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Constitutions made at the councell of Cashill.

IN the yere of Christs incarnation 1172, & in the first yéere that the most noble king of England conquered Ireland, Christianus bishop of Lisemore, and legat of the apostolike see, Donat archbishop of Cashill, Laurence archbishop of Dublin, and Catholicus archbishop of Thomond with their suffragans and fellow-bishops, abbats, archdeacons, priors, deanes, & manie other prelats of the church of Ireland, by the commandement of the king did assemble themselues and kept a synod at Cashill: and there debating manie things concerning the wealth, estate, and reformation of the church, did prouide remedies for the same. At this councell were also for and in the behalfe of the king, whom he had sent thither, Rafe abbat of Buldewais, Rafe archdeacon of (1) Landaffe, Nicholas the chapleine, and diuerse other good clearks. Sundrie good statutes and wholesome laws were there deuised, which were after subscribed and confirmed by the king himselfe, and vnder his authoritie, which were these that follow. First, it is decréed that all
Ecclesiasticall constitutions for Ireland. good faithfull and christian people, throughout Ireland, should forbeare and shun to marrie with their néere kinsfolke and cousins, & marrie with such as lawfullie they should doo. Secondarilie, that children shall be catechised without the church doore, and baptised in the font appointed in the churches for the same. Thirdlie, that euerie christian bodie doo faithfullie and trulie paie yerelie the tiths of his cattels, corne, and all other his increase and profits to the church or parish where he is a parishioner. Fourthlie, that all the church lands and possessions, throughout all Ireland, shall be free from all secular exactions and impositions: and especiallie that no lords, earles, nor noble men, nor their children, nor familie, shall extort or take anie coine and liuerie, cosheries, nor cuddies, nor anie other like custome from thenseforth, in or vpon anie of the church lands and territories. And likewise that they nor no other person doo henseforth exact out of the said church lands, old, wicked, and detestable customes of coine and liuerie, which they were woont to extort vpon such townes and villages of the churches, as were neere and next bordering vpon them. Fiftlie, that when earike or composition is made among the laie people for anie murther, that no person of the cleargie, though he be kin to anie of the parties, shall contribute anie thing therevnto: but as they be guiltlesse from the murther, so shall they be frée from paiment of monie, for anie such earike or release for the same. Sixtlie, that all and euerie good christian being sicke & weake, shall before the préest and his neighbors make his last will and testament; and his debts and seruants wages being paid, all his moouables to be diuided (if he haue anie children) into thrée parts wlhereof one part to be to the children, another to his wife, and the third part to be for the performance of his will. And if so be that he haue no children, then the goods to be diuided into two parts, whereof the one moitie to his wife, and the other to the performance of his will and testament. And if he haue no wife, but onelie children, then the goods to be likewise diuided into two parts, wherof the one to himselfe, and the other to his children. Seuenthlie, that euerie christian being dead, and dieng in the catholike faith, shall be reuerndlie brought to the church, and to be buried as apperteineth. Finallie, that all the diuine seruice in the church of Ireland shall be kept, vsed, & obserued in the like order and maner as it is in the church of England. For it is méet and right, that as by Gods prouidence and appointment Ireland is now become subiect, and vnder the king of England: so the same should take from thense the order, rule, and maner how to reforme themselues, and to liue in better order. For whatsoeuer good thing is befallen to the church & realme of Ireland, either concerning religion, or peaceable gouernement, they owe the same to the king of England, andl are to be thankefull vnto him for the same: for before his comming into the land of Ireland, manie and all sorts of wickednesses in times past flowed and reigned amongest them: all which now by his authoritie and goodnesse are abolished. The primat of Armagh, by reason of his weaknesse and great age, was not present at the synod: but afterwards he came to Dublin, and gaue his full consent to the same. This holie man (as the common saieng was) had a white cow, and being fed onelie by hir milke, she was alwaies carried with him wheresouer he went and trauelled from home.

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