By Steven G. Ellis
The Historical Journal, Vol. 23:3 (1980)
Introduction: Not the least of the duties with which Thomas Cromwell was burdened during the period of his ascendancy was the supervision of the lordship of Ireland. There the changes effected in the function and powers of the Dublin administration in the 15308 proved to be quite as important for the development of early-modern Ireland as those occurring in England during the same decade were for that realm. These changes centred on the legislation of the Irish Reformation Parliament of 1536-7 and on the termination of a policy of aristocratic delegation whereby Anglo-Irish magnates, primarily the earl of Kildare, had ruled the lordship on behalf of the king. By the later 15308 the lordship was governed through an English deputy working with a reconstituted Irish council, backed by a small English garrison, and controlled more firmly from London. For all this, recent research has established the overall responsibility of Cromwell.