Ste,—In an article on Pope Adrian IV in your issue of June 6, Miss Iris Conley makes this statement:—" There is recorded only one thing that Adrian did for his native country after he was Pope—the gift of Ireland to England " Then, in support, she quotes John of Salisbury. There still exists however, a great deal of doubt as to whether the Bull,Laudabiliter.which made the "gift," was a forgery. The Rev. J. MacCaffrey in his History of the Catholic Church, says:" That the Bull, Laudabiliter, drawn up as it is in contravention of nearly all the laws of the papal chancellory and especially of the very strict rules laid down for the drafting of feudal grants, can be anything else but a forgery is difficult to conceive." Another point, however, is that it is strange that Henry II did not make use of the grant until twenty years after it had been given.
Oliver J. Thatcher, of the Chicago University, thoroughly investigated the matter and published his results in Studies. Adrian IV. What he says is epitomised in the article on Adrian IV in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, which I quote (the article was written by W. W. Rockwell, Lie. Theol.):— " Henry II asked for permission to invade and subjugate Ireland, in order to gain absolute ownership of that isle. Unwilling to grant a request counter to the papal claim (based on the forged Donation of Constantine) to dominion over the islands of the sea, Adrian made Henry a conciliatory proposal, namely, that the King should become hereditary feudal possessor of Ireland while recognising the Pope as overlord. This compromise did nut satisfy Henry, so the matter dropped; Henry's subsequent title to Ireland rested on conquest, not on papal concession, and was therefore absolute. The, much-discussed bull, Laudabiliter, is however not genuine."
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