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58 Grant of Ireland by Henry to his son Edward. form of polity, and consented to hold their lands› by English tenure."

Passing over years of distraction and disorder,, of bloodshed and rebellion, the next remarkable: feature in the history of Ireland is the grant of it made by Henry to his son Prince Edward ini 1253. He had projected a marriage between that Prince and the Infanta of Spain; and, as a valuable, consideration, he conceded the kingdom of Ire-, land, with certain exceptions, to him and his, heirs for ever, with a special proviso, however, that Ireland should always be connected with and dependent on the English crown. Consequently, the general appointments under government were afterwards made in the name of Edward; thoughi the King frequently interfered, lest Edward should successfully arrogate to himself a dominion that might ultimately stand independently of all alle-giance to the English government. We have an authentic record relating to this period, which, according to Mr. Mollyneux, proves the antiquity of the Irish parliament, and that neither men nor money could be raised in Ireland without their consent. Henry being engaged in a war upon the continent, in defence of his French territories, and pressed in his means to carry it on, his Queen transmitted to Ireland the following Requisition: "To the archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, burgesses, freemen, &c. intreating from them assistance of men and money against the King of Castile, who had in

Reign of Edward I.

59 vaded Gascony, the compliance with which would turn to their immortal honour,"

Henry III. after a reign of fifty-six years, was succeeded by son Edward I. who has been justly denominated the English Justinian.. Notwithstanding, however, that he had received from his father a grant of Ireland, it does not appear that, as the King of both countries, he paid much attention to that which was specifically his when Prince Edward. During the whole course of his reign, which lasted five and thirty years, he seems to have taken so slight an interest in all that concerned Ireland, that not one state act of his, with respect to that country, has been recorded by any of the English historians. There were, however, some few occurrences during this period which deserve to be mentioned. In 1972, the Irish, convinced that all hope of exterminating the Eng lish from their territory was extinct, sought to change the state of tributary vassalage to the King of England for the security and advantage of complete English subjects; and in order to attain that prudent and desirable object, they offered, through Ufford, the chief governor, 8000 marks to the King, provided he would grant the full participation of the laws of England indiscri minately to the whole Irish people. To this ap plication Edward returned the following answer:

"Edward. by the grace of God. King of Eng land, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitain, to our

60 English constitution granted to Ireland.

truly and well beloved Robert de Ufford, Justiciary of Ireland, greeting:

"The improvement of the state and peace of our land of Ireland, signified to us by your letter, gives us exceeding joy and pleasure. We entirely commend your diligence in this matter, hoping (by the Divine assistance) that the things there begun so happily by you, shall, as far as in you lieth, be still further prosecuted with the greater vigor and success.

"And whereas the community of Ireland hath made a tender to us of 8000 marks, on condition that we grant to them the laws of England to be used in the aforesaid land, we will you to know, that inasmuch as the laws used by the Irish are hateful to God and repugnant to all justice, and having held diligent conference and full deliberation with our council on this matter, it seems sufficiently expedient to us and to our council, to grant to them the English laws; provided always, that the general consent of our people, or at least of the nobles and prelates of that land, well affected to us, shall uniformly concur in this behalf.

"We therefore command you, that having entered into treaty with these Irish people, and examined diligently into the wills of our commons, prelates, and nobles well affected to us in this behalf, and having agreed between you and them on the highest fine of money that you can obtain on this account, to be paid to us, you do with the consent of all, or at least of the greater and

Defeated by the English party.

sounder part aforesaid, make such a composition with the said people, in the premises, as you shall judge in your diligence to be most expedient for our honour and interest. Provided, however, that these people shall hold in readiness a body of good and stout footmen, amounting to such a number as you shall agree upon with them for one turn only, to repair to us when we shall think fit to demand them."

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The views of the English monarch, however, were thwarted by his own servants, who, to forward their rapacious views of extortion and oppression, prevented a convention of the King's barons and other subjects in Ireland. This interposition between the wishes of the Irish and the intentions of the government at home, was completely effectual, and it was in vain that they solicited with eager and unquestionable sincerity, to be admitted partakers of all the benefits of the English constitution as it was then established. The royal ear was poisoned, as it has been in later times, by the representations of interested individuals; and so completely were the wise and benevolent views of Edward frustrated, that during his reign several individuals of the Irish race were necessitated to sue for particular charters of denization on their intermarriages with the Eng lish. What could be expected from such a procedure but that which actually followed? The Irish finding themselves discountenanced in every attempt to rank on an equality with their sub

62

Oppression of the Irisk.

jugators, feeling that they were marked out as victims to the cruel policy which too commonly regulates the conduct of a nation towards a conquered people, and justly indignant at the haughty disregard with which all their assurances of fidelity were treated, resorted to the fatal but inevitable means of redress, which alone are left to those who have no mercy to expect, and who can hope for no justice but what they extort from their ope pressors, In their hearts and minds they were still unsubdued; in the sanctuary of their feelings and their thoughts, liberty had still upheld her shrine, and with all the generous enthusiasm of their character, they bowed before it, and wor shipped the divinity with a rude but honest sincerity. From this period, perhaps, remote as it may seem, it would not be difficult to trace the origin of those disastrous measures which have been alienating from us, century after century, the cordial allegiance of that devoted people. In the proud and austere dignity of the English government, no sentiment of conciliation has found a place; it has scorned to soothe those whom it could never entirely subdue; and it has weakly preferred the dubious and questionable obedience. which has been sullenly paid to the sword and the law, to that frank and cordial submission which might have been obtained by temperate and conciliatory measures. The Irish, however, impatient of such despotism, retorted the bitter lesson upon their tyrants, and they have never ceased to

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