The Irish Chieftains

Justin McCarthy
Chapter IV

THE reign of Henry VIII. proved to be a time of much excitement and disturbance in Ireland. The Geraldines and their followers had the practical control of the whole region known as the Pale—the region mainly colonized by the English settlers. The Pale comprised the greater part of the counties of Dublin, Louth, Meath, and Kildare. Nor were Henry and his advisers impressed merely by the fact that the Lords of the Pale were establishing a rule of their own over the regions where they had settled, a rule becoming more and more independent of any control which royal authority could exert. Even that would have been enough to arouse the jealousy and impatience of the English Sovereign, but Henry also saw that the Geraldines and the other great families who were more or less allied with them were gradually forming friendly alliances with many of the native Chieftains, and that a renewed movement for Irish independence appeared to be already foreshadowed. Henry took prompt and stern measures.