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3 AND 4 P. AND M. C. 2. AN ACT WHEREBY THE KING AND
QUEEN'S MAJESTIES, AND THE HEIRES AND SUCCESSOURS OF THE QUEEN BE ENTITLED TO THE COUNTRIES OF LEIX, SLEWMARGE, IRRY, GLINMALIRY, AND OFFAILY, AND FOR MAKING THE SAME COUNTRIES SHIRE GROUNDS....PAGE 62.
PRAYEN the commons in this present parliament assembled, that forasmuch as the O'Mores, Odempsies, O'Connors, and others of the Irishry, lately inhabiting the countries of Leix, Slewmarge, Irry, Glinmaliry, and Offaily, and by their sundry manifest treasons, after many pardons granted to them, and sundry benefits shewed to them, yet often rebelled, committing great hurts to the king and queen's majesties most loving subjects, by the which they provoked the most worthy prince, Edward the sixth, brother to our said sovereign lady, the queen's majestie, to use his power against them, who at length to his great charge did subdue and repress the said Irish rebels or enemies, bringing into his possession the countries aforesaid, sithence which time the said O'Mores, Odempsies, O'Connors, and others of the said Irishry, have traitorously, contrary to their bounden duties, by force entered the said countries, and them so did hold against the king and queen's majesties, unto such time as their majesties, by the diligent and painfull travaill and labour of the Right Honourable the Earl of Sussex, their majesties lord deputy in Ireland, by the sword evicted and reduced the said countries out of and from the wrongfull and usurped possession of the said Irish enemies or rebels to their majesties former possession, as of right appertayneth, and for that, that neither of the said countries is known to be within the limites of any shires or counties of this realm, no title could be found either to the said late king, or to their majesties, for and in the said countries, and the hereditaments of them as by their graces law is appointed to be in like case; by default whereof their majesties might not take order for the disposition of the said countries by their graunts as they now intend to doe. Bee it therefore ordeyned enacted and established by our said sovereign lord and lady the king and queens majesties, the lords spiritual and temporall, and the commons in this present parliament assembled, and by authoritie of the same, that the said king and queens majesties during the life of the said
queen, and the heires and successors of the said queen, shall have, hold and possess for ever as in the right of the crown of England and Ireland, the said counties of Leix, Slewmarge, Iwrye, Glimnalyrie and Offaily, and all singular seignories, honours, mannors, castles, fortresses, messuages, lands, tenements, woods, moores, pastures, mountaines, mareshes, waters, rivers, loghes, churches, chappels, advowsons, patronages, townes, fields, rentes, services, and all and singular other the hereditaments, spiritual and temporall, of what name, nature, kind or quality soever they bee of in the said countries and everie of thein according to the auncient limits, meares, and boundes of the same countries, and everie of them, except all and singular such parsonages and vicarages, as now have cure there, the patronages whereof shall be likewise given to their majesties and to the heirs and successors of the said queens majestie for ever.
AND now most deere soveraign ladie, least that any man, which list not to seek and learn the truth, might be ledd eyther of his owne fantastical imagination, or by the sinister suggestion of others, to think that the strene or lyne of the O'Neils should or aught by prioritie of title to hold or possesse anie part of the dominion or territories of Ulster, before your majesty, your heyres and successours, we your grace's said faithful and obedient subjects, for avoyding of all such scruple, doubt, and erroneous conceit, do intend here (pardon first craved of your majesty for our tedious boldnesse) to disclose unto your highnesse your auncient and sundry strong authentique tytles conveyed farre beyond the said lynage of the O'Neiles, and all other of the Irishrie, to the dignitie, state, title, and possession of this your grace's realm of Ireland. And therefore it may like your most excellent majestie to be advertised, that the auncient chronicles of this realm, written both in the Latine, English, and Irish tongues, alledge sundry auncient titles for the Kings of England to this land of Ireland. And first, that at the beginning, afore the comming of Irishmen into the sayd land, there were dwelling in a province of Spain, called Biscan, whereof Bayon was a member, and the chief citie; and that at the said Irishmen's comming into Ireland, one King Gurmonde, sonne to the noble King Belan, King of Great Britaine, which is called England, was lord of Bayon, as many of his successours were to the time of King Henry the Second, first conquerour of this realm, and therefore the Irishmen should be the King of England his people, and Ireland his land. Another title is, that at the same time that Irishmen came of Biscay as exiled persons in sixtie ships, they met with the same King Gurmond upon the sea, at the Yles of Orcades, then coming from Denmark with great victory, their captaines called Heberus and Hermon, went to this king, and him told the cause of their comming out of Biscay, and him prayed with great instance, that he would graunt unto them, that they might inhabite some land in the west. The king at last, by advice of his counsel, granted them Ireland to inhabit, and assigned unto them guides for the sea to bring them thither; and therefore they should and aught to bee the King of England's men. Another title is, the clerke Giraldus Cambrensis, writeth at large the historie of the conquest of Ireland, by King Henry the Second, your famous progenitor, how Dermot Mac Morch, prince of Leinster, which is the first part of Ireland, being a tyrant or tyraunts banished, went over the sea into Normandie, in the parts of France, to the King Henry, and him basely besought of succour, which hee obtayned, and thereupon became liegeman to the said King Henry, through which he brought power of Englishmen into the land, and maried his daughter, named Eve, at Waterford, to Sir Richard Fitz Gilbert, earl of Stranguill, in Wales, and to him graunted the reversion of Leinster, with the said Eve his daughter. And after that the said ear! granted to the said King Henry, the citie of Dublin, with certaine cantredes of land next to Dublin, and all the haven-townes of Leinster, to have the rest to him in quiet, with his grace's favour. Another title is, that in the year of our Lord God one thousand one hundred sixtie-two, the aforesaid King Henry landed at the citie of Waterford, within the realm of Ireland, and there came to him Dermot, King of Cork, which is of the nation of the Mac Carties, and of his own proper will became liege tributorie, for him and his kingdom, and upon that made his oath, and gave his hostages to the king. Then the king rode to Cashell, and there came to him Donalde, King of Limericke, which is of the nation of the O'Briens, and became his liege, as the other did. Then came to him Donalde, King of Ossorie, Mac Shaghlin, King of Ophaly, and all the princes of the South of Ireland, and became his liegemen aforesaid. Then went the said King Henry to Dublin, and there came to him OʻKirnill, King of Uriell, O’Rowrke, King of Meth, and Rothorick, King of all Irishmen of the land, and of Connaght, with all the princes, and men of value of the land, and became liege subjects and tributaries, by great oathes,
for them, their kingdomes, and lordshippes to the said King Henry, and that of their owne good wills, as it should seem, for that the chronicles make no mention of any warre or chivalrie done by the said King, all that time, that he was in Ireland. And in the year of our Lord God a thousand a hundred sourscore and five, he gave the land of Ireland to his youngest sonne John by name, about which time the said John came in person into Ireland, and held the same land. Another title is, that all the clergie of this realm assembled at Armagh at the time of the conquest, upon coming over of Englishmen our forefathers, and there it was decreed and deemed by them, that through the sinne of the people of the land, by the sentence of God, the mischiefe of the conquest then befell. Another title is, that the first comming and being of King Richard the Second, in Ireland, at the citie of Dublin, and other places of the land, there came unto him, with their own good wills, O'Neyl, captain of the Irishmen of Ulster, O'Breene of Thomond, O'Connor of Connaght, Arther Mac Morchie, captain of Irishmen in Leinster, and all captaines of Irishmen of Ireland, and became liege men to the said King Richard, and to him did homage and fealty, and for the more greater suretie bound themselves in great summes of money, by divers instruments, in case they did not truly keepe and hold theire allegiance in the forme aforesaid ; and therefore sayeth this clerk, that from the beginning of his time, which was about three hundred and fourscore years past, good is the King of England's title and right to the land and lordship of Ireland, and wisheth him for shame to hold the same as a thing of great price, in despite of them that would say the contrarie. This author, in a short collection of this his historie, saith, that one Rabert Fitz Stephen was the first man, that opened the way of Ireland to the Earl Stranguyle, the earl to King Henry, the king to his son John, and that greatly hee is to be praised, that first so boldly began; and greater worthy of prayse, that after the beginning so nobly came to execute the thing so well began, but most of all he is to be praised, that shall end the same : which prayse, by God's divine prescience, is light on your majestie, in whose happie days this four hundred and four years began conquest is now ended, and brought to an honourable passe, without any great effusion of bloud, but by a godly conquest, in winning of the people and the land, who now being over layed by the mightiness of your power, and perswaded by the just and gracious
dealing of your deputie here, are fatigated with warre, and begin to cry, first for your mercy, and next for your justice, to remaine as a continual stickler among them, and to right and end their causes for ever. Now leaving these historical titles, which be witnesse at time, and the meane whereby man is brought to the knowledge of antiquities, as a firme foundation layed for your majesties good and sound right to this realm, we will corroborate the same with recent matter of record, verifying your majesties title in generalitie to the whole realm of Ireland, and in particularitie to the dominion and territories of Ulster. And therefore it is to be understood, that King Henry the Second, the first conquerour of this realme, sent one John de Corsie, being a valiant knight, and a borne subject to the crowne of England, into Ulster with a power of men, who first won the citie of Downe, and after that conquered all Ulster, and brought the people of the same in due subjection to the crowne of England, and for his painefull service and worthy deeds, did hold and possesse the sayd countrey of Ulster quietly of the King of England's gift, of whose companions in armes, there remaineth this day in Ulster, as a testimonie of that conquest, certaine stripes of English bloud, as the Savages, Gordans, Fitz Simons, Chamberlins, Bensons, Russels, Audeleyes, Whytes, and many others, as proprietories of large portions of land, hardly and valiantly hitherto kept by them, although with great peril and povertie : which John de Corsie died without issue, after whose death the same countries were given to Hugh de Lacey, and to his heires, who died, having issue a daughter, which daughter was married to one Redmonde de Burgo, which Burgo, after three or four decentes, had issue a daughter, was espoused to Leonell, Duke of Clarence, third begotten son of your most famous progenitor King Edward the Third, who likewise quietly held the same countrey of Ulster during his life, in right of his sayd wife, and died, having issue Philippe, his only daughter, which was married to Edmonde Mortimer, earle of March, who long and honourably enjoyed the same countrey ; which Edmond Mortimer had issue Roger Mortimer, earle of March, which had issue Edmond Mortimer, Anne, and Ellynor, which Edmond and Ellynor died without issue: and the said Anne was married to Richard, earle of Cambridge, sonne unto Edmond Langley, duke of York, the fifth begotten sonne of the said King Edward the Third ; which Richard had issue the famous prince Richard Plantagenet, duke of York, which had issue that noble prince King Edward the Fourth, father to the virtuous Queen Elizabeth, your majesties grandmother, united in matrimony to the high and sage Prince Henry the Seventh, your majesties good and gracious grandfather : during all which time the O'Neyles were of no estimation, nor durst bear up head in Ulster, but lived as vassals and obedient people to the crowne of England, untill civill warres began in the realm of England, betwixt King Richard the Second, and Henry of Lancaster, sonne to John of Gaunt, by which discord the foundation of this commonwealth began to shake ; for that those personages of honour and reputation here withdrew themselves to