History & Antiquities of the County of Carlow 1833



Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

The History and Antiquities of the County of Carlow.

by John Ryan's  1833


Reign of Richard I. A.D. 1189 to A.D. 1199.

RICHARD, in consequence of his great valour, surnamed Ceur de Lion, succeeded his father on the throne of England. It seems, however, that his brother, John, retained the government of Ireland, in pursuance of the donation of 1177, already mentioned. During the reign of Richard, (long absent in the Holy Land), and part of that of John, the country was plunged into continued commotion ; confederacies were formed against the English, who suffered many reverses; but disunion among the natives, combined with skill and firmness on the part of the government, at length restored a temporary peace.

In the first year of this reign, Isabel, only daughter and heir of Strongbow, by Eva, princess of Leinster, was married to William Maxfield, Lord Maxfield, earl marshal of England. This nobleman descended thus: Walter Maxfield accompanied William the Conqueror to England, as his marshal; this Walter had issue William, who had issue, Walter, whose son was John, whose son was William, married to Isabel. He was greatly in favour with king Richard, and at his coronation carried the royal sceptre, on which was a cross of gold. A.D. 1191. This year, the aforementioned William, earl marshal, was appointed lord justice, or governor of Ireland; in which office he continued for six years; a long period in those unsettled times. He was a man of much personal valour, and from his princely possessions in Ireland, was considered the most eligible governor; at a time when the higher powers seemed to abandon all care of the country. He was also the third of the temporal co-adjuters appointed by Richard to assist the bishop of Ely in the administration of affairs in England.

 King Richard returned from the Crusades in 1194. One Fulco, a priest, spoke very boldly to him on the vices of his court. "Thou hast, O mighty king," said he, "three daughters of very vicious and evil dispositions; take good heed of them, and betimes provide them with good husbands; I mean Pride, Covetousness, and Lechery."The king smiled, and calling his lords and barons, said: "Here before you all, I do presently bestow my three daughters. First, I give my daughter, swelling Pride, to tie proud Templars; my greedy daughter, Avarice, to the covetous order of the Cistercian monks; and my daughter, Lechery, to the wanton prelates of the church." This dialogue, assuredly, presents no very flattering picture of the state of morals, either of clergy or laity, in those days. The Knights Templar’s soon afterwards established themselves in our county; the record of which event will be found in its proper place.

In the year 1197,Hamo de Valoniis, or Hanno de Valois, (a gentleman of an ancient family in Suffolk), succeeded William, Earl marshal, in the governorship of Ireland. This deputy, finding the Irish treasury nearly exhausted, did not hesitate attempting to effect its replenishment, by an invasion of ecclesiastical property, about the same period, John, a Cistercian monk, and abbot of the monastery.

De Rosea Vatle, otherwise Monasterevan, was appointed to the bishopric of Leighlin, by the charter of that diocese; sand, in consequence of the absence of the archbishop of Dublin, John Comin, (who was either in England or Normandy), he was duly confirmed by Mathew O'Heney, archbishop of Cashel, and apostolic legate of Ireland. Hanno de Valois, however, opposed the election of John, seized the temporalities of the cathedral of Leighlin, and took possession of the property of the canons. Under these circumstances, archbishop O'Heney was deterred from consecrating John; who, finding he had no other resource, proceeded to Rome, where he was well received by Innocent III., who immediately performed the ceremony of consecration. The pope then handed the newly appointed bishop a letter, addressed to the chapter, clergy, and people of the town and diocese of Leighlin; in which, among other matters, he mentions, that he has consecrated John, that he now sends him to his church, and commands that he may be obeyed. Pope Innocent also wrote a very severe letter to John, lord of Ireland, in which he complains of the violent and unjustifiable proceedings of his deputy, Hanno, in presuming to oppose the election of the cannons, and taking possession of their goods.

He censures John, for detaining the archbishop of Dublin in Normandy, and commands him not to molest the bishop whom he had consecrated, in the performance of his duty, nor permit him to be injured by any other person either in spirituals or temporal. He further desires him to compel Hanno to surrender to the church and canons of Leighlin, the property of which they had been deprived; and threatens, that in case of refusal, certain wishes of his will not meet with compliance, by another epistle, his holiness orders, that the bishop shall not be subject to excommunication, except by the pope, unless for manifest and reasonable cause. These letters were written in September, 1198, being the first year of the pontificate of Innocent III., and are to be seen among the decretal epistles of that pontiff, John, Bishop of Leighlin, enjoyed his new dignity but two years, having died in 1201. Hanno de Valois continued governor till the death of Richard when he was recalled. At a subsequent period, he granted twenty plough lands to John Comin, archbishop of Dublin, and his successors, as compensation for the detriment which the metropolitan see had sustained at his hands.

Richard I. died at Chalons, in France, on the 6th of April, 1199.

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