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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the other at Colp, anciently Invercolpa, near the
mouth of the Boyne, which he made a cell to Lhan-
thony in Monmouthshire. (18) Thus these adven-
turers and plunderers endeavoured to atone for their
robberies in Ireland, committed not only on the laity
but likewise on the native clergy of the country.

(11) Tr. Th, p. SIO.

(12) Colgan, A A, SS. p 5. and 737. He extracted a great
part of this work from the martyrology of Tallagh, usually called
that of Aengus ; but it is not, as Ware says, f Writers at Murrt/
or Marian) a supplement to that martyrology. (See Harris,
Addition ib,J Colgan thought, that it was composed about 1167,
and Ware states, that it was published in 1171. But it must
have been published later, whereas we find in it the name of St.
Gilda-Machaibeo, who died in 1174-. (See Chap, xxix. §.6,
and lb. Not. 48.)

(13) Ware and Harris, Archbishops of Dublin. Dempster
pretends, that he was a Scotchman. The name Cumin is cer-
tainly rather Scotch or Irish than English. Hoveden (at ^, 1181)
calls liim simply a clerk of Henry's. But Giraldus {Hib, exp. L»
2. c. 23.) expressly calls him an Englishman.

(14) Ware and Harris, Bishops at Clogher. Some have said,
that Edan died in 1180.

(15) The same, ib. at Cashel. Giraldus, whom they quote,
calls him a learned and wise man.

(16) This charter is in the Monast. AngL Vol. 2. p. 1035. It



was granted in the present of Gregory, abbot of Holy Cross.
Christian bishop of Lismore and Legate Apostolic, (i. e. who had
been such) M. archbishop of Cashel, and B. (Brictius) bishop of
Limerick, are named as witnesses to it. By M. must be understood
Maurice ; for there was not during the reign of Donald O' Brian,
nor for many years before, any archbishop of Cashel, whose name
began with that letter. Nor can it be referred to his successor
Matthew, who was not archbishop until 1192, and accordingly
could not sign along with Christian, who died in 1186. Therefore
Ware was wTong ( Antiq. cap. 26. at Tipperary) in assigning this
foundation to about 1169 or 1181. Harris (Monast.) marks it
at 1182: but it was probably somewhat later, yet prior to the
death of Christian.

(17) Ware, he. cit. at Wexford. He says, that Hervey in about
the year 1175 gave various lands to God, and St. Mary, St. Be-
nedict, and the monks of Bildewas in Shropshire various lands for
the pu'rpose of estabhshing a Cistercian abbey, but that the one of
Dunbrody was not founded before 1182, upon which the abbot
and monks of Bildewas granted to St. Mary's abbey of Dublin
whatever right and claim they had to the new establishment of
Dunbrody. (See also Archdall at Dunbrody.) Hervey's deed is
in the Monast. Angl Vol. 2. p. 1027; but Dunbrody, although
mentioned in it is not marked as the place, where the abbey ought
to be erected. One of the witnesses to it was Felix, bishop of Os-
sory, that is, O'Dullany. Therefore it was later than Ware says;
for Felix was not bishop of Ossory until 1 178.

(18) Ware, ib. at Meath, where he makes the cell of Duleek
the same as the ancient monastery of St.Kienan; but in Annals
( at .4. 1 182 ) he speaks of it as a new foundation. In the English
translation there is an erratum 1120 instead of 1182.

§. 3. In this then fashionable mode of purchasing
off sins and obtaining forgiveness from heaven John
de Courcey distinguished himself beyond many
others. We have met above with some mstances ot
monkish soldierly piety in this respect, and now we
find some more of them in the year 1183. tie
turned the secular canons out of the cathedral ol
Down, and in their stead introduced Benedictu.e


monks from St. Werburgh's in Chester. At the
same time he got the dedication title of the church
changed from that of the Holy Trinity into that of
St. Patrick. Afterwards he made at different times
various grants to this establishment ; and Malachy,
bishop of Down, also endowed it with lands in a very
ample manner, reserving to liimself the title of guar-
dian and abbot, as, he says, '* is the practice in the
church of Winchester or Coventry, and also reserv-
ing for the honour of his see, and to its use, the moi-
ety of the oblations on the five following festivals ;
Christmas day, the Purification of the Blessed Vir-
gin, St. Patrick's day, Easter, and Whitsuntide."
(19) To the same year ] 183 is assigned the foun-
dation, by De Courcey, of the Benedictine priory
of the island of Neddrum, somewhere, it seems, off
the coast of the county of Down, which he made a
cell to the abbey of St. Bega of Coupland in Cum-
berland. (20) The foundation of the priory of St.
John the Baptist, alias the English priory, in Down,
by De Courcey for the Cruciferi, a branch of Au-
gustin Canons, is also marked at said year. (21)
According to some accounts one Reginald, who was
a witness to one of De Courcey's charters in favour
of St. Patrick's of Down, would have been bishop
of Connor at this time, in which case it may be in-
ferred that Nehemias, who was bishop there at the
time of king Henry's arrival in Ireland, was already
dead. (22) In the course of this year there was a
great insurrection in Munster, and almost all its
kings and princes revolted against Henry II. On
this occasion Philip Barry went over to Ireland with
a numerous body of troops, both to assist his uncle
Fitz-Stephen and to secure to himself some lands,
which Fitz-Stephen had granted to him in Olethan,
the tract lying between Cork and Youghal. He was
accompanied by his brother Gerald, so well known
by the name of Giraldus Cambrensis, who now for
the first time arrived in tlie country, which he af-


tervvards so basely abused. (23) About this lime a
dispute and civil war having broken out between
Roderic O'Conor and his eldest son Conor, sur-
named Maenmoigiy Roderic agreed to put an end
to the quarrel by giving up the kingdom to Conor,
and retiring to a monastery ; but in two years after
he resumed the sovereignty and administration of

(19) The various charters of grants relative to the Benedictine
house of Down are in the MonasL Angl, Vol, 2. p. 1020, segq.
See also Ware, (Annals at A. 1183, Antiq. cap, 26. at Down,
and Bishops at Doxmi, Malacliy III.) Harris, {Additions ib,)
and Archdall (at Dovonpatrick). Harris refutes the flimsy Ale-
mand, who says that the house of Down was to depend on the ab-
bey of St. Werburg in Chester, whereas the very contrary is marked
and stipulated in one of De Courcey's charters. And can it be
supposed, that the Benedictines of Down, who had become in
fact the chapter of the cathedral, in the same manner as monks
were anciently throughout almost all the cathedrals not only of
Ireland but likewise of England, where this practice was longer
kept up, could or would be subjected to any other house of their
order ? In the deed of the bishop Malachy for this establishment
there is a signature as of a witness, L, archbishop of Dublin,
L. must be a mistake ; for St. Laurence O'Toole was dead before
this deed was made, and after him there was no archbishop of
Dublin during Malachy's time nor long after, whose name began
with L, I am sure the original letter was /. meaning John

(20) So Ware, Antiq. cap. 26. at Doxun, and Annals at A,
1 183. But in a httle preface to De Courcey's gi-ant of Neddrum
{Monast. Ang. Vol. 2.p^ 1023.) it is said, that he made it over in
1179 to the monastery of St. Bega, &c. This, however does not
appear in the text of the grant, and may be a mistake. Archdall
at {Neddrum) conjectures, that it was the largest of the Copland
islands, that is, the one called the Big isle off the Ardes. This
conjecture seems veiy probable ; whereas there is good reason to
think, that the name Copland was given to those islands in con-
sequence of there being in one of them an establishment belong-


ing to St. Bega of Coupland. In the head to the above mentioned
deed, Coupland is said to be in Yorkshire, in Com. Eborac.

(21) Ware in the Antiq. cap. 26 at Dovon does not mention the
year of this foundation, but in the Annals he has it at A. 1183.
Harris and Archdall merely say, that it was in the 12th century.
This priory was called tlie English one, because there was another
house of Canons Regular of St. Augustin in Down since the time
of St. Malachy, and which was distinguished by the name of the
Irish priory.

Notwithstanding these monastic foundations, Giraldus Cam-
brensis represents many of those leaders as plunderers of Church
property. After mentioning, [Prooemium to the second edition of
Hibernia expugnataj that Robert Fitz-Stephen, Hervey De Monte
Marisco, Raymond, John de Courcey, and Meyler, had not me-
rited to obtain legitimate offspring, he adds ; " This is not to be
" wondered at. For the miserable clergy is reduced to beggary
" in the island. The cathedral churches mourn, having been
" robbed by the aforesaid persons, and others along with them,
" or who came over after them, of their lands and ample estates*
" which had been formerly granted to them faithfully and devoutly.
" And thus the exalting of the Church has been changed into the
" despoiling or plundering of the Church:' And, accounting for
some losses sustained by the English, he says, {Hib. exp. L. 2. cap
35.) that " the greatest disadvantage of all was, that, while we
*< conferred nothing new on the Church of Christ in our new prin-
« cipality, we not only did not think it worthy of any important
" bounty or of due honour, but even, having immediately taken
" away its lands and possessions, have exerted ourselves either to
" mutilate or abrogate its former dignities and ancient privileges."
Thus it was, that the English adventurers fulfilled the expectations
of the Popes Adrian IV. and Alexander III.

(22) Ware {Bishops at Conor) thought, that the charter signed
by R. or Reginald, bishop of Connor, was drawn up about A.
1183 ; but this is not certain. I must here point out a mistrans-
lation of Ware's text, ib. He calls John de Courcey conqueror of
Ulidia or Ullah, which comprized at most the now county of
Down and some parts of Antrim. The translator has rendered
it Ulster, But De Courcey never possessed more than a compa-


ratively small proportion of the province now called Ulster. Har-
ris has guarded against the blunder of that translator.
(23) See Ware, Annals at A. 1183.

§. IV. Henry II. intending to transfer the domi-
nion of Ireland to his son John, sent over to Ireland
in 1184, to prepare the way for his reception, John
Cumin or Comin the new archbishop of Dublin. He
had been, as stated above, consecrated archbishop by
Pope Lucius III. at Velletri in the year 1182, and
on Palm-Sundciy the Sist of March. (24) His ar-
rival in Dublin was in the month of September, and
he brought with him a bull granted to him by that
Pope on the 13th of April A. D. 1182, by which
the Pope, ** following the authority of the sacred
canons, decrees, that no archbishop or bishop do pre-
sume to hold meetings in the diocese of Dublin, or
to treat of the ecclesiastical causes and affairs of said
diocese, without the consent of the archbishop of
Dublin, if he (the archbishop of Dublin,) be actually
in his bishopric or see, unless such other prelate be
enjoined, to do so by the Roman Pontiff or his le-
gate.'* ('25) This bull was undoubtedly intended
as a protection to the see of Dublin against the ex-
ercise of certain powers on the part of the archbishops
of Armagh, or perhaps against the antiquated claims
of Canterbury. But it does not, as some abettors of
the independence of Dublin have imagined, set aside
the primatial rights of Armagh, as laid down and
arranged by the council of Kells and according to
the Canon law of those times. For, although, while
the archbishop of Armagh was not only the primate
but likewise the only archbishop of Ireland, he ex-
ercised powers much greater than were afterwards
allowed to primates, visited all the dioceses of Ire-
land whenever he thought fit, and interfered in their
internal concerns, yet by the Canon law of the times
we are now j:reating of, such ample jurisdiction was
not allowed to primates any where. The bull of
roL. IV. s


Lucius III., while it exempts the diocese of Dublin
from the extensive jurisdiction formerly enjoyed by
the see of Armagh, does not, however, render it
absolutely independent of that see, as far as its rights
were recognized by the general Canon law of that
period, particularly the privilege of receiving ippeals
from the other archdioceses of Ireland and the power
of deciding on them in the spiritual court of Armagh,
but not elsewhere. There is not a word in the bull
to invalidate such primatial rights as these ; and it
is even supposed, that, except in the cases especially
mentioned in the bull, every thing else was to re-
main as usual. Those therefore, who contend for
the total independence of Dublin on Armagh, must
recur to other documents different from this bull and
later than it, of which they may find several on both
sides of the question issued in after-times, of which
I do not mean to treat. (26)

(24) Hoveden at A. 1182. This alone is sufficient, if any thing
else were wanting, to prove that the year of St. Laurence O'Toole's
death was 1180. For he died on a Mth of November; Cumin
was elected his successor on the 6th of September following, but
was not ordained priest until the 13th, nor consecrated bishop un-
til the 21st March of the next succeeding year. That this was
1 1 82, as Hoveden marks it, is evident from the circumstance of
Palm-Sunday falling on the 21st of March, whereas, according to
the chronological tables, Easter Sunday fell in 1182 on the 28th
of March. (Compare with Not. 111. to Chap, xxix.) Giraldus,
speaking (Hii. exp. L. 2. c. 23. ) of Cumin's ordination to the priest-
hood says, that he was ordained presbyter cardinalis by Lucius III.
Should this be understood as if he were made a cardinal priest of
the particular church of Rome, it is false -, for, as Ware has shown,
(Archbishops oj' Dublin at John Cumin) he never was a cardinal in
that sense. Perhaps Giraldus' reason for giving' that title to Cu-
min was, that he was probably ordained priest on the title of some
parochial church in Dublin ; and it is well known, that in former
times several priests not only of Rome but likewise of other cities
such as Paris, Ravenna, &c. used to be styled cardinals.


(25) See Ware, (^Archbishops, Sfc, at John Cumin, and Annals
at A. 1181.) Harris, {Archbishops ib. and at Armagh, Walter de
Jorse) and the Jus Primat. Armao. §, (v3. seqq. The original
words are as follow ; " Sacrorum qiioque canonum authoritatem
sequentes statuimus, ut nuUiis archiepiscopus vel episcopus absque
assensuDubh'niensisarchiepiscopI, si in episcopatujuerit, in dioecesi
Dubliniensi conventus celebrare, causas et ecclesiastica negotia
ejusdem dioecesis, nisi per Roman um Pontificem vel legatum ejus
fuerit eideni injunctum, tractare praesumat.'* It was a shaine for
Peter Talbot, the R. C. archbishop of Dublin, to quote this pas-
sage in a mutilated form, as may be seen in Jus, 8^c. ib. The
translator of Ware and Harris have spoiled the whole meaning of
it. They make the Pope say, " that no archbishop or bishop
shall without the assent of the archbishop of Dublin presume to
hold any convention, &c. if it he in a bishoprick ijoithin the diocese
of Dublin, or, as Harris has altered itj a bishoprick tvithin his
provitire. Certainly a bishopric tvithin the diocese of Dublin is a
ridiculous expression, and shows what a bungler that translator
was ; but Harris' amendment is equally bad ; for who would trans-
late dioecesi by the word province ? They united, v/ithout insert-
ing a comma, the words, si in episcopatu fuerit, with in dioecesi
Dubliniensi, and, instead of he, wrote it, and thus fell into their
blundering translations. From their nonsense it would follow, that
a suffragan bishop of the province of Dublin could not hold a meet-
ing of his clergy, ex, c. a diocesan synod or even a conference,
without the consent of the archbishop of Dublin, nor without it
manage the common affairs of his own see. Now the object of
the bull was not to degrade the suffrcigan bishops below their level,
but to protect the see of Dublin against higher claims ; and the
true meaning of it is, that, while there is a person in the bishopric,
that Is, an actually existing archbishop of of Dublin in the diocese,
no other prelate do venture to hold meetings, or to treat of its af-
fairs, in the diocese ofDuLlin, except In case the Pope or his le-
gate should give an order to that effect. It may seem, that the se-
cond part of the prohibition, viz. that relative to not treating of
the affairs of the diocese of Dublin, might be understood of their
not being treated of not only in said diocese but likewise no where
else But the context iadicates, that the only place meant, withia



which such affairs should not be treated of by prelates different from
the archbishop of Dublin, is the diocese of Dublin itself.

(26) Harris gives (Archbishops of Armagh, at Walter de Jorse )
a good summary of this tedious controversy, which he took in
great part from Mac-Mahon's Jus Primat. Armac. a learned and
respectable work. He deduces the origin of it from the bull of
Lucius III. ; but I think he was mistaken, as he certainly was with
regard to the meaning of said bull. Nor do I find, that any arch-
bishop of Armagh, contemporary with John Cumin, complained
of this bull, although Peter Talbot, who is refuted by Harris, (ib,
at Moeliosa 0' Carrol) pretended that this Moeliosahada contest
with him on this subject. And in fact T do not perceive in this
bull any thing derogatory to the real primacy of Armagh. I should
rather derive the commencement of this dispute from some later
bull, such as one of Honorius III. granted to Henry de Loundres,
archbishop of Dublin, and " prohibiting any archbishop or other
prelate of Ireland (except the suffragans of Dublin and the Pope's
legate) from having the cross carried before them, holding assem-
blies, (except those of the religious orders) or treating of ecclesi-
astical causes (unless they be delegated by the Holy see) in the
province of Dublin without the consent of the archbishop of Dub-
lin." This bull goes much farther than that of Lucius III. ; for in
the first place the exemption is not confined to the diocese of
Dublin, but extends to the whole province ; and secondly, which
is very material, the right of having the cross carried before him,
which used to be exercised by the primate in every part of Ire-
land, is prohibited as to the province of Dublin. This was a rea]
infringement of a privilege of the see of Armagh ; yet there is
nothing said in opposition to its right of receiving appeals from
the province of Dublin, although not to be tried in said province
without the consent of the archbishop of Dublin. There was,
however, enough in this bull to cause dissatisfaction at Armagh.
What is said in it concerning the not allowing any prelate of ano-
ther province to treat of ecclesiastical causes in that of Dubliny
while it does not prevent the treating of at Armagh causes belong-
ing to the province of Dublin, confirms what I have observed in
the preceding note as to the place, in which, according to Lu-
cius' bull, no prelate, different from the archbishop of Dublin, is
permitted to treat of the ecclesiastical affairs of the diocese of


Dublin. Were the words of that bull to be understood otlierwise
than as I have explained them, they would imply a privilege vastly
greater than tliat granted by the bull of Honorius. Now it is
evident, that Honorius intended to confer greater exemptions than
Lucius had, and yet he goes no farther than to prevent any pre-
late of a different province (alluding to the archbishop of Ar-
magh) from juridically treating of ecclesiastical causes in the pro-
vince of Dublin. Hence it is clear, that the intention of Lucius
was, that no prelate, different from the archbishop of Dublin,
should treat of the affairs of the diocese of Dublin in the diocese
of Dublin, without his meaning that said prelate might not treat
of them elsewhere. Mac-Mahon is rather unfortunate (Jus, S)X.
§ . 75.) in his comments on the bull of Honorius, which he strives
to make appear as spurious. He sneers at its being allowed to
the suffragan bishops of the province of Dublin to have the cross
carried before them without the consent of the archbishop. But
the bull does not permit them to do so in the diocese of Dublin,
but only in the province, that is, in their own dioceses and no
where else. As tlie bull refers to the whole province, it was ne-
cessary to insert that clause, whereas otherwise a Leinster suffra-
gan bishop, ex. c. a bishop of Kildare, vrould be prohibited from
having the cross carried before him in his own diocese without tlic
consent of the archbishop of Dublin.

§. 5, In this year 1184 Thomas O'Coiior resign-
ed the see of Armagh, and in his place was ap-
pointed Moehosa O'Carrol, bishop of Cloglier, who
was succeeded there by Christian or Gilla-Criost
O'Macturan, abbot of Clones. Moeliosa after his
election set out for Rome, but died on his way thi-
ther. Amlave O'Murid was then chosen archbishop
of Armagh, and died not long after in 1185. (27)
Upon his death Thomas O'Conor resumed the see,
which he held for 1 6 years after. (28) In said year
1184 Hugh de Lacy was recalled from the govern-
ment of Ireland, and Philip of Worcester was sent
over in his stead, who signalized his administration
by an unjust and wicked attack on Armagh, where
he extorted much money and other valuables fron^


the clergy. (29) He and some of his followers' were
soon after punished for this iniquitous proceeding.
(30) It was probably in atonement for this crime
that Phih'p founded the Benedictine priory of Sts.
Philip, James, and Cumin, at Kilcumin in the now
barony of Kilnelongurty, county of Tipperary,
which he supplied with monks from Glastonbury, to
which he made it a cell, and one of whom, named
James, he placed over it. (31) To about the same
year I find assigned the establishment of the Cister-
cian house of Inislaunaught near the Suir in said
county, which seems to have consisted merely in a
removal from the monastery of Surium to that place,
(32) and in a new endowment by Donald O'Brian,
king of North Minister. Another Cistercian mo-
nastery was founded in 1 183 by Cnoghor O'More in
Leix in the now Queen's county. (33) In the year
1185 John, earl of Morton, and lord of Ireland,
arrived with a large fleet and a very considerable army
at Waterford on the first of April. He was accom-
panied by the famous Gerald Barry as his tutor and
secretary. (54) On his landing he was received by
the archbishop of Dublin and other English lords,
who swore fealty to him. Several Irish chieftains of
the neighbouring parts waited on him at Waterford,
congratulated him on his happy arrival, and acknow-
ledged him as their lord. But John and his young
nobles received them with derision, and some of these
impudent foreigners pulled them by their beards,
which, contrary to the Norman and English fashion
of those days, they wore long and thick. The
Irish lords were highly enraged at this treatment,
and, determined on revenge, retired together with
their clans to the territories of Donald O'Brian, to
whom as likewise to Dermod Mac- Cart by, king of
Desmond, and to Roderic O'Conor they poured
forth their complaints, and represented to them
what they might have to expect themselves, if they
suffered these insolent invaders to get possession of


the country. These princes felt the importance and
urgency of the business, and uniting together at-
tacked the new-comers with such vigour, that in the
course of a few months John lost in several conflicts
almost his whole army, and after having erected two
or three castles in Munster, was obliged to return
to England in Decem.ber of said year. On this
occasion John de Courcey was appointed Justiciary
of Ireland, who by his consummate ability, and with
the help of the veteran soldiers, saved the English
interest from imminent destruction. (35)

(27) Ware and Harris, Bishops at Armagh and Clogher. Har-
ris adds, that Amlave O'Murid died at Duncruthen (see Not. 18.

Online LibraryUnknownAn 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 text (page 23 of 45)