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reason of

tures of some of

and by the tenor of these presents do bind ourselves, and each one of us doth bind himself, that every person of us who shall not observe the present ordinance or obligation, shall pay by way of penalty £200 into the chamber of our Lord the Pope, and another £200 in like manner to our brethren who shall observe this or

dinance or obligation. This bond

" And if any archbishops or bishops, chapters or clenot to lose rical bodies, in consequence of their absence or unwilits

lingness, shall omit to affix their seals to the present inthe absence strument, we will and grant that the parties affixing of the signa- their seals shall nevertheless be mutually bound to the

observance of the premises all and singular, as is aforethose con- said; and that the present instrument shall not for this cerned. reason have the less force of obligation. All Irish “And if moreover any archbishop, chapter, or clerical prelates. &c. body, that may not have been present at the time of join in the enacting this ordinance or obligation, shall, on being reengagement quired to observe this form or obligation, refuse to do

so, or take no heed thereunto; we engage, and by the plained of to tenor of these presents do firmly promise, to lay our and put in complaint against him before the supreme pontiff, and at Coventry." our common charges effectively to prosecute the said

complaint against him;--nor may he obtain from us counsel or aid of any sort in transacting his own matters,

or those connected with his church. The bond “ The articles aforesaid all and singular, we do pro

mise on the sanction or obligation of our oath aforesaid, by the Ar firmly and faithfully to observe and maintain. In testimagh pre- mony and confirmation of which particulars, all and sinlates. gular, our seals are appended to these presents. The date. “Given at Trym in Meath in the house of the preach

ing friars, on the Lord's day next following the Festival of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. · Anno Dni. 1291."

to be com

sworn to and sealed

1119

No. XIX.

THE COMPLAINT OF THE NOBLES OF IRELAND TO POPE JOHN XXII.

(From the Scotichronicon of J. Fordun.)

A.D. 1318. In the same year all the nobles of Ireland wrote to our lord the pope a sharp letter exposing the tyranny and false dealings of the English in the following terms :

“To our most holy Father in Christ, the Lord John, The salutaby the grace of God supreme Pontiff, his attached chil- tion from D.

O'Neyl, &c. dren Donald O'Neyl, king of Ulster, and rightful here

to the pope. ditary successor to the throne of all Ireland; as well as the princes and nobles of the same realm, with the Irish people in general, present their humble salutations, approaching with kisses of devout homage to his sacred feet.

“Lest the bitter and venemous calumnies of the Eng- The occalish, and their unjust and unfounded attacks upon us sion for and all who support our rights, may in any degree influ- putting ence your mind," (though heaven forbid that it should be document as so,) or lest circumstances unknown to you, and made by the present. them the subjects of misrepresentation, may seem to require some correction at your hands, as though their statements were fully in accordance with the truth ;with loud imploring cry we would convey to your holy ears, in the contents of the present appeal, an account of our first origin, and of the condition in which our affairs at this moment stand; (if indeed to stand' be now a proper expression to apply to them;) and also of the cruel injuries to us and our forefathers, inflicted, threatened, and to the present hour continued, by successive kings of England, and their wicked ministers, and Anglican baVOL. III.

S

rons of Irish birth. That so you may have it in your power to examine into the particulars of the case at issue, and thus to discern for yourself which party it is that has been compelled by real grievances to raise a clamour. And then shall it be for your judgment, after careful and satisfactory inquiry into the matter, to determine, according to the character of the evidence brought before you, what punishment or correction

should visit the offences of the delinquent party. The ancient “Be it known to you then most holy Father, that indepen- since the time when our ancient progenitors, viz., the dence of the three sons of Milesius, alias Micelius, the Spaniard, came Irish realm by divine providence, with their fleet of thirty ships, from

Cantabria, a city of Spain, (situated on the bank of the river Hiberus, from which we derive our name,) into Ireland, at that time entirely destitute of inhabitants, 3500 years and upwards have passed away,* during which period, 136 kings, of their descendants, without any admixture of foreign blood, have been successively possessed of the monarchy of all Ireland; to the time of king Leoghaire, (Larry] from whom I, the aforesaid Donald, have derived in a direct line my origin according to the flesh: in whose days also our chief apostle and patron St. Patrick, commissioned by your predecessor Pope Celestine, according to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, became in A.D. 435 a missionary to our forefathers, and was most successful in his efforts to instruct them in the truths of the Catholic faith. And subsequently to the time when that faith was preached and received among us, a series of monarchs to the number of sixtyone, who in temporals acknowledged no superior, inherited successively the same throne, to the year of our

Keating says, quoting Cormac Mac Cuillenan. &c., that the Milesians came into Ireland 1300 years before Christ, i.e. 2615 years before this memorial was written.

The com

Lord 1170; all of them of the same stock, without any as well as intermixture of foreign blood, princes who lived in hum- the piety of ble obedience to the Church of Rome, excellently well- kings as instructed in the faith of Christ, and noted for their lived since abundant works of charity. And these are the men, and the comnot the English, nor any other persons belonging to a of the Chrisdifferent nation, that have richly endowed the Church of tian era. Ireland with landed and other property of large extent, and many additional privileges; although of these lands and privileges she has by the English in modern times, been damnably despoiled. And after that the kings aforesaid had for so long a time, by their own efforts, energetically defended against the rulers and kings of various climes, the inheritance granted them by God, ever preserving inviolate their native liberty." at length

plainants your predecessor Pope Adrian, an Englishman, (although not so completely in his origin as in his feelings and con- subjugation nections,) in the year of our Lord 1170, upon the repre- and misery sentation false and full of iniquity, which was made to to. Pope him by Henry, king of England, (the monarch under unrighteous whom, and perhaps at whose instigation, St. Thomas of obsequiousCanterbury in that same year suffered death as you are nose in a aware, in defence of justice and of the Church,) made wicked king. over the dominion of this realm of ours, in a certain set form of words, to that prince, whom, for the crime here mentioned, he ought rather to have deprived of his own kingdom ;-presenting him de facto with what he had no right to bestow; while the question de jure (touching the justice or fairness of the proceeding] was utterly disregarded; Anglican prejudices, lamentable to say! blinding the vision of that eminent pontiff. . And thus despoiling us of our royal honour, without Effects of

the papal any offence of ours, he has handed us over to be lace

grant of

trace their

What of Turgesius and his Norwegians? The petitioners appear to have entirely overlooked their attacks on the liberties of Ireland.

issue.

Ireland to rated by teeth more cruel than those of any wild beasts. Henry II.

And those of us who, after having been flayed alive, had escaped half alive, the fatal fangs of those crafty foxes and ravenous wolves, have been violently reduced to the deep abyss of miserable bondage. For ever since that time when the English, upon occasion of the grant aforesaid, and under the mask of a sort of outward sanctity

and religion, made their unprincipled aggression upon Their cruel the territories of our realm, they have been endeavourby the Eng. ing with all their might, and with every art which perlish, result. fidy could employ, completely to exterminate and utterly îng from its to eradicate our people from the country. And by their

acts of low, false cunning, they have so far prevailed against us, that after having violently expelled us, without regard to the authority of any superior, from our spacious habitations and patrimonial inheritance, they have compelled us to repair, in the hope of saving our lives, to mountainous, woody, and swampy, and barren spots, and to the caves of the rocks also, and in these like beasts to take up our dwelling for a length of time. Nay even in such places they are incessantly molesting us, and exerting themselves to the utmost of their power to expel us from them, with audacious falseness asserting, in the depth of the frenzy which blinds them, that we have no right to any free dwelling-place in Ireland, but that this whole country belongs right entire and entirely to themselves alone. Whence it is that on account of these and many other like atrocities there have arisen between us and them enmities irreconcileable and wars without end. From which have followed mutual slaughters, continual depredations, constant rapine, and instances of perfidy and fraud of detestable character, and too frequently repeated. But alas, our miserable fate! for want of a fit ruling authority, the correction and redress of these evils, which is so justly due to us, we look for in vain.

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