Political Discourse at the Court of Henry II and the Making of the New Kingdom of Ireland: The Evidence of John’s Title dominus Hibernie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
16 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines the term dominus Hibernie to argue that it provides evidence for political discourse at the court of King Henry II (1154-1189). The central argument is that, in 1177, Henry II created a modern twelfth-century kingdom of Ireland out the old-fashioned kingdom that had existed beforehand for his son John. Henry then sought papal approval for his plan so that his son might receive consecration with holy oil for his new kingdom. Approval to have John crowned in the modern fashion was, however, withheld until after the young man’s first visit to his island kingdom in 1185. John, therefore, went to Ireland in that year with all the power of a king, but without being consecrated; those who drew up his documents, therefore, called him dominus Hibernie, a phrase which meant no more and no less than that John was king of Ireland with full plenitude of royal power and authority that belonged to a modern king, merely without – yet – the name of king.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)808-823
Issue number353
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017

Cite this