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Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 779 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[270] Book of Rights.—­The great antiquity and perfect authenticity of this most valuable work, should be remembered.  It is admitted that the original Book of Rights was compiled by St. Benignus, the disciple of St. Patrick.  Dr. O’Donovan thinks there is every reason to believe that this work was in existence in the time of Cormac, the bishop-king of Cashel, A.D. 900.  It is probable that the present Book of Rights was compiled about this period, from the more ancient volume of the same name.

[271] Da Derga.—­See an interesting Essay on the Curragh of Kildare, by Mr. W.M.  Hennessy, read before the R.I.A., February 26, 1866.

[272] Profit.—­The trustees of the estates forfeited in 1688 notice this especially.  Trees to the value of L20,000 were cut down and destroyed on the estate of Sir Valentine Brown, near Killarney, and to the value of L27,000 on the territory of the Earl of Clancarty.  Some of these trees were sold for sixpence a piece.

CHAPTER XVI.

The English Invasion—­Dermod’s Interview with Henry II.—­Henry grants Letters-patent—­Dermod obtains the assistance of Strongbow, Earl de Clare—­He returns to Ireland—­Arrival of English Forces under FitzStephen—­Fatal Indifference of Roderic, the Irish Monarch—­He is at last roused to action, but acknowledges Dermod’s Authority almost without a Struggle—­Strongbow’s Genealogy—­He obtains a Tacit Permission to invade Ireland—­His Arrival in Ireland—­Marriage of Strongbow and Eva—­Death of Dermod Mac Murrough—­Strongbow proclaims himself King of Leinster—­Difficulties of his Position—­Siege of Dublin—­Strongbow’s Retreat—­He returns to England.

[A.D. 1168-1171.]

[Illustration:  Letter ‘U’]

Until this period (A.D. 1168) the most friendly relations appear to have existed between England and Ireland.  Saxon nobles and princes had fled for shelter, or had come for instruction to the neighbouring shores.  The assistance of Irish troops had been sought and readily obtained by them.  Irish merchants[273] had taken their goods to barter in English markets; but when the Norman had won the Saxon crown, and crushed the Saxon race under his iron heel, the restless spirit of the old Viking race looked out for a new quarry, and long before Dermod had betrayed his country, that country’s fate was sealed.

William Rufus is reported to have said, as he stood on the rocks near St. David’s, that he would make a bridge with his ships from that spot to Ireland—­a haughty boast, not quite so easily accomplished.  His speech was repeated to the King of Leinster, who inquired “if the king, in his great threatening, had added, ’if it so please God’?” The reporter answered in the negative.  “Then,” said he, “seeing this king putteth his trust only in man, and not in God, I fear not his coming.”  When Dermod Mac Murrough was driven in disgrace from Ireland, he fled at once to Bristol.  There he

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