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known”; the professed object of it was to enable Henry to widen the bounds of the Church, to explain the true Christian faith to the ignorant and barbarous population, and to reform the state of morals; and the conditions, that all ecclesiastical rights should be preserved inviolate, and the payment guaranteed of one penny annually from each house to “St. Peter and the Holy Roman Church.”
21. Several years elapsed before Henry was in a position to avail himself of this singular gift, the immediate occasion being an appeal for his assistance from a deposed Irish prince, who promised, if restored through his aid, to hold his principality thenceforward as Henry's vassal. This was too good an opportunity to be lost, and accordingly, having first despatched Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke, with a considerable force, he after some time set out for Ireland himself, and landed at Waterford on the 17th of October, 1171. By this time, however, all opposition was at end. Tired of strife and anarchy, the petty kings and chieftains, with few exceptions, readily acquiesced in his authority, which they probably looked on as much like the feudal sovereignty which had from time to time been exercised by various native princes, as Nial, Brian Boru, and others. The clergy likewise, and especially the hierarchy, received with open arms one
? This pretended grant is now universally admitted even by Romish writers to be an audacious forgery. Even were it authentic, it could not affect Ireland, which was never included within the Roman empire, and was therefore not at Constantine's disposal. In fact, as Sir J. Davies expressed it, “the Pope had no more real interest in this kingdom than he which offered to Christ all the kingdoms of the world.” – Discoverie of the true cause why Ireland was not subdued, p. 15.
sent to them directly by the Pope, and who came laden with promises of increased wealth, influence, and protection to themselves. Accordingly kings, nobles, archbishops, bishops, and abbots yied with one another in the alacrity with which they assembled at his command, acknowledging him king and lord of Ireland, and swearing fealty to him and his heirs for ever. If the surmise be correct, that a mutual understanding already existed between Henry and the clergy, he certainly lost no time in fulfilling his part of the contract. One of his very first acts, after his authority was recognised, was to summon a council at Cashel (not however, it would appear, as heretofore, of the kings and nobles as well as the bishops and clergy, but of the latter only a), at which it was enacted that "all things shall in future in all parts of Ireland be regulated after the model of Holy Church, and according to the observances of the Anglican Church b.” Thus was the last remnant of the peculiarities and national characteristics of the Irish Church abolished,
a This is doubtful. Ware (" Antiq.," c. xiii. p. 78) observes respecting it, “ Whether this synod may be considered as merely ecclesiastical or as a mixed assembly, convened for civil as well as religious purposes, is not clear from history, though I am inclined to look on it in the latter light, and the words of Cambrensis seem to imply this.” It is observable that Gelasius, the primate, was not present. Giraldus accounts for his absence by his great age, but his suffragans appear to have followed his example.—(See Lanigan, vol. iv. p. 218.)
Several other canons of the Council tended to the exaltation aud emolument of the clergy, especially that by which tithes, heretofore almost unknown in Ireland, were now directed to be paid on all cattle, corn, and other produce. These decrees being confirmed by Henry, tithes may be considered as having been now established by secular as well as spiritual authority.—(See Gir. Camb., Hib. Exp., part i. c. 33, &c.)
as far at least as legislation could effect it, for in actual practice it is more than probable that among a people so remarkably attached to old opinions and usages, the new system came only by very slow degrees into general observance o.
22. It was of course the policy of both England and Rome to seek to justify their aggressions in Ireland by representing the state of things there in the blackest colours. We therefore read much in the bulls and other documents of the period of the evil customs and filthy practices of these barbarians, who were to be reduced by Henry into propriety and good manners, and (as if Christianity had never before existed in the Island of Saints') to be instructed by him in the Christian faith. While, however, there seems no reason to doubt that many barbarous and scandalous practices—the result of centuries of strife and dis
© Lanigan asserts that these decrees were “disregarded by the Irish clergy and people, who looked only to their own ecclesiastical rules, as if the synod of Cashel had never been held.” (iv. 217.) This statement must, however, be taken cum grano salis, as it is impossible to believe that regulations which had been agreed to by three-fourths of the archbishops and bishops should be altogether inoperative, though they were probably adopted slowly and reluctantly, especially in the parts most remote from AngloRoman influence. It is remarkable that so late as the end of the fifteenth century the establishment of the collegiate church of Galway was grounded on the fact that the inhabitants were previously unable to hear Divine Service or receive the Sacraments according to the English ritual, owing to the opposition and violence of the surrounding natives; and half a century later, Archbishop Alan excused himself to Cardinal Wolsey for not more readily disposing of the bulls and dispensations which as papal legate he had sent over for sale in Ireland, on the ground that "the Irish questioned his Grace's authority, especially outside the pale.”—(See Phelan's " Policy of the Church of Rome in Ireland," p. 111.)
order—did really exist, it is easy to perceive that no inconsiderable portion of their demerits in the eyes of their accusers consisted in their deviations from many of the doctrines and observances enjoined by the Church of Rome d, and that to bring them to conformity of belief and ritual with that Church, as represented in England, was looked on as a point of at least as much consequence as any other part of their Reformation, and constituted in fact the only remedy proposed for all their disorders. How inefficacious this panacea proved for the restoration or increase of religion, morality, learning, or prosperity, the history of the Church and country during the three succeeding centuries abundantly shews.
23. Although Henry's personal stay in Ireland did not exceed six months, he left behind him representatives enough to carry out his Anglicanizing and Romanizing policy. The Anglo-Norman nobles and soldiers who had preceded or accompanied him settled in large numbers in the country of their adoption, or conquest, acquiring extensive property and influence; while the bishops and clergy, whose wealth, power, and social position were considerably enhanced under the new regime, and among whom moreover a con
d Pope Alexander III. and Giraldus Cambrensis speak of the customs and discipline of the Irish Church as filthy ; Anselm and Gillibert term them schismatical; and Bernard barbarous and almost pagan.—(See Lanigan's “ History," vol. iv. p. 218.)
e The increasing power and influence of the bishops appears from the fact that the Co-arbs and Erenachs—the possessors of the ancient Church lands—suffering under the exactions and impositions of the temporal lords, found it expedient to place themselves under the protection of the prelates, to whom they voluntarily agreed to pay certain rents and pensions out of the lands, and even submitted to be confirmed by them in their appointsiderable infusion of English ecclesiastics was speedily introduced, were also, for the most part, devoted adherents of England and of Rome. To these, a new element of foreign influence was added in the vast number of monasteries connected with the Benedictine, Cistercian, and other recently instituted orders which were, during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, founded by the Anglo-Norman settlers; a species of piety much practised at the period in question, and frequently by those who shewed few other tokens of godliness. Several of these establishments were of great extent and magnificence, and endowed with large grants of land and tithes. It is not to be supposed, however, that they were intended for the reception or advantage of the “ mere Irish,” who were, for the most part, inadmissible into them. On the contrary, they were filled with monks from England or the continent, while many of thein were merely priories or cells attached to English monasteries. One effect of their establishment was the decay of the older national foundations, of which henceforward we hear but little; but though far exceeding them in size and splendour, the new institutions were but a questionable improvement on them in a literary, moral, or religious point of view. Their inmates shewed, indeed, few marks of enlightened piety. Their occupation, instead of being the study of God's Word, meditating on it themselves or imparting its truths to others, was merely a mechanical round of Latin