Rev. G.T. Stokes, Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church


Cat No.:   IE0103:

A History of Ireland and Irish Christianity from the Anglo-Norman Conquest to the Dawn of the Reformation, 1897

First published in 1889 and republished here on fully-searchable CD-Rom is the 1897 third edition of George Thomas Stokes' Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church. Containing some 407 printed pages, the original publication is fully indexed and bears the full title of Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church: A History of Ireland and Irish Christianity from the Anglo-Norman Invasion to the Dawn of the Reformation and was one of Stokes' last publications before his death in 1898.

Rev. Dr. George Thomas Stokes (1843-1898) is regarded as one of Ireland's earliest professional historians. After studying in Galway, Stokes obtained BA, MA and DD from Trinity College, Dublin, before his ordination and appointment as curate of St. Patrick's, Newry. After his appointment to the Chair of Ecclesiastical History he was also appointed as Librarian of Marsh's Library and was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, becoming a frequent contributor to the Society's prestigious journal. Many of Stokes' lectures as Professor of Ecclesiastical History found their way into book form and one of these series of lectures eventually found its way into the public domain as Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church.

In his preface to this edition Stokes revealed that this publication was intended to be the companion volume to his earlier Ireland and the Celtic Church, published in 1886. As with much of Stokes' work Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church has as much, if not more, to do with the secular history of Ireland as it does with the ecclesiastical. Like Ireland and the Celtic Church and Worthies of the Irish Church, Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church is based on a series of lectures given by Stokes in his capacity of Professor or Ecclesiastical History at Dublin University. This lectures were edited and annotated and published as fifteen chapters, which still bear the title 'lectures'. The first of these details the last years of Ireland independence before the arrival of the Anglo-Normans. It includes the decay of the sept of O'Brien and the rise of the O'Neills and the extent of the Danish Kingdom in Ireland, especially that of Dublin, before the arrival of Strongbow and the Normans in 1172. Between this date and Irish independence a vivid portrait is painted of the turmoil in Ireland created by the intrigues of King Dermot McMurrough and the Geraldine invasion amongst others and the sources that were available to the historian for these events.

Following the Anglo-Norman invasion their follows lectures the Norman organization of Ireland and the institution of such offices of state and government as that of Lord Lieutenant and the Court of the King's Bench. Lectures nine onwards detail the collapse of the Anglo-Norman regime and the troubles experienced during the reign of Henry III, which witnessed both England and Ireland being plunged into states of anarchy, which only ceased after the wars of the Roses and Bruces. Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church is concluded with the fate of the Celtic Church and its relationship with Ireland's Anglo-Norman overlords.

Ireland and the Anglo-Norman Church is an extremely readable account of Ireland civil and ecclesiastic history written by who many regard as Ireland's first professional historian. 

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