The principal invasions began in the year of 1169. The Normans took Wexford, Waterford and Dublin (Joyce 87). King Henry II of England convinced the English pope, Adrian IV, to grant him rights over Ireland for the sake of church reform. The king concluded the Treaty of Windsor in 1175 with the High King of Ireland, Rory O’ Conor, who pledged to pay an annual tribute, while Henry agreed to leave him as High King of any territory not conquered by the Normans. Henry did not honor his agreement and continued to confiscate more and more land.
The Anglo-Norman invasions brought about architectural developments, including Gothic cathedrals (Joyce 88). With the coming of the Normans, the native Irish lost much control of the sources of power. Much of church history from the twelfth to the fifteenth century is a series of squabbles over sees of archbishops and bishops. As each see became vacant, the English set up their own man as successor (Joyce 89).
There were many racial tensions between the English and the Irish churches. Even religious houses were targets in loots and raids (Joyce 91). Even throughout all of the invasions and influences, the old ways of penance, fasting, hospitality and a love of nature endured.
This page was last updated on 28th November 2000.