The Butlers—Quarrels of the Anglo-Norman Nobles—Treachery and its
Consequences—The Burkes proclaim themselves Irish—Opposition
Parliaments—The Statute of Kilkenny and its Effects—Mistakes of
English Writers—Social Life in Ireland described by a French
Knight—"Banishment" to Ireland—Richard II. visits Ireland.

[A.D. 1326-1402.]

ichard de Burgo, the Red Earl, died in 1326. He took leave of the
nobles after a magnificent banquet at Kilkenny. When he had resigned his
possessions to his grandson, William, he retired into the Monastery of
Athassel, where he expired soon after. In the same year Edward II.
attempted to take refuge in Ireland, from the vengeance of his people
and his false Queen, the "she-wolf of France." He failed in his attempt,
and was murdered soon after—A.D. 1327.

The Butler family now appear prominently in Irish history for the first
time. It would appear from Carte[349] that the name was originally
Walter, Butler being an addition distinctive of office. The family was
established in Ireland by Theobald Walter (Gaultier), an Anglo-Norman of
high rank, who received extensive grants of land from Henry II.,
together with the hereditary office of "Pincerna," Boteler, or Butler,
in Ireland, to the Kings of England. In this capacity he and his
successors were to attend these monarchs at their coronation, and
present them, with the first cup of wine. In return they obtained many
privileges. On account of the quarrels between this family and the De
Burgos, De Berminghams, Le Poers, and the southern Geraldines, royal
letters were issued, commanding them, under pain of forfeiture, to
desist from warring on each other. The result was a meeting of the
factious peers in Dublin, at which they engaged to keep the "King's
peace." On the following day they were entertained by the Earl of
Ulster; the next day, at St. Patrick's, by Maurice FitzThomas; and the
third day by the Viceroy and his fellow Knights Hospitallers, who had
succeeded the Templars at Kilmainham. The Earldoms of Ormonde[350] and
Desmond were now created. The heads of these families long occupied an
important place in Irish affairs. Butler died on his return from a
pilgrimage to Compostella, and was succeeded by his eldest son,
Jacques—"a liberal, friendly, pleasant, and stately youth"—who was
married this year to King Edward's cousin, Eleanor, daughter of the Earl
of Essex. The Desmond peerage was created in 1329, when the County
Palatine[351] of Kerry was given to that family.

The quarrels of these nobles seemed to have originated, or rather to
have culminated, in an insulting speech made by Poer to FitzGerald, whom
he designated a "rhymer." The "King's peace" did not last long; and in
1330 the Lord Justice was obliged to imprison both Desmond and Ulster,
that being the only method in which they could be "bound over to keep
the peace." The following year Sir Anthony de Lucy was sent to Ireland,
as he had a reputation for summary justice. He summoned a Parliament in
Dublin; but as the barons did not condescend to attend, he adjourned it
to Kilkenny. This arrangement also failed to procure their presence. He
seized Desmond, who had been placed in the care of the Sheriff of
Limerick, and conveyed him to Dublin Castle. Several other nobles were
arrested at the same time. Sir William Bermingham was confined with his
son in the Keep of Dublin Castle, which still bears his name. He was
hanged there soon after. De Lucy was recalled to England, probably in
consequence of the indignation which was excited by this execution.[352]

The years 1333 and 1334 were disgraced by fearful crimes, in which the
English and Irish equally participated. In the former year the Earl of
Ulster seized Walter de Burgo, and starved him to death in the Green
Castle of Innishowen. The sister of the man thus cruelly murdered was
married to Sir Richard Mandeville, and she urged her husband to avenge
her brother's death. Mandeville took the opportunity of accompanying the
Earl with some others to hear Mass at Carrickfergus,[353] and killed him
as he was fording a stream. The young Earl's death was avenged by his
followers, who slew 300 men. His wife, Maud, fled to England with her
only child, a daughter, named Elizabeth,[354] who was a year old. The
Burkes of Connaught, who were the junior branch of the family, fearing
that she would soon marry again, and transfer the property to other
hands, immediately seized the Connaught estates, declared themselves
independent of English law, and renounced the English language and
customs. They were too powerful to be resisted with impunity; and while
the ancestor of the Clanrickardes assumed the Irish title of Mac William Oughter, or the Upper, Edmund Burke, the progenitor of the Viscounts
of Mayo, took the appellation of Mac William Eighter, or the Lower.
This was not the last time when English settlers identified themselves,
not merely from policy, but even from inclination, with the race whom
they had once hated and oppressed.

In 1334 the English and Irish marched into Munster to attack MacNamara,
and added the guilt of sacrilege to their other crimes, by burning a
church, with 180 persons and two priests in it, none of whom were
permitted to escape. Another outrage was committed by the settlers, who
appear to have been quite as jealous of each others property as the
Irish clans; for we find that one Edmund Burke drowned another of the
same name in Lough Mask, and, as usual a war ensued between the
partisans of each family. After a sanguinary struggle, Turlough O'Connor
drove the murderer out of the province. But this prince soon after
ruined himself by his wickedness. He married Burke's widow, and put away
his own lawful wife; from which it may be concluded that he had avenged
the crime either from love of this woman, or from a desire to possess
himself of her husband's property. His immoral conduct alienated the
other chieftains, and after three years' war he was deposed.

Edward had thrown out some hints of an intended visit to Ireland,
probably to conceal his real purpose of marching to Scotland. Desmond
was released on bail in 1333, after eighteen months' durance, and
repaired with some troops to assist the King at Halidon Hill. Soon after
we find him fighting in Kerry, while the Earl of Kildare was similarly
occupied in Leinster. In 1339 twelve hundred Kerry men were slain in one
battle. The Anglo-Norman, FitzNicholas, was among the number of
prisoners. He died in prison soon after. This gentleman, on one
occasion, dashed into the assize court at Tralee, and killed Dermod, the
heir of the MacCarthy More, as he sat with the judge on the bench. As
MacCarthy was Irish, the crime was suffered to pass without further

In 1341 Edward took sweeping measures for a general reform of the
Anglo-Norman lords, or, more probably, he hoped, by threats of such
measures, to obtain subsidies for his continental wars. The colonists,
however, were in possession, and rather too powerful to brook such
interference. Sir John Morris was sent over to carry the royal plans
into execution; but though he took prompt and efficient measures, the
affair turned out a complete failure. The lords refused to attend his
Parliament, and summoned one of their own, in which they threw the blame
of maladministration on the English officials sent over from time to
time to manage Irish affairs. They also protested strongly against the
new arrangement, which proposed that all the offices then held in
Ireland should be filled by Englishmen having no personal interest
whatever in Ireland. The certainty that they would have a personal
interest in it the very moment there was a chance of bettering their
fortunes thereby, appears to have been quite overlooked. The settlers,
therefore were allowed to continue their career as before, and felt all
the secure for their effectual resistance of the royal interference.

In 1334 Sir Ralph Ufford, who had married Maud Plantagenet, the widow of
the Earl of Ulster, was appointed Justiciary of Ireland. He commenced
with a high hand, and endeavoured especially to humble the Desmonds. The
Earl refused to attend the Parliament, and assembled one of his own at
Callan; but the new Viceroy marched into Leinster with an armed force,
seized his lands, farmed them out for the benefit of the crown, got
possession of the strongholds of Castleisland and Inniskisty in Kerry,
and hanged Sir Eustace Poer, Sir William Grant, and Sir John Cottrell,
who commanded these places, on the charge of illegal exactions of coigne
and livery.[355] The Viceroy also contrived to get the Earl of Kildare
into his power; and it is probable that his harsh measures would have
involved England in an open war with her colony and its English
settlers, had not his sudden death put an end to his summary exercise of

It is said that his wife, Maud, who could scarcely forget the murder of
her first husband, urged him on to many of these violent acts; and it
was remarked, that though she had maintained a queenly state on her
first arrival in Ireland, she was obliged to steal away from that
country, with Ufford's remains enclosed in a leaden coffin, in which her
treasure was concealed. Her second husband was buried near her first, in
the Convent of Poor Clares, at Camposey, near Ufford, in Suffolk.

The Black Death broke out in Ireland in the year 1348. The annalists
give fearful accounts of this visitation. It appeared in Dublin first,
and so fatal were its effects, that four thousand souls are said to have
perished there from August to Christmas. It was remarked that this
pestilence attacked the English specially, while the
"Irish-born"—particularly those who lived in the mountainous parts of
the country—escaped its ravages. We have already mentioned the account
of this calamity given by Friar Clynn, who fell a victim to the plague
himself, soon after he had recorded his mournful forebodings. Several
other pestilences, more or less severe, visited the country at intervals
during the next few years.

Lionel, the third son of Edward III., who, it will be remembered, was
Earl of Ulster in right of his wife, Isabella, was now appointed Viceroy. He landed in Dublin, on the 15th September, 1360, with an army
of one thousand men. From the first moment of his arrival he exercised
the most bitter hostility to the Irish, and enhanced the invidious
distinction between the English by birth and the English by descent.
Long before his arrival, the "mere Irishman" was excluded from the
offices of mayor, bailiff, or officer in any town within the English
dominions, as well as from all ecclesiastical promotion. Lionel carried
matters still further, for he forbid any "Irish by birth to come near
his army." But he soon found that he could not do without soldiers, even
should they have the misfortune to be Irish; and as a hundred of his
best men were killed soon after this insulting proclamation, he was
graciously pleased to allow all the King's subjects to assist him in his
war against the enemy. He soon found it advisable to make friends with
the colonists, and obtained the very substantial offering of two years'
revenue of their lands, as a return for his condescension.

In 1367 the Viceroy returned to England, but he was twice again
intrusted with office in Ireland. During the last period of his
administration, he held the memorable Parliament at Kilkenny, wherein
the famous "Statute of Kilkenny" was enacted. This statute is another
proof of the fatal policy pursued towards the Irish, and of the almost
judicial blindness which appears to have prevented the framers of it,
and the rulers of that unfortunate nation, from perceiving the folly or
the wickedness of such enactments.

It was a continuance of the old policy. The natives of the country were
to be trampled down, if they could not be trampled out; the English and
Irish were to be kept for ever separate, and for ever at variance. How,
then, could the Irish heart ever beat loyally towards the English
sovereign? How could the Irish people ever become an integral portion of
the British Empire? Pardon me for directing your attention specially to
this statute. It will explain to you that the Irish were not allowed to
be loyal; it will excuse them if they have sometimes resented such cruel
oppressions by equally cruel massacres and burnings—if they still
remembered these wrongs with that statute before them, and the
unfortunate fact that its enactments were virtually continued for

This statute enacts (1) that any alliance with the Irish by marriage,
nurture of infants, or gossipred [standing sponsors], should be
punishable as high treason; (2) that any man of English race taking an
Irish name, or using the Irish language, apparel, or customs, should forfeit all his lands; (3) that to adopt or submit to the Brehon law was
treason; (4) that the English should not make war upon the natives
without the permission of Government; (5) that the English should not
permit the Irish to pasture or graze upon their lands, nor admit them to
any ecclesiastical benefices or religious houses, nor entertain their
minstrels or rhymers. (6) It was also forbidden to impose or cess any
soldiers upon the English subjects against their will, under pain of
felony; and some regulations were made to restrain the abuse of
sanctuary, and to prevent the great lords from laying heavy burdens upon
gentlemen and freeholders.

I shall ask you to consider these statutes carefully; to remember that
they were compiled under the direction of a crown prince, and confirmed
by the men who had the entire government of Ireland in their hands. The
first was an open and gross insult to the natives, who were treated as
too utterly beneath their English rulers to admit of their entering into
social relations with them. The settlers who had lived some time in the
country, were ascertaining every day that its inhabitants were not
savages, and that they considered the ties of honour which bound them to
those whom they "fostered," or for whom they stood sponsors, as of the
most sacred description. Their own safety and interests, if not common
feelings of humanity and affection, led them to form these connexions,
which were now so ruthlessly denounced. But it led them also to treat
the Irish with more respect, and placed them on some sort of social
equality with themselves; and this was clearly a crime in the eyes of
those who governed the country. The second clause had a similar object,
and insulted the deepest feelings of the Celt, by condemning his
language, which he loved almost as his life, and his customs, which had
been handed down to him by an ancestry which the Anglo-Norman nobles
might themselves have envied. The third enactment was an outrage upon
common justice. It has been already shown that the Irish were refused the benefit of the English law; you will now see that their own law was
forbidden. Some of these laws are at present open to public inspection,
and show that the compilers, who wrote immediately after the
introduction of Christianity into Ireland, and the original lawgivers,
who existed many centuries before the Christian era, were by no means
deficient in forensic abilities. Whatever feuds the Irish may have had
between their clans, there is every reason to believe that justice was
impartially administered long before the English settlement. That it was
not so administered after that settlement, the preceding history, nay,
even the very subject under discussion, sufficiently proves.

The fourth clause might have been beneficial to the Irish, if it had
been strictly observed. The other enactments were observed; but this,
which required the consent of the Government to make war on the natives,
was allowed to remain a dead letter. In any case, the Government would
seldom have refused any permission which might help to lessen the number
of the "Irish enemy."

The last enactments, or series of enactments, were simply barbarous. The
Irish were an agricultural nation; therefore they were not permitted to
be agriculturists. Their wealth consisted solely in their flocks;
therefore every obstacle should be placed to their increase. So much for
the poor. The higher classes had formerly some hope of advancement if
they chose to enter the English service in the army; to do so now they
must renounce their Irish name, their language, and their customs. They
might also have chosen the ecclesiastical state; from this now they are
completely barred.

Most fatal, most unjust policy! Had it been devised for the express
purpose of imbittering the feelings of the Irish Celt eternally against
the Saxon ruler, it could not have succeeded more effectually. The laws
of Draco were figuratively said to have been written in blood: how many
bloody deeds, at which men have stood aghast in horror and dismay, were
virtually enacted by the Statute of Kilkenny? The country-loving,
generous-hearted Celt, who heard it read for the first time, must have
been more or less than human, if he did not utter "curses, not loud, but
deep," against the framers of such inhuman decrees. If Englishmen
studied the history of Ireland carefully, and the character of the
Celtic race, they would be less surprised at Irish discontent and
disloyalty. An English writer on Irish history admits, that while "there
is no room to doubt the wisdom of the policy which sought to prevent the
English baron from sinking into the unenviable state of the persecuted
Irish chieftain, still less is there an apology to be offered for the
iniquity of the attempt to shut the great mass of the Irish people out
from the pale of law, civilization, and religion. The cruelty of
conquest never broached a principle more criminal, unsound, or unsuccessful."[356] It is to be regretted that a more recent and really
liberal writer should have attempted this apology, which his own
countryman and namesake pronounced impossible. The author to whom we
allude grants "it sounds shocking that the killing of an Irishman by an
Englishman should have been no felony;" but he excuses it by stating,
"nothing more is implied than that the Irish were not under English
jurisdiction, but under the native or Brehon law."[357] Unfortunately
this assertion is purely gratuitous. It was made treason by this very
same statute even to submit to the Brehon law; and the writer himself
states that, in the reign of Edward I., "a large body of the Irish
petitioned for the English law, and offered 8,000 marks as a fee for
that favour."[358] He states that an Irishman who murdered an
Englishman, would only have been fined by his Brehon. True, no doubt;
but if an Englishman killed an Irishman, he escaped scot-free. If,
however, the Irishman was captured by the Englishman, he was executed
according to the English law. If a regulation had been made that the
Englishman should always be punished for his crimes by English law, and
the Irishman by Irish law,[359] and if this arrangement had been carried
out with even moderate impartiality, it would have been a fair
adjustment, however anomalous.

A little episode of domestic life, narrated by Froissart, is a
sufficient proof that the social state of the Irish was neither so wild
nor so barbarous as many have supposed; and that even a Frenchman might
become so attached to the country as to leave it with regret, though, at
the same time, it was not a little difficult to find an English Viceroy
who would face the political complications which the Statute of Kilkenny
had made more troublesome than ever. Froissart's account runs thus: He
was waiting in the royal chamber at Eltham one Sunday, to present his
treatise "On Loves" to Henry II.; and he takes care to tell us that the
King had every reason to be pleased with the present, for it was
"handsomely written and illuminated," bound in crimson velvet, decorated
with ten silver-gilt studs, and roses of the same. While he was awaiting
his audience, he gossiped with Henry Crystède, whom he describes as a
very agreeable, prudent, and well-educated gentleman, who spoke French
well, and had for his arms a chevron gules on a field argent, with three
besants gules, two above the chevron, and one below.

Crystède gave him a sketch of his adventures in Ireland, which we can
but condense from the quaint and amusing original. He had been in the
service of the Earl of Ormonde, who kept him out of affection for his
good horsemanship. On one occasion he was attending the Earl, mounted on
one of his best horses, at a "border foray" on the unfortunate Irish,
with whom he kept up constant warfare. In the pursuit his horse took
fright, and ran away into the midst of the enemy, one of whom, by a
wonderful feat of agility, sprang up behind him, and bore him off to his
own house. He calls the gentleman who effected the capture "Brian
Costeree," and says he was a very handsome man, and that he lived in a
strong house in a well barricaded city.

Crystède remained here for seven years, and married one of the daughters
of his host, by whom he had two children. At the end of this period his
father-in-law was taken prisoner in an engagement with the Duke of
Clarence, and Crystède's horse, which he rode, was recognized. Evidently
the knight must have been a person of some distinction, for he states
that the Duke of Clarence and the English officers were so well pleased
to hear of the "honorable entertainment" he had received from "Brian
Costeree," that they at once proposed to set him at liberty, on
condition that he should send Crystède to the army with his wife and
children. At first "he refused the offer, from his love to me, his
daughter, and our children." Eventually the exchange was made. Crystède
settled at Bristol. His two daughters were then married. One was settled
in Ireland. He concluded the family history by stating that the Irish
language was as familiar to him as English, for he always spoke it to
his wife, and tried to introduce it, "as much as possible," among his

On the retirement of the Duke of Clarence, in 1367, the Viceroyalty was
accepted by Gerald, fourth Earl of Desmond, styled "the poet." He was
one of the most learned men of the day, and thereby, as usual, obtained
the reputation of practising magic. Yet this refined and educated
nobleman wished to have his son fostered in an Irish family, and,
despite the Statute of Kilkenny, obtained a special permission to that
effect—another evidence that social life among the natives could not
have been quite what the malice of Cambrensis, and others who wrote from
hearsay reports, and not from personal knowledge, have represented it.

Sir Richard Pembridge refused the office of Viceroy in 1369. He was
stripped of all his lands and offices held under the crown, as a
punishment for his contumacy, but this appears to have had no effect
upon his determination. It was decided legally, however, that the King
could neither fine nor imprison him for this refusal, since no man could
be condemned to go into exile. High prices were now offered to induce
men to bear this intolerable punishment. Sir William de Windsor asked
something over £11,000 per annum for his services, which Sir John Davis
states exceeded the whole revenue of Ireland. The salary of a Lord
Justice before this period was £500 per annum, and he was obliged to
support a small standing army. The truth was, that the government of
Ireland had become every day more difficult, and less lucrative. The
natives were already despoiled of nearly all their possessions, and the
settlement of the feuds of the Anglo-Norman nobles was neither a
pleasant nor a profitable employment. In addition to this, Edward was
levying immense subsidies in Ireland, to support his wars in France and
Scotland. At last the clergy were obliged to interfere. The Archbishop
of Cashel opposed these unreasonable demands, and solemnly
excommunicated the King's collector, and all persons employed in raising
the obnoxious taxes.

Richard II. succeeded his grandfather, A.D. 1377. As he was only in his
eleventh year, the government was carried on by his uncles. The Earl of
March was sent to Ireland as Justiciary, with extraordinary powers. He
had married Philippa, daughter of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, by his first
wife, and in her right became Earl of Ulster. One of the Irish princes
who came to his court, was treacherously arrested and thrown into
prison. The injustice was resented, or, perhaps, we should rather say,
feared, by the English nobles as well as the Irish chieftains, who took
care to keep out of the way of such adventures, by absenting themselves
from the Viceregal hospitalities. Roger Mortimer succeeded his father,
and was followed by Philip de Courtenay, the King's cousin. He was
granted the office for ten years, but, in the interval, was taken into
custody by the Council of Regency, for his peculations.

There was war in Connaught between the O'Connors, in 1384, and fierce
hostility continued for years after between the families of the O'Connor
Don (Brown) and the O'Connor Roe (Red). Richard II. had his favourites
as usual; and in a moment of wild folly he bestowed the sovereignty of
Ireland on the Earl of Oxford, whom he also created Marquis of Dublin.
His royal master accompanied him as far as Wales, and then, determining
to keep the Earl near his person, despatched Sir John Sydney to the
troublesome colony.

A royal visit was arranged and accomplished soon after; and on the 2nd
October, A.D. 1394, Richard II. landed on the Irish shores. The country
was in its normal state of partial insurrection and general discontent;
but no attempt was made to remove the chronic cause of all this
unnecessary misery. There was some show of submission from the Irish
chieftains, who were overawed by the immense force which attended the
King. Art MacMurrough, the heir of the ancient Leinster kings, was the
most formidable of the native nobles; and from his prowess and success
in several engagements, was somewhat feared by the invaders. He refused
to defer to any one but Richard, and was only prevailed on to make terms
when he found himself suddenly immured in Dublin Castle, during a
friendly visit to the court.

The King's account of his reception shows that he had formed a tolerably
just opinion of the political state of the country. He mentions in a
letter from Dublin, that the people might be divided into three
classes—the "wild Irish, or enemies," the Irish rebels, and the English
subjects; and he had just discernment enough to see that the "rebels had
been made such by wrongs, and by want of close attention to their
grievances," though he had not the judgment or the justice to apply the
necessary remedy. His next exploit was to persuade the principal Irish
kings to receive knighthood in the English fashion. They submitted with
the worst possible grace, having again and again repeated that they had
already received the honour according to the custom of their own
country. The dealings of the Anglo-Norman knights, with whom they
already had intercourse, were not likely to have inspired them with very
sublime ideas of the dignity. They might, indeed, have been chevaliers sans peur, but the latter part of the flattering appellation could not
be applied.

The customs of the Irish nobles were again made a subject of ridicule,
as they had been during the visit of Prince John; though one should have
supposed that an increased knowledge of the world should have led to a
wiser policy, if not to an avoidance of that ignorant criticism, which
at once denounces everything foreign as inferior.[360] Richard returned
to England in 1395, after nine months of vain display. He appointed
Roger Mortimer his Viceroy. Scarcely had the King and his fleet sailed
from the Irish shores, when the real nature of the proffered allegiance
of seventy-two kings and chieftains became apparent. The O'Byrnes rose
up in Wicklow, and were defeated by the Viceroy and the Earl of Ormonde;
the MacCarthys rose up in Munster, and balanced affairs by gaining a
victory over the English. The Earl of Kildare was captured by Calvagh
O'Connor, of Offaly, in 1398; and, in the same year, the O'Briens and
O'Tooles avenged their late defeat, by a great victory, at Kenlis, in

In 1399 King Richard paid another visit to Ireland. His exactions and
oppressions had made him very unpopular in England, and it is probable
that this expedition was planned to divert the minds of his subjects. If
this was his object, it failed signally; for the unfortunate monarch was
deposed by Parliament the same year, and was obliged to perform the act
of abdication with the best grace he could. His unhappy end belongs to
English history. Richard again landed in state at Waterford, and soon
after marched against the indomitable MacMurrough. His main object,
indeed, appears to have been the subjugation of this "rebel," who
contrived to keep the English settlers in continual alarm. A French
chronicler again attended the court, and narrated its proceedings. He
describes MacMurrough's stronghold in the woods, and says that they did
not seem much appalled at the sight of the English army. A special
notice is given of the chieftain's horse, which was worth 400 cows.[361] The chieftain's uncle and some others had made an abject submission to
the English monarch, who naturally hoped that MacMurrough would follow
their example. He, therefore, despatched an embassy to him, to repair
the "wrongs" which he had inflicted on the settlers, for which he
demanded reparation. The Leinster king, however, could neither be
frightened nor persuaded into seeing matters in that light, and,
probably, thought the term rebel would be more appropriately applied to
those who resisted the native rulers of the country. He declared that
for all the gold in the world he would not submit.

Interview between MacMurrough and the Officers of Richard
the Strong.

Interview between MacMurrough and the Officers of Richard
the Strong.

Richard's army was on the verge of starvation, so he was obliged to
break up his camp, and march to Dublin. Upon his arrival there,
MacMurrough made overtures for peace, which were gladly accepted, and
the Earl of Gloucester proceeded at once to arrange terms with him. But
no reconciliation could be effected, as both parties refused to yield.
When Richard heard the result, "he flew into a violent passion, and
swore by St. Edward he would not leave Ireland until he had MacMurrough
in his hands, dead or alive." How little he imagined, when uttering the
mighty boast, that his own fate was even then sealed! Had he but the
grace to have conciliated instead of threatened, a brave and loyal band
of Irish chieftains would soon have surrounded him, and the next chapter
of English history would have been less tragic. Disastrous accounts soon
reached him from England, which at once annihilated his schemes of Irish
conquest or revenge. His own people were up in arms, and the
prescriptive right to grumble, which an Englishman is supposed to enjoy
par excellence, had broken out into overt acts of violence. War was
inaugurated between York and Lancaster, and for years England was
deluged with blood.