One of the most familiar facts in the history of the medieval lordship of Ireland is that, despite plans by Henry III in 1243 and by Edward III in 1331–2, no king of England came to Ireland between the expedition of King John in 1210 and those of Richard II in 1394–5 and 1399. I am not about to subvert the historical record by revealing a previously unknown royal visit to Ireland, but there is, as I shall try to demonstrate, enough evidence, some of it very strange indeed, to justify the title of this article. The unknown author of the prophecy entitled the Verses of Gildas, who was apparently writing in the middle of the reign of Edward II, forecast that in 1320 the king of England would come to Ireland after the passing of a certain grave crisis. Once in Ireland, he would bring about peace between the English and the Irish, who would live together in harmony under one English law. The English would demolish the walls of their fortifications, while the Irish would cut down the woodlands which served as their defences. On a charitable interpretation, one might find a parallel between these predictions and the letter written to Edward II by Pope John XXII in May 1318, in which the pope asked the king to give his attention to the grievances of the Irish: these grievances had been expressed at length in the famous Irish Remonstrance, which had probably been composed towards the end of 1317 and had recently been received in Avignon.