Page images
PDF
EPUB

matter of deep and awful moment: when one reflects on the mighty interests, spiritual and temporal, which appear to be involved in it, the words of the Jewish lawgiver, “ Behold I have set before thee a blessing and a curse,” are scarcely more than applicable to the momentous alternative. “ A blessing, if by excluding foreign influence, by coercing demagogues, by allowing the growth of domestic enjoyments, by instituting a sound system of national instruction, and by supporting the exertions of the established clergy, they educate the people up to the appreciation of British privileges : curse,” if they sacrifice the church to a selfish liberalism; if they debase the pure and elevated principles of the old English nobility, by an infusion of the spirit of a colonial House of Assembly; if they break up the hereditary comforts of the En- . glish yeomanry, by the poverty, the squalid habits, and the ferocious combinations, which have so long been the disgrace and the calamity of Ireland.

HISTORY OF THE POLICY

OF

THE CHURCH OF ROME

IN

IRELAND

CHAPTER I.

FROM HENRY THE SECOND, TO EDWARD THE SIXTH.

This treaty

A.D. 1155.] The connection of Ireland with the crown of England originated in a compact between Henry Plantagenet, pope Adrian the Fourth, and the Irish prelates of the day. would be memorable, if it had no other claim to the consideration of posterity, than the hypocrisy, the injustice, and the mutual treachery of the parties: but their views and pretensions, descending regularly to their successors, and exerting a constant influence upon Irish affairs, make it an object of nearer interest. Without attention to these, it is impossible either to unravel the history of Ireland, or to judge correctly of its state at the present crisis.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Ste pore te ransaction was fraught with

nged rumon. On the one side, an arttul and retractort sovereion, who had hitherto scanialized the in I Ciristendom by his contumelious iisobedience, mouched in abject submission berore te nn iltar: he other, an island, Devonu 3 : Boman vord, bowed to un 'S e sem ritur di ier destiny, and Teteren overnor at his hands. Tit Us I me to spiritual and to temporal born berani, ad arisen together about

airs jerore. First advanced by the daring men i Grerury the Seventh, pressed by the viverruct ot' is successors, admired by the simpicity ['cne of the hierarchy and tre corrupt sererty ciotters, – they made slow and u-noticed er mass amidst the dissensions of a rude chief winy, uri the torpid ignorance of an enslaved population. Adrian now enjoyed the mature fruit of all these advantages, and challenged, without contradiction, the supreme dominion of Ireland. The chance of inquiry into his title or his proceedings, gave the father, probably, but little concern: it was the age of the Albigenses ; all inquiry was heresy, and heresy was chastised by the sword of the crusader: at least, his dear son Henry, who was to govern the island under him, would have enough both of power and motive to maintain the mralties of the holy see. He sent a ring of in

1 Digest of Eridence taken before the Parliamentary

vol.ii. chap. 2.

vestiture to the English monarch“, together with the following letter.

• Adrian, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his dearest son in Christ, the illustrious king of England, health and apostolical benediction.

• Full laudably and profitably hath your magnificence conceived the desire of propagating your glorious renown on earth, and completing your reward of eternal happiness in heaven; while, as a catholic prince, you are intent on enlarging the

* Sir John Davis's Discovery of the true Cause why Ireland was never subdued, page 15. In a recent speech at the Roman Catholic Association in Dublin, the following account was given of the landing of Henry to take possession of his new territories. It was on the evening of the 23d of August, 1172, that the first hostile English footstep pressed the soil of Ireland. It is said to have been a sweet and mild evening, when the invading party entered the noble estuary formed by the conflux of the Suir, the Nore, and the Barrow, at the city of Waterford. Accursed be that day in the memory of all future generations of Irishmen, when the invaders first touched our shores! They came to a nation famous for its love of learning, its piety, and its heroism; they came, when internal dissensions separated her sons and wasted their energies. Internal traitors led on the invaders; her sons fell in no fight; her liberties were crushed in no battle; but domestic treason and foreign invaders doomed Ireland to seven centuries of oppression.' – Dublin Evening Mail, Friday, November 17th. With the slight mistakes of 1172 for 1171, and of August for October, Mr. O'Connell's description is as accurate as, perhaps, it could have been rendered, without injury to his eloquence. The independence of Ireland was not crushed in battle, but quietly sold in the synods of the prelates, those internal traitors to whom the orator alluded, but whom he was much too prudent to name. • The professed design of Henry's expedition,' says Leland, ' was not to conquer, but to take possession of an island granted him by the pope.' llistory of Ireland, i. 69.

« PreviousContinue »