An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 eBook

Mary Frances Cusack
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 946 pages of information about An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800.

[375] Ordnance.—­In 1489 six hand-guns or musquets were sent from Germany to the Earl of Kildare, which his guard bore while on sentry at Thomas Court, his Dublin residence.  The word “Pale” came to be applied to that part of Ireland occupied by the English, in consequence of one of the enactments of Poyning’s Parliament, which required all the colonists to “pale” in or enclose that portion of the country possessed by the English.

[376] Butts.—­We give an illustration, at the head of this chapter, of the Butts’ Cross, Kilkenny.

[377] War-cries.—­That of the Geraldines of Kildare was Cromadh-abu, from Croom Castle, in Limerick; the war-cry of the Desmond Geraldines was Seanaid-abu, from Shannid Castle.

[378] Expensive.—­English writers accuse Henry of miserable avariciousness.  He is accused of having consented to the execution of Sir William Stanley, who had saved his life, for the sake of his enormous wealth.—­Lingard’s History of England, vol. v. p. 308.  He is also accused, by a recent writer, of having seized the Wealth of the Queen Dowager, because he chose to believe that she had assisted Simnel.—­Victoria History of England, p. 223.

[379] Ireland.—­On one occasion, when the Earl and Sir James Ormonde had a quarrel, the latter retired into the chapter-house of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the door of which he closed and barricaded.  The Earl requested him to come forth, and pledged his honour for his safety.  As the knight still feared treachery, a hole was cut in the door, through which Kildare passed his hand; and after this exploit, Ormonde came out, and they embraced each other.


The Reign of Henry VIII.—­The Three Eras in Irish History:  Military Violence, Legal Iniquity, and Religious Oppression—­The Earl of Kildare—­Report on the State of Ireland—­The Insurrection of Silken Thomas—­His Execution with his five Uncles—­First Attempt to introduce the Reformation in Ireland—­Real Cause of the English Schism—­The King acts as Head of the Church—­The New Religion enacted by Law, and enforced by the Sword—­How the Act was opposed by the Clergy, and how the Clergy were disposed of—­Dr. Browne’s Letter to Henry—­The Era of Religious Persecution—­Massacre of a Prelate, Priest, and Friars—­Wholesale Plunder of Religious Property.

[A.D. 1509-1540.]

We have now approached one of the most important standpoints in Irish history.  An English writer has divided its annals into three eras, which he characterizes thus:  first, the era of military violence; second, the era of legal iniquity; third, the era of religious persecution.[380] We may mark out roughly certain lines which divide these periods, but unhappily the miseries of the two former blended eventually with the yet more cruel wrongs of the latter.  Still, until the reign of Henry VIII., the element of religious contention did not exist; and its importance as an increased source of discord, may be easily estimated by a careful consideration of its subsequent effects.  Nevertheless, I believe that Irish history has not been fairly represented by a considerable number of writers, who are pleased to attribute all the sufferings and wrongs endured by the people of that country to religious grounds.

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An Illustrated History of Ireland from AD 400 to 1800 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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