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Oh My God! The Statutes of Kilkenny!

In order to bring Ireland under control, the Duke of Clarence gathered a Parliament in Kilkenny last year to pass several laws called the Statutes of Kilkenny, forcing the English-Irish living in Ireland to maintain their English heritage. Apparently many of them speak Irish better than any Irishmen so as a condition of keeping their lands, they must learn English and they are forbidden to marry the Irish. Ireland is the wilderness from the point of view of England. Their remote location has contributed to the assimilation of the English-Irish (also called the Hiberno-Normans). Enforcement of the Statutes has failed, so the Duke of Clarence has given up and has gone back to England in disgust. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The real desire is for English control over the Irish who disdain the idea of written contracts and ownership of land enforced by anything other than force of arms. "If you can take it, it's yours," seems to be the law in Ireland and while the English seem to follow the same rule in their war with France, King Edward III of England wants to recover the lands he once held in Ulster from the Irishmen who think the land belongs to them. In 1609 Ulster will be a point of contention when the Ulster Plantation will be established. That confiscation of half a million acres from the Irish chieftains is often cited as the reason behind "The Troubles" between Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants in the modern day. That conflict is the subject of the Tom Clancy novel "Patriot Games". The Ulster Plantation will also be the source of 150,000 immigrants to the American colonies and cause General George Washington to praise the Scots-Irish, saying, "If defeated everywhere else, I will make my stand for liberty among the Scots-Irish of my native Virginia." The Scots-Irish will also make possible the building of Washington, D.C.[4] [5] [6]

Black Death: King Edward III's Plot

During the Plague years, King Edward III of England bought a cemetery near the Tower of London and supported a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary in gratitude of being delivered from his many close calls and probably in anticipation of further saving required from the Black Death. It was quite common at the time to make such contributions to the Church for this purpose. Now King Edward's original efforts have grown into a monastery. He has upped his contributions to about a thousand pounds sterling annually. In near present day dollars that is over 4 million dollars. [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The King's generosity did not extend very far initially. He bought the cemetery and chapel but failed to contribute much more than a token for it's maintenance. It is difficult to know what has motivated the King's sudden interest in a burial plot. Perhaps it has been the deaths of his most trusted advisers after the recent return of the plague. Certainly the loss of the previous Duke of Lancaster was grievous to him despite the fact that his second son, John of Gaunt rose to take the dukedom.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1367, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Green, David. Lordship and Principality: Colonial Policy in Ireland and Aquitaine in the 1360s. Journal of British Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Jan., 2008). Cambridge University Press. pp. 3-29. (JOURNAL)
  2. Statutes of Kilkenny - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Hiberno-Normans - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Plantation of Ulster - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Scotch-Irish American - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. The Troubles - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Cantor, Norman F., In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made, Harper Perennial, 2001. pp. 53-54.(BOOK) quote = "In 1367 he granted the monastery income from two London churches and other rents in London worth one thousand pounds a year, fulfilling his original commitment. On his deathbed Edward made further grants on the scale that he had originally promised."

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