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from the depth of obscurity to the pinnacle of grandeur, and after setting them up as tyrants, put them to death like slaves. He was pre-eminent in religion : first quarrelling with Luther, whose doctrines he thought too republican, he became defender of the Catholic faith ; and then quarrelling with the Pope, who stood in the way of his murders, he was twice excommunicated. He made creeds and articles, and made it treason not to swear to them; he made others quite opposed to them, and made it treason not to swear to them ; and he burned his opponents with slow fire. He burned an hysterical girl, the maid of Kent, for her opinions. He disputed with a foolish school-master on the Real Presence, and burned him to convince him. He beheaded Bishop Fisher and Sir Thomas Moore, for not swearing that his own children were bastards. He robbed the churches, and
gave the revenue of a convent to an old woman for a pudding He burned a lovely young woman (Anne Ascue) for jabbering of the real presence.
He was in love as in religion, delicate and tender. He first married his sister-in-law, and because her children died, divorced her; married her maid of honor; and made parliament and clergy declare he had done well. He beheaded the maid of honor for letting her handkerchief fall at a tilting, and two or three gentlemen with her, to keep her company; threw her body into an old arrow case and buried it therein, and the very next day married a third, wife, and his parliament and his clergy made it treason not to say it was well.
He next proposed to Francis I. to bring two princesses of Guise, and a number of other pretty French ladies, that he might chuse a fourth wife among them. The French king was too gallant to bring ladies to market like geldings, so he fell in love with the picture of a Dutch lady, and married her without seeing her. When she came, he found she spoke Dutch, and did not dance well. He swore she was no maid, called her a Flanders mare, and turned her loose; and as he had destroyed Cardinal Woolsey, when he was tired of his former wife, so he beheaded Cromwell when he was surfeited with this one.
He married a fifth wife, with whom he was so delighted, that he had forms of thanksgiving, composed by his bishops, and read in the churches, and then condemned her, her grand-mother, uncles, aunts, cou. sins, about a dozen in all, to be put to death. Having done all this, and much more, he died of a rotten leg, in the 38th year of his reign, and the 56th of his life, a royal peep-of-day-boy, and a very memorable brute.
Of the Popes of London.
Now, when we consider what kind of Henry was, can we wonder that the Irish were not prepared to swear, that he was the elect man of God, the successor of St. Peter—that he kept the keys of Heaven--that he was Christ's vice-gerant upon earth. In short, that he was the supreme head of the church, which, in their idea, was the POPE; would it not at
least have required time, persuasion, gentleness, good offices and great benefits, to have engaged the followers of the benevolent St. Patrick to quit his opinions for the extravagant absurdities of this beast? Alas! instead of persuasion, it was new cruelties; and the persecutions that had exhausted inhumanity, seemed but to revive under the more frightful auspices of perverted religion! Yet, the interested and the intriguing, those whọ traffick with the king's conscience, and the people's misery, affect to impute all the disaffection of the Irish to religious bigotry.-That the same war was carried on against them after as before the reformation, is certain; the war-whoop was only changed. And the arrows that were prepared for them before, were only dipped anew in this fresh poison. The reformation might be an amelioration, or it might not, according to its effects. The tree is known by its fruit. For my own part, I care as little for Pope Clement as for Pope Henry-for Pope Pious as for Pope George, if persecution be all the benefit they bestow. But upon this new topic I must hold my pen short, for it is apt to run away
A few instances out of many may suffice, to shew that the reformation, however good in its principle, brought nothing to the Irish but new afflictions. This is the view of Irish history, which best answers to your question as to the true, causes of the troubles in Ireland.
Henry was not too busy disputing with school-masters, broiling young ladies, and murdering his wives, to have time also for tormenting the Irish. He formed
a parliament as corrupt and servile 'as that of Enga land, which, like it, first declared his first marriage void, and the children of it bastards ; immediately after, hearing of the murder of Anne of Bolein, repealed that law, declared the issue of Anne bastards, and settled the succession upon the issue of Lady Jane, with a power to the new Pope of disposing of the Irish by will.
But wicked and ruffian as Henry was, he was not blind: and after many violent attempts, he found it wise to soothe and flatter the Irish, inviting them to his court, and treating their chiefs with marked distinction: by which artifice (for the Irish are too easily won by kindness, though obstinate against oppression) he was followed up by a brigade of Irish to the siege of Bologne, who distinguished themselves by their extraordinary.courage and activity.
Edward VI. was a virtuous, or what the historians call a weak prince; and if he signed any instruments of intolerance or cruelty, it was with tears in his eyes !
Queen Mary (the bloody) was a bigoted Papist, but Ireland fared all alike; and the “commodious” habitations produced new rebellions.
Pope ELIZABETH repealed all the laws of her sister, confiscated the commodious habitations without mercy; sent commissioners to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and passed the oath of supremacy, of which this may be observed that it was now not enough to assent to the doctrine, that the kings of
England were the popes of Ireland : but for fear that should not be effectual in provoking revolt, they were forced, under pain of treason, forfeiture, and præmuniere to swear to it. This was not the pitchcap-torture for the head, but the torture for the conscience and the heart. It was establishing God Almighty by law, after the fancy of the wickedest of his creatures. When, in old times, it was attempted to force the Norman laws upon the English, the Barons cried out with one voice-“We will have no change in the English law !” Nolumus leges anglia mutare. This exclamation, so extolled, was in opposition to a humane law proposed by the Cannoists at the parliament of Merton, the object of which was, to rescue from innocent disgrace, children whose parents married after their birth. But the stubborn support of ancient institutions good or bad by Englishmen, is celebrated with unbounded commendation ; whilst if Irishmen refuse to swear against their conscience and belief, there is no pain nor igno- . miny too extreme ; so hard a measure is that dealt at all times to them
It was in the reign of this Pope Elizabeth, that the rebellion of the great Chieftain O'Neil raged, who was so treacherously murdered in a camp ; and the title she set up to his estate is quite amusing. It appears in the preamble of the statute--XI. Eliz. ch. 1, in these words :
“ And first, that at the beginning, and before the comming of Irishmen into the sayd land (Ireland) they were dwelling in a province of Spain, called Biscan,