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into povertyo from the incursions of the natives, that it received the writ' of Richard II. ordering the observance of the enactment in the Statute of Kilkenny, that no Irishman, or any enemy of the king, should be admitted into any religious house within the land of Ireland. Recourse had often been had before, by both sides, to this unhappy proof of national discord. So early as 1250 Pope Innocent IV.' sent a Bull to the Irish bishops, ordering them to revoke a Statute which they had made, “ex quodam livore,” that no Englishman should be received into their religious houses as a canon: and while the Irish Abbot of Mellifont refused to admit any monk unless he made oath that he was not of English descent, and the Irish Abbot of Magio* [Mayo) alienated the lands of his abbey with a view to prevent English monks from dwelling there, the English monks of Granard' and of Iniscourcy, of the same Order (they were all Cistercians), buckled on their armour and attacked and killed the Irish, and then returned to celebrate Mass.
The writ of Richard II. was directed to twenty-one religious houses; although not repealed by authority, it was not long observed; . like many other laws it was silently reversed when the passion in which it originated had given place to the common feelings of humanity. The names of some of the subsequent abbots in these houses are purely“ Irish.
At • Poverty.—Perhaps it may be alleged Irish Archæological Society, vol.i. p. 108. as a proof of the poverty of the house at Writ.—Rot. Claus. 4 R. i. 116. this period, that in 1388 the prior owed Innocent IV.–Rymer's Fæd., i. p. 274. his shoemaker twenty-two shillings for Mellifont.-Hibernia Anglicana, p.100. boots and shoes, and that Roger Brenne, a Magio.—Lynch's Feudal Dignities, p. canon, seemingly, of the house, had not 48. paid two shillings for one pair of boots; and i Granard. See the Letter of the Irish that Brother Symcok, “quondam prior." Chieftains to Pope John XXII. in 1318. owed for money, which it is to be feared he Forduni Scotichronicon, lib. xii. cap. 30. had borrowed, 68. 8d.-Miscellany of the u Irish.-Mon. Hib. p. 468.
At one time, in this period of its depression, the priory enjoyed a gleam of hope ; during King Richard's “noble voyage,” when the northern lords", laying aside their girdles, skeins, and caps,
had fallen on their knees at his feet, and done homage, and sworn fealty to the King at Drogheda ; and when the Leinster lords" had received the kiss of peace from the Earl Marshall; at that time the priory paid forty shillings into the Hanaper for a charter* dated at Kilkenny, 5th April, 1395. In this charter not only was the charter of Henry II. recited and confirmed, but also the title of the canons was confirmed in all their possessions, notwithstanding the alleged loss and burning of their muniments, and in addition, liberty was granted to them notwithstanding the Statute of Mortmain, to acquire lands and advowsons to the annual value of twenty pounds.
In the scarcity of facts indicative of the personal characters and conduct of the members of this house, we transcribe the following notices of charges brought against two of our priors, quoted in the Monasticon Hibernicum, from Archbishop King's manuscripts.
“1319. Richard of Exeter, Chief Justice of the Common Bench, made a complaint against the prior, that he, the said Richard, had given into his custody a craney, safely to keep for him till he should call for it, but that the prior, through malice prepense, suffered it to escape, to the loss and damage of
sixty Northern lords.—Davies' Hist. Tracts, Irish hagiology. There are St. Kevin's Dub. 1787, p. 35.
Blackbird, and St. Colman's Teal (Top. w Leinster lords.-Davies' Hist. Tracts, Hib. ii., xxviii., ix.), and St.Brigid's Ducks. p. 34.
(Vita St. Brigidæ, cap. 8). See also the * Charter.-No. X.
pretty story of the tired Irish heron, that Crane.-A tame heron was one of St. Columba desired one of his monks to Richard de Betun's pets; the others were wait for on the west shore of Iona, and a doe and a ram, which he used to feed to take care of for three days, until it with bread from his own table. Anglia could return “ad priorem Scotiæ dulcem Sacra, vol. ii. p. 318. The love of pets unde orta est regionem.” Vita S. Columbo, is not one of the least pleasing features in
i. cap. 18.
sixty shillings to the said Richard; he, therefore, brought his action to recover the said damage. The prior appeared, and confessed that the bird had escaped out of his custody; on this acknowledgment, at the request of the Chief Justice, the Judge pardoned the prior.”
“ In 1396 William Reve was prior ; for Richard Norreys, one of the canons of this priory, being accused of divers felonies, and thereupon confined in the marshalsea, the said prior came into court and did openly and publicly make use of injurious and unbecoming expressions to Stephen Bray, the Chief Justice, though admonished to the contrary; he was thereupon committed to the custody of the marshal; but the court taking into their consideration, that the said prior was not of sound mind, and compassionating his weakness, and the exility both of him and the priory, he was pardoned on paying a fine of thirteen shillings and fourpence.”
We may also mention here that in 1310, Philip de Braibrocks, canon of the church of the Holy Trinity, was confined here, for heresy, by sentence of Richard, Archbishop elect of Dublin, for one year.
In the reigns of Henry IV., V., and VI., the only deeds we have found relative to our priory, are some leases of tenements in Dublin, and the King's pardon granted in 1416, by Thomas, Archbishop of Dublin, deputy of Sir John Talbot of Halomshire, Lieutenant of Ireland, to the prior and convent, of all intrusions, abatements, &c., in Dublin, Donaghbroke, Baldoyle, Donaghkarny, Ballycollane, and Kenturke, and elsewhere in Ireland, and the confirmation of their title therein. There is also, bearing the date of June 2, 1460, the return of Lawrence, Archdeacon of Ferns, to a mandate from John Purcell, bishop of that see, ordering an inquiry respecting the avoidance and presentation to the parish of Rathmackne. From this it appears that the archdeacon held a court of inquiry composed of nineteen persons, most of whom were rectors and vicars in the neighbourhood, in the church of St. Nicholas of Clomen, “in pleno loci capitulo,” who, on their oaths, made a return, in which the following articles are not without interest, as throwing light on the
state of the church: they found that the Prior and Convent of All Hallows were the true patrons, and had presented on the last vacancy, that the vicarage was not litigious or pensionary, but portionary; that is, the patrons had the first portion of all fruits, profits, sheaves, tithes, offerings, lands, altarages, and other things belonging to the foresaid Church of St. Martin of Rathmackne; and the vicar had the other half of the same. That the clerk presented by the prior was not of honest condition of life and conversation, or fit, in science and manners, that he was guilty of perjury, inasmuch as he took his oath before the archdeacon, when about to be ordained, that he would keep a grammar school for the next three years, which oath he did not keep; and that, having been suspended by his ordinary, he notwithstanding performed Divine Service, and that, therefore, the patron having presented an unfit clerk, the vicarage had devolved, pro hac vice, to the collation of the Ordinary.
In 1468 a visitation of the priory was held by R. Warenn, official of Archbishop Tregury. Prior William Stewnot and Richard Cristor (Christopher) sub-prior, and four canons, attended, and as far as we can judge from the imperfect abstract in Archbishop Tregury's Registry, no cause of complaint appeared against any member of the body.
The success of Edward IV. must have excited hopes of royal favour in the prior and canons of All Hallows: claiming, as the heir of the De Burghs, Ulster and Connaught, and possessed in the right of the Mortimers of the liberty of Meath, this Prince must have felt a personal interest in the country; his father had resided in it for some time and had not only won the hearts of the great lords of Meath, whose fidelity to the supposed blood of their hereditary feudal lord was shewn at the battle of Stoke, but had gained also the support of the great family of the Geraldines, the ancient benefactors of the priory. The only privileges, however, granted in this reign are contained in the unprinted Acts of Parliament of 1472 and 1474. By
the first of these Acts the title of William (Stewnot), Prior of All Saints, was confirmed to all wrecks on the manor of Baldowell, enjoyed by his predecessors time immemorial. While the second, passed in a Parliament held at Conal”, in the 18th of Edward IV., enacts:
“At the supplication of William Prior and Convent of All Saints, near Dublin, lords of the town of Baldoile, that as the inhabitants of the town of Baldoile, in county of Dublin, are daily troubled & damaged in their goods by the king's admirals of Ireland and their deputies, according to the law of Ulrona, who daily levy inordinate amercements on them, against all law and conscience, to the great damage of said prior and convent, and the utter undoeing of said tenants & inhabitants ; it is enacted that said prior & his successors shall, for the time to come, be admirals of said town and all other their lands in Ireland, and shall enjoy the said office of admirals to them & their assigns & deputies, without any molestation or impediment from the king, his heirs or successors, officers or ministers, & that no other admiral of the king or his deputy shall vex or trouble any of the said tenants & inhabitants, by virtue of their office, in time to come, & whoever of them acts to the contrary shall forfeit £10, half to the king and half to the party grieved.”
These were great and valuable privileges, shewing the power of this house and the personal influence of the Prior, William Stewnot, who in this year was joined in commission with the Archbishop of Dublin, and Earl of Kildare and others, to attend the King on particular affairs relative to the public interest. But the act of the greatest value to the priory was one of the
* Conal. — Unpublished Statutes communicated by Sir W. Betham.
a Ulron. — “Oleron Laws (Uliarenses Leges) are the laws of King Richard I. relating to Maritime Affairs, so called, because made by him when he was at Oleron ; which is an island lying in the bay of Ac
quitain, at the mouth of the River Charent, and now belongs to the French King. Co.Lit. 260. These laws are recorded in the Black Book of the Admiralty, and are accounted the most excellent composition of sea laws in the world. See Selden's Mare Clausum, 225, 254."-Jacob's Law Dictionary.