An ecclesiastical history of Ireland, from the first introduction of Christianity among the Irish, to the beginning of the thirteenth century , Compiled from the works of the most esteemed authors ... who have written and published on matters connected with the Irish church; and from Irish annals an online

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above named.

(97) This bull is dated the 20th of April A,D. 1179, and
may be seen in Usher's Sylloge^ No. 48. It is surprising to ob-
serve, how richly endowed the see of Dublin was at that time,
Lusk, Swords, Finglas, Clondalkin, Tallaght, and many other
places are mentioned as belonging to it, and also the parish
churches of St. Tliomas, St. Nicholas, St. Warburg, St. Patrick
in the island, supposed to be the old church of St. Patrick in the
south suburbs of Dublin (see Mr. Mason's History of the Cathe-
dral of St. Patrick f p. 2.) the island of the sons of Nessan,
that is, Ireland's Eye, (see Not. 61 to Chap, xi.) &c. &c.

(98) Vita S. Laurent, cap. 23.

(99) Ware, Antiq. cap. 26. at Donegall. He observes, that
others place this foundation in 1184. Roderic O'Canavan lived


until 1188, a» stated by Ware (ib,) and Colgao {Tr. Th. p, 449.)
Yet in the Ind. Chron. to this work, owing to one of those errata
so common in Colgan's printed text, his death is marked at A,
1178. The English translator of Ware's Annals has (at A. 1179)
changed his name into Roderic O'Cavanah.

(100) Tr, Th. Ind. Chron. Colgan {ib. and p. 310.) assigns
that of Armagh to A. 1178; but O'Flaherty {MS. note at p.
310.) marks A, 1179.

§. XV. Meanwhile Fitz-Adelm had been recalled
from Ireland in 1 178, and Hugh de Lacy appointed
deputy, to whom Robert De la Poer was joined in
the commission. It seems, that he was soon after
entrusted with the custody of Wexford. Of him it
has been said, that he did nothing memorable or
great during his government of Ireland, except his
having removed the celebrated staff of Jesus from
Armagh to Dublin. (lOi) But this mighty at-
chievement ought not, I think, to be attributed to
Fitz-Adelm, or to the time of his administration,
during which neither he nor any of his countrymen
had got possession of Armagh ; nor was it probably
until 1184, when Philip de Worcester entered Ar-
magh with a great army, and extorted there much
money and other things from the clergy. (102)
There is ahull of Alexander III. dated the 1-^th of
May, A, Z). 1179, by which he "confirms the city
of Glendaloch, in which the cathedral is, with the
churches and other the possessions and appurtenances
of it to Malchus, bishop of Glendaloch, and to his
successors, saving the rights of the abbot of Glen-
daloch. (103) St. Laurence O'Toole, being re-
turned to Ireland, (104^) applied himself with fervour
not only to the care of his own diocese and province,
but likewise to the duties of his apostolic legation.
He exerted himself to eradicate whatever abuses had
crept in, owing to the perturbed state of the country,
particularly with regard to the conduct of the clergy.
He was very strict against such of them as were



guilty of incontinence ; and it is said that he sent
140 of them, who were convicted of that crime, to
Rome to look for absolution there, although he did
not want power to absolve them himself. (J 05)
This was a scandal of a new kind in Ireland, and
was chiefly caused by the bad conduct and example
of the adventuring and fighting sort of clergymen,
that had for some years back flocked over to this
country from England and Wales. (106) The holy
prelate' still continued his unbounded charities, and
during a famine, which lasted for three years, gave
daily alms to ,500 poor persons, besides supplying
about 300 more throughout his diocese with clothes,
provisions, and other necessaries. During these
hard times about 200 children were left at the door
of his residence, all of whom he got care taken of
and well provided for. (107) Several miracles are
attributed to him during that period, one of which
was in the case of Gallwed, a priest of St. Martin's
church in Dublin, who, having after a heavy fit of
sickness lain for three days and nights as if dead,
was, on St. Laurence's addressing him and praying
over him, roused as it were out of a trance, and rose
in good health. (108)

(101) Giraldus, Hih. exp. L. 2. c. 18. and Annals of Mary's
Abbey at A. 1178. Concerning this staff see Chap. iv. $.12.

(102) Ware makes Fitz-Adelm the remover of the staff to
Dublin, but does not place this transaction in the time that he
was deputy or governor of Ireland ; assigning it in his Annals to
A. 1180. How could Fitz-Adelm have taken it out of Armagh
in that year, whereas neither he nor any of the foreign adventurers
entered Armagh at that time, nor for some years later ? Ware men-
tions, {lb. ad A. 1 184-.) from Giraldus, the conduct of Philip de Wor-
cester; and on this occasion the staff might have been carried away. He
adds (at /^. 1180 ) that it was placed in the cathedral of the Blessed
Trinity, where it was preserved with great care till the suppression
of monasteries. And he tells us {ib, at A, 1538} that it was
burned and destroyed in the year 1538.


(103) Harris {Bishops at Glendalnch) from the book, called
Crede mihi.

(104) It is strange, that Giraldus {Hib. exp. L. 2. c. 23.)
speaks of St. Laurence as if he had never returned to Ireland
after the council of Lateran, observing that he was suspected by
the king Henry on account of some privileges, contrary to the
royal dignity, which he had obtained in that council. It is equally
strage, thatLeland (5. l.cA.5) follows Giraldus, and adds, that
after the council Henry forbad him to return to Ireland. But this
prohibition is placed by the author of his Life after his return from
Rome to Ireland, and after his having gone on a subsequent occasion
to England. What were the privileges derogatory to the king's dig-
nity, obtained by St. Laurence, I cannot discover, unless Giralduss
meant the bull, of which above, granted to him by Alexander HI.
Perhaps Henry, who was not ashamed to apply for bulls, when his
interests required them, and was glad to get them, did not wish,
that bulls should be issued in favour of others. That St. Laurence
did actually return after the council to Ireland is, besides being
positively stated in his Life, evident, as will be soon seen, from
Hoveden and other old writers.

(105) Vit. S. Laurent, cap. 23.

(106) That tljis was the true cause of the scandal will be seen
lower down, from what passed in the synod of Dublin held a few
years later under archbishop Cumin. We have a sample of the
hopeful kind of ecclesiastics, who came over to Ireland with Strong-
bow and others, in one Nicholas a monk, who fought in their ar-
mies, and who, when Strongbow and his party on their way in
1171 to relieve Fitz-Stephen, whom they thought still besieged in
Carig, were on the point of being totally defeated by O'Ryart,
prince of Idrone, killed O'Ryan with an aiTow, and thus changed
the fate of the day. (Leland, B. 1. ch.2 and Lyttelton, B. 4.)
Such were the missionaries, who, according to the wish of
Adrian IV., were to establish pure religion and sound ecclesiasti-
cal discipline in Ireland.

(107) ViL S. Laurent, cap. 24. The author was mistaken in
placing those three years of famine during the time of the saint's
legateship. They must have begun before it ; for he did not live
three years after he was appointed legate.

<108) lb. cap. 30.


§. XVI. Some time in the year i 180 St. Laurence
went to England for the purpose of settling a certain
dispute between Roderic O'Conor and Henry II.
(109) He took with him a son of Roderic, who
was to be left hostage with Henry. (110) But
Henry, acting in a tyrannical manner, would not
listen to him, and, having given orders that he should
not be allowed to return to Ireland, passed over to
Normandy. The saint retired to the monastery of
Abingdon, where he remained three weeks. But
hoping to induce Henry to accommodate matters he
set out for France, and having landed at Wishant
was proceeding towards Normandy, when he was
seized with a fever. Being arrived near the frontiers
of that province he descried the monastery of Augum,
now Eu, belonging to Canons Regular of St. Victor,
and situated at the very entrance of Normandy.
Thither he went, and having prayed in the church
was received in the hospice. Foreseeing that his
end was near at hand, he made his confession to the
abbot Osbert and received from him the holy
Viaticum. While he was confined to bed David, a
respectable clergyman and tutor of the young prince,
intended as a hostage, called upon Henry, and at
length prevailed upon him to agree to some terms.
On his return to Augum on the fourth day, the saint
expressed his joy at the issue of the business. On
the third day following he requested of the abbot
and brethren to be received into their body and fra-
ternity, which was granted to him with great
pleasure. He then asked for and received the sacra-
ment of Extreme unction. Being admonished to
make a will, he answered ; *' God knows, that I
have not at present as much as one penny under the
sun." A Httle before his death he lamented the
sad state of his country, saying in the Irish language;
'' Ah ! foolish and sejiseless peojyle, what are you
now to do P Who will cure your misfortwies ?
Who will heal you ? Soon after he was called to a


better world at the very end of Friday, tiie 1 itli
November, J, Z). 1180, and after the funeral ob-
sequies were terminated was honourably interred in
the middle of tlie church of Augum in the presence
of many persons, among/ others Cardinal Alexius
the Pope's legate for Scotland, who happened to
arrive then at Augum. (Ill) The saint's body re-
mained there for about four years and a half, until,
on occasion of rebuilding the church, it was taken
up and placed in a shrine before the altar of the
martyr Leodegarius. (112) lie was canonized by
Honorius III. in the year i2'26. (1 lo) After tlie
canonization his relicpies were with great solemnity
placed over the high altar, and preserved in a silver
shrine. Some of them were sent to Christ-church,
Dublin, and some to various places in France. (1 14)
Immediately on being informed of St. Laurence's
death, Henry II. dispatched JefFery De la Hay, his
chaplain, and a certain clerk of the legate Alexius,
to Dublin for the purpose of seizing on the revenues
of the see and collecting them into the Exche-
quer. (11.5)

(109) In the saint's Life (cap. 31.) the Irish king, in whose be-
half he went to England, is called Deronogus. This must be a
mistake, as appears from the Life itself, in which that king is cal-
led the most powerful king of Ireland. Now there was no such
powerful sovereign, named Deronogus, at that time in this coun-
try. Hoveden and the abbot Benedict call the Irish king Roderic.

(110) So Hoveden, Benedict, and others. But in the Life
(ib.) the young man, intended as a hostage, is represented as a
nephew of St. Laurence.

(111) Vit. S. Laurent, cnpp. 31-32. scqq. Hoveden isflirfrom
being correct, when treating of St. Laurence's arrival in Norman-
dy and the time of his death. He says, (at ^. 1181) that he
came to that country after the feast of the purification of said
year, that is, early in February of 1181. He speaks of him as
if he had seen the king Henry there, and so does Butler in St.
Laurence's Life at It ^November. But the fact is, that the saint


died before he could see him in Normandy. I suppose Hoveden
was unwilling to acknowledge with what harshness his master treat-
ed so holy and respected a prelate. Henry was certainly not
fond of him, as he knew how much St. Laurence was attached to
the independence of Ireland Then Hoveden tells us, that the
saint died not long after, that is, as his text insinuates, in rather
an early part of 1181. This is palpably wrong ; for nothing is
more certain than that his death occurred on a 14th of November.
It is extraordinary, that Harris [Bishops at St. Laurence O' Toole)
alleges Hoveden as a voucher for the saint's death in 1180, where-
as he expressly places it in 1181. It is, however, true, that 1180
was the real year of it, as Usher has very well proved, [Sylloge, Not,
ad No. 48.) who, besides referring to Irish Annals, observes, that
this is confirmed by the circumstance of the 14th of November having
fallen in that year on a Friday. And Hoveden liimself supplies
us with an unanswerable proof by stating, that John Cumin was
elected archbishop of Dublin on the 6th of September. J. 1181.
Now, as St. Laurence died on a 14th of November, this day,
having been prior to Cumin's election, must have been in 1180.
Ware was therefore right (^Annals at y^. 1180, and Archbihsops of
Dublin) in marking the saint's death at this year. Hoveden's
mistake in assigning it to 1181 has been followed by several
writers, among others Baronius, Fieury, &c. Fleury, to guard
against the argument taken from its having occurred on a Friday,
affixes it to a Saturday. (See Hist. Eccl. L. 73. §, 25.) But the
plain meaning of the author of the Life is, that the saint's death
fell within the Friday. He says (eap. 33) ; " Itaque cum sextae
feriae termimis advenisset, in confinio Sabbati subsequentis spiri-
tum sancti viri requies aeterna suscepit."

(112) See said Life, fcap.SS.) and Harris ( J rchbishops, Sfc.
at St. Laurence) from the office of the feast of the saint's transla-
tion celebrated at Augumx, or Eu, on the 10th of May.

(113) The bull of canonization is in the Bidlarium Roma^ium,
and has been republished by Messingham (App. ad. Vit. S. Lau-
rent.) andWilkins {Cone. S^-c. Totn. 1. p. 619.). It is dated 3 zV/e^s
(the 11th) Derembris, 10th year of the pontificate of Hono-
rius III.

(114) See Harris, :h.

(115) Ware, Annals at A. 1180, and Harris, he. cit.



Death of Gilbert O'Caran archbishop of Armagh —
Some churches and abbeys plundered^ and several
others founded — Insurrection of the people of
Munster against the English — Dispute betneen
Roderic O' Conor and his son — Arrival of John
Cumin, first English archbishop of Dublin — Bull
of Pope Lucius III, xvhich in some measure
ea:empts the See of Dublin from the jurisdiction of
Armagh — Philip of Worcester succeeds Hugh
de hacy in the government of Ireland, and extorts
much money and other valuables from the clergy
at Armagh — Arrival of John Earl of Morton
and Lord of Ireland — waited on by some Irish
LordSy who are insulted by him — they resent
his treatment, and in several conficts almost the
entire army of John is destroyed — Deaths and
successions of several bishops and abbots — Pro-
vincial Synod of Dublin under archbishop
Cumin, at which Albin O' Mulloy preached against
the incontinency and vicious habits of the English
clergy who had come into Ireland — The delin-
quents are, in consequence, suspended from their
functio7is by the archbisJiop — Gerald Barry
preaches on the ?ie.vt day against the Irish clergy,
but is forced to acknowledge their virtues — Canons
agreed to at this Synod — TranslaizQn of the
remains of St, Patrick, St, Columb and St.
Brigid — Hugh de Lacy killed — Fables of Giral-
dus Cambrensis refuted — Payment of tithes in-
troduced into Ireland — Further account and re-
futation of the fables of Gerald Barry,

sp:ct. I.

In the same year 1180 died also Gilbert O'Caran,
archbishop of Armagh,^ who is said to have inade,


some time before his death, a grant of the town of
Ballybaghal, iu the now county of Dublin, to the
Cisterian monastery of St. Mary, Dublin, (l) He
was succeeded by Tomultach, alias Thomas, O'Conor,
who having held the see for some time resigned, as
will be seen lower down, but afterwards resumed it.
In this year the abbey of Innisfallen, where the gold
and silver and the richest articles of that whole
country were deposited as in an inviolable sanctu-
ary, was villanously plundered by Maolduin, son of
Daniel O'Donoghoe, as likewise the church of Ard-
fert, and many persons were killed, even in the ce-
metery, by the Clancarties ; but several of the per-
petrators of these crimes were soon after punished by
an untimely end. (2) The foundation of some re-
ligious houses is assigned to this year, such as that of
Jeripont, or Jerpoint, in the now county of Kil-
kenny, for Cisterian monks by Donald, prince of
Ossory. (3) It is said, that there was an older mo-
nastery of that order at Killenny, somewhere in that
country, founded by Dermod O'Ryan, and called
De Valle Dei^ but which was afterwards united to
Douske, now Graige-ne-managh. (4) The Cister-
cian abbey of Chore, or de choro S. Benedicti, in
the place now called Middleton (counry of Cork) is
also marked at A, 1180, and is stated to have been
supplied from Nenay or Magio in the county of Li-
merick, (o) Prior to this year there was another
Cisterian house, called De castro Dei, at Fermoy,
which is stated to have been founded in 1170, and
to have been originally supplied from the monastery
of Siirium. (6) The monastery of Maur, or Be
Jbnte t'ivOf also belonging to that order, and in the
same now county of Cork, is said to have founded
by Dermod Mac-Cormac-Mac-Carthy, king of Des-
mond, and son of Cormac, the friend of St. Ma-
lachy, in 1172, and to have received its first mem-
bers from the abbey of Baltinglas. (7) According
to some accounts the monastery, likewise Cistercian,


of Inis or Iniscoiircey, a peninsula adjoining the
lough of Strangford, and opposite to Downpatrick,
was founded in 1 180 by John de Courcey, and sup-
plied with monks from Furness in Lancashire. (8)
He erected this monastery in atonement for his hav-
ing destroyed the Benedictine house of Erynagh,
called also Carrig, from the rock on which it stood,
in the now barony of Lecale, which had been found-
ed in 1127 by an Ulster prince, named Magnell
MackenlefF, and whose first abbot was a St. Evodius.
With the lands, that belonged to this monastery, De
Courcey endowed the new one of Inis. (9) To
about the same year 1180 I find affixed another
foundation by the same De Courcey, viz. that of the
Black priory of St. Andrew de Stokes, a Benedic-
tine establishment in the Ardes, likewise in the now
county of Down. (lO;

(1) Ware, Archbishops of Armagh, Whether or not that
gi-ant was made by Gilbert is not worth inquiring into. Ware
says, that Ballybaghal got its name ahaculo S. Patricii, meaning,
I suppose, the staff usually called of Jesus. But what had that
staff, which is said to have been placed in Trinity Church Dublin,
to do with a country place in the district of that city ? Besides,
said staff was not in Dublin during the times of Gilbert. (See
Not. 102. to Chap, xxix.)

(2) Annals of Innisfallen, and Ware, Annals bX, A. 1180.

(3) Ware, Aniiq. cap. 26. at Kilkenny, It seems that, ac-
cording to some accounts, the monks of this establishment had
been removed from some other place in Ossory. Archdall (at
lerpoint) calls the founder Donogh O'Donoghoe. W^here he
found him so called he does not tell us ; but surely the princes of
Ossory were not O'Donoghoes but Mac-Gilla-Patricks.

(4)) See Ware, ib. and Harris, Monasteries.

(5) Ware, ib, at Corh He does not say, by whom it was
founded; but Archdall (at Middleton) shamefully quotes him, as
if he had said, that the Fitzgeralds were the founders. He has
no such thing, nor could he ; for he was too well versed in Irish
history not to know, that the Fitzgeralds were not at that time so


settled in that country as to set about founding monasteries. The
flimsy Alemand ascribes it to the Barnes, and, strange to remark,
has been followed by Harris, (Monast,) as if Harris could not
have easily found, that there were no Barries established at that
time in the South of Ireland. The first of that name, who was
possessed of lands there granted to him by his uncle Robert Fitz-
Stephen, was Philip Barry, who, as far as I can discover, did
not come to Ireland, or at least reside in this country, until 1183.
(See Ware, Annals at A. 1183, and Antiq. cap. 27.)

(6) Ware, Antiq. cap. 26. at Cork. The same shallow Ale-
mand ascribes this foundation to the Roches, not knowing that
the Roches were not settled in the now county of Cork until many
years after 1170. But he had heard, that they became lords of
Fermoy, and accordingly, without distinguishing the times, gave
them the honour of this foundation. He was very little acquaint-
ed with Irish histor}^, particularly the ancient part of it. For in-
stance, in the Introduction to his work [p. 19.) he confounds St.
Moctheus of Louth with St. Moedoc of Ferns.

(7) Ware, ib. Archdall thought it probable, that the monas-
tery of Maur was at a place called Carigiliky in the West Car-

(8) W^are, ib. at Doxvn, and Archdall at Iniscourceij. Ware
observes, that others place this foundation in 1188. Archdall
says that one E. of this monastery, that is, the abbot, was a wit-
ness to De Courcey's grant made to the church of St. Patrick in
Down, meaning the gi'ant of 1183. Were this true, Inis must
have been founded some years before 1188. But that E. was
witness not to the original grant of 1183, but to a later one in
favour of said church. (See Mon. Angl. v. 2. ;;. 1021.)

(9) See Hams, Histonj of the county cf Doxvn, ch. 3. p. 24.
and Archdall at Erynagh and Init-courcey.

(10) Ware treating (ib.) of this priory does not mark the year
of its original foundation by De Courcey ; but Harris (Monast.)
assigns it to about A. 1180. Archdall (at Black abbey) is wrong
in saying, that De Courcey made this house a cell to the abbey of
I.onley in Normandy; for, as Ware states, (loc. cit.) this was
done by De Lacy about the year 1218. De Courcey's charter
for said priory is in the Monast. Angl. V.2.p. 1019 ; but there is
not a word in it about the abbey of Lonley. ITiere is, however,


in the same page another charter or deed, by wliich the abbot and
monks of Lonley make over to Richard, archbishop of Armagh, and
to his successors, the said priory of St. Andrew in the Ardes, and
all their possessions in Ulster. This must have taken place long af-
ter the times we are now treating of; for there was no archbishop
of Armagh named Richard^ until Richard Fitz-Ralph, who
lived in the 14th century. Ware floe, cit.) makes mention of
this annexation at rather a late period to the see of Armagh.

§. II. Thomas O'Conor, archbishop of Armagh,
made in 1181 a visitation throughout Tyrone, with
which he was well satisfied. (11) In this year died
Marian O'Dunain, abbot of the Augustin Canons
monastery of Cnoc na Sengan in or near Louth. He
was most probably the same as the celebrated hagio-
logist Marian Gorman, who was certainly abbot at
Louth in the year 1172, and who has left a much
esteemed martyrology, written in Irish verse, com-
prizing not only Irish saints, but likewise those of
other countries. (12) On the 6th of September of
this year John Cumin, an Englishman, and a learned
and eloquent person, was elected at Evesham in Wor-
cestershire, on the recommendation of Henry 11.
whom he had served in a clerical capacity, archbishop
of Dublin, by some of the clergy of that city as-
sembled there for that purpose. He was not then a
priest, but in the following year was ordained one at
Velletri and afterwards there consecrated archbishop
by Pope Lucius III. (13) He did not come to Ire-
land until 1184. Edan O'Killedy, who had been
placed on the see of Clogher by the great St. Ma-
lachy, died after a very long incumbency in 1182,
and was succeeded by Moeliosa O' Carrol, who after-
wards became archbishop of Armagh. (14) In the
same year died also Donald O'Hullucan, archbishop
of Cashel, who was succeeded by Maurice, (1,5)
whose real name was undoubtedly Miirchertach, It
was during his incumbency, but in the early part of
it, that the celebrated and beautiful Cistercian abbey


of Holy Cross in the county of Tipperary was erected
and endowed by Donald O* Brian, king of North
Munster, whereas Maurice, while archbishop of Ca-
shel, was one of the witnesses to its foundation
charter. (l6) In the year 1182 the abbey of Dun-
brody, county of Wexford, likewise of the Cistercian
order, was founded and endowed with lands and
property granted by Hervey de Monte Morisco. (17)
About the same year Hugh de Lacy, now lord of
Meath, erected two monasteries in that territory for
Augustin Canons, one at Duleek, which he made a
cell to the priory of Lhanthony near Gloucester, and

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