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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.

[385] Pierse Butler.—­Called by the Irish, Red Pierse.  Leland gives a curious story about him.  He was at war with MacGillapatrick, who sent an ambassador to Henry VIII. to complain of the Earl’s proceedings.  The messenger met the English King as he was about to enter the royal chapel, and addressed him thus:  “Stop, Sir King! my master, Gillapatrick, has sent me to thee to say, that if thou wilt not punish the Red Earl he will make war on thee.”  Pierse resigned his title in favour of Sir Thomas Boleyn, in 1527, and was created Earl of Ossory; but after the death of the former he again took up the old title, and resigned the new.

[386] Spared.—­It is quite evident from the letter of the Council to Henry VIII. (State Papers, ciii.), that a promise was made.  Henry admits it, and regrets it in his letter to Skeffington (S.P. cvi.):  “The doyng whereof [FitzGerald’s capture], albeit we accept it thankfully, yet, if he had been apprehended after such sorte as was convenable to his deservynges, the same had been muche more thankfull and better to our contentacion.”

[387] Already.—­Mant describes him as a man “whose mind was happily freed from the thraldom of Popery,” before his appointment.—­History of the Church of Ireland, vol. i. p. 111.

[388] Houses.—­Lingard, vol. vi. p. 203.

[389] Charges.—­Mr. Froude has adopted this line with considerable ability, in his History of England.  He has collected certain statements, which he finds in the books of the Consistory Courts, and gives details from these cases which certainly must “shock his readers” considerably, as he expects.  He leaves it to be implied that, as a rule, ecclesiastics lived in open immorality.  He gives names and facts concerning the punishment of priests for vicious lives (History of England, vol. i. pp. 178-180); and asserts that their offences were punished lightly, while another measure was dealt out to seculars.  He might as well select the cases of scandal given by Protestant clergymen in modern times from the law books, and hold them up as specimens of the lives of all their brethren.  The cases were exceptions; and though they do prove, what is generally admitted, that the moral condition of the clergy was not all that could be desired in individual cases, they also prove that such cases were exceptional, and that they were condemned by the Church, or they would not have been punished.  With regard to the punishment, we can scarcely call it a light penance for a priest to be compelled to go round the church barefoot, to kneel at each altar and recite certain prayers, and this while High Mass was singing.  It was a moral disgrace, and keener than a corporal punishment.  The writer also evidently misunderstands the Catholic doctrine of absolution, when he says that a fine of six-and-eightpence was held sufficient penalty for a mortal sin.

[390] Ancestors.—­See the Phoenix, a collection of valuable papers, published in London, 1707; and the Harleian Miscellany, &c.

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