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“ my Lord Deputy, very devoutly kneeling before her, “ heard three or four masses.” “ Nor, inconsistent as it may appear to us, was this attachment to the ancient faith considered at that time as incompatible with the fullest acknowledgment of the royal supremacy. Prelates like Gardyner and Bonner, zealous Roman Catholics of all ranks, even Mary herself, found no difficulty in reconciling this article of their political with their religious creed. Ireland, like England, was divided into four parties: those who, like Grey, acknowledged unreservedly the King's supremacy, and yet thought they might hold it with due regard to doctrines long established, and submission to ministers who still preached them. Secondly, Protestants, like Archbishop Brown, Agard, and others, who considered the least toleration of Romish doctrine as no better than hypocrisy, and would have rooted out with fire and sword all those who retained any affection for the mass, and refused to denounce the Pope as Anti-christ. Thirdly, Roman Catholics who looked with unloving eyes on the proceedings of Henry VIII., but yet reluctantly complied with the King's commands when they could not escape them. And fourthly, those—by far the greatest number at least in Ireland—who placed their obedience to the Pope above all other considerations, and flinched not from disobedience, disloyalty, and death.
* Yet Alen admits that Ireland was never in better order (III. 102). “This country was in no such quiet these many years, for throughout the “land, in manner, it is peace both with English and Irish. I never did “see, in my time, so great resort to the law as is this term, which is a “good sign of good quiet and obedience; which I do not only impute “to my Lord Deputy's martial feats, but also to the industry, policy, and “compassing of other of the King's Council, who bave of late taken great “ pains in that behalf.”
itself, whenever their consciences dictated the sacrifice. The moderate men of either party disappeared in the terrible commotions by which Ireland was shaken for so many years, leaving the hot-headed zealots, a small active minority on one side, a disunited and uninfluential multitude on the other, to carry on their interminable feuds, to the loss of good government, of national peace, prosperity, union, and happiness.
The religious inclinations of Grey naturally exposed him to another charge, of which his pertinacious assailants were not slow to avail themselves, and which Grey found it less easy to shake off. As the Butlers were the champions of Protestantism, their enemies the Geraldines were the supporters of the Pope.* Now, Grey's sister, Elizabeth, married to Gerald FitzGerald, ninth Earl of Kildare, was the mother of Gerald FitzGerald, second son of the preceding Earl, whose marvellous escapes from the clutches and smares of the English government form such a picturesque episode in Irish history.f I shall not here detail how he was carried off by his aunt—how he fled to France—was placed under the protection of Cardinal Pole—defeated the ingenuity of numerous English spies, hungering after English gold. His wonderful and almost incredible adventures, his nearness in blood to the Deputy, seemed to justify the suspicion that all the efforts of England to secure the prize had been frustrated by Grey's connivance. The accusations were numerous; they were repeated with the utmost pertinacity. i
* State Papers, III. 176.
f Upon the death of his half-brother Thomas, in the Tower, this Gerard FitzGerald became heir to the earldom. His mother, the Countess, resided with her second son, Edward, at Beaumanoir, in Leicestershire, a house belonging to her brother, Lord Leonard. See S. P. II. 344.
f See State Papers, III. 52, 56, 63, 78, 102. See also Alen and
Aylmer's charges to the same effect, Ibid. III. 39, 87, 129.
It was useless for Grey to assert that he had used every effort to capture his nephew, whose name had now become a rallying point for a growing anti-English party in Ireland.” His failure to take his nephew, whom he had never seen, and was never destined to see, was attributed to any but the true motive. The escape of FitzGerald, the temporary triumph of his party in 1539, the encouragement which it gave to the enemies of England both on the Continent and in Ireland, were received by the King and his minister Cromwell with the utmost mortification, and probably contributed more than anything else to the Deputy's eventual disgrace. If he was not made to feel the immediate consequences of the Ring's vengeance, that delay was not owing so much to the important services he had rendered in Ireland—for, whatever might be his defects of temper, even his enemies could not deny that he had done more by his activity to secure peace and extend the King's authority than any of his predecessors—as to the belief that he might still prove a useful instrument in secur- . ing the person of his nephew. It is probable also that the King was unwilling needlessly to provoke the resentment of the Geraldines, who were still unquestionably the most popular of all the septs in Ireland. The Irish priests and friars throughout the country preached daily in young FitzGerald's behalf, and promised the joys of heaven to those who suffered death and martyrdom in his cause.f “I ensure your Lordship,” writes Cowley
* See State Papers, III. 16, 106, 127, 156, 193.
f Ibid., III. 141. “I suspect much our own country,” says Alen, in a letter to Cromwell, 19 July 1539, “what for the affection part of “ them bear to the Geraldines, and the favour that many hath to the “ Bishop of Rome and his laws and errors, that they will either turn “ against us or otherwise stand us in small stead; much the rather I
to Cromwell, on the 8th of September 1539, “that this “ English Pale, except the towns and very few of the pos‘ sessioners, be so affectionate to the Geraldines, that for “ kindred, marriage, fostering, and adhering as followers, “ they covet more to see a Geraldine to reign and triumph “ than to see God come amongst them ; and if they might ‘ see this young Gerot's banner displayed, if they should * lose half their substance, they would rejoice more at * the same than otherwise to gain great goods.” Nor were other circumstances wanting to give an edge to the accusations of Grey's enemies, and poison the ear of the omnipotent minister whose power was now absolute with his master. As if the very climate of Ireland, in the Tudor times, had something fatal in it to English good sense and sobriety, no sooner had the royal commissioners, who were sent from England to examine into the state of the country and heal its divisions, set foot on Irish ground, than they yielded to the spell and curdled into parties. Among the commissioners was George Poulett, a younger brother of Sir William Poulett, afterwards Marquis of Winchester. Emancipated from the restraints of the Court, holding familiar converse with Alen, Poulett gave utterance to certain scandals affecting Cromwell's intercourse with the King. He had told Alen, speaking of the King, that there was neither the Lord Privy Seal, “ne the best lord in England, if the King take a thing in “ the head, that dare speak or move him to the contrary; “ he hath won that advantage of his lords; and as for my “Lord Privy Seal, I would not be in his case for all that “ ever he hath ; for the King beknaveth him twice a “ week, and sometime knocke|th] him well about the
“ doubt nothing by the enticement and conduct of our friars obstinates “ and other our religious persons.” (State Papers, III. 137.)
pate; and yet, when he hath been well pommelled about the head, and shaken up as it were a dog, he will come out into the Great Chamber, shaking of the bush with as merry a countenance, as though he mought “ rule all the roast. ‘I,’ saith he, “standing at the lower “‘ end of the chamber, perceive these matters well “‘ enough, and laugh at his fashion and ruff' (ruffles). “And then my brother and my Lord Admiral must drive “ a mean to reconcile him to the King again.” At another time, when he and Alen were riding together towards Alen's house, speaking of certain lands that had been given by his Majesty to Lord Butler, Poulett took occasion to remark that this was done by the means of Cromwell, “who had caused the King both to spend “ his treasure to recover the land, and after all his “ charges he is again the only mean and instrument to “cause him to give away his revenues.” He proceeded to accuse the minister of issuing the commission merely to smother rumours derogatory to his character. “How“ beit,” saith he, “that shall not help him, for I will find “ the means to put the matters in the King's head after “ that wise as shall be to his displeasure.” According to the evidence of another witness, Chief Justice Aylmer, Poulett had said that “my Lord of Norfolk, Mr. Treasurer “ (Sir Wm. Poulett), and my Lord Admiral (FitzWilliam), “when they were secreted together,” used to laugh when they saw Cromwell shake his head after being well pommelled by the King, that the King had taken more of his subjects, and had greater revenues, than any six kings before him, but it had been all spent by Cromwell's rapacity. He repeated that he would inform the King how his revenues were mismanaged in Ireland; “for “ there is none but my Lord Privy Seal that hath made “ him both to spend his money and give away his land;