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OF THE

FIRST ESTABLISHMENT

OF

ENGLISH LAWS AND PARLIAMENTS,

&c. &c.

As soon as the realm of Ireland was come into the hands of the kings of England, their first care was to provide, that the church and commonwealth, in both nations, should be governed by the same laws. And therefore king Henry II. being here in person in the year 1172. among other orders taken for the settlement of this state, caused two councils to be assembled; the one at Cashel, the other at Lismore. In the former it was

agreed by a synodical constitution, that "Omnia divina ad instar sacrosanctæ ecclesiæ, juxta quod Anglicana observat ecclesia, in omnibus partibus Hiberniæ, amodo tractentur: dignum etenim, et justissimum est, ut sicut dominum et regem ex Anglia sortita est divinitus Hibernia, sic etiam exinde vivendi formam accipiant meliorem;" so recordeth Giraldus Cambrensis in the first book of his history of the conquest of Irelanda. In the a Cap. 34.

VOL. XI.

L L

other, "Leges Angliæ ab omnibus sunt gratanter receptæ, et juratoria cautione præstita confirmatæ ;" as witnesseth Matthew Paris in his great history.

The like course was taken by his son king John, at his being here in the year 1210; as appeareth partly by the report of the same Matthew Paris, but especially by letters patent of Henry III. dated at Woodstock the ninth of September, in the thirtieth year of his reign, remaining among the records of the tower of London. The words of the historian be these, speaking of king John's doings in Ireland: "Fecit rex ibidem construere leges, et consuetudines Anglicanas, ponens vice-comites, aliosque ministros, qui populum regni illius juxta leges Anglicanas judicarent." The tenor of the record is this: "Quia pro communi utilitate terræ Hiberniæ, et unitate terrarum de communi concilio provisum est, quod omnes leges et consuetudines, quæ in regno nostro Angliæ tenentur, in Hibernia teneantur, et eadem terra iisdem legibus subjaceat, et per easdem regatur; sicut Johannes rex, cum illic esset, statuit, et firmiter mandavit: Quia rex Henricus vult, quod omnia brevia de communi jure, quæ currunt in Anglia, similiter currant in Hibernia; sub novo sigillo regis mandatum est, archiepiscopis," &c.

In like sort Henry III. son to King John, in the twelfth year of his reign: "Mandavit justiciario suo Hiberniæ, ut convocatis archiepiscopis, episcopis, comitibus, baronibus, militibus ibidem, coram eis legi faciat chartam regis Johannis, quam legi fecit, et jurari a magnatibus Hiberniæ, de legibus, et consuetudinibus Angliæ observandis, et quod leges illas teneant, et observent;" as is related out of the same records by that worthy antiquary Mr. William Camden Clarentius.

Hereupon, in doubtful matters of law, recourse was had from thence into England; as in the days of the said king Henry upon a question of inheritance devolved unto sisters, four knights were sent unto the king's court in England, by Gerald Fitzmaurice, then lord chief jus

Camden Hibern. pag. 734.

tice of Ireland, to bring a certificate of the custom of England in that case; who brought back the king's rescript, commonly known by the name of "Statutum Hiberniæ de cohæredibus;" which is thus concluded: "Ideo vobis mandamus, quod prædictas consuetudines, quas in regno nostro Angliæ habemus, in hoc casu, ut prædictum est, in terra nostra Hiberniæ proclamari, et firmiter teneri facias, et observari. Teste meipso apud Westmonaster: 9. die Febr. anno regni 14:" as it is in the printed statutes, or, as Matthew Paris setteth it down in his history, anno 1240. "Teste meipso apud Norwicum, 30. die Augusti anno regni 21."

Sod upon an erroneous judgment given in Ireland, matters might be removed by a writ of error to the king's bench in England; and, upon a debt recovered in the king's court in England, a writ of a Fieri facias hath been directed to the justice of Ireland for levying the same upon the lands and goods of the debtor; a precedent whereof is to be seen in the days of Richard II. in the case of Robert Wickford, then archbishop of Dublin; who being in arrear of a certain annual rent of ten pounds due to one Thomas, a clerk in England; the sheriff of Middlesex having returned, that he had no lands, tenements, goods, or chattels in his baliwick, and testatum being made, that he was in Ireland, and there had divers goods, chattels, lands, and tenements, as well of his own purchase, as of his archbishopric, whence the said sum of ten pounds might be made; the king's writ was thereupon directed to the justice of Ireland in this manner: "Ideo vobis mandamus, quod de terris, et catallis ejusdem Roberti jam archiepiscopi in terra nostra Hiberniæ fieri faciatis prædictas decem libras, et illas habeatis coram, &c. octavis Michaelis ad reddendúm præfato Thomæ de arreragiis annui redditus prædicti; et habeatis ibi hoc breve."

c Edit, cum Magna Charta.

d S. 2. R. 3. fol. 12. Registr. brev. original. fol. 13. 2. Fitzkerb. Natur. Brev. fol. 24.

e Registr. brev. judicial, fol. 43. 6.

----

This order being settled, that the king's English subjects in Ireland, and such also of the Irish, as had the benefit of the English laws vouchsafed unto them, for that all enjoyed not this privilege appeareth plainly by the king's recorder, should be ruled by the same law, wherewith the state of England was governed; it came to pass, that such statutes, as were enacted in parliaments held in England, were intended always to have been made for the government as well of this kingdom, as of the other. And therefore, albeit in the presence of the statute of Glocester, in the - - - - year of Edward I. the act is said expressly to be made for the behoof of the realm of England; yet in the preface of the statute of Westmonaster, the second made the thirteenth year of the same king's reign, we find it thus interpreted: "Cum nuper dominus rex, in quindena S. Johannis baptistæ, anno regni sui 6. convocatis prælatis, comitibus, baronibus, et consilio suo apud Glocester, &c. quædam statuta populo suo valde necessaria, et utilia edidit, per quæ populus suus Anglicanus, et Hibernicus sub suo regimine gubernatus celeriorem justitiam, quam prius, in suis oppressionibus consecutus est," &c. So in the statute of merchants made the same year: "The king wills, that this ordinance and act be observed from henceforth throughout his realm of England, and Ireland." And the statute of York, in the twelfth year of Edward II. is said to be made upon this consideration; that the people of the realm of England and Ireland have heretofore suffered many times great mischiefs, damage and disherison, by reason that in divers cases, where the law failed, no remedy was provided; for the publication of which statute, together with another formerly enacted at Lincoln in the ninth year of his reign, the king sent this writ to his chancellor in Ireland:

"Edwardus Dei gratia rex Angliæ, dominus Hiberniæ, dux Aquitaniæ, cancellario suo in Hibernia salutem: Quædam statuta per nos de assensu prælatorum,

Ex libro albo Saccarii Hiberniæ.

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