Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 50.djvu/178

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


monde, who was appointed to command them. But the earl, who had been led to believe that his appointment was a device on the part of St. Leger to get rid of him, shortly afterwards preferred a serious charge against him. What ‘toy’ he had in his head, the archbishop of Dublin, George Browne, was unable to say, and St. Leger, being equally ignorant, intercepted Ormonde's letters to the privy council. During the winter the quarrel became so acute that the privy council intervened, and in April 1546 St. Leger and Ormonde repaired to England, where they were speedily reconciled. The mischief was soon afterwards traced to the lord chancellor, John Alen, who was thereupon deprived of the great seal and clapped in the Fleet. St. Leger returned to Ireland on 16 Dec., and his commission as deputy was confirmed on 7 April 1547 by Edward VI. The O'Byrnes, who had taken the opportunity to annoy the citizens of Dublin, were sharply repressed, as were also the O'Mores and O'Conors; and in order to bridle the latter more effectively, St. Leger repaired the fort of Dingan in Offaly, and Fort Protector, as it was now called, in Leix. An incipient rebellion on the part of the sons of Thomas Eustace was likewise repressed before it had time to come to a head, but in September 1548 St. Leger, having been superseded by Sir Edward Bellingham [q. v.], returned to England, taking with him those two disturbers of the public peace, Brian O'Conor and Patrick O'More.

On 20 April 1550 he was appointed to meet the French hostages for the fulfilment of the treaty of Boulogne, between London and Dover, and on 4 Aug. he was reconstituted lord deputy of Ireland (Instructions in Cal. Carew MSS. i. 226–30), being sworn in on 10 Sept. In February 1551 he received an order, having already taken measures for the translation of the whole service of the communion into Latin, for the introduction of the English liturgy; but before any proclamations were issued, he convoked an assembly of the clergy at Dublin on 1 March, and, in declaring the king's intention to them, he is reported to have said (Harl. Miscellany, ed. 1810, v. 601): ‘This order is from our gracious king and from the rest of our brethren, the fathers and clergy of England, who have consulted herein and compared the holy scriptures with what they have done; unto who I submit, as Jesus did to Cæsar, in all things just and lawful, making no questions why or wherefore, as we own him our true and lawful king.’ The speech, intended to conciliate such men as Primate Dowdall, and breathing a spirit of enlightened tolerance, gave great offence from its lukewarmness to George Browne (d. 1556) [q. v.], archbishop of Dublin, and, complaints of St. Leger's predilection for the old religion reaching the king's ears, it was determined early in April to revoke his appointment. It was some time before the commission for his successor, Sir James Croft [q. v.], arrived, but in the meantime he governed only by Croft's advice. He surrendered the sword at Cork on 23 May, and shortly afterwards repaired to England. On 6 Aug. Browne transmitted a long complaint touching St. Leger's alleged papistical practices (Shirley, Orig. Letters, no. xxiii.). There is little doubt that St. Leger believed that the zeal of the reformers was outrunning their discretion. ‘Goe to, goe to,’ said he to Browne, ‘yor matters of religion woll marre all.’ His case came before the privy council in January 1552, and in the meantime he was, by Edward's own orders, banished the royal chamber. The acts of the council are unfortunately silent as to the course of his examination; but, from the fact that in April he was readmitted to the king's chamber, there is every reason to believe that he had little difficulty in rebutting Browne's charges. In May he had a grant in fee farm of the castle of Leeds in Kent, and on 12 June he was appointed a commissioner for the survey of Calais and the marches. His name occurs as one of the witnesses to the will of Edward VI, 21 June 1553; but he supported the claims of Mary, and on 7 Aug. was sworn a privy councillor. He was reappointed lord deputy of Ireland in October, and reached Dublin on 11 Nov.

His instructions touched the restoration of the old religion, the reduction of the army, the establishment of a council in Munster, and the leasing of lands in Leix and Offaly. Want of money crippled his administration. According to Campion, he offended the catholics by certain verses ridiculing the doctrine of transubstantiation. But he had other and more powerful enemies, chief among whom must be reckoned Sir William Fitzwilliam (1526–1599) [q. v.], who charged him with falsifying his accounts in favour of Andrew Wyse, late vice-treasurer. He was accordingly recalled for the third time, and on 26 May 1556 surrendered the sword of state to Thomas Radcliffe, lord Fitzwalter (afterwards third Earl of Sussex) [q. v.] The question of his defalcations was discussed at the council board, but St. Leger, who was suffering from sciatica, did not appear. On 8 Dec. 1558 a letter was ad-