Talk:John Davies (poet)

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'True Causes' well written but polemical?[edit]

Hello there, Thank you for this page. I have just read True Causes (at and it is indeed well written and polemical but only in the sense of being controversial which today, I hope you can agree, is not really what we mean by a polemic.

I am writing only because it might put some readers off from reading it and that would be a shame. Controversial yes but thorough and largely water-proof.

What he does achieve is to show at least this reader that efforts like, for example, the Statutes of Kilkenny were intended to curb the Anglo-Irish 13th century settlers from England and not 'the mere Irish' who Davies seems to have written off as a race apart and beyond redemption though he does relent when they appear(ed) to start behaving themselves when Crown protection was extended to include them; i.e. What began as failings of character transmuted by about page 333/334 to the belief that just laws and protection would bring about a more civil state of affairs, which it did.

It is absolutely compelling as a read, Davies' classical training surfacing every so often, as he (unlike Spenser who also appears in the volume linked above) comes to the empirical conclusion that 'good fences make good neighbours', (something any English or Irish schoolboy or girl could have told him). Davies begins in the 12th Century and eloquently works his way forward to the 17th.

The work is important because for the first time in this reader's lifetime, the behaviours of settlers are identified as 'the true cause' of a centuries old failed policy where successive monarch's footed the bill for the poor behaviour of those who foraged in the monarch's name. The early Norman settlers did not want the monarch to offer protection to the Irish and so lacking his/her protection they saw the King or Queen's writ for what it was, a double standard of justice, though, as mentioned, no fault of the monarch. Soldiers sent over to prevent trouble between the two weighed heavily on the settler's who had to feed them (coign and livery) which just made the situation worse. Anyway, thank you for reading this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 4 October 2018 (UTC)