The obteining of the priuilege at Rome.
IN this meane time the king, though he were in great troubles, & much vnquieted
with the wars, yet was he not vnmindfull of his realme of Ireland, as also of the
orders made and deuised at the councell of Cashill, for the redresse and reformation
of the filthie and loose life of the Irishrie. And therevpon sent his ambassadors
vnto Rome to pope Alexander the third, of and from whom he obteined certeine
priuileges, and vnder his authoritie; namelie, that he should be lord ouer all the
realme of Ireland; and by his power and authoritie they to be reduced and brought
to the christian faith, after the maner and order of the church of England. This
priuilege the king sent ouer into Ireland by one Nicholas Wallingford then prior,
but afterwards abbat of Malmesburie, and William Fitzaldelme. And then being at
Waterford, they caused an assemblie and a synod to be had of all the bishops and
clergie within that land; and then in the open audience of them, the said grant
and priuilege was openlie read and published; as also one other priuilege before
giuen and granted by pope Adrian an Englishman borne, at the sute of one John
of Salisburie, who was made bishop of Karnoceus at Rome. And by this man also
he sent vnto the king for a token, and in signe of a possession thereof, one gold
ring, which togither with the priuilege was laid vp in the kings treasurie at Winchester.
The tenure of both which priuileges it shall not be amisse here to insert.
And concerning the first, these are the words thereof.
"Adrian the bishop, the seruant of the seruants of God, to his most déere sonne
Two priuileges sent from Rome to the king of England.
in Christ the noble king of England sendeth gréeting, and the apostolike benediction.
Your excellencie hath béene verie carefull and studious how you might
inlarge the church of God here in earth, and increase the number of his saints and
elects in heauen: in that as a good catholike king, you haue and doo by all meanes
labor and trauell to inlarge and increase Gods church, by teaching the ignorant
people the true and christian religion, and in abolishing and rooting vp the weeds of
sin and wickednesse: and wherin you haue and doo craue for your better aid and
furtherance the helpe of the apostolike sée, wherein the more spéedilie and discreetlie
you doo procéed, the better successe we hope God will send. For all they which
of a feruent zeale, and loue in religion, doo begin and enterprise anie such thing,
shall no doubt in the end haue a good and prosperous successe. And as for Ireland
and all other Ilands where Christ is knowen, and the christian religion receiued, it
is out of all doubt, and your excellencie well knoweth, they doo all apperteiue and
belong to the right of saint Peter, and of the church of Rome. And we are so much
the more redie, desirous, & willing to sow the acceptable séed of Gods word, because
we know the same in the latter daie will be most seuerelie required at our hands.
You haue (our welbeloued in Christ) aduertised and signified vnto vs, that you will
enter into the land and realme of Ireland, to the end to bring them obedient vnto
law, and vnder your subiection, and to root out from among them their foule sins
and wickednesse, as also to yéeld and paie yéerelie out of euerie house a yearelie
pension of one penie vnto saint Peter: and besides also will defend & kéepe the
rites of those churches whole and inuiolate. We therefore well allowing. and
fauouring this your godlie disposition & commendable affection, doo accept,
ratifie, and assent vnto this your petition: and doo grant that you for the dilating
of Gods church, the punishment of sin, the reforming of maners, planting of
veriue, and the increasing of christian religion, you doo enter to possesse that lanl,
and there to execute according to your wisedome whatsoeuer shall be for the honor
of God, and the safetie of the realme. And further also we doo strictlie charge
and require that all the people of that land doo with all humblenesse, dutifulnesse,
and honor receiue and accept you as their liege lord and souereigne, reseruing and
excepting the right of the holie church, which we will be inuiolably preserued; as
also the yeerelie pension of the Peter pence out of euerie house, which we require
to be trulie answered to saint Peter, and to the church of Rome. If therfore you
doo unind to bring your godlie purpose to effect, indeuor to trauell to reforme the
people to some better order and trade of life: and that also by your selte, and by
such others as you shall thinke meet, true, and honest, in their life, maners and
conuersation, the church of God may be beautified, the true christian religion
sowed and planted, and all other things to be doone, that by anie meanes shall or
may be to Gods honor, and the saluation of mens soules: whereby you may in the
end receiue at Gods hands the reward of an euerlasting life, as also in the meane
time, and in this life carrie a glorious fame, and an honorable report among all
nations." The tenure and effect of the second priuilege is thus.
"Alexander the bishop, the seruant of the seruants of God, to his déerelie
The second priuilege.
beloued son the noble king of England sendeth gréeting, grace, and the apostolike
benediction. Forsomuch as things giuen and granted vpon good reasons by our
predecessors, are to be well allowed of, ratified, and confirmed; we well considering
and pondering the grant and priuilege, for and concerning the dominion of the
land of Ireland to vs. apperteining, and latelie giuen by Adrian our predecessor;
we following his steps doo in like maner confirme, ratifie, and allow the same:
reseruing and sauing to saint Peter and to the church of Rome the yéerelie pension
of one penie out of euerie house as well in England as in Ireland. Prouided also,
that the barbarous people of Ireland by your meanes be reformed and recouered
from their filthie life and abhominable conuersation; that as in name so in maners
and conuersation they may be christians: that as that rude and disordered church
by you being reformed, the whole nation also may with the profession of the name
be in acts and life followers of the same."