In the late twelfth century, Ireland was absorbed into the dominions of the kings of England. This seminal development transformed the social and political life of the island, with implications that resonate to the present day. How are we to interpret this formative period of Irish history? In the course of the twentieth century, three successive occupants of the Lecky chair of history in Trinity College, Dublin, sought to provide answers. Modern scholarship remains deeply indebted to the pioneering work of Edmund Curtis, A.J. Otway-Ruthven and James Lydon. This volume brings together twenty-one of their most influential essays on the social, institutional and political character of the English colony in medieval Ireland. The editor's introduction explores the careers of ‘The Lecky Professors’ and assesses their intellectual legacy.This is an indispensable collection of essays for all those interested in the history of Ireland and Britain in the Middle Ages. Peter Crooks holds a gold medal in history and a doctorate from Trinity College, Dublin, where he currently teaches in the Department of History and is deputy director of the Irish Chancery Project. He is a former research fellow of the Past and Present Society at the Institute of Historical Research, London.