Hadrian the Bishop, Servant of Servants of God, to his very dear son in Christ, the illustrious King of the English, health and apostolic benediction.
Your magnificence praiseworthily and profitably takes thought how to increase a glorious name on earth, and how to lay up a reward of everlasting happiness in heaven; forasmuch as you intend, like a Catholic prince, to enlarge the bounds of the Church, to declare the truth to unlearned and rude peoples, and to uproot the seedlings of vice from the Lord's field. The better to attain that end, you have asked counsel and favour of the apostolic see. In which action we are sure that, with God's help, you will make happy progress, in proportion to the high design and great discretion of your proceedings, inasmuch as undertakings which grow out of ardour for the faith and love of religion are accustomed always to have a good end and upshot.
There is no doubt, and your nobility acknowledges, that Ireland, and all islands upon which Christ, the sun of justice, has shone, and which have received the teachings of the Christian faith, rightfully belong to the blessed Peter and the most holy Roman Church. We have, therefore, the more willingly made a plantation among them, and inserted a bud pleasing to God, in that we foresee that it will require a careful internal watch at our hands. However, you have signified to us, my dear son in Christ, that you wish to enter the island of Ireland, in order to reduce that people to law, and to uproot the seedlings of vice there, and to make a yearly payment of a denarius to the Blessed Peter out of each house, and to preserve the rights of the churches of that land whole and undiminished.
We, therefore, seconding your pious and laudable desire with suitable favour, and giving a kindly assent to your petition, do hold it for a thing good and acceptable that you should enter that island for the extension of the Church's borders, for the correction of manners, for the propagation of virtue, and for increase of the Christian religion, and that you should perform that which you intend for the honour of God and for the salvation of that land, and let the people of that land receive you honourably, and venerate you as their lord; the ecclesiastical law remaining whole and untouched, and an annual payment of one denarius being reserved to the blessed Peter and to the most holy Roman Church.
But if you shall complete the work which you have conceived in your mind, study to mould that race to good morals, and exert yourself personally and by such of your agents as you shall find fit in faith, word and living, to honour the Church there, and to plant and increase the Christian faith, and strive to ordain what is for the honour of God and the safety of souls, in such a manner that you may deserve at God's hands a heap of everlasting treasure, and on earth gain a glorious name for ages yet to come. Given at Rome, &c., &c."