Edward I

Margaret Anne Cusack
Chapter XXI
Bermingham Tower, Dublin Castle

Bermingham Tower, Dublin Castle

Reign of Edward I.—Social State of Ireland—English Treachery—Irish Chieftains set at Variance—The Irish are refused the Benefit of English Law—Feuds between the Cusacks and the Barretts—Death of Boy O'Neill—The Burkes and the Geraldines—Quarrel between FitzGerald and De Vesci—Possessions obtained by Force or Fraud—Why the Celt was not Loyal—The Governors and the Governed—Royal Cities and their Charters—Dublin Castle, its Officers, Law Courts—A Law Court in the Fourteenth Century—Irish Soldiers help the English King—A Murder for which Justice is refused—Exactions of the Nobles—Invasion of Bruce—Remonstrance to the Pope—The Scotch Armies withdrawn from Ireland.

[A.D. 1271—1326.]

Letter I

T was now nearly a century since the Anglo-Normans invaded Ireland. Henry III. died in 1272, after a reign of fifty-six years. He was succeeded by his son, Edward I., who was in the Holy Land at the time of his father's death. In 1257 his father had made him a grant of Ireland, with the express condition that it should not be separated from England. It would appear as if there had been some apprehensions of such an event since the time of Prince John. The English monarchs apparently wished the benefit of English laws to be extended to the native population, but their desire was invariably frustrated by such of their nobles as had obtained grants of land in Ireland, and whose object appears to have been the extermination and, if this were not possible, the depression of the Irish race.