The Act of Union which officially made Ireland part of the United Kingdon was passed in
1801. However, the first claim England (as it then was) made or had on Ireland was in
the reign of Henry II, in 1155, when Pope Adrian IV (an Englishman, Nicholas
Breakspear) gave Ireland to England, as another dominion for Henry to dominate.
Of course (to be equally pedantic) the only evidence for this seems
to be in the writings of Giraldus Cambrensis - who was in Henry's
employ. He claimed that this was done in a Papal Bull known as
I have read that no copies of this hypothetical Bull exist - not even
in the Vatican archives. Therefore Giraldus is our only (totally
Or does anyone out there know differently? - I'd be really interested
to hear if a copy of it _was_ ever found.