From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837
The year 1315 is remarkable for the invasion of Edward Bruce, brother of Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, who landed at Carrickfergus at the head of 6000 men, to establish his claim to the crown of Ireland by force of arms. The citizens, on hearing that he was advancing southwards and had taken Greencastle, in Carlingford bay, one of the border fortresses of the English pale, sent out a strong party by sea, recovered the place, and brought the governor to Dublin, where he was starved to death in prison. This success, however, did not put a stop to the advance of Bruce, who marched upon Dublin with the intention of besieging it. The citizens, on his approach, set fire to the suburb of Thomas-street, in consequence of which St. John's Church without Newgate, and the Magdalene chapel were burnt. The church of the Dominicans was also pulled down, in order to use the stones for repairing and extending the city walls on the north side towards the river.
The gallant determination of the citizens had its effect. Bruce, after destroying St. Mary's abbey and plundering the cathedral of St. Patrick, drew off his army and marched westward into Kildare. In consideration of the sufferings and losses of the citizens, Edward II. remitted half of their fee-farm rent. At the close of the century the city was twice visited by Richard II.; at first, in 1394, when he marched hither from Waterford, about Michaelmas, at the head of an army of 30,000 foot and 4000 horse, and remained till the beginning of the ensuing summer. His second visit, which took place in 1399, was cut short by the unwelcome news of the insurrection of the Duke of Lancaster, afterwards Henry IV., which hurried him back to England.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
This is a story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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