Britannia, by William Camden

IRELAND, in General.

The Vergivian Ocean. Big I IN the Vergivian Sea (so call’d, not as some think, à vergendo, from bending, but from Mor Weridh, which is the British name, or else from Farigi, which is the Irish name of it,) lies the most famous Isle of IRELAND, on the West-side of Britain. Formerly, it was thought the most eminent Island in the World, but two. For thus the ancient Geographer writes of them. Greek Greek Greek Greek i.e. Among the Islands, Taprobane in India must take place first for renown and greatness; next to it, Britain; and in the third place, Ireland, another Island of the Britains. Lib. mag. Constructionis. And therefore Ptolemy calls it Britannia Parva, or Little Britain.

* * Of the several names; see Ware’s Antiq. Hibern. p.1.By Orpheus it is called Greek Iervis; by Aristotle and Claudian, Ierna; by Juvenal and Mela, Juverna; by Diodorus Siculus, Iris; by Martianus Heracleota, Greek Iovernia; by Eustathius Greek Overnia, and Greek Bernia; by the Inhabitants, Erin; by the Britains, Yverdon; and by the English, Ireland.

Concerning the original of these Names (as upon a point obscure and difficult) there have been many, and very different, Opinions. Some will have Ireland to be derived ab† Winter.hiberno tempore, others from Iberus a Spaniard, others from the River Iber; and the Author of the Eulogium, from a Captain called Irnalph. Postellus, in his publick Lectures at Paris upon Pomponius Mela (to shew somewhat, exquisite and singular) derives it from the Jews, so as Irin with him, is quasi Iurin, that is, a Land of the Jews. For he says, That the Jews (forsooth) being most skilful Soothsayers, and presaging that the Empire of the World would at last settle in that strong angleAd Caurum.towards the West, took possession of these parts, and of Ireland, very early; and that the Syrians, and the Tyrians also, endeavour’d to settle themselves there, as the foundation of their future Empire. I must beg the Reader’s pardon, if I cannot subscribe to these Opinions; no, not to that which is generally receiv’d, viz. its being so called ab hiberno tempore: though I must own, I have heard that the wind, from whatever quarter it blows here, is cold and piercing as in winter. Hibernia, Juverna, and Greek Overnia, are without all question derived from Ierna (the name that we find in Orpheus and Aristotle;) and so likewise is Ierna, Iris, Iverdhon, and Ireland, from Erin, the name by which the Inhabitants themselves call it.

And therefore the original is to be traced by this Irish name Erin only. And here I am puzzled, and must, like the Philosophers of old, * * Greek.suspend. For I am at a loss, nor can I tell what to think in this matter; unless it might perhaps come from Hiere, an Irish word signifying the West, or a Tract Westward; and so Erin may import as much as a West-country, and be deriv’d from thence. This I have long thought a plausible Conjecture; both, because it is the most Westward country in Europe, being but twelve degrees distant from the utmost point in that quarter; and also, because the most Westerly river in this Island ⌈Kinmaire,⌉ is called Iernus by Ptolemy, and the most Westerly Promontory in Spain (from whence our Irish were transplanted,) is called Ierne by Strabo; and the river next it, which lies also more West than any other in Spain, is named Ierna by Mela. From this Westerly situation likewise, Spain it self was termed Hesperia; the Western Cape in Africa, Hesperium cornu; and in Germany Westrich, Westphalen, &c. are so call’d from the same position. So that it is not at all strange, that this Country should derive its name from the Western situation.

Beside the names of Ireland already mention’d; the Irish Bards, in their Ballads, called it * * Tirvolac, C.Firbolg or Ferbolug, † Totidanan, C.Tuah-de Danan, and ¦ ¦ Banno, C.Bannnagh, as by far the most ancient names of this Island. ⌈The first (which signifies People of Belgia,) and the second (which signifies Danonian People,) were names of certain Septs of Inhabitants; such as Scots, Picts, Saxons, in Britain. It is possible, they might be Colonies of the Belgæ and of the Damnonii or Danmonii of Britain.⌉ Belgae But as to Bannagh ⌈(Blessed)⌉ I know not how to account for it, unless it be the Bannomanna, which Pliny mentions Timaeus Orae Maritimae Philaeas Caryandaeus out of Timæus; where he describes the utmost Parts of Europe, and the shore of the Northern Ocean on the left, from Scythia, as far as Cadez. For it does not yet appear to Geographers, what this Bannomanna was. Banno­manna. Biaun in Irish signifies holy, and the Island it self is called * * V. Pindar.
Pyth. 4 & Scholiast.
Sacra Insula.
Oræ Mari­timæ.
Sacred or the Insula Sacra, by Festus Avienus, in his little Book, entitl’d Oræ Maritimæ, which he collected out of the most ancient Geographers, Hecateus Milesius, Hellanicus Lesbius, Philæas Atheniensis, Caryandæus, Pausymachus Samius, Damastus, Euctemon, and others. But I will subjoin his Verses; for when he speaks of the Ostrymide-Islands, he says,

Ast hinc duobus in Sacram, sic insulam
Dixêre prisci, solibus cursus rati est.
Hæc inter undas multum cespitum jacit,
Eamque latè gens Hibernorum colit.
Propinqua rursus insula Albionum patet

Hence to the Holy Isle (the ancient name)
Two Suns will bring you through the pathless stream.
Where falling turf advanceth every tide,
O’re spacious tracts the roving Irish spread;
And neighb’ring Albion shows her lofty head.

⌈Mr. Selden thinks, that Isacius Tzetzes, in his * * Pag.155.Commentary upon Lycophron, may intend Ireland by that expression, Greek Greek Greek Greek.⌉

If that Ogygia, which Plutarch places on the West of Britain,Ogygia.
In Lib. de Macula in Luna.
was a matter of real truth, and not a mere dream, one would take Ireland to be signify’d by that name; though the stories which are told of it, are all Romantick and idle. Nor is it easie to find a reason, why they should call it Ogygia; unless from the Antiquity of it: for the Greeks never attributed that name to any thing that was not particularly ancient. Robertus Constantinus seems to be quite wrong, in affirming our Ireland to be the Cerne in Lycophron. For Lycophron himself, and his Commentator Tzetzes, make CerneThe Isle Cerne. to be situated in the East; and the learned are all of opinion, that Madagascar must be the place; which lies, as it were in another World, under the Tropick of Capricorn, over-against Egypt.

Thus much of the Names of Ireland; not forgetting, in the mean time, that in later ages it was call’dIreland call’d Scotland. Scotia by Isadore and Bede, from the Scotch Inhabitants; and that from thence the name of Scotland, together with the Scots themselves, came into Britain. But this has been already observ’d, and need not be repeated.philoemon

This Island is stretch’d-out from south to north; not broad nor long, as Strabo says, but of a lentel or oval form; nor yet of twenty days sail, as Philœmon in Ptolemy has related: but according to modern computation, it is reckoned three hundred ⌈English⌉ miles in length, and scarce one hundred and twenty in breadth. Antiq. Hibern. c.3. §.2. ⌈From North to South, saith Sir James Ware, it contains upwards of two hundred miles, and from East to West, one hundred and twenty.⌉ The situation of Ireland. On the east of it, lies England, sever’d by that boisterous Sea, call’d the Irish Sea. On the west, it is bounded by the vast Western Ocean; on the north, by the Deucaledonian; and on the south, by the Vergivian Sea.

A Country (says Giraldus)Giraldus Cambrensis in Topographia Hiberniæ. uneaven, mountainous, soft, washy, woody, windy, and so boggy that you may see standing waters upon the very Mountains. ⌈But as it hath grown more populous, it is become less waterish and boggy; the Low-lands and Marshes being drained by the industry of the Inhabitants. The Woods too are in good measure destroy’d; and as for Corn, they have that in great abundance.⌉ The Climate (according to Mela,) is so unkind, that it does not ripen Corn; yet the Country produces Grass in such plenty (and that not only very rank but very sweet) that the Cattel fill themselves in a very little time, and will even burst, if they are not hinder’d from eating longer. †† Concerning the Excellencies of Ireland, see Ware, p.34. Upon this account, their Breed of Cattel is infinite, and are indeed the greatest wealth and support of the Inhabitants; as also Sheep, which they shear twice a year, and of the coarse WoollIrish Mantles and Rugs. make Irish rugs and mantles, which are carry’d into foreign parts. Their HorsesHorses. likewise (we call them Hobbies) are very excellent: they go not as other Horses do, but ¦ ¦ Mollis alterno crurum explicatu glomeratio.pace very soft and easie. The HawksHawks. also are not without their Excellencies; but these, as all other animals (besides men and greyhounds,) are of a less size here, than in England. hobby whiskey The air and ground are of too moist a nature; and this makesDiseases. fluxes and rheums so usual in the country, especially among strangers; yet their * * Aqua vitæ.
Uskebah, which is less enflaming and yet more drying than our’s, is an excellent remedy for this distemper. Giraldus says, that none of the three kinds of Fevers touch the Natives of this Country; which is daily refuted by experience. Yet to cite the same Author as evidence in another matter, The Country it self is of all others the most temperate; here are neither the scorching heats of Cancer to drive men into shades, nor the piercing colds of Capricorn to drive them to the fire. The air is so mild and pleasant, that all seasons are in some degree warm. ⌈Upon the whole, though there is not all the difference here imply’d, between the Climates of England and Ireland; yet of the two, Ireland seems to be the more temperate; that is, not so hot in Summer, nor so cold in Winter.⌉

Bees. Bees are so swarming and plentiful in this Country, that we find them not only in hives, but in the trunks of trees, and caverns of the earth. No Grapes in Ireland, and why. Vines also grow here, but yield not so much benefit, by their fruit, as by their shade. For as soon as the Sun has pass’d Leo, we have cold blasts in these parts, and the afternoon-heat in Autumn is too little, in strength and continuance, both here and in Britain, to ripen and concoct Grapes to perfection. Moreover, Ireland has no Snakes, nor other venomous Creatures, ⌈nor has it Frogs, or Moles;⌉ yet it is ⌈still⌉ infested with Wolves ⌈* * All over, C.on the wild and solitary Mountains, where there are few or no Inhabitants.⌉

To wind up all: Whether we regard the fruitfulness of the Soil, the advantages of a Sea with so many commodious Harbours, or the Natives themselves, who are warlike, ingenious, proper, and well-complexioned, soft-skin’d, and exceeding nimble thro’ a peculiar pliantness of the Muscles; this Island is in many respects so happy, that Giraldus might very well say, Nature had been more favourable than ordinary, to this Kingdom of Zephyrus. And the reason why it is now and then reflected-on, is, because of the Inhabitants, who are unciviliz’d in some places, and, which is strangely inconsistent, love Idleness and hate Ease. They begin very early with their Amours; for among the wilder sort, when their daughters arrive at the age of ten or twelve, they marry them, as ripe and capable; without expecting that age and maturity which is requir’d in other Nations. But in the end of this Book we shall treat more largely of their Customs; and in this place, if the Reader pleases, he shall hear Ireland speaking of it self and its Commodities, in the Verses of the most learned Hadrianus Junius.

Illa ego sum Graiis olim glacialis Ierne
Dicta, & Jasoniæ puppis bene cognita nautis:
Quæ Tarthesiaco propior se tingere soles
Flumine conspicio, Cauro subjecta procaci:
Cui Deus, & melior rerum nascentium origo
Jus commune dedit cum Creta altrice tonantis,
Noxia ne nostris diffundant sibila in oris
Terrificæ creti tabo Phorcynidos angues:
Et fortè illati compressis faucibus atris
Viroso pariter vitam cum sanguine ponant.
En ego cum regni sceptro, Mavortia bello
Pectora, & horriferas hominum, nil fingo, figuras,
Qui cursu alipedes norint prævertere cervos,
Dedico, piscososque lacus, volucrumque paludes
Omnigenûm lustris fœtas, stannique fodinas,
Et puri argenti venas, quas terra refossis
Visceribus manes imos visura recludit

I’m cold Ierne; me the Grecians knew,
Me Jason, and his Pegasean crew.
Fix’d in the Ocean near the sportive West;
I see great Phœbus posting down to rest:
And when his fiery Car the flood receives;
Hear the Wheels hissing in Tartessian Waves.
On me kind Mother Nature hath bestow’d
The wondrous Gift, which grateful Heaven allow’d
To Crete’s fair Isle that nurs’d the thund’ring God:
That no vile Snake, sprung from Medusa’s gore,
Should vent an hiss upon my peaceful shore.
If hither brought, their feeble jaws they close,
And dearer life do with their Poyson lose.
A Crown I bring, and Sons renown’d in fight;
And roving Savages, an hideous sight:
On barren Cliffs their horned Troops appear,
And with unequal steps pursue the trembling Deer.
These I present: and Lakes, the first in fame
For choicest Fish; and fenns of flying game:
And Mines of Tin, and Veins of Silver Ore,
Which mother Earth, unlocking all her store,
From her deep bosom yields: as if she’d shew
A nearer passage to the shades below,
And wond’ring ghosts expose to mortal view.

Why call’d Ogygia. If what the Irish Authors relate, may be credited; this Island was not without good reason call’d Ogygia (or very ancient) by Plutarch. For they begin their Histories from the highest Antiquity; so that other Nations are but modern, and as it were in their Infancy, in respect of their’s. Caesarea They tell us, that one Cæsarea, a grand-daughter of Noah, inhabited this Island before the deluge; and that three hundred years after the flood, Bartholanus a Scythian arrived here, and had great wars and conflicts with the Giants: That, long after this, Nemetha the Scythian came hither, and that he was presently driven out by the Giants: That afterwards Dela, with certain Greeks, possess’d himself of the Island; and that then Gaothelus with his wife Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh King of Egypt, came hither Vid. Polychron. l.1. c.33. Girald. Topogr. dist.3. c.7.⌈and made the Tongue which is called Gaithlaf, as being a Collection out of all Tongues;⌉ and that the Country took the name of Scotia from her, and the language the name of Gaothela from him; and that this was about the time when the Israelites departed out of Ægypt. Aegypt egypt Some few ages after, Hiberus and Hermion (call’d Ever and Erimon by the Irish writers) the Sons of Milesius King of Spain, planted Colonies in this Country (unpeopled by a Pestilence at that time,) with the permission of Gerguntius, King of the Britains; as the British History informs us. I shall not meddle either with the Truth or Falsity of these relations: Antiquity must be allow’d some liberty in this way.

Ireland first inhabited by the Britains. However, as I doubt not but this Island was inhabited, as soon as mankind began to multiply and disperse in the World; so it is very plain, that its first Inhabitants came from Britain ** Of their original, and language, whether the same with the British, see Ware, p.6.. For, not to mention the vast numbers of British words which are to be met with in the Irish tongue, and the ancient names which savour of a British extraction; The nature and manners of the People (as Tacitus says) differ not much from the Britains. It is call’d by all the ancient writers, the British Island; Diodorus Siculus makes Irin a part of Britain; Ptolemy calls it Britannia Parva,Britannia Parva. as you may see by comparing his Geography with his Magna Constructio; and Strabo in his Epitome calls the Inhabitants expresly, Britains. Thus likewise the Island it self is call’d an Island of the Britains, by an ancient Geographer. Festus Avienus shows the same thing from Dionysius, where he treats of the British Islands.

Eminus hic aliæ gelidi prope flabra Aquilonis
Exuperant undas, & vasta cacumina tollunt,
Hæ numero geminæ, pingues sola, cespitis ampli,
Conditur occidui quà Rheni gurgitis unda,
Dira Britannorum sustentant agmina terris

Two others, that the North’s cold streams divide,
Lift their proud cliffs above th’ unequal tide.
Wide are their Fields; their Corn and Pasture good:
Where Western Rhine rouls on his hasty flood;
And furious Britains make their wild abode.

Nor is there any Country, from which, by reason of vicinity, it was more easy to transplant People into Ireland, than from our Britain; for from hence the passage is as short and easie, as from France to Britain. But afterwards, when the Romans had establish’d an universal Empire; it is not to be question’d, but that abundance of people out of Spain, Gaul and Britain, retir’d hither, to be eas’d of the plagues and grievances of the Roman Tyranny; and I understand those words of Tacitus, to be with an eye to this; Ireland, situated exactly between Spain and Britain, lies very convenient for the French-Sea, and would unite the strong members of the Empire, with great advantage; its ports and havens are better known than those of Britain, by reason of the resort and traffick there. For, though Julius Agricola entertain’d a petty Prince of Ireland (who was forced from thence by his rebel-subjects,) that he might have a Pretence to invade that Island, which he thought could be conquer’d and kept in subjection with one Legion and some few Auxiliaries; and says moreover, that it would prove a mighty advantage to the Roman-Interest in Britain, if the Roman Arms were on all sides of it, and liberty banish’d as it were out of sight: Yet we do not find that the Romans made any attempts upon it. Some, indeed, think they did, and endeavour to strain this inference from that of Juvenal; Romans did not conquer Ireland.

Arma quid ultra
Littora Juvernæ promovimus, & modo captas
Orcadas, & minima contentos nocte Britannos

What though the Orcades have own’d our power?
What though Juverna’s tam’d; and Britain’s shore.
That boasts the shortest night?—

The Panegyrick spoken to Constantine the Emperor, seems also to intimate, that Ireland was subject to him: The words are, Britain is so far recovered, that even those Nations which lie along the coasts of the same Island, are become obedient to your command. We are likewise informed by later Chronicles, that Ireland together with Britain and Thule, fell to the share of Constantine, son of Constantine the Great, in the division of the Empire. And that silly story of Cæsarea,Cæsarea. Noah’s Grandchild, has at least so much of Cæsar in it, that it seems to intimate the arrival of some Cæsar or other in Ireland. However, I cannot be perswaded, that this Island was conquer’d by the Romans. Without question, it had been well for it, if it had; as it would have been a means to civilize the Nation. For wherever the Romans were Conquerors, they introduc’d humanity among the Conquer’d; and, except where they rul’d, there was no such thing as humanity, learning, or politeness, in any part of Europe. Their neglect of this Island may be charg’d upon them, as very inconsiderate. For, from this quarter, Britain was spoil’d and infested with most cruel Enemies; which seems to have been foreseen by Augustus, when he neglected Britain for fear of the dangers that threatened from the adjacent Countries.caesar caesarea Scythae Towards the decline of the Roman Empire, a Nation of the Scots or Scythians (for formerly, as Strabo writes,Scots, in Ireland. all the people westward were term’d Celto-Scythæ,) grew potent in Ireland, and begun to make a great figure in the world. In the reign of Honorius and Arcadius the Emperors, it was inhabited by Nations of the Scots, as Orosius writes. Hence Claudian his Contemporary,

Scotorum cumulos flevit glacialis Ierne.

O’re heaps of Scots when icy Ireland mourn’d.

And in another-place,

Totam cum Scotus Hibernem Movit.

When Scots all Ireland mov’d to sudden war.

Irish from Spain. For from hence the Scots made their Descents into Britain, and were often repuls’d with great loss.

But from whence they came into Ireland, Ninnius a very ancient Author and Disciple of Elvodugus (who by his own testimony liv’d in the year 830, under Anaraugh, King of Anglesey and Guineth,) will inform you. For, when he has told us, that in the third age of the World the Britains came into Britain, and that the Scythians came into Ireland in the fourth, he proceeds to tell us, That last of all the Scots came from Spain into Ireland. The first that arriv’d, was PartholanusBartholanus in another place. with one thousand men and women, who multiply’d to the number of four thousand, and then a great mortality befel them, so that all dy’d in a week, without so much as one surviving. The second that landed in Ireland was Nemethus, the Son of Aguomine, who by report was a year and half together upon the Sea, and at last got to a harbour in Ireland with his shatter’d Vessels: From hence he return’d into Spain; and after that, the three Sons of a Spanish * * Militis.
Or perhaps of one Melesius.
Knight came hither in thirty Cules, with thirty wives in each Cule, and continued here a year. The last that arriv’d, was Elam-hoctor,Otherwise call’d Clan-Hoctor. whose posterity continues here to this day. With this, agrees Henry of Huntington: The Britains in the third age of the world came into Britain; and the Scots in the fourth age into Ireland. And though these things are not very certain, yet that they came from Spain into Ireland is manifest, and, that some part of them set sail again, and made a third Nation among the Britains and Picts in Britain. The receiv’d Opinion among the Irish doth likewise confirm this; who value themselves upon being the off-spring of the Spaniards. Neither is it strange, that so many should come into Ireland from the north of Spain; which (as Strabo writes) is very barren, and scarce habitable. From that passage of Ninnius, we may infer that the coming over of Bartholanus and Nimethus, is to be dated much later, than they have fix’d it. I need not put the reader in mind again, that this Country was call’d Scotia from the Scots.

Christianity in Ireland. These Scots, not many years after, were converted to Christianity in Ireland (though they would have that Story in Rufinus concerning the conversion of the Hiberi in Asia, to be meant of them.) Then also Palladius the Bishop was sent to them by Pope Celestin. Whereupon Prosper Aquitanus writes against Collator; Celestin delivered the Britains from the Pelagian heresy, by banishing certain enemies to God’s grace (who were then in their own native countrey) even from that unknown part of the Ocean; and, having Ordain’d a Bishop among the Scots, while he endeavour’dIn the year 431. to preserve the Catholick Religion in an Island belonging to the Romans, he also induc’d a barbarous Nation to turn Christian. Palladius Vincent. lib.9. c.7. Yet Ninnius says, that nothing was effected by Palladius (he being taken away by an untimely death;) and adds, upon the authority of the Irish writers, that the Christian Religion was planted in Ireland by Patrick. St. Patrick. This Patrick was a Britain, born in Cluydsdal, and related to Martin * * Turonensi.of Tours, and was a disciple of St. German, and appointed to succeed Palladius, by Pope Celestin. He planted the Christian Religion in Ireland with such success, that the greatest part of that Countrey was converted; upon which, he was called the Irish Apostle. Henricus Antisiodorensis or of Auxerres, an ancient writer, has this passage concerning him in his Book about the Miracles of St. German. Forasmuch as the glory of a Father becomes most conspicuous in the government of his Sons; among the many Sons of Christ which are believ’d to be his Disciples, it shall suffice in short to mention one, the most famous of all others, as the course of his actions shew; and this is Patrick, the Apostle of the Irish Nation, who, being eighteen years under his most holy Discipline, drew from that Fountain no small knowledge in the Holy Scriptures. The godly Bishop, observing him to be stedfast in Religion, eminent for Virtue, and accomplish’d in Learning; and deeming it unfit, that a husbandman of such strength and skill should lie idle in the Lord’s Vineyard, recommended him to the holy Pope Celestin, by Segetius one of his Presbyters, who was directed to inform the Apostolical See of the worth of this holy man. Being therefore approved of, and enabled by the authority and blessing of his Holiness, he took a voyage into Ireland, and, being made the peculiar Apostle of that Nation, as he then instructed them by his preaching and miracles, so he does now, and will for ever, adorn them with the wonderful Power and Privileges of his Apostleship.

St. Patrick’s disciples were so great proficients in the Christian Religion, that in the age following Ireland was term’d Sanctorum Patria, i.e. the Country of Saints, and theThe Monks of Ireland holy and learned. Scotch Monks in Ireland and Britain were very eminent for their sanctity and learning, and sent many holy men into all parts of Europe; who were the first founders of Luxeul-Abby in Burgundy, of Bolby-Abby in Italy, of Wirtzburg-Abby in France, of S. Gallus in Switzerland; of Malmesbury, Lindesfern, and many other Monasteries, in Britain. caelius For, out of Ireland came Cælius Sedulius the Presbyter, Columba, Columbanus, Colman, Aidan, Gallus, Kilian, Maidulph, Brendan, and many others; celebrated for their holy lives, and for their learning. The foremention’d Henry of Auxerre is to be understood of these Monks, in this address of his to the Emperor Carolus Calvus. What should I speak of Ireland, which slighting the dangers of the sea, comes with great numbers of Philosophers into our Countrey; and the most eminent among them do voluntarily banish themselves, to attend the most wise Salomon.

Monks. The Monastick Profession, then in its infancy, was very different from this of our age. They endeavoured to be what they profess’d; and were above dissimulation and hypocrisy. If they err’d, it was through simplicity, and not out of wickedness, or obstinacy. As for wealth and the things of this world, they contemn’d them to such a degree, that they did not only not covet, but even reject them, when either offer’d to them, or descended by inheritance.Thadaeus For Columbanus, who was himself a Monk of Ireland, being press’d (as Abbot Walafrid writes)Walafrid. by Sigebert King of the Franks, with many large promises, not to leave his Kingdom; made this noble reply (the same that Eusebius tells us of Thadæus)Contempt of riches. That it became not them to gape after other men’s riches, who had left and forsaken their own for the sake of Christ. The British Bishops. The British Bishops seem no less to have despis’d riches; since they had no subsistence of their own. Thus, as we find in Sulpitius Severus, The Bishops of Britain in the Council holden at Rhimini were maintain’d by the publick, having nothing of their own to live upon. The Saxons in that age flock’d hither, as to the great mart of learning; and this is the reason why we find it so often in our Writers of the Lives of Saints, Such an one was sent over into Ireland to be educated ** V. Bed. l.3. c.7. & 27.; and the reason also of this passage in the life of Sulgenus, who flourish’d † † 600, C.700 years ago:

Exemplo patrum commotus amore legendi,
Ivit ad Hibernos, Sophia, mirabile, claros

With love of learning, and examples fir’d,
To Ireland, fam’d for wisdom, he repair’d.

The Saxons seem to have borrowed their letters from the Irish. And perhaps our fore-fathers, the Saxons, took the draught and form of their letters from them; their character being the same with that, which is at this day used in Ireland.

Nor is there any reason to wonder, that Ireland, which for the most part is † † So said, ann. 1607; but it is since much improved and rude and barbarous, without any parts of polite Learning; did abound with persons of so great Piety and Abilities, in an age when learning was little heeded in any other part of Christendom;Religion and Learning flourish sometimes in one Country, and sometimes in another. since the wisdom of Providence sows the seeds of Religion and Learning, now in one Nation, and then in another, as in so many Beds; to the end, that by every transplantation, a new growth may shoot up and flourish, to his glory and the good of mankind.

Ireland wasted by the Northumbrians. However, War by little and little put a stop to the study of Religion and Learning in this Kingdom: For in the year 644, Egfrid King of Northumberland spoil’d Ireland with fire and sword, which was then a very kind allie to England; and for this he is heavily complain’d of and condemn’d by Bede. —by the Norwegians. Afterwards, the Norwegians, under the conduct of Turgesius, wasted this Country in a most dismal manner for the space of 30 years together; but he being cut off by ambush, the inhabitants fell upon the Norwegians, and made such an entire defeat and slaughter of them, that hardly one escap’d. These Norwegians were without doubt the * * Normanni.Normans who (as Rheginus tells us) in Charles the Great’s time invaded Ireland, an Island of the Scots, and were put to flight by them. Ireland wasted by the Oustmanni. Those, perhaps, whom Tacit. calls Æstiones.
Eginardus, Aitisti.
–and conquered by the Saxons.
Afterwards, the Oustmanni, i.e. the East-men, came from the sea-coast of Germany into Ireland, where, under colour of trade and merchandise, being admitted into some of their Cities, in a short time they began a very terrible war. Much about this time, Edgar the most potent King of the English, conquer’d a great part of Ireland. aestiones For thus we find it in a certain Charter of his: Unto whom God has graciously granted, together with the Empire of England, the dominion over all the Kingdoms of the Islands, with their fierce Kings, as far as Norway; and the conquest of the greatest part of Ireland, with her most noble city Dublin.

These storms from foreign parts, were soon succeeded by a much worse storm at home, namely Civil Dissensions; which made way for the English Conquest of that Country. Conquest by K. Henry 2. For Henry II. King of England, seeing the differences and emulations among the petty Princes of Ireland, took the Opportunity; and in the year 1155. mov’d the Conquering of Ireland to his Barons, for the use of his brother William of Anjou. Robert de Monte ad annum 1185. However, by advice of his mother Maud the Empress, this design was defer’d to another time. Not many years after, DermiciusDermic the son of Murchard. son of Murchard (* * Dermond Mac Morough.
Dermot Mac Morrog, as they call him) who govern’d the east part of Ireland, called in Latin Lagenia, and commonly Leinster, was, for his tyranny and extravagant lusts (for he had ravish’d the wife of O-Rorke, daughter of a petty King of Meath) driven from his Country, and obtain’d forces of King Henry the second, to restore him. He made this contract also with Richard Earl of Pembroke, sirnamed Strongbow,Richard Strongbow. of the family of Clare; that if he would assist him, he would insure the succession of his Kingdom to the Earl, and give him his daughter Eva to wife. Upon this, the Earl forthwith raised a brave Army, consisting of Welsh and English, and drew over the Fitz-Geralds, Fitz-Stephens, and other of the English Nobility, to assist him; and not only restor’d Dermic his Father-in-law, but in a few years made such progress in the conquest of Ireland, that the King of England began to grow jealous of his power. So that he set forth a Proclamation, requiring the said Earl and his adherents, upon great penalties, to return out of Ireland; declaring, that if they did not forthwith obey, they should be banish’d, and their goods confiscate. Hereupon, the Earl did by deed and covenant make over to the King all that he had in Ireland, whether in right of his wife or of his sword, and had the Earldoms of Weisford, Ossory, Carterlogh, and Kildare, with some castles, bestow’d on him by the King, to hold of him. Henry 2. enters Ireland. After this, King Henry the second raised an army, and sailed over into Ireland in the year 1172, and obtain’d the soveraignty of the Island; Ware, Ant. Hib. p.270.⌈(upon which a Colonie was sent thither from England and Wales, and had Lands granted and assigned them there.)⌉ Girald. Cambrens. & MS. in the hands of Baron Howth.For the States of Ireland transfer’d to him their whole power and authority (namely, Rotheric O Conor Dun, that is, the brown Monarch of Ireland; Dermot Mac Carty, King of Cork; Donald * * O Brian.O Bren, King of Limerick; O Carel, King of Uriel; Mac Shaglin, King of Ophaly; O Rorke, King of † Meath, C.Brehny or Letrim, ⌈who married the daughter of O Mlaghlin King of Meath;⌉ O Neale, King of Ulster; with all the rest of the Nobility, and People) by Charters, sign’d, deliver’d, and sent to Rome; from whence it was confirmed by a ¦ ¦ Diploma. Synod. 1. & 2. at Cassil, and Armagh.Bull of Pope Hadrian, and by a Ring, sent to him as a token of his Investiture; and also by the authority of certain Provincial Synods. Afterwards, King Henry the second bestow’d the Sovereignty of Ireland upon his son John; which was confirm’d by a Bull from Pope Urban,1186. who in testimony thereof sent him a Crown of Peacocks Feathers embroider’d with Gold.

Some Authors affirm, that when this Prince came to the Crown, he granted by his Charter, that both Ireland and England should be held of the Church of Rome,King John’s Grant to the Pope. and that he received it from the Church,Hoveden. as a Feudatory and Vicegerent, and obliged his Successors to pay three hundred Marks to the Bishop of that See. Yet the eminent ⌈Sir⌉ Thomas Moor, who sacrific’d his life to the Authority of the Pope, denies this to be true. For he says, the Romanists can shew no such Grant; and that they have never demanded the said Money, nor have the Kings of England acknowledg’d it to be due. However, with submission to this great man, the thing is really otherwise; as most clearly appears from the Parliament-Rolls, which are an Evidence incontestable. For in a Parliament, in Edward the third’s Reign, the Chancellor of England informs them, That the Pope intended to cite the King of England to Rome, as well for homage, as for the tribute due and payable from England and Ireland, to which King John had bound himself and his Successors; and desir’d their opinion in it. The Bishops requir’d a day to consider of this matter apart; as likewise did the Nobles, and Commons. The next day they met again, and unanimously voted and declared; That forasmuch as neither King John, nor any other King whatsoever, could put the Kingdom under such servitude, but by consent of Parliament (which was never had;) and farther, seeing that whatever he had done in that way, was directly contrary to the Oath which he solemnly took before God at his Coronation; If the Pope would insist upon it, they were resolved to oppose him to the utmost, with their lives and fortunes. Such also as are learned in the law, make the Charter of King John to be void, by the clause of reservation in the end, Saving to us and our heirs, all our Rights, Liberties, and Royalties. But this is out of my road.

Lords of Ireland. From King John’s time, the Kings of England were stil’d Lords of Ireland; till, within the memory of * * So said, ann. 1607.our Fathers, Henry the eighth was declared King of Ireland by the States of that Realm assembled in Parliament; the title of Lord seeming not so sacred and awful to certain seditious persons, as that of King. In the year 1555, when Queen Mary, by her Ambassadors, offer’d her obedience in the name of the Kingdom of England, to Pope Paul the fourth, this name and title of Kingdom of Ireland was confirm’d by the Pope in these words; To the praise and glory of Almighty God, and his most glorious mother the Virgin Mary, to the honour of the whole heavenly Choir, and the exaltation of the Catholick Faith: We, at the humble request of King Philip and Queen Mary, made unto us, do, by the advice of our brethren, and the plenitude of our Apostolical authority, erect Ireland into a Kingdom, and do for ever dignifie it with the title, dignity, honour, powers, rights, distinctions, prerogatives, precedence, Royal preeminencies, and all other Privileges, which any Christian Realms have, use, and enjoy, or may have, use, and enjoy, in time to come.

Catalogue of those who conquer’d Ireland. Having met with a Catalogue of those English Noblemen, who went in the first invasion of Ireland, and with great valour subdu’d it to the Crown of England; lest I should seem to envy them and their posterity the glory of this atchievement, I will here give you their Names out of the Record in the Chancery of Ireland, with this title:

The Persons who came with Dermic Mac Morrog into Ireland.

Richard Strongbow, Earl of Pembroke; who by Eve the daughter of Morrog, a petty King of Ireland, had one only daughter; who brought to William Mareschall the title of Earl of Pembroke with a fair Estate in Ireland, and had issue five Sons, who succeeded one another, but all without issue; and as many Daughters, who enrich’d their Husbands (Hugh Bigod, Earl of Norfolk, Guarin Montchensey; Gilbert Clare, Earl of Glocester; William Ferrars, Earl of Derby; and William Breose,) with Children, Honours, and Possessions.

Robert Fitz-Stephens.
Harvey de Mont Marish.
Maurice Prendergest.
Robert Barr.
Meiler Meilerine.
Maurice Fitz-Girald.
nephew to Stephen.
William Ferrand.
Miles de Cogan.
Richard de Cogan.
Gualter de Ridensford


}Sons of Maurice Girald.

William Notte.
Robert Fitz-Bernard.
Hugh de Lacy.
William Fitz-Aldelm.
William Macarell.
Hunfrey Bohun.
Hugh de Gundevill.
Philip de Hasting.
Hugh Tirell.
David Walsh.
Robert Poer.
Osbert de Harloter.
William de Bendenges.
Adam de Gernez.
Philip de Breos.
Nephew of Stephen.
Ralph Fitz-Stephen.
Walter Barr.
Philip Walsh.
Adam de Hereford

To whom, out of Giraldus Cambrensis, may be added,

John de Curcy.
Hugh Contilon.
Redmond Cantimore.
Redmond Fitz-Hugh.
Miles of St. Davids; and others


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52