Death of Henry II.

Margaret Anne Cusack
start of chapter | Chapter XVIII

In 1189 Henry II. died at Chinon, in Normandy. He expired launching anathemas against his sons, and especially against John, as he had just discovered that he had joined those who conspired against him. In his last moments he was stripped of his garments and jewels, and left naked and neglected.

Richard I., who succeeded to the throne, was too much occupied about foreign affairs to attend to his own kingdom. He was a brave soldier, and as such merits our respect; but he can scarcely be credited as a wise king. Irish affairs were committed to the care of John, who does not appear to have profited by his former experience. He appointed Hugh de Lacy Lord Justice, to the no small disgust of John de Courcy; but it was little matter to whom the government of that unfortunate country was confided. There were nice distinctions made about titles; for John, even when King of England, did not attempt to write himself King of Ireland.[9] But there were no nice distinctions about property; for the rule seemed to be, that whoever could get it should have it, and whoever could keep it should possess it.

In 1189 Roderic's son, Connor Moinmoy, fell a victim to a conspiracy of his own chieftains,—a just retribution for his rebellion against his father. He had, however, the reputation of being brave and generous. At his death Connaught was once more plunged in civil war, and after some delay and difficulty Roderic resumed the government.


[9] King of Ireland.—During the reign of Richard all the public affairs of the Anglo-Norman colony were transacted in the name of "John, Lord of Ireland, Earl of Montague." Palgrave observes that John never claimed to be King of the Irish; like Edward, who wrote himself Lord of Scotland, and acknowledged Baliol to be King of the Scots.