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Successes of Strongbow in Ireland.

"Most puissant Prince, and my dread Sovereign,

"I came into the land with, your Majesty's leave and favour, (as far as I remember,) to aid your servant Mac Morough; what I won, was with the sword; what is given me, I give you. "I am yours, life and living."


The bearer of this epistle was received with indignation by the king, and dismissed without any answer. Meanwhile, the time allowed by Henry's proclamation had elapsed, and Strongbow and his adherents were proscribed in Britain, The effect of this proscription was in no respect lessened by the security of their situation in Ireland, for there they had rendered themselves detested by their avarice and cruelty. Thus become desperate from despair, he succeeded, as desperate men often do, by a dreadful perseverance in his course. Roderick appeared once more with his army before Dublin, and was discomfited and dispersed by Strongbow, who fought with the bent-up energies of a man who knew that he was fighting for life and for liberty. This success, unexpected as it was, enabled him to effect a settlement in that country; and Henry, finding him now powerful enough to make resistance, concealed the resentment he felt, and assumed an appearance of reconciliation and confidence, the better to forward his own designs.

Henry II. prepares for invading Ireland. 39 The consequence of this disastrous change in the affairs of Roderick was, that the country became divided into factions, while its king, irresosolute what to do, did nothing that could at all impart vigour to his affairs. A nation torn by intestine discords is the easy and inevitable prey of neighbouring powers. Henry no sooner heard of the dissentions that prevailed in Ireland than he availed himself of them in furtherance of his own views, which pointed directly to its subjugation. He accordingly made great preparations for invading it in 1172. He sent over for Strongbow, received him with all the gracious dissimulation of royal artifice, restored him to his forfeited estates, and appointed him his steward in Ireland. A treaty was entered into between them, and Henry was to be put in possession of Dublin, Waterford, and all the maritime places which Strongbow held; while he, on the other hand, was to be guaranteed in the peaceable tenure of the rest of his territories. Nothing was done by Roderick to counteract this meditated invasion, which, there is strong reasong to believe, was privately countenanced by several of the native princes.

In the autumn of the year 1172, Henry sailed with a fleet of some hundred ships from Milford Haven, and entered the harbour of Waterford on the 18th of October. His force consisted of 400 knights and 4000 men at arms. When he Janded, Strongbow presented him with the keys

40 Arrival of Henry. Synod held at Cashel.

of Waterford on his knees, and putting his hands closed into those of Henry, he did homage to him for his kingdom of Leinster. The next day Dermod Mac Carthy presented him with the keys of his capital city of Cork, and also rendered homage to him as the monarch of Ireland. Elated with these successes, and confident of future ones, he only reposed a few days, when he marched his army to Lismore, and from thence to Cashel, where he was waited upon by Donald O'Bryen, Prince of Thomond, who tendered to him the keys of his capital of Limerick, and did homage to him as his sovereign. Various other princes in like manner became tributary to him; and having intrusted the government of Waterford to Robert Fitz-Barnard, he proceeded on his march towards Dublin through Ossory; but the haughty Roderick O'Connor, King of Connaught, would not step beyond the Shannon to greet the English monarch; there, however, Hugh de Lacy and William Fitz-Aldeline met him, and administered the oath of allegiance. Thus, according to Giraldus," there was no one within that land, who was of any name or countenance, but that he did present himself before the king's majesty, and yielded unto him subjection and due obedience."

Tranquillity being now established within the island, the king ordered a synod to be held at Cashel, which was splendidly and numerously attended. "Besides the legate," says Plowden, "there appeared the Archbishops of Munster,

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Interference of the see of Rome.

Leinster, and Connaught, with their suffragans; many mitred abbots, and several of the inferior clergy. There, for the first time, he produced in public the bull of Adrian IV. though he must have had it by him about 17 years, and its confirmation by his successor Alexander III. Henry very successfully worked upon this synod, by pressing on the clergy the powerful sway which the Roman Pontiff at that time possessed over the politics of all Christian princes. And it is evident, that through their influenee the whole nation was induced to submit to Henry with a facility which no other means would have secured to the invader.


"How much this interference of the see of Rome restrained the hands of the Irish, not only upon this, but upon other occasions, may be inferred from the following remarkable words in a inemorial from O'Neal, King of Ulster, presented in 1330 to John, the 22d Bishop of Rome, in the name of the Irish nation. During the course of so many ages (3000 years) our sovereigns preserved the independency of their country; attacked more than once by foreign powers, they wanted neither force nor courage to repel the bold invaders; but that which they dared to do against force they could not against the simple decree of one of your predecessors, Adrian, &c.'

"The acts of this council are only recorded by Cambrensis, who tells us, that after accepting of the bulls, they proceeded to the reformations so


Acts of the council at Cashel.

much wanted, ' which were to make the Irish Christians in effect as well as in name, and which were to bring back their Church from disorder and anarchy to regular discipline.' This reform is reduced to eight articles: the first enjoins, that the people should not marry with their close kindred. 2. That children should be catechised outside of the church door, and infants baptised at at the font. 3. That the laity should pay tithes. 4. That the possessions of the Church should be free from temporal exactions. 5. That the Clergy should be exempt from eric, or retribution on account of murder or other crimes committed by their relations. 6. Directs the manner of disposing, by will, of the effects of a dying man. 7. Enjoins burial to the dead. And the 8th, that divine service should for the future be performed in Ireland, in every particular according to the English church: for it is meet and just,' says Cambrensis, that as Ireland hath by Providence received a lord and king from England, so she may receive from the same a better form of living. For to his royal grandeur are both the church and realm of Ireland indebted for whatever they have hitherto obtained, either of the benefit of peace, or the increase of religion; since before his coming into Ireland, evils of various kinds had from old times gradually overspread the land, which by his power and goodness are now abolished.' Such were the specious and imposing articles, with which Henry endeavoured to gain


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