trained."
Erin said. the whole congregation arose up together
"for in their eyes it was an augmenting of the spirit and an enlargement of the mind.
to recite the traditions of the race.
. and the rights
schools of historians to preserve the genealogies. the boundaries of lands.
wide. The Irish nation
had a pride in its language beyond any people in Europe outside of the Greeks and Romans.
for centuries long lines of distin-
men added fame
to their country
and drew to
schools students from far
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. they were bound to train up ily in each generation that one of the household
who was most
to carry on learning.
was the warrior's duty to protect them as they moved from court to court. Professors of every school were free of the island.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
tribe land in perpetuity.
system of meterical rules for poets shaped with infinite skill. An ancient
placed sentinels along the
North to turn back every poet
Gap of the who sought to
So long as the famheld the land. While each tribe had its schools. in a literary language of great richness and of the utmost musical beauty. these were
linked together in a national system.
There was no stagnation where competition
extended over the whole island. display. said king the laws.
. religion. even rustic
years between one festival
assemblies which took place in every province and every petty state were the guarantees
sport." It is in this exaltation of learning in the
we must look
for the real
significance of Irish history
the idea of a
society loosely held in a political sense. The king.
periodical exhibitions of everything the people esteemed
craft. art. who
are of equal value with himself. commerce. could by his mere word decide
greatest of the teachers
of "Professors of all
were given the dignity Learned the Gaels.
against every class of persons except those of the two orders of religion and learning.20
leave the country and to bring on their way with honour every one who sought to enter in.
in their degrees
ranked with kings and
and high-professors sat by the highand shared his honours. kingtradition. but
in a spiritual union.
Their unity is symbolised by the great genealogical compilations in which all the Gaels are traced to one ancestry. united in one
and belonging to one country. thereon themselves as one
race. and in the collections of topographical legends dealing with hundreds of places. of equity and history.
to the seventeenth century. of the clan was the learned
race. the people
. and even
in the darkest times of their history.
In the time of the
fore. So deeply was their importance felt that the Irish kept the tradition diligently.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
and another were spent
for the next. The tribal boundaries were limits to the material power of a chief and
to that only:
they were no barriers to the
national thought or union. the Irish looked
in serious preparation
a multitude of
drawn up to direct the conduct of the people.
of the Gaelic
the higher matters of language By and learning.
obedient to one law. where every nook and corner of the
supposed to be of interest to the whole of Ireland.
"meetings on hills' to exercise their law and hear their learned men.
Common action was
matters. but by the forests and marshes.
to raid borders.
unity of their land within the circuit of the
The Three Waves
smote upon the shore with a foreboding roar when danger threatened the island. The weaknesses of the Irish system are The numerous small territories apparent. lakes and
rivers in flood that lay over a country
Candidates for the chiefdom had to show
their fitness. to snatch land or booty.
and "a young
exploit. and to suffer some expense of trained soldiers.
plundering raids in the
orders were multiplied.
government was weakened
or for joint action in military
evils were genuine. Cleena's wave called to Munster at an inlet near Cork. they said. but they have been exaggerated.
noble figure told the
of Erin. not mainly by human contentions.IRISH NATIONALITY
of Ireland were one.
in of offence.
lord's first spoil'
was a necessary
There were wild
Tonn Rury at Dundrum and Tonn Tuaithe at the mouth of the Bann sounded Tx) the men of Ulster.
The professional war bands of Fiana that hired themselves out
from time to time were controlled and recognised by law. judges. but Ireland was in fact no prominent example of mediseval anarchy or dis-
Local feuds were no greater than order.
evidence moreover shows us a country of
. and householders who died peacefully in
natural accident. It has been
supposed that in the passion of tribal disputes
perished by murder and battleand the life of every generation slaughter.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
with Atlantic clouds. or from some list of sudden
battle. Irish genealogies prove on the contrary that the generations must be counted at from thirty-three
to thirty-six years: the tale of kings.
Riots and forays there
and which and cities
through the middle ages. poets. and had their special organisation and rites and rules of war. was by violence shortened to less than the
average of thirty years. outruns the
an honoured old age. those which afflicted England down to the Nor-
man Conquest and
it. among a martial race and strong men of hot passions.
or growing commerce.24
widening cornfields. and schools covered the land.
where the fighting men knew every ground. he had first to exterminate the entire people. where wealth was gathered. and had an intense local
them a power of defence which made conquest by the foreigner impossible. they were only put in force just so far as the king had power to compel men to obey. In mediaeval states. The same division into adpatriotism. where art and
learning swept like a passion over the people.
every community and every individual was
. cant that Irish chiefs who
And it is signifimade great wars
hired professional soldiers from oversea.
All Irish history proved that the
division of the land into separate military
districts. Such industries
and virtues do not
flourish in regions
given over to savage strife. gave
ministrative districts gave also a singular authority to law. and that
very far short of the nominal
boundaries of his kingdom. If the disorders of the Irish system have
ever excellent were the central codes.
nor any rising of the poor against
lords. did actually preserve through all the centuries popular rights
the land. nor its landmarks ever submerged or destroyed.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
ple. security of improvement. Irish land laws. in spite
of the changes that gradually covered the
land with fenced estates. were accurately preThe authority and continuity of served.
." said breaking an English judge. refusal to allow great men to seize forests for their chase:
fixity of rates for
law no Peasant Revolt
ever arose. without them for any favour or reward."
system had another benefit
the diffusion of a high
the whole people.
recognised by wondering Englishmen "They observe and keep such laws and statutes which they make upon hills
solemnities of election. 'The Irish are more fearin their country firm
ful to offend the
law than the English or any
other nation whatsoever.
interested in maintaining the law of the peo-
the protection of the common folk. for example. fixity of tenure.
doctors. where men lived in close association.
judges. skilled herds. innkeepers.
"raths. In some sequestered
places in Ireland
trace the settle-
ments made by Irish communities.
perhaps some early form of map. craftsmen. that there was made in early time a "road-book "or itinerary.
women making their circuit.
Every countryside affairs must of
needs possess a society rich in all the activities that go to make up a full community chiefs. merchants. dyers and weavers and tanners. raisers and trainers of horses.
soldiers. and boats carried travellers along rivers and lakes.
traders. They built no towns nor needed any in the modern
centres." thickly gathered together.
and craftsmen. messengers from tribe to
to public assemblies.
dealers in hides
poets. spread over tilized the general life.
Roads and paths great and small were maintained according to law. tillers of the ground.26
scholars. of Ireland. huntsmen.
side by side with eager readiness and great success in grasping the latest progress in arts or
generosity of their learning. It was to these country settlements that the Irish
richness of their civilisation. In things political
social the Irish
showed a conserv-
atism that no intercourse could shake.
where equilibrium was maintained by opposites.
. and the incredible number of
The over Europe with generous ardour. and how Christianity spread over the land like a flood.THE GAELS IN IRELAND
of opportunity in thickly congre-
gated country societies gave to Ireland its wide culture. explain
learning broadened. and the passion
of their patriotism.
jostle against the most primitive crudeness.
Ireland was a land then as
contrasts. and the rapid intercourse of all these centres one with another. not by a perpetual tending towards the middle course. multitudinous centres of discussion scattered
over the island. 'Vested interests are shameless" was one of their old observations.
In Ireland the old survived beside the new. and Ireland until the thirteenth century and very largely until the seventeenth century. escaped or survived the successive steam rollings that reduced Europe
to nearly one
of a true
and conscious guardians
tradition. The balance of opposites gave colour and force to their civilisation.
and as the new came by free assimilation old and new did not conflict.
In the Irish system we
may see the shaping
a society in which
ever-broadening masses of the people are made intelligent sharers in the national life.
nobility of that experiment.
throughout a record of the It would be a
mechanical theory of
human life which
to the people of Ireland the praise of a true patriotism or the essential spirit of a nation.
control. and the
an empire. as free as the men of Norway and Sweden. They showed that to
share in the trade.
democratic and national.
IRELAND AND EUROPE
not necessary to be under its police
While the neighbouring peoples rea civilisation imposed by violence and maintained by compulsion. The Irish remained outside the Empire.
Roman conquest. the culture. 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 thus to shape
for their people
liberal culture. the Irish were
free themselves to choose those things
were suited to their circumstances and character.
perhaps gold and copper. to the eastern and the western coasts. wool.
religion. all kinds of skins and furs.
trade was mainly important to the Irish for the other wealth that Gaul had to give
travelled as merchants. tourists. scholars
Trading-ships carried the wine of
Italy and later of Provence. The sailors and pilots
Ireland sent out great dogs trained for war. hides. and probably brought tin to mix with Irish copper. in great tuns in which three men could stand upright. to the Shannon and the harbours of Down.
Irish themselves served as
traffic. learning. and great leathern sails stout hulls steered by the born sailors of
the Breton coasts or the lands of the Loire
rejected. for from the first century Irish ports were well known to merchants of the Empire. sailing across the
Gaulish sea in wooden ships built to confront Atlantic gales.30
important to observe what
tribal Ireland chose. with high poops standing from the water like castles.
Of art the Irish craftsmen took all that Gaul
There was frequent trade.
IRELAND AND EUROPE
the great decorated trumpets of bronze used in the Loire country. but permanent and
stantinople. the late-Celtic designs Goldfor ornaments of bronze and gold. Patrick
or so before the mission of St. their gold and enamel work has never been surpassed. rings.
The Learning was as freely imported. the fine
enamelling in colours.
smiths travelled oversea to bring back bracelets. not transitory or local. and in writing and illumination they went beyond the imperial artists of Con-
Their schools throughout the country handed on a great traditional art. By the same road from Marseilles Christianity must have come a hundred years
time." They borrowed afterwards interlaced ornament for metal work and illuminated manuscripts. national.
half of its
figures are yellow gold. In
such arts they outdid their teachers.
of pearl. the others are white
bronze. it is the
was wrought. Latin alphabet came over at a very early
and knowledge of Greek as a living tongue from Marseilles and the schools of Narbonne.
Christianity carrying the traditions and rites and apocalypses of the East. they never adopted anything of Roman methods of government in church or state. and by 700 A. and farms were freely
will. He came to a land where there were already men of erudition and
this culture. therefore. religion. learning.
who scoffed at his lack of The tribes of Ireland.
these estates seem
. The Ro-
was opposed to whole habit of thought and genius.
But while the
from the Empire
drew to themselves
art. It was from Gaul that St. free from
barbarian invasions as they had been free irom Roman armies. They made. As early as the second
century Irishmen had learned from Gaulish landowners to divide land into estates marked
out with pillar-stones which could be bought and sold. no change in their tribal administration. spread over the whole land. the country was scored with fences.
national. developed a culture
vhich was not surpassed in the
even in Italy. Patrick afterwards sailed for his mission to Ireland. like the art.
manner "rath" or earthern entrenchment. used various sources. and shaped their story with the independence of learning. the language.IRELAND AND EUROPE
to have been administered according to the common law of the tribe. where students of law and history and poetry grouped their huts round the dwelling of a famous teacher.
No parallel can be found in any other country
to the writing
of national epics in their
gathered their scholars within the
were revered also as
guardians of Irish history and law.
by the Druids
went on as before. and not to have
followed the methods of
throughout the Empire. canon law. and taught them Latin. Monastic and lay schools went on side by side.
ecclesiastics. and the
poor among them begged their bread in
the neighbourhood. as heirs together of the national tradition and The most venerable saints.
In the same way the
foreign learning brought into Ireland was taught through the tribal system of schools. and divinity. who wrote in Irish the national tales as competent scribes
and not mere copyists
men who knew all the
In the same way European culture was not allowed to suppress
the national language. Columcille were sung.34
pagan form many centuries after the country had become Christian.
lost. and every bardic school had its circle of thatched
where the scholars spent years in study and meditation. in free federal union like that of
every chief's house had such a fence. clerics as well as laymen preserved the native tongue in worship
hymns. as at Clonmacnois where the
praises of St. there is but one Latin inscription among over two hundred inscribed grave slabs
that have been saved from the
art. and in its famous cemetery. some in Irish.
kings and scholars and pilgrims of all Ireland came to lie. which was beguiling. the whole protected by a great rampart of
earth. adapted to monastic church gathered a group of huts with a common refectory.
Like the learning and the
custom. Monastic "families" which branched off from the first house were
grouped under the name of the original founder. fair the tale".
The plan was
territory given to the ated from monastery was not exempted from the com-
kings and judges of the tribe.IRELAND AND EUROPE
the clans. Never was a church so truly national. and the monks in some cases had to pay the tribal dues for the land and
send out fighting men for the hosting.
words used by the common people were steeped in its imagery. so entirely was the spiritual
commingled with the national."
As no land could be wholly alienthe tribe.
of the Gael. Colman one day saw
reaping the wheat sorrowfully. told that St. the
Ireland before the highking: he prayed. In their dedications
the Irish took no names of foreign saints. it was the day of the celebration of Telltown fair. out of the house which under tribal law had the right
of succession. Bridgit
There was scarcely
between the divine country and the earthly. but
own holy men.
was ruled by abbots
elected. and angels came to him at once from heaven and performed three races
yearly assembly of
for the toiling
were fitted to the tribal communities and to their unworldly and spiritual worship.
which won the veneration of who came into touch with the
On mountain cliffs. in people of Ireland. the water-side.36
which thus sprang out of the heart of a people and penetrated every part
of their national
spiritual fervour. lie ruins of their churches and oratories.
shone with a radiant
The prayers and hymns that survive from the early church are inspired by an exalted devotion. by Islands. the little buildings preserved for centuries some ancient tradition of apostolic
and in their narrow and austere dimensions. and their intimate solemnity. other lamentation."
. a profound and
original piety. An old song tells of a saint building.
Hand on a
stone. on secluded valleys. with a wet cloak about him
to set a rock.
small in size though made by masons could fit and dovetail into one another
great stones from ten to seventeen feet in length.
where goods landed from the Shannon for
country offered a prize.IRELAND AND EUROPE
Piety did not always vanquish the passions of a turbulent age. and yet he was a Christian. But it is evident that disturbances were not
universal or continuous. shows the large peace
that must have prevailed on their territories.
of learning carried out in the monastic
Gaiety and wit were prized. Such things have been known in other lands.
on a trading centre like Clonmacnois. a learned class of laymen.
In some hot temporal
controversy. a monastic
some passionate religious rath' may have fallen
use as a
fort. Oral tradition told for many centuries of a certain merry-
long ago. There were local
battles. could make all men he ever saw laugh
Culture was as frequent and honourable in the Irish chief or warrior as in the cleric. The national tradition of monastic and lay
schools preserved to Erin what was lost in the rest of Europe. the sanctuary given in them for hundreds of years to innumerable scholars not of Ireland alone.
for example. "have never been accustomed
hands against the
God. the broad tolerance of the church in Ireland
never allowed any persecution for religion's sake. that by the Irish system certain forms of hostility were
absolutely shut out.
. 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
as. at St. and thus shut the door on the worst
of human cruelty. Albans.38
however sad they were. too. "The Irish. but now a people is come into country that is accustomed and knows
martyrs." answered the archbishop. We must remember. At the invasion Normans a Norman bishop mocked
the archbishop of Cashel at the imperfection of a church like the Irish which could
boast of no martyr. Again. so that even his skull on a high stone in the churchyard
brought mirth to sorrowful souls. England where the monks paved their church with the querns of the townsfolk to compel them to
bring their corn to the abbey mill.
as in other lands. and it never was degraded from first to last by a war of
religion. and religion. the servant.
and through their own forms of social they had made this culture universal among the people.IRELAND AND EUROPE
free tribes of Ireland
had therefore by
instinct of democratic life re?
jected for their country the organisation of
and had only taken the highest forms of its art. the ally. the heart of the nation.
. and national. Such was the spectacle of liberty which the imperial Agricola had feared. or the master of the state. It was
the companion of the people. to enrich their ancient law and tradistate. learning.' Finally. To its honour it never served as the
instrument of political dominion. the Irish church never became.
new dangers and new
Goths and Vandals. while the English were pressing northward over Great Britain. and south across the
Mediterranean to Africa.CHAPTER
THE IRISH MISSION
560-C. From the
time when their warriors
a thousand years of Empire they uninterrupted war and conquest.
driving back the Celts and creating a pagan and Teutonic England. The peoples that lay in a circle round the
shores of the
German Ocean were
in the thick
affairs. and for the
. Burgundians and Franks. Once more Ireland
lay the last unconquered land of the West. 1000
to the Irish people
of them. poured west over Europe to the Atlantic shore. all
nations to right and left Europe to expand in.
THE IRISH MISSION
thousand years that followed traders. in face of the everlasting storm. where the very grass and trees have a blacker hue. pass these people round that when the Irish sailor St. Brendan or another launched his coracle on the illimitable waves. stretched the Atlantic.
no boundary known to that sea. we seern to have entered into a vast antiquity. Close at their back now lay the German invaders
Before them always flowing westward. who had pushed on over the Gaulish sea to
the very marge and limit of the world. he might seem to pass
over the edge of the earth into the vast Eter-
. we see a
race of the bravest warriors that ever fought. where it would be little wonder to see in the sombre solitude some strange shape of the primeval world. now from this shore of the German sea and now from that. on the other hand. some huge form of primitive man's So closely did Infinity comimagination. darkness and chaos.
In Ireland. Even now we stand to the far westward on the gloomy heights of Donegal. have fought and trafficked over
the whole earth.
JSlfred tells us in his chronicle. and they
took with them enough meat for seven nights.42
see nity where space and time were not. whence they had stolen away because for the love of God they would be on pilgrimage they recked not
or of liberty.
of three hides
which they fared was and a half.
not only preserved her
continental roads were
from Irish ports still interupted. the awful fascination of the immeasurable
flood in the story of the three Irishmen that
were washed on the shores of Cornwall and
without oars from Hibernia. The Teutonic invaders stopped at the Irish
story of the Irish mission
they answered to such a call.
Ireland did not share in the ruin of
Ultimately withdrawn from the material business of the continent nothing again
drew back the
affairs of Europe save a spiritual
of religion. passed safely to Gaul over the ocean routes.
of learning. therefore.
scholar. destroying the Celtic churches. In
we may see the strength and the spirit of the tribal civilisation. debatable land.
After founding thirty-seven monasteries in Ireland. Two great leaders of the Irish mission were
Columcille in Great Britain and Columbanus
in Europe. 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. swept by heathen raids. Irish history there
English had set up in 547 a monarchy in Northumbria and the Lowlands. amid
the ruins of Christian settlements. the Irish or
ments along the
coast. from Derry on the northern coast to
Durrow near the Munster
greater figure than
and the Celts
alike the Picts.THE IRISH MISSION
culture unharmed. began a work equally astonishing from the religious
and the political point of view. poet. The heathen Picts had marched westward to the sea. but the
lay open for her missionaries to carry back to Europe the knowledge which she had received from it.
the high leader of the Celtic world. and from the Dee
piety. learning. On the western shores about Cantyre he restored the Scot settlement from Ire-
land which was later to give its name to Scotland. He watched the wooden ships with
great sails that crossed from shore to shore.
From his cell at lona
he dominated the new federation of Picts and
Britons and Irish on both sides of the sea
the greatest missionary that Ireland ever sent out to proclaim the gathering of peoples in free association through the power of human
brotherhood. and spread Irish monasteries from Strathspey to the Dee. he talked with mariners sailing south from
the Orkneys. He established friendship with the
Britons of Strathclyde.
to the Tay. ancestor of the kings of Scotland and England. who told
Against this world of war Strathclyde. For thirty-four years Columcille ruled as
abbot in lona. and religion. and consecrated as king the Irish
Aidan. and others coming north from the Loire with their tuns of wine. 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.
sitting with open
door. one with his butcher's knife.
After his death the Irish
. and with his own hand he copied.<
hour without study or prayer or writing. he harmonised the moon's race with the branching sun. give
a surpassing dignity and beauty to his life.
. it is said.THE IRISH MISSION
him European tidings. three hundred
books. and how a town in Istria had been wrecked by earthquake.
passionate and poetic temperament that filled men with awe and reverence.
genius. where the
some other holy occupation and still in these he was beloved by all. the splendid
voice and stately figure that seemed almost miraculous gifts. He could never spend the space of even one
. the power of inspiring love
that brought dying men to see his face once more before they fell at his feet in death.
stopped to ask a blessing
as they passed.
desired. he was skilful in the course of the sea. one
with his milk
pail. 'to search all the books that would be good for any soul".
one of his
poems tells us.
the stars of heaven. His
statesmanship. he would count
." "Seasons all and storms he perceived.
speaking no English and hating
work over the whole
Kent. with its church of hewn oak thatched with
reeds after Irish tradition in sign of poverty and lowliness. and gave them the letters which were used among them till the Norman Conquest. rejoicing to change the brutalities of war for the plough.
They taught the English
writing. Labour and learning went hand in hand. and monasteries gave shelter to travellers. the ports were crowded
with boats. for the Roman missionestablished in 597 by Augustine in
the king's court nobles came. and with its famous school of
hand and blessed by
. the winnowing fan: waste places were reclaimed. Columban monks made a second lona at Lindisf arne.
by the ramparts of the Roman Wall.
made little progress.
land lay before them.
the forge-hammer. 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. For a hundred years wherever the
ran to be signed
and Irish. For a moment it seemed as though the British
islands were to be
drawn into one peaceful communion and a common
in the old university of the influence of the Irish
teachers the spirit of racial bitterness was checked. The great school of Malmesbury in Wessex was founded by an Irishman. The
willingly received them all.Britons. who forsook their native land for the sake of divine studies. Picts. and a new intercourse sprang up
between English. supthem without charge food and books plying to and teaching.THE IRISH MISSION
Their missionaries wandered on foot over
middle England and along the eastern coast and even touched the Channel in Sussex.
and this bishop. was a Frenchman who had been trained for years in Ireland. 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. In
662 there was only one bishop in the whole England who was not of Irish consecration.
Armagh. . For the first time also Ireland became
to Englishmen. Agilberct of Wessex. making for them a Irish
geometry. once the meeting-place of
great highways from Italy and France. now left by the barbarians a wilderness for wild
beasts. leading twelve Irish
clad in white homespun.
Finally he founded in the Apennines. Crossing Gaul ships trading to the Vosges Columbanus founded his monas-
tery of Luxeuil
the ruined heaps of city.
sailed in one of the merchant from the Loire.
Columcille had been some dozen years in
lona when Columbanus (c.
monastery where he died in 615. rested
on the peoples.
their waists in leathern satchels. with long
hair falling on their shoulders. taste. aflame with religious pas-
sion. a finished scholar bringing
worship bounded only by the ocean. and a fine rhetoric. Columbanus battled for twenty years with the vice and ignorance of a half-pagan
of Latin. of and poetry. 575) left Bangor on the Belfast Lough. Greek.
peace of Columcille.
France and Switzerland. the fellowship of learning
the rule of Columbanus might outdo It was told that in
Gregory the Great received him. detecting the secret thought.
Scornful of ease.
that of St.
he argued and denounced with "the freedom which accords with the custom of
country. rose from his prayer to repudiate the slight: Brother.
. he who depreciates the
work depreciates the Author.
special veneration by the Irish.
then. Benedict. 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. But it was his mission that
brought the national patriotism of Ireland into conflict with the organisation of
in Europe." For a hundred years before Columbanus there had been Irish pilgrims and bishops in Gaul and Italy.THE IRISH MISSION
passion of his piety so that for a time it seemed peoples.
Instantly the fiery saint. Christianity had come to Ireland from the East tradition said from
St. indifferent to
John. astonished at the apathy of Italy as compared with the zeal of Ireland in teaching.
John's wort, had for them peculiar virtues, and from it came, it was said, the saffron hue
as the national colour for their dress.
a national pride that their date for celebrating Easter, and their Eastern tonsure from ear to
had come to them from
loved Jesus, they said, but it was John that Jesus loved "the youth John, the foster-
was with a very passion of loyalty that they clung to a national church which linked them to the beloved apostle,
and which was the close bond of their whole race, dear to them as the supreme expression of their temporal and spiritual freedom, now
others in Europe for
of its scholars,
roll of its saints
ennobled by the company of its patriots and the glory of Columcille. The tonsure and
the Easter of Columbanus, however, shocked
foreign ecclesiastics as contrary to the discipline of
Rome, and he was required
protested his loyalty to St. John, to St. Columcille, and to the church of his fathers. It was an unequal
was answered, was a
THE IRISH MISSION
small island in a far corner of the earth:
was people that they should fight against the whole world. The Europe of imperial tradition had lost comprehension of the
passion of national loyalty: all that lay outside that tradition was "barbarous," the
Irish like the
Saxons or the Huns.
was thus opened was the
in Irish history.
beginning of a
Augustine, archbishop of Canterbury (597), was ordered (603) to demand obedience
to himself from the Celtic churches
setting aside of their customs.
and the The Welsh
and the Irish refused to submit, Augustine had come to them from among the English, who were still pagan, and still fighting for the extermination of the Celts, and on his lips
were threats of slaughter by their armies to the disobedient. The demand was renewed
sixty years later, in a
synod at Whitby in that time Christianity had been
England by the
on the other hand, the English were filled with imperial dreams of conquest and supremacy. English kings settled on the Roman province began to imitate the glories of Rome, to have
banner of purple and gold car-
ried before them, to hear the
peror of the whole of Britain," and to project the final subjugation to that of empire the Celt and Pictish peoples. The Roman
government and their ambitions. In the synod the tone of imperial contempt made itself heard against those marked out for rude and barbarous' conquest Celts Picts and Britons, accomplices in obstinacy
islands of the world."
plicity," said the English leader,
of yours," like Peter, the keeping the keys of heaven? With these first bitter words, with the condemnation of the
Irish customs, Irish
to enter in.
Lindisfarne, discord began Slowly and with sorrow the
Irish in the course of sixty years
customs and adopted the
But the work of Columcille was undone, and the spiritual bond by which the peoples had been united was for ever loosened. English armies marched ravaging
THE IRISH MISSION
over the north, one of them into Ireland (684), "wasting that harmless nation which had
always been most friendly to the English, not sparing even churches or monasteries."
gracious peace which
had bound the
hundred and twenty years was broken, and constant wars again divided Picts, Scots, Britons, and Angles.
races for a
hundred years to out missionaries to Europe. come poured They passed through England to northern
Ireland, however, for four
France and the Netherlands;
Gaulish sea and by the Loire to middle France; by the Rhine and the way of Luxeuil
they entered Switzerland; and westward they reached out to the Elbe and the Danube, sending missionaries to Old Saxony, Thuringia,
Bavaria, Salzburg and Carinthia; southwards they crossed the Alps into Italy, to Lucca,
Their monasteries formed rest-
through France and Europe itself was too narrow for
and they journeyed to Jerusain Carthage, and sailed to the
discovery of Iceland.
church of any land
has so noble a record in the astonishing work of its teachers, as they wandered over the
ruined provinces of the empire among the pagan tribes of the invaders. In the Highlands they taught the Picts to compose
tongue; in a
at St. Gall
was trained the
English poet in the
they drew up a Latin-German dictionary for the Germans of the Upper Rhine and Switzerland,
and even devised new German words to
new ideas of
near Florence one of their saints taught the natives how to turn the course of a river.
Probably in the seventh and eighth centuries no one in western Europe spoke Greek who was not Irish or taught by an Irishman. No
land ever sent out such impassioned teachers and Charles the Great and his
them at the head
of the chief
schools throughout Europe. can only measure the originality of the Irish mission by comparing with it the work
of other races.
had not hardship, nor given them
interest in barbarians.
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.
Irish missionaries continued withyeai\s. In 664 no one could
to send to Canterbury." and their chief mission was to their own stock in Frisia.
Finally. and finally took a year for his journey.
Their succession never ceased. he
also took a year
be found in
way. till in 668 Theodore was fetched from Syria.
out a break for over six hundred
Instead of the Irish zeal for the welfare of
peoples whatsoever.THE IRISH MISSION
was sent on the English mission he turned back with loathing. enveloped by the ardour of their fiery enthusiasm.
missionaries feared nothing.
of one apostle
of another. when this
powerful influence was set aside English mission work died down for a thousand years
or so. the English felt a special call to preach among those "from whom the
English race had its origin. neither hunger
nor weariness nor the outlaws of the woods.
The Teutons were out to conquer.56
went hand in hand with Christianity.
man. But the Irish had no theory of dominion to push. and in the lust of dominion a conqueror might make religion the sign of obedience.
Their method was one of
of religion stained their faith. viper and sword.
that lay behind the tribal government and the tribal church of Ireland gave to the Irish mission in Europe
character. A score
of generations of missionaries in the tribal
of Ireland. and enforce it by fire and water.
were bred up where
believed in voluntary union of
a high tradition.
broad humanity that was the great
tinction of their people persecution
About 800 A.D. The Scandinavians had sailed out on 'the gulf's enormous
abyss. shouting as 57
he goes. conquerors of the ocean. where before their eyes the vanishing of the earth were hidden in gloom. the Irish suffered their
SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
a thousand years no foreign host had settled in Erin. had carried their victories over the Roman Empire to the edge of the
seas that guarded Ireland.
. But the times of peace were ended. calling to the land.
querors of the land.
were gathering in the north."
old English riddle likened the shattering
Arctic waters to
the pirate's war-ship
leader on the
plunged through the
the shores of England from the Forth to the Channel. The social
order they had built up was confronted with two new tests violence from without."
of the ocean
The Scandinavian campaigns
affected Ireland as
no continental wars
the creation or the destruction of the
Empire had done.
grim in hate.
their learning. Irish civilisation
ask how The Danes
land of the Picts northward. lona and the country of the Scots to the west. During two hundred years
tion. "great scourers of the seas
desperate in attempting other realms.
plundering the rich men's raths of their
. covering the country with their
came. eager for
with laughter terrible to the earth.
tribeland. their civilisa-
were threatened by strangers. swinging
his sharp-edged sword. and
alien population within the island. 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.
In Ireland. they took horse
and rode conquering over the inland plains. They slew every English king and wiped out
Wessex. bodies and necks and gentle heads defended only by fine linen. as they said. and fled away
for refuge to Europe. on the other hand.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
cups and vessels and ornaments of gold. and a Danish king ruled over all England (1013). sacking the schools and monasteries and churches. their discipline of war.<
. Their heavy iron swords. Monks and scholars gathered up their manuscripts and holy ornaments.
and entering every great king's grave for buried treasure." confederations of Danish towns. At the last Wessex itself was conquered. and in their place set up their own kings in Northumbria and East Anglia.
their armour. the invincible
of all middle
. In England. and by law. when the Danes had planted a colony on every
inlet of the sea
them an overwhelming advantage against the Irish with.
England a vast Danea land ruled by Danish law.
These wars brought a very different fate to the English and the Irish.
who held long and
secure possession of England. and no national supremacy of the Danes replaced
the national supremacy of the Irish.
made one supreme
fixed his capital at
effort at conquest.
long war was one of "confused noise
. great part of Scotland.
defended. the necklace of glass beads. the staff. were never able
to occupy permanently
more than a day's march from the chief stations of their fleets. and Normandy. every tribe fought for
There could be no subjection
of the Irish
soil. Through two hundred years of war no Irish royal house was
at its shrine the worship
of the tribal
system for defence barred
of invaders. while his wife
the high altar of in the prophetess's cloak set with stones to
gave her oracles from Clonmacnois on the Shannon. Thorgils. being cast into Loch Nair. no kingdom was extinguished.
the hem. and the great skin pouch of charms. The Danes.
end Thorgils was taken by the
Meath and executed.
was of vast importance to the Scandinavians as a
land of refuge for their fleets. the harbours of "the great island sheltered them. her cattle
driven to the shore for the "strand-hewing." provisioned their crews.
Danish hosts driven out of England or Normandy. her fields of corn. As "the sea vomited up floods
of foreigners into Erin so that there
was not a
. her woods gave
shipbuilding. stray com-
panies out of work or putting in for a winter's shelter.
furiously for possession of the
each other. Voyagers guided their way by the flights of birds from
against the Irish.
sea-ports. buccaneers seeking "the spoils of the sea. boats of whale-fishers and walruskillers.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
blood. 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."
sea-kings roaming the ocean or gathering for a raid on Scotland or on France.
whether they could conquer it or not."
the whole commerce of the seas was in their hands. westward they poured along the coasts of Gaul by
the narrow seas. they were the greatest merchants that northern Europe had yet seen. between both and the Irish. From the
time of Charles the Great to William the
Conqueror. and carried back the wares of Asia to the Baltic.
seized the beginnings of the new Ireland lay in the very centre of their
. or sailed the Atlantic from the Orkneys and Hebrides round the Irish
coast to the
But the Scandinavians were not only
point without a fleet.
and the Danish mer-
trade. Eastward they pushed
across Russia to the Black Sea.
colonies over the inland country
to supply the trade of the ports. with
empire of Charles the Great was opening Europe once more to a settled life and the
possibilities of traffic.
settlements along the coasts.
commerce with France." battle swung backwards and forwards between old settlers and
between Norsemen and Danes.
fostered their children. welcomed Irish poets into their
forts.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
come to Ireland for business.
race of "Gall-Gaels.
capital at York. accepted by the Irish as of their
community. They intermarried with
the Irish. Between the two peoples there was respect and good.
listening to Irish stories
and taking literature." grew up. and
there created a naval power which reached along the coast from Waterford to Dundalk.
The moot on the Mound
over the river Liffey (near where the Irish Parliament House rose in later days). brought their goods. and they wanted peace and not war.
The Dublin kingdom was
with the Danish kingdom of Northumbria." or "foreign Irish.
meeting-ground. the link which united the Northmen of Scandinavia and the
of Ireland. 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.will.
was the common highway which linked the powers together."
the kingdom lying on the Atlantic was a rival even to Dublin. The Irish were on good terms with the
of the riveted stones. became the centre of a
Its harbour. while Norse settlements scattered over Limerick. Members of the same house were kings in Dublin. and in York. some by the Irish. wide-flung war. and their fleets took the way of the wide ocean. some by the Danes. Dublin. looking east. Kerry and Tipperary. the rallying-point of roving marauders. The Irish Channel swarmed with their fleets."
. kings of the same house ruled in Limerick and the Hebrides. in Man. Other Munster harbours were held. organised as Irish clans and giving an Irish form to their names.
their merchandise or
Limerick of the swift ships. maintained the inland trade. was the mart of the merchant princes of the Baltic trade: there men of Iceland and of
Norway landed with
their plunder. 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.64
tion grew up.
high-kings of Tara one after
another led the perpetual contest to hold Ireland and to possess Dublin."
They learned to build the new ships invented by the Scandinavians where both
the other hand.
Danish and Norse
. only but their method of raising a navy by dividing the coast into districts. We read
900 of Irishmen along the Cork shores
whose resolve is quiet Munster of the prosperity. learned their lesson so well that
they were able to undertake the re-conquest
Thorgils. They sum-
assemblies in north and south of the
The Irish copied not the Scandinavian building of war-ships. and traded in their own ports for treasures from oversea. to assemble at the
for the united war-fleet.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
province seems to have had its fleet. silken raiment and abundance of wine. each of which had to
confederated chiefs. in fact. The Irish.
and become leaders
troops in war.
ten ships." and in 950 of "Munster of the swift ships. the Irish never ceased
from war with the sea-kings." great riches.
and they left two hundred and forty heads. directing the men of Leinster in the campaign a gallant war. Again. with his linen-coated soldiers against
entire circuit of Ireland. over lakes and rivers frozen by the mighty frost. '' he defeated the foreigners' in the north.66
of the people rose high.
more the assembly of Telltown. and led southern and northern O'Neills to the aid of Munster
against the Gentiles. in 933. and all their wealth of spoils.
among them. smote
the Danes at Carlingford and Louth in 926.
Niall. celebrated once
In 916. Murtagh. took up the fight." when he led his army from Donegal. king of Tara. In 941 he won his famous name. round the
Some ten years Cellachan. king of Cashel. 'the hosting of the frost.
a year of great danger. good
." from the first midwinter campaign
known in Ireland.
and hundred years one
leader followed hard on another.
under shelter of leather cloaks.
later. king of Ailech or Tirconnell. 'Murtagh of the Leather Cloaks. and so came victorious
to the assembly at Telltown.
Cellachan called the whole
off victorious." says the old saga.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
the mail-clad foreigners." From beyond the Shannon he
led a fierce guerrilla war. he swept the whole of Munster.
knotty wet roots. capturing Limerick. "to
." he said." and tough ropes of hemp to fling over the enemies' prows.
Left with but
not hereditary to us. Cork." he
refused to yield. and
rough chains of blue iron to grapple the enemies' ships.
of Ireland to share in the struggle for Irish
freedom. and joining
armies to his
troops. six or seven
score of them.
he closed his
campaign by calling out the Munster fleet from Kinsale to Galway bay.
meet the Danish ships at The Norsemen used armour. and a
fleet from Ailech carried off and booty from the Hebrides.
According to the saga of his triumph. 'Ill luck was it for the Danes when Brian was born. 'when he inflicted not evil on
the foreigners in the day time he did it in the next night. to
Dundalk. He plunder was followed by Brian Boru. with their
strong enclosures of linen cloth. but the Irish sailors. Cashel
Norway. such of them as were fit to
go to sea.
'on the ridge of the
world' -a land of unconquered peoples of the open plains and the mountains and the
posed to create a Scandinavian empire from the Slavic shores of the Baltic across Den-
mark. and of almost all of the of Erin. an old man of sixty or seventy years. to round
off their states. In 1005
he called out
the fleets of the
of Dublin. to the rim of the Atlantic. and they levied tribute from Saxons and Britons as far as the Clyde and
Argyle. began to think of their imperial
and. and of the of Munster. with London as the
and ruled at last in 1000 as Ardri of Ireland.
free Irish nation of
as they said.
lived. conqueror England.
A greater struggle still lay before the Irish.
Powerful kings of Denmark. England and Ireland. was acknowledged in 1013 its But the imperial plan was not yet
complete. Waterford. in the glory of success.68
He became king of Minister in 974. drove out the Danish king from Dublin in 998.
King Sweyn Forkbeard.
the hair of
the warriors flying in the wind as thick as the sheaves floating in a field of oats. as in the days of
England was once again. when with the evening
host put to sea. in spite of the strength of the Danish forces.
ence. At the end.
part of a conIreland. Brian Boru. his son.
Dublin bay "from all from Norway.
the Scandinavian empire with a ragged edge out on the line of the Atlantic commerce. the conunbroken. as
in the time
tinental empire. The Scan-
dinavian scheme of a northern empire was shattered on that day. the Irish emerged with their national
kingdoms had lived on side by side with Danish kingdoms.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
sunrise to sunset the battle raged."
islands. therefore. the
Orkneys. But for a hundred and
come Ireland kept
. for the landing at Clontarf.
system. the Baltic
vast host gathered in the west of Europe. and his grandson lay dead. King Cnut sent out his men for the last conquest. of two hundred years of war.
ruled without a break. They set up his shout of king. the assembly met on a mound
wood. and the business capacity of these fighters and traffickers. and. held their meeting in a hidden marsh or
Thus when Cashel was held by the Norsemen. in the best of arms and dress. the tribes arose right readily to make Cellachan king. The nobles then came to Cellachan and put
. if their ancient place of
assembly had been turned into a Danish fort. had held the
national assemblies of the country at Tell-
town. The tribesmen of the sub-kingdoms. the rightful heir.70
slant irruptions of new Danes. demanded
that the nobles should remember justice. except in a few years of special calamity. not far from Tara. while his mother declared his title and recited
a poem. and gave thanks to the true magnificent God for having found him.
their old order.
that rose in the marshy glen now called Glan worth.
again to the top. There Cellachan. And when the champions of Munster heard these great words and the speech
and to Charles
Irish culture. Hebrew. Latin. and beyond the Humber scarce any. and their spirits were
too. even in Italy.
Clonmacnois on the
the Great in Aachen. Cormac.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
in his hand.
the Latinists of
ceased to carry on schools.
not lost the tradition of learning. he could not bethink
of a single
one south of the Thames who
could understand his ritual in English. King ^Elfred has recorded the state of England after
the Danish wars. was skilled in Old-Irish literature.
and between its sackings trained scholars whose fame could reach to great King Alfred in Wessex.
and placed the royal head. and train
example. the tribes
raised at the grand sight of him.
clean was learning decayed But the Irish English folk. One of them in 868 was the most learned of
Throughout the wars. and he could
hear of very few north of the Thames to the Humber. Greek. or translate aught out of Latin. king and bishop (f 905).
remained unequalled in culture.
probcentury. the large green of an
. John Scotus. Bald had made head of
of every language. and a
these are the sciences he recom-
compiled about the same time. "abundance of knowledge. pleading with established
to sing of Nature
winter. Side by side with monastic schools the lay schools had continued without a break.
of precedents. a number
talk of the rushes. By 900 the lawyers had produced at
art. the red bracken and the long hair of the heather."
Irish poets. the green-barked yew-tree
which supports the sky. of the cuckoo with
the grey mantle.
least eighteen law-books
whose names are
known. the blackbird's lay.
teachers had a higher
than any others in
geography and philosophy.
men and women.72
Welsh. compiled the instructions of a king to his son "Learning
in variegated work. count among the ornaments of wisdom. Anglo-Saxon and Norse he might be compared with that other great Irishman
of his time.
of the hermit's
heroes of the Irish race.' They chanted the terror of the time. . They sang of the Creation and the Crucifixion.
. and of pilgrimage to
seekest here. preserving from gathered century to century the forms and rules of
. I do not fear the fierce warriors of Norway coursing on the Irish sea to-night.
craftsmen's schools were
raths. It tosses the ocean's white hair.
in every place".
that flagstone was put over her face. the fierce
riders of the sea in death-conflict with the
mounting waves: "Bitter is the conflict with the tremendous tempest" "Bitter is the wind to-night. when "dear God's elements were afraid". until she died. unless thou bring
thee thou dost not find"." And in their own war of deliverance they sang of Finn and his Fiana on the battlefield.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
oak fronting the storm. she was upon it Her soul went to heaven.
great fidelities of love "the flagstone upon which he was wont to pray.
Many influences had come in Oriental." The stone. and the golden case that
enclosed the Gospel of Columcille in 1000
was for its splendour "the chief relic from the western world. of their native soil. The
metal-workers of Munster must have been
churches of Clonmacnois
date from the
ninth century. No jeweller's work was ever more perfect than the Ardagh chalice of
the ninth or tenth century. soon after the battle of Clontarf
read of "the chief artificer of Ireland."
perfection of their art in enamel
and gold work has been the wonder of the old and of the modern world.
carried on their art.
carvers eminent for
such as that of
Holy Island on Lough Derg.
There were schools of
skill.workers. Byzantine. from the title of 'king Cellachan of the lovely cups". a
monolith ten feet high set up as a memorial
finely sculptured gravestones
high-cross. of pure Celtic art with no trace of Danish influence. but their art still remained Gaelic. five others from the tenth. too. French and the Irish took and used them all.
Scandinavian saga. King Brian thrice forall his outlaws the same fault. and to buy books beyond the sea and the great ocean. 'but if they misbehaved themselves oftener.
was carved by an
who was one
sculptors of northern Europe. and from this one may
mark what a king he must have been. bridges and roads were made.<
of the people
." says a gave
scholar. Many churches were built and repaired by him.SCANDINAVIANS IN IRELAND
to king Flann about 914. the fortresses of Munster were strengthened.
was shown in warrior and
His government was with patience. then he let them be judged by the law." 'He sent professors and masters to teach wisdom
and knowledge. mercy and justice. By their social
system the intellectual treasures of the race
. because the writings and books in every church and sanctuary had been destroyed by the plunderers." Such was the astonishing vitality of learning and art among the Irish. and Brian himself gave the price of learning and the price of books to every one separately who went on this service.
. advance in trade. and live in towns. In outward and material civilisation they ac-
cepted the latest Scandinavian methods. they used the northern words for
the parts of a ship. and the streets of a town. just as in our days the Japanese accepted the
Western inventions. of life and thought. to marry with them. organise
had been distributed among the whole people.
Irishmen were willing to absorb
the foreigners. And the Irish tribes had proved worthy guardians of the national faith. They had known how to the material skill and knowledge of profit by
the Danes. and even at times to share their wars.
and law. They
to build ships. the Irish never abandoned their national loyalty. During two centuries of Danish invasions and occupations the Gaelic civilisation had not given way an inch to the strangers. and committed to their care.
" But the position of the Gaels was no longer what it had been before the invasions. and Latin letters. Already Ireland was
unless they were on the rising
France as "that very wealthy which there were twelve cities. and that had its own language. The ''Foreigners'' called constantly for armed
. stirring." they turned to repair and to build up their national life.
years of comlively.CHAPTER V
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
battle of Clontarf in 1014 the
had a hundred and
parative quiet. Throughout the Danish wars there had been a growth of industry and riches. ancient
and victorious people. No
successful national rally
wave of prosIt is not misery and degradation perity.
and wide bishoprics. and a king. that bring success.
a gateway like Quebec in Canada. his
red shield. that commanded the country and that the country could never again close from within. strangers to the Irish idea of a state." was sung in Ireland for half-a-dozen centuries after that
last flaring-up of ancient fires."
the terrible battles.
Nor way (1103)
led the greatest
ever marched conquering over Ireland. and to their feeling
of a church. with his shining helmet. and by political alliances
and combinations fostered war
among Nearly a hundred years after Clontarf king Magnus
the Irish states themselves. was now threatened by the settlement of an alien race. his golden
hair falling long over his red silken coat.
life. The sea-kings had created in Dublin an open gateway into Ireland.78
help from their people without.
strangers to the Irish tradition. and laid thereon a golden
lion. In a dark fen the young giant flamed out a mark for all. They had filled the city with Scandinavian settlers
from the English and Welsh coasts
of the swift ships.
He formed the first converted
into a part of the English Church. trading
. so that their bishops were sent to be ordained
at Canterbury. and the triumph of the English over the Gaelic church. had been baptized (943) in Northumberland by the
in the Irish church. the admission of a foreign power. overlord Dublin and York. their influence doubled the strength of the
European pressure on Ireland as against the
Gaelic civilisation. therefore. in presence of the English king.
Since the Irish in 603 had
refused to deal with an archbishop of the English.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
of English invasion. inclined to the views of their
business clients in England and the Empire.
archbishop of Canterbury. this was the first foothold Canter-
bury had got in Ireland. the degrading
primacy of Armagh. It was the rending in two of the Irish tradition.
A wealthy and compact
on the seaboard.
the division of peoples within the Irish Danes added also the first division
In church and had brought the
English out traders to take the place of the Scandi-
and the peoples of the south and Gauls were resuming their ancient commerce.
had marked ominously the
passing of an old age. too." leaving the name of "Scots" only to the Gaels who had crossed the sea into Alban. In such names we see
the heralds of the coming change. a leader of mercenaries from England. the beginning of a new. a Frenchman from Gaul. We may see the advent of the new men in the names of adventurers that landed with the Danes on that low shore
The change is marked by a name.
great drops of the
storm lords from Normandy. Already the peoples round the North Sea
were sending Normans.
Clontarf. Germans. the people they called ish." a form of Eriu suited to " Irtheir own speech. and somewhere about that time Walter the Englishman. The Danes coined the
Their trading ships carried the words far and wide.
were therefore face to face with
. and the old name of Eriu only remained
in the speech of the Gaels themselves.
'The land was
a free state and not like a
archy by them.
people. Such problems have been solved in other lands
nation.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
questions of a
wholly different peoples into one community. A
in this effort that
vitality of the Gaelic
the power of
its tradition. in Ireland it was the work of the whole community
of tribes. wrote the chronicle of the Danish
ness of his
man. 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. poets and historians.
After Brian's death two learned
set over the
of Ireland. Here was the work of the next hundred and fifty years. and sang the glories and of Brian Boru in the greatlife and the majesty of his death. and a devout man. Eye-
witnesses of that great battle. the
Ireland." The victory of Clontarf was by a renascence of learning.
by powerful kings at the heads of armies. the Chief Poet.
in schools. of the O'Neills
Swilly in the far north.
Poets wrote of Usnech. and the same words are used for the rights and armour and ships
Erin were revived. annals of Ireland from the earliest to the latest
time were composed."
where the exploits and battle rage
of the ancient heroes
matched the martial
ardour of Irish champions. of Ailech. Men laboured to satisfy the desire of the Irish to possess a complete
brilliant picture of Ireland
antiquity. one of the most learned
The most famous among the many men in all
translated from Latin a history of the Britons. were written in the form in which we now know them. of
Brian Boru's palace
Kincora on the Shannon. In
scholar put into Irish from Latin the "Tale
writers. genealogies of the
tribes and old hymns of Irish saints. Clerics and laymen rivalled one another in zeal. the neighbouring Celtic races across the Chan-
In schools three or four hundred poetic metres were taught.
Tales of heroes.
of Tara. The glories of ancient
nel. in monasteries. triumphs of ancient kings.
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
Europe in wisdom, literature, history, poetry, and science, was Flann the layman, teacher of
the school of Monasterboice, the old song.
died in 1056
"slow the bright eyes of his
for his pupils syn-
chronisms of the kings of Asia and of Roman emperors with Irish kings, and of the Irish
high-kings and provincial chiefs and kings of Scotland. Writings of that time which have escaped destruction, such as the Book of Leinster,
remain the most important
Celtic literature in the world.
There was already the beginning
of a uni-
lying on the famous hill where for long ages the royal tombs of the O 'Neills had been preserved.
strong burh of Tar a has died,"
they said, "while
Armagh lives filled with champions." It now rose to a great
three thousand scholars,
for its teachers,
Gorman who spent twenty-one years of study,
from 1133 to 1154, in England and France, it became in fact the national university for the It was Irish race in Ireland and Scotland.
appointed that every lector in any church in
Ireland must take there a degree; and in 1169 the high-king Ruaidhri O 'Conor gave the
annual grant to maintain a professor at Armagh "for all the Irish and the Scots."
succession of great bishops of Armagh laboured to bring about also the organisation
of a national church
under the government of From 1068 they began to make
whole country, and take
offerings in sign of the
visitations of the
journeyed in the old Irish
fashion on foot, one of
them followed by a
cow on whose milk he
lived, all poor,
servants, without money, wandering among hills and remote hamlets, stopping men on the
roadside to talk, praying for them all night by the force only of their piety and the fervour
of their spirit drawing all the communities
under obedience to the see of Patrick, the national saint. In a series of synods from 1100 to 1157 a fixed number of bishops' sees
and four archbishoprics representing the four provinces. The Danish
moreover, were brought into this union,
and made part of the Irish organisation. Thus the power of Canterbury in Ireland was
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
ended, and a national church set up of Irish and Danes. Dublin, the old Scandinavian
kingdom, whose prelates for over a hundred years had been consecrated in England (1036hold out against the union of churches, till this strife was healed by St. Lorcan ua Tuathail, the first Irish bishop
consecrated in Dublin.
carried to that
battleground of the peoples all the charity,
of the Irish saint: feed-
ing the poor daily, never himself tasting meat, rising at midnight to pray till dawn, and ever
before he slept going out into the graveyard to pray there for the dead; from time to time
withdrawing among the Wicklow hills to St. Kevin's Cave at Glendalough, a hole in the
overhanging the dark lake swept with storm from the mountain-pass, where twice a
week bread and water were brought him by a boat and a ladder up the rock. His life was spent in the effort for national peace and union, nor had Ireland a truer patriot or
chiefs sat with the clergy in the
in the state too there
signs of a true union of the peoples.
Danes, gradually absorbed into the Irish population, lost the sense of separate nationality.
of the peoples was seen in the increasing power of the Ardri. Brian's line maintained at Cachel the title of "kings
The growing union
of Ireland," strengthening their house with
Danish marriages; they led Danish forces and were elected kings of the Danes in Dublin. But in the twelfth century it was the Connacht kings who came to the front, the same race that a thousand years before had spread
power across the Shannon to Usnech and to Tara. Turlough O'Conor (1118-1156) was known to Henry I of England as "king of Ireland"; on a metal cross made for him he is styled "king of Erin," and a missal of his
time (1150) contains the only prayer yet known for "the king of the Irish and his
the sign, as we may see, of foreign influences on the Irish mind. His son, Ruai'
dhri or Rory, was proclaimed (1166) Ardri in Dublin with greater pomp than any king before him,
and held at Athboy
assembly of the
bishops and clergy, princes and nobles, eighteen thousand horsemen from the tribes and
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
provinces, and a thousand Danes from Dubthere laws were made for the honour of lin
churches and clergy, the restoring of prey unjustly taken, and the control of tribes and
woman might traverse and the vast gathering the land in safety; broke up "in peace and amity, without battle or controversy, or any one complaining of anterritories, so
other at that meeting."
miles in length.
when he held the
the national festivals at Telltown was several
of Ireland is covered with the
traces of this great national revival.
along river-valleys, in innumerable ruins of churches
built of stone chiselled as finely as
can cut it; and of the lofty round towers and sculptured high crosses that were multiplied over the land after the day of Clontarf The
number of the churches has not been counted. At first they were It must be astonishing.
style brought with plain round arches, from the continent, as Brian Boru made them about A.D. 1000; presently chancels were added, and doors and
It was covered with
an embroidery of gold in as good style. There was a wealth of metal work of great
splendour. with inlaid work and filigree. and a knight of Bavaria had from Ireland ribbon of gold-lace emFrench hero
broidered with animals in red gold. in the matchless pro-
cessional cross of Cong. and signed by Irish masons on the stones. as a reliquary was ever covered in Ireland. but always marked with the re-
membrance of Irish tradition and ornament.
settings of stones
and enamels and crys-
see in book-shrines.
of Irish life overflowed. intimate. Irish skill was known abroad.work. suited to
the worship of the tribal communities. in the great shrine of
romance wore a fine belt of Irish leather.
twenty-four figures highly
on each side in a variety of postures remarkable for the time. decorated with freedom and boldness of design. say the Annals.
. indeed. in the
Lismore and Cachel and Clonmacothers.88
windows and arches
time went on they were larger and more richly decorated.
these grew the
twelve Irish convents of
Brian Boru learned
tween the Elbe and the Vistula. showing John.
or through Greece to Jordan
poems on the
way. and of surprisingly large sums of gold and silver show a country
of steadily of
expanding wealth. besides hides and wool. And the frequent mention of costly gifts and tributes.THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
Cloth from bounds of the country.
was soon added a second house
Irishmen. bishop of Mecklenburg.
Pilgrims journeyed to
Rome. making discourses in Latin. Ireland was already sold in England and it was soon to spread over all Europe. preached to the Vandals betheir fine art of writing.
Germany and Aus-
abbot was head of a monastery to time the Irish
came home to
for their founda-
. It is probable that export of corn and provisions
had already begun. Marianus "the Scot" on his pilgrimage to Rome stopped at Regensburg on the Danube. and of timber. and founded
there a monastery of north Irishmen in 1068.
and went back laden with gold from the kings at home. Pope Adrian IV (1154) re-
membered with esteem the Irish professor under whom he had studied in Paris University.
Irishmen were chaplains of the emperor
Conrad III (fll52) and
Strangers "moved by the love of study" still set out "in imitation of their ancestors to visit the land of the Irish
so wonderfully celebrated for its learning." While the spirit of Ireland manifested itself
in the shaping of a national university,
national church, in the revival of the glories
and in vigour of art and learnthere was an outburst too among the ing,
of the Ardri,
folk of jubilant patriotism.
hear the passionate voice of the people in the songs and legends, the prophecies of the enduring
Irish land, the
popular tales that began at this time to run from mouth to mouth. They took to themselves two heroes to be centres of the national hope Finn the champion, leader of the
Patrick the saint.
Fiana," the war-bands of old time; and A multitude of tales sud-
denly sprang up of the adventures of Finn
the warrior worthy of a king, the son of wisdom, the mighty hunter of every mountain
whose death no minstrel cared to sing. Every poet was expected to recite the fame in life of Finn and his companions. Pedigrees were invented to link him
forest in Ireland,
with every great house in Ireland, for their greater glory and authority. Side by side with
Finn the people
set St. Patrick
Ireland against all strangers, guardian of It was Patrick, their nation and tradition.
they told, who by invincible prayer and fasting at last compelled Heaven to grant that outlanders should not for ever inhabit Erin;
"that the Saxons should not dwell in Ireland,
or perforce, so long as I abide in shalt have this," said the
"Around thee," was the hope, "on the Day of triumphant Judgment the men of Erin shall come to
for after the twelve thrones of
the apostles were set in Judsea to judge the tribes of Israel, Patrick himself should at the
and call the people of Ireland to be judged by him on a mountain in their own
in the old Gaelic tradition, so
people fused in a single emotion the nation and the church. They brought from dusky woods the last gaunt relics of Finn's company,
sad and dispirited at the falling of the evening clouds, and set them face to face with Patrick
as he chanted mass on one of their old raths
huge wolf-dogs, men "who were not
our epoch or of one time with the clergy." When Patrick hesitated to hear their pagan
died for honour, of
war and hunting,
its silver bridles
of yellow gold, its
music and great feastings, lest such recreation of spirit and mind should be to him a destruction of devotion
dereliction of prayer,
angels were sent to direct him to give ear to the ancient stories of Ireland, and write them
for the joy of companies and nobles of the latter time. 'Victory and blessing wait on thee, Caeilte," said Patrick, thus called to
the national service;
for the future
and thyself are dear to me"; grand and knowledge is this thou hast uttered
too, Patrick, hast
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
good things," the warriors responded with courteous dignity. So at all the holy places
of Ireland, the pillar-stone of ancient
of Tara, great
Connacht, the graves of mighty
champions, Pagan hero and Christian saint
sat together to
interchange of history and religion, the teaching of the past and the promise of the future. St. Patrick gave his
blessing to minstrels
to all craftsmen of Ireland
"and to them that happiness." He mounted
to the high glen to see the Fiana raise their
warning signal of heroic chase and hunting.
the heavy tears of the last of the heroes till his very breast, his chest was wet.
laid in his
bosom the head
hunter and warrior:
to thee," said
and whatsoever be the place in shall lay hand on thee, Heaven is For thy sake," said the assigned." be thy lord Finn mac Cumhall taken saint,
out of torment,
be good in the sight of
In no other country did such a fate befall a missionary coming from strangers to be
taken and clothed upon with the national passion of a people, shaped after the pattern
of their spirit,
made the keeper of the nation's
the guardian of
Such legends show how enthusiasm
country ran through every hamlet in the land, and touched the poorest as it did
the most learned.
that the social
order in Ireland after the Danish settlements
was the triumph
an Irish and not a Danish
of the Irish,
democratic, embracing every emotion
of the whole people, gentle or simple,
powerful enough to gather into it the strong and freedom-loving rovers of the sea.
On all sides, therefore, we see the growth of a people compacted of Irish and Danes, bound together under the old Irish law and
with Dublin as a centre of the
a single and independent church under an Irish primate of Armagh and an Irish archbishop of Dublin, a high-king calling the
people together in a succession of national assemblies for the common good of the
The new union
THE FIRST IRISH REVIVAL
slowly worked out by her political councillors." so that art. and by the faith of the common people in the glory of their national inheritance. her scholars and
philosophers. her great ecclesiastics.
'The bodies and minds
of the people
were endued with extraordinary
. learning and commerce prospered in their hands. On this fair hope
of rising civilisation there fell a
"a land very
temperature of the air. They had marked out
Ireland as their natural prey
rich in plunder. The spirit of conquest was in the air. Every baron desired."
. England. a land where he could live out of reach of the king's long arm." they their cunning from
to the Mediterranean. from the
Seine to the Euphrates.CHAPTER
THE NORMAN INVASION
ion of the sea
the Danes the Normans. the fruitfulness of
havens lying open
traffic. like his viking forefathers. Every landless man
was looking to make his fortune.
the pleasant and commodious seats
for habitation. entered on the domin-
"citizens of the world.
to round off his dominions
II. his Hall at Westminster. holding both sides of the Channel. from his ports of the Loire and the Garonne over the Gaulish sea.THE NORMAN INVASION
of Clontarf in 1014.
But they owed no small
part of their military successes in Ireland to a policy of craft. and the
and Flemings from Pembroke.
trade was well worth the venture.
and planned the
conquest of an island so desirable.
barons were among the enemy at the battle
The same year
Ireland saw the last of the Scandinavian
she saw the
invaders prying out the country
William Rufus (1087-1100) had fetched from Ireland great oaks to roof
for a kingdom. with Welsh followers. If the Irish fought hard to
defend the lands they held in
civil tenure. led the
invasion that began in 1169. with armour and weapons un-
to the Irish. Henry coast from the Forth to the Pyrenees. They were men trained to war.
Norman and French barons.
empire-maker. lord of a vast sea-
and give him
of the traffic
his English ports
across the Irish Sea.
the churches had no great strength.
many of them to Dublin through
while spread over the country. therefore.
once the churches were
and gareasier. by names of places and families. but did not occupy.98
seizing of a church estate led to
rising out of the country.
the Bristol trade. The English who came over went chiefly to the towns. and by loanwords taken into Irish from the French. annex. and turn them into Norman strongholds. Normans a great military advantage. for
II himself crossed
in 1171 with a great fleet
and army to over-
awe his too-independent barons as well as the Irish. by Christian names.
the reduction of
the surrounding country became
during period plundered church lands. The invaders mean-
French and Welsh and Flemings have left their mark in every part of Ireland.
Normans. was to descend on defenceless church lands. or fortify them. in reply to comof the
they pleaded that the churches were used by the hostile Irish as storing places Their occupation gave the for their goods. and from the wooden palace set
Irish chief." for the seizing of a few towns and
not carry the subjection of
independent chiefdoms. He
had no power to hand the land of the tribe over to any one.
or in England. Whatever Henry's theory might be.
continued as of old.
that the Irish
In Henry's view this oath was a confession knew themselves conquered. could have even understood these
He knew nothing of the feudal system.
however. a landlord in the English sense. and handed over the land to the king. with some churchmen and half-a-dozen
Irish chiefs.THE NORMAN INVASION
Dublin demanded a general
oath of allegiance.
Henry's presence there
gave him no
and the independent
. 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. He could admit no 'conquest.
and that the chief renounced the tribal system. The Normans took the oath.
so that he as
of all the soil
to his barons.
to be cowed
by two years
was given to the Irish chiefs by the subtle Angevin king and his crafty Norman counsellors that war was to cease. which according to
research seem to have been mere forgeries. was made good. was used to confer on the king
a technical legal right to Ireland.
yielded under misunderstanding.
One royal object.100
of the Irish people
was not likely. that they were to rule as fully and freely as before. however. Danish experience.
basis of the royal claims.
violence. The oath. impossible of fulfilment.
justification of every later act of
Another fraud was added by the proclamation of papal bulls. The false display at Dublin was a deception both to the king and to the Irish. claimed under false pretences. and in recognition of the peace to give to Henry a formal tribute which implied no dominion. The empty words on either side did not check
tion of the oath
lust of conquest nor the
passion of defence.
Kings carved out estates for
nobles had to conquer Each congranted them. and were readily accepted by the invaders and their successors.
quered tract was to be made into a little England.
Dublin Castle to
superintend the conquest and the adminis-
. or laws. The colonists were to form an English parliament
to enact English law.
law and the falsehoods of
to these Ireland
had been by the act
a higher race. speech.
from the supposed sea of savagery There was to be no trade with the
of their dress.THE NORMAN INVASION
the lordship of the country to Henry. But they were
held of no account
or his deputy.
bulls during the next three
Thus the grounds
of the English title to
Ireland were laid down. enclosed within itself. no relationship. no use no dealings save those of conquest and slaughter. and sharply
make good by
only remained the sword the fictions of
among Irish annalists who make no mention of the
whereat the king smiled and bade him return
The Irish were now therefore aliens in own country. excom-
munications. ready to aid by prayers. 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.
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
and two thousand
to be granted to the natives.
ing centuries of English occupation not a
law was enacted for their
They were refused the protection of English law. ex-
in policy he thought it explained that to wink at one knave cutting off pedient another. stout men of war. so as nothing
exist. and the sword.
fighting garrison was reinthe planting of a militant church by bishops and clergy of foreign blood. shut out from the king's
courts and from the king's peace.102
tration. and that would save the king's
and purchase peace to the land".
nor the supply of
.THE NORMAN INVASION
spiritual religion over
carried the peaceful mission of a
England and Europe
that other mission planted among themselves a political church bearing the
the conqueror. Dublin. The settlers were no longer left to lapse as isolated groups into Irish life. a more
of soldiers. 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. fed from the sea. and dealing out anathemas and death in the service of a state
dominion. but were linked together as a compact garrison under the Castle government.
with temporal wealth and
The English attack was thus wholly
ent from that of the Danes:
it was guided a fixed purpose.
and a better
treasury than any other rulers in Europe. and directed by kings by who had a more absolute power. and held
minster never ceased.
tress. The vigilance of Westkings.
" of the king. and at no moment was
possible to the Irish except
entire renunciation of their right to the actual
soil of their
O'Conors and other Irish clans divided Connacht.
with only a fringe of Normans on the coast.
and absorbed into the Gaelic
of the English
The ground of
no way affected the
to gain the ownership of the soil.
government was the same.
were opened by the English with an Irish chief. O'Neills and O'Donnells and other tribes remained. or a heavy sum taken to allow him to
stay on his land.
issue so sharp
treasure. for five hundred years. In Ulster. its favoured colonists. It lasted. generals.
II to Elizabeth. this was no more than a temporary stratagem or a local expedient. Ireland was to be an immediate
a royal inheritance. in fact.
and definite no comSo long as the Irish
claimed to hold a foot of their
war must continue. Out of the first tumult and anarchy of
an Ireland emerged which was roughly divided between the two peoples.
more. The Angloon the other hand. The wealth of the
country lay spread before them. MacCarthys and O'Sullivans in the south. It was a land abounding in corn and cattle.
It has been held that all later misfortunes
would have been averted if the English without faltering had carried out a complete conquest. and Desmond. every temptation to this direct course. O' Conors and O'Mores in the middle country. resolute and wealthy
such as the O'Briens in the west. earls of Ormond. and Kildare there remained
kingdoms and the remnants of old chief doms.
foreign merchants flocked to its ports.THE NORMAN INVASION
Norman de Burghs. its manufactures were famed over all Europe. and ended the dispute once for all. established Normans. gold-mines were reported.
bankers and money-lenders from the Rhineland and Lucca. unconquered. MacMurroughs and O'Tooles in Leinster. indeed.
great lords of the invasion. in fish. with speculators from
English kings had. themselves powerfully in Munster and LeinBut even here side by side with the ster.
years with uncorrupted blood from England. and taking land in the country. Sovereigns at Westminster
and wars abroad
Ireland to supply
looked to a conquered
for their treasury. slackness in effort. the schoolmasters. settling in the towns. the lawyers. were carrying over foreign coin.
haste to reap their full gains they demanded nothing better than a conquest rapid and
But the conquest
not so simple as
of the Irish nation
had seemed to Anglo-
official class in
Castle intriguers and the landlords. and estates for their favourites. It would
be hard to imagine any method of domination which was not used among the varied resources of the army. the money-lenders. or want of resource in dilemmas.
proposal to take
the land out of the hands of an Irish people
. The recruited every few Dublin.
soldiers for their armies. urged on the war with the dogged persistence
of their race.106
Provence. the church.
They certainly cannot be charged with dimness of intention. provisions for their
the colonists were to be a
mere garrison to conquer and hold the land But the Anglo-Norman adfor the king.THE NORMAN INVASION
to a foreign king. like later kings of
Spain in South America. not to collect Irish wealth for London. found themselves engaged in a double
conflict. The kings.
The English kings had made a further mistake. venturers had gone out to find profit for themselves. Their "loyalty' failed under that test. against
and against their own colonists. and were every year more entangled in the difficulties of a policy false from the outset.
not for the welfare of any class whatever of the inhabitants. could only
been carried out by the slaughter of the entire No lesser effort could have population. therefore. Yet another difficulty disclosed itself. to exploit Ireland for the benefit of the crown and the metropolis.
colonists a little experience the English theory of Irish "bardestroyed barism. They proposed.
turned a free tribal Ireland into a dependent
feudal England." The invaders were drawn to their
new home not only by
wealth but by
the variety and gaiety of its social life.t
of English birth". nor trade in the seaports.
with "the Irish enemy. the intelligence of its inhabitants.
lands were resumed from them. as alone suited to the country and people. nor find soldiers for their defence. without coming to terms with their Irish neighbours."
. could neither live nor till the lands
the attraction of
they had seized.
not in destroying riches but
in sharing them. Settlers."
much They were not counted
degenerate English." were as feared by the king as the "mere Irish.108
they recognised Irish land tenure. office forbid-
learning and art. one also that gave them peace
with their farmers and cattle-drivers.
military service neighbouring such as to keep roads and passes open for their traders and messengers. they emthey paid
ployed Irishmen in
offices of trust. they
their tenants in the Irish
manner. and kept out of their estates the king's sheriffs
and language. moreover.
of wealth lay not in slaugh-
traffic. English born
was bound to turn his court into a place of arms thronged by men
ready to drive back the next attack or start on the next foray. Whatever was the bur-
of military taxation
tribe dared to
disarm any more than one of the European countries to-day.THE NORMAN INVASION
avert the dangers of friendship and peace between races in Ireland they became missionaries of disorder. as the only means of being allowed protection of law and
freedom to trade.
became exceedtribes. eked out their military force
Civil wars within any country exhaust themselves and come to a natural
of contention. therefore.
wars maintained by a foreign
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.
on the Danes who had become mingled with the Irish to come out from them and resume their Danish nationality.
surrounded by dangers.
entangled in interminable strife. The Dublin officials. meanwhile.
they created and encouraged
and to make a stand
against their organised force. If any strong leader arose. Anglo-Norman or Irish. a powerful nobility. and themselves the guardians of their law and of their land. a highly organtreasury. to fling the province back into weakness and disorder. and a
In England the feudal system had been brought to great perfection a powerful king. the whole force of England was called in.
with a great military force. The Irish tribal system.
. They had
show what strength lay
spiritual ideal of a nation's life to
of their invaders. rested on a people en-
dowed with a wide freedom. and the ablest commanders fetched over from the French wars. guided by an
ancient tradition. on the other hand. great men of battle and plunder. a state organised for common action.110
power from without have no conclusion.
the firm structure of their law.
An earthen ditch with a palisade on the
top had been raised to protect all that was left of English Ireland.
Outside was a country and customs.CHAPTER
THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
Irish revival after the
wars showed the strength of the ancient Gaelic civilisation. and the cohesion
of the people. when Henry VII in 1487 turned his thoughts to Ireland he found no conquered
II in 1171
land. called the "Pale" from
encircling fence. Thirty
an army for "the conquest of Ireland.
of Irish language. Three hundred years later. The second victory which
the genius of the people won over the minds new invaders was a more astonishing
proof of the vitality of the Irish culture.
the Norman prayers and hymns of the Gaels.IRISH NATIONALITY
miles west of Dublin was
had married daughters and made
combinations and treaties with every province. with
three-fold entrenchments. traders welcomed natives' to the
on great mounds
of earth. Patrick's tooth shows
Athenry had adopted the national saint. and taking up
the clan system melted into the Irish population.
of Irish chiefs all over the country. took
into partnership. Their children went to be fostered in kindly
houses of the Irish. the love-songs.
singing the traditions.
shrine of gold for St. manners had entered
also into the
town houses of the merchants. allowed them to plead Irish law in their courts and not only that. bought
wares. but they themselves
employed them. Irish speech was so universal that a
proclamation of Henry VIII in a Dublin parliament had to be translated into Irish
Ormond. Many settlers changed their names to an Irish form. married with them.
This Irish revival has been attributed to a
to an invasion of
Bruce in 1315. in its freedom.
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. strong in its courageous democracy.
old social order that this great influence
. and joined in their national festivities and ceremonies and songs. talked Irish
with the other townsfolk.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
wore the forbidden Irish
lay far deeper.
and making merry with
forbidden Irish clients. in
culture. to the vice of the Irish.
in its humanities.
to the over-education of Irish
people in Oxford. in the centre of what should have been pure English land. the merchants went riding Irish fashion.
Almost to the very gates of Dublin. to the Wars want of energy of DubCastle. to the
of the Roses.
in Irish dress. to the
Normans. to agitation
and lawyers. It lay in the rich national civilisation which the Irish genius had
the rich vessels that adorned the
tables both of
Normans and the new churches
They were as active and ingenious as the Normans themselves. The social fusion of
was the starting-point
of a lively civilisation
to which each race brought
share. they sailed the Adriatic. Irish scribes illumi-
ated manuscripts which were as
fort. Irish gold-
castle as in
Irish chieftains alike took in ex-
silks and satins. explored China. journeyed in the Levant.
design. Irish-made linen and cloth and cloaks and leather were
carried as far as Russia
and Naples. carving at every turn their own traditional Irish ornaments. wines and spices. and strangers no longer yielded
to their power.
gether they took a brilliant part in the commerce which was broadening over the world. with all the old love of knowledge and infinite
curiosity. visited the factories of Egypt.
Besides exporting raw materials. cloth of gold and embroideries.
Irish were great travellers.114
The English policy made English the language
of traitors to their people.
Both races sent
students and professors to every university
recognised of deep knowlthe most learned men of Italy edge among and France. physicians.
but of no use
either for trade or literature.
of the Irish
schools to perish. to which the
Irish also in time flocked.
uplifting of the national ideal
in the fourteenth
by a revival of learning like that which followed the Danish wars.
. lawyers. poets. Not one of the
hereditary houses of historians. As Irish was the common language.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
peoples used translations into Irish made by Gaelic scholars from the fashionable Latin
books of the Continent.
to these ancient schools the settlers in the
towns added others
own. so that
the two races learned together. seems to have failed: we find
them at work
mountains of Donegal. so Latin was the
second tongue for cultivated people and for
of business in their continental trade. A kind of national education
was being worked
and celebrated with fresh ardour
the unity of the Irish nation." as the people said. among the bare rocks of Clare. and on the bright surface of the pleasant hills sleeping-booths of woven branches for the companies.
our knowledge of Irish literature
From time to time Assemblies of all the men were called together by patriotic
. and so on. From sea to sea scholars and artists gathered to show their skill to the men of Ireland. in the plains of Meath. streets of peaked
hostels for musicians.
Spacious avenues of white houses
were made ready for poets. straight roads of
conical-roofed houses for chroniclers. or
rising into high leadership
coming to Tara. another
avenue for bards and jugglers. in the valleys of Munster. in lake islands. In astronomy
along the Shannon. The old order was maintained in these national
festivals. and in these glorious assemblies the people learned anew the wealth of their civilisation.
Nearly comes from copies of older works made by hundreds of industrious scribes of this period.
the science of their age.
in war. or a good soldier
hostile to every Irish affection.
gay. hateful to God and man. in the English idea the church was
.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
was no wonder that
in this high fervour
Anglo-Normans. the "wild Irish' were no better than "degenerate English
"brute beasts. in treasurer. but
union of Ireland impossible in religion or in
by destroying public The new central organisation
in the old Irish sense dis-
appeared. justice. or the like. chancellor. like the Danes and the Northumbrians before them." Every measure was taken to destroy the growing amity of the peoples.
a powerful weapon in Englishman was at once
in every archbishopric
and every prinoften a Castle
cipal see. not only
by embroiling them
dence. a prelate
as well. deputy. abandoned to "filthy customs' amd to "a damnable
law that was no law." the English said. were won to a civilisation so vital and imof the country the
No pains. power.
For nearly two hundred years. English training at his court. and every attempt of Anglo-Normans to set up a university for Ireland at Dublin or Drogheda was instantly crushed. for example. Higher education was also denied to both races.118
to destroy the nation. visits to London. high
posts in Ireland. the heirs of this house were
always minors. and separated them from Irish interests a
"loyal" house. held in wardship by the king. who for considerations of wealth. knighthoods and honours there. happened. a privileged position. No Irish university could live
under the eye of an English
Armagh. prospects of
of Irish land. To avert general confidence and mutual understanding. a winking of
government offiat independent privileges used on their
each heir in turn to England. said the English
. were spared by the kings to conciliate and use so important a house as that of the earls
Ormond. an alien class was
maintained in the country.
betrayed the peace of Ireland to the
one following another in endless and
hopeless succession. in the swell and tumult of that tossing sea com-
manders emerged now
Both races suffered under this foreign misrule. Both were driven to the demand for home
rule. Both were brayed in the same mortar. "was as good as gone if a wild Irish wyrlinge should be chosen there as king." English
all civil strife
plainly see the steady drift of the
peoples to a
patriotism.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
back into the darkness
while the next pressed on to take his place. each to fall
in one province.
panic in England at these ceaseless efforts to
Irish nation. and
prayed to have a separate coinage for their Conland as in the kingdom of England. for "Ireland.
for a single
movement never flagged generation. Never for a moment
did the Irish cease from the struggle. An Anglo-Norman parliament claimed (1459)
that Ireland was by its constitution separate from the laws and statutes of England. federacies of Irish and Anglo-Normans were
even in Ibernia.
and that Ireland should
not be governed by needy men sent from England.
possessions as far as
Hungary and Greece. the most remote island of In Earl Thomas (1467) the Irish
"foreigner" to be the martyr of He had furthered trade of their cause."
Earl Gerald the
same house (1359) was a patriot leader a witty and ingenious composer of poetry. was complimented by the Republic of Flora letter recalling the Florentine origin of the Fitzgeralds.
foster-son of O'Brien
knowledge of the and history. who excelled all the English and
of the Irish in the
Irish language. since its citizens had
ence. they shared.120
seemed as if the house of the Fitzgeralds. and of
Gerald (1416). for the glory he brought to that city.
other learning. might mediate between the peoples
For a time
whose blood. through you and yours bear sway
the world. without knowledge of Ireland or
circumstances. poetry. Earl Gerald of Desmond led a demand for
rule in 1341. the most powerful house in Ireland. English and Irish.
the ocean wind moaning in the caverns still sounds to the peasants as "the Desmond's
keen. and kept up the family relations with Florence. steadily spread his power over the land. 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). his
daring. the gaiety of his battle with slander. they laid his body with bitter lamentations by the Atlantic at Tralee.
violence. earls of Kildare." who had come over with a claim to some of the Desmond lands in Cork.
Mor "the great"
(1477-1513). without trial by the earl of Worcester famed as "the Butcher."
fraud. married to the
Henry VII. who had married into every leading Irish house. took
in their turn the national cause.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
European peoples with Irishmen. His people saw in his death "the ruin of
with every Irish chief.
urgently pressed union of the races.
His son Garrett inherited and enlarged his Maynooth under him was great territory.
and feel not the smart that vexeth us." He attempted to
check English interference with private subjects in Ireland. His library was half of Irish books. and speak perfectly the Irish tongue.
London Tower. he made his English wife read.
all in his
of his genius lay
wife. son. write.
the grace of
of learning". his secretary was employed to write for his library 'divers chronicles'
of Ireland. He refused to admit that a
commission to Cardinal Wolsey as legate for
for the Irish.
no arbitrary tax. His whole policy was union in his country.
he rode out in his scarlet cloak he was
by four hundred Irish spearmen. and English lords. he had for his chief
poet an Irishman. for his piety.
loved him for his
of the richest earls' houses of that time. nature he won the hearts
and that he put on them By a singular charm of
for self-government as against rule
over-sea was heard in his cry to Wolsey and the lords at Westminster You hear of a
were in a dream.
" his enemies said.
one faction alone which
intrigues. both from fear so
Never were the
love. and to
both peoples were perfectly known. never were they
"so corrupted by affection" for a lord deputy. and
as deputy of the English king had won the devoted confidence of the Irish people. his first business was not to fight. but to call an
assembly in the Irish manner which should decide the quarrel by arbitration according to law.
In spite of
great opportunity had come to weld together the two races in Ireland.
Henry VIII was warned. the steady pressure of the country
was towards union. He "made peace.
and to put an deputy he rode
out to war against disturbed tribes.THE SECOND IRISH REVIVAL
resolve to close dissensions
and the nightmare
of forced dissension
new statesmanship of national
union. whose sympathies were engaged in both.
from England it found its sole and through its aid Ireland was security flung back into disorder." poor persons which never did
civility. apostles of
that held interests and possessions in both
and openly used England to advance their power and Ireland to increase their wealth. They had no country."
of the laws of
any way to good offices
God or of the king.
England nor Ireland could be counted such.
." know them save through
having no knowledge nor
of these slanderers.
would have had
anti-national minority no strength if left alone to
face the growing toleration in Ireland. They knew how to darken ignorance and
inflame prejudice in
fellow-countrymen in Ireland
savage nature of the people. for neither
he could beat down rebellion
concerned to give "civilisation" to Ireland.
he possessed the from the English apart
parliament. He was concerned to take the land. and offered to the
chiefs in return full security for their lands. and commanded its fighting-men and its wealth. quibbles
served for the king's "title to the land".
soil in his
II. smite Scotland into obedience. His
reasons were the same. 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".
. there was another great day of deception in Dublin.CHAPTER
THE TAKING OF THE LAND
VIII. Henry asked the title of King of
Ireland instead of Lord.
property by ancient inheritance or by conHenry might do as he would with
before and beyond
pattern. by the council's assurance to the king on the day the title was passed.126
of subtle preparation his promises
All cause of offence
Finally a parliament was summoned (1541) of lords carefully bribed and commons carefully packed the very
fully taken away. of that which was later called to vote the Union. And while they were by
title. there was no land occupied by any "disobedient" people which was not really the king's
quest. 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. the king and council were making arrangements together to render void both sides of the bargain. Royal concessions too must depend on how much revenue could be extracted
fiscation. First the
order voting the
wording of the
was so altered as to
take away any value in the common consent' of parliament. For since. in fact.
Henry. had exactly fulfilled the project of mystification he proposed twenty years
dled. but first by secret and
and there a
so that." said
such time as the strength of the Irish should be diminished."
Every trace of Irish law and land tenure must finally be abolished so that the
this was to be done at
politic measures.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
Parliament was dismissed for thirteen years. and division put among themselves
so that they join not together. the Irish lords should
as yet conceive no suspicion that they were to be "'constrained to live under our law or
by them now detained. as he said.
been any truth or consideration for Ireland
. their leaders taken from them. in fact. here
Henry. would serve
at the king's will alone.
who refused to Then came a
of soldiers over the district. and Ireland had yet to learn how far sufferings by the quibbles and devices of law might exceed the disasters of open war.
with an indignant people.128
compact some hope of commight have opened." of the inhabitants were to be exiled. hanging.
in the royal
false claimant could be put on a territory and supported by English soldiers in a civil war. Chiefs could be ensnared one by one in misleading contracts.
peasants out on the
There was also the way of The whole conquest." casting the
hillsides. true or false. till the actual chief was exiled or yielded
the land to the king's ownership. and Ireland would be kept subject in a way
chief. and the countries made vacant and waste for
English peopling: the sovereign's rule would be immediate and peremptory over those
he had thus planted by his sole will.
and the king was face to face
'the rebels. had power to give
people's land. practically void. But the whole scheme was rooted and grounded in falsehood.
A series of great Confiscations put through an enslaved Pale parliament made smooth the way of conquest. that is. An Act of 1536 for
the attainder of the earl of Kildare confis-
cated his estates to the king.
as territory of the "traitor" Shane O'Neill. In 1570 the bulk of Ulster." There would be no such difficulty. Henceforth it became a
fixed policy to "exterminate
Whether country people of the Irishry. then "the king might say Ireland was clearly won. the main part of Leinster. to "subdue or exile them as hath
.THE TAKING OF THE LAND
England. and the Irishry steadily pushed back into the sea. was declared forfeited in the same way. not any class of inhabitants of Ireland. the king was to "inthey habit their country' with English blood. Henry's advisers said as those of Henry II had said before.
as in the twelfth century
king and the metropolis that were to profit." for from the settled lands plantation could be spread into the surrounding territories." submitted or not. and after that he would be at little cost and receive great
and men and money at pleasure.
and afterwards re-
covered by the original Irish owners. Another
in 1586 the chief part of
of the "traitor" earl of
of 1536 forfeited to the
claims of English lords to lands which had been granted to them.
1569 moreover reduced
Ireland to shire land. in other words. Thus began what Bacon called the 'wild
chase on the wild Irishmen."
who had made
the crown were deprived of all the benefits which were included in such indentures. Another in 1537 vested in the king all the lands of
the dissolved monasteries. and the brehon or Irish law. English or
given to the crown. they were legally >f rebels. with
to the poor." and as such outside the laws of
law that gave
the Tudor wars their unsurpassed horror.
acres to slip through unawares.130
was abolished. the lordship Desmond. These laws and confiscations gave to the
sovereigns of the Irish the particular advantage that if their subjects should resist
the taking of the land.
women. and was
any case a rebel appointed to death. the sick.
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.
stood together to hold
the purging of the
and carry. and no
truce given. No quarter was allowed. war allow were forbidden to these
soil from the Irish race was Such mitigations as the horrors of
by legal went out with the
might be a landholder.
fiction. Poets and historians were slaughtered and
books and genealogies burned.
soldiers.THE TAKING OF THE LAND
in Irish law. At a prodigious price. at inconceivable cost of human woe. believing justice their side.
and the right
and law to be on two thousand
years of ordered possession.
scholars." to abase them before the tribes.
There was no
protection for any soul. or a
the tradition of the tribal
on owners. so that
Irishmen be confounded in the same
. no faith kept.
endured hardships that Englishmen could not survive. when the trees were bare and naked and the kine without milk.
. and begin
legal aids to extermina-
new English life. so that famine should slay what the sword had lost. But even with all
war proved more difficult than the English had expected. and across all the seas from Newfoundland to Dantzic gathered in provisions for the soldiers.
wipe out the Gaelic memories. The most powerful governors that England could supply were sent over. killing every living thing and burning every granary of corn.
and furnished with English armies and stores.
great object of the government was to destroy the whole tradiall
rights lost. It lasted for some
tion the land
seventy years. speaking
like ghosts crying
out of their graves.
tible in defence.
tion. Fleets held the harbours. famishing for their legs would not bear them. Out of the woods the Irish came creeping on their hands. prodigious in courage.132
ignorance and abasement. Armies fed from the sea-ports chased the Irish through the winter months.
practised in the customs of both countries. His five brothers and his son. sharing the blood of the two races. captured by a
all six of
false pledge of safety. a place where there was no pause for consolation nor ap-
pearance of joy on face.
them into the Tower The six outraged Tyburn marked the close of the
London. young Silken
Thomas. 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. Thus according to the
was "the strength of the Irish diminished and their captains taken from them.
would have led Ireland in a way of peace. and brought about through equal prosperity
In 1529 the great
earl of Kildare died of
a broken heart in the
betrayed by a forged letter into a rising." One great house after another was
swept out of Irish
life.THE TAKING OF THE LAND
found a few water-cresses flocking as to a feast.
was "to be bridled."
the Irish said of this patriot Ormond. years later an old blackened pedigree kept in the Tower showed against the names of
half the Fitzgeralds
up to that time the words
were the long
efforts to extinguish the talent
and subdue the patriotism of that great family.
education could do
Anglo-Norman leaders was laid low."
the restitution of
His son was held
to be brought up.134
and order a lasting harmony between the Three hundred English and Irish people. The earl of Desmond. Orrnond. too. 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. "before he could see that day after which doubtless
longed and looked the house of Kildare. after twenty-five years of alternate prison and war. saw the chief leaders of his house hanged or
third line of the
. No inquiry was made into that crime. as far as
it." It was said his house was in no mood to hand over the "rule and obedience of south Ireland to the king.
feebled in mind. a protestant
"the Tower Earl.
The deputy Sidney devised many
he could not conquer.
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
were also broken by guile O'Brien was separated
(1543). was brought from that prison to be shown to his
stunted in body. over from Scotland hired brought assassins who accomplished the murder (1567).
and an English guard of That house played no further
part in the Irish struggle.
by a peerage
inauguration without the ancient
as head of his lands.
." "the Queen's Earl. born in the Tower. The chief warrior of the north and terror
of Elizabeth's generals
was Shane O'Neill." cried
the people.THE TAKING OF THE LAND
struggle of the
north to keep their land and independence was maintained by negotiation and by war
. half an idiot. before lie himself
killed in 1583:
and the soldier-
the centre of the
noblest mission. instructed in their traditions.
and two races drawing
self-governing nation. the
land of a true democracy where men held the faith of a people owning their soil.
under the leading of the statesmen and generals
O'Neill earl of Tyrone.
together to form a
hundred years later. with a people
tribal tenure. the home
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). when Elizabeth and James I had completed his work.work that the continent ever
forty years. and themselves
guardians of their national
life. all the great
flight of the earls
violence of the old Gaelic
that federation of tribes which had
made of their common country
Henry VIII had found Ireland a land of Irish civilisation and law.
hostile planters set in their place.
in fact when the purpose of the government became clear in Ireland an English army Have no of conquest had to be created.
illusions." cried Red Hugh to his Irishmen. had disapthe people had been half exterminated." to purge
dread nor fear. in fact.
Anglo-Irish and Irish. tenure obliterated. nor of the strangeness of their weapons and arms. Tudors and their councillors were under no
Irish. "of the great numbers of the soldiers
triumph due to the weakness of government and the superior value of
the feudal land tenure?
far. every trace of Irish tribal law swept clean from the Irish statute-book. peared.
and an English form
Their fear was that the
of the English.
did the Irish civilisation invite and lend
to this destruction?
been said that
The were destroyed." Order after order went out to "weed the bands of Irish.
they suspected the real intention would all combine in one war.THE TAKING OF THE LAND
to please the
English of a
few names of Irishmen
by other Irishmen. detached
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
Munster sheltered and protected for years Desmond and many another with a heavy price on his head.
military difficulties of the Irish.
murderers who had been brought up from childhood in an English house. how-
such dangerous people. only distinguished by red crosses on back and breast.
others were sent
out to save their
"rebel. Not leader the poorest herdsman of the mountains
touched the English gold."
from England and from Berwick
were brought over at double the pay of the Irish. and so the
of English soldiers in Irish
clothing tearing from Irish men and women garments as the forbidden dress
rebels. For warmth and comfort they were
clothed in Irish dress.
the other hand. were such as to baffle skill
and courage. to increase its violence. had made England
rich. The new-found gold of Brazil. the smaller island. too. and contemplating no conquest on her part.
Dublin could never be closed from
land and sea.THE TAKING OF THE LAND
strength the whole might of Great Britain was thrown on Ireland. the greed
No motive was prospective planters. Ireland.
England had been
by the kings that
conquered her. was not
nation. had a peculiar animosity. the wealth of the Spanish main. the resolve of English
traders to crush Irish competition. into a powerful military nation by
Newly discovered gunpowder VII the force of artillery.
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
invasion. never conquered. and by the foreign wars she waged. the fury of Protestant fanaticism was the cloak for the king's ambition. Henry gave Henry VIII had formed the first powerful fleet.
so that it was only after such prodigious efforts of
war and plantation that the
moreover. the defence was now carried on not by a tribal
Gaelic people but
by a mixed race. the Irish system had disappeared so had the English. As we shall
see the battle
tribal tradition in Ireland
between the feudal tradition had ended
in the violent
death of both.
. half feudal by tradition. was no
longer in full possession of Ireland.140
within against enemies coming across the The island was too small to give any sea. Every fugitive within
the circuit of Ireland could be presently found
and hunted down. like the
Cape Colony into vast desert regions which gave them shelter while they built up a new state.
of escape to
defeated armies while
they were preparing for a new defence. But it was the
which gave to Ireland her desperate power of defence. The tribal system. for example. They could not disappear. while their still remained free and unenslaved. too.
bodies of her people were subdued. which the Tudor sovereigns found.
out of the and sorrow. the native civilisaEven now.
1600-c. Their difficulties were almost inconceivable. after confiscafidelity. their history and law.
language and poetry.
tion triumphed. outcast Irish cherished their
Amid contempt. when after the Danish settlement. one of
the noblest examples in history. In that
supreme and unselfish loyalty to their race they found dignity in humiliation and patience in disaster. with the old pride and devotion.
THE NATIONAL FAITH OF THE IRISH
depths of their poverty
and have left. the national tradition
maintained with unswerving
have seen already two revivals of life.
. as it were.
a Kerry man physician to the king of Poland. Ireland or the west of Spain.
sors. Numbers went to seek the education forbidden at home in a multi-
tude of Irish colleges founded abroad. exiled. another Kerry man confessor to the
queen of Portugal and sent by the king on an embassy to Louis XIV.
and industry." wrote one. learning.
in a single island of the
thirty thousand were said to be wandering about Europe.
in the history of the
world there was cast out of any country such
Irish deported. into the sea. "are the mountain or ocean. to me. as the English flung. in 1653 four thousand soldiers
were transported to Flanders for the war of
the king of Spain. physician and privy councillor to the king of France. O'Glacan. or cast out
tion. and a very famed professor of medicine in the universities of Toulouse
and Bologna (1646-1655).
Twenty thousand Irish were reported
Indies in 1643. and so
universities. With every 'The same year the number of exiles grew. a Donegal man.
in death. the Irish language gambol. with every Cross other national relic. every vestige
Staff of Patrick
was forbidden. their learned
men hunted down.
native industries were abol-
supposed the degradation of the Irish race to be at last completed. of contract between neighbours or
between lord and man. Love of country and every attachment of race and history became a crime."
for the Irish at
home. and even Irish language and dress were forbidden under penalty of outlawry or excommunication.
books burned." The people were wasted by thoulaugh there.
The very image
which the race had fashioned for was shattered. their schools were scattered. or children music is choked. codes of inheritance. "Their youth and
. of land tenure. No more shall any
wrote the poet.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
fast the gates of sorrow over
heart. chained. and the law of the
race torn up. and the
Columcille destroyed. the inauguration chairs of their chiefs were broken in pieces.
arms and money. at home and in
the dispersion. a Waterford man.
capacity and courage.
College of Franciscans was established in Rome (1625) by the efforts of
slaves. meanwhile. were seeking to save out of the wreck their national traditions. The Pope
granted to the Irish the church of
St." Such were the ignorant judgments of the new
people. was one of the most extraordinary men of his time for
his prodigious erudition. founder and head of the college. and an unchanging and impassioned patriot. an ignorance shameful and criminal.
nothing but to hew wood and draw water. The Irish. divine of the Spanish embassy at Rome. which had been occupied
by Spanish Franciscans. the greatest school-
that age. Luke Wadding.
patron of Madrid. He prepared the first
centres were formed of this
gentry are destroyed in the rebellion or gone to France." wrote one: 'those that are
left are destitute of horses.
John Ponce of Cork.
hertys. O'Donnells. archbishop of Cashel.
College was for the service of
whole nation. no matter from what province. Anthony Hickey. Lynches. Antony of Padua at Louvain. 'so long as they be
projected a general history of Ireland for which materials were being collected in 1628 by Thomas Walsh."
I break off
morning. and the rest. and of the patriots and soldiers
laid to rest
O'Neills. small monastery of the Freres de Charite
contains the few pathetic relics that are left
of the noble
of Irish exiles
gathered there from 1609 for mutual comfort and support. Hugh MacCawell of Tyrone." wrote one
. Murphys. with the
fellow-countrymen." for all Irishmen.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
edition of the works of the great Irish
Irishmen than the
spot should be more memorable to site of the Franciscan
College of St.
They were bound by
rule to speak
book was read during
meals. from every corner of Ireland.
and were trained in the
traditional learning of their race.
on the splendid record
guardians of the inheritance of their race. or Bonaventura O'h'Eoghasa.
. distinguished in his deep
knowledge of the later poetic metres. of which he wrote in his Latin and Irish Gram-
mar. "and I in gloom and and during my life's length unless grief. only that I might have one look at Ireland. "stood forward when she (Ireland) was reduced to the greatest distress. 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
." The fathers had mostly come of the old Irish literary clans.
Father O'Mulloy. who left 'her with lamentation to hills of beauty' holy with the Lou vain "try another trade'
scholar of that
a collection of Irish poems
who laboured on
from 1030 to 1630. threatened with certain destruction. trained
the poets of Ireland.
The work of the fathers was in darkness and sorrow.
and Patrick Fleming
Louth gathered records in Europe.
of historical learning in the
however." wrote Hugh Bourke to Luke Wadding. for which a lay/
. Michael O'Clerv.
thay had a printingto send out Irish gram-
mars. "I am wasting and perishing with grief. At Hugh's death.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
glory of Ireland should not be
entombed by same convulsion which deprived the Irish of the lands of their fathers and of
their property. English." Ireland
herself. Latin. poems."
press. collected materials
in Ireland for ten years.
Carthy Riabskilled in old and
Irish. glossaries. Hugh Mac an-Bhaird of Donegal undertook to
Sanctorum. a Munster chief. catechisms. in 1635. the task was taken up by Colgan. 'to see how insensibly nigher and nigher draws the catastrophe which must inflict mortal wounds upon our
country. born at Culdaff on the shore of Inishowen (f 1658).
. two O'Maelchonaires of Roscommon.148
wrote a history of Ireland to the Norman invasion in the beautiful hand taught him by
Irish scribes. In the
north meanwhile Michael O'Clery and his
companions. O'Sullivan Beare. all of
iclers. two O'Clerys of Donegal. fearing the
every record of his people.
from the president
ster. an emigrant and captain in the
to hereditary houses of chron-
In that time of sorrow.
Aharlo. and copied throughout the country by hundreds of eager hands.
Geoffrey Keating made (before Irish history down to the Norman
written for the masses in clear and winning style.
neighbouring race of seafaring chiefs. were writing the Annals of the Four Masters (1632-6). the most popular book perhaps ever
written in Irish.
was written while he lay
to 1626. and
O'Duibhgeanain of Leitrim.
London from 1589
at times through despair. published in 1621 his indignant recital of the Elizabethan wars in Ireland.
In Galway a group of scholars laid.
Another O'Clery wrote the story of Aedh Ruadh O'Donnell. 'Then were lost besides nobility and honour. hospitality and goodness. king of Munster in 260. valour and constancy. from them the workers had food and attendance. the famous
. polish and bravery. in a secure anchorage' for Lynch's words. his prisons and his battles.
was difficult to collect them to one place.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
gather up what could be saved. abbot of Iniscaltra about 650.
Irish history." There is still preserved a manuscript by Cainihin. generosity and great deeds. gave them a reward for their labours.
Dr. strength and courage. the authority and the sovereignty of the Irish of Erin to the end of
time. 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.
and the calamity to Ireland of his defeat. which was given to O'Clery by the neighbouring Mac Brodys who had kept it safe for a thousand years. courtesy and noble birth. while
Fergal O'Gara. John Lynch.
abroad their history he translated into Latin Keating's book.150
apologist of the Irish. Amid the horrors of Cromwell's
wars he carried out a prodigious work on the
genealogies of the clans. and Greek. he died in miserable
poverty in extreme old age (1709). of a family that
. For the same purpose his
stripped at last of his manuscripts as well as of his other goods.
wrote on Irish antiquities
diligence and judgment."
a spectator of others enriched by
an object of condoling to my relations and friends. translated the Annals
of Ulster into English.
miseries. a distinO'Flaherty of
guished Irish scholar. and a condoler of their
said. perhaps. a
of great learning. To Galway came also Dualtach Mac Firbis (15851670).
had been time out of in north Con-
learned in one of the old Irish
schools of law in Tipperary Latin. the greatest.
"a banished man within the bounds
cullen in Galway.
'I live. wrote there his historical
defence of his people.
at the age of eighty-five he
murdered by a Crofton when he was resting In Conin a house on his way to Dublin. like other history.
others of philosophy.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
that exists in any country. physic.
nacht. poetry. and history.
a landless sojourner on the estates that had once belonged to his family and race. lived
Tadhg O 'Roddy
of Leitrim. their writers. every Irish door opened to
custom. on the chronicles and on the laws.
chies of Ireland he
wandered on foot from
house to house. romances. genealogies.
thirty books of law.
would be long to tell of the workers in the Irish provinces the lawyers hiding in their bosoms the genealogies and tenures
. the last of the hereditary sennaIrish scholars. in moderate prosperity and in extreme adversity constantly devoted to the preservation of Irish In his old age he lived. too. and defended against the English the character of the old law and civilisation of
and wrote on their saints.
Tipperary. all over the country. perhaps.
the leaders of national
'Contention of the
a bat'Iomarbhagh na bhfiledh' tle that lasted for years between the bards of the O'Briens and the O'Donnells.
Kildare. those that
and those that
have escaped. The poets were
patriotism. in Lei trim. to be carried.
hundred years Keating's History was passed from hand to hand after the old manner in
made by devoted Irish hands (one them a "farmer"). Clare. Limerick. in which
. Kilkenny. could be set up among the Irish.
Irishmen gathered as for a hurling-match and went out to one of their old places of
amazing how amid the the time scribes should be found
to re-write and re-edit the mass of
scripts. they were
driven back on oral tradition and laborious
copying by the pen.152
the scribes writing annals
of their clans
genealogies. there to settle their own matters No printing-press by their ancient law. it was only in 1723 that Dermot O' Conor translated it into English and printed
of a far district. and use a good memory. none but those who had
of a bardic tribe. were among very many.
of Sligo (tl617). Tadhg lord of an estate with a castle as Daire."
The bards were
time trained in
low thatched buildings shut
away by a sheltering wood.
leader of the argument.
chief poet of
in his old age
Thomond.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
the bards of every part of Ireland joined served to rouse the pride of the Irish in
I. None were
admitted who could not read and write.
Though yesterday seemed
they should be distracted by friends and
with the shout. Bards whose names have often been forgotten spread the
and wrote verses several kinds into which a new gloom and
of the Ossianic cycle. was hurled over a by a Cromwellian soldier
'Say your rann now.
Fermanagh. where students came for six months of the year.
But with the exile of the
with the steady ruin of "the schools.154
relations. they found her fettered and weeping. Born of an untold suffering. putting
language" to bring
literature to the
common folk: there were made for those who were
setting their children to learn the English
instead of their native tongue.
and the poems
of the Irish bards
popular there as in Munster.
over Ireland. they tell
seeking after Erin over all obstacles. In that unfathomed experience.
were united as of old in the new literature. 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. Irish bards and harpers were as much at home
Highlands and in the
Isles as in Ireland. scores and scores of new and perhaps the richest attempt
to convey music in words ever made by man. and
. and turned to the people. a burst of melody swept
brilliant metres." poets began to throw aside the old intricate metres and the old words no longer
which put him upon doing
the justice he could in his writings.
There it seemed
might form a meeting-point between the new race and the old. In Leinster of the English.
tiny group of scholars in Dublin had begun to study Irish history." spared no cost in buying valuable manu-
. conjoined together in allegiance to one and the same sovereign. united
in the fruition of the selfsame air." Irish learning
different story. but all parts of one body politic.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
for their loyalty she
gave them the
to her. Sir James
men. joining together. "the cemetery
of the valorous Gael. in
live together." a people compounded of
and descent. others by descent only. "conceived a great love for his native
country and could not bear to see it aspersed by some authors. born there of an English family. the light of poetry. others neither by descent nor by birth but by inhabitation of one soil.
as the Catholics put
it. acknowledging one God.
Baron d 'Aungier. devoted him-
the study of Irish antiquities. Master of the Rolls. and employed a Sheridan of Cavan to translate the Old Testament into
that he wrote. who while provost established an Irish lecture in Trinity
Catholic." begging to see
noblest English scholar was Bishop Bedell. Anglo-Irish
drew together Protestant and and Irish. archbishop of
kept an Irish secretary to translate.
for eleven years the great scholar O'Flaherty whose help gave to his
value. had the chapter during commons read in Irish. they sent their own collections of records to help him in his Catholic history of Irish saints.156
'being desirous that Wadding's book should
see the light. his intimate friend.
Ussher. All these communication with Luke
through Thomas Strange
the Franciscan. put into writing every point which he could find in original
for antiquity or singularity
interest this country.
born in Dublin." wishing
religion. and the fanaticism of ascendancy and dominion. the passion of commerce. that had risen in Dubin their long history
was extinguished. caring for the people and speaking to them in their own tongue. man. and for daring to adventure that which his brethren had been "so long abuilding." the destruction of the Irish language.
. and by circulating a catechism in English and Irish.
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.
the war of
1641. Bitterly did Ussher reproach him for such a scandal at
which the professors of the gospel did all take offence.
light.NATIONAL FAITH OF IRISH
Irish. could do in a few years to abolish the divisions of race and
to his piety.
As bishop he braved the anger of the government by declaring the hardships of the Catholic Irish.
poured out their love and
they protected him in the insurgent chieftains grave paying homage
gratitude to Bedell.
Charles I did indeed propose to use the Irish fighting-men to smite into obedience England
and Scotland. The "royal in-
heritance" of so
many hopes had
dream of a royal army from Ireland.CHAPTER X
RULE OF THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT
THE aim which English kings had set before
for the last four
victory turned to dust in their hands.
hundred years seemed The land was theirs. it could no longer be made to serve in Ireland. decaying and intolerable in England. James II looked to
. but no king of England tried that experiment again. and the
dominion. for if the feudal system which was to give the king the land of Ireland had
destroyed the tribal system. a sword and flay" at the king's use against his subjects in Great Britain. perished.
it was itself dead.
Ireland. or law behind them. English planters and Irish toilers. There were two new classes. tradition. that too vanished:
no As for the dream of
and new which the English
government left the king none the richer. Everything in Ireland was to be new.
a second time.
the king's revenues and profits. so many centuries.
had begun.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
of refuge to fly to in danger. the rule of the English parliament
benefit. as in Henry's scheme. and after 1692 no longer sufficed even for Irish
expenses. for a safe place
that. Other methods had been set up. without custom.
which Henry VIII had proclaimed in his own right with such high hopes. nor anything known before. The social order was now neither feudal nor tribal. again. Thus past history was as it were wiped out. bred out of its
original deception other deceptions deeper
blacker than 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.
fallen. 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
royal power instead of it
classes." Ireland was left absolutely without There were no guides or representatives.160 old ties
bound them. where the scum of Great Britain." observed a Gael of that day. each
fighting for his
among own hand. and no new charities. Ancient patri-
idea of a separate
and profit had disappeared and had come the rule and profit of
nothing. or but little as yet. with much turmoil and confusion an England where kings were yielding to parliaments.
English government permitted none the Irish.
that of the strong hand and the exploiter's
Ordinary restraints of civilised sowere not yet born in this pushing
commercial throng. of the fear of God.
England too was being made new.
natural leaders of the country
new men. 'From the Anglo-Irish no man of special
sanctity as yet is known to have sprung.
and of her nobleecclesiastics. This new rule marked the first revolution in
the English government of Ireland which had happened since Henry II sat in his Dublin
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. Regardless of any legal technicalities they simply usurped a power unlimited and despotic over a confused and shattered Ireland. for there were no Irish representatives in the English Houses.
. Now was seen the full evil of government from over-sea.
the ancient constitution assured
since English laws
by compacts and grants
brought into that country. with the right
his privy council. and traders in general.
the parliament of England. Of its mere will the parliament of England now took to
for Ireland in as
and uncontrolled a manner as
had neither experience nor training. Ireland united to the Crown of England as a free
kingdom.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
This despotism grew up regardless of any theory of law or constitution.
profits fell to planters.162
where before a foreign tribunal. what had once been widely diffused
try. Where the
English adventurer passed he
the land as
and could affirm no
of the natural resources of the island
were cut down for charcoal to smelt the iron
which was carried down the
and what had cost
10 in labour
and transport sold at 17 in London. sitting at a and prejudiced. The last furnace was put out in Kerry when the last wood had been destroyed. the rooting out of the old race from the coun-
Adventurers were tempted by Irish wealth. they could dispute no people
distance. the subject had no voice.
three times as
gain from an Irish as
from an English estate by a
and of its cheap outlawed labour.
the Irish tribes was gathered into the hands of a few aliens. who ruthlessly wasted
the land for their own great enrichment. Forests of oak were hastily destroyed for quick profits. ignorant
lie. The intention
the taking of all Irish land.
every device of law and fraud was used to fling the whole people into the war. the value
of forfeited lands being calculated
ment later The more
Three provinces had been largely planted by 1620 one still remained.
forfeitures.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
had swept over the
country. for the waster's madness. proposed to
City. and after him Charles I in
violation of his solemn promise. For the exploiter's rage. and so on in every was a cheap bargain. either in fact or in name. and so destroy the claim of the whole
Commons consisting mainly of Puri-
tan adventurers. By a prodigious fraud James I. joined in speculations to buy
"traitors' lands.500 for a thousand acres. more land was constantly needed.
maddened people were driven to arms in The London parliament which had
opened the quarrel with the king which was to
in his beheading." openly sold in London at 100 for a thousand acres in Ulster or for six
province. seized their opportunity
"had nothing but the human form to show that they were men. in fact." Letters were forged and printed in
children from twelve years were sold into the
. in the death than half the population. standing amid these scenes of woe with praises to God for such manifest evidence of His inspiration. The speculators got their lands."
the English said to one another.
remains in Ireland as the great exemplar of
order of parliament (1653)
20. outcast women and children lay on the wayside devoured by wolves and
birds of prey.
men. these were the acts
conduct of a war of distinguished by which the
knew government by an English parliament.
to their lands. Parliament
ended. purporting to give Irish news.
utmost to make the contest a war of
of little less
The Commons' auction
in 1641. their
of Irishmen's lands
ferocity. The memory of the black curse
the people. they still mark
London on the
experiment to appeal in this way to Irish question. discountenanced by parliament.
(1690). he said.
Slave-dealers were let loose over
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
mere appearance of keeping promise to a few hundred Catholic landowners
out of thousands. of
Kings were restored to carry out the
. and charity towards all. and the Bristol merchants did
With what bitter irony an good business.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
service of English planters in Virginia
Carolinas. the Protestant planters sent out their threats of insurrection. Irishman might contrast the "civilisation'
of the English
and the 'barbarism'
we talk. but if the question
civility. 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.
good manners. of liberality. about civility and a manner of contract of selling and buying.
immediately broken. the planters. and William said no word to uphold
the public faith. The English parliament objected to any such encouragement of Irish Papists.
worship was exchanged for the most infamous set of penal laws ever placed on a Statutebook.
four thousand Irishmen. conspicuous among the perfidies to Ireland.
inaugurated the century of settled rule by the parliament of England (1691-1782). and demanded that no pardons should
be given or estates divided save by their advice. the land under Cromwell and William.
Its first care
was to secure to English Prot-
estants their revenues in Ireland. proceeded to crush
the liberties of
The breaking of the Treaty of Limerick.
they held by the despotic grant of the English This body.
one-fourth of the people of Ireland. and seized a million
half of their acres.166
which the Irish were promised the quiet The Treaty was exercise of their religion. having outlawed parliament.
and one-half of their estates. were
established as owners of four-fifths of Irish
forth in 1698 the
of Ireland. Molyneux.
had never been of Ireland. that the privy councils in
Dublin and London had power to
to the king. and left to onefourth alone the right of citizens.
their subject as in their origin."
centuries. deprived three-fourths of the people of representatives.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
simply issuing statutes for Ireland of its sole The acts were as tyrannical in authority.
. without and against Irish legal opinion." said an English member
of that time.
came from heaven that was a privy
would not trust my liberty with him one moment.
which ordered that no Catholic should
the Irish Houses. and declared that his native land shared the claims of all mankind to justice.
All liberties were thus rooted out. and that all its a "conquest' civil liberties were grounded on compact and charter.
planters' rights were overthrown as pitilessly as those of the Irish they had expelled.
English judges decided. member for Dublin university.
or conscience which all other men have not an equally just
claim to. estate." The "ill consequences were seen seventy years later when Molyneux' book became the text-book of Americans in
their rising against English rule. or any
ease in his property.
Anglo-Irish defenders of their own liberties were driven to make common cause with
their Irish compatriots for "no one or more men. can by nature challenge any right."
But that day was
far off. The gentry who had accepted land and power by
the arbitrary will of the English House of
tory. their parliaments rendered nuga-
and their lives and fortunes left to depend on the will of a legislature wherein
they are not parties.
to think their rights
at all. or freedom." be ill consequences. than downright robbing me.168
me without consent is little
better." said Molyneux. the free people of England." he cried. cannot think of such
a thing but with abhorrence. liberty.
moment the Irish parliament deserved and received entire contempt from England. I am sure the great patriots of liberty and property.
RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
dared not dispute the tyranny that was the warrant of their property: I hope. since the Irish were "dependent on and protected by England in the enjoyment of all they had.
and on the same day required of him. and the
Anglo-Irish. neux and his remonstrance." to forbid them to continue their woollen
trade. and to order the journals of its parliaments to be laid before the Houses at Westminster." With such an argument at hand. demanded of the
king to maintain the subordination of Ireland. the English
parliament had no need of circumspection or It simply condemned Molyof soft words.
laws which should bind the people of Ireland.
under an equal bondage to the As one of the governors of Ire-
land wrote a hundred years later. but leave
entire to England.
Thus an English parliament which had
the Anglotyranny Irish tied under servitude to England. "the honourable member will not question the validity of his title. 'I think Great Britain may still easily manage the
." was the ironic answer.
corrupt and ignoble servitude.
price of wealth
and ascendency they
own freedom and the rights of new country." Govern-
and properties of the and at the expense of the civil
erties of the whole.
. that Englishmen in Ireland should be on
equal terms with English in England. Precautions
were taken against the growth of "an Irish
a variety of devices the parliament of English Protestants was debased to a
Protestants. and the Protestants the Catho-
Such was the servile position of English planters.
low. were placed in power at the expense of
gent arrangements were made to keep Ireland
The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended
while the English parliament ruled. Judges were removable at pleasure. They had made their bargain.
to a subject
The government never proposed colony. So deep was their subjection that Ireland was held in
England to be
no more than a remote part of their dominion. which was not accustomed to figure on the theatre of politics. The smaller number.
.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
ment by Dublin Castle was
sole interest of
directed in the
One tyranny begot
bers. the Church.
your mind." Castle officials were
of these offices
I consent to part with the disposal
which have been so long and so uniformly bestowed upon members of the British parliament." said the English premier "
country to protect.." as the nick:< I fear much name went of the churchmen. devoted themselves to the
increase. the Law.
." 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..
they were scarcely
suspicious of the English Protestants. the greatest posts in the Castle.
blame here. were given
liberties to defend.
common enemy". the majority of their subjects.
expected to have a single view to English In speeches from the throne
governors of Ireland formally spoke of the Irish people.
security of their property its security and All was quiet. "king-fishers.
and delivered in this house of peace and liberty with our disarmed
Mary's persecution Protestants flying from England had taken shelter in Ireland among Irish Catholics.
in the parlia-
Irish. true to their ancient horror of violence
made a religious war.
education was denied them. never
Their only prayer was for freedom in worship that same prayer which
Protestants had never cause for
fear in Ireland
religious grounds. and never desired that which was ever repugnant to the Irish spirit. however. when a father
. no Irish curse has been found against the Protestant for his religion. began a series of penal laws against Irish Catholics. signed with tears.
parliament. They were forbidden the use of
their religion. almost every
hood. every family affection. "indented with sor-
row. every right of a citizen. Their possessions were scattered. Bitter as were the poets against the English exterminators. temporal ascendency for a
for religion. even through the black time
of the penal laws. and not a hand was raised against them there.
"does not suppose any such person to exist as an Irish Roman Catholic.
In this ferocious violence the
law-makers were not moved by fanaticism.
and use them as
slaves. Catholic was not greatly desired."
rose their lament. pursued the souls of the victims to the second and third
generation. so as to make them for
ever unfit for self-government.
but only with their prop-
The conversion of a erty and industry. "no. so long as there were Papists the planters could secure
left us." Laws which would have sounded infamous if directed openly to the
seizing of property. Their rapacity was not concerned with the
religion of the Irish." said the leading
judges." Statutes framed to demoralise and debase the people.
One-fiftieth part of Ireland
to Irish Catholics." They
were only recognised
than negroes. utterly excluded for
single foot of land there
ever from the inheritance of their fathers. not
what one may
on a sacred character
as a religious effort to suppress false doctrine.
died his children were handed over to a Prot-
'The law.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
sorrel of the mountain. they forbade trade in soap or candles.
subjection tempted the commercial classes. Under frost."
that are with-
out a bed except the furze of the mountains.
in cloth. under rain. the Protestant land-hunters were no more respected in
Ireland. was proposed to stop Irish fisheries. the Anglo-
had made a bad bargain. They might
parliament did with
chose. in glass. in spite of this success. and the bog-myrtle beneath their bodies. or clover of the hills.
and industry English traders made statutes
to annihilate Irish competition. They forbade carrying of cattle or dairy stuff to England.
the right to have a country. under
snow. The wool which they might not use at home must be exported to England alone. green grass. in linen save of the coarsest
the increase of corn was checked. without a morsel to eat but watercress.
pity to see their nobles forsaken !'
their fellow-countrymen. the bent of the curragh. under blasts of wind.
said Swift. "want and misery in every face. so lacking in industrial resources.
of harbours." In 1720 all trade was at a stand. Englishmen said. "of no more use to us than a beautiful prospect
shut up in a dungeon. and took the raw material of Ireland.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
not build ships. the country bare of
money. once so
commerce. that Ireland had been by the act of God doomed to
so isolated in geographical position. more than to any
other country save their American colonies. inhabited by
a people so indolent in
their religion to work. From old time Ireland had traded across the Gaulish sea: her ports had
discoverers of America. while
Irish workers were driven out
. Their manufacturers sent over yearly two millions of their goods." It was unfortunate.
her great harbours to the west with rising American trade were closed: no
merchant ship crossing the Atlantic was allowed to load at an Irish port or to unload. were now.
and unfitted by Meanwhile they suc-
pushed their own business in a counwhich they allowed to make nothing for try itself.
" abandoned all power save that of increasing
the sorrows of the people.176
title. should sometimes It had diverge towards public utility. useful politi-
by other names.
planters' parliament looked
barren helplessness. ily increasing Some 600.
popular resistance. a queen
for misconduct. and the like.000.
double corruption was thus proceeding.
trailing host of
ambassador under a
Englishmen pensions steadfrom 30.
They had no
could lead no
nation behind them. parliament
and tyrannical could not even pretend to urge on the government that its measures.
. government annuities.
relations of the Hanoverians.000 to over 89.
public duty.000 was at last yearly sent over
to England for absentees. Ministers heaped
They They had no And the English knew
it well. as a patriot said. pensions.
quartered on Irish revenues all the pensioners that could not safely be proposed to a free
parliament in England
who would not even
write the Irish
said. grand juries. and the rest
without a word
for the Irish in the law.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
The English parliament
houses for ever unfit for self-govern-
Irish parliament was seeking to the same office for the Irish people perform under it.
brought under consideration of the rulers
only as objects of some new rigour or severity. lawyers. bailiffs. as magistrates. In courts
where the law was administered by Protestant
landlords and their agents. conducted trials with fairness and humanity: "for about ten miles from Clonmel both sides
. ment had the Irish any voice."
In neither parliaprotected their crimes. three-
ment. 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. The old race meanwhile. 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
000 Irish soldiers were reckoned to have died between 1691 and 1745.
in the eighteenth century.
counted thousands from north and south
America." the dependency of Ireland upon England. was given
there in a constant stream from 1650
opportunity prouncontrolled to ad-
vance "the king's service.
In the service of France
of the road were lined with
children. the parliament of the English aristocracy and commercial
to exploit Ireland to
their advantage. and "the comfort
or security of any English in
it. kneeled down and supplicated Heaven to bless him
and guardian angel."
tude of statesmen put
hands to the
. For a hundred years (1691-
strictest severity that
1782) they ruled the Irish people with the human ingenuity could
Like the kings of England." The people poured from "this sod of misery'
across the sea. as he passed along.
in European history. perhaps. And in the end there was no advantage to any party. where Irishmen were
suffered a long agony unmatched.
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. English clergy were sent over to fill all the higher posts of the church. and bravery than had ever been exiled from any country in the world: there was not a country in Europe. and not an occupation. Few of the Protestant
country gentry had established
tunes. and thus doubly impoverished them. had
land. to Engment.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
work. but there was no profit to Ireland. Some astute individuals heaped up an ignoble wealth. or to the Empire.
them from public duty. Commercial men in England inspired the policy. England on her part had thrown into the sea from her dominion a greater wealth of talent. and were the chief leaders of the secular govern-
Such a power very rarely falls to the any country.
there was plain bankruptcy
said. every council. physicians.
experience bore down the temporisers. merchants.
ministers. Patrick. the fury
were spent in organising the American War.180
field-marshals. soldiers. or allow her the means
As for the Empire. every battle.
ambassadors. their arms." the colonies had been flooded with the men
that England had wronged.
admirals. supporting herself. Protestants and Catholics had
as "Sons of St. Irishmen were at every meeting. In exchange for this an incompetent and
landed gentry was established in Ireland."
scholars. and their money. Their
kingdom. founders of
mining industries. and sent out men trained in suffering to triumph
indignation was a white flame of revolt that consumed every fear and vacillation
long. and labourers. Even the Protestant exiles from Ulster went to America
persecution and designed ruin" by the English government. Instead of profit for the governinferior
printed and pub-
have seen the uncontrolled rule of English kings and English Parliaments.
Such was the end of their story.
it. passionate organisers of the revolt. born at Limerick during the
was publicly thanked by Washington and by the congress. American Navy.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT
Sullivan. Commodore John a Wexford man. There was another experiment yet to be tried." was Washington's com:e
mander-in-chief of the naval forces of the
States. signed the Declaration of Independence. Father of the Barry.
secretary of the Continental Congress. an Irishman's son first publicly
After the war an
Irishman prepared the Declaration for publication from Jefferson's rough draft.
The Cromwellians complained that thousands of the English who came over under Elizabeth had 'become one with the Irish as
well in affinity as in idolatry. There grew up too the union of common Once more the people of Ireland suffering.
'brayed together in a mortar'
them into a single commonwealth."
Forty years these Cromwellians planted on Irish
. 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. nor the charities of human nature. the essential needs of
THE RISE OF A NEW IRELAND
IT might have seemed impossible amid such complicated tyrannies to build up a
relics of their fathers:
the cry of
their lamentation. the piety. kindly friendships between neighbours. their children could not speak a word of
English and became wholly Irish in religion Seven years after the battle of feeling.
The gentry in general spoke Irish with the people. consuming the humanities of their law.
Boyne the same
influence began to turn
the very soldiers of William. The
had seen the
pass over them. far
government. and Protestgrew up ants by some device of goodwill would hide a Catholic from some atrocious penalty. was more expressive than any music he had
left their traces. or his
children from being brought
ants. and common interests grew up in the land where they lived together. the honour of their country.
heard of the great masters of the continent. In the country places. said
an Italian in 1641. the charm of Irish life told as of old. would
save his arms from being confiscated.
The penal days have
see in hidden places of the
. The civilisation.RISE OF A
farms suffered themselves the same change.
some cave or rock where the people gathered
in secret to celebrate mass. By
the despised business of handicrafts and commerce the outtheir industry
laws were fast winning most of the ready money of the country into their hands. and deeply
carved with the instruments of the dead man's
trade. and naves and chan-
or a carpenter or a mason. the tools of a
laid in the roofless
abbeys. the sacred places of the Irish. a
in 1722 a scupltured
who had come
to Connacht. under great sculptured slabs bearing the names of once noble families.
In a far church in
Connemara by the
looking out on the great ocean. cast out of their
lands. Monuments lie heaped
in Burris. said
held in the utmost contempt their dead bodies
proudly cels. a plough.
would be a noble
achievement. the figure
coat of mail and conical helmet finely carved in limestone.
their final degradation
had been driven to the livelihood which the
the work of their hands.
memorials of Irishmen.
Clergy language and officials alike knew nothing whatever
of the true life of Ireland. But in general the
other political agents opposed The kindly intercourse of the two races." But Swift's popularity with the native Irish
was remarkable. and when he visited Cavan he was interested by verses of its poets and wrote an English ballad founded on the Plearaca Ui Ruairc.
complete Irish barbarism was necessary to maintain the Protestant ascend-
. and the respect which Philip Skelton showed for the religious
convictions of a country-bred maidservant should be remembered.
prevented "the Irish from being tamed.
there was a rare exception. he helped the rector
prayers read in Irish in the established
churches in remote places. holding that
duty was not to minister to the Irishmen. but rather as agents of
.RISE OF A
the government to bring Irish speech entire disuse." refused to learn the
only understood by the people. to abolish the Irish language.
clergy in general.
the Protestant planters. So fixed and
of wretchedness. or Ireland. and in later days to defend it. to be repressed by even more savage severity. to the irrevocable loss of a vast
By steadily neglecting everything written in the native tongue of the country.
Unsuspected by English
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. lawlessness. onefourth of the inhabitants.
day all manuscripts of the later Irish times have been rejected from purchase by
public funds. England.
policy. secured to themselves the sole place in the later history of
convenient did this lying doctrine prove that it became a truism never To challenged. unless the pains of starvation now and again woke the most miserable from their torpor to some wild outrage. lying in impenetrable darkness. which
in the long
engendered a false run held no profit
settlers. The whole literature of the Irish was therefore
cast aside as waste refuse.186
of Irish material.
turning ease. the history of their tribe. the grandsons of kings working with the spade. steadfast. and geog-
was Daibhi O'Bruadair of Limerick. the poor man
perfected in learning.
the fashion of
their tongues to speak the
rough English. the chaffering insolence of the
traders. now that the great
schools were broken up. a man knowing some English and learned in Irish lore.
the breaking of the treaty. historians
poets and scribes were to be found in farmhouses.
Thus the poet Tadhg
. Learned men showed the love of their
language in the making of dictionaries and grammars to preserve.
prose accounts of the late wars. whose poems
greatest of the poets
of the cabins
lessons of their time.RISE OF A
the years of
these exiles in their
and Limerick. the learning of the
great masters of Irish. annals of Ireland. the antiquities of their province. well proved in good sense. the laying
Irish in 1652. working at the plough and spade.
English." There were still well-qualified
who copied the old heroic stories and them freely all over Ireland.
he gained the
. in his last edition of the grammar he prayed pardon for confounding an example of the imperative with the potential mood." said Charles
Irish. His father.
A Franciscan sheltered in a peasant's
who knew no
Latin." which he was caused to do 'by the great bother of the brawling company that is round about me in this prison.
Another learned poet and
lexicographer. had been so reduced by confiscation that he had to plough with his own
hands." O'Conor was of Sligo county. like other gentlemen. taught him attended mass held secretly in
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. published with Conor O'Begly in Paris a grammar
and a dictionary (1732). Aodh Buidh MacCurtin.188
O'Neachtain worked from 1734 to 1749 at
were thus connected. for his friend Dr.
writer. Curry. and O'Conor began again that endless labour
of Irish scholars.
and delighted the peasants round him with the stories of their national history. volumes of extracts from books he could not
the passion of his
Having obtained O'Clery's own manuscript of the Annals. and
drew Irishmen together Catholic Committee" Charles
of Dublin. He formed an Irish and copied with his own hand large library.RISE OF A
best learning of his unhappy time. he had this immense work copied by his own scribe. Dr. the saving of the relics of
his people's story
final oblivion. and another copy made in 1734 by Hugh O'Mulpossess. and the best learning of an Irish-
at that time. Much of the materials that O'Clery had used for
Annals had perished in the great troubles.
He wrote for the learned. so that the best English of an Irishman. It is
interesting to recall that Goldsmith probably
and do not say till death 'God damn' from
festivals. poured out in verse the infinite sorrow of the Gaels.
a song of hope arose
that the race should
again. be ye full of almsgiving and friendliness. studied as a physician in France. and
to win for the Irish
rights of citizens
before the law and
shun ye drunkenness and oaths and cursing. he was the first to use his research and literary powers to bring truth
out of falsehood in the later Irish history. meanwhile.190
the voice of Irish charity was not wanting :< Having the fear of God.
had had was eminent in Dublin though shut out from every post. and forgetting nothing do ye according to the commandments.
and the high
of great Irishmen. of a Cavan family whose estates been swept from them in 1641 and 1691. These learned patriots combined in a move-
them the history of their fathers. Curry.
justify the Irish against the lying accusations concerning the rising of 1641.
they were all. in fact. in a fine recitahovels there were men skilled
language showed the even in literary influence.
the north rang out in a multitude of bards. fresh from a French college. for the Stuarts
hold on Ireland. who died in 1784.
people in the bareness of their poverty
nourished with a literature
full of wit. feeling. a working man who had laboured with plough and spade." Riotous laughter broke out in some. professional wits
among them Eoghan Ruadh O'Sullivan from Kerry. and first came into note for helping
employer's son.RISE OF A
your mouths. and dignity. who recited in their cabins the love-songs and religious
of long centuries past. with an explanation of a Greek
Connacht manuscripts perished.
In the poorest nation. but old tradition lived on the lips of the peasants. and
tion. whose works perished in a century of persecution and destruction. Jacobite poems told of the Lady Erin as a beautiful woman flying from the
of foreign suitors in
search of her
Families. for the old learning's sake. Manuscripts were
days when it was death or ruin to be found with an Irish book
There were some in Kerry.
There were few candles.
Children shut out from
cation might be seen learning their letters by copying with chalk the inscriptions on
their fathers' tombstones. In remote places schools were
maintained out of the destitution of the
dancing at the cross-roads
preserved a fine and skilled tradition. some where a very remarkable group
have "a scholar'
in their house.
they were buried in the ground or hidden in the walls. like that one which was kept up for over
a hundred years in county Waterford. too.192
own day have used a vocabulary
thousand words. where
the people of the surrounding districts sup1
charge. as against about eight hundred words used by peasants in England.
From all parts of Ireland students
. and the scholar read his books by a
the light given by throwing upon twigs and dried furze.
door. there in an opening between two mountains. But he worked in peril. and projected a translation of Homer into Irish.RISE OF A
begged their way to "the schools of Minister. in his denunciations
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." Thus Greek and Latin still found their way
into the labourer's cottage. until famine clove
to the people
and bowed them to
he never opened to the moan of the starving. Famous as a poet.
shut up inside with him.
his house poets and and contend as in the old days. In county Cork.
of the Irish
hereditary chronicler of
published in 1717 a vindication of the Antiquities of Ireland got two
. he wrote part of a history of Ireland. flying for his life more than once
before the bard-hunters. John Clairech O'Donnell. "and oh! may heaven of the saints be a red wilderness for James Dawson!'
of the planters.
even in the houses of the strangers. O'Carolan.194
hundred and thirty -eight subscribers.
Welsh harper Ireland no such music
Mr. and all
assembled to greet the Leitrim champion. The magic of Irish music seems even to have stirred in the landlords' parliament some dim sense of a
gathered in an encampment of tents to do
honour to his name. the harper and singer. as Irish poets had done nine hundred years before. was beloved by both
English nobleman com-
ing to the parliament with a
claimed that in
could be heard. and at his death
English and Irish.
slight inequality in
a hundred and
years recalls to Irish peasants the site of the house where he was born. O'Duibhgeanain was of an old literary clan:
. and found in some of them a kindly friend. divided about equally between English and Gaelic
Wandering poets sang." who The Commons begged to have the trial in their House before business began.
names. Jones of Leitrim took up the challenge for an Irishman of his county had never worn linen or woollen. Protestant and Catholic.
same And the House
and a high conical cap
many tassels. he himself was not only a fine harper.RISE OF A
one of them had shared in making the Annals of the Four Masters. Commons gave him their verdict. their
looking very noble in his ancient garb made of beaten rushes. you deprive them of the means of civilisation.
rest. and left to deplore their fate.
and their harp.
peasantry with untractableness. gives the 'You accuse their lament of Irish scholars. architect and studied Arabian antiquities in Portugal and Spain. with a cloak or plaid of the
stuff. not in the strains
of their ancestors. whilst you adopt the most cruel means of making them ignorant.
who became an
pastors with illiterature. But that is not all.
Oblivion might that was not theirs.
came. their oak. a poor bricklayer of Cork.
and handsome. you have
deprived them at once of their religion. but an excellent Greek and
but in the sighs of oppresthe great landlords the Act of 1691 which had given them wealth was the
of Irish civilisation.
Gradually the people of Ireland were being
the making parliament into a really representative body.
Swift showed to the Protestants the wrongs they endured and the liberties which should
theirs. There were not
. No life could have gone on under its monstrous terms. schools of husbandry. relief
of the poor
from their intolerable burdens. the Dissenters of the north.
to unite the
and the Catholics.
on the shameful
system of their slavery and their tyranny (1724). dwellers in Ireland were forced into some concern for its fortunes.
sides. It had proved inpossible to carry out fully the penal code.
not more than a man's age might cover.196
lived in a land
some few years
old. in a common citizenship.
By degrees. however. Bishop Berkeley wrote his
the most searching study of the people's grief and its remedies.
All classes suffered under
the laws to abolish Irish trade and industry. Lord Molesworth urged (1723) free-
were strong in
country there was a grow-
more liberal of ing the landowners.
religious distinctions were abolished."
was the cry
not a nation begin again to live in Ireland. the Protestants would
without British protection.
therefore called out to avert the rise of
government was a
. "Let the legislature befriend us now.
to the Protestant parliament in 1786. Such a movement alarmed the government
If. organised under O'Driscoll.
The whole energy
united Irish People. and
work.RISE OF A
Protestants enough to carry on all the business of the country and some "Papists" had
to be taken at least into the humbler forms
Friendly acts between neighbours diminished persecution. and might they not then form a government more to the
of the people
had stirred not only
the English settlers but the native Irish.CHAPTER
THE movement of conciliation of its peoples
that was shaping a new Ireland. he raised in his
Journal a new national protest. The pamphlet war which followed where
alone had free
were of necessity the
chief actors in the recorded story. and lesser passions the love of country. Idolised by the Irish people. who in 1741 had begun to stir for reform and freedom.
Dr. silent and unrecorded as it was.
a nation rose again
the awakening country they had to reckon with a risingp ower in the Catholic Irish.
entry into public
gentry. can only be understood by the astonishing history of the next fifty
It was an Irishman
House of Commons to remember that they had a country of their own and an "Irish interest'
Antony Malone. on its old and new races. its
men argued not only on free trade and government. If their numbers were few their ability was great.
parliament too. they were braver in their
not. and behind them lay that vast mass of their own people whose
blood they shared. said some. put off their ardour with their old religion.
Terror was immediately
men men of
though Catholics were shut of old Irish race were to be
accepted Protestantism as a means of entery ing public life. They
save very rarely.
and disheartened Catholic aristocracy.
idea of a
history of Ireland in
great sea in a
said of him. but on Ireland itself. on its Irish barbarism. of patriotic the middle class. chiefly by way of the law. This astonishing orator and parliamentarian invented a patriotic opposition (1753).
struggle for Ireland. Successors of Malone appeared in the House of Commons in 1761 more
. a share
and government for Irishmen. or
that the king had the right to apply at his will the surplus funds in the treasury. and a parliament elected every seven years.
raised again the protest of
constitution. security for judges."
dren would be slaves.
defeated. fewer pensions for Englishmen. he said. a Habeas Corpus Act.
Dublin Castle feared that he might
mean emancipation from
the English legislature. and in truth the constitutional de-
pendency upon England was the object upon which Malone's eye was constantly fixed. free religion. but the battle
in thirty years
had was to give to
hopes of freedom.
current of thought poured through the House free trade. 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.200
excited at his Irish origin
'than appears in any history in this or any other kingdom upon earth. and English
the absolute power of parliament to bind Ireland by its laws. which gave all the great posts
of the bar to
in Dublin. not on confiscation.
could remember. The English House of Commons which had passed the Stamp Act for the American colonies.
In that same year the patriots demanded that elections should be held every seven
years the first step in Ireland towards a true representation.
but on their own abilities. they owed nothing to government.
soul was theirs. struggle. with its own legislature and executive
under the king." They depended.AN
lawyers. and the first blow to the
dominion of an aristocracy. and manhood for the long In 1765 the issue was clearly set. In Ireland Lord Charlemont and some other
peers declared that Ireland was a distinct kingdom.
government dealt its viceroy was ordered to reside
The English The counter-stroke. argued that it had the right to tax Ireland without her consent.
besides the vast numbers flying to America.
by making himself the source
the giver of
all gratifications. that "confiscation
Commons were reminded
political influence in the
English Crown. their religion. lay in 'procuring the supplies which the
began beyond system previous dreams. their pre-eminence.
thirty thousand Irishmen were seeking their
on the continent. their political power"."
English exports to
and England receiving money had to send
half-a-million. their property." as the government understood it.202
of all favours. peerages were made by the score."
Meanwhile misery deepened. 'The wretches
that remained had scarcely the appearance
preventing the parliament from examining into the account of previous years. and the first national debt of nearly two
millions created in less than thirty years."
The landowners who
controlled the seats in
that "they held Great Britain everything most dear to by them.
000 for the
by landlords and gentry. In a year 40. A packed parliament that had obscured the true desires of the country was silenced before the voice
of the people. and in 1778 France recognised American independence. the spirit of tolerance
and nationality that had been spreading through the country was openly manifested. In those times of hope and terror men's minds on both sides moved quickly. Bands of volunteers were formed for its pro-
50. George Washington was made commander-in-chief of the forces for the American war in 1775. Protestant troops led
In the sense of a
duty. the government saw the failure of their army
plans with the refusal of the Irish to give any more military grants. Ireland was no longer unarmed. were joined. landlord and tenant. Other dangers had arisen. What was even more important. The collapse of the English system was rapid.
tection.000 volunteers were enrolled (1779). Protestant and Catholic. The shores of Ireland lay open to attack: the country was drained of troops.AN
payment of troops there. she was no longer unrepresented. the failure of their
this country. and that the Habeas
Corpus Act should be restored. the spirit of a nation. They asked for justice in the law-courts." cried Hussey Burgh. England has sown her laws in dragons'
and they have sprung up in armed men."
the whole of
Above all. the war with the colonies brought home to them Grattan's prophecy "what you trample on in Europe
teeth. a worthy Irish successor of Malone in the House of Com'It is no longer the parliament of mons.
managed or attended
to. They asked that the English commercial laws which had ruined Irish industry and sunk the land in poverty and idleness
should be abandoned. through the Volunteers."
wrote the lord-lieutenant.IRISH NATIONALITY
gains from the Irish treasury in the near bankruptcy of the Irish state."
country. the failure of the prodigious corruption and buying of the
through the island. required four main reforms. and independent judges no longer hold their places at pleasure.
taught by a long
. with the burden of
upkeep thrown on England.
were carried by the popular passion into the parliaments of Dublin and London.
for the justice of free
men. In three
years the Dublin parliament had freed Protestant dissenters from the Test Act and had
repealed the greater part of the penal code. a free nation. the English commercial code had fallen to
the ground. "could never be free till the Irish Catholic had ceased to be a slave. Irishmen agreed to buy no manufactures but the work of Irish hands.
In 1780 Grattan proposed his resolutions declaring that while the two nations were
inseparably bound together under one Crown." said Burke." cried should cease. and
Dublin men compelled members to swear that they should vote for "the good of Ireland.
for free trade.
demand was that the penal laws which divided and broke the strength of Ireland 'The Irish Protestant.
in politics. the Habeas Corpus Act was won.
'beginning to have a Finally a great cry for the in-
dependence of their parliament rose in every county and from every class. free religion.AN
15. But the Irish had good
reason for their madness.'the epidemic madness.
'we should unite with you only to rob
of the national
At the first movement in 1778
England had revived a scheme viewed there the abolition of favourably an Irish parliament and the union of Ireland with England.206
the King. 1782 to mind no unfit place for their lofty work. sir. Johnson to an Irishman in
1779. cessions as
precarious was all that they had Lord North described all past con:<
resumable at pleasure' by the that granted them. and Commons of Ireland could alone make laws for Ireland.
our sovereign and our loyalty." said
threat of the disappearance of Ireland as a country quickened anxiety to
restore its old parliament. "Do not make an union with
us." exclaimed the viceroy.
claim for a free parliament ran through
the country. power In presence of these dangers the Volunteers
called a convention of their
body to meet
the church of
Dungannon on Feb." they
duty to ourselves and are resolved to be free.
was now established and asand should never again be ques-
tioned or questionable. as Christians. the sole legislature thereof.
to the king
that the people of this country
are a free people. by which the English parliament had justified its usurpation of powers. was repealed (1782).
doubts" another Act (1783) declared that the right of Ireland to be
set aside all
governed solely by the king and the parlia-
certained." As Irishmen. Ages have
. Grattan passed through the long ranks of Volunteers drawn up before the old Parliament House of Ireland." they rejoiced in the relaxation of penal laws and upheld the sacred rights of all to
religion. The Act of 1719. am now to address a free people. and as Protestants. to
'I proclaim the victory of his country.
by Molyneux a hundred years before was won. 1782. and the kingdom of
Ireland a distinct kingdom with a parliament of her own.
On April 16. that the crown of Ireland is an imperial crown.
and bowing in
her august presence.
. a nation's exultation and
thanksgiving was brief.208
England gave to Ireland
the task. and this is the first moment in which you could be distinguished by that
In that character I hail her.
. did not bear the smallest resemblance to represen-
had to go through the privy council.
a nation. The
system in this country.
Since the days of
half a generation for
Henry VIII the Irish parliaments had been shaped and compacted to give to England complete control.
. wrote the viceroy. whose secret and overwhelming influence was backed by the privy council in England. and finally the
tation. The restored parliament entered into a gloomy inheritance an
authority which had been polluted and deThe stroyed an almost ruined country. the English law officers.
heritage of a tyranny prolonged through centuries was not to be got rid of rapidly. I say esto perpetual' The first act of the emancipated parliament was to vote a grant for twenty thousand
sailors for the
Irish proposals were reEnglish cabinet. not in parliament, but in these secret jected
The king had a veto in Ireland, The English cabinet, not in England. changing with English parties, had the last
There was no Irish cabinet responsible to the Irish Houses: no ministry resigned, whatever the majority by
word on every
it was defeated. Nominally elected by about one-fifth of the inhabitants, the Commons did not represent even these. A land-
lords' assembly, there
was no Catholic
and no merchant. Even the Irish landlords were subdued to English interests some hundred Englishmen, whose main property was in England but who commanded a number
of votes for lands in Ireland, did constantly
override the Irish landlords and drag them on in a policy far from serviceable to them.
accustomed to vote as the Castle might
In the complete degradation of public life no humiliation or lack of public honour offended them.
placemen and pensioners equalled nearly one-half of the whole efficient body: "the price of a seat of parliaof
said, "is as well ascertained as
that of the cattle of the field."
All these dangers
tience be overcome.
might with time and paAn Irish body, on Irish
soil, no matter what its constitution, could not remain aloof from the needs, and blind to the
facts, of Ireland, like strangers in anotherland.
The good- will
of the people
the poorer farmers showed in a better dress, in
cleanliness, in self-respect,
how they had been
stirred by the dream of freedom, the hope of a country. The connection with England, the dependence on the king, was fully accepted,
and Ireland prepared
to tax herself out of
The gentry were losing the fears
proportion to her wealth for imperial purposes. that had pos-
them for their properties, and a fair was opening for an Ireland tolerant, hope Volununited, educated, and industrious. teers, disciplined, sober, and law-abiding, had shown the orderly forces of the country. Parliament had awakened to the care of
Ireland as well as the benefit of England. In a few years it opened "the gates of opulence
cruelties of the penal laws,
and prepared the
showed admirable knowledge in the method restoring prosperity to the country, awakits
and opening inland navigation.
needed to close the springs of corruption and to bring reform to the parliament itself.
But the very
success of parliament
England, and alarm in the autocratic
Jealous of power, ministers set themselves to restore by cor-
ruption an absolute authority, and recover by bribery the prerogative that had been lost.
danger appeared in 1785, in the commercial negotiations with England. To
crush the woollen trade England had put 2 a yard on a certain cloth duties of over
from Ireland to England, which paid 5|d. if brought from England to Ireland; and so on for other goods. Irish shipping had been
than a third of that of Liver-
proposal of free trade between the countries was accepted by Irealone.
land (1785), but a storm of wrath swept over the British world of business; they refused
Pitt's explanation that
an Ireland where
against the industrial pre-eminence of England; and prepared a new scheme which reestablished the ascendency of the British par-
liament over Irish navigation and commerce.
This was rejected in Ireland as fatal to their
Constitution. Twice again the Irish parliament
attempted a commercial agreement between
the two countries twice the Irish government
refused to give it place; a few years later the same ministers urged the Union on the ground that no such commercial arrangement existed.
The advantages which England
roy to Pitt in 1792.
possessed and should maintain were explained by the vice-
not the very essence of your imperial policy to prevent the interest of Ireland clashing and interfering with the
crushed her in every point that would interfere with British interest or monopoly by
of her parliament for the last century,
You know the advantages from Ireland. ... In return does you reap she cost you one farthing (except the linen monopoly)? Do you employ a soldier on
her account she does not pay, or a single ship
for the protection of the British
she was at the bottom of the
Catholic question also awakened the Castle fears. The penal laws had failed to
diminish the "Papists": at the then rate of conversion it would take four thousand years
nobler idea had arisen throughout Ireland.
now," Grattan said, be a Protestant settlement
or an Irish nation
for so long as
exclude Catholics from natural liberty and the common rights of man we are not a
people." Nothing could be more unwelcome real union between to the government.
religious bodies in Ireland,
they said, would
by the public opinion
avert this danger they
'The present put forth all their strength. frame of Irish government is particularly well calculated for our purpose. That
a Protestant garrison in possession of the land, magistracy, and power of the
holding that property under the
the use of every evil power that still remained as a legacy from the past.214
tenure of British power and supremacy.
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
in the evil counsels of its history
authority." Finally the pressing question of reform. brutal in
speech. rewarded by England with the title Earl of Clare. "If. secret in machinations." wrote
the lord-lieutenant to Pitt. was resisted by the whole might of the Castle.
as her govern-
ment became more open and more
to the feelings of the Irish nation. Unchecked by
increased. and ready at every instant to crush the rising of
the conquered. By working on the ignorance of the cabinet in
London and on the alarms and corruptions
. passionately demanded by Protestant and
Catholic for fifteen years.
Government in his hands was the enemy of the people. he succeeded in paralysing the constitution which it was
and destroying the which had been nomparliamentary rights
his business to maintain.
by the forbidding of all conframe of In the re-established
Fitzgibbon was all-powerful. The
country gentry were alienated and demoralised left to waste with "their inert property and their inert talents.
voice of the nation
ventions. the government agents out of its control.
inally conceded. constitutional movements mere vanity. The only English viceroy who resisted him. Lord Fitzwilliam. the Catholic
were put out of its protection.
parliament a mockery. Law appeared only as an instrument of oppression." Every reform was
refused which might have allayed the fears
of the people. setting one part of the coun-
hands through the privy
system of unexampled bribery.
the secret powers
Religious war was secretly the agents of the government up by and in its interest. was recalled amid the
acclamations and lamentations of Ireland
others yielded to his force.AN
woke the deep passion
the next hundred
years distracted the island. Warnings
entreaties poured in to the Castle. every
to heighten them was pursued. The violent repression of freedom was
used at a time when the progress of the human mind had been prodigious.
fear. Despair of the constitution made men turn to republicanism and agitation in arms. and officers
of their troops.
the very last the gentry pleaded for reform to reassure men drifting in their despair into
make an end
of the discontented once for
of the Irish Constitution.216
try to exterminate the other.
. The system of rule inauguall sides
rated by Fitzgibbon could have only one end the revolt of a maddened people. Every measure to relieve their fears was denied. when on
drinking in the lessons of popular liberties from the republics of America and France. A system of absolute power. Violent statesmen in the Castle. did not fear to express their
sense that a rebellion would enable
and 'The demanded the maintenance of law. despair.
people. at last forced by the horrors which were openly encouraged by the government in 1796-7. sent
in 1797 as
or a writ executed without
kinds I found here can scarcely
be believed or enumerated. Abercromby was succeeded by General Lake. the
when." as he called him. scared into scattered risings."
He must have
senses. was forced out of the country as Lord Fitzwilliam had been.
cruelty cannot be told in
horror. and "this Scotch beast. who had already shown the ferocity of his temper in his com-
broke out. in fact. every
any difficulty. as he
government's orders might be carried over the whole kingdom by an orderly dragoon. a few places in the mountains excepted. "Every crime. that could
be committed by CosCalmucks has been transacted here.
barities of martial rule
tale of terror. refused
wrote Clare of the great
protection when their arms were given up. government that the law was their oppressor. The suppression of the rebellion burned
into the Irish heart the belief that the
Engwas their implacable enemy. and the enslavement
But even in his own day there were men who believed in a nobler statesmanship in a union honour and liberties.
during the rebellion stood over the Irish peasant in his cabin has been used to illustrate his credulity
his brutishness. and Eng-
lishmen the haters of their race. and the cry of the
tortured rose unceasingly day and night.
government cannot be excused by that same plea of fear. the "pacification" of the government set no limits to atrocities. the perpetual races.
of the nations in equal
of later years has not yet
wiped out of
that horror. Clare no doubt held the docEnglish governors before him.
gentry. could only be kept bound to that Ireland England by the ruin of its parliament and
the corruption of
of its people. were without
hope. or terms if they surrendered.
was announced to the
Irish parliament. a huge army occupying the country.
seemed that England had everything to gain by a union. In that dark time the plan for the Union with England.CHAPTER
IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
horror of death lay over Ireland.
others that their elo-
quence would lengthen and perhaps confuse debates. and that Irish doctrines would be sunk
in the sea of British
cruelty and terror raised to a frenzy. secretly pre-
pared in London.
. Chatham had feared that a hundred Irishmen would strengthen the democratic side of the
English parliament. But it was held that a hundred members would be lost in the British parliament. There was one objection. government by martial law.
had a right to pass an act destroying the constitution of Ireland. no parliament. military warnings. The parliament at once rejected it.220
In Ireland a union was detested as a conspiracy against its liberties.
Pitt said. But amid the univer-
and execration of a Union the government dared not risk an election.
. Pitt refused
to have anything to say to this Jacobin doctrine of the sovereignty of the people
a doctrine he would oppose wherever he
it. and proceeded to pack the parliament privately. and handing over
the dominion to another country. but a subject volutnary association of two great countries
The Union. without asking consent of the nation.000 armed men were bargain with. visits
There were progresses
of political agents. assembled in Ireland.
benefit in one empire. was no proposal to Ireland to a foreign yoke.
outrageous the disabilities
so as to keep something to
137. it was
urged. threats of eviction. to induce petitions in its favour.
of the viceroy.
Threats and disgrace were used to others. 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. men without a foot of land in Ireland.
seventy-two place-holders and pensioners in the House. There
means the Commons were purged and safe men put in. some Englishmen.'
of war. Large sums were sent from
loss in sale of seats. in the centre of
"passed in the middle a tremendous mili-
tary force.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
of sixty-three opponents.
one of the new laws." was followed.
to bribe the Press. Fifty-four peerages were given
and amid many adjurations to speed from England. at the point of the sword.
himself to emancipation. under the influence of immediate personal danger.
and corrupt the
wavering with ready money. Thus in 1800. as wise men
. formed in the British cabinet. some staff-officers.
were offered ll
The borough-holders millions to console them for
There was a host of minor pensions. unsolicited
was now confronted with the Irish people..
English parliament. nor the capital
Peel in his ignorance thought Irishmen had . a
form system of guilt.
Ministers assured Ireland of less
expenditure and lighter taxation:
.< a general congood qualities except for
federacy in crime
." Promises were lavished to commend the
conception of government or social
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. accompanied by horrible and monstrous perjuries such as could not
be found in any civilised country. proclaimed the
undying oppoIrishmen to a Union that from the
spirit. by generations of strife. from the first tragedy of Robert Emmet's abortive
rising in 1803.
life. Of that people it
nothing. A hundred years of ceaseless agitation..IRISH NATIONALITY
Celtic twilight" a "slovenly old barbarism.
power being destroyed.
were elected in Ireland Ireland would also be
union with the Empire she would have fourteen to three in favour of her Protestant
establishment. Pitt hoped. The Catholics. so that
would be for ever assured. 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. lead to such a union of hearts that presently it would not matter. and would. and a stream of English capital and industry. in fact. a rise in the value of land. however. whether
passing over to London of the chief part of Irish intelligence and wealth would give to Ire-
land "a power over the executive and general policy of the Empire which would far more
than compensate her". and the poor might hope for relief from tithes and the need
. would find in the pure and serene air of the English legislature impartial kindness. instead of three to one against it as happened in the country itself.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
commerce and manufactures.
in the long run.
next years heavy loans were required for the Napoleonic war. Each country was for the next
twenty years to provide for its own expenditure and debt. of England. and no good motives could make it work for the benefit
of Ireland. and to contribute a sum to the general expenses of the United Kingdom. in
great measure through the charges of Clare's In the policy of martial law and bribery.
and patriots contended that the fair words were deceptive.
fixed in the proportion of seven
parts Ireland. or. exhausted
risen to nearly
8 millions by 1801.
Oppressive financial burdens were laid on the Irish. contained the principles of ruin.
Great Britain and one part for The debt of Ireland had formerly
All Irish finan-
of supporting their clergy.
wrongly conceived and wrongly enforced. and that the Union must bring to Ireland immeasurable disaster. in 1793
millions. When Ireland. Any discussion of the Union in its effect on Ireland lies apart from a discussion of the
administered the system
In 1817 the Irish debt had increased more than
fourfold. The result of their incapacity to pay the amount fixed at the Union was. loans were England at heavy war-rates and
charged to the public debt of Ireland. and two-thirds were absorbed
. Bankruptcy was avoided by uniting the two
form one national debt
the burden of Ireland remained as oppressive as before. Meanwhile the effect of the Union
had been to depress all Irish industries and resources.
approach of an appalling famine in 1817. was unable to pay. one-third was spent in Ireland. and the taxes had risen far beyond the rise in
England. 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.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
by calamity. and in these sixteen years the comparative wealth of Ireland had fallen.
The people sank yet deeper under their heavy load.
in a near bankruptcy.
was made in the books of the Exchequer as to what portion of the vast sums raised should in fairness be allotted to Ireland. to nearly 113 millions.
over and above the cost of Irish administration. at the gates of England. and wasting away
. never satisfied.
has been over 325 millions
would probably be much increased by a more exact method both of recording the revenue local' and collected from Ireland and the
when the country.
was sinking under the
loss of its corn trade
through the English law.226
by England. so as to give the full Irish revenue. from 1817 to 1870 the cost of government in Ireland was under 100 millions. Gladstone began to carry
out the second part of the Union scheme. the indiscriminate taxation of the two counIn a few years he added two and a half millions to Irish taxation. so that Ireland sent
more than twice
spent on her. in 1852. devastated by famine. While this heavy ransom was exacted
Ireland was represented as a beggar. The tribute from Ireland to England in the last ninety-three years.
Later. at a moment
tries. and to prevent the debiting to Ireland of charges for which she was not really liable.
while the contributions to the imperial exchequer were 210 millions.
her taxable capacity was one-twentieth or While Great Britain paid less than
surplus.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
former population. fixed on the high prices of the English scale. 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. and that.
this drain of her
wealth the poverty
was intensified. material progress was impossible. Meanwhile. and one bad season was enough to produce wide distress.
given. the cost of administration was wasteful and lavish. who fixed
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. in spite of the Union pledge that the ability of
Ireland to pay should always be taken into
account. and two a state of famine. The doom of an exhausting poverty was laid on Ireland by a rich and extravagant partner.
omnipotent Castle machine broke their
of the country. The Union intensified the alien temper
of Irish government.
Orangemen while The jobbing
to enrich themselves out of the poor the traffic of magistrates who violated their duties
unchanged. Dublin Castle. and kept the books.228
the expenses for English purposes.
for impartial rule or regard for the opinion
The Protestant Ascendancy reminded the Castle that its very openly existence hung on the Orange associations. Some well-meaning governors went over to Ireland. entrenched itself more firmly against the people.
the scandal caused lately by the phrase of Irish administrator that Ireland
should be governed according to Irish ideas. no longer controlled by an
Juries were packed
far forgotten that the presiding
judge at the
O'Connell spoke of the counsel for the accused as 'the gentleman
on the other
side. called for the money. Arms were supplied free from Dublin to
measures supported by Irish members. as English officials had foretold in advocating the Union. Session after session. It is
strange that no honest
protested against such a use of his person and his creed.
a minority wholly without influence. but jury-packing with safe men remained
the invariable custom
1906. refused tithe reform. The government refused the promised emancipation. 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. one complained. and a snare". all Catholics condemned.
economy they advocated for their own country had no relation to Ireland.
could not understand Irish conditions.
evil to Ireland followed
carrying her affairs to an English parliament. by
Orangemen were acquitted. a delusion. and the credit of the law lowered
both by a system which made the jurya tool and the prisoner a victim.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
the sheriffs with Protestants. which would have been hailed with enthusiasm by an Irish
. The Irish members found themselves.
Nothing was done. were
greater than the people of any other country in Europe had to sustain. she was told that she must bow to the established laws and customs of Great Britain. borne with exemplary patience. The reports of dead such as that which in 1845 reported that the sufferings of the Irish.230
parliament. When Ireland asked to be governed by the
same laws as England.
the government or the opposition.
Instead of the impartial calm promised at the Union. When she asked for any deviation
from the English system. Session after session measures vehemently
a reluctant nation by English majorities. All the dangers of the Union were increased
its effect in
London. she was
countries were different and required different treatment. were rejected by the English.
drawing Irish landlords to Their rents followed them. Ireland was made the battle-cry
and questions that conor death were important at Westminster as they served the exigencies of
of English parties. and the
wealth spent by absentees founded no indus-
On the other hand. and neglected people. meant unreclaimed wastes. and give them at least what they had not as yet. 'the comforts of an
To pay rent and taxes in English sow.
land system brought about
by confiscation. it only doubled their labour to send out greater shipof the corn laws in
loads of provisions for the charges due in England. lands half cultivated. most of whom could never afford to eat it. famine swept over the country
its fields of
corn and cattle. or at the passing
England the cheaper bread was no help to the peasants." the toilers raised stores of corn and England
cattle for export
wide experience in a
charge to a jury in 1814.
pounds pounds of food stuffs in 1848. and so They grew potatoes to feed themselves.
summary powers of eviction were given
at Westminster under English theories for use
.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
an indignant judge
and developed by absentees. if potatoes
rotted. should build their
from the value of
as at the
in 1826 to seventeen
If the price of corn fell prodigiously
to collect in the corner of a grazier's farm for
portion of blood. cold. and seaweed. and the appalling sight was seen of feeble women
gliding across the country with their pitchers. and above
broken hearts of
between 1822 and 1837 there were famines
of lesser degree:
but two others. 1817 and
"and if anyone would defend
in Ireland alone.
to gather chickweed. and to sink under the fevers that followed
vagrancy. sorrel. From 1846 to 1848 over a million lay dead of hunger. 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. boiled up with a little oatmeal. English soldiers guarded from the starving the fields of corn and the
here denominated rebellion.
men hunted from
In famine time the people to save themselves from death were occasionally
compelled to use blood taken from live bullocks.
actually trampling upon fertility and fatness.
Irish parliament. The loans raised for expenditure on the Irish famine
were charged by England on the Irish taxes
repayment. could have allowed the country to drift into such irretrievable ruin. O'Connell constantly protested that rather
." 'the overstock tenantry. New evictions on an enormous scale followed the famine." They died. In the
twenty years that followed the men and women who had fled to America sent back
thirteen millions to keep a roof over the
heads of the old and the children they had left behind. herds of cattle were shipped." on the other her "surplus people. It was a tribute for the landlords'
a rent which could never have been
paid from the land they leased. and skins of asses which had served the famishing for food. the clearance of what was then
English economics "the surplus population.
no matter what
constitution." for whom there was nothing to eat. or fled in hosts to America Ireland pouring out on
the one side her great stores or ''surplus food.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
waggons that carried it to the ports.
A Young Ireland move-
. and to private law which could only wield the weapons of the outlaw. Threshers. the Catholic Association for Emancipation founded by O'Connell
synod would do. kept the peace in Ireland for five years.
organisation was tried."
cried a leading Catholic
nationalist in ParnelPs time. All methods were
reach the distant inattention of
establishment and revived with
His Association for Repeal (1832-1844) again lifted the people from lawless insurrection to the disciplined enthusiasm
destruction. always on famine Levellers." In the despair of Ireland.
of citizens for justice. and
an open society into which Protest-
ants and Catholics alike were welcomed.
the edge of the like. "Any body would serve if only
in Ireland. the way was flung open to public agitation. or Whiteboys who were in fact a vast trades union for the protection of the Irish
There were savage outbursts of and homeless.234
Union he would have the old Protestant parliament. to bring some order and equity into Peaceful relations of landlord and tenant.
The suppression of O'Connell's peaceful movement by the government forced on violent counsels. and education for a united people of Irish and English. land reform.
. to spread a new literature. Isaac Butt.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
ment (1842-1848) under honoured names such as Thomas Davis and John Mitchel and Gavan Duffy and Smith O'Brien and others with
in the rising of
O'Brien as the only means left him of calling attention to the state of the country. those Fenian national militia
to guard the shores of Ireland. A great constitutionalist and sincere Protestant.
disturbances that followed have
in the loop-holed police barracks that
There was a Tenant League (1852) and a North and South League. All else failing.
history. sought to destroy sectarian divisions. and sought to win self-government by preparing for open war. a national physical force party was
crime. for its name this organization went back to the dawn of Irish historic life to the
Fiana. Protestant and Catholic. to recover Irish
and to win self-government.
vowed The Fenians
peaceful or violent. following the advice of Lalor thirty years be-
founded a Land League (1879) to be inevitably merged in the wider national issue.
movement for after him Charles
Stewart Parnell fought in the same cause for (1877-1891) and died with
victory almost in sight.
five years after
For thirtythe Union Ireland was ruled
for three years out of every four
ing extraordinary powers to the government. a religious war on the part of Irishmen.236
led a peaceful parliamentary
Rule (1870-1877). Michael Davitt.
oppressed people were of one creed. by men of English blood or of
Gaelic. but behind all change lay the fixed
purpose of Irish self-government. By such contrasts of law in the
two countries the Union made a deep
ance between the islands.
In these conflicts there was not now. and the
island. led by Protestant or Catholic. as there had never been in their history.
wave of agitation passed over the The manner of the national struggle
changed. and in the next fifty years (1835-1885) there
were only three without coercion acts and crime acts.
the position of the millions of Irishmen who had been long shut out from any share in
thought of the home of his fathers. Though
Ireland was driven to the "worst form of
conflicting classes are divided into
creeds. and in
the phrase of Irish saints. to embitter the situation. or will be
in his heart not his potato plot alone. but the Irish struggle was never a religious war.
for the means of submore Irish than the Those who have seen the
up graves round the earth where the first
battle for food.or clergy-magistrate and the broken tenant before his too
partial judgment-seat. steeped in his national history.
Protestant and had come to mean ejector and the armed Orangeman and the dis-
'the place of his
consider the state of the poor. a
Irishman. the agent. and forbidden to form popular
Another distinction must be noted.
religious incidents will crop up.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
administration of the other.
in assemblies of a willing
In O'Connell the Irish found a
themselves inherited the
To escape laws against gatherings and convenEnglish tions of the Irish.
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. O'ConnelPs associations had
sense of the old Irish tradition. presence of an ancient tradition. voluntary suppression of crime and
see not merely
astonishing popular intelligence. and perpetually shifting
name. Deep in
their hearts lay the
bards and historians of a nation whose law
had been maintained
to be almost formless.
His methods would
have been wholly impossible without a rare
intelligence in the peasantry. a
we must watch with amazement
the upspringing under O'Connell of the old idea of national self-government.238
meetings organised without the slightest disorder. At the first election in which the people resisted the right
of landlords to dictate their vote (1826).
all spirits renounced. 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.000
their shout of victory at
redeeming of the violated pledges In the Repeal meetings two to four hundred thousand men assembled. and tranquillity.000 men camped in Ennis for a week.
In the whole of Irish history no time brought such calamity to Ireland as the
whisky during the
election. As O'Connell drew towards Limerick and reached the Stone where the broken Treaty had been signed. National hope and duty stirred the two millions who in
the crusade of Father
of temperance. and the peace not broken once throughout the week. at Tara
and other places whose fame was in the heart of every Irishman there.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
Waterford in military array and unbroken They allowed no rioting.
shown in the Clare election two years later (1828) when 30.
and can deal with
her as she pleases. "England has Ireland at her mercy." said The Times.
Irish are gone. but he used the land
agitation to strengthen the National
What meaning did it matter. In his fight he held the people as no other man had done. In 1881 the government asked for an act giving them
. "Now for the first time these six hundred years. who had possession of a few acres. not even O'Connell. used the whole force of the Land League
founded by Davitt to relieve distress and fight for the tenants' rights.
clear." Ireland rose again.
conflict was steeped in passion." said Englishmen." said one. 'The "like a corpse on the dissecting table. he would never have taken
coat for anything less than to make a nation."
Celts are gone. if there was no National spirit to save the country. he said.
and gone with a vengeance. seeing the 'The endless and disastrous emigration."
That such people should carry their interminable discontent to some far place seemed to
end the trouble. "I leave Ireland.240
Thirty years after He O'Connell Parnell took up his work.
mtional forms were less dear to Irishmen
freedom of which
should be the
lardian. A special commission found it to be a
rgery. among them Parnell himself.two nights.
ission of rage
reached its extreme height the publication in The Times (1888) of
from Parnell.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
)wer to arrest without
ispected of illegal projects
coercion hitherto. become the keeper of Irish
rejection of Gladstone's
ule bills in 1886 of
suspended. with thirtyur Irish members. and with the
(1891). and 303 votes against
carried a bill
by which over a thousand ishmen were imprisoned at the mere will of The te Castle. not of her liberties.
a power beyond O'Connell had opposed
coercion act in 1833 for nineteen nights. to prove his nsent to a paid system of murder and outge. That remains as firm as
as to the
eans to pursue.
1881 fought for thirty. but they never faltered in ie main purpose.
Thomas Davis. stand waiting
to hear the end.
The English parliament took up
under pressure of violent agitation in Ireland.
John O'Leary. and Parnell.
while the whole Irish people.IRISH NATIONALITY
in the times of O'Connell. Thus the
land war of seven hundred years.
. and rises once more to-day as the fixed unchanging demand. By a series of Acts the people were assured of
and security from
movement had another
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. There was yet another stirring of the na-
darkest days the country had remained true to the old Irish spirit of
tional idea. laying aside agitations and controversies.
the bringing back of the people to the land. But the great Act
a work inspired by an Irishman's
tion. the war of
and parliaments and
close. above the actual value of the land.
brought to a dramatic
Ireland begins again to belong to her people.
me now. Feeble and tired."
records.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
learning. Guided by the light of my heart.
O'Connell's time the "poor scholar"
his journey to
"the Munster schools'
with offerings laid on the parish Protestants and Catholics alike. With eyes that have no light.
wall. and every one that has the heart
was welcomed in every farm. and given of the best in the famishing hovels: "The Lord prosper him. With gentleness that has no misery. famous bard Raftery.
Bards and harpers
and dancers wandered among the cottages.
Full of hope
Going west upon my pilgrimage. that fountain of the nation's
he trudged with his bag of books and the fees for the master sewn in the cuff of his coat. "Who is the musician?' and
the blind fiddler answered him:
Raftery the poet.
the end of
copied piously the Louth schoolmaster
and love. playing at a dance heard one ask.
(1809-1861) to study in Dublin. the first peripatetic university Ireland had seen since the wanderings of her ancient scholars. where they could meet learned men.
vision is given to us through a government Ordnance Survey of the fire of zeal. gave to O'Donovan and O'Curry their opportunity. among the tillers and the ten-
In 1817 a dying farmer in Kilkenny repeated several times to his sons his descent
ants.D. The Ordnance Survey.
eldest never to forget
This son took his
brother. in Kilkenny farmhouses he learned the old language and history of his race. and mighty
. of the same old Munster stock. and use their hereditary knowledge. cairns. At the same time another Irish boy. Passionate interest was shown by the people in the memorials of their ancient life giants' rings.
it. John O'Donovan. Eugene O'Curry (1796-1862). the hunger of knowledge. learned from him much knowledge of Irish literature and music.
back to the wars
and behind that to a
210 A. working on his father's farm in great poverty. A mass of material was laid up by their help.244
the stars and constellations of
heaven under the old
no materials published. a number of works that cannot be
counted here. the fury of his intellectual zeal. he
made a Dictionary which
the old pride of Irishmen in their
language. the documents locked up
pandering to the national
O'Curry brought from
In the blackest
days perhaps of all Irish history O'Donovan took up Michael O'Clery's work of two hundred years before. the twenty-nine thousand
or moats that have been counted.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
graves. and O'Curry what prodigies of work remained.
But for O'Donovan in government offices. the raths
of their saints
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. added to his manuscript the mass of
learning. the passion of
his inheritance of learning.
was suddenly closed (1837).
and gave to
his people this
country (1856). the men dismissed. Once more the death of hope seemed to call
out the pieties of the Irish scholar for his race. the Annals of the Four
over a thousand
airs. great stores and an amazing and delicate All modern historians have skill as a scribe. they were all patriots. George Petrie collected Irish music
an incredible industry. Reeves and Dr.
These men were nearly all Protestants. 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. which had been steadily
the hope was not the least of the evils of the Union. Lord Dunraven studied architecture. a new world of Irish
open to Anglo-Irish scholars such as Dr.
and worked at Irish inscriptions and crosses and round towers. The drift of landlords to London had
broken a national sympathy between them and the people. Todd.
Samuel Ferguson began
to give to readers of English the stories of Ireland. dug They
of ancient lore. and is said to have visited every barony in Ireland and nearly every island on
the coast. in the mine of these men's work.
native land.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
Their sons no longer learned
and made into an English province by the Union.."
great break in the Irish tradition that had been the dignity and contion
solation of the peasantry. Archbishop Whately proposed to use the new
national schools so as to
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 quotation "This is my own. under English pleted the ruin.
and to put an end to national
who knew only
was given a teacher who knew nothing but English.
wasted or destroyed by neglect in Ireland." was struck out of the reading-
taught to thank
English child. the map of Ireland has been influence.
the schools com-
In these. his history book mentioned Ireland
a place conquered by Henry
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.
has fallen on her
and on a
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.
students learn the language.
in the Gaelic League. it has united Catholic and Protestant.
Through a School of Irish Learning Dublin becoming a national centre of true Irish scholarship. where earnest
music of their country.
now cover all
whose branches Ireland.
spirit of self-
and public duty has
followed the work of the Gaelic League. landlord
and peasant. Stokes published his first Irish work Whitley the year after O'Curry's death.248
up. history. and which has been the
greatest educator of the people since the time
Voluntary colleges have sprung up in every province.
of this deep there came a revival. and may hope to be the leader
of the world in this great
branch of study. and has been
by a succession
of laborious students.
a Union parliations. 'is
necessary to Great Britain. and life.
democracy has entered into larger The liberties. ment." Plantahundred years an English parliament. Once again we
stand at the close of another experiment of England in the government of Ireland. Industrial Development Societies. The story is unfinished." he said. and has brought new ideals. growth of that popular life has been greatly
much closer to a free constitution.
Grattan foretold the failure of the Union and its cause. each has lasted
them has been founded on the idea
of English interests. to awaken again her trade and manufactures.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
classes a desire has
and industrial country and by Agricultural Societies." In England we have
both islands must be drawn
seen the advance to that freer constitution. so
liberty necessary to Ireland. that they may be drawn closer to one another. "As Ireland. All alike have ended in a disordered finance and a flight of the people from the
advanced by the
With any knowledge
. the wider experience
of imperial methods. At Westhave always stood for huminster they
have tended to change
In the last generation she has been forced to think more gravely
her outlook to Ireland.
She has pledged her credit land question and create a peasant to close the
of Irish problems.
even than rights of foresaw has come
A freedom-loving Ireland has been conThe broadening
quering her conquerors in the best sense.
since Irish members helped to carry the Reform Acts they have been on the side of liberty. as nobler
property. and its most unswerving defenders. and justice. humanity. true: the Irish in the English parliament have been powerful missionaries of democracy. the demomovements that have brought new
government. the growing influence of
England as a free country. peace. They have been the most steadfast believers in constitutional law against privilege. The changes of the last century have deeply
affected men's minds.
falling into the past.
and in the labours of their rising prosperity. In Ireland itself
see a people that has
have given shelter to outlawed Irishmen flying from despair at home. is said to have promised the first thousand dollars to the Irish emancipation fund. ever since the first important meeting in New York to express American sympathy with Ireland was held in 1825. and of
exploitation for the adis
England. The United States. and have all formally proclaimed
since their beginning
allowed the right to shape her own government. who owe so much
to Irishmen in their battle for independence.
history the religious alarm. when President Jackson.
freedom too has passed and Dominions. of Irish origin.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
must inevitably disappear. the last cry of
England. have supported the cause of Ireland for the last hundred years. old notion of Ireland as the "property
prejudice. a Protestant. They have won their own pride of freedom.
lips or in
the hearts of men. Against the stormy back-ground of those prodigious conflicts. Gaelic. those thousand sites consecrated
Catholic. even in England.
see too the breaking
of the old solid Unionist phalanx. Norman or
English. and Presby-
by great deeds.
creed and of every blood.
the people have exalted with the poetry of their souls. those immeasurable sorrows.
who were defending
self-dependence and discipline under the new conditions of land ownership and of county
government. It is singular to reflect that on the side of foreign domination.
of ancient fears. not a single man.
terian. through seven hundred years of invasion and occupation.
English. has stood out as a hero to leave his name. the decaying of old
habits of dependence on military help from England. and a promise of revival of the
large statesmanship that adorned the days
and of Grattan. warrior or statesman. and crowned with love and grati-
for Ireland of
It lives in the
see in Ireland a
rare intensity of
it.IRELAND UNDER THE UNION
soul of another
Atlantic winds. but
lovers of a free nation. Lord Edward
Fitzgerald. the Desmond wailing in the Kildare riding from his tomb
on the horse with the silver shoes.
of their story of
of suffering. the hospitable roll
of their patriots.
Thomas of Desmond.
the people of Ireland once more claim a government of their own in their native land. and create for
common obligation and a common An Irish nation of a double prosperity. Parnell
that shall bind together the whole nation of all that live on Irish soil.
over every inch of
one of the richest
and sorrow. Bishop Bedell.
of the long.
race will not fear to look back on Irish
history. Owen Roe and Hugh O'Neill. Sarsfield. in
of their long
of their national faith. Red Hugh O'Donnell.
from the earth.
The tradition human passion.
the breadth of her skies.
union approaches of the Irish Nation the union of all her children that are born under
of her fields. fed by the fatness and nourished by the civilisation of her dead.
tradition of national
has ever been a link of fellowship between
possessions that has ever been bequeathed by the people of any land whatever to the
inheritors of their
and of^the later Elizabethan wars.
1600). from the point of
view of the English settlement. A It illusbrief but important study of this Parliament. 1885. and 1893. trates the Irish spirit of tolerance in 1689. and the war to
of the activity of
learning. This book gives a general survey of the old Irish civilisation.
2 vols. JOHN. 1868. among a people regarded as inferior.
DAVIS. RICHARD. Life and Times of Aodh O'Neill.
J.SOME IRISH WRITERS ON
JOYCE. that prevailed in mediaeval Ireland. devoid of organisation or civilisation. A tjmall book which gives a vivid picture of a great Irish hero.
FERGUSON. Ferguson to give to the youth of his time an impression of the heroic character of their history.
under the Tudors and the
detailed account is given Stuarts. and of
BAGWELL. 5 vols.
S. SIB SAMTJEL. pagan and Christian. of the English policy from 1509 to 1660. Social History of Ancient Ireland. 1893.
. until the destruction of the Tudor wars. A. apart from political
W. P. commerce and manufactures. 1843. These small volumes of stories are interesting as
the effort of Sir S. Owen Roe O'Neill. Hibernian Nights' Entertainments. P.
1903. and gives the causes of the Irish insurrection in 1641. THOMAS. This small book is the best account of a very great Irishman.
TAYLOR. The Patriot Parliament of 1689.
Undoing (1200bring together
An attempt is here made to
some of it unused before. 1906.
These essays. 4 E.
History of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century.
Centuries of Irish History (1691-1870). A.
. A. BARRY. H. There is a brief account of O'Connell. R.
A useful study is made here of the economic condition of Ireland from 1641. E. The study of the independent Parliament in Ireland is the most original work of this historian. 2 vols.
O'BRIEN. give in a convenient form the outlines of the history of the time.
Commercial Relations between England and
the Union Parliament. W.
LECKY. 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. Life of Charles Stewart Parnell. and
1903. mostly by Irishmen. 5 vols.
3 vols.IRISH WRITERS
1907. Lecky did not make any special study of the Catholic peasantry.
History of Ireland (1903-1910). 1898. E.funder the legislation of the English Parliament.
D'ALTON. and a contribution of the utmost importance to Irish history. the latest complete history of Ireland. Mr.
1041 3 5132 00256 Library Pacific
Urtversity ol the