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of those reprobates, changed into the malicious cunning of the serpent.
We had a written code of laws, according to which our nation was governed hitherto; they have deprived us of those laws, and of every law except one, which it is impossible to wrest from us ; and for the purpose of exterminating us they have established other iniquitous laws, by which injustice and inhumanity are combined for our destruction. Some of which we here insert for your inspection, as being so many fundamental rules of English jurisprudence established in this kingdom.
Every man not an Irishman, can on any charge however frivolous, prosecute an Irishman; but no Irishman whether lay or ecclesiastic (the prelates alone excepted) can prosecute for any of fence whatsoever, because he is an Irishman. If any Englishman should, as they often do, treacherously and perfidiously murder an Irishman, be he ever so noble or so innocent, whether lay or ecclesiastic, secular or regular, even though he should be a prelate, no satisfaction can be obtained from an English court of justice; on the contrary the more worthy the murdered man was, and the more respected by his own countrymen, the more the murderer is rewarded and honoured; not only by the English rabble, but even by the English clergy and bishops; and especially by those, whose duty it is chiefly, on account of their station in life, to correct such abominable malefactors. Every Irish woman, whether noble or ignoble, who marries an Englishman, is after her husband's death deprived of the third of her husband's lands and possessions, on account of her being an Irish woman. In like manner, whenever the English can violently oppreșs to death an Irishman, they will by no means permit him to make a will or any disposal whatsoever of his affairs : on the contrary, they seize violently on all his property, deprive the church of its rights, and per force reduce to a servile condition that blood, which has been from all antiquity free.
The same tribunal of the English, by advice of the King of England, and some English bishops, among whom the ignorant and ill-conducted Archbishop of Armagh was president, has made in the city of St. Kenniers (Kilkenny) the following absurd and informal statute: that no religious community in the English pale, shall receive an Irishman as novice, under pain of being treated as contumacious contemners of the King of England's laws.—And as well before as after this law was enacted, it was scrupulously observed by the English Dominicans, Franciscans, monks, canons, and all other religious orders of the English nation, who shewed a partiality in the choice of their religious subjects; the more odious, inasmuch as those monasteries were founded by Irishmen, from which Irishmen are so basely excluded by Englishmen in modern times. Besides, where they ought to have established virtue, they have done exactly the contrary ; they have exterminated our native virtues, and established the most abominable vices in their stead.
For the English, who inhabit our island, and call themselves a middle nation (between English and Irish) are so different in their morals from the English of England, and of all other nations, that they can with the greatest propriety, be stiled a nation not of middling, but of extreme perfidiousness; for it is of old, that they follow the abominable and nefarious custom, which is acquiring more inveteracy every day from habit, namely, when they invite a nobleman of our nation to dine with them, they, either in the midst of the entertainment, or in the unguarded hour of sleep, spill the blood of our unsuspecting countrymen, terminate their detestable feast with murder, and sell the heads of their guests to the enemy. Just as Peter Brumichehame, who is since called the treacherous baron, did with Mauritius de S-his fellow sponsor, and the said Mauritius' brother, Calnacus, men much esteemed for their talents and their honour among us; he invited them to an entertainment on a feast day of the Holy Trinity; on that day the instant they stood up from the table, he cruelly massacred them, with twenty-four of their followers, and sold their heads at a dear price to their enemies; and when he was arraigned before the King of England, the present king's father, no justice could be obtained against such a nefarious and treacherous offender. In like manner Lord Thomas Clare, the Duke of Gloucester's brother, invited to his house the most illustrious Brien Roe O'Brien of Thomond his sponsor.
All hope of peace between us is therefore completely destroyed; for such is their pride, such their excessive lust of dominion, and such our ardent ambition to shake off this insupportable yoke, and recover the inheritance, which they have so unjustly usurped; that, as there never was, so there never will be any sincere coali. tion between them and us: nor is it possible there should in this life, for we entertain a certain natural enmity against each other, flowing from mutual malignity descending by inheritance from father to son, and spreading from generation to generation.
Let no person wonder then, if we endeavour to preserve our lives, and defend our liberties, as well as we can, against those cruel tyrants, usurpers of our just properties and murderers of our persons; so far from thinking it unlawful, we hold it to be a meritorious act, nor can we be accused of perjury or rebellion, since neither our fathers or we, did at any time bind ourselves by any oath of allegiance to their fathers or to them, and therefore without the least remorse of conscience, while breath remains, we will attack them in defence of our just rights, and never lay down our arms until we force them to desist. Besides, we are fully satisfied to prove in a judicial manner, before twelve or more bishops, the facts, which we have stated, and the grievances, which we have complained of. Not like the English, who in time of prosperity, contemn all legal ordinances, and if they enjoyed prosperity at present, would not recur to Rome, as they do now, but would crush, with their overbearing and tyrannical haughtiness, all the surrounding nations, despising every law human and divine.
Therefore, on account of all those injuries, and a thousand others, which human wit cannot easily comprehend, and on account of the kings of England, and their wicked ministers, who, instead of governing us, as they are bound to do, with justice and moderation, have wickedly endeavoured to exterminate us off the face of the earth, and to shake off entirely their detestable yoke, and recover our native liberties, which we lost by their means, we are forced to carry on an exterminating war; chusing in defence of our lives and liberties, rather to rise like men and expose our persons bravely to all the dangers of war, than any longer to bear like women their atrocious and detestable injuries; and in order to obtain our interest the more speedily and consistently, we invite the gallant Edward Bruce, to whom, being descended from our most noble ancestors, we transfer, as we justly may, our own right of royal dominion, unanimously declaring him our king by common consent, who in our opinion, and in the opinion of most men, is as just, prudent and pious, as he is powerful and courageous : who will do justice to all classes of people, and restore to the church those properties, of which it has been so damnably and inhumanly despoiled, &c.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE FORM OF A PROCLAMATION MADE ON
THE OCCASION OF CHANGING THE LORDSHIP INTO THE KINGDOM OF IRELAND....PAGE 55.
FORASMUCH as the hearts of all godly, natural, reasonable, and civil creatures be kindled with love and joy, when they hear of the prosperity, triumph and advancement of their natural sovereign liege lord; honourable assembly, ye shall understand, that the triumph shewed here this day is done principally to give
thanks to God, for his great benefits shewed to our noble and victorious king, Henry the eighth, and to deliver our own gladness and joy, that his majesty is now, as he hath always of right been, acknowledged by the nobility and commons of this his realm of Ireland, to be King of the same, and he and his heirs to be named, reputed and taken for evermore kings of Ireland, most worthy under God. And for manifestation partly of the gladness of the nobility here assembled, it is agreed by the king's deputy, and the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons assembled in this parliament, that all prisoners of whatever estate, degree, or condition, however they be detained for murder, felony or other offences, which the said lord deputy may pardon, (treason, wilful murder, rape and debt only excepted) shall be clearly delivered out of prison or prisons though herein they may or any of them be detained, and all such prisoners as so shall be delivered, shall have their pardon frank and free, requiring the same accordingly. And God save the King's majesty, King Henry the Eighth, King of England, Ireland and France, defender of the faith, and in earth supreme head of the Church of Enge land and Ireland.
PROCLAMATION OF TEMPORARY CONSTITUTIONS MADE BY DEPU
TY AND COUNCIL, IN MAGNO PARLIAMENTO....PAGE 56.
1st. That King Henry be received and called King of Ireland.
2d. That bishops may exercise their jurisdictions in their diocess, according to the law of God, and the canons.
3d. That lay men nor boys be not admitted to ecclesiastical preferments, and that such as be in already, shall be immediately deprived.
4th. That the demesnes of bishops, and the glebes of rectors and vicars not exceeding ten marks per annum, be exempted and privileged from taxes.
5th. That all those, that have dignities or benefices ecclesiastical, shall take orders and reside.
6th. That a general peace be proclaimed throughout Munster; and afterwards, he that conimits murder or robbery shall be fined forty pounds, half to the king, and half to the lord of the fee.
7th. That larceny, above the value of fourteen pence, shall be punished with loss of an ear the first time, and t’other ear the second, and the third time with death.
8th. No horseman shall keep more garsons or boys, than horses, on pain of twenty shillings.
9th. That every father shall answer for his children, master for his servants, gentleman for his followers, and brother for his brethren, under his tuition, and shall give in a list of them.
10th. That every kerne, that has not a master, that will answer for him, be taken as a vagabond.
11th. That there be no more exactions to maintain horse or foot, or kernes, or to war against one another; and that no more coyne or livery be taken but by the deputies order at a general hustings.
12th. That nevertheless the captain of the county must have the usual contribution of the country for the public and his own private defence.
13th. That petty larceny be punished by a fine of three pounds six shillings and eight pence, whereof forty shillings shall be paid to the captain or lord of the county, and twenty shillings to the tanist, si non est particeps criminis, and six shillings and eight pence to the informer.
14th. That no man buy goods above the value of five shillings, from any suspected person, at his peril, if they prove to be stalen.
15th. Depopulatores agrorum et spoliatores per viam and rape shall be punished with death without mercy.
16th. That no man shall meddle with any ecclesiastical officer or benefice, but pay all their tithe punctually, and half tithe of the fish taken by foreigners on the coast.
17th. That noblemen shall have but twenty cubits or bandles of linen in their shirts, horsemen eighteen, footmen sixteen, garsons twelve, clowns ten, and that none of their shirts shall be dyed with saffron on pain of twenty shillings.
18th. That the lord or gentlemen, into whose county a theft is traced, must trace it thence, or make restitution.
19th. No histriones, mummers or players at Christmas or Eas. ter.
Lastly. The Earl of Ormond, in the counties of Waterford, Typperary and Kilkenny, and the Earl of Desmond in the rest of Munster, are made custodes and executores of these ordinances, with the assistance of the Bishop of Cashel.