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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.

The Irish war-cries[377] which had been adopted by the English lords were forbidden, and they were commanded to call upon St. George or the King of England.  The Statutes of Kilkenny were confirmed, with the exception of the one which forbid the use of the Irish language.  As nearly all the English settlers had adopted it, such an enactment could not possibly have been carried out.  Three of the principal nobles of the country were absent from this assembly:  Maurice, Earl of Desmond, was in arms on behalf of Warbeck; Gerald, Earl of Kildare, was charged with treason; and Thomas, Earl of Ormonde, was residing in England.  The Earl of Kildare was sent to England to answer the charges of treason which were brought against him.  Henry had discovered that Poyning’s mission had not been as successful as he expected, and what, probably, influenced him still more, that it had proved very expensive.[378] He has the credit of being a wise king in many respects, notwithstanding his avariciousness; and he at once saw that Kildare would be more useful as a friend, and less expensive, if he ceased to be an enemy.  The result was the pardon of the “rebel,” his marriage with the King’s first cousin, Elizabeth St. John, and his restoration to the office of Deputy.  His quick-witted speeches, when examined before the King, took the royal fancy.  He was accused of having burned the Cathedral of Cashel, to revenge himself on the Archbishop, who had sided with his enemy, Sir James Ormonde.  There was a great array of witnesses prepared to prove the fact; but the Earl excited shouts of laughter by exclaiming:  “I would never have done it, had it not been told me the Archbishop was within.”

The Archbishop was present, and one of his most active accusers.  The King then gave him leave to choose his counsel, and time to prepare his defence.  Kildare exclaimed that he doubted if he should be allowed to choose the good fellow whom he would select.  Henry gave him his hand as an assurance of his good faith.  “Marry,” said the Earl, “I can see no better man in England than your Highness, and will choose no other.”  The affair ended by his accusers declaring that “all Ireland could not rule this Earl,” to which Henry replied:  “Then, in good faith, shall this Earl rule all Ireland."[379]

In August, 1489, Kildare was appointed Deputy to Prince Henry, who was made Viceroy.  In 1498 he was authorized to convene a Parliament, which should not sit longer than half a year.  This was the first Parliament held under Poyning’s Act.  Sundry regulations were made “for the increasing of English manners and conditions within the land, and for diminishing of Irish usage.”  In 1503 the Earl’s son, Gerald, was appointed Treasurer for Ireland by the King, who expressed the highest approval of his father’s administration.  He married the daughter of Lord Zouch of Codnor during his visit to England, and then returned with his father to Ireland.  Both father and son were treated with the utmost consideration

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