This record is held by Lambeth Palace Library


Certain Ordinances and Provisions, in addition to divers others, made in the Great Parliament holden at Dublin, 12th July, 33 Hen. VIII., for the reformation of the inhabitants of this kingdom in the parts of Munster, who are not as yet so acquainted with laws as to be able to live and be governed according to them.


(1.) The King shall in future be reputed and acknowledged to be King of Ireland, as in truth he always was.


(2.) All archbishops, bishops, and other pastors of this kingdom shall exercise their ordinary jurisdiction in their several provinces and dioceses.


(3.) A layman or other person under age shall not henceforth be admitted to any ecclesiastical benefice.


(4.) The principal and ancient manors of the bishops, which they have been accustomed to reside in, or to occupy in their own culture by themselves or by their bailiffs, and the houses of rectors and vicars which do not exceed in annual value 10 marks sterling, shall be free and exempt from all oppressions, impositions, and burdens called coyne and livery.


(5.) Every clerk having a dignity in a cathedral church or curate benefice within a year shall cause himself to be promoted to priestly orders, and shall thenceforth personally and continually reside in his church, unless he shall be lawfully impeded or licensed. [Otherwise] he shall be deprived of his benefice or dignity.


(6.) The peace of the King shall be publicly proclaimed in all Munster ; and if any person shall commit any spoil, robbery, homicide, or invasion, he shall render double of the offence to him against whom such misdeed shall be committed, and forfeit to the King 40l., to be distributed thus: 20l. to the King, 20 marks to the principal lord and governor there, and 10 marks to the inferior lord or captain of the country where the misdeed is perpetrated.


(7.) Every person committing any robbery beyond the value of 14d., for the first offence shall lose one of his ears, for the second the other ear, and the third time shall suffer death.


(8.) No horseman (equester) shall keep more than one servant or groom for each horse, under penalty of 20s., of which 13s. 4d. shall go to the principal captain, and 6s. 8d. to the inferior captain.


(9.) No gentleman or any other shall retain horsemen or footmen called kerne (turbarii), unless their lord is willing to be bound for their honesty and fidelity. Their lord to set down all his servants in writing, and deliver a copy of their names before next Easter to the principal captain of the country, who is to deliver to the Lord Deputy as well that as another list of his [own?] men.


(10.) Every footman called a kerne (turbarius) found in any country without a lord being bound for him as aforesaid, shall be reputed as a vagabond and suspected person, and taken into safe custody until he shall find a sufficient lord.


(11.) Every gentleman having lands and free tenants shall answer to the King for himself and his followers, as well to observe the King's peace, as to be prepared to answer to the King and his Deputy as often as they shall be called upon.


(12.) Every horseman and kerne ought to live at the expense of his lord, or in his own house at his own expense, nothing exacting or receiving in victuals from the tenants of others or from his own for himself or his house, under penalty of 6s. 8d., to be paid to the lord of the country where he offended, and payment of double the value of the thing taken to the tenant or inhabitant from whom he shall exact anything.


(13.) No lord, captain, or gentleman shall exact any impositions called coyne and livery from the tenants of others, unless at such time as the Lord Deputy and Council shall determine upon great journeys called "hostinges," or appoint victuals to be collected for the King's wars or other affairs, under penalty of paying double what he receives.


(14.) Proviso nevertheless that the principal governor [or] captain of each country shall have the general expenses of the country for the security of his person and the peace of the same country.


(15.) Robbery under the value of 14d. shall be punished in the court[s] of those lords who have the power of holding court[s]; and if any person steal a sheep, goat, or any like thing under the same value, he shall forfeit five marks; that is to say, to the principal captain three marks; to the second captain 20s., unless he be a participator in the crime; and 6s. 8d. to the informer. Any person who harbours such a delinquent shall incur a similar penalty.


(16.) No person shall buy anything to the value of 5s. of any person who appears to be a thief; or else the buyer shall forfeit 5 marks, and restore the property to the owner.


(17.) Spoilers on the high ways and all ravishers of women shall suffer death without redemption.


(18.) Parents shall be responsible for invasions and robberies committed by their children, and elder brothers for younger ones under their government, and for such offences shall forfeit the sums above specified.


(19.) No lord, nobleman, horseman, or tribune shall presume to levy or extort portions of tithes (garbas de decimis); and no lord shall usurp any vacant benefices without collation, admission of the ordinary, and canonical institution, under pain of excommunication.


(20.) All faithful people shall pay to their parish churches all tithes, as well greater as smaller, mixed and minute, and also of pasture, felled wood, fuel, and of the sheaves (garbarum) which in autumn they give in reward to their reapers. Foreign fishermen shall pay the moiety of the tithes of fish by them taken in the places and parishes where they resort in the fishing season under ecclesiastical penalties.


(21.) No lord or nobleman shall have in his shirt beyond 20 cubits of linen cloth; no vassal or horseman more than 18 cubits; no kerne (turbarius) or Scot more than 16 cubits; grooms, messengers, or other servants of lords 12 cubits; husbandmen and labourers 10 cubits. None of the aforesaid shall use saffron (croceis) shirts, on pain of forfeiting such shirts and 20s.


(22.) No messengers, players (histriones) or other seekers of rewards in the solemnities of Christmas or Easter or at any other time shall be allowed, nor any reward be given them, under penalty of the loss of one ear.


(23.) Whenever any theft, rapine, or robbery shall be committed in any of the countries aforesaid, and the party injured shall pursue the stolen property into the dominion of any person, then the lord of that dominion shall satisfy the injured person for the goods stolen, unless it be proved that the property has gone out of that dominion; and every such lord shall forfeit to the King five marks, to the principal lord under the King, 40s., and to the inferior lord or governor of the country, 26s. 8d.


(24.) The King's Treasurer, viz., the Earl of Ormond, in cos. Waterford, Kilkenny, and Tipperary, and the Earl of Desmond in the other counties of Munster, are appointed the chief executors of the present ordinances, with the assistance of the Archbishop of Cashel; and under them all the bishops and captains or governors of countries. They are to levy the penalties above specified, and to retain a third part for themselves, the remainder belonging to the King.


Signed at the beginning: Antony Sentleger; at the end: James Ormd. and Oss.; Georgius Dublin.; Edwarde Miden.; John Travers; Thomas Cusake, Mr. Rotulorum.



Date: 12 July 1541
Held by: Lambeth Palace Library, not available at The National Archives
Language: Latin
Extent: 6 Pages.
Unpublished Finding Aids:
  • Calendar of the Carew Manuscripts preserved in the Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, ed. J. S. Brewer & W. Bullen (6 vols., 1867-73), vol. I, document 157.

Former Reference Department: MS 603, p. 28

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