Bruce Crowned and Killed

Justin McCarthy
Chapter III | Start of Chapter

The assimilation between the settlers from England and the native populations of Ireland was peculiarly distasteful to the English Government. The rulers in England felt bound to do something to prevent this unwelcome alliance. In 1295 a law was passed which prohibited, under severe penalty, the adoption of the Irish dress by Norman settlers. The statute never had any real effect, for just then the ruling powers in England were too much engrossed with their difficulties at home to be able to enforce their decrees in Ireland. After the defeat of the English at Bannockburn by Robert Bruce, affairs in Ireland became more troublesome than ever to the English Sovereign, and the Irish Chieftains actually organized a formidable rebellion. Edward Bruce, brother of the victorious Robert, came over to Ireland to help the insurrection, which gave him a welcome opportunity for paying off national grievances against England. It is an undoubted fact that many of the Norman Barons in Ireland actually joined the forces of Edward Bruce and the Irish. Edward Bruce was crowned King of Ireland, and the insurrection for a while seemed likely to carry all before it. The English Sovereign rallied all the forces he could command for what seemed an almost desperate effort, and he gained a complete victory over his Irish, Anglo-Irish, and Scottish opponents. In this battle Edward Bruce lost his life.