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History of the Catholic Church from the Renaissance to the French Revolution Volume 2 by Rev. James MacCaffrey

Part 6 out of 8

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supremacy. He petitioned for a free farm worth £50 a year. Bishop
Staples, in a letter to Cecil, took pains to point out that he had
been deprived of his See on account of his marriage, and had incurred
the personal enmity of Cardinal Pole because he presumed to pray "for
his old master's (Henry VIII.) soul."[14] For some time, however, no
change was made, and Catholic worship continued even in Dublin as in
the days of Queen Mary. The Lord Deputy Sussex went to England in
December 1559, and entrusted the sword of state to the Archbishop of
Dublin and Sir Henry Sidney, both of whom took the oath of office
before the high altar in Christ's Church after Mass had been
celebrated in their presence.

But the strong anti-Catholic policy of the new government soon made
itself felt in England, and though the ministers were more guarded as
far as Ireland was concerned, it was felt that something should be
done there to lessen the influence of Rome. In the instructions issued
to the Lord Deputy (July 1559) he was told that "the Deputy and
Council shall set the service of Almighty God before their eyes, and
the said Deputy and all others of that council, who be native born
subjects of this realm of England, do use the rites and ceremonies
which are by law appointed, at least in their own houses."[15] In the
draft instructions as first prepared a further clause was added "that
others native of that country be not otherwise moved to use the same
than with their own contentment they shall be disposed, neither
therein doth her Majesty mean to judge otherwise of them than well,
and yet for the better example and edification of prayer in the
Church, it shall be well done, if the said councillors being of that
country born, shall at times convenient cause either in their own
houses or in the churches the litany in the English tongue to be used
with the reading of the epistle and gospel in the same tongue and the
ten commandments."[16] Although Cecil struck out this clause with his
own hand, it helps to show that the government feared to push things
to extremes in Ireland.

On the return of the Earl of Sussex he paid the usual official visit
in state to Christ's Church, where apparently the English Litany
(probably that prescribed by Henry VIII.) was sung after the Mass. In
connexion with this celebration a story was put in circulation by
Robert Ware in 1683 that the clergy, dissatisfied with the change in
liturgy, determined to have recourse to a disgraceful imposture to
prevent further innovations. On the following Sunday when the
Archbishop and Deputy assisted at Mass, one of their number having
inserted a sponge soaked in blood into the head of the celebrated
statue of the Redeemer, blood began to trickle over the face of the
image. Suddenly during the service a cry was raised by the trickster
and his associates, "Behold Our Saviour's image sweats blood." Several
of the common people wondering at it, fell down with their beads in
their hands, and prayed to the image, while Leigh who was guilty of
the deception kept crying out all the time, "How can He choose but
sweat blood whilst heresy is now come into the Church?" Amidst scenes
of the greatest excitement the archbishop caused an examination to be
made; the trick was discovered; Leigh and his accomplices were
punished by being made "to stand upon a table with their legs and
hands tied for three Sundays, with the crime written upon paper and
pinned to their breasts"; and to complete the story, a recent writer
adds, "the Protestants were triumphant, the Roman party confounded,
and Curwen's orders to have the statue broken up were obeyed without
demur."[17] Needless to say there is no foundation for such a tale. It
first saw the light in that collection of gross inventions, /The
Hunting of the Romish Fox/, published by Robert Ware in 1683, and is
unsupported by any contemporary witnesses. It was not known to Sir
Robert Ware, from whose papers the author pretended to borrow it; it
was not known to Sir Dudley Loftus who devoted himself to the study of
Irish history, and who, as nephew of Elizabeth's Archbishop of Dublin,
would have had exceptional opportunities of learning the facts, nor
was it known to Archbishop Parker, to whom, according to Ware, a full
account was forwarded immediately.[18] The author of it was employed
to stir up feeling in England and Ireland so as to prevent the
accession of James II., and as a cover for his forgeries he pretended
to be using the manuscripts of his father.

For so far the Catholic religion was the only one recognised by law in
Ireland, and consequently when Elizabeth instructed the Deputy to see
that her English born subjects in Ireland should use the English
service in their private houses, she took care to promise that none of
them should be impeached or molested for carrying out her
commands.[19] But her Deputy was instructed to summon a Parliament in
Ireland "to make such statutes as were lately made in England /mutatis
mutandis/."[20] The Parliament met in Dublin on the 11th of January
1560. According to the returns[21] seventy-six members representing
several counties and boroughs were elected. Dublin, Meath, Westmeath,
Louth, Kildare, Carlow, Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford, and Tipperary
were the only counties represented, each of them having returned two
members. Of the boroughs represented seventeen were situated in
Leinster, eight in Munster, two, Athenry and Galway, in Connaught, and
one only, namely, Carrickfergus, was situated in Ulster. Twenty-three
temporal peers were summoned to take their seats, all of whom belonged
to Anglo-Irish families except O'Brien of Thomond and MacGillapatrick
of Upper Ossory. According to the record preserved in the Rolls'
Office, three archbishops and seventeen bishops took their seats, the
only absentees being Clogher, Derry, Raphoe, Kilmore, Dromore,
Clonmacnoise, Achonry, Kilmacduagh, Kilfenora, and Mayo. Armagh was
vacant, Primate Dowdall having died in August 1558, and his successor
not having been appointed by Rome till February 1560. But for many
reasons it is impossible to believe that the twenty bishops mentioned
in this list were present at the Dublin Parliament. At best it is only
a rather inaccurate account of those who were summoned to take their
seats, as is shown by the fact that for seven of the Sees no names of
the bishops are returned; and that Down and Connor are represented as
having sent two bishops although both Sees were united for more than a
century. If it be borne in mind that according to the returns in the
State Paper Office four archbishops and nineteen bishops are
represented as having attended the Parliament of 1541,[22] although,
in his official report to the king, the Deputy stated expressly that
only two archbishops and twelve bishops were present;[23] and also
that gross errors have been detected in the lists of spiritual peers
supposed to have been in attendance at the Parliaments of 1569[24] and
1585,[25] it will be obvious to any unprejudiced mind that the return
for the Parliament of 1560 cannot be accepted as accurate.

No reliable account of the proceedings of the Parliament of 1560 has
as yet been discovered. It met on the 11th January, was adjourned on
the following day till the 1st of February, when it was dissolved.[26]
It is more probable, however, that it lasted till the 12th February.
According to the Loftus manuscripts the Parliament was dissolved "by
reason of [its] aversion to the Protestant religion, and their
ecclesiastical government." "At the very beginning of this
Parliament," according to another distinguished authority, "Her
Majesty's well wishers found that most of the nobility and Commons
were divided in opinion about the ecclesiastical government, which
caused the Earl of Sussex to dissolve them, and to go over to England
to consult Her Majesty about the affairs of this kingdom."[27] This
latter statement is confirmed by the fact that the Earl of Sussex
certainly left Ireland in February 1560. And yet, according to the
accounts that have come down to us, it was this assembly that gave
Protestantism its first legal sanction in Ireland. It abolished papal
supremacy, restored to the queen the full exercise of spiritual
jurisdiction as enjoyed by Henry VIII. and Edward VI., enjoined on all
persons holding ecclesiastical or secular offices the oath of royal
supremacy under pain of deprivation, imposed the penalty of forfeiture
of all goods for the first offence on those who spoke in favour of the
Pope, the punishment laid down for /praemunire/ in case of a second
such offence, and death for the third offence, and enjoined the use of
the Book of Common Prayer in all the churches of the kingdom. Any
clergyman who refused to follow the prescribed form of worship was
liable to forfeit one year's revenue and to be sent to prison for the
first offence, to total deprivation and imprisonment at will for the
second, and for the third to perpetual imprisonment. The laity were
obliged to attend the service under threat of excommunication and of a
fine of twelve pence to be levied off their goods and chattels by the
church-wardens. The First Fruits were restored to the crown, and the
formality of canonical election of bishops was abolished. For the
future in case of a vacancy the right of appointment was vested
directly in the sovereign.[28]

In view of the fact that the cities and counties from which the
members were returned resisted stubbornly the introduction of the
English service, that most of the lay peers clung tenaciously to the
Mass, some of them, like the Earl of Kildare, being charged with this
crime a few months after the dissolution of Parliament, and that the
bishops with one or two exceptions, opposed the change, the wonder is
how such measures could have received the sanction of Parliament.
According to a well-supported tradition they reached the statute book
only by fraud, having been rushed through on a holiday, on which most
of the members thought that no session would be held. Later on, when
objection was taken to such a method, the Deputy, it is said, silenced
the resisters by assuring them that they were mere formalities which
must remain a dead letter.[29]

It is sometimes said that the Irish bishops of the period acknowledged
Elizabeth's title of "supreme governor in spirituals," and abandoned
the Mass for the Book of Common Prayer. Nothing, however, could be
farther from the truth. With the single exception of Curwen, from whom
nothing better could have been expected considering his past
variations, it cannot be proved for certain that any of the bishops
proved disloyal to their trust. There is some ground for suspicion in
case of Christopher Bodkin of Tuam and Thomas O'Fihil, both of whom
were represented as having taken the oath, but the strong
recommendation of the former to the Holy See by the Jesuit, Father
David Wolf, and the fact that the latter is consistently passed over
by contemporary writers in their enumeration of the Protestant
bishops, show clearly that their lapse, if lapse there might have
been, was more or less involuntary. The fact that some of the bishops,
as for example Roland Fitzgerald of Cashel, Lacy of Limerick, Walsh of
Waterford, De Burgo of Clonfert, Devereux of Ferns, O'Fihil of
Leighlin, and Bodkin of Tuam, were appointed on government commissions
does not prove that they had ceased to be Catholics, just as the
appointment of Browne on a similar commission during the reign of
Queen Mary[30] does not prove that he had ceased to be a Protestant.
That the Irish bishops remained true to the faith is clear from some
of the official papers of the period. In 1564 two of the
commissioners, who had been appointed to enforce the Acts of Royal
Supremacy and Uniformity of Worship, reported that there were only two
worthy bishops in Ireland, namely, Adam Loftus, who had been intruded
into Armagh but who dare not visit his diocese, and Brady, who had
been appointed by the queen to Meath. "The rest of the bishops," they
say, "are all Irish, we need say no more." In the following year it
was announced that Curwen of Dublin, Loftus, and Brady were the only
bishops zealous "in setting forth God's glory and the true Christian
religion"; and in 1566 Sir Henry Sidney reported that, with the
exception of Loftus and Brady, he found none others "willing to reform
their clergy, or to teach any wholesome doctrine, or to serve their
country or common-wealth as magistrates."[31] In a document[32] drawn
up by one of Cecil's spies in 1571 the bishops of the province of
Armagh, Cashel, and Tuam are all described as /Catholici et
Confoederati/, while in the province of Dublin, Loftus, Daly,
Cavenagh, and Gafney, the three latter of whom had been intruded by
the queen into Kildare, Leighlin, and Ossory, are described as
Protestants, as is also Devereux of Ferns, about whose orthodoxy there
may be some doubt, though unfortunately there can be very little about
his evil life.

Hardly had the Acts of Royal Supremacy and Uniformity been passed when
a commission was addressed to a number of judges and officials to
administer the oath of supremacy. Of the bishops within the sphere of
English jurisdiction at this period Curwen had already given his
adhesion to these measures, William Walsh of Meath promptly refused,
as did also Thomas Leverous of Kildare (Feb. 1560).[33] Later on, when
the Lord Deputy returned from London, another attempt was made to
induce these bishops to change their minds, but without success. In
reply to the Deputy the Bishop of Kildare declared that all
jurisdiction was derived from Christ, "and since Christ did not deem
it right to confer spiritual authority on women, not even on His own
Blessed Mother, how, he asked, could it be believed that the Queen of
England was the supreme governor of the Church?" Thereupon the Deputy
threatened him with deprivation and the consequent loss of his
revenues unless he made his submission, but the bishop reminded him of
the words of Sacred Scripture, "What shall it profit a man to gain the
whole world if he suffer the loss of his own soul?"[34] He was driven
from the See, and for a time taught a private school in the County
Limerick, but he returned to his diocese, where he died near Nass
(1577).[35] The Bishop of Meath continued to oppose the religious
policy of the government. In 1565 he was summoned once more by the
commissioners, but "he openly protested before all the people the same
day that he would never communicate or be present where the service
should be ministered, for it was against his conscience and against
God's word." As he was a man "of great credit among his countrymen,
upon whom in causes of religion they wholly depend," he was thrown
into prison,[36] where he languished in great suffering till 1572,
when he contrived to make his escape to France. Later on funds were
supplied by the Holy See to enable him to continue his journey to
Spain. He died amongst his brethren, the Cistercians, at Alcalá in
1577. John O'Tonory, too, who had been appointed to Ossory after the
precipitate flight of Bale, seems to have given offence to the
government. Though the latter preferred to devote himself to
historical studies after the accession of Elizabeth rather than to
entrust himself to the tender mercies of the people of Kilkenny, his
rival does not seem to have been regarded by the government as the
lawful Bishop of Ossory. His name does appear on a list of
ecclesiastical commissioners appointed in 1564,[37] but this seems to
have been a mistake on the part of the officials or possibly a bait
thrown out to induce O'Tonory to make his submission. At any rate it
is certain that in 1561 the Bishopric of Ossory was returned as
vacant, and it was suggested that the appointment should be conferred
on the Dean of Kilkenny,[38] and in July 1565, before the death of
O'Tonory, in the instructions drawn up for Sir Henry Sidney and
corrected by Cecil, her Majesty is made to say that the "Bishopric of
Ossory has been long vacant."[39] As this can refer only to the death
of Bale, who died in 1563, it is clear that O'Tonory was bracketed
with Walsh and Leverous as far as Elizabeth's ministers were
concerned. Had it been possible for the government to do so, similar
measures would have been taken against the bishops in the other parts
of Ireland, but, faced as it was with Shane O'Neill in the North and a
threatened confederation of the whole Geraldine forces in the South,
it was deemed prudent not to precipitate a crisis by a violent
anti-Catholic propaganda in those parts of the country not yet subject
to English influence.[40]

Commissioners were appointed to administer the oath of supremacy to
the bishops, the judges, and higher officials, to the justices of the
peace, etc., in Kildare (1560), and to the officials in Westmeath.[41]
But unless bishops could be found willing to take the place of those
who refused to accept the new laws, no progress could be made. Curwen
of Dublin, following his old rule of accepting the sovereign's
religion as the true one, submitted to the Act of Supremacy and the
Act of Uniformity. In accordance with the queen's instructions he
removed the pictures and statues from Christ's Church and St.
Patrick's, blotted out the paintings and frescos on the walls, so as
to cover up all signs of "idolatry" and to prepare a back-ground for
carefully assorted Scriptural texts. He was not, however, happy in his
new position. He petitioned to be transferred from Dublin to Hereford,
basing his claim on the fact that "he was the man that of his coat
hath surlyest stood to the crown either in England or Ireland."[42]
But his petition was not granted. Two years later Adam Loftus, who
though nominally Archbishop of Armagh feared to visit his diocese,
charged Curwen with serious crimes which he was ashamed to
particularise, and probably as a result of this the queen instructed
her Deputy to induce him to resign on the promise of an annual pension
of £200 (1563).[43] But Curwen, fearing that "the leaving of the
archbishopric and not receiving another" might lead people to believe
that he was deprived, stood out boldly for better terms. Hugh Brady,
the queen's Bishop of Meath, then proceeded to attack him. According
to him everybody in Dublin from the archbishop to the petty canons
were "dumb dogs," "living enemies to the truth," "neither teaching nor
feeding any save themselves," and "disguised dissemblers."[44] As this
did not produce any effect, he wrote once more, demanding that the
authorities should "call home the old unprofitable workman," a
petition in which he was supported by Adam Loftus.[45] Their prayers
were heard at last, and Curwen was translated to Oxford. When the news
of his recall was announced to him he merely expressed the wish that
he could get "the last half-year's rent of the Bishopric of Oxford,"
and that he should be allowed to change quickly so that "he might
provide fire for the winter and hay for his horses."[46]

The See of Armagh which was vacant by the death of Primate Dowdall was
conferred by the Pope on Donat O'Teige (Feb. 1560). The latter was
consecrated at Rome, and arrived in Ireland probably towards the end
of the same year. In the summer of 1561 he was present at Armagh with
the army of Shane O'Neill whom he encouraged to go forward boldly
against the forces of the Deputy. Needless to say such a primate was
not acceptable to Elizabeth who determined to appoint one Adam Loftus,
then a chaplain to the Earl of Sussex. Loftus was a young man only
twenty-eight years of age, who had made a favourable impression on the
queen as well by his beauty as by his learning. Letters were
dispatched immediately to the Chapter of Armagh commanding the canons
to elect him, but as they refused to obey the order, nothing remained
except to appoint him by letters patent (1562). As he dare not visit
the greater part of his diocese he applied for and received the
Deanship of St. Patrick's, Dublin, and about the same time he became a
suitor for his brother that he might get the rectory of Dunboyne. In
1563 Elizabeth thought of changing him to Kildare, and in 1566 the
Deputy recommended him for Meath, believing that "he would thankfully
receive the exchange, and willingly embase his estate to increase so
much his revenue." But Loftus had set his heart on securing the
Archbishop of Dublin. Time and again he made the most damaging charges
against Curwen so as to secure his removal, although when the removal
was arranged he learned to his surprise that the authorities intended
to promote not himself, but his fellow-labourer, Hugh Brady of Meath.
In April 1566, when he thought that Brady had no chance of succeeding
to Dublin, he had recommended him for the appointment, but in
September, when he learned that there was danger of his recommendation
being followed, he wrote to warn Cecil that "if it would please his
honour to pause a while he could show such matter as he would, except
it were for the Church of God's sake, be loath to utter by any means,
but least of all by writing, upon knowledge whereof the matter, he
knows, should go no further." Brady having learned that Loftus had
gone to England wrote to Cecil to put him on his guard against
believing any charges against him that might be made by the Primate.
He returned in November without having succeeded, only to find that
Shane O'Neill had overrun his diocese so that it was not worth more
than £20 a year. He petitioned to be allowed to resign, "for," he
said, "neither is it [Armagh] worth anything to me, nor [am] I able to
do any good in it, for that altogether it lieth among the Irish." At
last in 1567 his wishes were granted, and he became Archbishop of
Dublin. But he was still dissatisfied. As the diocese, according to
him, was worth only £400 (Irish) a year (over £30,000) and had only
two hundred and forty acres of mensal land, he insisted that he should
be allowed to hold with it the Deanship of St. Patrick's, a request,
however, that was refused peremptorily by the queen.[47] In Dublin he
continued the same policy of grabbing everything for himself, his
relatives and dependents until at last the chapter, weary of his
importunities, obliged him to promise not to ask for anything more.
Fortunately his guarantee was entered in the records, as he appeared
soon again to solicit one last favour.

In place of Dr. Walsh of Meath, who refused to take the oath of
supremacy, Hugh Brady was appointed (1563). In his letters to Cecil he
complained that the payment of his fees and the expenses of the
consecration would beggar him, that he was opposed by both the clergy
and laity of his diocese in such a stubborn way that he would "rather
be a stipendiary priest in England than Bishop of Meath in Ireland,"
and that unless her Majesty pardoned the debts she was claiming he
must lose all hope, as he was very poor and obliged to entertain right
royally, "for these people," he wrote, "will have the one or the
other, I mean they will either eat my meat and drink or else myself."
The relations existing between Loftus of Armagh and the Bishop of
Meath were of the most strained kind. When Brady learned that Loftus
had been made Dean of St. Patrick's he addressed an indignant protest
to Cecil, but as both Loftus and himself aspired to become Archbishop
of Dublin, both united to attack Curwen so as to secure his removal.
Grave charges were made by Loftus against Brady in 1566, but once he
had attained the object of his desires, namely his promotion to
Dublin, he had no scruple in attaching his name to a very laudatory
commendation of Brady's labours and qualifications (1567).[48]

A certain Dr. Craik was appointed by Elizabeth to Kildare in
opposition to Dr. Leverous. The new bishop was far from being content
with the honour that had been conferred upon him. Writing to his
patron, Lord Robert Dudley, he complained that he was in continual and
daily torment owing to the fact that he was bishop in a diocese where
he could neither preach to the people nor could the people understand,
and where he had no one to assist him. He succeeded in securing for
himself the Deanship of St. Patrick's in Dublin, and was a strong
suitor for the Bishopric of Meath. Not content with his revenues, he
sold most of the episcopal lands in Kildare so that he reduced the
diocese "to a most shameful state of poverty."[49] Finally, he went
over to England to petition the queen for a remission of his fees, but
he was thrown into the Marshalsea prison from which he was released
only a few months before his death.[50] Donald Cavenagh was appointed
by the queen to Leighlin (1567), where he devoted himself principally
to enriching himself by disposing of the diocesan property; and John
Devereux, who, according to Loftus, was most unfit owing to the fact
that he had been deprived of the Deanship of Ferns "for confessed
whoredom,"[51] was appointed Bishop of Ferns (1566).

With men such as these in charge of the new religious movement it was
almost impossible that it could succeed. In spite of the various royal
commissions appointed between the years 1560 and 1564 to secure
submission to the Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, the people still
clung tenaciously to the old faith. Though Elizabeth and her advisers
were anxious to destroy the Catholic religion in Ireland they deemed
it imprudent to do so immediately in view of the threatening attitude
of O'Neill and of several of the other Irish and Anglo-Irish nobles.
In case of the Act of Uniformity it had been laid down expressly that
in places where the people did not understand Irish the service might
be read in Latin, and as not even the people in Kildare knew English
at this time,[52] it followed that outside of Dublin the Book of
Common Prayer was not obligatory. Indeed outside Dublin, Meath,
Kildare, and portion of Armagh very little attempt seems to have been
made to put these laws into execution. From the draft instructions
drawn up for Sir Henry Sidney in 1565 it is perfectly clear that
outside the Pale territory zealous measures had not been taken to
enforce the new doctrines, and that even within the Pale the
authorities were not inclined to press matters to extremes. In the
various agreements concluded between Shane O'Neill and Elizabeth,
O'Neill was not called upon to renounce the Pope. It was thought to be
much more prudent to pursue a policy of toleration until the English
power could be placed upon a sound footing, and that if this were once
accomplished the religious question could be settled without much

Although the Lord Deputy was empowered to punish those who refused to
attend the English service by imprisonment (1561),[53] he was obliged
to report in the following year that the people were "without
discipline," and "utterly devoid of religion," that they came "to
divine service as to a May game," that the ministers were held in
contempt on account of their greediness and want of qualifications,
that "the wise fear more the impiety of the licentious professors than
the superstition of the erroneous Papists," and that nothing less than
a Parliamentary decree rigorously enforced could remedy the evil.[54]
The commissioners who had been appointed to enforce the religious
innovations reported in 1564 that the people were so addicted to their
old superstitions that they could not be induced to hear the new
gospel, that the judges and lawyers, however, had promised to enforce
the laws, that they had cautioned them not to interfere with the
simple multitude at first but only "with one or two boasting Mass men
in every shire," and that with the exception of Curwen, Loftus, and
Brady, all the rest of the bishops were Irish about whom it was not
necessary to say anything more."[55] In a document presented to the
privy council in England by the Lord Deputy and council of Ireland
(1566) a good account is given of the progress and results of the so-
called Reformation. They reported that Curwen, Loftus, and Brady were
diligent in their pastoral office, but that "howbeit it [the work]
goeth slowly forward within their said three dioceses by reason of the
former errors and superstitions inveterated and leavened in the
people's hearts, and in [on account of] want of livings sufficient for
fit entertainment of well-chosen and learned curates amongst them, for
that these livings of cure, being most part appropriated benefices in
the queen's majesty's possession, are let by leases to farmers with
allowance or reservation of very small stipends or entertainments for
the vicars or curates, besides the decay of the chancels, and also of
the churches universally in ruins, and some wholly down. And out of
their said dioceses, the remote parts of Munster, Connaught, and other
Irish countries and borders thereof order cannot yet so well be taken
with the residue till the countries be first brought into more civil
and dutiful obedience."[56]

In Dublin, where it might be expected that the government could
enforce its decrees, the people refused to conform, and even in 1565,
after several commissions had finished their labours, it was admitted
that the canons and clergy of St. Patrick's were still Papists. From
Meath the queen's bishop received such a bad reception that he
declared he would much rather have been a stipendiary priest in
England than Bishop of Meath. "Oh what a sea of trouble," he wrote,
"have I entered into, storms rising on every side; the ungodly lawyers
are not only sworn enemies to the truth, but also for the lack of due
execution of law, the overthrowers of the country; the ragged clergy
are stubborn and ignorantly blind, so as there is left little hope of
their amendment; the simple multitude is through continual ignorance
hardly to be won so as I find /angustiae undique/." But while Brady
was involved in a sea of difficulties, the Catholics of Meath rallied
round their lawful bishop, Dr. Walsh. According to the report of
Loftus, who ordered his arrest (1565), "he was one of great credit
amongst his countrymen, and upon whom as touching causes of religion
they wholly depended." Loftus petitioned to be recalled from Armagh
because it was not worth anything to him nor was he able to do any
good in it, since it lay among the Irish; and Craik, who was appointed
to Kildare, announced that he could not address the people because
they were not acquainted with the English language, nor had he any
Irish clergymen who would assist him in spreading the new gospel.[57]

In 1564 several bodies of commissioners were appointed to visit
certain portions of Leinster, Munster, and Connaught to enforce the
Acts of Supremacy and Uniformity, and about the same time a royal
proclamation was issued enforcing the fine of twelve pence for each
offence on those who refused to attend Protestant service on Sundays
and holidays. Whether these commissioners acted or not is not clear,
but undoubtedly the commissioners appointed for the Pale made a
serious attempt to carry out their instructions. They brought together
juries chosen out of the parishes situated within the sphere of
English influence "and upon the return of their several verdicts they
found many and great offences committed against her Majesty's laws and
proceedings. But among all their presentments they brought nothing
against the nobility and chief gentlemen, who yet have contemned her
Majesty's most godly laws and proceedings more manifestly than any of
the rest, and therefore they determined to call them before them, and
to minister to them certain articles, unto which they required the
nobility to answer upon their honours and duty without oath. The rest
of the gentlemen answered upon their oaths. And when they brought
their several answers, they found by their own confession, that the
most part of them had continually, since the last Parliament,
frequented the Mass and other services and ceremonies inhibited by her
Majesty's laws and injunctions, and that very few of them ever
received the Holy Communion, or used such kind of public prayer and
service as is presently established by law." "Whereupon," Loftus
added, "I was once in mind (for that they be so linked together in
friendship and alliance one with another, that we shall never be able
to correct them by the ordinary course of the statute) to cess upon
every one of them, according to the quality of their several offences,
a good round sum of money, to be paid to your Majesty's use, and to
bind them in sure bonds and recognisances ever hereafter dutifully to
observe your Majesty's most godly laws and injunctions. But for that
they be the nobility and chief gentlemen of the English Pale, and the
greatest number too; I thought fit not to deal any further with them
until your Majesty's pleasure were therein specially known."[58] So
long as her Majesty required the noblemen of the Pale to fight against
Shane O'Neill and the other Irish chieftains she was too prudent to
insist on strict acceptance of her religious innovations.

In 1560 Pius IV. determined to send a special commissary into Ireland
in the person of the Irish Jesuit, Father David Wolf, who was a native
of Limerick, highly recommended to the Holy See by the general of the
Society. The commissary was instructed to visit and encourage the
bishops, clergy, and chief noblemen of the country to stand firm; he
was to draw up lists of suitable candidates for bishoprics, to
re-organise some of the religious houses and hospitals, and to
establish grammar schools where the youth of the country might receive
a sound education. He left Rome in August 1560, and arrived in Cork in
January 1561. According to his report the people flocked to him in
thousands to listen to his sermons, to get absolution, and to procure
the re-validation of invalid marriages. For so far, he was able to
assure the Roman authorities, heresy had made no progress among the
masses. From Cork he went to Limerick, and from Limerick he journeyed
through Connaught. During the course of this journey he learned a
great deal that was favourable about Bodkin the Archbishop of Tuam and
Roland De Burgo of Clonfert. He visited the greater part of the
country with the exception of the Pale, and, as he found it impossible
to go there, he empowered one of the priests to absolve from reserved
cases, particularly from the crimes of heresy and schism. In 1568 he
was arrested and thrown into prison together with Archbishop Creagh of
Armagh. Pius V. instructed his nuncio in Spain to request the good
offices of Philip II. to procure their release, but apparently the
representations of the Spanish government were without effect. In
1572, however, Father Wolf succeeded in making his escape from prison,
and before setting sail for Spain he had the happiness of receiving
the humble submission of William Casey, who had been promoted to the
See of Limerick by Edward VI. From Tarbet the papal commissary sailed
for Spain. Later on he returned once more to Ireland, and was active
in assisting James Fitzmaurice. He is supposed to have died in Spain
in 1578 or 1579.[59]

Father Wolf had been instructed specially to recommend to the Holy See
those priests whom he deemed qualified for appointment to vacant
bishoprics. This was a matter of essential importance, and as such he
devoted to it his particular care. Thomas O'Herlihy was appointed to
Ross (1561); Donald McCongail or Magongail, the companion of his
journeys, was appointed to Raphoe (1562); the Dominicans O'Harte and
O'Crean were provided to the Sees of Achonry and Elphin in the same
year at his request, and during the time he remained in Ireland his
advice with regard to episcopal nominations was followed as a rule. He
was instructed also to establish grammar schools throughout the
country, and he was not long in Ireland till he realised the necessity
of doing something for education, and above all for the education of
candidates for the priesthood. In 1564 he obtained from Pius IV. the
Bull, /Dum exquisita/,[60] empowering himself and the Archbishop of
Armagh to erect colleges and universities in Ireland on the model and
with all the privileges of the Universities of Paris and Louvain. For
this purpose they were empowered to apply the revenues of monasteries,
and of benefices, and to make use of the ecclesiastical property
generally. Unfortunately owing to the disturbed condition of the
country, and the subsequent arrest of both the archbishop and the
papal commissary, it was impossible to carry out this scheme.

In the earlier sessions of the Council of Trent the Archbishop of
Armagh had taken a leading part. When the Council opened for its final
sessions in January 1562 Ireland was represented by O'Herlihy of Ross,
McCongail of Raphoe, and O'Harte of Achonry. Nor were these mere idle
spectators of the proceedings. They joined in the warm discussions
that took place regarding the Sacrifice of the Mass, Communion under
both kinds, the source of episcopal jurisdiction and of the episcopal
obligation of residence, the erection of seminaries, and the
matrimonial impediments. It is said that it was mainly owing to their
exertions that the impediment of spiritual relationship was
retained.[61] After their return attempts were made to convoke
provincial synods to promulgate the decrees of the Council of Trent.
In 1566 apparently some of the prelates of Connaught assembled and
proclaimed them in the province of Tuam; in 1587 the Bishops of
Clogher, Derry, Raphoe, Down and Connor, Ardagh, Kilmore, and Achonry,
together with a large number of clergy met in the diocese of Clogher
for a similar purpose, and in 1614 they were proclaimed for the
province of Dublin by a synod convoked at Kilkenny.[62]

In 1560, and for several years after, the state of affairs in Ireland
was so threatening that Elizabeth and her advisers were more concerned
about maintaining a foothold in the country than about the abolition
of the Mass. In the North Shane O'Neill had succeeded on the death of
his father (1559), and seemed determined to vindicate for himself to
the fullest the rights of the O'Neill over the entire province of
Ulster. The Earl of Kildare refused to abandon the Mass, and was in
close correspondence both with his kinsman the Earl of Desmond, and
with several of the Irish chieftains. It was feared that a great
Catholic confederation might be formed against Elizabeth, and that
Scotland, France, Spain, and the Pope might be induced to lend their
aid.[63] Instructions were therefore issued to the Lord Deputy to
induce the Earl of Kildare to come to London where he could be
detained, and to stir up the minor princes of Ulster to weaken the
power of O'Neill. By detaining men like the Earls of Kildare, Desmond,
and Ormond in London, by stirring up rivalries and dissensions amongst
Irishmen, and above all by getting possession of the children of both
the Anglo-Irish and Irish nobles and bringing them to England for
their education, it was hoped that Ireland might be both Anglicised
and Protestantised.[64]

The most urgent question, however, was the reduction of Shane O'Neill.
At first Elizabeth was inclined to come to terms with him, but the
Earl of Sussex in the hope of overcoming him by force had him
proclaimed a traitor, and advanced against him with a large force
(1561). He seized Armagh, took possession of the cathedral, and
converted it into a strong fortress. O'Neill soon appeared accompanied
by the lawful archbishop, who exhorted the Irish troops to withstand
the invader. The English army suffered a bad defeat, and after the
failure of several attempts to reduce O'Neill by force, the Deputy
determined to try other methods. He hired an individual named Neil
Gray to murder O'Neill and acquainted Elizabeth with what he had
done,[65] but O'Neill was fortunate enough to elude the assassin. At
length O'Neill was induced to go to England (1562), where he was
forced to agree to certain terms; but, as he discovered that he had
been deceived throughout the entire negotiations, he felt free on his
return to assert his claims to Ulster. Elizabeth was not unwilling to
yield to nearly all his demands, even to the extent of removing Loftus
from the Archbishopric of Armagh and allowing the appointment of
O'Neill's own nominee. The Earl of Sussex, however, was opposed to
peace. Having been forced, against his will, to come to terms with
O'Neill (1563), he determined to have recourse once more to the method
of assassination. A present of poisoned wine was sent to O'Neill by
the Deputy as a token of his good will,[66] and it was only by a happy
chance that O'Neill and his friends were not done to death. The new
Deputy, Sir Henry Sidney, succeeded in stirring up O'Donnell and the
other Ulster princes against O'Neill by promising them the protection
of England. Having been defeated in battle by O'Donnell in 1567, Shane
fled for aid to the Scots of Antrim, on whom he had inflicted more
than one severe defeat, and while with them he was set upon and slain.
By his disappearance the power of the Irish in Ulster was broken, and
the way was at last prepared for subduing the northern portion of

In the South of Ireland the young Earl of Desmond was in a
particularly strong position, but, unfortunately, he was personally
weak and vacillating, and by playing off the Earl of Ormond against
him Elizabeth was able to keep him in subjection to England, to use
him against Shane O'Neill, and to prevent him from taking part in a
national or religious confederation. In 1567 the Earl was arrested and
sent to London, where he was detained as a prisoner. Although the Lord
Deputy allowed himself to be received at Limerick by Bishop Lacy with
full Catholic ceremonial, still the appointment of Protestant
commissioners to administer the territories of Desmond, and the
intrusion of a queen's archbishop into the See of Cashel (1567) made
it clear that the government was determined to force the new religion
on the people. About the same time the Pope took steps to strengthen
the Catholics of Munster by appointing Maurice Fitzgibbon,
commendatory abbot of a Cistercian monastery in Mayo, to the vacant
See of Cashel. The new archbishop was in close correspondence with the
Desmond party in Ireland, and with Philip II. of Spain. On his arrival
in Ireland (1569) he found that James Fitzmaurice, the cousin of the
Earl of Desmond, was organising a confederation to defend the Catholic
religion. MacCarthy Mor, the O'Briens of Thomond, the sons of the Earl
of Clanrickard, and Sir Edmund Butler had promised their assistance.
The new archbishop came to Cashel, took possession of his cathedral in
spite of the presence of the royal intruder, and even went so far as
to force the latter to attend a solemn Mass in the cathedral. This is
the only foundation for the story that he suffered personal violence
to MacCaghwell or that he captured him and brought him a prisoner to

The Earl of Sidney mustered his forces to proceed against the rebels,
and the Earl of Ormond was sent over from England to detach his
brother Sir Edmund Butler from his alliance with the Desmonds. The
Archbishop of Cashel was dispatched into Spain to seek the assistance
of Philip II. (1569), and he brought with him a document purporting to
be signed by thirteen archbishops and bishops, and by most of the
leading Irish and Anglo-Irish nobles in Leinster, Munster, and
Connaught, asking the King of Spain to assist them in their defence of
the Catholic religion, and offering to accept as their sovereign any
Spanish or Burgundian prince whom Philip II. might wish to
nominate.[68] The fact that the Pope had published in February 1570
the Bull, /Regnans in excelsis/ announcing the excommunication and
deposition of Queen Elizabeth served to encourage the Catholics of
Munster, but notwithstanding this sentence the archbishop failed to
obtain any effective assistance either from Spain or from the Pope.
Undaunted by the ill-success of his agent, Fitzmaurice issued a
proclamation addressed to the prelates, princes, and lords of Ireland,
announcing that he had taken up arms against a heretical ruler who had
been excommunicated and deposed by the Pope, that a large body of
English Catholics were in rebellion or were ready to rise, that he had
been appointed by the Pope captain-general of the Irish Catholic
forces, and that it behoved them to rally to his standard to defend
the Catholic faith, to suppress all false teachers and schismatical
services, and to deliver their country from heresy and tyranny.[69]
Fitzmaurice was, however, disappointed in his hopes. The Earl of
Ormond hastened over to Ireland to hold the Butler territories for the
queen. Many of his confederates deserted him or were overthrown, and
after a long struggle he was overcome and obliged to make his
submission (1573-74).

In 1575 James Fitzmaurice fled from Ireland to seek assistance from
some of the Catholic rulers of the Continent. His petitions met,
however, with scant success in Paris, Lisbon, and Madrid, and it was
only from Pope Gregory XIII. that he received any promise of men and
arms. Already an English adventurer named Stukely had been intriguing
with the Pope to obtain a small army and fleet for a descent upon
Ireland, and the celebrated English theologian and controversialist,
Nicholas Sander,[70] who was working at the Roman Court on behalf of
the English exiles, also favoured the attempt. The expedition started
in 1578, but when Stukely, who was in supreme command, reached Lisbon,
he joined his forces with those of the King of Portugal in an attack
on the Moors, in the course of which he was killed, and his army was
destroyed. By the exertions of Sander and of the nuncio at Madrid,
Fitzmaurice was enabled to fit out a small ship, and in 1579,
accompanied by Sander as papal representative, he arrived in Dingle.
At once he addressed an appeal to the people to join him in fighting
for the faith against a heretical sovereign. So terrified were the
vast body of the noblemen by the punishments inflicted on them already
and by the fear of losing all their property in case of another defeat
that the proclamation met with only a poor response. Ormond joined Sir
William Pelham against the rebels, as did also several of the old
enemies of the Geraldines. Fitzmaurice himself was killed early in the
campaign by the Burkes of Castleconnell, and although the Earl of
Desmond at last decided to take up arms, there was no longer any hope
of success. For years the way was carried on with relentless cruelty
by Pelham and afterwards by Lord Grey de Wilton; the crops and the
cattle were destroyed in a hope of starving out the scattered
followers of Desmond, and a force composed of Spaniards and Italians
were butchered after they agreed to surrender the fortress of
Dunanore. Viscount Baltinglass hastened to take up arms against the
Deputy, and with the assistance of Fiach MacHugh O'Byrne he inflicted
a severe defeat on Lord Grey at Glenmalure (1580). But in the end the
rebellion was completely suppressed, and the Earl of Desmond was taken
and murdered (1583). Two years before, Nicholas Sander, the papal
representative, died in a wood near Limerick after having received the
last sacraments at the hands of the Bishop of Killaloe.[71]

After the death of Shane O'Neill Elizabeth's ministers deemed it
advisable to summon a second Parliament (1569). Unfortunately no list
of the members returned for the boroughs and counties has been
preserved, but from the account that has come down to us of the
opening debates it is clear that the most elaborate precautions were
taken to pack the assembly. New boroughs, which had not been
recognised hitherto as corporations, were created; the sheriffs and
deputies appointed by the government returned themselves as fit and
proper persons to sit in Parliament, and in a large number of cases
English officials and lawyers, who had never seen the constituencies
they were supposed to represent, were returned by the sheriffs at the
instigation of the Deputy and his agents.[72] From the list of peers
it would seem as if twenty-three archbishops and bishops took their
seats, but the list is so full of glaring inaccuracies that it cannot
be relied upon. At best it represents merely the number who were
entitled to sit, and was based entirely on the list drawn up for the
Parliaments of 1541 and 1560.[73]

When Parliament met James Stanihurst, Recorder of Dublin, was
appointed speaker. From the beginning it was evident that in spite of
all his efforts the government party was likely to meet with serious
opposition. Sir Christopher Barnewall took strong exception to the
methods that had been adopted to pack the assembly, but though the
judges when appealed to upheld his objections on two counts they
decided against him on the vital question, namely, the selection of
English officials who had never seen the constituencies they were
supposed to represent. Backed by the decision of the judges, the Lord
Deputy and the Speaker bore down all opposition. An act was passed for
the attainder of Shane O'Neill, for the suppression of the title The
O'Neill, and for securing to her Majesty the County Tyrone and other
counties and territories in Ulster. The spiritual peers resisted
strongly a proposal for the erection of schools to be supported out of
the ecclesiastical property, but in the end the measure was passed. It
enacted that a free school should be established in each diocese at
the expense of the diocese, that the salary should be paid by the
bishops and clergy, that the schoolmasters should be Englishmen or at
least of English extraction, and that their appointment should be
vested in the Lord Deputy except in the Dioceses of Armagh, Dublin,
Meath, and Kildare, in which the nomination of the teachers should
rest in the hands of the archbishop or bishop. The exceptions clearly
indicate that only the royal bishops could be relied upon to carry out
the educational policy of the government, and this was brought out
even more explicitly by the act empowering the Deputy to appoint to
all ecclesiastical dignities in Munster and Connaught. A bill for the
repair of the churches at the public expense was thrown out in the
House of Commons.[74]

The gradual extension of English influence in both the North and the
South enabled Elizabeth and her advisers to throw off the mask of
toleration, and to take more active measures for enforcing the new
religion. Already Bishop Walsh of Meath had been thrown into prison
(1565), from which he escaped in 1572 and fled to Spain; Bishop
Leverous had been driven from his See in Kildare, though on account of
the influence of his patron, the Earl of Kildare, he was permitted to
end his days in his own diocese; Bishop Lacy of Limerick was reported
by the Lord Deputy (1562) as "a stubborn and disobedient man in causes
of religion" and as having committed offences whereby he had forfeited
his bishopric by the laws of the realm. For some time Limerick was
regarded as vacant, but the threatening attitude of the Geraldines
made it impossible to interfere with its bishop, and when the Lord
Deputy visited the city in 1567 he even allowed himself to be received
by the bishop with full Catholic ceremonial. When, however, the power
of the Southern confederation was broken Bishop Lacy was deprived of
his See as far as royal letters patent could do it, and William Casey,
the nominee of Edward VI. was placed in possession. The latter had
made his submission to the Pope and had declared his sorrow for his
crimes in the presence of David Wolf. Though apparently he had fallen
once again, he was distrusted by those who had appointed him as is
shown by the fact that a Scotchman named Campbell was set over him in
1585 to attend "to the spiritual functions of the bishopric."[75]

The Pope appointed Donat O'Teige Archbishop of Armagh in 1560, and on
his death Richard Creagh was designated as his successor. The latter
was a native of Limerick, who had graduated at Louvain, and at the
time he was nominated by David Wolf for an Irish archbishopric he kept
a school in his native diocese. Having been consecrated in Rome in
1564 he arrived in Ireland towards the end of that year only to be
arrested and thrown into prison, from which he managed to make his
escape at Easter (1565). He returned to his diocese, but he soon found
himself in conflict with Shane O'Neill. The archbishop was an Anglo-
Irishman, who stood for loyalty to the queen, and who regarded O'Neill
and his followers as both rebels, and, in a sense, savages. Instead of
encouraging O'Neill's men to maintain their struggle he preached on
the duty of obedience, whereat O'Neill was so enraged that he was at
first inclined to drive the Primate from Armagh. He burned the
cathedral of Armagh not, however, as is sometimes represented, in
hatred of the archbishop, but because it had been used as a fortress
by the English. The relations between the spiritual and temporal ruler
of Ulster improved, and Creagh addressed a petition to the Deputy to
be allowed to continue the Catholic services in the churches (1566).
He was captured once again early in 1567, and put upon his trial. The
jury having refused to find a verdict against him, both they and the
accused were committed to prison in Dublin Castle. The archbishop
eluded his guards once again, and it was only after the Earl of
Kildare had promised that his life should be spared that his
whereabouts were discovered. In December 1567 he was lodged in the
Tower of London, in which he was kept a close prisoner, though he
still contrived to communicate with Rome and with his diocese. Despite
the intercession of the Spanish ambassador, and notwithstanding the
fact that he suffered from grievous bodily infirmities, he remained a
prisoner till his death in October 1585. As a guarantee had been given
by the Earl of Kildare that his life would be spared, it was not
deemed prudent to execute him, but according to well authenticated
evidence his death was brought about by poison.[76]

Thomas O'Herlihy was appointed Bishop of Ross on the recommendation of
Father Wolf in 1561, and after having been consecrated he attended the
Council of Trent. On his return to Ireland he took an active part in
encouraging James Fitzmaurice, and was deputed to accompany the
Archbishop of Cashel to seek for aid from Philip II. of Spain. He was
captured in 1571 and sent to the Tower of London, where he was kept
prisoner for about three years and a half. He came back once again to
his diocese, and laboured strenuously, not merely in Ross, but in
various districts in the South till his death in 1579 or 1580.[77]
Maurice Fitzgibbon, Archbishop of Cashel, went to Spain as the
representative of the Southern Geraldines and their allies. Having
failed to get any help from Philip II., he endeavoured at various
times to interest the King of France, the Duke of Anjou, and the Duke
of Alva in Irish affairs. Though he was certainly in Scotland, where
he was arrested in 1572, it is doubtful if he ever returned to his
diocese. According to one authority he was captured in Munster and
kept a prisoner in Cork till his death in 1578, but it is more
probable that he died at Oporto.[78]

After the suppression of the Geraldine uprising and after the decree
of excommunication had been issued against Elizabeth still more
violent measures were taken against the bishops and clergy. The
Franciscan, Bishop O'Hely, was taken, together with another member of
his order, at Kilmallock, and both were put to death (1578 or 1579).
Edmund Tanner, who had been appointed to Cork in 1574, and entrusted
with special faculties for the provinces of Dublin and Cashel, was
arrested shortly after his arrival in Ireland and was thrown into
prison. He succeeded, however, in escaping, and he continued his
labours in various parts of Munster and Leinster till his death in
1578 or 1579. Nicholas Skerrett, a graduate of the /Collegium
Germanicum/ in Rome, was appointed to Tuam in October 1580. He was
thrown into prison after his arrival in Ireland, and, having succeeded
in escaping from his captors, he made his way into Spain. He died at
Lisbon in 1583 or 1584. Maurice MacBrien was appointed to Emly in 1567
on the recommendation of Father Wolf. During the earlier stages of the
Desmond rebellion he took active steps to promote the Catholic
confederation. At this period it is not improbable that he went to
Spain to solicit the co-operation of Philip II., but he returned to
Ireland, was captured in 1584, and two years later he died in prison
in Dublin. Peter Power or de la Poer was provided to Ferns by the Pope
in 1582. He was arrested and while in prison was induced to make his
submission, but on his release, stricken with sorrow for the weakness
he had shown, he boldly confessed his error and was arrested once
more. How long he was detained is not certain, but it is clear from a
letter of the Bishop of Killaloe that he was treated with the utmost
severity. He died in Spain in 1587.[79]

In 1581 Dermot O'Hurley was appointed to the Archbishopric of Cashel.
He had been a distinguished student of Louvain, and was then a
professor of Canon Law at Rheims. Hardly had he reached Ireland when
the government spies were on his track. For some time he remained in
the vicinity of Drogheda, and then he withdrew to the castle of the
Baron of Slane, from which he proceeded through Cavan and Longford to
his diocese. Having learned, however, that the Baron of Slane was in
danger for having afforded him assistance he surrendered himself to
his persecutors. He was brought to Dublin, in the course of which he
admitted that he was an archbishop appointed by the Pope, but he
denied that he had come to Ireland to stir up strife or to encourage
treasonable conspiracies. On one occasion at least he was subjected to
horrible torture to extract from him some damaging admissions. At the
advice of Walsingham his feet and legs were encased in tin boots and
he was held over a fire. As he still refused to submit he was tried by
court-martial and condemned. In June 1584 he was hanged in Dublin.[80]
Edmund McGauran, who was translated from Ardagh to Armagh in 1587,
devoted himself earnestly to the task of inducing the Catholic princes
of Ulster to defend their religion and their territories. He was slain
during a battle between Maguire of Fermanagh and the English in
1593.[81] Redmond O'Gallagher, Bishop of Derry, was specially active
throughout the whole province of Ulster, and so powerful were his
protectors that for years the government agents were afraid to arrest
him, but in the end he was slain together with three of his priests by
soldiers from the Lough Foyle garrison (1601).[82]

In the early years of Elizabeth's reign the government from motives of
prudence abstained from adopting violent measures to promote the
change of religion. But after 1570 there was a decided change, and
particularly after 1580 the persecution was carried on with great
bitterness. Many of the clergy, both secular and regular, were put to
death. Amongst the latter the few Jesuits who had come into the
country to help to carry on the work begun by Father David Wolf, the
Franciscans, and the Dominicans, were pursued with relentless
severity. Sometimes they were put to death by the soldiers without any
form of trial, sometimes they were executed according to the
proclamations of martial law, and sometimes they were allowed a form
of trial. But the fact that they were priests was sufficient to secure
their conviction. Several laymen were put to death for refusing to
change their religion, for harbouring priests, or for having studied
in some of the Catholic colleges on the Continent. Although Henry
VIII. had succeeded in destroying many of the religious houses, still
in a great part of the North, West, and South of Ireland the law had
not been enforced, and even in the districts where the English held
sway several of the monasteries enjoyed a precarious existence, partly
owing to the kindness of certain noblemen, partly also to royal
exemptions. But with the gradual subjugation of the country during the
reign of Elizabeth more determined measures were taken for the
suppression of such institutions. According to a return presented to
the authorities in London (1578) "thirty-four abbeys and religious
houses with very good lands belonging to them, never surveyed before
1569," were seized, as were also "seventy-two abbeys and priories
concealed from her Majesty."[83] From a revenue return presented in
1593 it can be seen that the suppression of these houses and the
seizure of their property helped considerably to strengthen the royal
exchequer. From the possessions in Ireland that belonged formerly to
religious houses in England the queen received annually in round
numbers £538, from the lands belonging to St. John of Jerusalem £776,
from those of the monastery of Thomastown £551, from the possessions
of St. Mary's Abbey, Dublin, £329, and from the monasteries and other
religious houses in Ireland £4,716.[84] The destruction of the
monasteries did not, however, mean the extinction of the Mendicant
Orders. They still continued to maintain themselves in the country, so
that during the worst days of the seventeenth century the Franciscans
and Dominicans were to be reckoned with as the most dangerous
opponents of the religious policy of the English government.

Only in case of one bishop, the notorious Miler Magrath, was Elizabeth
able to secure submission. He was a Franciscan friar, who, having been
sent to Rome to petition that the vacant See of Down and Connor should
be conferred on Shane O'Neill's brother, took steps to secure the
appointment for himself (1565). Finding on his return that he could
not hope to get any revenue from his diocese on account of the
opposition of O'Neill, he made his submission to the queen (1567) and
received as his reward the diocese of Clogher, and later on the
Archbishopric of Cashel (1570). For the greater part of his term of
office as archbishop he held the Sees of Waterford and Lismore, and
when he resigned them in 1607 he obtained a grant of Achonry and
Killala. While pretending to be scandalised by the toleration shown to
Catholics, and especially to Catholic officials, and to be anxious
that the laws should be enforced with the utmost rigour he took
measures to warn the clergy whenever there was danger of arrest. On
one occasion when he was in London, having learned that a raid was
contemplated against the priests, he wrote to his wife to warn Bishop
MacCragh of Cork to go into hiding at once, and to send away the
priests who had taken refuge in his own palace at Cashel lest he
should get into trouble. He was denounced by the officials in Dublin
as a traitor, a drunkard, and a despoiler of the goods of the Church.
He sold or leased the property of his dioceses, kept a large number of
benefices in his own hands solely for the sake of the revenue,
appointed his own sons, his daughter, and his daughter-in-law to
parishes to provide them with an income, built no schools, and allowed
the churches to go into ruins. His children made no secret of the fact
that they were Catholics, and the archbishop himself seemed to think
that though Protestantism had been useful to him in life, the old
religion would be preferable at death. In 1608 faculties had been
granted to Archbishop Kearney of Cashel for absolving Magrath from the
guilt of heresy and schism. Some years later he besought a Franciscan
friar to procure his reconciliation with Rome, promising that for his
part, if the Pope required it, he would make a public renunciation of
Protestantism. This request of his was recommended warmly to the Holy
See by Mgr. Bentivoglio, inter-nuncio at Brussels, but the love of the
archbishop for the revenues of Cashel and of his other bishoprics and
benefices seems to have proved stronger than his desire for pardon,
for he continued to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of
the State Church till his death in 1622. It was believed by his
contemporaries that on his death-bed he abjured his errors, and was
reconciled with the Church by one of his former religious

The destruction of the religious houses and collegiate churches during
the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Elizabeth dealt a heavy
blow to Irish education. Here and there through the country, clergy
and laymen contrived to teach schools and to give their pupils a sound
knowledge of the classics as well as of the language, literature, and
history of their country. But the theological colleges were closed;
Oxford and Cambridge were no longer safe training-places for Irish
ecclesiastics, and unless something could be done at once there was
grave danger that when the bishops and clergy, who were then at work,
passed away, they would leave none behind them to take their places.
Fortunately the close and direct communication between Ireland and the
Catholic nations of the Continent suggested a possible method of
preventing such a calamity, by the establishment, namely, of Irish
colleges in Rome, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. These
institutions owed their existence to the efforts of Irish bishops and
priests, and to the generous assistance of the Popes, and the
sovereigns of Spain and France. They were supported by the donations
of individual benefactors, by grants from the papal treasury or the
royal treasuries of Spain and France, and by the fees paid by
students, some of whom were wealthy enough to bear their own expenses,
while others of them were ordained priests before they left Ireland so
that they might be able to maintain themselves from their /honoraria/
for Masses.

In Spain Irish colleges were established at Salamanca, Seville,
Alcalá, Santiago de Compostella, and Madrid. The college at Salamanca
was founded by Father Thomas White, S.J., a native of Clonmel, with
the approval of Philip II., in 1592 under the title of /El Real
Colegio de Nobles Irlandeses/. The King of Spain provided a generous
endowment, and the control of the college was entrusted to the
Jesuits. Shortly after its foundation complaints were made in the
names of O'Neill and O'Donnell that the administrators of the college
showed but scanty attention to the claims of students from Ulster and
Connaught (1602), a complaint which seems to be justified by the rolls
of matriculation, on which the names of very few students from these
provinces are to be found. Those who presented themselves at Salamanca
took an oath to return to labour in the Irish mission after the
completion of their studies, and to enable them to do this a certain
sum of money was granted to them from the royal treasury of Spain to
cover the expenses of the journey to Ireland. Many of the most
distinguished of the Irish bishops and priests during the seventeenth
century were men who had graduated at Salamanca.[86] The college at
Compostella was founded in 1605, was endowed partly by Philip III.,
and was placed in charge of the Jesuits. It served as an auxiliary to
Salamanca, and its students were sent there for their theological
training. The College of the Immaculate Conception at Seville owed its
origin (1612) to some of the Irish secular clergy. It was endowed very
generously by Philip III. who placed the Jesuits in control of it in
1619. To help to provide for the support of the students the Irish
merchants, who carried on a brisk trade with Seville and Cadiz at this
period, bound themselves to bestow on the college a certain percentage
on every cask of wine they shipped, while Paul V. granted permission
to the fishermen of the province of Andalusia to fish on six Sundays
or holidays on condition that they devoted the results of their
labours to the support of the Irish College. The college at Madrid was
founded by Father Theobold Stapleton (1629), and was used principally
as a hospice for the reception of Irish priests who had completed
their studies, and who came to the Spanish capital to receive the
money guaranteed by the king to enable them to return to Ireland. In
1657 George de Paz y Silveira, who was related on his mother's side to
the MacDonnells of Antrim, founded a college at Alcalá principally for
students from the North of Ireland. According to the directions of the
founder the election of the rector was vested in the hands of the
student body, a regulation that led to grave disorders, and finally to
the closing of the college. The Irish college at Lisbon owed its
existence to the activity of the Jesuits, notably of Father John
Holing. It was opened in 1593, but it was only two years later that
owing to the kindness of a Spanish nobleman a permanent residence was
acquired, over which Father White, S.J., was placed as rector. A
community of Irish Dominican Fathers was opened at Lisbon, as was also
a convent of Dominican Nuns.

Irish students received a friendly welcome not merely in Spain, but
also in the Spanish Netherlands. From the middle of the sixteenth
century several ecclesiastical students from Ireland fled to Louvain
for their education, but it was only in 1623 that Archbishop MacMahon
of Dublin succeeded in founding a separate institution, the celebrated
/Collegium Pastorale/ for the training of secular priests for the
Irish mission. Out of his own private resources he founded six burses
in the college, and at his earnest request six others were endowed by
the Propaganda. The college was formally approved by Urban VIII. in
1624, and Nicholas Aylmer was placed over it as its first rector.
Though many of the ablest of the Irish bishops and priests of the
penal times were educated in the Pastoral College, still Ireland is
even more indebted to another Irish establishment at Louvain, the
Irish Franciscan College of St. Anthony of Padua. At the petition of
Florence Conry, Archbishop of Tuam, himself a Franciscan and a devoted
supporter of the Northern Chiefs, Philip III. recommended the project
of an Irish Franciscan College to his representative in the
Netherlands, and conferred on the institution a generous endowment.
With the blessing and approval of Paul V. the college was opened
formally in 1609, and so great was its success that it soon became the
leading centre of Irish missionary activity. Here Irish scholars like
John Colgan, Hugh Ward, Father Mooney, Bonaventure O'Hussey, Hugh
MacCaghwell, etc., found a home, and from the Louvain Irish printing-
press were issued a large number of catechisms, religious treatises,
and historical works, that did incalculable service for religion and
for Ireland. Another very important institution at Louvain was the
Irish Dominican Priory known as the Holy Cross founded in 1608. A
seminary for the education of secular priests was opened at Antwerp in
1629 as a result of the exertions and generosity of Father Laurence
Sedgrave and his nephew Father James Talbot. It was supported from the
revenues bestowed upon it by its founders, from the grants of the
papal nuncio at Brussels, and from the donations of Irishmen, laymen
as well as clerics. At Tournai a seminary for Irish priests was
founded by Father Christopher Cusack, and its students attended
lectures in the college belonging to the Jesuits. Nearly all the Irish
establishments in the Netherlands continued their work until they were
destroyed during the troubled period that followed on the outbreak of
the French Revolution.

In France, too, Irish students found a welcome and a home. Colleges
set apart entirely for their use were opened in Paris, Douay, Lille,
Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Nantes. The Irish College in Paris may be said
to date from the year 1578, when Father John Lee and a few companions
from Ireland took up their residence in the Collège Montaigu. Later on
a friendly nobleman, John de l'Escalopier, placed a special house at
their disposal, and Father Lee became the first rector of the new
seminary, which was recognised officially by the University of Paris
in 1624. Later on the Collège des Lombards was acquired, as was also
the present house in the Rue des Irlandais. The college in Paris was
favoured specially by the Irish bishops, as is evident from the fact
that in the year 1795 more than one-third of the Irish clerical
students on the Continent were receiving their training in the French
capital. The seminary in Douay was founded by Father Ralph Cusack in
1577. At that time Douay belonged to the Spanish Netherlands, and the
Irish seminary participated in the boundless generosity of the Kings
of Spain. The Irish seminary at Lille was founded also by Father
Cusack, and was placed under the control of the Capuchins. Though it
was intended principally for the use of students from the province of
Leinster, special attention was devoted to the Irish language, without
a knowledge of which no person could be appointed rector. The seminary
at Bordeaux was founded (1603) by Father Diarmuid MacCarthy, a priest
of the diocese of Cork, and later on it received special grants and
privileges from the queen-regent, Anne of Austria. The same kind
benefactress provided a home for the Irish students at Toulouse
(1659), while a few years later a seminary for Irish students was
established at Nantes.

Very early in Elizabeth's reign the question of providing priests for
the Irish mission engaged the earnest attention of the Roman
authorities. Gregory XIII. had arranged for the establishment of an
Irish college in Rome, and had provided the means for its support, but
as an expedition was then being prepared to aid James Fitzmaurice in
his struggle in Ireland, the project was postponed, and the money was
devoted to the purposes of the war. In 1625 the Irish bishops
addressed a petition to the Holy See praying for the establishment of
an Irish college in Rome. Cardinal Ludovisi, then Cardinal Protector
of Ireland, supported strongly this petition. He secured a house for
the accommodation of a few students, and in 1628 the college was
opened. In his will the Cardinal provided generously for the endowment
of the college, and he also expressed a wish that it should be
entrusted to the care of the Jesuits. They entered into control in
1635, and directed the affairs of the college till a short time before
the suppression of the Society.[87]

Elizabeth and her advisers were not slow to see the danger of allowing
Irish youths to be educated in Rome, France, or in the territories of
the King of Spain. For years the English government had been advised
to take measures for the establishment of a good system of English
schools as the best means of conquering the country. It was suggested
that with the suppression of the monasteries and the wholesale
confiscation of their possessions something might be done by Henry
VIII. or Edward VI. for the cause of education.[88] But these hopes
were doomed to speedy disappointment. The revenues of the religious
houses, which had provided centres of learning for the boys and girls
of the country, found their way into the royal treasury or into the
pockets of the dishonest commissioners, and no educational
establishments were erected in their place. The Deputy did, indeed,
inform the canons of St. Patrick's, Dublin, that their church should
be converted to a better use, namely, a university, but the promise
was made only to induce them to surrender without a struggle. The
valuable church plate, crosses, etc., were melted down and handed over
to the mint.[89]

At the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth a proposal was made to
carry out the promise of Henry VIII. by converting St. Patrick's into
a university. Archbishop Curwen objected strongly to such a
suggestion, nominally on the ground that a university would only serve
as an excuse for the Irish rebels to send their sons to the capital to
learn the secrets of the Pale, but in reality because he feared that
the project would interfere with his own income. At various times and
in various forms the plan was brought forward once more. Sir John
Perrott was anxious to signalise his term of office as Lord Deputy by
the establishment of a university in Dublin, but Archbishop Loftus,
who as Archbishop of Armagh had supported the conversion of St.
Patrick's into a university, having changed his mind once he had
secured his own transference to Dublin, opposed warmly the project of
the Deputy. When, however, he had succeeded in saving St. Patrick's
for his relatives and dependents he brought forward another proposal,
namely, that the Corporation of Dublin should hand over the site of
the old monastery of All Hallows for the establishment of a
university. The corporation agreed to this proposal, and in 1592 a
charter was granted by Elizabeth. An appeal was then issued for
subscriptions, and in a short time about £2,000 was collected, many of
the Anglo-Irish Catholics being amongst the subscribers. In 1593
Trinity College was opened for the reception of students. Though care
had been taken by the archbishop when discussing the subject with the
Corporation of Dublin, most of the members of which were still
Catholic, and by the Deputy when appealing for funds for the erection
of the buildings, not to raise the question of religion, yet Trinity
College was intended from the beginning to be a bulwark of
Protestantism as well as of English power in Ireland. Elizabeth had
already done much to forward the cause of the new religion by getting
possession of the children of the Anglo-Irish or Irish nobles and
bringing them to England to be reared up as Protestants and as
Englishmen,[90] and it was hoped that Trinity College, supported by
the diocesan schools, would do for the better class of the nation what
Oxford and Cambridge were doing for the unfortunate children of the
chiefs who were kidnapped in the name of religion and statesmanship.
The new college set itself to carry out exactly the wishes of its
founders, and in return from its compliancy it received large
endowments from the English crown mainly by grants of confiscated
territories in different parts of Ireland.[91]

Yet in spite of all the measures that were taken, commissions, fines,
executions, bestowal of honours and appointments, diocesan schools,
and kidnapping of children, the Reformation made but little progress.
The truth is that Elizabeth's representatives in Ireland had not the
power to enforce her wishes in regard to religion, nor did Elizabeth
herself desire to stir up a general insurrection by attempting to
punish the lay nobles for their flagrant disregard of her ordinances.
Thus in 1585 Walsingham sent over express instructions to the
Protestant Archbishop of Armagh (Long) that the gentlemen of the Pale
were to be excused from taking the oath of allegiance,[92] and in 1591
Sir George Carew informed Lord Deputy Fitzwilliam that the queen was
displeased with him because "she feared that he was too forward in
dealing with matters of religion," and that he (Carew) had attempted
to excuse the Deputy by pointing out that on account of the
forbearance of the government, "they of the Pale were grown insolent."
At one time Elizabeth wrote to the Deputy and council blaming them for
neglecting to push forward the interests of the new religion (1599),
while the very next year she instructed Lord Mountjoy not to interfere
by any severity or violence in matters of religion, until the power of
England was established so firmly that such interference could be
effective. The reason for this wavering attitude is not difficult to
understand. Elizabeth feared that a general attack upon religion as
such would be the best means of inducing all the Catholic noblemen to
forget their personal rivalries and unite in one great national
confederation. Such a turn of events might have proved disastrous to
English interests in Ireland, and hence care was taken to allow a
certain measure of toleration to the noblemen, and to explain away the
punishments inflicted on the clergy as having been imposed not on
account of religion, but on account of their traitorous designs. This
is brought out very clearly in a letter of Sir George Carew to the
privy council in 1600. The citizens of Waterford had been reported for
their complete and open disregard of the new religion, and Carew was
charged with the work of punishing such disobedience. He wrote that he
would "handle the matter of religion as nicely as he could," and that
he would endeavour to convict the leaders of the movement of treason
because, he added, "if it do appear in the least that any part of
their punishment proceeds for matter of religion, it will kindle a
great fire in this kingdom."[93]

In 1576 Hugh Brady, the Protestant Bishop of Meath, reported to the
Lord Deputy that the condition of the Established Church was
lamentable, that the priests, though deprived of their livings,
continued to maintain themselves on the voluntary offerings of the
people, that the churches had fallen into a state of decay, that no
ministers were at hand who could address the people in their own
language, and that to remedy this state of affairs Englishmen should
be sent over as bishops to organise the new religious body, and
Scotchmen should be requested to act as preachers.[94] When such a
state of affairs existed in the Pale districts it is easy to see that
Protestantism had as yet made little progress among the Irish people.
Two years later Lord Justice Drury and Sir Edward Fyton, Treasurer,
announced to the privy council that on their arrival in Kilkenny the
Protestant Bishop of Ossory reported to them "that not only the
chiefest men of that town (as for the most part they are bent to
Popery) refused obstinately to come to the church, and that they could
by no means be brought to hear the divine service there with their
wives and families (as by her Majesty's injunctions they are bound to
do), but that almost all the churches and chapels or chancels within
his diocese were utterly ruined and decayed, and that neither the
parishioners nor others that are bound to repair them and set them up
could by any means be won or induced to do so." The Lord Justice and
his companion called the chief men of Kilkenny before them, and bound
them in recognisances of £40 each "that they and their wives should
duly every Sunday and holiday frequent the church, and hear the divine

Waterford was equally bad. In 1579 Sir William Pelham reported that
Marmaduke Middleton, who had been appointed bishop by Elizabeth, had
met with a bad reception in Waterford, "partly through the
contemptuous and obstinate behaviour of the mayor and his brethren of
that city, and partly by the clergy of that church." The Dean of
Waterford had made himself particularly disagreeable, and on account
of his behaviour Pelham recommended that he ought to be deprived of
his dignity as an example to the citizens who were "the most arrogant
Papists that live within this state." Bishop Middleton was most
anxious to get himself removed from Waterford, where he feared that
his life was in danger. He reported that Waterford was given over to
"Rome-runners and friars," that clergy and people were united to
prevent her Majesty's most godly proceedings, that "Rome itself held
no more superstition" than the city over which he ruled, and that most
of the Protestant incumbents were little better than "wood-kerne."[96]
Even towards the end of Elizabeth's reign Waterford was still, as it
had been when she ascended the throne, strongly Catholic. The privy
council in England warned Sir George Carew that though "the evil
disposition of the Irish people in most places of that kingdom, and
especially of the inhabitants of Waterford, in matters of religion"
was perfectly well known, and though great toleration had been shown
them lest they should have an excuse to rise in rebellion, "yet
something must be done to repress the presumption and insolency of the
people." For it had been announced by the Archbishop of Cashel
(Magrath) "that in Waterford there are certain buildings, erected
under colour and pretence of almshouses or hospitals, but that the
same are in very deed intended and publicly professed to be used for
monasteries and such like houses of religion, and that friars and
popish priests are openly received and maintained in them . . . and
exercise their service of the Mass openly and usually in many places,
as if they were in no awe or fear of any exception to be taken
thereunto." It is noteworthy, however, as indicating the extent of
English influence at that time in Ireland, that the members of the
privy council warned the President of Munster that they "do not think
it convenient that any extraordinary course should be taken or any
disturbance made to inquire after or to punish them for their Masses
or any other popish superstitions, unless they show thereby openly to
the world an insolent contempt for her Majesty's authority."[97]

In 1597, when Lord Borough was sent over as Lord Deputy, Elizabeth
instructed him to discreetly inquire of the state of religion, whereof
we are informed," she wrote, "there hath been notorious negligence, in
that the orders of religion are in few parts of our realm there
observed; and that which is to be lamented, even in our very English
Pale multitudes of parishes are destitute of incumbents and teachers,
and in the very great towns of assembly, numbers not only forbear to
come to the church or divine service, but [are] even willingly winked
at to use all manner of popish ceremonies." She ordered him to examine
into the causes of "this general defection," to see what have the
Ecclesiastical Commissioners been doing all these years, and to
forward his views as to how "this general defection might be reformed,
in some convenient sort, and not thus carelessly suffered as though
she had granted toleration of Popery."[98] Three years later (1600)
Sir George Carew furnished a very gloomy report on the progress of the
new religion. "If the Spaniards do come hither," he wrote, "I know no
part of the kingdom that will hold for the queen, and the cities
themselves will revolt with the first. For it is incredible to see how
our nation and religion is maligned, and the awful obedience that all
the kingdom stands in unto the Romish priests, whose excommunications
are of greater terror unto them than any earthly horror whatsoever.
Until of late, although the townsmen have ever been obstinate Papists,
yet /pro forma/ the mayors and aldermen would go to the church. But
now not so much as the mayors will show any such external obedience,
and by that means the queen's sword is a recusant, which in my
judgment is intolerable. Nevertheless I do not think it good to insist
much upon it in this troublesome time. As for Masses and such slight
errants here, they are of no great estimation. I am not over-curious
to understand them, so as they be not used contemptuously and publicly
in derogation of the queen's laws. But the mayors of the cities and
corporate towns to be let run in so manifest contempts I do not

Nor is it strange that the new religion had made such little progress
in Ireland. Apart from the fact that the Irish people were thoroughly
Catholic at heart, the means adopted to bring about their apostasy was
not of such a kind as to ensure success. The English sovereigns, their
officials in Dublin, and a section of the Anglo-Irish nobles aimed at
getting possession of the ecclesiastical property and patronage, and
once they had attained their object they had but scant regard for the
claims of religion. Englishmen were sent over as archbishops or
bishops, who could not preach in a language that the people could
understand, and who had no other desire than to enrich themselves,
their children, and their relatives. Archbishop Browne had set an
example in this direction, which example was not lost on his
successor, Adam Loftus, who was so greedy in petitioning for
appointments that his chapter was forced to demand from him a pledge
that he would look for nothing more. Archbishop Long of Armagh (1584-
89) wasted the property of the diocese to such an extent that his
successor had barely an income of £120 a year and not a house to give
him shelter. Miler Magrath enriched himself out of Cashel, Emly,
Waterford and Lismore, Killala, and Achonry. Twenty of the parishes of
Emly were held by himself; twenty-six by his sons, daughters, and near
relations; nineteen were left vacant; men "fitter to keep hogs than to
serve in church" were appointed to some livings, and "in the two
dioceses (Cashel and Emly) there was not one preacher or good minister
to teach the subjects their duties to God and His Majesty." Craik of
Kildare, Cavenagh of Ossory, and Allen of Ferns were accused of
alienating the diocesan property of their respective Sees. With the
single exception of Brady, the Protestant Bishop of Meath, against
whom Loftus declared he could bring such charges as he would be loath
to utter, hardly one of the men appointed by Elizabeth to Irish
bishoprics was worthy of his position. Loftus was an impecunious
courtier; Magrath had no religion except to make money and indulge his
passion for strong drink; Knight the Scotchman, who was sent to Cashel
to watch him, was removed on account of public drunkenness; Devereux
was appointed to Ferns, although, according to Loftus, he had been
deprived of his deanship on account of confessed immorality; Richard
Dixon was deprived of his See within one year after his appointment by
the queen for manifest adultery, and Marmaduke Middleton of Waterford
having been translated to St. David's was accused of "grave
misdemeanours," the most serious of which was the publication of a
forged will, and was degraded by the High Commission Court. With such
men in charge of the work of "reforming" the clergy and people of
Ireland, it is no wonder that the Reformation made so little

The men into whose hands the property and patronage of the Church had
passed took no steps to look after the repair of the church buildings
or to provide clergy to preach the new religion. In some cases their
neglect was due to the fact that they themselves were Catholic in
their sympathies, and in other cases because they did not want to
incur any expenses. As a consequence, the churches were in ruins and
roofless, and no religious service of any kind was provided. Few
English ministers of good standing in their own country cared to come
to Ireland except possibly in the hope of securing a bishopric in the
Pale districts, and as a consequence, the men who came were "of some
bad note," on account of which they were obliged to leave their own
country. Hence, in order to provide ministers to spread the new gospel
it was necessary to ordain those who were willing to receive orders as
a means of making their living. It is no wonder, therefore, that
Edmund Spenser described the Irish Protestant clergy of the period as
"bad, licentious, and most disordered." "Whatever disorders," he
writes, "you see in the Church of England, you may find in Ireland,
and many more, namely, gross simony, greedy covetousness,
incontinence, careless sloth, and generally all disordered life in the
common clergyman. And, besides all these, they have their particular
enormities; for all Irish ministers that now enjoy church livings are
in a manner mere laymen, saving that they have taken holy orders, but
otherwise they go and live like laymen, follow all kinds of husbandry,
and other worldly affairs as other Irishmen do. They neither read the
Scriptures, nor preach to the people, nor administer the communion." A
good account of the motley crowd who had been enlisted to carry out
the work of reform is given by Andrew Trollope, himself an English
lawyer and a Protestant. Although he referred particularly to Munster
his account may be taken as substantially correct for the rest of
Ireland. "In truth," he wrote, "such they [the clergy] are as deserve
not living or to live. For they will not be accounted ministers but
priests. They will have no wives. If they would stay there it were
well; but they will have harlots . . . And with long experience and
some extraordinary trail of those fellows, I cannot find whether the
most of them love lewd women, cards, dice, or drink best. And when
they must of necessity go to church, they carry with them a book of
Latin of the Common Prayer set forth and allowed by her Majesty. But
they read little or nothing of it, or can well read it, but they tell
the people a tale of Our Lady or St. Patrick, or some other saint,
horrible to be spoken or heard, and intolerable to be suffered, and do
all they may to allure the people from God and their prince, and their
due obedience to them both, and persuade them to the devil and the
Pope." The Lord Deputy sent a report to England in 1576 "on the
lamentable state of the Church" in Ireland. "There are," he wrote,
"within this diocese [Meath] two hundred and twenty-four parish
churches, of which number one hundred and five are impropriated to
sundry possessions; no parson or vicar resident upon any of them, and
a very simple or sorry curate for the most part appointed to serve
them; among which number of curates only eighteen were found able to
speak English, the rest being Irish ministers, or rather Irish rogues,
having very little Latin, and less learning and civility. . . . In
many places the very walls of the churches are thrown down; very few
chancels covered; windows or doors ruined or spoiled. . . . If this be
the state of the church in the best-peopled diocese, and best governed
country of this your realm, as in truth it is, easy is it for your
Majesty to conjecture in what case the rest is, where little or no
reformation either of religion or manners hath yet been planted and
continued among them. . . . If I should write unto your Majesty what
spoil hath been, and is of the archbishoprics, of which there are
four, and of the bishoprics, whereof there are above thirty, partly by
the prelates themselves, partly by the potentates, their noisome
neighbours, I should make too long a libel of this my letter. But your
Majesty may believe it, upon the face of the earth where Christ is
professed, there is not a Church in so miserable a case."

Spenser drew a sharp contrast between the Catholic clergy and the
ministers of the new gospel. "It is great wonder," he wrote, "to see
the odds which are between the zeal of the Popish priests and the
ministers of the gospel. For they spare not to come out of Spain, from
Rome, and from Rheims, by long toil and dangerous travelling hither,
where they know peril of death awaiteth them, and no reward or riches
are to be found, only to draw the people unto the Church of Rome;
whereas some of our idle ministers, having a way for credit and
estimation thereby opened unto them, and having the livings of the
country offered unto them without pains and without peril, will
neither for the same, nor any love of God, nor zeal of religion, nor
for all the good they may do by winning souls to God, be drawn forth
from their warm nests to look out into God's harvest."[101]

But though the attempts to seduce Ireland from the Catholic faith had
failed to produce any substantial results, yet there could be no
denying the fact that Elizabeth had gone further to reduce the country
to subjection than had any of her predecessors. The overthrow of the
Geraldines and their allies in the South, the plantation of English
Undertakers in the lands of the Earl of Desmond, the seizure of
MacMahon's country, and the attempted plantation of Clandeboy, the
appointments of presidents of Munster and Connaught, the reduction of
several counties to shire-lands, the nomination of sheriffs to enforce
English law, and the establishment of garrisons in several parts of
the country, made it clear to any thoughtful Irishman that unless some
steps were taken at once, the complete reduction of their country was
only a matter of a few years. In the North Hugh O'Neill, son of
Matthew O'Neill, was looked upon as the most powerful nobleman of the
province. Like his father he had been in his youth an English O'Neill,
and for that reason he was created Earl of Tyrone (1585), and was
granted most of the territories of Shane the Proud. But he distrusted
the English, as he was distrusted by them. The treacherous seizure of
Hugh O'Donnell, the planting of an English garrison at Portmore along
the Blackwater, and the warlike preparations begun by Sir Henry
Bagenal made it evident to him that the government aimed at the
complete overthrow of the Irish chieftains.

Having strengthened himself by alliances with Hugh O'Donnell, Maguire,
and the principal nobles of the North, he rose in arms, seized the
fortress of Portmore, laid siege to Monaghan, and inflicted a very
severe defeat on the English forces at Clontibret (1595). Whatever
might have been his ulterior object, O'Neill put the question of
religion in the forefront. Already it had been noted by the English
officials that O'Neill, though brought up in England, was attached to
the "Romish Church." In their negotiations with the government after
the defeat of the English forces at Clontibret, both O'Neill and
O'Donnell demanded that "all persons have free liberty of conscience."
Similar demands were made by the other chieftains of Ulster, and later
on by all the Irish nobles in Connaught, Leinster, and Munster. In
reply to these demands the commissioners announced that in the past
the queen had tolerated the practice of the Catholic religion, and "so
in likelihood she will continue the same." When the report of these
negotiations reached England Elizabeth was displeased. The request for
liberty of conscience was characterised as "disloyal." O'Neill was to
be informed that "this had been a later disloyal compact made betwixt
him and the other rebels without any reasonable ground or cause to
move them thereunto, especially considering there hath been no
proceeding against any of them to move so unreasonable and disloyal a
request as to have liberty to break laws, which her Majesty will never
grant to any subject."[102]

Though the negotiations were continued for some time neither side was
anxious for peace. Elizabeth and her officials strove to secure the
support of the Anglo-Irish of the Pale and of a certain section of the
Irish nobles. Unfortunately she was only too successful. Most of the
Anglo-Irish nobles, though still devoted to the Catholic faith,
preferred to accept toleration at the hands of Elizabeth rather than
to fight side by side with O'Neill for the complete restoration of
their religion.[103] O'Neill and O'Donnell turned to Spain and Rome
for support. From Spain they asked for arms, soldiers, and money to
enable them to continue the struggle. From the Pope they asked also
for material assistance, but in addition they demanded that he should
re-publish the Bull of excommunication and deposition issued against
Elizabeth by Gregory XIII., that he should declare their war to be a
religious war in which all Catholics should take the side of the Irish
chiefs, that he should excommunicate the Catholic noblemen who had
taken up arms in defence of the queen, that he should grant them the
full rights of patronage enjoyed in Ulster by their predecessors, and
that he should appoint no ecclesiastics to vacant Sees without their

These requests were supported strongly at Rome by Peter Lombard
(1601), who was appointed later on Archbishop of Armagh, and as a
result Clement VIII. determined to send a nuncio to Ireland in the
person of Ludovico Mansoni (1601). Philip III. of Spain at last
consented to dispatch a force into Ireland, but instead of landing in
the North where O'Neill and O'Donnell were all-powerful, the Spanish
exhibition under command of Don Juan del Aquila arrived off Kinsale,
and took possession of the town (Sept. 1601). For the three years
preceding the arrival of the Spaniards the Northern chiefs had been
wonderfully successful. They had defeated Marshal Bagenal at the
Yellow Ford (1598), had overthrown the forces of Sir Conyers Clifford
at the Curlieu Mountains (1599), and had upset all the plans of the
Earl of Essex, who was sent over specially by Elizabeth to reduce them
to subjection. Hardly, however, had the Spaniards occupied Kinsale
when they were besieged by the new Deputy, Lord Mountjoy, and by
Carew, the President of Munster. An urgent message was dispatched by
them requesting O'Neill and O'Donnell to march to their assistance,
and against their own better judgment they determined to march South
to the relief of their allies. Even still, had they been satisfied
with hemming in the English forces, as O'Neill advised, they might
have succeeded, but instead of adopting a waiting policy, they
determined to make an attack in conjunction with the Spanish force. As
a result they suffered a complete defeat (1602). O'Neill conducted the
remnant of his army towards Ulster; O'Donnell was dispatched to seek
for further help to Spain from which he never returned, and Aquila
surrendered Kinsale and other fortresses garrisoned by Spaniards.
Carew laid waste the entire province of Connaught, while Mountjoy
marched to Ulster to subdue the Northern rebels. The news of the death
of O'Donnell in Spain, the desertion of many of his companions in
arms, and the total destruction of the cattle and crops by Mountjoy
forced O'Neill to make overtures for peace. An offer of terms was made
to him, and good care was taken to conceal from him the death of Queen
Elizabeth. He decided to meet Mountjoy and to make his submission

[1] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 304.

[2] Id., i., 315.

[3] Moran, /History of the Archbishops of Dublin/, 52-54. Brady,
/Episcopal Succession/, ii., 133 sqq.

[4] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 327-335.

[5] Lynch-Kelly, /Cambrensis Eversus/, ii., 780 sqq.

[6] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 252-53.

[7] Id., 258.

[8] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 169-70.

[9] /Irish Statutes/, vol. i., 239-74.

[10] /Lib. Munerum/, i., 38.

[11] Cox, /Hib. Anglicana/, 308-9.

[12] Bridgett, /Blunders and Forgeries/, 217-21.

[13] /Calendar of Documents, Ireland/, i., 140.

[14] /Calendar of Documents, Ireland/, i., 151-52.

[15] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 279-80.

[16] Shirley, op. cit., 90-1.

[17] Bagwell, /Ireland under the Tudors/, ii., 354.

[18] Bridgett, /Blunders and Forgeries/, 229-36.

[19] Shirley, op. cit., 91.

[20] Cox, /Hib. Angl./, 313.

[21] The return is printed in /Tracts Relating to Ireland/, ii.,

[22] /State Papers/, iii., 306-7.

[23] Id., 305.

[24] Litton Falkiner, /Essays Relating to Ireland/, 236.

[25] Kelly, /Dissertations on Irish Church History/, 363.

[26] /Lib. Mun./, ii., pt. 6, 10.

[27] Brady, /Irish Reformation/, 32, 33.

[28] /Irish Statutes/, i., 275-320.

[29] Cf. Lynch-Kelly, /Cambrensis Eversus/, ii., 19-23. Rothe,
/Analecta/ (ed. Moran, 1884), 235-7.

[30] /Calendar of Patent Rolls/, i., 303-4.

[31] Shirley, op. cit., 140, 234, 265.

[32] Brady, /The Irish Reformation/, 169-73.

[33] /Fiants of Elizabeth/, no. 199.

[34] Mason, /History of St. Patrick's/, 162.

[35] Moran's, /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 83.

[36] Shirley, op. cit., 220.

[37] /Fiants of Elizabeth/, no. 666.

[38] Shirley, op. cit., 101.

[39] Id., 207.

[40] Cf. Letter of J. A. Froude in Brady's /Irish Reformation/,

[41] /Fiants of Elizabeth/, nos. 198, 221, 223, 363.

[42] Shirley, op. cit., 94.

[43] Id., 125.

[44] Shirley, op. cit., 162.

[45] Id., 201, 226.

[46] Id., 249-250.

[47] Cf. Shirley, op. cit., 98-9, 120, 184, 214, 239, 242, 272, 278,

[48] Shirley, op. cit., 130, 135, 180, 189, 271, 313 sqq.

[49] Ware's /Works/, vol. i., p. 391.

[50] Shirley, op. cit., 96, 104, 106, 122.

[51] Id., 271.

[52] Id., 95.

[53] /Calendar of State Papers/ (Ireland), i., 171.

[54] Shirley, op. cit., 117 sqq.

[55] Shirley, op. cit., 139.

[56] Id., 233 sqq.

[57] Shirley, op. cit., 160-3, 135-6, 220, 279, 95.

[58] Shirley, op. cit., 195-96.

[59] Cf. Hogan /Hibernia Ignatiana/, 10-24. Moran, /Archbishops of
Dublin/, 77-83. /Cal. State Papers/ (Ireland), i., 255, 472, 524.

[60] /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 32-8.

[61] Cf. Theiner, /Acta genuina S. Concil. Trid./, 4 vols., 1875.
Bellesheim, op. cit., ii., 142-44.

[62] Renehan, /Archbishops/, 435 sqq. Moran, /Archbishops of Dublin/,
441 sqq.

[63] /Cal. of Carew Papers/, i., 297, 301 sqq.

[64] Id., 292, 297, 310 sqq. /Cal. of State Papers/ (Ireland), 188.

[65] /Cal. of State Papers/, i., 179.

[66] Id., 233.

[67] Renehan-MacCarthy, op. cit., i., 241 sqq.

[68] /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 59-62.

[69] /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 397-400.

[70] Gillow, /Bib. Dict. Eng. Catholics/, v., 476.

[71] /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 94.

[72] /Hooker's Diary/ (printed in Litton Falkiner's /Essays Relating
to Ireland/, 237 sqq.).

[73] Id., 235-6.

[74] Cf. /Irish Statutes/, i., 312 sqq. /Calendar of Carew Papers/,
ii., 334 sqq.

[75] Cf. /Calendar of Carew Papers/, i., 347. Shirley, op. cit.,
206-7. Brady, /Ep. Succession/, ii., 43. Ware's /Works/, i., 511.

[76] Cf. /Spicil. Ossor./, i., 38, sqq. Shirley, op. cit., 164, 171,
176, 287, 306, 324. /The Analects of David Rothe/ (ed. Moran),
1884, xlvi.

[77] O'Sullevan, /Compendium Hist. Cath. Iber./ (ed. by Kelly), 1850,

[78] Renehan's /Archbishops/, 241 sqq. Brady, op. cit., ii., 5 sqq.
/Spicil. Ossor./, i., 83.

[79] Cf. Brady, op. cit., Rothe's /Analecta/ (ut supra), 381 sqq.
/Spicil. Ossor./, i., 82 sqq.; iii., 35 sqq. /Ir. Ecc. Record/,
i., ii.

[80] Cf. Rothe's /Analecta/ (Introduction), xiii. sqq.

[81] Brady, op. cit., 221-3.

[82] /Annals F. M./, ann. 1601.

[83] /Cal. Carew Papers/, ii., 137.

[84] Id., iii., 494.

[85] Cf. /I. E. Record/, (1884). Bagwell, op. cit., iii., 462-69.
/Archiv. Hib./, i., 277-311.

[86] O'Doherty, /Students of the Irish College, Salamanca, 1595-1700/,
(/Archiv. Hib./, ii., iii.).

[87] On the Irish Colleges on the Continent, cf. Boyle, /The Irish
College in Paris (1578-1901)/. Murphy, /College of the Irish
Franciscans, at Louvain/, (/Journal R.S.A., I./, 1898). Proost,
/Les réfugiés anglais et irlandais en Belgique/, etc. (/Messager
des Sciences historiques/, 1865), Daumet, /Notices sur les
établissements religieux anglais, écossais et Irlandais/, etc.,
1912. /Irish Eccl. Record/, vii., viii., ix., x. Hogan, /Irish
Worthies of the Sixteenth Century/, 1886. /Catholic Encyclopedia/
(art. Irish College, Rome--Mgr. O'Riordan).

[88] /State Papers/ (Ireland), iii., 30.

[89] Shirley, op. cit., 13, 31.

[90] Green, /The Making of Ireland and its Undoing/, 401-439.

[91] Stubbs, /The History of the University of Dublin/, 1889. Heron,
/The Constitutional History of the University of Dublin/, 1847.
/Trinity College Calendar/, 1833.

[92] /Cal. State Papers/ (Ireland), ii., 588.

[93] /Cal. Carew Papers/, iii., 58, 316, 356, 469.

[94] /Cal. State Papers/, ii., 92-93.

[95] /Carew Papers/, ii., 144.

[96] /Cal. State Papers/, ii., 229, 235, 245.

[97] /Carew Papers/, iii., 457-8.

[98] /Carew Papers/, iii., 213.

[99] Id., 387-8.

[100] Cf. Shirley, op. cit., 95, 271. Ware, /Works/, i. (under the
dioceses mentioned). Bagwell, op. cit., iii., 459 sqq. Moran,
/Archbishops of Dublin/, 163 sqq.

[101] Cf. Spenser, op. cit. (ed. Morley, 1890), 123-28, 202 sqq. /Cal.
State Papers/ (Ireland), iii., 424, 427, 428. Bagwell, op. cit.,
iii., 459 sqq.

[102] /Cal. Carew Papers/, iii., 105, 133, 151-3.

[103] O'Sullevan, op. cit., 140 sqq.

[104] Cf. Hagan, /Some Papers Relating to the Nine Years' War/ (/Arch.
Hib./, ii., 274 sqq.).



See bibliography, chap. vii.-ix. /Calendar of State Papers,
Ireland/ (James I.), 5 vols., 1872-80. Idem (Charles I.), 5 vols.
/Calendar of the Clarendon Papers/, 2 vols., 1869-72. Carte,
/History of the Life of James, Duke of Ormonde/ (1610-88), 3
vols., 1736. French, /Historical Works/, 2 vols., 1846. /Report on
the Franciscan MSS./, i., 1906. Russell-Prendergast, /Report on
the Carte Papers in the Bodleian Library/, 1871. Gilbert,
/Contemporary History of Affairs in Ireland/ (1641-52), 1879-80.
Bagwell, /Ireland under the Stuarts/, 2 vols., 1909. Prendergast,
/Cromwellian Settlement of Ireland/, 2 ed., 1875. Lecky, /History
of Ireland in the Eighteenth Century/, new imp., 1913. Coffey,
/O'Neill and Ormond/, 1914. Dunlop, /Ireland under the
Commonwealth/, 2 vols., 1913. Murray, /Revolutionary Ireland and
its Settlement/, 2 vols., 1911. Boulger, /The Battle of the
Boyne/, 1911. Burke, /The Irish Priests in the Penal Times/ (1660-
1760), 1914.

The news of the death of Queen Elizabeth and of the accession of James
I. came as a welcome relief to the great body of the Catholics of
Ireland. As the son of Mary Queen of Scots, and in a sense, the
descendant of the Irish Kings of Scotland[1] he was regarded with
favour both within and without the Pale. While King of Scotland he had
been in communication with the Pope, with the Catholic sovereigns of
the Continent, and with O'Neill, and even after he had been proclaimed
in London he promised some of the leading Catholic lords that they
might expect at least toleration. Without, however, waiting for any
such promises the Catholics in the leading cities of the East and
South made open profession of their religion. In Kilkenny, Thomastown,
Waterford, Wexford, Cashel, Cork, Limerick, etc., they took possession
of the churches, abolished the Protestant service wherever it had been
introduced, and restored the Mass. James White, Vicar-general of
Waterford, made himself especially conspicuous as the leader in this
movement in the south-eastern portion of Ireland.[2]

Lord Mountjoy was in a difficult position. He was uncertain as to the
religious policy of the king, but in the end he determined to suppress
the Catholic movement by force. He marched South to Kilkenny and
thence to Waterford, where he had an interview with Dr. White.
Everywhere the churches were restored to the Protestants, though it
was hinted that the Mass might still be celebrated privately as in the
days of Elizabeth. In Cork the condition of affairs was much more
serious, and it was necessary to bring up the guns from Haulbowline
before the mayor and citizens could be induced to submit. Reports came
in from all sides that the country was swarming with Jesuits and
seminary priests, that they were stirring up the people to join hands
with the King of Spain, and to throw off their allegiance to James I.
These rumours were without foundation, as is shown by the fact that
most of the towns and cities in Leinster and Munster which were noted
as specially Catholic, had not stirred a finger to help O'Neill in his
war against Elizabeth. But they were put in circulation to prejudice
the mind of King James against his Irish Catholic subjects, and to
wean him away from the policy of toleration which he was said to
favour. Loftus, Archbishop of Dublin, and Jones, Bishop of Meath,
hastened to warn the king against a policy of toleration. They threw
the whole blame of the late war on the Jesuits and seminary priests,
and cast doubts upon the loyalty of the Catholic noblemen of the Pale.
They called upon his Majesty to make it clear "even in the morning of
his reign," that he was ready "to maintain the true worship and
religion of Jesus Christ," to let the people understand that "he will
never permit and suffer that which in his godly zeal he so much
abhors, to devise some means of preventing the plots and aims of
Jesuits and seminary priests, who "come daily from beyond the seas,
teaching openly that a king wanting the Pope's confirmation is not a
lawful king," to send over some "learned and discreet preachers" to
the principal cities and towns, and to compel the people "by some
moderate co-actions to come to church to hear their sermons and

As a means of spreading the new gospel amongst the Irish people it was
recommended that "a learned ministry be planted, and that the abuses
of the clergy be reformed;" that all bishops, Jesuits, seminary
priests, and friars should be banished from the kingdom, that no
lawyers be admitted to the bar or to the privy council unless they
attended the Protestant service, and that all sheriffs, mayors,
justices of the peace, recorders, judges, and officials be forced to
take the oath of supremacy. Loftus and Jones insisted, furthermore,
that Catholic parents should be forbidden to send their children to
Douay and Rheims, and should be compelled to send them to the
Protestant diocesan schools. They reported that although the Bishop of
Meath had opened a school in Trim at great expense to himself, only
six scholars attended, and that when the teachers began to use prayers
in the school and to show themselves desirous of bringing their pupils
to church, the pupils departed, and the teachers, though graduates of
the University, were left without any work to do.[4]

As James showed great reluctance to take any active measures against
the Catholics, Brouncker, the President of Munster, Lyons, Protestant
Bishop of Cork, and the other members of the Council of Munster issued
a proclamation (14 Aug. 1604) ordering "all Jesuits, seminaries, and
massing priests of what sort soever as are remaining within one of the
corporate towns of the province" to leave before the last day of
September, and not to return for seven years. Any persons receiving or
relieving any such criminals were threatened with imprisonment during
his Majesty's pleasure and with a fine of £40 for every such offence,
and "whosoever should bring to the Lord President and Council the
bodies of any Jesuits, seminaries, or massing priests" were promised a
reward of £40 for every Jesuit, £6 3s. 4d. for every seminary priest,
and £5 for every massing priest. Fearing, however, that his action
might be displeasing to the king, Brouncker took care to write to
Cecil that the cities of the South were crowded with seminary priests
who said Mass publicly in the best houses "even in the hearing of all
men," and that he had delayed taking action till they began to declare
boldly that his Majesty was pleased "to tolerate their idolatry."[5]

Sir John Davies, a native of Wiltshire, who was made Solicitor-General
for Ireland on account of his poetical talent, was not opposed to the
policy of repression, but at the same time he held firmly that until
the Protestant Church in Ireland was itself reformed there could be no
hope of converting the Irish people. Writing to Cecil (Feb. 1604) "he
is informed," he says, "that the churchmen for the most part
throughout the kingdom are mere idols and ciphers, and such as cannot
read, if they should stand in need of the benefit of their clergy; and
yet the most of those whereof many be serving men and some horseboys,
are not without two or three benefices apiece, for the Court of
Faculties doth qualify all manner of persons, and dispense with all
manner of non-residences and pluralities. . . . The churches are
ruined and fallen to the ground in all parts of the kingdom. There is
no divine service, no christening of children, no receiving of the
sacraments, no Christian meeting or assembly, no, not once in a year;
in a word, no more demonstration of religion than among Tartars or
cannibals." In his opinion there was no use in asking the bishops of
the Pale to hold an inquiry into the abuses, for they themselves were
privy to them. "But if the business is to be really performed, let
visitors be sent out of England, such as never heard a cow speak and
understand not that language, that they may examine the abuses of the
Court of Faculties, of the simoniacal contracts, of the dilapidations
and dishersion of the churches; that they may find the true value of
the benefices, and who takes the profits and to whose uses; to deprive
these serving men and unlettered kern that are now incumbents, and to
place some of the poor scholars of the College who are learned and
zealous Protestants; to bring others out of that part of Scotland that
borders on the North of Ireland, who can preach the Irish tongue, and
to transplant others out of England and to place them within the
English Pale."[6]

At last, yielding to the advices that poured in on him from all sides,
James I. determined to banish the Jesuits and seminary priests in the
hope that when they were removed the people might be induced to
submit, and to insist on compliance with the terms of the Act of
Uniformity. He issued a proclamation (4 July 1605) denying the rumour
that he intended "to give liberty of conscience or toleration of
religion" to his Irish subjects, and denouncing such a report as a
libel on himself, "as if he were more remiss or less careful in the
government of the Church of Ireland than of those other churches
whereof he has supreme charge." He commanded "all Jesuits, seminary
priests, or other priests whatsoever, made and ordained by any
authority derived or pretended to be derived from the See of Rome," to
depart from the kingdom before the end of December. All priests who
refused to obey or who ventured to come into Ireland after that date,
and all who received or assisted such persons were to be arrested and
punished according to the laws and statutes of that realm, and all the
people were exhorted "to come to their several parish churches or
chapels, to hear divine service every Sunday and holiday" under threat
of being punished for disobedience.[7]

The royal proclamation produced little or no effect. The Jesuits and
seminary priests remained and even increased in numbers by new
arrivals from the Continental colleges and from England where the law
was more strictly enforced. Nor could the leading citizens, the mayors
and the aldermen of the principal cities, be forced to come to church,
because they preferred to pay the fine of twelve pence prescribed in
the Act of Uniformity for each offence. The government officials
determined, therefore, to have recourse to more severe if less legal
remedies. They selected a certain number of wealthy citizens of
Dublin, addressed to each of them an individual mandate in the king's
name ordering them to go to church on a certain specified Sunday, and
treated disobedience to such an order as an offence punishable by
common law. Six of the aldermen were condemned to pay a fine of £100,
and three citizens £50, one half of the fine to be devoted to the
"reparing of decayed churches or chapels, or other charitable use,"
the other half to go to the royal treasury. In addition to this, they
were condemned to imprisonment at the will of the Lord Deputy, and
declared incapable of holding any office in the city of Dublin, or in
any other part of the kingdom (22 Nov. 1605). A few days later other
aldermen and citizens of Dublin were brought before the Irish Star
Chamber, and having been interrogated "why they did not repair to
their parish churches," they replied "that their consciences led them
to the contrary." They were punished in a similar manner. Thus, two
methods were adopted for enforcing obedience to the Act of Uniformity,

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