Open main menu
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
FROM ANGLO-NORMAN INVASION]
777
IRELAND

substituted. The earl of Tyrone was harassed by sheriffs and other officers, and the government, learning that he was engaged in an insurrectionary design, prepared to seize him. The information was probably false, but Tyrone was growing old and perhaps despaired of making good his defence. By leaving Ireland he played into his enemies’ hands. Rory O’Donnell, created earl of Tyrconnel, accompanied him. Cuconnaught Maguire had already gone. The “flight of the earls,” as it is called, completed the ruin of the Celtic cause. Reasons or pretexts for declaring forfeitures against O’Cahan were easily found. O’Dogherty, chief of Inishowen, and foreman of the grand jury which found a bill for treason against the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel, was insulted by Sir George Paulet, the governor of Derry. O’Dogherty rose, Derry was sacked, and Paulet murdered. O’Dogherty having been killed and O’Hanlon and others being implicated, the whole of northern Ulster was at Plantation of Ulster. the disposal of the government. Tyrone, Donegal, Armagh, Cavan, Fermanagh and Derry were parcelled out among English and Scottish colonists, portions being reserved to the natives. The site of Derry was granted to the citizens of London, who fortified and armed it, and Londonderry became the chief bulwark of the colonists in two great wars. Whatever may have been its morality, in a political point of view the plantation of Ulster was successful. The northern province, which so severely taxed the energies of Elizabeth, has since been the most prosperous and loyal part of Ireland. But the conquered people remained side by side with the settlers; and Sir George Carew, who reported on the plantation in 1611, clearly foresaw that they would rebel again. Those natives who retained land were often oppressed by their stronger neighbours, and sometimes actually swindled out of their property. It is probable that in the neglect of the grantees to give proper leases to their tenants arose the Ulster tenant-right custom which attracted so much notice in more modern times.

The parliamentary history of the English colony in Ireland corresponds pretty closely to that of the mother country. First there are informal meetings of eminent persons; then, in 1295, there is a parliament of which some The Irish Parliament. acts remain, and to which only knights of the shire were summoned to represent the commons. Burgesses were added as early as 1310. The famous parliament of Kilkenny in 1366 was largely attended, but the details of its composition are not known. That there was substantial identity in the character of original and copy may be inferred from the fact that the well-known tract called Modus tenendi parliamentum was exemplified under the Great Seal of Ireland in 6 Hen. V. The most ancient Irish parliament remaining on record was held in 1374, twenty members in all being summoned to the House of Commons, from the counties of Dublin, Louth, Kildare and Carlow, the liberties and crosses of Meath, the city of Dublin, and the towns of Drogheda and Dundalk. The liberties were those districts in which the great vassals of the crown exercised palatinate jurisdiction, and the crosses were the church lands, where alone the royal writ usually ran. Writs for another parliament in the same year were addressed in addition to the counties of Waterford, Cork and Limerick; the liberties and crosses of Ulster, Wexford, Tipperary and Kerry; the cities of Waterford, Cork and Limerick; and the towns of Youghal, Kinsale, Ross, Wexford and Kilkenny. The counties of Clare and Longford, and the towns of Galway and Athenry, were afterwards added, and the number of popular representatives does not appear to have much exceeded sixty during the later middle ages. In the House of Lords the temporal peers were largely outnumbered by the bishops and mitred abbots. In the parliament which conferred the royal title on Henry VIII. it was finally decided that the proctors of the clergy had no voice or votes. Elizabeth’s first parliament, held in 1559, was attended by 76 members of the Lower House, which increased to 122 in 1585. In 1613 James I. by a wholesale creation of new boroughs, generally of the last insignificance, increased the House of Commons to 232, and thus secured an Anglican majority to carry out his policy. He told those who remonstrated to mind their own business. “What is it to you if I had created 40 noblemen and 400 boroughs? The more the merrier, the fewer the better cheer.” In 1639 the House of Commons had 274 members, a number which was further increased to 300 at the Revolution, and so it remained until the Union.

Steeped in absolutist ideas, James was not likely to tolerate religious dissent. He thought he could “mak what liked him law and gospel.” A proclamation for banishing Romish priests issued in 1605, and was followed Religious policy of James I. by an active and general persecution, which was so far from succeeding that they continued to flock in from abroad, the lord-deputy Arthur Chichester admitting that every house and hamlet was to them a sanctuary. The most severe English statutes against the Roman Catholic laity had never been re-enacted in Ireland, and, in the absence of law, illegal means were taken to enforce uniformity. Privy seals addressed to men of wealth and position commanded their attendance at church before the deputy or the provincial president, on pain of unlimited fine and imprisonment by the Irish Star Chamber. The Roman Catholic gentry and lawyers, headed by Sir Patrick Barnewall, succeeded in proving the flagrant illegality of these mandates, and the government had to yield. On the whole Protestantism made little progress, though the number of Protestant settlers increased. As late as 1622, when Sir Henry Cary, Viscount Falkland, was installed as deputy, the illustrious James Ussher, then bishop of Meath, preached from the text “he beareth not the sword in vain,” and descanted on the over-indulgence shown to recusants. The primate, Christopher Hampton, in a letter which is a model of Christian eloquence, mildly rebuked his eminent suffragan.

The necessities of Charles I. induced his ministers to propose that a great part of Connaught should be declared forfeited, owing to mere technical flaws in title, and planted like Ulster. Such was the general outcry that the scheme Charles I. (1625-1649).

Administration of Strafford.
had to be given up; and, on receiving a large grant from the Irish parliament, the king promised certain graces, of which the chief were security for titles, free trade, and the substitution of an oath of allegiance for that of supremacy. Having got the money, Charles as usual broke his word; and in 1635 the lord-deputy Strafford began a general system of extortion. The Connaught and Munster landowners were shamelessly forced to pay large fines for the confirmation of even recent titles. The money obtained by oppressing the Irish nation was employed to create an army for the oppression of the Scottish and English nations. The Roman Catholics were neither awed nor conciliated. Twelve bishops, headed by the primate Ussher, solemnly protested that “to tolerate popery is a grievous sin.” The Ulster Presbyterians were rigorously treated. Of the prelates employed by Strafford in this persecution the ablest was John Bramhall (1594-1663) of Derry, who not only oppressed the ministers but insulted them by coarse language. The “black oath,” which bound those who took it never to oppose Charles in anything, was enforced on all ministers, and those who refused it were driven from their manses and often stripped of their goods.

Strafford was recalled to expiate his career on the scaffold; the army was disbanded; and the helm of the state remained in the hands of a land-jobber and of a superannuated soldier. Disbanded troops are the ready weapons Rebellion of 1641. of conspiracy, and the opportunity was not lost. The Roman Catholic insurgents of 1641 just failed to seize Dublin, but quickly became masters of nearly the whole country. That there was no definite design of massacring the Protestants is likely, but it was intended to drive them out of the country. Great numbers were killed, often in cold blood and with circumstances of great barbarity. The English under Sir Charles Coote and others retaliated. In 1642 a Scottish army under General Robert Monro landed in Ulster, and formed a rallying point for the colonists. Londonderry, Enniskillen, Coleraine, Carrickfergus and some other places defied Sir Phelim O’Neill’s