James the First

Justin McCarthy
Chapter V | Start of Chapter

When King James succeeded to the throne he promised the Irish that they should have the right of practising their religion, at least in private; but he soon recalled his promise, and made it clear that those who would retain the protection of the new ruling system must abjure the faith of their fathers. Those who were put into the actual Government of the country saw that this policy could not be carried out without much resistance, and therefore decreed the complete disarmament of all Irish retainers who still acknowledged the leadership of the Chieftains. One of the greatest of these Chieftains, O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnel, was called upon to conform openly to the English Church, under pain of being proceeded against as a traitor.