Richard H.Ii-.tt












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

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

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

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

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

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

13 earth too was fruitful. and nobles and queens drove chariots along their far-reaching lines. The new of bronze. who used iron tools instead could clear forests and open plains for Agriculture was their pride. different it from that of mediaeval Europe.THE GAELS IN IRELAND The settlers. tillage. and their legends told of stretches of corn so great that deer could shelter in them from the hounds. Their essential of its govern- idea of a state. and the mode was ment and uncivilised. 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 in the Dublin Museum. This as the of mark was not true of the Gaels. to the Irish the lies in their But Gaels main interest of the conception of how to create an enduring state or nation. the minds and on the Teutonic its heirs. preservation. The tribal system has been much derided a savage people. but was not The Roman Empire stamped on of its subject peoples. barbarians who became the notion .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

as the national colour for their dress.


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

had come to them from




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




own bosom"




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

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



others in Europe for
of its scholars,


roll of its saints



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

Rome, and he was required

to re-

nounce them.

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

He vehemently


Ireland, he

was answered, was a

small island in a far corner of the earth:



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

Saxons or the Huns.


battle that

was thus opened was the
in Irish history.

beginning of a

new epoch

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

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

and the The Welsh

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



synod at Whitby in that time Christianity had been

carried over

England by the

Irish mission;

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





banner of purple and gold car-

ried before them, to hear the






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






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


in those

two remote

islands of the world."






plicity," said the English leader,

had 'that

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



Irish customs, Irish

and the



of the

monks from

to enter in.

Lindisfarne, discord began Slowly and with sorrow the

Irish in the course of sixty years


their traditional

customs and adopted the

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




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

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


gracious peace which

had bound the

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

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

France and the Netherlands;



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

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

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

Rome, the






Their monasteries formed rest-

lem, settled

through France and Europe itself was too narrow for

their ardour,

and they journeyed to Jerusain Carthage, and sailed to the

discovery of Iceland.


church of any land



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



tongue; in a

monastery founded
at St. Gall

by them

in Yorkshire

was trained the

English poet in the

new England;

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

and even devised new German words to

express the

new ideas of

Christian civilisation;

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

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

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

successors set

them at the head

of the chief

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


of other races.




people to

had not hardship, nor given them


interest in barbarians.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


died in 1056

"slow the bright eyes of his


head," ran

He made

for his pupils syn-

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

remain the most important



Celtic literature in the world.

There was already the beginning

of a uni-






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


strong burh of Tar a has died,"

they said, "while

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

three thousand scholars,


for its teachers,




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



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

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

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



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

visitations of the





journeyed in the old Irish

fashion on foot, one of

them followed by a

cow on whose milk he

lived, all poor,

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

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

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

and four archbishoprics representing the four provinces. The Danish

was marked

moreover, were brought into this union,

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



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

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

was the

consecrated in Dublin.


carried to that

battleground of the peoples all the charity,

and asceticism

of the Irish saint: feed-

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

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

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

Kings and
Irish synods,

chiefs sat with the clergy in the


in the state too there


signs of a true union of the peoples.




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

The growing union

of Ireland," strengthening their house with

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

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

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



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

and held at Athboy


Meath an

assembly of the




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



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

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

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

that a

other at that meeting."



said that


O'Conor's procession
miles in length.

when he held the

last of

the national festivals at Telltown was several

The whole

of Ireland is covered with the

traces of this great national revival.

We may



lonely fields,

along river-valleys, in innumerable ruins of churches

built of stone chiselled as finely as

man's hand

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

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


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

in the


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

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



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

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

Irishmen were chaplains of the emperor

Conrad III (fll52) and
Frederick Barbarossa.



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




national church, in the revival of the glories

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


folk of jubilant patriotism.



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

of Irishmen


Irish land, the

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

Patrick the saint.

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

denly sprang up of the adventures of Finn




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

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


forest in Ireland,

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

Finn the people

set St. Patrick

keeper of

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

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

"that the Saxons should not dwell in Ireland,

by consent


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

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


for after the twelve thrones of

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

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





in the old Gaelic tradition, so



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

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


twice as


as the




huge wolf-dogs, men "who were not

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


of Ireland



graves, of




died for honour, of


war and hunting,

its silver bridles

and cups

of yellow gold, its

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


dereliction of prayer,

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


the national service;


for the future



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

to us."


too, Patrick, hast

taught us



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

the ruined


of Tara, great

Usnech, Rath-Crua-



Connacht, the graves of mighty

champions, Pagan hero and Christian saint
sat together to

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





to all craftsmen of Ireland




it all

"and to them that happiness." He mounted

to the high glen to see the Fiana raise their

warning signal of heroic chase and hunting.

He saw

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

bosom the head
'By me

of the


hunter and warrior:

to thee," said


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



out of torment,

if it

be good in the sight of

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



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

made the keeper of the nation's

the guardian of

whole tradition.
for the

Such legends show how enthusiasm

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


They show

that the social

order in Ireland after the Danish settlements

was the triumph


an Irish and not a Danish


of the Irish,

democratic, embracing every emotion

of the whole people, gentle or simple,


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

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

with Dublin as a centre of the

united races,

Armagh a

national university,

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

The new union

of Ireland

was being

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Those fathers. who left 'her with lamentation to hills of beauty' holy with the Lou vain "try another trade' : among 1 brotherhood. "stood forward when she (Ireland) was reduced to the greatest distress." an Irish scholar of that day wrote. only that I might have one look at Ireland. of which he wrote in his Latin and Irish Gram- mar. distinguished in his deep knowledge of the later poetic metres. such as Father O'Mulloy. or Bonaventura O'h'Eoghasa. Steeped clergy as in Irish lore the Franciscans carried of on the splendid record the twice-beloved the Irish guardians of the inheritance of their race. trained the poets of Ireland. nay. .146 IRISH NATIONALITY a collection of Irish poems who laboured on from 1030 to 1630. 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 . threatened with certain destruction." The fathers had mostly come of the old Irish literary clans. and were trained in the traditional learning of their race. "and I in gloom and and during my life's length unless grief.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"had nothing but the human form to show that they were men.000 destitute men. their of Irishmen's lands ferocity. outcast women and children lay on the wayside devoured by wolves and birds of prey. The memory of the black curse Irish first of Cromwell lives among the people.164 of IRISH NATIONALITY them to their lands. it utmost to make the contest a war of extermination: of little less The Commons' auction in 1641. purporting to give Irish news. standing amid these scenes of woe with praises to God for such manifest evidence of His inspiration. in fact. they still mark the first London on the did its experiment to appeal in this way to Irish question. Parliament ended. these were the acts conduct of a war of distinguished by which the knew government by an English parliament. women. The speculators got their lands. By order of parliament (1653) over 20. 'Wild Irishmen. in the death than half the population." the English said to one another. and children from twelve years were sold into the . He remains in Ireland as the great exemplar of inhuman cruelties." Letters were forged and printed in England. discountenanced by parliament.

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

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

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

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

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. Thus an English parliament which had fought for hierarchy of its own liberties established a the Anglotyranny Irish tied under servitude to England." With such an argument at hand. under an equal bondage to the As one of the governors of Ire- land wrote a hundred years later." to forbid them to continue their woollen trade. 'I think Great Britain may still easily manage the . since the Irish were "dependent on and protected by England in the enjoyment of all they had. "the honourable member will not question the validity of his title. and the for Ireland: Irish chained Anglo-Irish. and on the same day required of him." was the ironic answer. neux and his remonstrance. but leave it it entire to England.RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT Commons :< 169 dared not dispute the tyranny that was the warrant of their property: I hope. In 1719 declared its power at all times to make laws which should bind the people of Ireland. and to order the journals of its parliaments to be laid before the Houses at Westminster.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The planters' parliament looked on in barren helplessness. Denmark banished dinian trailing host of a Sara ambassador under a Englishmen pensions steadfrom 30.000 was at last yearly sent over to England for absentees. popular resistance. German of relations of the Hanoverians. a queen for misconduct.000. should sometimes It had diverge towards public utility.000 to over 89." abandoned all power save that of increasing servile >( the sorrows of the people. and the like. A double corruption was thus proceeding. They had no could lead no call nation behind them.176 IRISH NATIONALITY to starve. as a patriot said. humiliations. parliament A and tyrannical could not even pretend to urge on the government that its measures. Ministers heaped They They had no And the English knew up to it well. . public duty. government annuities. they quartered on Irish revenues all the pensioners that could not safely be proposed to a free parliament in England successsive kings the mistresses of and their children. false title. pensions. ily increasing Some 600. useful politi- cians covered by other names.

RULE OF THE PARLIAMENT The English parliament Irish 177 desired to make the houses for ever unfit for self-govern- Irish parliament was seeking to the same office for the Irish people perform under it. an Irish poem them who would not even write the Irish all of names." as said. 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 indifferent "conqueror. ment had the Irish any voice. conducted trials with fairness and humanity: "for about ten miles from Clonmel both sides . grand juries. and the rest "full of might and injustice. were brought under consideration of the rulers only as objects of some new rigour or severity. In courts where the law was administered by Protestant landlords and their agents." In neither parliaprotected their crimes. as magistrates. The fourths of the dwellers in Ireland. without a word for the Irish in the law. three- ment. bailiffs. 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. lawyers.

The Protestant settlers followed them in the eighteenth century. and "the comfort or security of any English in it.000 Irish soldiers were reckoned to have died between 1691 and 1745.178 IRISH NATIONALITY men." its purely English." the dependency of Ireland upon England. who." A multi- tude of statesmen put their hands to the . undisturbed. was given longed." The people poured from "this sod of misery' as their protector across the sea. kneeled down and supplicated Heaven to bless him and guardian angel. Irish Catholics went till there in a constant stream from 1650 1798. and of the road were lined with children. the parliament of the English aristocracy and commercial magnates had failed to exploit Ireland to their advantage. A "strong government. For a hundred years (1691- strictest severity that 1782) they ruled the Irish people with the human ingenuity could devise. women. Like the kings of England. In the service of France alone 450. Un- counted thousands from north and south sailed to America. as he passed along. opportunity prouncontrolled to ad- vance "the king's service.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and when he visited Cavan he was interested by verses of its poets and wrote an English ballad founded on the Plearaca Ui Ruairc. which prevented "the Irish from being tamed. 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. he helped the rector of Anna (Belturbet) in his endeavours to have prayers read in Irish in the established churches in remote places. holding that souls of duty was not to minister to the Irishmen. but rather as agents of .RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 185 Swift. to abolish the Irish language. Now and then there was a rare exception." But Swift's popularity with the native Irish was remarkable. bishops and their first The Protestant clergy in general.< the government to bring Irish speech entire disuse. clergy all and of fiction 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." refused to learn the into only understood by the people.

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

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

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

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. Much of the materials that O'Clery had used for his Annals had perished in the great troubles. for his friend Dr. he had this immense work copied by his own scribe. and O'Conor began again that endless labour of Irish scholars. and ford. were thus connected. Dr.RISE OF A NEW IRELAND 189 best learning of his unhappy time. and another copy made in 1734 by Hugh O'Mulpossess. He wrote for the learned. It is interesting to recall that Goldsmith probably knew 'Conor. It was life. an excellent writer. and the best learning of an Irish- man It at that time. was the Irish antiquarians and his- torians who into 'the drew Irishmen together Catholic Committee" Charles in 1759 O'Conor. Wyse of Water- O'Conor by his learning preserved . loy. He formed an Irish and copied with his own hand large library. the saving of the relics of his people's story from final oblivion. OTergus of Dublin. Curry. so that the best English of an Irishman.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


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

word on every



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


lords' assembly, there

was no Catholic



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

of votes for lands in Ireland, did constantly

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




in the

Commons were

accustomed to vote as the Castle might

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

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

The number





said, "is as well ascertained as

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

tience be overcome.

might with time and paAn Irish body, on Irish

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

facts, of Ireland, like strangers in anotherland.

The good- will

of the people

abounded; even

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

how they had been

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

and Ireland prepared

to tax herself out of


The gentry were losing the fears

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

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

and knowledge."




cruelties of the penal laws,

and prepared the

union of
It of


in a

all religions



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




increasing tillage,

and opening inland navigation.

Time was

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

But the very
fears in

success of parliament


England, and alarm in the autocratic
of Ireland.

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


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

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


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

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

reduced to


than a third of that of Liver-

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

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

an Ireland where



had been
killed could

not compete

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

liament over Irish navigation and commerce.

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

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

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

The advantages which England
roy to Pitt in 1792.

possessed and should maintain were explained by the vice-

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






Have you


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


of her parliament for the last century,

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

her account she does not pay, or a single ship





for the protection of the British


merce than

she was at the bottom of the

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


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







nobler idea had arisen throughout Ireland.



"whether we

now," Grattan said, be a Protestant settlement

or an Irish nation


for so long as


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


religious bodies in Ireland,

they said, would
of their





policy mainly

by the public opinion




avert this danger they

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


holding that property under the

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oppressive financial burdens were laid on the Irish. and to contribute a sum to the general expenses of the United Kingdom. exhausted . of England. When Ireland. next years heavy loans were required for the Napoleonic war. and that the Union must bring to Ireland immeasurable disaster. for Great Britain and one part for The debt of Ireland had formerly it been small. The system itself. in the long run. Any discussion of the Union in its effect on Ireland lies apart from a discussion of the motives of in men who administered the system the last century. or. in 1793 was ^/^ millions. contained the principles of ruin. and no good motives could make it work for the benefit of Ireland. fixed in the proportion of seven and a half parts Ireland. in great measure through the charges of Clare's In the policy of martial law and bribery. wrongly conceived and wrongly enforced. ciers and patriots contended that the fair words were deceptive. it had risen to nearly 8 millions by 1801.224 IRISH NATIONALITY All Irish finan- of supporting their clergy. Each country was for the next twenty years to provide for its own expenditure and debt.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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