English Pope and King

Justin McCarthy
Chapter II | Start of Chapter

Dermot fled the country and threw himself at the feet of the English monarch, Henry II., to whom he offered allegiance. There was a combination of conditions peculiarly favourable to Dermot's desire for vengeance upon his countrymen, from whom he had had to seek safety by flight. The Norman rulers of England were a race even more formidable and enterprising as invaders than the Danes, and they had long been casting eager eyes upon the island that lay at the North-West. The ruler of the Christian Church at that time, Pope Adrian IV., the only Englishman who ever filled the Papal throne, had before this given to Henry II. a Bull of Authority over Ireland, and now the time seemed most convenient to the Norman King for making himself the master of Ireland. He did not make any decided movement on his own account at first, but looked on encouragingly while many of the Norman Barons, at the persuasion of Dermot, prepared for an invasion of Ireland.