The Kingdom of Ireland (Classical Irish: Ríoghacht Éireann; Modern Irish: Ríocht Éireann) was a client state of England and then of Great Britain that existed from 1542 until 1800. It was ruled by the monarchs of England and then of Great Britain in personal union with their other realms. The kingdom was administered from Dublin Castle nominally by the King or Queen, who appointed a viceroy (the Lord Deputy, later Lord Lieutenant) to rule in their stead. It had its own legislature (the Parliament of Ireland), peerage (the Peerage of Ireland), legal system, and state church (the Protestant Church of Ireland).
The territory of the Kingdom had formerly been a lordship ruled by the kings of England, founded in 1177 after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland. By the 1500s the area of English rule had shrunk greatly, and most of Ireland was held by Gaelic Irish chiefdoms. In 1542, King Henry VIII of England was made King of Ireland. The English began establishing control over the island, which sparked the Desmond Rebellions and the Nine Years’ War. It was completed in the 1600s. The conquest involved confiscating land from the native Irish and colonising it with settlers from Britain.
In its early years, the Kingdom had limited recognition, as no Catholic countries in Europe recognised Henry and his heir Edward as monarch of Ireland; although Catholic Queen Mary I was recognised as Queen of Ireland by Pope Paul IV. Catholics, who made up most of the population, were officially discriminated against in the Kingdom, which from the late 17th century was dominated by a Protestant Ascendancy. This discrimination was one of the main drivers behind several conflicts which broke out: the Irish Confederate Wars (1641–53), the Williamite-Jacobite War (1689–91), the Armagh disturbances (1780s–90s) and the Irish Rebellion of 1798.
The Parliament of Ireland passed the Acts of Union 1800 by which it abolished itself and the Kingdom. The act was also passed by the Parliament of Great Britain. It established the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on the first day of 1801 by uniting the Crowns of Ireland and of Great Britain.
Kingdom of Ireland
Coat of arms1
Location of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1789
|Common languages||English, Classical Gaelic|
|Henry VIII (first)|
|George III (last)|
|Anthony St Leger (first)|
|Charles Cornwallis (last)|
|Matthew Locke (first)|
|Robert Stewart (last)|
|House of Lords|
|House of Commons|
|1 January 1801|
|1700–1800||84,421 km2 (32,595 sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||IE|
|Today part of|
The papal bull Laudabiliter of Pope Adrian IV was issued in 1155. It granted the Angevin King Henry II of England the title Dominus Hibernae (Latin for "Lord of Ireland"). Laudabiliter authorised the king to invade Ireland, to bring the country into the European sphere. In return, Henry was required to remit a penny per hearth of the tax roll to the Pope. This was reconfirmed by Adrian's successor Pope Alexander III in 1172.
When Pope Clement VII excommunicated the king of England, Henry VIII, in 1533, the constitutional position of the lordship in Ireland became uncertain. Henry had broken away from the Holy See and declared himself the head of the Church in England. He had petitioned Rome to procure an annulment of his marriage to Queen Catherine. Clement VII refused Henry's request and Henry subsequently refused to recognise the Roman Catholic Church's vestigial sovereignty over Ireland, and was excommunicated again in late 1538 by Pope Paul III. The Treason Act (Ireland) 1537 was passed to counteract this.
Following the failed revolt of Silken Thomas in 1534–35, Grey, the lord deputy, had some military successes against several clans in the late 1530s, and took their submissions. By 1540 most of Ireland seemed at peace and under the control of the king's Dublin administration; a situation that was not to last for long.
Henry was proclaimed King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542, an Act of the Irish Parliament. The new kingdom was not recognised by the Catholic monarchies in Europe. After the death of King Edward VI, Henry's son, the papal bull of 1555 recognised the Roman Catholic Queen Mary I as Queen of Ireland. The link of "personal union" of the Crown of Ireland to the Crown of England became enshrined in Catholic canon law. In this fashion, the Kingdom of Ireland was ruled by the reigning monarch of England. This placed the new Kingdom of Ireland in personal union with the Kingdom of England.
In line with its expanded role and self-image, the administration established the King's Inns for barristers in 1541, and the Ulster King of Arms to regulate heraldry in 1552. Proposals to establish a university in Dublin were delayed until 1592.
In 1593 war broke out, as Hugh O'Neill, earl of Tyrone, led a confederation of Irish lords and Spain against the crown, in what later became known as the Nine Years' War. A series of stunning Irish victories brought English power in Ireland to the point of collapse by the beginning of 1600, but a renewed campaign under Charles Blount, Lord Mountjoy forced Tyrone to submit in 1603, completing the Tudor conquest of Ireland.
In 1603 James VI King of Scots became James I of England, uniting the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland in a personal union. The political order of the kingdom was interrupted by the Wars of the Three Kingdoms starting in 1639. During the subsequent interregnum period, England, Scotland and Ireland were ruled as a republic until 1660. This period saw the rise of the loyalist Irish Catholic Confederation within the kingdom and, from 1653, the creation of the republican Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. The kingdom's order was restored 1660 with the restoration of Charles II. Without any public dissent, Charles's reign was backdated to his father's execution in 1649.
Poynings' Law was repealed in 1782 in what came to be known as the Constitution of 1782, granting Ireland legislative independence. Parliament in this period came to be known as Grattan's Parliament, after the principal Irish leader of the period, Henry Grattan. Although Ireland had legislative independence, executive administration remained under the control of the executive of the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1788–89 a Regency crisis arose when King George III became ill. Grattan wanted to appoint the Prince of Wales, later George IV, as Regent of Ireland. The king recovered before this could be enacted.
The Irish Rebellion of 1798, and the rebels' alliance with Great Britain's longtime enemy the French, led to a push to bring Ireland formally into the British Union. By the Acts of Union 1800, voted for by both Irish and British Parliaments, the Kingdom of Ireland merged on 1 January 1801 with the Kingdom of Great Britain to form the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The Irish Parliament ceased to exist, though the executive, presided over by the Lord Lieutenant, remained in place until 1922. The union was later the subject of much controversy.
The Kingdom of Ireland was governed by an executive under the control of a Lord Deputy or viceroy. The post was held by senior nobles such as Thomas Radcliffe. From 1688 the title was usually Lord Lieutenant. In the absence of a Lord Deputy, lords justices ruled. While some Irishmen held the post, most of the lords deputy were English noblemen. While the viceroy controlled the Irish administration as the monarch's representative, in the eighteenth century the political post of Chief Secretary for Ireland became increasingly powerful.
The Kingdom of Ireland was legislated by the bicameral Parliament of Ireland, made up of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. The powers of the Irish parliament were circumscribed by a series of restrictive laws, mainly Poynings' Law of 1494.
Roman Catholics and dissenters, mostly Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists, were excluded from membership of the Irish parliament from 1693 and their rights were restricted by a series of laws called the Penal Laws. They were denied voting rights from 1728 until 1793. The Grattan Parliament succeeded in achieving the repeal of Poynings' Law in 1782. This allowed progressive legislation and gradual liberalisation was effected. Catholics and Dissenters were given the right to vote in 1793, but Catholics were still excluded from the Irish Parliament and senior public offices in the kingdom. As in Great Britain and the rest of Europe, voting and membership of parliament was restricted to property owners. In the 1720s the new Irish Houses of Parliament were built in College Green, Dublin.
When Henry VIII was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church in 1538, all but two of the bishops of the Church in Ireland followed the doctrine of the Church of England, although almost no clergy or laity did so. Having paid their Annates to the Papacy, the bishops had no reason to step down, and in the 1530s nobody knew how long the reformation would last. Unlike Henry VIII, this hierarchy was not excommunicated by the Papacy, and still controlled what became the State Church of the new Kingdom in 1542, and retained possession of most Church property (including a great repository of religious architecture and other items, though some were later destroyed). In 1553, Irish Catholics were heartened by the coronation of Queen Mary I, who persuaded the Papacy to recognise the Kingdom in 1555, via the papal bull "Ilius".
Then in 1558 the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I came to the throne, survived the 1570 bull Regnans in Excelsis, and all but one of the following monarchs were Anglican. Contrary to the official plan, the substantial majority of the population remained strongly Roman Catholic, despite the political and economic advantages of membership in the state church. Despite its numerical minority, however, the Church of Ireland remained the official state church until it was disestablished on 1 January 1871 by the Liberal government under William Ewart Gladstone.
The legacy of the Kingdom of Ireland remains a bone of contention in Irish-British relations to this day because of the constant ethnic conflict between the native Irish inhabitants and primarily the New English ruling caste (as well as a parallel conflict with settled Ulster-Scots). The regime privileged English culture (law, language, dress, religion, economic relations and definitions of land ownership) in Ireland, while the Gaelic culture and Irish language, though maintained to a significant extent by the majority of the native population was presented as "barbaric", "savage" or otherwise the mark of undesirability. While the Lordship of Ireland had existed since the 12th century and nominally owed allegiance to the English monarchy, many kingdoms of Gaelic Ireland continued to exist; this came to an end with the Kingdom of Ireland, where the whole island was brought under the centralised control of an Anglocentric regime based at Dublin. This phase of Irish history marked the beginning of an officially organised policy of settler colonialism, orchestrated from London and the incorporation of Ireland into the British Empire (indeed Ireland is called "England's first colony"). The theme is prominently addressed in Irish postcolonial literature.
The nominal religion of the native majority and its clergy; the Catholic Church in Ireland; was actively persecuted by the state and a set of Penal Laws in favour of the Anglican Church in Ireland, highly damaging to the native Irish Catholics, were erected. There is some controversy that during Tudor times, elements within the government at times engaged in and advanced a genocidal policy against the Irish Gaels, while during the Plantations of Ireland (particularly successful in Ulster) the local population were displaced in a project of ethnic cleansing where regions of Ireland became de-Gaelicised, which led in turn to bloody retaliations, which drags on to modern times. Some of the native inhabitants, including their leadership were permitted to flee into exile from the country following ending up on the losing side in conflicts (i.e. the Flight of the Earls and the Flight of the Wild Geese) or in the case of the Cromwellian regime were forced into indentured servitude in the Caribbean, following mass land confiscation for the benefit of New English settlers.
Modern historians would see the process in less emotive terms. In their worldwide expansions after 1500, the European kingdoms upset local polities and imposed new systems on the periphery of Europe, and it should not be a surprise to find this in Ireland. Irish people who respected or adopted the official language and religions between 1542 and 1800 were treated in much the same way as later arrivals, as all were subjects of the same kingdom. The population, infrastructure and economy of the kingdom all expanded during its existence until the famine in 1845 to 1849.
On the other hand, the fact that the kingdom had been a unitary state gave Irish nationalists in 1912–22 a reason to expect that in the process of increasing self-government the island of Ireland would be treated as a single political unit.
The arms of the Kingdom of Ireland were blazoned: Azure, a harp Or stringed Argent. A crown was not part of the arms but use of a crowned harp was apparently common as a badge or as a device. A crowned harp also appeared as a crest although the delineated crest was: a wreath Or and Azure, a tower (sometime triple-towered) Or, from the port, a hart springing Argent.
King James not only used the harp crowned as the device of Ireland, but quartered the harp in this royal achievement for the arms of that kingdom, in the third quarter of the royal achievement upon his Great Seal, as it has continued ever since. The blazon was azure, a harp or string argent, as appears by the great embroidered banner, and at the funeral of Queen Anne, King James' queen, AD 1618, and likewise by the great banner and banner of Ireland at the funeral of King James. The difference between the arms and device of Ireland appears to be on the crown only, which is added to the harp when used as a device. At the funeral of King James was likewise carried the standard of the crest of Ireland, a buck proper (argent in the draught) issuing from a tower triple towered or, which is the only instance of this crest that I have met, and therefore was probably devised and assigned for the crest of Ireland upon occasion of this funeral, but with what propriety I do not understand.— Questions and Answers, Notes and Queries, 1855, p. 350
The insignia of Ireland have variously been given by early writers. In the reign of Edward IV, a commission appointed to enquire what were the arms of Ireland found them to be three crowns in pale. It has been supposed that these crowns were abandoned at the Reformation, from an idea that they might denote the feudal sovereignty of the pope, whose vassal the king of England was, as lord of Ireland. However, in a manuscript in the Heralds' College of the time of Henry VII, the arms of Ireland are blazoned azure, a harp or, stringed argent; and when they were for the first time placed on the royal shield on the accession of James I. they were thus delineated: the crest is on a wreath or and azure, a tower (sometime triple-towered) or, from the port, a hart springing argent. Another crest is a harp or. The national flag of Ireland exhibits the harp in a field vert. The royal badge of Ireland, as settled by sign-manual in 1801 is a harp, or, stringed argent, and a trefoil vert, both ensigned with the imperial crown.— Chambers' Encyclopædia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge, 1868, p. 627
The red saltire on white ground which represents Ireland in the Union flag had only an ephemeral existence as a separate flag. Originating as the arms of the powerful Geraldines, who from the time of Henry II held the predominant position among those whose presence in Ireland was due to the efforts of the English sovereigns to subjugate that country, it is not to be expected that the native Irish should ever have taken kindly to a badge that could only remind them of their servitude to a race with whom they had little in common, and the attempt to father this emblem upon St Patrick (who, it may be remarked, is not entitled to a cross – since he was not a martyr) has evoked no response from the Irish themselves.
The earliest evidence of the existence of the red flag known to the author occurs in a map of "Hirlandia" by John Goghe dated 1576 and now exhibited in the Public Record Office. The arms at the head of this map are the St George's cross impaled on the crowned harp, but the red saltire is prominent in the arms of the Earl of Kildare and the other Geraldine families placed over their respective spheres of influence. The red saltire flag is flown at the masthead of a ship, possibly an Irish pirate, which is engaged in action in the St George's Channel with another ship flying the St George's cross. The St George's flag flies upon Cornwall, Wales and Man, but the red saltire flag does not appear upon Ireland itself, though it is placed upon the adjacent Mulls of Galloway and Kintyre in Scotland. It is, however, to be found in the arms of Trinity College, Dublin (1591), in which the banners of St George and of this saltire surmount the turrets that flank the castle gateway.
The Graydon MS. Flag Book of 1686 which belonged to Pepys does not contain this flag, but give as the flag of Ireland (which, it may be noted, appears as an afterthought right at the end of the book) the green flag with St George's cross and the harp, illustrated in Plate X, fig. 3. The saltire flag is nevertheless given as "Pavillon d'Ierne" in the flags plates at the commencement of the Neptune François of 1693, whence it was copied into later flag collections.
Under the Commonwealth and Protectorate, when England and Scotland were represented in the Great and other Seals by their crosses, Ireland was invariably represented by the harp that was added to the English and Scottish crosses to form a flag of the three kingdoms. At the funeral of Cromwell the Great Standards of England and Scotland had the St George's and St Andrew's crosses in chief respectively, but the Great Standard of Ireland had in chief a red cross (not saltire) on a yellow field.
When the Order of St Patrick was instituted in 1783 the red saltire was taken for the badge of the Order, and since this emblem was of convenient form for introduction into the Union flag of England and Scotland it was chosen in forming the combined flag of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1801.
Féach ár bpian le sé chéad bliain aige Gaill in éigean, gan rí dár rialadh de Ghaeil, mo chian, i ríoghacht Éireann.
(the above Gaelic sentence is translated a few lines later as:) Consider our torment for six hundred years by violent foreigners, with no king of the Gaels ruling us, my grief, in the kingdom of Ireland.
Here can be seen, in close association, expressions of religious loyalty to the pre-Reformation faith represented by Creggan churchyard; dynastic loyalty to the house of Stuart; and national loyalty to 'ríocht Éireann' , 'the kingdom of Ireland'.
The enactments concerns the Church in Queen Elizabeth's first Parliament had no unpleasant effects upon its governors; save that by the Act of Supremacy, or rather their own obnoxious conduct in defiance of it, two bishops were deprived of their sees: Leverious, bishop of Kildare, who refused to take the Oath of Supremacy; and Walsh, bishop of Meath, who not only refused to take the oath, but preached also against the queen's supremacy, and against the Book of Common Prayer.
The Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland (Irish: Annála Ríoghachta Éireann) or the Annals of the Four Masters (Annála na gCeithre Máistrí) are chronicles of medieval Irish history. The entries span from the Deluge, dated as 2,242 years after creation to AD 1616.Anne Bonny
Anne Bonny (possibly 1697 – possibly April 1782) was an Irish pirate operating in the Caribbean, and one of the most famous female pirates of all time. The little that is known of her life comes largely from Captain Charles Johnson's A General History of the Pyrates.
Born in Ireland around 1700, Bonny moved to London and then to the Province of Carolina when she was about 10 years old. She then married and moved to Nassau in the Bahamas, a known sanctuary for pirates, around 1715. It was there she met Jack Rackham, and became his pirate partner and lover. Along with Mary Read, she often disguised herself as a man and became one of the most recognizable and wanted faces of the "Golden Age of Piracy". Although captured alongside Rackham and Read in October 1720, what happened to Bonny next is unknown. Some claim she died in prison, while others say she escaped or was released. Her time and place of death is also a mystery, although some historians trace it to South Carolina in 1782.Civil parishes in Ireland
Civil parishes (Irish: paróistí sibhialta, paróistí dlí) are units of territory in the island of Ireland that have their origins in old Gaelic territorial divisions. They were adopted by the Anglo-Norman Lordship of Ireland and then by the Elizabethan Kingdom of Ireland, and were formalised as land divisions at the time of the Plantations of Ireland. They no longer correspond to the boundaries of Roman Catholic or Church of Ireland parishes, which are generally larger. Their use as administrative units was gradually replaced by Poor Law Divisions in the 19th century, although they were not formally abolished. Today they are still sometimes used for legal purposes.Coat of arms of Ireland
The coat of arms of Ireland is blazoned as Azure a Celtic Harp Or, stringed Argent (a gold harp with silver strings on a blue background). These arms have long been Ireland's heraldic emblem. References to them as being the arms of the king of Ireland can be found as early as the 13th century. These arms were adopted by Henry VIII of England when he ended the period of Lordship of Ireland and declared Ireland to be a kingdom again in 1541. When the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland were united in 1603, they were integrated into the unified royal coat of arms of kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. The harp was adopted as the emblem of the Irish Free State when it separated from the United Kingdom in 1922. They were registered as the arms of Ireland with the Chief Herald of Ireland on 9 November 1945.The depiction of the harp has changed over time. In the 17th century, during the period of the Kingdom of Ireland, the pillar of the harp began to be depicted as a bare-breasted woman. When the arms were restored as the arms of the independent Irish state in 1922, a late-medieval Gaelic harp (a cláirseach), the Trinity College Harp, was used as a model.
Several variants of the arms of Ireland exist, including a heraldic badge and an infrequently used crest and torse. The Lordship of Ireland, the medieval realm of Ireland that existed between 1171 and 1541 under the English crown, had a separate arms, which are blazoned Azure, three crowns in pale Or, bordure Argent (three golden crowns ordered vertically on a blue background with a white border). A variant of the arms of the ancient royal province of Meath were also apparently used at one time as the arms of Ireland.Fermanagh
Fermanagh (Irish: Fir Manach) was a kingdom of Gaelic Ireland, associated geographically with present-day County Fermanagh. Fir Manach originally referred to a distinct kin group of alleged Laigin origins. The kingdom of Fermanagh was formed in the 10th century, out of the larger kingdom of Uí Chremthainn, which was part of the overkingdom of Airgíalla. By the late 11th century it had grown to cover all of what is now County Fermanagh. The kingdom came to be ruled by the Mag Uidhir (Maguire) clan from the late 13th century onward. They were based at Lisnaskea, and their royal inauguration site was nearby Sgiath Gabhra (Skeagoura), now called Cornashee. Under Hugh Maguire, Fermanagh was nvolved in the Nine Years' War against English rule. His successor, Cú Chonnacht Óg Mag Uidhir, was one of the Gaelic Irish leaders who fled Ireland during the Flight of the Earls. Fermanagh was subsequently merged into the Kingdom of Ireland as County Fermanagh.Hercules Mulligan
Hercules Mulligan (September 25, 1740 – March 4, 1825) was an Irish-American tailor and spy during the American Revolutionary War. He was a member of the Sons of Liberty.High King of Ireland
The High Kings of Ireland (Irish: Ard-Rí na hÉireann Irish pronunciation: [ˈa:ɾˠd̪ˠˌɾˠiː n̪ˠə ˈheːrʲən̪ˠ]) were sometimes historical and sometimes legendary figures who had, or who are claimed to have had, lordship over the whole of Ireland for centuries.
Medieval and early modern Irish literature portrays an almost unbroken sequence of High Kings, ruling from the Hill of Tara over a hierarchy of lesser kings, stretching back thousands of years. Modern historians believe this scheme is artificial, constructed in the 8th century from the various genealogical traditions of politically powerful groups, and intended to justify the current status of those groups by projecting it back into the remote past.The concept of national kingship is first articulated in the 7th century, but only became a political reality in the Viking Age, and even then not a consistent one. While the High Kings' degree of control varied, Ireland was never ruled by them as a politically unified state, as the High King was conceived of as an overlord exercising suzerainty over, and receiving tribute from, the independent kingdoms beneath him.House of Commons
The House of Commons is the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada and historically was the name of the lower houses of the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of Great Britain, Kingdom of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Southern Ireland. Roughly equivalent bodies in other countries which were once part of the British Empire include the United States House of Representatives, the Australian House of Representatives, the New Zealand House of Representatives, and India's Lok Sabha.
In the UK and Canada, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the respective upper house of parliament. The leader of the majority party in the House of Commons usually becomes the prime minister. Since 2010 the House of Commons of the United Kingdom has had 650 elected members, and since 2015 the House of Commons of Canada has had 338 members. The Commons' functions are to consider through debate new laws and changes to existing ones, authorise taxes, and provide scrutiny of the policy and expenditure of the Government. It has the power to give a Government a vote of no confidence.House of Commons of Great Britain
The House of Commons of Great Britain was the lower house of the Parliament of Great Britain between 1707 and 1801. In 1707, as a result of the Acts of Union of that year, it replaced the House of Commons of England and the third estate of the Parliament of Scotland, as one of the most significant changes brought about by the Union of the kingdoms of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain.
In the course of the 18th century, the office of Prime Minister developed. The notion that a government remains in power only as long as it retains the support of Parliament also evolved, leading to the first ever motion of no confidence, when Lord North's government failed to end the American Revolution. The modern notion that only the support of the House of Commons is necessary for a government to survive, however, was of later development. Similarly, the custom that the Prime Minister is always a Member of the Lower House, rather than the Upper one, did not evolve until the twentieth century.
The business of the house was controlled by an elected Speaker. The Speaker's official role was to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The Speaker decided who may speak and had the powers to discipline members who break the procedures of the house. The Speaker often also represented the body in person, as the voice of the body in ceremonial and some other situations. The title was first recorded in 1377 to describe the role of Thomas de Hungerford in the Parliament of England. By convention, Speakers are normally addressed in Parliament as Mister Speaker, if a man, or Madam Speaker, if a woman.
In 1801, the House was enlarged to become the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, as a result of the Act of Union of 1800 which combined Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.Irish Royal Army
The Irish Royal Army or Irish establishment refers to the British crown armies stationed in the Kingdom of Ireland between 1542 and 1801. The regiments on the establishment were placed on the British establishment following the Act of Union, although some roles continued to exist separately.Leinster
Leinster ( — Irish: Laighin / Cúige Laighean — pronounced [ˈl̪ˠaːjɪnʲ] / [ˈkuːɟə ˈl̪ˠaːjɪnˠ]) is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the east of Ireland. It comprises the ancient Kingdoms of Mide, Osraige and Leinster. Following the 12th-century Norman invasion of Ireland, the historic fifths of Leinster and Mide gradually merged, mainly due to the impact of the Pale, which straddled both, thereby forming the present-day province of Leinster. The ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial purposes. In later centuries, local government legislation has seen further sub-division of the historic counties.
Leinster has no official function for local-government purposes. However, the province is an officially recognised subdivision of Ireland. It is listed on ISO 3166-2 as one of the four provinces of Ireland and "IE-L" is attributed to Leinster as its country sub-division code.
Leinster had a population of 2,630,720 according to the preliminary results of the 2016 census, making it the most populous province in the country. The traditional flag of Leinster features a golden harp on a green background.Lord Deputy of Ireland
The Lord Deputy was the representative of the monarch and head of the Irish executive under English rule, during the Lordship of Ireland and then the Kingdom of Ireland. He deputised prior to 1523 for the Viceroy of Ireland. The plural form is "Lords Deputy".Lordship of Ireland
The Lordship of Ireland (Irish: Tiarnas na hÉireann), sometimes referred to retroactively as Norman Ireland, was the part of Ireland ruled by the King of England (styled as "Lord of Ireland") and controlled by loyal Anglo-Norman lords between 1177 and 1542. The lordship was created as a Papal possession following the Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169–1171. As the lord of Ireland was also the king of England, he was represented locally by a governor, variously known as justiciar, lieutenant, or Lord Deputy.
The kings of England claimed lordship over the whole island, but in reality the king's rule only ever extended to parts of the island. The rest of the island—known as Gaelic Ireland—remained under the control of various Gaelic Irish kingdoms or chiefdoms, who were often at war with the Anglo-Normans.
The area under English rule and law grew and shrank over time, and reached its greatest extent in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. The lordship then went into decline, brought on by its invasion by Scotland in 1315–18, the Great Famine of 1315–17, and the Black Death of the 1340s. The fluid political situation and English feudal system allowed a great deal of autonomy for the Anglo-Norman lords in Ireland, who carved out earldoms for themselves and had almost as much authority as some of the native Gaelic kings. Some Anglo-Normans became Gaelicised and rebelled against the English administration. The English attempted to curb this by passing the Statutes of Kilkenny (1366), which forbade English settlers from taking up Irish law, language, custom and dress. The period ended with the creation of the Kingdom of Ireland in 1542.Monarchy of Ireland
A monarchical system of government existed in Ireland from ancient times until—for what became the Republic of Ireland—the early twentieth century. Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, remains under a monarchical system of government. The Gaelic kingdoms of Ireland ended with the Norman invasion of Ireland, when the kingdom became a fief of the Holy See under the Lordship of the King of England. This lasted until the Parliament of Ireland conferred the crown of Ireland upon King Henry VIII of England during the English Reformation. The monarch of England held the crowns of England and Ireland in a personal union. The Union of the Crowns in 1603 expanded the personal union to include Scotland. The personal union between England and Scotland became a political union with the enactments of the Acts of Union 1707, which created the Kingdom of Great Britain. The crowns of Great Britain and Ireland remained in personal union until it was ended by the Acts of Union 1800, which united Ireland and Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from January 1801 until December 1922.
After that date, most of Ireland left the United Kingdom to become the largely independent Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Empire; the remaining part, Northern Ireland, elected to remain in the United Kingdom. Both the Free State and the United Kingdom, which changed its name to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 1927, had the same person as monarch: George V. In 1937, the year after George V's death, the Free State adopted a new constitution which changed the state's name to Ireland (or Éire) and removed all mention of the monarch. In April 1949, Ireland was declared a republic, with the description of the Republic of Ireland, and it left the Commonwealth of Nations. Since April 1949, the only part of the island of Ireland that has retained a monarchical system is Northern Ireland (as part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).Parliament of Ireland
The Parliament of Ireland was the legislature of the Lordship of Ireland, and later the Kingdom of Ireland, from 1297 until 1800. It was modelled on the Parliament of England and from 1537 comprised two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The Lords were members of the Irish peerage ("lords temporal") and bishops ("lords spiritual"; after the Reformation, Church of Ireland bishops). The Commons was directly elected, albeit on a very restricted franchise. Parliaments met at various places in Leinster and Munster, but latterly always in Dublin: in Christchurch Cathedral (15th century), Dublin Castle (to 1649), Chichester House (1661–1727), the Blue Coat School (1729–31), and finally a purpose-built Parliament House on College Green.The main purpose of parliament was to approve taxes that were then levied by and for the Dublin Castle administration. Those who would pay the bulk of taxation, the clergy, merchants and landowners, also comprised the members. Only the "English of Ireland" were represented until the first Gaelic lords summoned during the 16th-century Tudor reconquest. Under Poynings' Law of 1495, all Acts of Parliament had to be pre-approved by the Irish Privy Council and English Privy Council. Parliament supported the Irish Reformation and Catholics were excluded from membership and voting in penal times. The Constitution of 1782 amended Poynings' Law to allow the Irish Parliament to initiate legislation. In 1793 Catholics were re-enfranchised.
The Acts of Union 1800 merged the Kingdom of Ireland and Kingdom of Great Britain into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The parliament was merged with that of Great Britain; the united Parliament was in effect the British parliament at Westminster enlarged with a subset of the Irish Lords and Commons.Peerage of Ireland
The Peerage of Ireland consists of those titles of nobility created by the English monarchs in their capacity as Lord or King of Ireland, or later by monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The creation of such titles came to an end in the 19th century. The ranks of the Irish peerage are Duke, Marquess, Earl, Viscount and Baron. As of 2016, there were 135 titles in the Peerage of Ireland extant: two dukedoms, ten marquessates, 43 earldoms, 28 viscountcies, and 52 baronies. The Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland continues to exercise jurisdiction over the Peerage of Ireland, including those peers whose titles derive from places located in what is now the Republic of Ireland. Article 40.2 of the Irish Constitution forbids the state conferring titles of nobility and a citizen may not accept titles of nobility or honour except with the prior approval of the Government. As stated above, this issue does not arise in respect of the Peerage of Ireland, as no creations of titles in it have been made since the Constitution came into force.
In the following table, each peer is listed only by his or her highest Irish title, showing higher or equal titles in the other peerages. Those peers who are known by a higher title in one of the other peerages are listed in italics.Privy Council of Ireland
The Privy Council of Ireland was an institution of the Kingdom of Ireland until 31 December 1800 and of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 1801 to 1922. It performed a similar role in the Dublin Castle administration in Ireland to that of the Privy Council of the United Kingdom in the government of the United Kingdom.
A member of the Privy Council of Ireland who was a commoner was styled Right Honourable, just as the members of the British Privy Council were. Those addressing a Lord of the Privy Council could also add the postnominals "PC" or "PC (Ire)" as suffix after his name, as he already had the style of "Right Honourable" (or a higher order such as Most Honourable) as a peer. On joining and taking their oath, members were said to be "sworn of" the privy council.
The final appointments to the Privy Council were those of Charles Curtis Craig, William Henry Holmes Lyons, and Henry Arthur Wynne on 28 November 1922. Although never formally abolished, the Council ceased to have any functions when the Irish Free State came into being a few days later, on 6 December 1922, and it did not meet again. The 1st Baron Rathcavan was the last surviving member; appointed on 16 September 1921, he died on 28 November 1982.Thomas Dongan, 2nd Earl of Limerick
Thomas Dongan, (pronounced "Dungan") 2nd Earl of Limerick (1634 – 14 December 1715), was a member of the Irish Parliament, Royalist military officer during the English Civil War, and Governor of the Province of New York. He is noted for having called the first representative legislature in New York, and for granting the province's Charter of Liberties.Thomas Fitzsimons
Thomas Fitzsimons (1741–1811) was an American merchant and statesman of Philadelphia. He represented Pennsylvania in the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the U.S. Congress.
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