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cord which such a state of things could not but engender, and keep in perpetual activity. Among those princes, indeed, who, during the remainder of Ireland's existence aş a separate nation, assumed the title of monarch, there were scarcely any, we shall find, who had been elected according to the regular ancient form, or were acknowledged generally by the people; and the nature both of their authority and their claims may be sufficiently judged from the designation given to them by our native historians, who call them Righ go freasabra, that is, " Kings with reluctance or opposition.”.

But though the train for all these evil consequences had been now laid, their fated explosion did not take place till some time after; for it is not the least striking and characteristic of the circumstances which attended the demise, as it may almost be called, of the Irish monarchy, in the person of Malachy II., that, on the death of this prince, not even a pretender to the right of succeeding bim appeared to put forth his claims;-as though there existed a feeling, tacitly, throughout the country, that even the vacancy of the ancient seat of the Hy-Niells were preferable to the fierce and sanguinary strife which any attempt lo take possession of it vyould provoke. As a sort of provisional substitute for the authority of the monarch, an arrangement was made, through the interpo. sition, most probably, of the Church, by which the administration of the principality of Meath, and of some of the adjoining districts, was placed in the hands of Cuan O'Lochan, chief poet and antiquarian of Ireland,* and an ecclesiastic named Corcoran, who iş styled Primate of the Irish Anchorites. In a year or two after, the name of this Cuan is found among the obituary notices; and it is highly probable that the government he had presided over did not survive himself, as it would appear, from the subsequent history of the princes of Meath, that they thenceforth took the administration of that principality into their own hands.

It might have been expected, that at such a crisis the name of the popular champion, Brian, his vigorous career as supreme ruler, and his brilliant achievement, still so recent, would have established some claim in favour of the sons he had left behind. But even by them not a single movement was now made to lay claim to a throne around which their father had thrown so lasting a lustre. At the time of his death, there survived but two of his sons, Teige and Donchad, and their first joint task on the occurrence of that event was to defend, in opposition to the claims of the Eugenian tribe, their own right of succession to the throne of Munster. But the good understanding between these brothers was of very short continuance. Preferring, like most other Irish septs and families, royal or otherwise, destructive strife among themselves, to co-operation, for common interests, against others, they came, at length, to open warfare, and a desperate battle between them ensued,t in which the Prince of Aradia, and other chieftains of distinguished station, lost their lives. Through the mediation, however, of the clergy of Munster, the two brothers were soon after reconciled, and continued coregnants in the throne of Munster till the year 1023, when, on some new cause of contention breaking out, Donchad concerted a plot against bis brother's life, and, delivering him up into

1023. the hands of the people of Eile, had him basely murdered.||

By this guilty act, Donchad secured to himself the sole undivided sovereignty of Mun. ster; and, as homage was paid, and hostages delivered to him by the princes and states of Connaught, as well as also by the Danes of Dublin and Leinster, IT the range of his dominion is considered by some of our antiquarians** sufficiently extensive to entitle him to a place in the list of Ireland's kings; while others who require a more widely extended foundation for that title, exclude Donchad's name altogether from their select album of Irish monarchs.

He was soon to encounter, however, a young and formidable rival, in his own nephew, Turlough, the son of the murdered Teige, whom, immediately after the violent death of that prince, he had, with the half policy by which the guilty so frequently undermine their own schemes, sent into exile in the province of Connaught. Received favourably by the chiefs of that kingdom, and adopted with affectionate zeal by his kinsman, Dermot, the King of Leinster, the young prince's own military acconiplishments soon justified

A. D.

O'Plaherty, Ogygia, c. 94. O'Connor, Rer. Hib. Script. tom. ii. p. 178. note. For this provisional government of Cuan I can find no authority in any of our regular annals.

t Vallancey, from Munster Records, Law of Tanistry. 1 Annal. Ull.

§ Ibid. | Tigernach, and IV. Mag. ad an. 1023. i Tigernach and Inisfall. ad an. 1026. Vallancey, in loc. ** " Hinc in regum hujus 2di ordinis enumeratione, scriptores nostri fluctuant inter æmulos reges provin. ciarum, prout major erat cujusque potentia. Sic Donchadum O'Brian, Briani Burromæi filium, aliqui regem Hiberniæ et Malachiæ successorem appellant, alii Diarmitium filium Maelnamboi (Lageniæ regem) eodem titulo decorant."

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the reception he had met with, and rendered him a powerful instrument in the hands of these chieftains, against a liege lord whom they so reluctantly served. At the head of a considerable force, furnished in aid of his cause by those provinces, Turlough invaded the dominions of his uncle, and succeeded in compelling him to exonerate Connaught from all claim of tribute.* A similar concession, in favour of the Lagenians, was extorted, a year or two after, from the now humbled Donchad, who, driven to extremity by such repeated reverses, having been, in the year 1058, totally defeated by the combined

force of these two provinces, t at length summoned together all his means and re

sources for one decisive effort. Encountering, at the foot of the Ardagh moun1063.

tains, the united armies of Connaught and Leinster, under the command of Turlough, he there sustained a complete and irretrievable overthrow;f in consequence of which, despairing of all farther chance of success, he, in the following year, surrendered the kingdom of Munster to his victorious nephew, and, in the hope of atoning for his sins by penitence and prayer, set out on a pilgrimage to Rome. There, entering into the monastery of St. Stephen, he died in the year 1064, with the reputation, as it appears, of having been a very sincere penitent.

According to some writers, this royal pilgrim took away with him to Rome the crown of Ireland and laid it at the feet of the pope; and it is certain that instances were by no means uncommon of princes laying, in those tinies, their crowns and kingdoms at the feet of the popes, and receiving them back as fiefs of the Holy See. But, besides that in none of our authentic annals is any mention made of such an act of Donchad, it does not appear how the crown of Ireland could have been disposed of by him, having never, in fact, been in his possession ;and his own crown of Munster he had, previously to his departure, transferred to his nephew's brow. The tale was most probably, therefore, invented in after times, either for the purpose of lending a colour to the right assumed by pope Adrian of bestowing the sovereignty of Ireland upon Henry II., or, at a still later period, for the very different purpose of furnishing Irishmen with the not inconvenient argument, that, if former popes possessed the power of bestowing on the English the right of sovereignty over Ireland, there appeared no reason whatever why future popes should not give back the dominion to its first rightful owners.

By his second marriage, Donchad had become connected with the family and, in some degree, fortunes of the great English Earl Godwin, having married Driella, the daughter of that statesman, and sister of Harold, afterwards King of England. During the rebellion of Godwin and his sons against Edward the Confessor, Harold, being compelled to take refuge in Ireland, remained in that country, says the Saxon Chronicle "all the winter on the King's security;"I and in the following year, having been furnished by Donchad with a squadron of nine ships, he proceeded on a predatory expedition along the southern coast of England.

Whatever may have been thought of the quality of this king's legislation, the fault of being deficient in quantity could not, assuredly, be objected to it, as we are told that, in the course of his reign, there were more taxes raised, and more ordinances issued, than during the whole interval that had elapsed from the time of the coming of St. Patrick.** A custom encouraged, if not introduced, by Donchad, was that of celebrating games, or athletic sports, on the sabbath day ;-the cæstus, or gloves, used by the pugilists, at these games, being distributed, it is said, in the king's own mansion.ft

On the abdication of the crown of Munster, by Donchad, his nephew Turlough became

* Inisfall. ad an. 1053, 1054.

Inisfall. IV. Mag. ad an. 1058. 1 Tigernach, IV. Mag. ad an. 1063.

§ Ibid. ad an. 1064. | Whether the kings of Ireland wore any sort of crown whatever, has been a matter of doubt with antiquarians. In the preface to Kenting's history there is an account given of a golden cap, supposed to be a provincial crown, which was found in the year 1692, in the county of Tipperary. "This cap, or crown," it is said, “ weighs about five ounces; the border and the head is raised in chase work, and it seems to bear some resemblance to the close crown of the castern empire, which was composed of the helmet together with the diadem, as the learned Selden observes in bis Titles of Honour."Hist. of Ireland, Preface by the Translator. A representation of this crown is given in Ware's Antiq. Plate I. No. 2.

Ad ann. 1051. ** Inisfall

. (Cod. Bodleian) ad an. 1023 (æræ com. 1040.) # Ibid. According to the version of Gratianus Lucius, a very different meaning is here to be attributed to the annalist, whom he represents as asserting that Donchad was a most religious observer of the sabbath, and forbade that any one should carry burdens, or hold hunting matches or fairs on that day. “ Dii Domi. nicæ religiosissimus cultor vetuit onera diebus Doininicis vehi, aut nundinas venationesve fieri." Instead of asserting, too, that " more laws" had been passed in that reign than during the whole interval from the time of St. Patrick, the annalist is made to say, " better laws"_" Annales iidem (Inisfallenses) leges ab eo latas fuisse narrant quibus pares à S. Patricii diebus, in Hibernia non ferebantur." On referring to the original, the Irish scholar will, I rather think, pronounce the version which I have above adopted to be the most correct. O'Halloran, who, it is clear, had not consulted the original, follows Lynch's interpretation. “ Several severe laws," he says, “were passed by Donchad against robbers, murderers, and profaners of the sabbath."

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his successor; and this prince is, by most of the authorities on the subject allowed to take rank among Ireland's nominal monarchis ;* though some, who consider his claims as inferior to those of his ally and kinsman, Dermot, king of Leinster, scrupulously with. hold from him, during the lifetime of the latter, the full title of monarch.t So unfixed and arbitrary, indeed, are the grounds upon which this merely titular honour is awarded, that frequently the preference felt for any particular candidate, by the writer who treats on the subject, suffices for his decision of the question ; and accordingly while some perceive in the achievements of Donchad and Dermot sufficient grounds for their enrolment among Ireland's monarchs, others exclude these same princes from that dignity altogether. If a generous sacrifice of his own interests to those of others might be taken into account among Dermot's litles to supremacy, his claims would be of no common order; as the liberal aid be, from the first, proffered to the young Turlough, enabling him to assert and obtain his birthright, lends a moral dignity to his character, far surpassing any that mere rank could bestow, and justifying, in a great degree, the eulogy bestowed upon him by the Welsh chronicler, Caradoc, who pronunces him to have been “ the best and worthiest prince that ever reigned in Ireland."

On the death of Derinot, who was killed in the battle of Obdha, in Meath, there remained no competitor to dispute the supremacy with Turlough, who, taking the

1072. field at the head of his troops, was acknowledged with homage wherever he directed his march. Proceeding to Dublin, he found the gates of that city thrown open to receive him; and the Danes, together with their king Godfred, placing their hands in his hands,ll as a pledge that their power was to be thenceforth employed as his own, acknowledged him for their liege lord and sovereign. The same forms of submission were complied with by the kings of Meath and of Ossory, as well as by the princes of the province of Connaught ; all delivering to him hostages and acknowledging his sovereignty over their respective states.

In his incursion into Ulster he appears to have been not equally successful, having returned from thence without hostages or plunder, and with the loss, it is added, of a part of his army. He succeeded soon after, however, in dethroning Godfred, king of the Dublin Danes, and, having banished him beyond seas, appointed his own son, Murkertach, to be king over that people. I Froin the frequent intermarriage** that took place between these foreigners and the natives, the decendants of the original Northmen had become, at this period, a mixed race; and accordingly, early in the present century, we find the inhabitants of Dublin called by Tigernach Gall-Gedel, or Dano-Irish.ft

The reduction, indeed, of the Danes of Dublin, the last remaining hold of the Northmen's power, had, to a great extent, been effected some years before the period where we have now arrived, ff and, in the

person of Murchad, the son of the gallant Dermot, was witnessed the first Irish king of the Danes. In the year 1070, this prince died ; $9 and, after an interval of a few years, during which the Northmen appear to have recovered the dominion of that city, the monarch Turlough, as we have just seen, expelled the prince of their choice, and appointed his own son Murkertach in his place.

To dwell in detail on the remaining events of this prince's reign, would be but to repeat, and with little variation even of phrase, the same meager accounts of pitched battles, predatory inroads, and exactions of tribute, which form the sole material of history throughout the greater part of these monarchs' reigns. Though unsuccessful, at first, in Ulster, he at length compelled that province also to acknowledge vassa lage, as well as every other part of the kingdom, and received from Eochad, king of Ulster, as his tribute, 1000 head of cattle, 40 ounces of gold, and 120 party.coloured mantles. |||| It is mentioned, to the honour of our Irish oak, though with what truth there are not any means of ascer.

* " Tordelachum autem Thadæi filium, B. Borumhii nepotem, nemo in regum Hiberniæ numero non collocat."-Gratianus Lucius.

+ Thus O'Halloran : -"On his (Dermot's) death, Turlough certainly was the most potent prince in Ireland, and had the fairest claim to the title of nominal monarch."-Vol jii. c. 3.

1 " Dertilium Maken-Anel, dignissimum et optimum principem qui unquam in Hibernia regnavit." This chronicler assigns his death to about 1068; but Tigernach, the Annals of Inisfallen, and the Four Masters, place it at 1072.

Tigernach and IV. Mag. Inisfall. ad an. 1073.

1 Ibid. 1075. ** One of the most distinguished instances of this sort of intermarriage is found in the family of the great Brian Boru, whose third wife had, previously to her marriage with him, been the wife of a Danish prince; and was, by this double union, mother to sitric, King of Dublin, as well as to the Irish monarch, Donchad. See Tigernach, ad an. 1030, the year in which this princess died.

# Ad an. 1034.

11 This decided advantage over the remaining power of the Dublin Danes may be dated from the year 1029, when Anlaf, son of Sitric, then King of the Danes, was made prisoner by O'Regan, Prince of Bregia, and forced to redeem himself at an enormous sacrifice both of wealth and of power. Annal. Ult. ad an. 1029 $$ IV. Mag. ad ann. 1070. These annals call him prince of the Gals (or Strangers,) and of the Lagenians.

Inisfall. ad an. 1082.

taining, that a short time before Turlough's death, William Rufus, who was then on the throne of England, sent to request that he would furnish him with timber from the Irish forests for the roof of the palace he was then erecting at Westminster.*

After a severe and lingering illness, brought on by a fright, attended with circumstances so marvellous, that it would not be easy to detail them with due historic gravity,t Turlough, whose sway was acknowledged through the greater part of Ireland, died at Kincora, the royal palace of the O'Brians, in the month of July, 1086, in the 77th year of his age, and the 22d of his reign. Of this prince, as well as of most of the other pretenders to the monarchy, our means of knowledge are far too scanty and uncertain to admit of our forming, even conjecturally, any estimate of his character. Those lights and openings by which the historian gains an insight into royal councils, are of course not to be looked for in such times; but even of ordinary public events, there occurs, with the ex. ception always of battles and deaths, so rare a sprinkling throughout our annals, that the reign of Turlough, for instance, which extended through a period of two and twenty years, supplies not a fact from which the character of the man himself can be judged, or a single glimpse into the interior of his domestic life obtained.

In this dearth of all native testimony on such points, there is extant a foreign tribute to his character, in no ordinary degree flattering, being a letter addressed to him personally by the learned Lanfranc, i then archbishop of Canterbury, wherein some charges brought by that prelate against the church of Ireland, accusing it of laxity of discipline, and uncanonical practices, are prefaced by expressions of the warmest eulogy upon the monarch Turlough himself. “ That God was mercifully disposed towards the people of Ireland,” says the archbishop," when he gave to your excellency royal power over that land, every intelligent observer must perceive.' For, so much hath my brother and fellow-bishop Patrick reported to me, concerning your pious humility towards the good, your severe justice on the wicked, and the discreet equity of your dealings with all man. kind, that, though it has never been my good fortune to see you, I yet love you as if I had."

This letter of Lanfranc is addressed “To the magnificent king of Hibernia, Tirdel. vac;" and though, at home, Turlough's claim to the title of monarch was in some quarters opposed, the fact of its recognition in other countries may be concluded, not only from this letter of the English primate, but also from another addressed to him, a few years after, by Gregory VII., $ in which he is styled, “ The illustrious king of Ireland." There is yet a farther tribute to his rank and fame to be found in the depu. tation sent to him from the nobles of Man and the other Isles, requesting that he would send them some member of his family to be their ruler until the young heir of the crown of Man should come of age. Turlough complied, it is added, with their request, and sent a prince of the blood-royal of Ireland, to be their regent.il As a slight, but additional proof of his rank in Ireland having been known and recognised in other countries, we find mention of the arrival of five Jews, from some part of the continent, bearing valuable presents for Turlough, as the reigning king of the country. From some repugnance, however, on the part of the monarch, to an offering of gifts from such hands, these Jews, with their presents, were, by his order, dismissed from the kingdom.*

* Hanmer:-" The fair green, or Commune (says Hanmer.) now called Ostmontowne Greene, was all wood, and hee that diggeth at this day to any depth, shall finde the ground full of great rootes. From thence, anno 1098, King William Rufus, by license of Murchard, had that frame which made up the roofe of Westminster Hall, where no English spider webbeth or breedeth to this day."-Chronicle of Ireland.

f It appears that, some years before (1073.) when Connor O Melachlan, King of Meath, had been murdered, the monarch, Turlough, who had borne this prince a most deadly aversion, carried off forcibly the head of his corpse from the abbey of Clonmacnois on a Good Friday, and had it buried near his own palace of Kin. kora. On the following Sunday, however, “ through a miracle, as we are told, of God and Si. Ciaran," the head was found again in its lomb at Clonmacnojs, with two collars of gold around the neck. But the chief cause of the monarch's alarm was, that, on his taking up the skull in his hand to examine it, there jumped a small mouse suddenly out of it into his bosom. of the fright this incident gave him, he never aser, say the Four Masters, recovered.

1 Vet. Epist. Hibernic. Sylloge. Ep. 28. What Lanfranc complains of in this letter is, 1. That in Turlough's kingdom men quil, without any canonical cause, their rightful wives, and take others, without any regard to the prohibited degrees of consanguinity; marrying sometimes even women that had been in like manner deserted by their husbands. 2. That bishops were consecrated by one bishop. 3. That infants were baptised without consecrated chrism. 4. That holy orders were given by bishops for money. of these charges, the first and fourth are the only ones of real importance; the two others relating but to points of discipline, and admitting easily of explanation and defence, as the reader will find on referring to Lanigan, Eccles. Hist. C. xxiv. $ 12.

$ sylloge. Epist. 29. Thus headed :-"Gregorius Episcopus, servus servorum Dei; Terdelvacho inclyto Regi Hiberniæ, Archiepiscopis, episcopis," &c. “ This letter is much in the style (says Dr. Lanigan) of several others which Gregory wrote to various kings, princes, &c., for the purpose of claiming not only a spiritual, but likewise a temporal and political superiority over all the kingdoms and principalities of Europe."--Lani. gan, Eccles. Hist. c. xxiv. § 14. The pope more than insinuates, in this letter, bis double claim over Ireland; and concludes by saying, — Si qua vero negotia penes vos emerserint, quæ nostro digna videantur auxilio, incunctanter ad nos dirigere studete: et quod juste postulaveritis, deo auxiliante, impetrabis."

Chronic. Manniæ, ad an. 1075. This application is stated by the chronicler to have been addressed to Murkerlach, the successor of Turlough; but the date alone proves the event to have occurred during the reign of this latter prince.

The hospitality, however, of the nation to strangers was, more than once, experienced in the course of his reign, by some fugitive Welsh princes who sought for refuge on these shores. One of these, Gryffyth ap Conan, was, by the aid of the princes of Ulster, restored to his dominions; and there seems to break upon us, in the midst of all this gloom and barbarism, a refreshing gleam of civilized life, when informed that Gryffyth, on his return to Wales, was accompanied, by a number of Irish bards and harpers, whom he had selected for the purpose of improving the taste of his countrymen in music.t


Munster divided between the three sons of Turlough.-Contest between Murkertach and

Dermod for that throne.-Dermod assisted by O'Lochlin, prince of Alichia.-O'Lochlin competitor with Murkertach for the sovereignty.-Inter position of the ecclesiastical aq. thorities.-Grant of the city of Cashel to the church.-Invasion of Ulster.-Destruction of the palace of the princes of Alichia.—Ireland threatened with invasion by Godred Crovan. - Descent of Magnus on her shores.—Marriage of his son with Murkertach's daughter.Deseat and death of Magnus.-Arnulf de Montgomery assisted by Murkertach in his rebel. lion against Henry I.—Marries a daughter of Murkertach.-Attack and defeat of O'Lochlin! -Death of Murkertach.—Affairs of the church.-Bishops of the Danish sees in Ireland consecrated by the archbishop of Canterbury.-Correspondence of the Irish kings with the two prelates, Lanfranc and Anselm.–St. Bernard's gloomy picture of the state of Ireland. -Synod held at Fiodh-Ængusa.–Synod of Rath-Breasail for the regulation of the Dioceses.

On the death of Turlough, the kingdom of Munster was divided equally between his three sons, Teige, Murkertach, and Dermot. But, in the course of the same year, the eldest, Teige, having died " in the bed,” says the chronicler, “ of his father,f at Kincora," Murkertach banished his brother Dermot into Connaught, and took sole possession of the throne. Between these two brothers some years of fierce and obstinate And

1086. contention ensued; the younger, Dermot, being aided in the struggle by the kings of the other three provinces, whom Murkertach's pretensions to the supreme sovereignty had provoked thus to coalesce against him. Among these opponents of the new king of Munster, by far the most formidable in strength of title as well as of sword, was Domnal M'Lochlin, prince of Alichia, the acknowledged head of the royal Hy-Niell line, and therefore entitled, by a right transmitted through a long race of monarcbs. In opposition to this plea of prescription, Murkertach stood forward on the grounds of the new constitution or order of things, by which a right so long, and, as he maintained, unjustly with held, had been thrown open to the provincial princes.

Whatever was the weight in reality attached, by either of these contending partics to the important principles involved in their respective claims, the field of battle was, as usual, the tribunal to wbich both resorted eagerly for the decision of them. Under the pretence of assisting Dermot to recover his hereditary rights, M'Lochlin, chief

1088. of the Hy-Niells, took the field, in the year 1088, and, joined by the troops of the king of Connaught, whom he had compelled to render him homage, invaded Munster with their united force. The burning of Limerick, the spoliation and waste of the fertile plain of Munster, “ as far,” it is stated, " as Imleach-Ibar, the castle of Ached and Loch

A. D.

• Inisfall. ad an. 1078.

"Even so late as the eleventh century the practice continued among the Welsh bards, of receiving instruction in the bardic profession from Ireland. In 1078, Gryffyth ap Conan brought over with him from Ireland many Irish bards for the information and improvement of the Welsh."-Warton's History of English Poolry. I Inisfall. (Cod. Bodleian.) ad an. 1069 (æræ com. 1086.)

$ Ibid.

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