Patrick Finglas

Life
?1480-1540; Baron of the Exchequer, 1520; Breviat of the getting of Ireland and of the decaie of the same, and treating of ‘the oppressions of the Irish nobility’; his MS held in Public Record Office [extant after 1922?]; cited in Ware’s Writers of Ireland, and later printed in Harris’s Hibernica (1770). ODNB DIW

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Commentary
Sir James Ware, Writers of Ireland, trans. Walter Harris (Dublin: Ebenezer Rider 1739), Chap. XII, incls. allusion: ‘Patrick Finglas, a famous Lawyer, was made chief Baron of the Excehquer by Henry VIII, aferwards chief Justice of the King’s-Bench: he writ The Causes of the Calamities of Ireland, and their Remedies.’

Rodulf Gottfried, Spenser’s Prose Works, Variorum Edn., Vol. 10: The Breviat of Ireland, by Patrick Finglas and a fifteenth c. letter from the citizens of Cork and Campion and Holinshed quote and to whic the View presently refers, both describe the revival of Irish power during the War of the Roses; and Davies, making use of Finglas, gives an account similar to Spenser’s [in View of the Present State of Ireland, ll.407-21] (Discoverie, pp.90-92; also Davies, Speech on the Irish Parliament, p.398) , p.287.)

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Quotations
On Hugh O’Neill: ‘The Erle of Ulster might dispend [i.e., gather] a Yere in that Lond above thirty thousand marks. (Quoted in Harris, Hibernica, 1.52.) Further, Holinshed expands on a passage [in Finglas] based on Edmund Campion: ‘the revenues of that earldome, in the daies of Edward the third were reckoned and found to amount unto the some of one and thirty thousand marks yearelie’, while Camden writes in Britannia: ‘suis Comitibus olim trigintia millia Marcarum dependit’ - all of these undoubtedly being Spenser’s ‘good records’, as Gottfried remarks (See View, ll.557-9; Gottfried op. cit., supra, p.295.)

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References
Dictionary of National Biography, fl. 1535; Irish judge; chief justice, 1534-35; his Breviat of the Getting of Ireland and the Decaie of the Same included in Harris’s Hibernica (1770).

Seamus Deane, gen. ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (Derry: Field Day 1991), Vol. 1, incls. brief reference to ‘Baron Finglas’ and other Anglo-Irish chroniclers, in Edmund Burke, “1st Letter to Sir Hercules Langrishe” (pp.834ff.).

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Notes
ALSO, Finglas, writing long before Spenser, traces the Hibernicisation of the great Anglo-Norman families to their feuds, which arose after the departure of the Duke of clarence in the reign of Ed. III (Walter Harris, 1.41-2.)

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