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Imperator X
Friday, November 12th, 2004, 02:50 AM
1166-1183 54. RUAIDRI II [RORY O’CONNOR], the last one. His reign began with Tiernan O'Rourke, Lord of Breifne, appealing for redress to the High-King to force King Dermot MacMurrough of Leinster, who had eloped with his wife, Derbforgaill, with whom she had been involved in an illicit affair for many years, to return her to him. The Irish High-King Ruaidri II mustered an army and marched against King Dermot of Leinster. The news that Ruaidri was on the march against him obliged Dermot to flee to King Henry II of England [who was then in France] to gain his support, 1166. HENRY II of England, whose grandmother was descended from the royal O'Neills of Ireland, was granted Ireland by the Pope in 1154, hence, when Dermot of Leinster came to him in 1166 he felt like it was his duty to demand amends or satisfaction for the injury done to Dermot. The authorization by which The Holy See had given Ireland to King Henry II in 1154 was based on a document drawn up by an assembly of Irish chieftains in 1092 which had entrusted the Irish crown to The Holy See; and, from 1092 to 1154Ireland was technically a fief of The Holy See. The Pope in 1154 even sent Henry II the royal Irish regalia, which had been entrusted to The Holy See since 1092. Henry II gave Dermot of Leinster the necessary letters that gave permission to any of the English nobles who wished to go with Dermot to Ireland to help him recover his kingdom. It was at this time that Dermot of Leinster met Richard de Clare, called "Strong-Bow", the Earl of Pembroke. He made a pact with him to give him his daughter, Aoife, in marriage, and, with her the inheritance of Leinster after his own death. Dermot returned to Ireland with a Norman force under the leadership of Richard Fitz-Godebert, 1167. They were joined by forces under Maurice Fitz-Gerald, Robert Fitz-Stephen, Maurice Prendergast, Hervey de Montmarish, Raymond Fitz-William "Le Gros", Miles de Cogan, William Fitz-Adelm, Philip de Braose, John de Courcy, Robert de Bermingham, William de Barri, and others, 1169, who landed with Norman, Welsh, and Flemish forces. "Strong-Bow" finally arrived in Ireland himself in 1170, and conquered the Viking-Kingdom of Dublin. The next year, in 1171, "Strong-Bow" succeeded Dermot as King of Leinster on his death in right of his wife, the late king's daughter. This event caused great concern among the Irish, who up until this time felt that the Normans were simply aiding Dermot to recover his kingdom. In reaction the Leinstermen rose up in revolt against "Strongbow" and appealed to the Irish High-King to oust the foreign usurper. Meantime, "Strong-Bow" had returned to England upon hearing that Henry II was jealous that he had taken the title "king", and placated Henry II by dropping the title "king" and adopting the title "earl" [or "lord"], whereupon, Leinster became an English "earldom" or "lordship". He accompanied King Henry II who proceeded to Ireland that year, 1171, with 400 ships carrying 5000 soldiers, to assume control over the Irish campaigns of his Anglo-Norman adventurers. Henry II held court at Dublin, where he received the submission of the Irish "provincial kings" who all made a pact with the English king and pledged to be his vassals. Meantime, the Irish High-King Ruaidri II, after his defeat in the Battle of Dublin against the Anglo-Normans, was about collecting troops from all parts of Ireland to resist the invaders, and to make a stand for the independence of the nation. This show of resistance did not last long, for when the Irish High-King Ruaidri II heard that the Irish "provincial kings" had deserted him and had put themselves under the protection of the King of England he sent messengers to the English king to make peace and acknowledged his overlordship, and, made a treaty with King Henry II whereby he and all future Kings of Ireland would hold the Irish kingdom as a fief "in capite", as vassals of the English crown. Thus, Ruaidri II of Ireland became vassal-king of Ireland with Henry II as overlord, and had to pay tribute annually. And, in a "parliament" or national assembly of the Irish chieftains at Lismore it was solemnly determined that the kings of England would, in all future time, be lords [overlords] of Ireland, whereupon King Henry II of England took the title "Lord of Ireland". Here, Henry II introduced the feudal system of government in Ireland modeled on England's administrative system. Henry II wintered in Ireland. He held a synod of all of Ireland's bishops at Cashel early in 1172 to reform the country's religion from its native brand of Celtic Christianity to Roman Catholicism which was attended by a papal legate, Vivianus, dispatched by the Pope, who made known to the Irish clergy the papal bull, called the "Laudabiliter" [so-called from the first word of its Latin text], granting Ireland to King Henry II and his successors, and, who introduced to Ireland the payment of "Peter's Pence" annually to Rome. By spring, urgent affairs called Henry II back home to England though he had not planned to depart Ireland until summer. However, before his departure, Henry II appointed Hugh de Lacy as the first of a series of English governors of Ireland who were to rule the country in the name of the Kings of England for the next 750 years. The Governor of Ireland sat at Dublin. The city of Dublin and its surrounding counties were called "the English Pale". The authority of the English governors was rarely recognized outside the pale, and the native Irish chiefs, now earls in the English Peerage, continued to govern their ancient estates. Hugh de Lacy quelled an Irish uprising in 1175 that led to the "Treaty of Windsor" (1175), the terms of which obliged the Irish High-King Ruaidri II to designate Henry II of England as his "tanist" [heir]. Ruaidri II, the last native King of Ireland, was deposed in 1183 by his sons, who each contented for the Irish high-kingship in a civil war against their father. It was an ignominious end to Ireland's last native high-king. Ruaidri devoted the last thirteen years of his life to monastic seclusion at Cong Abbey, where he died at the advanced age of 82 in 1198 un-mourned and long forgotten by his former subjects.