chapter
8 Pages

Introduction

ByAndrew Jotischky, Keith Stringer

This chapter focuses on the influence of the kings of England on the conquests in Ireland. The English legal and institutional imprint was deep, as was the impact of men from the centre of the Plantagenet polity. In Ireland, the native laws had never been countenanced; there seems to be no evidence that they had been explored or evaluated by the English authorities. So whereas the stance of Welsh leaders was to defend the laws of Wales, the only option in Ireland was to try to buy in to English law, which the cosmopolitan MacCarwell may have regarded as preferable in any case. In Ireland, by contrast, they were the privileged possession of those who remained subjects of the king of England. Thus underlying attitudes, the chronology of legal and governmental development and the political context all combined to create, at an official level, a presumption against cultural exchange.