Page images
PDF
EPUB

(4.) The King receives no profit from lands seized into his hand, as the inquisitions are allowed to be traversed and others are forged. (5) The revenues are so small, because the great taxes and talliages (sometimes 20s, on the ploughland) have been levied by the armed men of every country, who were made accountable, not to the Exchequer, but to various persons, such as the Prior of Holy Trinity, Dublin; also because the former great subsidies on merchandises (cloth, grain, iron, salt, hides, wool, wine, salmon, etc.) have not been granted to the King since his departure from Ireland. (6.) The issues of the King's Bench are not sufficient to pay the fees and wages the justice, who will not therefore do justice in cases of misprision. It is the same with all other offices. (7.) The Chancellor refuses to receive the Treasurer's bills ordering letters patent to be made for the custody of lands, etc. (8.) The Mayors of Dublin and Cork and other cities will not suffer searches (?) to be made by the Treasurer within their bailiwicks. (9.) The English rebels, as the Butlers, Tobines, Powers, Burkes, Geraudines, Barets, and many other sects, by sufferance of their chieftains, make such riot that the liege people is destroyed. (10.) It is to be learned from the King and his Council, whether, in the case of Irish captains who have waged war since the King's departure after becoming liege, the annuity granted to them is to be continued. (11) All offices to be filled from England. (12.) James Cotenham, pretending to be Deputy to the Earl of Rutland, Admiral of Ireland, has taken inquisitions, contrary to the laws, touching concealed customs, and received fines to his own use. (13.) The said James has also levied a subsidy of 12d. from every weigh of wheat passing out of port, and from every man or woman crossing the sea from 40d. to 12d., without authority. (14) When the lieutenant of the Treasurer lately rode towards Drogheda and elsewhere in Meath, to inquire for the King's profit, and to levy their debts for the payment of the Irish, the said James with a large number of armed men, and one Lawrence Newton, serjeant-at-arms, searched all the country through to arrest said lieutenant, who knows not even now for what purpose. (15.) The said James thrice sent his ships to Scotland with wine, flour, etc., contrary to the statute, and brought false money from Scotland to Ireland. (16.) Charge should be given to certain faithful lieges to inquire into the misprisions, disturbances, and violences done by said James against the King and his ministers. Headed : “Tempore Regis Ricardi II.” French. “Copied out of the original.”

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

97. Richard II. to the Duke of York and [the Council in England].

Desires to have constant news from his realm [of England]. A parliament is to be held at Dublin on Monday in the octave of Easter. There are three kinds of people in Ireland:—the wild Irish (Irrois savages), the King's enemies; the Irish rebels; and the obedient English. As the Irish rebels have become rebels owing to the griefs and wrongs done to them on the one hand, and to the default of a remedy being applied to them on the other, the King and Council are of opinion that, unless they are wisely treated and put in good hope of grace, they will doubtless join the King's enemies, which the King will not permit by any fault of his. A general pardon should be offered them; and if a fine or fee were paid for every pardon under the King's seal, much good would follow to the King and his said land. Will not, however, do such an important thing without the advice of the Duke and the others. Has taken all the Irish rebels generally into his special protection till the quinzaine of Easter next, in order that they may come and shew the causes of their rebellion. Desires advice as soon as possible. Given under signet at Dublin, 1st February.

Dated “16” Ric. II. by Carew.
French. “Copied out of the original.”

98. Richard II. to Thomas Duke of Gloucester.

As it is uncertain whether peace or war with France will ensue, revokes his appointment to the government of Ireland. Windsor, 23 July 16 Ric. II.

French. “Copied out of the original.”

99. Richard II. to the Earl of Ormond.

Thanks him for his services in the “salvation ” of Ireland. Has discharged the Duke of Gloucester from its government, and ordered the Earl of March to undertake the same as soon as possible. In the mean time appoints Ormond as Justice, as will appear by the letters patent; he will be assisted by the Archbishop of Dublin, now appointed Chancellor, and by the Bishop of Meath. Sends over the Chancellor with menat-arms and archers, and with 2,000 marks, to be delivered by the King's serjeant, John Elingham, to the Treasurer of Ireland. Desires credence for the Chancellor respecting the revenues. Windsor Castle, 25 July.

Dated “ 16” Ric. II. by Carew.

French. “Copied out of the original.”

100. The Lords of the Parliament in England to Richard II.

Are gratified by the good news from Ireland related by the Duke of Gloucester, the King's uncle, and by Lawrence Dru,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

the King's esquire, and others, in presence of the Lords and Com-
mons assembled in Parliament; how the rebels MacMorough
and the great O’Nel, and others of the strongest captains
there, have submitted to the King, and sworn to be faithful
lieges in future. It is evident that the King has conquered
the greater portion of that land. Commend his proceedings,
and pray him, for certain urgent causes, to return to England,
leaving deputies in Ireland, who will treat the people with
justice.
Signed by archbishops, bishops, dukes, earls, and others.
Dated “ 16” Ric. II. by Carew.
French. “Copied out of the original.”

101. Richard II. to the Bishop of Meeth, and to the Keeper of the Great Seal, the Treasurer, and others of the Council—

Signifying the appointment of the Earl of Ormond. Windsor Castle, 23 July [16 Ric. II.]

French. “Copied out of the original.”

102. “Les pointes pur la sauvegarde de la terre d'Irlande, demandez par le Conte Marshall, Thomas Plantagenet.”

To have sufficient commissions of lieutenancy for seven years, in same manner as the Earl of March and William of Windsor. To have 500 men-at-arms and 1,000 archers. To be paid for the first year beforehand, and afterwards every half year in advance; and if payment fail, to be allowed to discharge his retinue. To have a fee of 1,000 marks a year, and the expenses of his men in crossing and recrossing the sea. The customs, or some other royal revenues, to be assigned for the payments of Ireland, as ordained for the town of Calais. To have power to diminish or increase his retinue according to the seasons of the year; to remove officers; to give benefices with cure and without; and to remove the Common Pleas and the Exchequer, The musters of his revenue to be viewed from time to time, so that he may have due allowance from the Exchequer. If the King go to war in person, he may go in the King's company, leaving a lieutenant in his place. To have from every one or two parishes in England a man and his wife to inhabit the destroyed parts of the Marches; such men to have lands given them in fee. To have the travelling expenses of all future additions to his retinue. All patents granting appurtenances of the Crown to be annulled, and the statute of absentees to be put in force.

Headed: “Temp. Hen. IV.”

French. “Copied out of the original.”

103. “A Complaint of the Commons of Parliament in Ireland, in the time of King H. the W. or H. VI.”

(1.) Whereas Ireland was formerly brought to good order, and subject to the laws, the greater part is now destroyed. The Commissioners appointed call before them all kinds of pleas, to the hindrance of the Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer. In cos. Dublin, Meath, Kildare, and Louth the commissioners rob the husbandmen of their goods by great summonses and distresses, so that the latter are unable to render their rents and duties to their lords, and many towns and hamlets are wasted. Many lords and commoners are indicted without cause before the commissioners, and the King's pardons and writs de supersedendo are disregarded. Lands are so suddenly and privily seized into the King's hands that owners are uncertain whether their lands have been seized or not ; the lands being seized three or four days before the term of the rent, in order that the owners may lose it. This has happened to the Earl of Kildare, John his brother, the Lord of Rathfaith, Thomas Harie of Dublin, and the abbot of St. Mary's, Dublin, whose lands at Lucan, Kildroght, Rathfaith, and Blowike are farmed by John Slane, Baron of the Exchequer, by the Treasurer, by Wm. Synbegh, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and by John Dike, secretary. The commissions of the former justices of the shire contained only 8 lines, but those of the commissioners, who assume the jurisdiction of the shire, comprise 40 or 60 lines. If England could not support the jurisdiction of justices of the shire, which was repealed temp. Edw. III, how can the said four counties do so (2) The soldiers take liveries without payment, and three times more than are needed; and also 200, a week per man, by way of “coynge.” In default, they distrain. This happened to the Earl of Ormond at Eghtrin, where the soldiers and kernes took victuals, to the value of 140 marks. (3) Contrary to Magna Charta, the King's lieges are daily imprisoned without indictment, their goods seized, etc. by the King's ministers, soldiers, and others. This happened to the Abp. of Armagh, Archdeacon of Kildare, Bp. of Leighlin, and others (named). (4) It was customary that when a liege took an Irish enemy prisoner in time of war, he should ransom him at his own pleasure; but lately, when Thomas Vale and his men captured Con O'Nolan, the Baron of Galtrim and Ric. Wellesley took him out of their possession, by the Lieutenant's command, to the destruction of cos. Cathirlagh and Kildare. Shane Boy Connor was likewise taken from Thomas Wolfe and James Wolfe by one Everingham, esquire, and Maurice Fitz

Gerald.

(5.) The land is greatly destroyed by “coynges” of kernes and idle men, on foot and on horseback, who pay nothing for victuals for man or horse, and take distresses in default of victuals. The lieges are also oppressed by the “hoblours.” and kernes maintained by the Geraldines, Bourkeyns [Burghes, in margin), Powers, and others.

[ocr errors]

(7) A commission was issued under the Great Seal to Walter Plunket, John Clinton of Keppoke, and others, to assess Oghy McMahowne, and other Irish enemies, in the county of Louth, who will not accept such meat and drink as the poor commons use, but take pledges with them till they have their pleasure; and they have their “caifs morys" and infants with them, and act as spies. The commons pray these men may be sent out of the said county, or it will be destroyed. (8.) Extortions by purveyors for the Governor's household; among others from the Abbot of Mellifont, and Sir John Belynge, Chancellor of St. Patrick's. (9.) It is to be remembered that in the message sent by the Earl of Ormond the King's brothers and the Council the King's presence is greatly desired. (10.) The King's right to Ireland is shown by reference to Cambrensis and other ancient histories of England. Henry II. did no act of war in Ireland, which was granted to him by the Pope. The legate Vivian excommunicated all contraveners of the King's allegiance. Gillomarus, formerly King of Ireland, was tributary to King Arthur; etc. etc."

French. “Copied out of the original.”

“Ex Albo Libro Scaccarii, Dublin.”

104. Warrant by Edw. I. to the Chancellor of Ireland, to enrol certain statutes lately made [by Parliament] at York to be observed in Ireland; and to issue mandates for their

publication in all counties and places. Nottingham, 20 Nov., 17 Edw. I.

105. Extract from a letter of Henry VIII. to the Earl of Surrey, in 1520, touching “martial law.”

“And whereas you write it hath been accustomed heretofore, that our Lieutenants General of that land have not only had full and ample commission to proceed and execute our authority royal against criminous persons, but also to give order of knighthood to such noblemen, from time to time, as should deserve the same, you make instance to have such commissions and authority from us; we, in consideration of your laudable right and agreeable service, and having full trust and confidence in your wisdom, soberness, and circumspection, and that you will not proceed to the condemnation or executing of any noble person of name till you be advertised of our pleasure, and not to advance any man or personage to the honour of knighthood but such as shall merit the same, we, according to your desire, send unto you our ample commission and authority to that purpose accordingly.”

* Cf. the Book of Howth.

« PreviousContinue »