Sir Anthony St. Leger

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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St. Leger, Sir Anthony, Lord-Deputy of Ireland, was first sent over by Henry VIII. in 1537, as one of the commissioners for settling the waste lands on the borders of the Pale. He was appointed Lord-Deputy in 1540, and filled the same office again in 1544, 1546, 1550, and 1553. He received the submission of the Earl of Desmond and other chiefs, and presided at the Parliament in which Henry was declared King of Ireland. As his portion of the spoil consequent on the suppression of the monasteries, he was granted Grany, in the County of Carlow, and other ecclesiastical lands. In Edward VI.'s reign, for successful expeditions against the O'Conors and O'Mores, he was granted estates in England.

Mr. Froude speaks of him as a man of great ability: "The policy of St. Leger had been 'to make things quiet;' to overlook small offences so long as the general order was unbroken, and to be contented if each year the forms of law could be pushed something deeper beyond the borders of the Pale. His greatest success had been in prevailing upon an O'Toole to accept the decent dignity of sheriff of Wicklow. As a further merit, and a great one, he had governed economically... His maxim had been — Ireland for the Irish; he had recommended Henry to return to the old plan of appointing an Irish deputy." Sir Anthony died at his seat of Ulcomb, in Kent, in 1559. [His grandson, Sir Warham St. Leger, received large grants of land in Munster in Elizabeth's reign. Lord Ormond writes of him in 1583 as "an old ale-house knight, malicious, impudent, void of honesty; an arrogant ass that had never courage, honesty, or truth in him, nor put him on a horse one hour in the field to do any service." This cannot have been true, as he fell in an encounter with Hugh Maguire, Lord of Fermanagh, near Cork, in March 1600.]


54. Burke, Sir Bernard: Peerage and Baronetage.

140. Froude, James A.: History of England, from the Fall of Wolsey to the death of Elizabeth. 12 vols. London, 1862-'70.

196. Irishmen, Lives of Illustrious and Distinguished, Rev. James Wills, D.D. 6 vols. or 12 parts. Dublin, 1840-'7.

339. Ware, Sir James, Works: Walter Harris. 2 vols. Dublin, 1764.

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