In , so that the English Crown could assert its authority over the settlers, a parliament was assembled in Kilkenny and the Statute of Kilkenny was enacted. The statute decreed that intermarriage between English settlers and Irish natives was forbidden. It also forbade the settlers from using the Irish language and adopting Irish modes of dress or other customs, as such practices were already common. The adoption of Gaelic Brehon property law, in particular, undermined the feudal nature of the Lordship. The Act was never implemented successfully, even in the Pale itself.
This inability to enforce the statute indicated that Ireland was withdrawing from English cultural norms. By the late 15th century, the Pale became the only part of Ireland that remained subject to the English king, with most of the island paying only token recognition of the overlordship of the English crown.
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The tax base shrank to a fraction of what it had been in This lasted until the s, when the earls passed out of royal favour, but the 9th earl was reinstated in the s. The brief revolt by his son "Silken Thomas" in —35 served in the following decades to hasten the Tudor conquest of Ireland , in which Dublin and the surviving Pale were used as the crown's main military base.
From this came the figurative meaning of "boundary". The Oxford English Dictionary is dubious about the popular notion that the phrase beyond the pale , as something outside the boundary — i. The term was used not only for the Pale in Ireland but also for various other English colonial settlements, notably English Calais. The term was also used to refer to specific regions in other nations: the term Pale of Settlement was applied to the area in the west of Imperial Russia where Jews were permitted to reside.
The Pale boundary essentially consisted of a fortified ditch and rampart built around parts of the medieval counties of Louth , Meath , Dublin and Kildare , leaving out half of Meath, most of Kildare, and southwest County Dublin. The northern frontier of the Pale was marked by the De Verdon fortress of Castle Roche , while the southern border roughly corresponded to the present day M50 motorway in Dublin, which crosses the site of what was Carrickmines Castle.
In the period immediately after the Norman Settlement was constructed the barrier, known as the "Pale," separating the lands occupied by the settlers from those remaining in the hands of the Irish.
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This barrier consisted of a ditch, raised some ten or twelve feet from the ground, with a hedge of thorn on the outer side. It was constructed, not so much to keep out the Irish, as to form an obstacle in their way in their raids on the cattle of the settlers, and thus give time for a rescue. The Pale began at Dalkey, and followed a southwesterly direction towards Kilternan; then turning northwards passed Kilgobbin, where a castle still stands, and crossed the Parish of Taney to the south of that part of the lands of Balally now called Moreen, and thence in a westerly direction to Tallaght, and on to Naas in the County of Kildare.
In the wall bounding Moreen is still to be seen a small watch-tower and the remains of a guard-house adjoining it. From this point a beacon-fire would raise the alarm as far as Tallaght, where an important castle stood.
Within the confines of the Pale, the leading gentry and merchants lived lives not too different from those of their counterparts in England, save for the constant fear of attack from the Gaelic Irish. The idea of the Pale was inseparable from the notion of a separate Anglo-Irish polity and culture. After the 17th century and especially after the Anglican Reformation and the Plantation of Ulster , the " Old English " settlers were gradually assimilated into the Irish population. This was in large part due to their relative reluctance to give up Roman Catholicism those who worshiped in the Church of Ireland were rewarded with a higher status.
They kept their version of the English language , though by that time many of them also spoke Irish.
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Several of these men were notable contributors to literature in Irish, including Pierce Ferriter and Geoffrey Keating. New to Market.
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