The Oxford Companion to Irish History

By S. J. Connolly | Go to book overview

H

habeas corpus , a writ requiring the production in court of a detained person. An English act of 1679 confirmed the procedure's status as a defence against imprisonment without trial. The absence of comparable Irish legislation was first raised as a grievance in 1692 (see SOLE RIGHT), and became a central patriot demand until remedied by Sir Samuel Bradstreet's Liberty of the Subject Act ( 1782).

In response to the challenges of the *Defender and *United Irish movements, *Young Ireland, and the *Fenians, the right of habeas corpus was suspended by act of parliament for most of the period 1796-1806, during 1848-9, and again in 1866-9. The Protection of Life and Property Act or Westmeath Act ( 1871), permitting the detention without trial of suspected *Ribbonmen in Westmeath and adjoining counties, was seen as a novel use of the power of suspension outside periods of political emergency (although there was in fact one precedent, in response to agrarian disturbances, during six months of 1822). The Protection of Persons and Property Act of March 1881 temporarily reintroduced detention without trial; but the necessity of maintaining those so detained in relatively comfortable conditions led government to rely thereafter on the summary jurisdiction of the 1887 Crimes Act (see COERCION ACTS). *Internment was however to reappear in the *Anglo-Irish War, and in the security policies of both Northern Ireland and independent Ireland.

Hackett, Thomas. A native of England but a graduate of * Trinity College, Dublin, Hackett became Church of Ireland bishop of Down and Connor in 1672 but resided almost continually in England. In 1694 an episcopal commission appointed by the government deprived him of his see and suspended several of his clergy for a range of abuses.

hagiography , the writing of Lives of the saints, was a genre of literary activity of the first importance in the Latin church in the early Middle Ages. The cult of saints flourished in Ireland and, in particular, there was a strong focus on native saints. The writing of their Lives forms a distinctively Irish strand in the tradition of Latin hagiography, and from the 9th century the use of the Irish language gives Irish saints' Lives a special interest.

From the second half of the 7th century there survives a group of four Lives whose authors are known. Of these * Adomnán's Life of St * Colum Cille, written in or soon after 697, is the richest in accessible historical information. Weaving together stories collected in the saint's community, in terms that look back to the well-known Lives of St Antony, St Martin of Tours, and St Benedict, Adomnán depicts Colum Cille as an idealized abbot in a style that would be recognized by a European audience. The Life of St * Brigid by Cogitosus is earlier, simple in style, but lacks the biographical information: it is no more than a series of miracle stories, often pointing to a biblical precedent, framed by opening and closing passages that claim the highest status for St Brigid's church at Kildare. Two Lives of St * Patrick, both extant in the Book of * Armagh, belong to the same period. Muirchú's life, full of fantastic stories that owe much to Irish secular tales and to folklore, was composed before 700. That by Tírechán is very much simpler, little more than a narrative of Patrick's supposed missionary journey around Ireland founding churches, a literary device that allows the writer to claim a historical fink with churches Armagh sought to control. The only clue to the date of Tíremchán's work is a reference to plagues, which make dates around 670 or the mid-680s equally plausible. These four Lives have little in common, so that one cannot say that at this date there is a recognizable Irish style of saint's Life.

The anonymous first Life of St Brigid shows a close verbal relationship to the Life by Cogitosus, allowing one to infer that it was one of the texts used as a source. A third Life of Brigid, known in part from an Old Irish version of the 9th century, provides a glimpse of a further early account. Both of these Lives, minimalist in style, bear a generic similarity to the greater bulk of Lives of

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The Oxford Companion to Irish History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Editorial Advisers ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • Contributors xiii
  • Note to the Reader xvii
  • A 1
  • B 33
  • C 66
  • D 133
  • E 167
  • F 183
  • G 212
  • H 233
  • I 254
  • K 282
  • L 292
  • M 333
  • N 377
  • O 397
  • P 424
  • Q 469
  • R 471
  • S 495
  • T 532
  • U 557
  • V 577
  • W 582
  • Y 601
  • Z 603
  • Maps 605
  • Subject Index 613
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