« PreviousContinue »
tion with which or
A. D. 1291.
length so successful as to obtain from Pope Nicholas IV. in 1288, a grant not only of the six years' Tenths of England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, which were in hand, but also of those which were to accrue in the same countries for
the six succeeding years. in connec- With a view to increase the value of the
grant, a new Taxation was by the king's preders are issued for a
cept undertaken, and completed for Canterbury new ecclesi. in 1291, and for York in 1292. The returns of astical valu- this taxation became a national record, and ation of Ireland.
served as the standard by which all the clerical taxes paid to the king or pope were regulated, until the ecclesiastical survey made in the 26th of Henry VIII. And as the Tenths of Ireland were included in the grant here mentioned, it seemed expedient that a new valuation should be made for that country also. Accordingly Pope Nicholas IV. addressed a letter, in March, 1291, to Thomas St. Leger, bishop of Meath, and Thomas de Chaddesworth, dean of Dublin, the collectors for Ireland, instructing them how to proceed. This letter will be found in the next article, and will afford the reader a curious view of the method employed in conducting such operations. In the February following the king issued a writ to all his bailiffs and faithful subjects in Ireland, informing them of the agency of the bishops of Meath and Kildare, and requiring
them to facilitate the undertaking by all the means in their power.*
The taxation of the churches connected with what bethe cathedral of St. Patrick and the Priory of the Holy Trinity, in the diocese of Dublin, was lected on completed in 1294, and is still on record : but sion. concerning the rest of Ireland, there is little known further, than that in July, 1300, Pope Boniface VIII. addressed a bull to the collectors appointed by Nicholas IV. instructing them to hand within two months to the Florentine merchants of the company of Spini, or their order, any balance which remained unpaid. This sum, whatever it amounted to, was detained by the king's justiciaries, and though the pope wrote to complain of the violence, he appears to have been easily appeased; for, in February following, he granted the king a full acquittance of all the Tenths which he had obtained from Ireland, amounting to nearly three years' proceeds, and in the next month a full release of all the sums which he had received “for the relief of the Holy Land ;” notwithstanding his having failed
came of the Tenths col
• It was stated incorrectly at p. 679 of this work, (see the note there,) that the returns of the valuation made on this occasion are still extant. The returns intended however are those of the taxation of 1306, of which presently. See p. 1151, inf. The or adopted on the authority of the learned illustrator of the Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Down, &c., who has himself subsequently supplied the correction. See his Introd., p. xiii. n.
to fulfil his promise, in consideration of the expenses, labours, and difficulties with which he
had been oppressed by the severity of the times. Condition
The Church of Ireland appears to have been of Ireland when this in great poverty when Pope Nicholas imposed imposed.
this tax upon it. A short time before, when the king applied to the archbishops to obtain for him a levy from their suffragans and clergy, for the ransom of his nephew Charles, &c., the archbishops of Tuam and Cashel and the bishop of Kildare severally made answer, that they and their clergy were so reduced by war, rebellion, and depredation, as to be in the extreme of poverty. And it is probable that the meeting of the Irish prelates, which took place at Trim in September, 1291, and the resolutions there entered into, arose out of their inability or unwillingness to comply with this and similar de
mands. (Vid. Art. XXXIX. sup.) Another as- In 1302 a fresh assessment of the Tenths for papal
three years was imposed on the Irish clergy by Tenths" in the pope, to help him in his war with the king ,
of Arragon: and that he might receive a contribution from these countries the more readily, he granted to the sovereign of England half the annual proceeds. The king in his writs for its collection calls it “Decima Papalis," (a better name than Decimæ Saladinides, as it was no longer of much avail for its original object of
succouring the Holy Land ;) and appoints Richard de Berefford, treasurer of Ireland, sub-collector under the bishop of London and Bartholomew de Ferentino, the pope's agents in the undertaking.
In 1306, the king, needing money once more, procured from Pope Clement V. a grant, for two years, of the ecclesiastical Tenths within his dominions; which grant was in the same month extended to four, and finally to seven years ; with proviso that Queen Margaret should receive £2000 annually for five years; that the Prince of Wales should receive half the amount for a certain term; and that a fourth of the proceeds of the last four years should be reserved for the exigencies and burdens of the Church of Rome.
Richard de Berefford, treasurer of Ireland, What agents and William de Ryvere, canon of Sarum, were method of nominated sub-collectors for Ireland ; and the proceeding king directed Thomas Cantock the Chancellor employed in to administer to them the oath to execute their commission “diligently and faithfully, without having respect unto favour, hatred, fear, love, or any other pre-occupation whatsoever :" the rural deans to assist in the undertaking, and each rural deanry to render an account of its own income. The details of this taxation have been pre
The records served, and form the most ancient collection of ter taxation ecclesiastical statistics connected with Ireland still pre
now remaining. The rolls on which they are served;
entered have been kept in the office of His Majesty's Exchequer at Westminster since the year 1323, when they were removed thither by authority of the Barons of the Exchequer in Ireland. They were deposited in a leathern pouch marked “ Hibernia,” and occupy " four
teen long rolls.” of which a The following synopsis of the contents of synopsis is annexed, its these Taxation Rolls, for which I am indebted plan having to the kindness of the learned author who has so described. luminously illustrated a portion of them, will
not prove unacceptable to the well-informed reader. Its plan, as described by the friend who has been so good as to communicate it, is this.-It contains the names of all the dioceses, under their provinces, and in the order in which they occur; save that Meath appears in a roll of its own, and is not referred in the original to any province. Under each diocese are set down its rural deanries, and the number of churches; including in the term, rectories, or vicarages, or chapels. Subjoined is the annual value of the sum of the churches in each deanry, as appended to it in the original, and at the foot of the diocese the total annual value of all the ecclesiastical benefices in the diocese, including